What To Look For In A Commuter Bike?

Getting the Best Experience From Commuting Bikes

Purchasing a quality bike is an investment on its own. While you plan to commute daily or weekly using a bike, it is no doubt that riding will take up a substantial part of your hours. That gives you a reason to choose the right commuting bike that provides comfort as per your needs. 

To eliminate most skeptical beliefs about commuting bikes, let’s highlight the qualities of a good bike and factors to consider as you approach your big decision:

Before buying a commuting bike

  1. Overall mileage: Includes your traveling distance to the workplace or learning site either daily or weekly. 
  2. Terrain of your area: This could be a combination of smooth pavements and bumpy road sections on the area you would be riding on. 
  3. Riding comfort: Do you intend to move faster while riding or slower with more comfort? 
  4. Type of gearing: You might need multiple gears for an easier ride uphill or a simple fixed-gear bike based on your comfort. 
  5. Carrier: installed racks are useful for carrying small luggage, although not every bike offers this feature. 

Selecting the Appropriate Commuting Bike Model

Dashing Outward Look

A bike that only feels luxurious to ride may not cater for all your commuting needs. Even an expensive bike that gives you a bumpy ride won’t be an option either. You need bike whose comfort gives you a relieving return on the money you invested in its purchase. 

If you like carrying small parcels or bags to your job or study area, your commuting bike may require its own carrier for convenience. The speed of your bike should also enough to get you as fast as early as desired to your destination. This way, you will find your commuting experience more satisfactory. 


Small travel distances may require an upright sitting posture to provide sufficient laxity while applying minimal effort as you cover your track. There are quality commuting bikes available in the market and designed exclusively for short distances. 

Comparatively, a longer ride will need more effort with forward-bending posture. A well-designed bike will incorporate these features to enable you to cover a greater mileage. A moderate distance will blend features of both types of bikes to give you an improvised position that won’t wear you out as you ride. 

Choose the Right Gear 

Commuting bikes have a variety of gear designs varying from simple bikes to ones with a sophisticated combination. A flat and smooth pavement would require a simple bike. 

However, when the road has inclined sections or rough tracks, compound gears preinstalled on the bike prove ideal by providing multiple speed choices while improving comfort. These gears for bikes are either enclosed or external. 

More sophisticated models may replace the connecting chain with a strong belt. Each model is unique and tags along its own limits and advantages, leaving your selection a matter of preference. 

External Multiple Gears

External gears are more common with cranks joined to the hub in the rear wheel. A chain is used to join the pedals to each speed. Derailleurs control the chain motion from lower to higher gears and vice versa after you engage the shifts. 

Due to continuous exposure to dust, moisture, gravel or bumps on road sections, they may require occasional cleaning, lubrication and maintenance. 

Internal Gearing 

The gear components are enclosed within the rear wheel hub by a heavy-duty case. This kind of design enables stationary gear shifting, unlike external gears which require the wheel to be rotating for a change of speed. The protection of the gears from water, dirt, or rough road sections means it lowers their service cost. 

Single Speed and Belt Propelled Bikes 

A simple commuting bike contains one gear with two cranks and a chain. This translates to a low cost of maintenance but a lower speed. On the other hand, a belt replaces the chain in conventional bikes to effect motion on the axle. Maintenance costs are relatively low since they are made of durable carbon fiber that requires no lubrication. 

High-Efficiency Braking System

An excellent braking system should slow down the bike within a few seconds after engaging levers. Commuting bikes use two common types of breaks: 

  • A rim brake which consists of rubber pads connected to a set of levers and pressing on the rim. When engaged, the rim gradually stops rotating within a very short time. 
  • The disc type is a revolutionary design that has high stopping efficiency. When engaged, brake components push against the disc which slows down the axle. 

High Functionality 

A commuting bike with more than one set of gears is suitable for riding through rough pavements, raised tracks and bumpy roads. Such tracks need stronger wheels and tires and a bike with high suspension capabilities. 

Smaller wheels with diameters of 26 inches may provide more strength to the bike, low weight, enabling it to maneuver through pavements. It is also important to note that smooth or low treaded wheels have better contact with the road surface and a high ability to resist puncture.

Bike Compatibility and Sizing 

A bike that provides maximum comfort is a more desirable choice for commuting, but this could be slightly different if the carriage service and sizing are requirements. Some bikes have a specially designed carriage for small luggage while others don’t. 

You should always check the bike’s carrier for compatibility before purchase. A commuting bike with installed fenders for mud, water or dirt is good as it keeps their cleanliness intact as you travel to your workplace. 

The bike should also have sufficient standover height, a relaxing saddle, and enough reach to avoid straining as you ride. Checking pedal and grip efficiency can provide adequate information that matches your criteria and help you make a better purchase decision.


Selecting the best commuting bike tags along a bunch of advantages. A properly sized bike with compatible carrier for small luggage, sufficiently thick tires and strong wheels feels great to ride. The bike should also have a reliable braking system and gearing. A more efficient commuter bike often comes with a low cost of maintenance. This gives you a chance to exercise while you save lots on fuel, time and money. 

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