Your Guide to the Best Commuting Bikes and Kit

How to choose your bike for riding to work

by Mat Brett   June 6, 2014  

Milk Bikes RDA - riding 1

road.cc reviews

You've decided to ride to work  a great choice because it's cheap, it’s green and it'll help keep you fit and active. It can also be quicker than many other modes of transport because you can avoid traffic jams and other delays. So what’s the best bike for commuting?

You can ride to work on pretty much any bike you like; go on a BMX if you want. But spend some time choosing the most suitable tool for the job and you’ll probably get there quicker and more comfortably.

We’ll run through a few different types of bikes and explain why each one might be the best choice for you, then explain a few things you need to consider before making your final choice.


Flat bar road bike

A lot of people prefer the vision and control that they get from a bike with a flat handlebar over one with a dropped bar. With a flat bar road bike you get the fast wheels/tyres of a standard road bike and gearing that allows you to commute quickly.

Entry level

If you’re after something a little cheaper, Specialized’s Sirrus bikes come with a road bike geometry, the cheapest option priced at £400.

Mid-range

We reviewed the Hoy Shizuoka city bike (£620.00) on road.cc and we were really impressed. It comes with 10 gears, hydraulic disc brakes and room for bigger tyres, mudguards and a rack, all of which are strong draws if you’re looking for a bike on which you can commute.

Plus, at 10.5kg (23.3lb), the Hoy Shizuoka is much lighter than the sort of mountain bike that many people use for commuting, and it’ll easily handle long road rides at the weekend.

If you want more gears, there are other options in the Shizuoka range.

Higher end

Cannondale’s Quick Carbon 2 is fast like a road bike and comfy like a mountain bike, and offers disc brake confidence for £1,499.99.
 

Road bike

A road bike is a fast option if you have a long commute, especially if a lot of your ride is on open, out of town roads where you can make its speed and efficiency really count.

Also, a road bike is ideal for riding sportives, training rides, or just getting out and seeing the country.

Entry level

Priced at £379.99, the B’Twin Triban 500 SE is an entry-level road bike but we found it amazingly sprightly. It’s built around an aluminium frame and carbon fork, and gets a 3 x 8-speed Microshift drivetrain (you can get a Shimano Sora-equipped version of this bike for £449.99). Threaded eyelets on the rear dropouts and the fork plus rack eyelets on the seatstays are welcome additions for commuting.

The Triban 500 SE weighs in at a surprisingly light 22.4lb/10.08kg – way below average for a bike at this price.

Mid-range

The Whyte Dorset (£999) is ideal as a year round commuter and it’ll handle much more besides. 

Higher end

The £1,249.99 carbon-fibre Lapierre Sensium 100 is a comfortable, lively endurance bike with plenty of upgrade potential. 


Hybrid

A hybrid combines features of a mountain bike and features of a road bike to give you, theoretically, the best of both worlds: a bike that is pretty quick and also tough and durable. In truth, it’s often difficult to tell where the flat bar road bike category ends and hybrids begin.

Entry level


We reviewed the Carrera Gryphon on road.cc a couple of years ago (priced £369.99 at the time, now with an RRP of £399.99 but reduced to £349.99) and found it to be a good budget machine that was very well specced for the money. If you’re looking for an urban workhorse, it’s definitely one to consider.

You get an alloy frame and fork, 2 x 8-speed Shimano gearing, Tektro Lyra mechanical disc brakes and eyelets for fitting both mudguards and a rack.

The Gryphon is at its best hacking through town or along the towpath. It's not super quick but it's well put together and the ride is stable and fairly comfortable.

Mid-range

The Fairdale Weekender (£749) is an eminently adaptable urban workhorse with a casual ride character that seduces almost instantly. 

Higher end

Although there are some compromises, the £900 Trek 8.6 DS is competent and comfortable both on the road and off it. 


