We’d be very, very surprised if you hadn’t realised cycling is having a moment. Every time we step off a kerb these days, a two-wheeled, lycra-clad commuter seems to whip past. Cycling shops are all but sold out, the roads are rammed with budding bike enthusiasts and the tinny ring of bells can be heard across the country.
But, despite all the shaky new cyclists and the angry established riders, it’s a good thing. And, with the pandemic fading away, we’re all for a bit of solo commuting. Let’s leave those crammed tube carriages and bustling buses in the past. And let’s do it in style. If you’re thinking of hopping into the saddle, we’ve rounded up four of the best types of bikes for new commuters below…
If you’re a city cyclist, try a commuter bike
Also known as a hybrid bike, these two-wheelers are the Swiss army knives of the bicycle world. They’ll see you over smooth roads swiftly, down cobbled streets without so much as a shudder and through spots of gravelly, puddly off-road with ease. And they don’t half look bad, either.
Take Ribble’s Hybrid AL, for example. It’s a tooled-up, tricked-out bike ideal for any commuter, with everything from a matched colour pannier rack for all those important files and folders, to a set of SKS P45 Mudguards to ensure your suit doesn’t get splattered. Kona’s Dew Plus is a little more stripped-back, but even its nifty kickstand will come in handy if you just need to nip into the office. And Canyon’s award-winning Commuter 8.0 is as advanced as it sounds; with a lightweight aluminium frame and integrated handlebar light to ensure your commute encounters as few problems as possible.
If you’ve got the need for speed, opt for a road bike
If your commute’s looking a little longer than a nip around the corner — but will still see you following mostly main roads — then we’d suggest a road, or racing bike. These lightweight two-wheelers tend to have thinner tyres, fewer bells (and whistles, for that matter…), and curved handlebars to ensure you can really make the aerodynamic best of your morning ride.
Some don’t even have gears weighing them down. State Bicycle Co’s 4130 Sokol is an ideal fixed-gear option for those style-conscious cyclists who still need some speed. Shand’s Leveret benefits from countless helpful innovations; including a carbon belt drive that means no messy chain marks on clothes and an internal gear hub that’s impervious to the weather. And Whyte’s Dean V1 boasts a top of the range Shimano GRX groupset, full hydraulic brakes and tubeless tyres — to ensure punctures are a thing of the past.
If you’re all about practicality, buy a folding bike
If you’re a city worker, and space is at a premium, there are few better options than a good quality folding bike. The technology has evolved way past a gimmick in recent years, and these bikes now stand up next to some of the best rigid-framed road bikes on the market.
Brompton has become a byword for the folding bike revolution; and this S6L Racing Green has everything you need for a comfortable commute — from six responsive gears to a sport S-type handlebar. Montague’s Boston model is equally as surprising. In fact, it doesn’t even look like a folding bike. But, despite its standard-sized wheels, it can fold down in under 20 seconds. Or, for perhaps the most flexible folding bike, opt for Birdy’s City ride; a bike as customisable as it is practical.
If you’ve got a longer commute, consider an electric bike
And then comes the electric bikes. These may seem like cheating for some, but if you’ve got a particularly lengthy commute — or it all seems to be uphill — a little extra boost will seem like a godsend. And, when many electric-assisted bikes look as swish as this, no-one will dare pick you up on your pedalling power.
From Whyte, the Hoxton is as cool as the area for which it is named. A super-stealthy Fazua Evation electric system ensures you won’t bother your fellow commuters, and those stylish tan wall tyres give this city bike a real contemporary look. Raleigh’s Centros Tour is designed in Britain and has a maximum power output of 270% of your pedal power, and Ridgeback’s E-Flight Di2 boasts a stripped-back Shimano STePS E-Bike system to keep the lines of your bike clean.
Want to make even more of your mornings? Here’s what successful people do on their morning commutes…
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