You can even hold one of them like a purse.
Whether you’ve ever needed to squeeze in a workout or circumvent a public transit interruption, a commuter bike is your best bet for getting around. Luckily, there are numerous compelling reasons for trading your metro card or daily lift for a commuter bike.
First and foremost, riding a bike enhances your health. Research suggests that that commuter cycling reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality more than any other mode of transportation like walking. Second, they’re budget friendly. Your basic car will cost you upwards of $10,000 in gas and repairs per year, unlike a bike, which is an average one-time fee of $350. Last but not least, riding bikes benefits the planet. Switching from car to bike transportation saves 150 grams of carbon dioxide emissions per kilometer, which can help limit the impacts of climate change, according to research from the United Nations.
With so many commuter bike options available online and in stores, you may be wondering which one is right for you. Not to worry: Dr. Jacob Wilson, skeletal muscle physiologist and expert to The Vitamin Shoppe, says that a comfortable ride starts with a comfortable seat, as well as a frame in a sturdy material like aluminum. The key is to fit it properly to your height and build. Then, think about the circumstances under which you’ll use your commuter bike most. Also worth mentioning: Your bike won’t do you any favors if you feel unsafe on it. Before you take it to the mean streets of rush hour, make sure you are “confident operating it, braking and shifting, turning, and getting on and off,” says Jim Langley, technical editor for RoadBikeRider.com and commuter bike expert.
How to find the best commuter bike for you
• For a short, flat commute, Langley says a simple one-speed beach cruiser is a perfect option thanks to its fat tires, wide seat, and wide handlebars. He says this variety will also make carrying your work clothes, laptop, and lunch in a backpack a breeze.
• For an uphill ride, Langley suggests a commuter bike with a varied selection of gears to facilitate hills, as well as a reliable set of brakes for speed control down said hills (while they might cost you a bit more, Dr. Wilson recommends going for hydraulic disc brakes — they last longer than chain brakes and provide a more precise stop). “Since a backpack can make you sweaty [while riding uphill], you might put a rack on the bike that holds saddlebags for your gear,” says Langley.
• For decreased visibility, Langley says to add lights for nighttime (or foggy) rides, as well as fenders to keep rain out of your way in wet conditions. Upright handlebars — as opposed to dropped bars common in bike racing — are also a great way to see better in traffic.
Don't feel too confined by the commuter bike category: “I recommend most people look for a nice hybrid because it offers some of the road bike speed, but also the stability and comfort of a normal upright bike,” says Dr. Wilson. “They offer some of the speed of a road bike, along with the sturdiness and comfort of a simpler upright bike.” He also says that while road bikes are built for speed, they could be your best bet if you tend to run late for work or need to rush over to an event after your shift. “It really comes down to your preference,” he says. “Do you want a mix of speed and comfort? Choose a hybrid. Do you want to just get home as fast as possible? Opt for a road bike.”
According to our experts, buying a bike doesn’t need to be too expensive. Dr. Wilson says the average commuter bike will run about $350 to $750. Langley shares that as long as there’s no structural damage to the bike, you can also get yourself a used bike from a garage sale, flea market, Goodwill, or a friend who’s no longer using theirs. Because most commutes aren’t particularly long or arduous, he says any bike will do. That means if you also want to take your bike for a spin on the trails over the weekend, for example, there’s no need to invest in two separate bikes.
Here’s an insider secret: No matter which brand you choose, you can’t go wrong. “There are hundreds of bicycle brands and every one will offer bikes perfect for commuting — the entire bike industry knows how important it is to get more people riding to work,” says Langley.
Joe B: "Obama weighed in on the federal response to the coronavirus outbreak in the context of warning about the impact of Trump's decision to ease up on fuel-efficiency standards the Democratic president had put in place to combat climate change". And these people claim to be the "party of science". Seriously.