Fixed/singlespeed

Fixed gear bikes (ones without a freewheel so you can’t coast, your feet have to turn whenever the bike is moving) have become very fashionable again over the past few years, especially for urban riding. On the plus side, there are no derailleurs, gear shifters or cables to maintain or replace.

On the down side, well, you have just that one gear whatever the profile of your ride, so a fixed isn’t ideal if you live in a really hilly area. The same is true of a singlespeed (with a freewheel). Most fixed bikes come with a flip-flop rear wheel that you can turn around to run it as a singlespeed.

Entry level

The Charge Plug 1 (£449.99) is a simple, tough steel singlespeed with a flip-flop rear wheel and large 32mm tyres for comfort. 

Mid-range


We reviewed Kona’s Paddy Wagon fixed/singlespeed a few years ago (priced £550 at the time, now priced at £649). It’s made from Reynolds 520 butted cromo steel, comes with 28mm tyres that’ll help smooth over rough roads, and there’s plenty of mudguard clearance (you can go to 32mm tyres if you do without mudguards). There are braze-ons for the mudguards but not for a rack.

We reckon it’s worth putting on the shortlist if you're shopping for a fast commuter bike.

Higher end

The Pace 42:16 (£795) is a decent steel frame with some well thought-out details, built up with pedigree components. 


Touring bike

A touring bike is built to be strong and to carry loads, both of which are useful qualities for commuting.

Entry level

When we reviewed the Roux Etape 250 touring bike (£699.99) last year, we said that it bore most of the hallmarks of a classic big journey tourer but that it would be just as suitable for everyday use as a load bearing workhorse commuter. It’s one of the few disc-brake equipped heavy duty tourers on the market at this price.

Mid-range


The £1,249 Surly Disc Trucker is a well thought-out tourer with bags of character. It's a super-practical bike and a lot of fun to ride.

Higher end


We were mightily impressed by the Surly Straggler (£1,499.99) earlier this year too. It’s a sturdy and adaptable steel all-rounder with disc brakes. You can use it on the roads, on towpaths and trails – pretty much wherever you like – and it comes with braze-ons for mudguards and racks.

 

Cyclocross bike

Cyclocross bikes are designed for riding off road but the fact that they’re built to be both fast and durable means they can be excellent for everyday commuting, sometimes with some tweaks for the road.

Entry level

The Genesis Day One Disc (£699.99) is a singlespeed cyclo-cross bike that’s an ideal everyday commuter if you live in a flat area. 

Mid-range

Is the Genesis Croix de Fer (£1,149.99) a cyclocross bike? It could be. Or a road bike, a tourer, an adventure bike... it’s a do-it-all bike, and that includes commuting.

The Reynolds 725 Croix de Fer is a bit of a modern classic – a capable on- and off-road mile-muncher. You get braze-ons for mudguards and racks as well as mounts for a down tube-mounted mudguard.

Higher end

The Eastway CX 2.0 (£1,249) is an aluminium-framed all-rounder with a carbon fork. The gearing occasionally feels challenging off road but it's ideal for tarmac and there are well positioned mudguard and rack eyelets. It’ll easily cope with the occasional cyclocross race or sportive too.


Folding bike

A folding bike is often the best option for multi-modal commuting. Say you want to ride to the station, take the train, then get off at the other end and ride to the office: a folder could be the ideal bike for you. Most people want something that’s quick and easy to fold and manoeuvrable when packed down.

Entry level

The Tern Link Uno (£425) is a singlespeed with 20in wheels that folds down in seconds. 

Mid-range

The Birdy World Sport (£939) that we reviewed last year is a jack-of-all-trades folding bike that does all its jobs well. 

Higher end

Bikes from British brand Brompton are among the most sought after folders. The most basic one-speed Brompton costs £765, but you can choose your own components, luggage, and transporting bags. and the price will alter accordingly. We reviewed the Brompton S2L-X (now £1,480) on road.cc a few years ago and concluded that it was a really neat package, especially if the fold is as important to you as the ride.

