With the cost of fuel and public transport on the rise, and the nation's desire to improve their health, commuting to work by bicycle has become an ever more viable option for women.

While cycling to work and around town can seem a little daunting with most women stating that their concerns lie in safety and confidence, commuting by bike not only helps save the pennies but it can also improve your fitness and mental well-being. If you're worried about cycling safety, we have a number of helpful guides that will keep you upright and gain some much-needed confidence:

7 Things you need to be able to do on a bike for a safer commute

Defensive cycling tips for improved confidence

One important way to gain some confidence on the streets is by having the right kit and of course, a decent bike. A city bike doesn't have to be the lightest or fastest and it certainly doesn't need to have the latest tech or 'bling' fitted - if anything, that would make your bike a target for opportunistic thieves! A city bike only needs to tick a few boxes really - simplicity, durability, style and most of all, affordable.

Fortunately for us, Mango Bikes not only ticks all these boxes, but they also exceed all expectations of a city bike.

Mango Bikes: The Who

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My first encounter with Mango Bikes was a couple of years ago when a friend forwarded a link to their website. At the time I wasn't commuting very much and didn't have a need for a city bike, but I did have a lot of fun using their custom paint tool. Since then I've seen the brand at a number of trade shows, and popping up on my cycling radar. So I began to question, 'was there more to this brand than meets the eye?'.

Founded by Ben Harrison, the idea for Mango Bikes stemmed from his university days. As a student and keen cyclist, Ben wanted a cheap way of commuting to classes by bike. Being on a budget, he struggled to find a simple, stylish and affordable bike anywhere. Most big name brands produce urban and city bikes but are often considered more of an after-thought that still cost far too much.

Launched in 2012, Mango Bikes have quickly amassed a small army of designers, builders and customer service staff that create and distribute some of the coolest city bikes on the market. You may not have heard of them yet, and that's because you won't find their bikes in your local stores as Mango Bikes is a buy-direct business.

Buy-direct is becoming an increasingly popular method of sale for bike brands. By cutting out the middle-men, like stores, staff and logistics, manufacturers can pass the savings directly on to you.

Mango Bikes: The What

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It goes without saying that Mango bikes, well, make bikes! Currently offering a number of urban specific models, each bike has been rigorously tested, researched, and finessed to be the best possible model at any given time.

The brand started out with the steel built Original Single Speed and Original 16 Speed models. Their success spurred further development with the creation of the alloy constructed Point Blank, the Point R and the Portland which completes the range.

Mango Bikes doesn't believe in creating gender specific frames. Their range is ideal for everyone and anyone. With years of positive feedback from all ages, genders and commuters, enough care has been taken to ensure every customer is happy with their purchase.

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Have you ever had a bike that you thought was 'the one'? You and it were a match made in heaven, and because of that, you decide to get the upgrade to the following year's model only to find it's just a little too different, and you think 'why did they change that?'.

Fortunately, Mango Bikes are not one of those brands. They've poured themselves into the frame and construction of the bikes and have found something that works. So why fix what isn't broken? Each model, however you customise it, will be the same as the next model so you know you're getting the latest and best from Mango Bikes at any given time.

By maintaining a high level of consistency across their range, Mango Bikes inspire uncomplicated confidence. Simple, affordable and stylish bikes. That's it.

Mango Bikes: Custom

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What makes Mango Bikes stand out, and what first drew me in, was their amazing custom tool on their website. Not only can you choose the frame colour, but the pedals, chain, rims and tyres too allowing you to create a totally unique and personal bike set-up for you.

Feminine, girly, stealth or wild and eccentric, Mango Bikes allows you to express yourself and really put a piece of your personality into the design. So not only will you get a high quality built bike, but a new piece of you to ride and show off.

Mango Bikes and You

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After visiting the Mango Bikes offices, and speaking with Ben about the brand's ethos and direction, I came away with some valued insight into this intimate and family-like company.

Many of the staff are cyclists themselves and it shows through their work just how much they consider the needs and wants of their customer, and this goes further than just allowing you to colour-coordinate your bike with your cycling accessories as well.

Each bike that leaves the warehouse is assembled and checked by qualified mechanics. To help make your life even easier, Mango Bikes are beginning to roll out new bike boxes which are larger than normal. This means that the bike can be transported as a whole, rather than taking off the bars and wheels, so other than twisting the bars into place, there's not much work between receiving your new bike, and riding it. You get a completed bike arrive at your door, and your cat gets a box castle to enjoy - win win!

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Mango Bikes is a buy-direct brand which means that savings are passed directly onto the buyer. Bikes start from just £299 on their website, then customisable options cost a little extra per part. In the grand scheme of bicycles, that's a very reasonable price considering the effort, options and quality that goes into them.

To help make their bikes even more affordable, Mango Bikes run a monthly deal on selected models. Each month a limited number of two models are priced at £239 and will remain that price throughout the month. The aim is to help those afford a new bike, but may be on a tight budget, like students.

Mango Bikes: The Future

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Still a fledgeling brand in the bicycle world, Mango Bikes have already made a big impression. While they will continue to provide stylish urban bikes, they are looking towards the future with some big plans in the pipeline.

Speaking to Ben, the founder, the brand has a bright future ahead of them. In addition to their fleet of bicycles, Mango Bikes will soon be producing a range of bike-friendly bags and other commuter accessories that will help improve your ride further.

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Mango Bikes are a sterling example of a bike brand who shows genuine care and consideration for their customers. Their enthusiasm to improve urban cycling and encourage more people to ride shows through their efforts to surpass expectations of an urban bike brand.

For more information on their bikes and the company, head over to their website here.

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