Ready to trade in your steering wheel for handlebars? Before you saddle up for your daily commute, ensure you have the most enjoyable ride on two wheels by considering these five tips when choosing the best commuter bike for you.
CONSIDER THE LENGTH OF YOUR RIDE
The length of your commute should help determine what kind of commuter bike will suit both you and your wallet. Considering the three mile rule will help you ride smarter, not harder. If your route is three miles or less, an all-purpose city bike like Detroit Bikes’ A-Type or B-Type models will fit your needs. At six miles, comfort during your journey may decline if you don’t pay attention to your seat and commuter bike height. After nine miles, you may need to look at bikes designed for speed and ride efficiency.
WEATHER AND TERRAIN MATTER
What climate does your commute entail and what type of road will you be riding on? Knowing what conditions you will be riding in is key to determining the right tire size and width for your commuter bike. Thinner tires measuring 1.0” to 2.2” are great for paved streets, while wider tires measuring 2.2” and up will guide you over rough surfaces. The temperatures play a role as well. Skinny tires are great for warmer climates, but may not be ideal for areas that receive large amounts of precipitation.
GET SPECIFIC WITH GEARS AND BRAKES
The amount of gears and the type of brake system you choose for your bike also depends on the type of commute you intend to have day after day. For most flat rides, single speed bikes like the Sparrow from Detroit Bikes make your journey smooth and simple. If you encounter hills, multiple gears will definitely come in handy. Most modern commuter bikes meant to handle gravel roads and city streets alike will come with either rim brakes or disc brakes. Rim brakes are cost effective and lightweight for most city streets while disc brakes are more expensive and made for heavy-duty braking that may not be required for most urban commutes.
COMFORT MEETS SUPPORT
With comfort being a general theme when choosing a commuter bike, seat padding and size can’t be forgotten. While a soft, padded seat may seem ideal for an easy ride, it can often be just the opposite. Use the same consideration for saddle shopping as you would for mattress shopping. You want something that has some cushion, but still offers the right amount of support and firmness. Bikes that allow you to customize your seat size like the A-Type and B-Type models from Detroit Bikes can ensure you get just what you need in saddle satisfaction.
ACCESSORIZE WITH STORAGE
Planning to transport work briefs, gym clothes, or groceries during your journey? Adding functional storage space to your bike may be something to consider. Accessorize for the road ahead by purchasing a bike that can accomodate front or rear luggage racks.
Once you’ve gotten into a healthy routine of skipping the bus or avoiding traffic jams on the highway, a commuter bike can be an investment in your health and happiness. Understanding what to look for when deciding on the best commuter bike that suits your needs will only make your new form of transportation more enjoyable and worthwhile.