 

Electric bike

Some cyclists get all sniffy about electric bikes but they make a lot of sense for some people, providing a solid alternative to a car for urban transport.

Mid-level

The Giant Twist Lite (£1,199) is an assisted pedal power bike with a slim front hub motor. 

Higher end


We reviewed the Koga E-Nova RT electric bike (£2,529) here on road.cc earlier this year and found it to be a great vehicle for getting around with consummate ease. The whole bike oozes quality and does a fantastic job of smoothing over the hills to make any journey cycle-friendly.


The Bosch drivetrain is excellent. The bottom bracket unit contains the motor, and three sensors monitor your pedal input and match it with a push from the motor. The E-Nova is able to assist you with a maximum of 250W of power up to a maximum speed of 25kph (16mph); after that you're on your own.

There’s no doubt that the E-Nova RT is expensive but we found it a joy to pilot about town.

 

Cycle to Work scheme

Many employers offer Cycle to Work programmes that allow you to get a bike tax-free, saving you a lot of money.

Your employer needs to sign up to a Cycle to Work provider, like Cyclescheme. You join the scheme, choose a bike, do a little bit of online admin and collect the bike from the shop. You then hire the bike with payments taken from your gross monthly salary. At the end of the hire period, you are usually given the opportunity to buy the bike for its market value.

Essentially, this is a cheap way of getting a bike for riding to and from work, and you are free to use it at any other time too.

In most cases, the maximum value of a bike and cycling equipment you can get through a Cycle to Work programme is £1,000.


Carrying essentials

When riding to and from work you’ll almost certainly need to carry stuff with you, at least occasionally: maybe a laptop, some clothes and shoes to change into if you’re riding in cycling gear, food...

Some people are happy carrying this in a bag on their back – either a backpack or a messenger bag – especially if the load is light and/or the journey is short.

For heavier loads and longer journeys you might want the bike to take the strain by fitting a rack and using a rack bag or panniers. If so, many bikes have eyelets designed specifically for taking a rack. If your bike doesn’t have them, you’ll probably be able to use other rack fitting fixtures but bear in mind that disc brakes can sometimes make things awkward.


Mudguards and racks

Some bikes come fitted with mudguards but most don’t. If you’re going to commute by bike in all conditions you might well want to fit mudguards to stop your tyres spraying you with water from the road.

Many bikes are built with eyelets for fixing mudguards. Again, there’s usually a solution if your bike doesn’t have them, but if you intend to use mudguards, eyelets make life that little bit easier.


Ride position

A lot of people like an upright riding position for cycling in town so they get a good view of the traffic, pedestrians, and so on. For that reason they might opt for a flat-barred bike rather than one with a dropped handlebar.

On the other hand, if your commute takes in a lot of open road, a drop-barred bike is likely to be quicker and more efficient.

You need to decide on the best option for your commute.


Other features

Some manufacturers offer bikes with other commuter-friendly features. Puncture-resistant tyres are popular. No one ever wants a puncture but it’s particularly bad news if you need to be at the office for an important 9am meeting.

Disc brakes can be useful if you’re going to commute in all weathers because the braking surface is much further away from the road than with rim brakes so you get a more consistent performance in the wet.

Hub gears are often cited as a good choice for commuters because the working parts are sealed away from the rain and spray. That’s true, but derailleur gears will keep working with minimal maintenance as long as you give them a clean and re-lube after riding in wet conditions.

It could be that you’re buying a bike solely for commuting, but it’s more likely that you’ll want to ride it at other times too. That makes things a little more complicated – or interesting, depending on how you look at it!

If you’re going to have just one bike and you want to use it for both commuting and for riding sportives, for instance, you’re probably going to be attracted towards a drop-barred road bike.

If you want a bike you can both commute on and ride on weekends away, you might be attracted by a touring bike.

