With the prices of gas and the traffic these days, many turn their heads towards using bikes to commute from one place to another or just to stay fit. There is no question why this underrated mode of transport is now getting a lot of attention.
Unlike cars, bikes require minimum maintenance and you can easily replace them at a lower cost. Of course, you want a bike that is ideal for commuting, and your choice will depend on the nature of your commute.
What to Look Out for When Getting the Best Road Bike for Commuting
If you crave speed, a road bike is your best option. There are other factors in making your decision and luckily, there are many choices for you. Here is a list of the road bike features you may want to consider plus a convenient buying guide.
One of the most significant deciding factors for both price and performance are its components and this includes the wheels, derailleurs, brakes, cassettes, hubs, chainings, and so on. Different manufacturers offer various components that will match the price range you’re aiming for.
Low-quality components should be significantly heavier, cheaper, and aren’t expected to last long compared to the high-quality components. High-level components can save you a bit of weight, they work better, and they hold up well to road abuse.
You should also consider the size of the bike as this is crucial in its performance. When looking for a bike online, sizing is an easy thing to figure out. This is because you can make many adjustments to make your bike fit you properly, especially if you have these adjustments by professionals in a bike shop.
When it comes to bikes, the wheels refer to several parts including the nipples, rims, hub, and spokes. Today, the most common material used for these parts is typically either carbon or aluminum, which are both lightweight materials. Carbon is a bit lighter while aluminum is less expensive.
There are various types of wheels to choose from and your choice should depend on whether you need regular wheels or climbing wheels designed for riding uphill. As expected, climbing wheels aren’t too aerodynamic as they’re more on rolling resistance compared to regular wheels.
You operate the brakes and derailleurs through the handles. With road bikes, there are usually 2 to 3 chainrings in front and 9 to 11 rings on the rear. It’s important to know these markings when purchasing a bike.
Most road bikes today use disc brakes instead of traditional brakes. This is because disc brakes stop the bike quicker and also function better in wet weather. Almost all road bikes now come with disc brakes that use cables to activate them. These are also known as mechanical disc brakes.
Top 5 Road Bikes for Commuting
1. Raleigh Bikes Redux Hybrid Bike
The Raleigh Bikes Redux Hybrid Bike is an urban style bike that’s perfect for commuting. It includes a comfortable saddle, mounts for the fender and rack, flat pedals, and reflective details among other cool features. It has a lightweight frame made of aluminum and even a bash ring so as not to snag your pants.
The 8-speed shifter of the Raleigh Bikes Redux Hybrid Bike is very easy to operate and it also comes with a rear derailleur for precise shifting. You can use this bike on different terrains, even on dirt roads. It also comes with available upgrades including a 9-speed drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes.
- Features custom-formed tubing made of lightweight aluminum.
- The riser bars made of alloy are lightweight while offering superior durability.
- Comes with powerful mechanical disc brakes to keep you safe no matter what condition you ride on.
- Pro-level bike, might not be good for beginners.
2. Schwinn Stites Fixie Adult Commuter Road Bike
The Schwinn Stites Fixie Adult Commuter Road Bike is a very dependable bike that allows you to ride with agility. Its drivetrain has a single-speed along with a versatile flip-flop hub with a convenient freewheel for fixed-gear capability. If you want a fixed cog, you would have to purchase this separately.
The brakes of the Schwinn Stites Fixie Adult Commuter Road Bike are of alloy and they work crisply in all conditions. The high-profile rims are also of alloy making them durable and lightweight. This is a stable bike that’s comfortable to ride. It even has a sleek style which is perfect for urban commuting.
- The fork and frame are of Schwinn steel material for an agile and reliable ride each time.
- Features a single-speed drivetrain with a flip-flop hub.
- The caliper brakes are of dual alloy material making them powerful enough for all conditions.
- Fixed cog needs to be bought separately.
3. Hiland 700c Steel City Commuter Bicycle
The Hiland 700c Steel City Commuter Bicycle features a durable fork and frame made of steel. It is a comfortable bike with Shimano shifters that have 14 various speeds. The rims are of aluminum and it has high-performance wheels for a superb riding experience each time. This is why it is one of the best road bikes for commuting.
The Hiland 700c Steel City Commuter Bicycle comes pre-assembled and it even includes free tools for you to finish its assembly. It comes in different sizes so you must check the size you need before purchase. Although it’s not as light as other models, this bike is a lot of fun to ride.
- The fork and frame are of durable steel material.
- Features a Shimano thumb shifter that offers 14 different speeds.
- Very easy to assemble and offers an enjoyable riding experience.
- It’s on the heavier side and might not impress if you need a light weight bike.
4. Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike
The Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike comes with Shimano gears, a durable and lightweight frame made of aluminum, and equally lightweight wheels. This bike comes at a reasonable price and yet, it offers superior performance. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, this bike will suit you well.
The brakes, derailleurs, and crank are all from Claris. The Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike also has Claris shifters and brake levers that perform optimally. With this bike, you will ride comfortably even if you commute every day. This is because each component of this bike is specifically designed for efficiency and comfort.
- Features a super lightweight frame made of aluminum and durable Shimano gears.
- The design of the frame offers comfort for all styles of riders.
- Comes with a Shimano warranty that’s good for 2 years.
- Lightweight frame is impressive but might not be cool if you need a heavy one.
5. SAVADECK Carbon Road Bike
The SAVADECK Carbon Road Bike has a sturdy frame and other components made of carbon fiber. This is a stiff and lightweight bike that offers more compliance than other models. This bike features Shimano speed shifters along with front and rear derailleurs from the same brand.
With the SAVADECK Carbon Road Bike, you can start and ride your bike smoothly and effectively. It is aerodynamically designed and contoured to ensure clean airflow throughout the whole bike. The bike also comes with a tapered head tube that allows for better handling and stronger torsion rigidity.
- Comes with a seat post, fork, and frame made of lightweight yet durable carbon fiber.
- The front derailleur and rear derailleur allow you to ride smoothly and effectively.
- Comes mostly assembled, which makes this bike perfect for beginners.
- Might feel a bit light if you need a heavy bike.
What should you consider before buying a road bike for commuting?
Having the most stylish bike does not necessarily mean you will have a comfortable ride. Instead, it’s better to invest your money and time on a bike that you will always look forward to riding. Here are some factors to consider for you to find the best road bike for commuting:
If you plan to use your bike on flat terrain, a fixed-gear or single-speed bike will be a perfect choice. But you might still prefer different speed options even if you use your bike on flat terrain.
If your commute involves riding up inclines, you should have the appropriate gear set up to make your rides easier. To help you understand the available gearing options, here is a short overview of the various gears you may find:
- External Drivetrains
This is the most common multiple gears set up. These offer smooth shifting, are very dependable, and require occasional maintenance.
- Internal Gear Hubs
The gears of internal gear hubs are nicely contained inside the hub of the wheel at the rear. When viewed from the outside, the bike’s drivetrain looks almost the same as that of a single-speed bike.
- Fixed and Single-speed Gear Drivetrains
Both these bikes only have one gear. They just have a chain with two sprockets. These drivetrains need low maintenance. Even if they don’t have multiple speeds, many find these bikes performing very well on rides around town.
- Belt Drivetrains
Rather than using a chain to connect the wheel sprockets and the front, these bikes have a heavy-duty belt made of carbon fiber. This belt can be twice as long as a regular chain and doesn’t require lubrication since it remains relatively clean.
Even the way you sit on your bike can determine how comfortable comfort you will feel. Generally, if you have short commutes with minimal exertion, a more relaxed and upright riding position is best. Hybrid, urban, and classic bikes offer this position.
With commutes that are longer and require sustained exertion and effort, you need a more forward-leaning, athletic position. Bikes that offer this position include triathlon, track, and road bikes.
If you’re an average commuter who travels moderate distances with some physical exertion and sustained effort, the comfortable riding position falls midway. This is the ideal combination for performance and comfort. Bikes that feature this riding position include commuter-specific and urban bikes.
Types of Road Bikes for Commuters
Before choosing the right bike, here are the different types of bikes that are commonly used for commuting:
The design combines the lightness and speed of road bikes with comfortable handlebars, a good sitting position, and a front suspension system you can usually see in mountain bikes.
Although this is primarily not a commuter bike, it is fast becoming a popular choice for many commuters. Its rugged design has given it the ability to handle a wide range of surfaces making it ideal for commuting.
This is another bike that was not originally designed for commuter use but because of its great features, it has become increasingly common for commuters too. With its simplified drivetrains that need little to no maintenance, this bike is perfect for those who want a hassle-free ride.
These bikes lack the iconic geometry of classic bikes but they have established themselves as a worthy member of the bike family because of their portability and reliability. This bike is perfect for commuters who also take public transport as part of their commute.
The unique design of this bike allows you to place your feet flat on the ground when you stop, yet you can still extend your leg fully while pedaling for maximum comfort. The bike is perfect for short journeys or weekend rolling around town. It is also easy and fun to ride.
We all know that exercise is good for your health and riding a bike for commuting is like shooting two birds with one stone: getting to work and working out. Biking can also be good for your mood and the environment.
This is perhaps the reason why the happiest people in the world live in countries where cycling is very common. As cycling becomes very popular, it is about time to switch to commuting using a bike. Now that you have learned how to choose the best road bike, all that’s left now is to choose the best commuter bike for yourself.