Commuters on a variety of hybrid and classic bikes
What Type of Bike is Best for Commuting?
This is a personal choice. Perhaps the most popular is a hybrid bike. This offers reasonable speed and good stability. Being the most popular enables shops to offer at cheap price. However, there are many different types of bike a commuter could use.
- Cheap Mountain bike (usually from Taiwan) – Can get for under £200, even under £100.
Pros – don’t have to overly worry about getting stolen. Fairly solid and upright
Cons – Don’t look good. Tend to be gharish colours. . They are so slow it can put you off cycling. I advise trying to get a slightly more expensive hbrid bike. See: Ammaco 3000
- Hybrid Bike from £150 upwards. Similar to mountain bike, but thinner wheels, more geared to practical road riding. Can usually be easily fitted with mudguards, panniers e.t.c. They can range from a cheap Ammaco at £150, to really nice bikes upto £1,000. Try and spend a minimum of £250 if you can
Pros – designed with commuter in mind. Good value for what you can get.
Cons – no major downside, not necessarily something to get overly excited about.
- Converted Road Bike. A Road bike will be the quickest, ideal for any commuter who travels a considerable distance.
Pros – can be quick and a form of training. ideal for long distance commute
Cons – no fun in icey conditions, top road bikes make attraction for thieves
- Single Speed. Either fixed or single speed bikes
Pros: tend to look cool and are easy to maintain. Great if you live somewhere flat, but not recommended for San Francisco or Bristol (though I’m sure some still manage)
Cons: It is nice to be able to change gears
- Folding Bike – Pros: ideal for the commuter who cycles part of the way and gets the train or car for the rest.
Cons: not fast, not cheap.
- Retro Bikes – old fashioned style bikes. Look great and are built for carrying stuff on your commute. Will tend to be slower and heavier than road bikes. But, if you prefer style over speed, retro bikes are a good choice.
- Electric Bikes. Increasing in popularity. You may not get so many health benefits. But, if get put off by the idea of cycling up a hill
Some Suggestions of Commuter Bikes
See also: Commuter bikes under £500
The Giant Escape is a popular commuting bike, coming in both men’s and ladies and different models. There are quite a few choices for less than £500. For £499, you can get the very good Giant Escape 1
Giant Escape 1
- Frame: ALUXX Aluminium
- Fork: Carbon composite, aluminium steerer
- Stem and seatpost: Giant Sport aluminium ahead
- Saddle: Giant Pure Sport
- groupset – Shimano acera and Alivio
- Brakes: Tektro linear pull
- Brake Levers: Tektro
Dawes Discovery XO3 2012
The Dawes discovery range offer a good solid introduction to the hybrid market. They are likely to be sufficient for most commuting needs. Based on a light alloy frame. They come with 24 gears and offer options for panniers e.t.c. They look stylish without being posy. A good example, of a hybrid bike that gets the job done. The new XO4 comes in at £350 so is quite affordable. As you go up the range you get a better selection of gears and extras like suspension seat posts.
- Comfort – high
- Value for Money – Good
- Speed – satisfactory
- Functions: enough
- Dawes Discovery at Evans cycles
Dahon vs Brompton Folding Bikes
The most popular two versions of folding bikes are the Dahon and Brompton. Both have a good reputation for quality, but, Bromptons tend to be a bit more pricey because of their stronger brand image. (After all, there is a Brompton world championship)
For example, the Dahon Espresso 2010 based on a 7005 Aluminium frame is £450. The Brompton M3L with Sturmey Archer 3 speed and steel frame is £699. But, the distinctive build of Brompton does give an excellent upright comfortable posture.
My own commuting bike is a Trek 500, equivalent to a Trek 1.1. It’s a bottom of the range road bike, but, becomes a nippy commuter bike. You wouldn’t really want anything else apart from a low range road bike, otherwise there is too much risk attached to locking it up in town. If you look at GT road bikes, they can start from as low as £350
Trek Bikes at Evans
Specialised Langster – cool bike
I really enjoyed riding this single speed. It gives a greater simplicity to the commute. The Steel frame is also really enjoyable to ride as it is great at absorbing the bumps and shocks of the road. A steel frame may be heavier than aluminium, but it does give a more enjoyable ride. However, the steel version has track handlebars not ideal for commuting.. Specialized Langster review
Another single speed aimed at the all-year round commute. Some nice utilitarian touches like clip on mudguards, room for panniers. Also rear wheel is reversible meaning you can switch between fixed and free wheel. Not most exciting single speed out there, but more on practical side. Dawes Mono Review