We all have different commutes and different cycling preferences outside of commuting so there’s not one bike, or even a type of bike, that’s right for everyone.

26 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

What no Moulton TSRs?

The small wheels provide excellent acceleration and handling. the suspension makes them unequalled for comfort and they have great load carrying abilities.

I commute 99% of the time on a Moulton APB and it's brill.

posted by gazza_d [183 posts]
6th June 2014 - 13:17

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EDC's revolution track single speed/fixie - 8 mile each way year round town/country commute with a few rises- bomb proof - shade over £300
total spend outside of new rear tyre in near 3 years, £15 bottom bracket, £10 rear hub strip/regrease (& that is by LBS not myself)

posted by bfslxo [118 posts]
6th June 2014 - 15:55

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I have the flat bar Edinburgh Courier SS/fixed and that was only £240 in the sale. It's pretty fool proof but the wheel set needs close attention when you get it as tension is uneven. Same with all boxed bikes really, check it over your self. It was not perfect out of the box but a fixed sprocket and a longer stem from the parts bin sorted that out. Soon to be converted to dirt drops.

That Tern SS folder looks spookily similar to the £150 Decathlon Dahon clone.

posted by MKultra [197 posts]
6th June 2014 - 16:07

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Hub gears are more useful than they don't mind the weather - they're pretty much maintenance free. Adjust the cable tension once in a blue moon (in seconds, by lining up two dots) and you're good to go: no faffing about with getting your indexing just right, no chain coming off, no adjusting to stop chain rub, no worrying about your chain line...

Also it's one less thing to get bashed if you leave your bike in the street, or where other bikes are locked up by it.

posted by localsurfer [160 posts]
6th June 2014 - 16:40

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What an article fail. Firstly right at the top they show the Milk RDA bike but then don't write anything about it as it's a belt drive bike. Then they show a pic of last year's Genesis Croix de Fer 2013 with the rear brake cailper outside the seat stay so another fail. The 2014 model has the brake caliper inside making mounting a rear rack a lot easier. I notice the old guy riding all these supposed commuting bikes only has a very very small pack on his back. So where does he put his work clothes, return kit, food and other odds and sods needed for work? Again fail. If you want a low maintenance commuting bike to ride in ALL weathers an open deraillieur system is NOT the way to go as you will spend all your time cleaning and lubing as the weather in this country is crap. The best option for a really low maintenance commuting bike if you can afford it is one with an internal hub gear such Alfine 8 or 11spd or better still Rohloff 14 spd with a Gates Carbon belt drive and a cover to keep the belt clean. Period. Next best would be Rohloff with a chain but a FULL chain guard to keep the clean clean. Only ride a deraillieur geared bike on dry and sunny days. And disc brakes are a must if you want to preserve your bike's wheel rims or if remaining with rim brakes get hand built wheels with good hubs and ceramic rims such as Rigida Andra CSS carbide rims or Mavic Open Pro Ceramic rims. If you only ride a couple of miles to and from work then don't bother just ride a Halfords Apollo and when it falls apart buy another but if you ride a lot of miles in all weathers then all the above points apply.

Airzound

posted by Airzound [214 posts]
6th June 2014 - 16:47

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Airzound wrote:
If you only ride a couple of miles to and from work then don't bother just ride a Halfords Apollo
No thanks, I enjoy riding a nice road bike, at a crawl, in my 1.5 mile commute. It's no bother at all, quite the opposite!

posted by vbvb [220 posts]
6th June 2014 - 17:00

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Airzound wrote:
If you want a low maintenance commuting bike to ride in ALL weathers an open deraillieur system is NOT the way to go as you will spend all your time cleaning and lubing as the weather in this country is crap.

I agree. I did an all year 25mile round trip commute on a derailleur bike and spent most weekends cleaning/adjusting/replacing various bits. I now have a steel alfine 11 with disc brakes which weighs a ton. It has added 90 seconds to my commute but removed hours of fettling at the weekend.

posted by Pitchpole [2 posts]
6th June 2014 - 19:27

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Jamis Quest ain't no touring bike, it's a steel framed road bike, much like an Equilibrium.

Jamis Aurora is their tourer.

Really, though?

posted by workhard [355 posts]
6th June 2014 - 21:12

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No women's bikes? Took me ages to find a women's bike that was fast and light enough for 20 mile round trip commute which involves occasional train journeys (and stairs), and also had room for mudguards and a rack, so would really have appreciated this information a few years ago

Would also recommend looking at raising the stem on a road bike with drop handlebars to get the slightly more upright position along with the choice of handholds.

posted by amandaodell [5 posts]
6th June 2014 - 21:29

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Hi - can you tell me which women's bike you recommend?

ReenieMc

posted by Irene McAleese [0 posts]
6th June 2014 - 21:44

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+1 for more women's bikes in general, and in article.

You also missed out on mid-high end mountain bikes completely, surprising as apparently over half the road.cc reviewers use them regularly. They're a lot lighter and less clunky than they use to be, and excellent where you're in a very tight commute where agility and control is more important than straight line speed.

Also Dutch style town bikes. Solid, charming and easy to maintain. Okay, they're not your first choice for the Wednesday night chainie, but for relaxed utility riding, they're more than adequate. As long as you don't have to carry them up hills/stairs.

posted by Argos74 [264 posts]
7th June 2014 - 8:26

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I have to confirm gazza-d's comments. I commuted on my Jamis Quest with a rack fitted, great bike. But my new Moulton TSR 30 is much better. Just as fast, but better mudguards for wet weather, more manoeuvrable with no toe clearance issues and the suspension makes it much smoother across all the bumps and thumps along my commute. Great bike for commuting and lots of other outings.

posted by saintplc [1 posts]
7th June 2014 - 8:54

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Airzound wrote:
or better still Rohloff 14 spd with a Gates Carbon belt drive and a cover to keep the belt clean. Period.

Yeah, but not exactly an affordable option for the majority...

To me, the sentiment of the article is about right. It's the sort of thing that will get linked on more mainstream websites and social media when talking about getting people into cycling, and in that regard it presents a broad summary of the options available. Individuals are mostly intelligent enough to then continue their own research as to what other models of bike are then available to best fit their needs.

I also commute a few miles daily on a "normal" road bike, and it is absolutely fit for purpose from a maintenance perspective. Doesn't need more than a 15 minute clean and lube about once a fortnight and it's good to go, haven't had to spend any amount of time faffing about indexing gears yet either.

posted by parksey [184 posts]
7th June 2014 - 9:17

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As above, I've commuted by bikes with derailleur gear for years. Like the article says, derailleur gears will carry on working fine with little maintenance as long as you clean/re-lube after wet rides.

Hub gears are a good option, like it says in the article, but "only ride a deraillieur geared bike on dry and sunny days" like that comment above says is clearly absolute nonsense.

posted by Mr Turning [30 posts]
7th June 2014 - 11:30

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I have arthritis and back problems and get sore butt on virtually every bike I have ever ridden, I have a sprung saddle beach cruiser I ride on now, as the position on road and mountain bikes cripples me any sort of distance over 10 miles, but I am looking at moultons in the future but one other bike which is actually a folder that's cheap and has excellent reviews from abroad is a xootr swift, 650 quid on ebay, also comes as an electric version and you can interchange all the parts quite easy even have the option of fitting a derailleur or an IGH if ya like, please someone do a review on this little known excellent bike, oh and its U.S made with a few UK dealers!

Dezzie

posted by Dezzie [0 posts]
7th June 2014 - 13:15

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Nothing under £350? I get that you're reviewing new gear all the time, and most commuters could afford a few hundred quid, but not everyone can.

Local projects that rebuild/refurbish bikes can be a great budget option as you can customise it a bit and get loads of advice from the mechanics building it. For example, the Glasgow Bike Station or Common Wheel.

MKultra wrote:
That Tern SS folder looks spookily similar to the £150 Decathlon Dahon clone.

Tern split from Dahon (and took a few patents with them) so some of their bikes look very similar.

I commute on and off the train on a Tern Eclipse - 24" folder I got through Cycle to Work scheme (£800 down to £550 in Evans sale). I used to have a retro 3-speed hub gear bike - liked it but it was a bit heavy (folders are less so).

posted by dirkateur [0 posts]
7th June 2014 - 18:39

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Really surprised you pretty much ignore hub gears. best thing for a commuter because of how they handle start/stop.

also people 'might want' mud guards and racks? is this really aimed at newbie commuters?

Was intending to send this item to colleague who'd mentioned he was considering getting a bike, but after reading to the end, don't think I'll bother. I'll direct him to local bike forum that gives much more sensible and reliable advice.

posted by SRD [0 posts]
8th June 2014 - 22:35

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Airzound wrote:

What an article fail. Firstly right at the top they show the Milk RDA bike but then don't write anything about it as it's a belt drive bike.

- It's there as a pic to illustrate the article and as a non-lycra riding shot - if you were expecting a discussion of the merits of the belt driver commuter bike sorry to disappoint.

Then they show a pic of last year's Genesis Croix de Fer 2013 with the rear brake cailper outside the seat stay so another fail. The 2014 model has the brake caliper inside making mounting a rear rack a lot easier.

- and?

I notice the old guy riding all these supposed commuting bikes only has a very very small pack on his back. So where does he put his work clothes, return kit, food and other odds and sods needed for work? Again fail.

- Maybe he planned ahead and brought some clothes in to work at the start of the week. Maybe those are his work clothes? Maybe you haven't thought your criticism through

If you want a low maintenance commuting bike to ride in ALL weathers an open deraillieur system is NOT the way to go as you will spend all your time cleaning and lubing as the weather in this country is crap. The best option for a really low maintenance commuting bike if you can afford it is one with an internal hub gear such Alfine 8 or 11spd or better still Rohloff 14 spd with a Gates Carbon belt drive and a cover to keep the belt clean. Period. Next best would be Rohloff with a chain but a FULL chain guard to keep the clean clean. Only ride a deraillieur geared bike on dry and sunny days.

- If you want a low maintenance. I ride my derailleur geared bike every day, in all weathers. I don't mind doing a bit of tinkering, but I don't do much.

And disc brakes are a must if you want to preserve your bike's wheel rims or if remaining with rim brakes get hand built wheels with good hubs and ceramic rims such as Rigida Andra CSS carbide rims or Mavic Open Pro Ceramic rims. If you only ride a couple of miles to and from work then don't bother just ride a Halfords Apollo and when it falls apart buy another but if you ride a lot of miles in all weathers then all the above points apply.

- you mean they apply for you. I like disc brakes too, and your other suggestions are useful too, if you're doing a big commute, but are they a 'must' if you want to ride to work? Er, no.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
17th June 2014 - 18:31

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Quote:
posted by Dezzie [0 posts]

Completely off topic, but ... how does that work?

Work harder. Buy a tank.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [224 posts]
17th June 2014 - 18:36

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Thinking dunno. Weird.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
17th June 2014 - 18:40

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"If you’re going to commute by bike in all conditions you might well want to fit mudguards to stop your tyres spraying you with water from the road."

You will also need mudguards, so that you don't spray every other commuter with muddy water.

After reading the article and the comments, I get the feeling that asking road.cc to recommend commuter bikes is a little like asking TopGear to review family hatchbacks.

If you're going to use a bike for commuting, and it hasn't got mounting points for mudguards and rack, you've bought the wrong bike. Those are the basics you must have.

posted by bikebot [453 posts]
17th June 2014 - 18:54

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SRD wrote:
Really surprised you pretty much ignore hub gears. best thing for a commuter because of how they handle start/stop.

also people 'might want' mud guards and racks? is this really aimed at newbie commuters?

Was intending to send this item to colleague who'd mentioned he was considering getting a bike, but after reading to the end, don't think I'll bother. I'll direct him to local bike forum that gives much more sensible and reliable advice.

Well because this is a guide to commuter bikes that is all about the bikes you can commute on not about what in some people's opinion you should commute on if you're going to be a 'proper' commuter. Most people want a bike to ride to work on that they can do other things on as well, yes you can ride hub-geared bikes in all sorts of situations but there isn't a massive choice for the sort of money most new cyclists are prepared to pay.

As for you 'might want' mudguards and a rack? Like helmets, neither of these items are compulsory for commuting. I've been riding to work pretty much every day for over 20 years and a rack has never touched my bike, and mudguards only occasionally - I just get wetter, and carry a rucksack. It's even permissible simply not to ride when it's wet.

Commuting is my favourite type of cycling, one of the things I like about it is that there are no 'rules' you can just do it - although when we decided to put this together we fully expected lots of comments telling us that there are in fact rules if you want to do it properly - hub gears, dutch bikes, racks etc etc etc - all good things, but vital to a successful commute? Looking out the window earlier at the people successfully riding home without any of them I think not.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
17th June 2014 - 19:11

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Argos74 wrote:
+1 for more women's bikes in general, and in article.

You also missed out on mid-high end mountain bikes completely, surprising as apparently over half the road.cc reviewers use them regularly. They're a lot lighter and less clunky than they use to be, and excellent where you're in a very tight commute where agility and control is more important than straight line speed.

Also Dutch style town bikes. Solid, charming and easy to maintain. Okay, they're not your first choice for the Wednesday night chainie, but for relaxed utility riding, they're more than adequate. As long as you don't have to carry them up hills/stairs.

They do have them, but none of them ride them to work. Back in the days of fully rigid mountain bikes that would have been different - yes, you can ride an MTB to to work, don't doubt they are excellent in certain situations, but then so are flat bar road bikes and hybrids and they cost a lot less and a built for purpose.

Dutch bikes ? We might put them in. They didn't make the cut this time because unless you live in Cambridge or anywhere similarly pan flat they're not actually very practical.

Women's bikes? Yes, we should do more of them, though equally all of the bikes here can just as easily be ridden by women as men.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
17th June 2014 - 19:27

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'If you're going to use a bike for commuting, and it hasn't got mounting points for mudguards and rack, you've bought the wrong bike. Those are the basics you must have.'

Er, no, they're not. Some people may consider them essential, some don't. They're certainly not a 'must have' and surely it's up to the rider to decide whether they've bought the wrong bike or not? What an ill-informed, arrogant post.

posted by andyp [802 posts]
26th June 2014 - 6:14

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One strong argument for disc brakes, hub gear and mudguards that relates to easy maintenance is running cost. I commuted for six years on a derailleur, rim braked bike. During that time I ground away two sets of wheel rims, dunno how many chains, brake blocks, cassettes and now the rear derailleur is getting a bit vague. This amounts to hours of time and hundreds of pounds of kit.
I bought an alfine 11, disc braked bike with a thick single speed chain. It weighs a ton but only adds about 1minute to my 45minute commute. Bring on the winter!

posted by Pitchpole [2 posts]
16th July 2014 - 8:43

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Got sick of worrying about damage to expensive commuter bikes, ended up buying a Boardman comp 2010 on fLeabay for £300 with 105 rear and Ritchey rims and finishing kit added some crud catchers and now no worries about it getting scratched or caked in crud, just wipe and lube chain and check PSI each week...

Nice winter/commuting hack now

posted by Leodis [173 posts]
21st July 2014 - 15:21

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