Buying Guide: Commuter Bikes | Total Women's Cycling

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Buying Guide: Commuter Bikes

Thinking of buying a commuter bike? This guide should point you in the right direction.

A hybrid offers the best bits of a mountain bike and a road bike rolled into one. They offer an upright and stable riding position which is perfect for urban commuting. They can also take in some off-road which means they are even more perfect if your route to work takes in a tow path or something similar. Most of the big brands such as Trek, Pashley and Specialized have hybrid offerings in their ranges.

Suitable for:
  • Longer commutes
  • Commutes on mixed terrain such as tow paths.
  • Those who need to transport a fair amount of kit from home to the office every day
What to look for in a hybrid:
  • Frame – this is the backbone of the bike and can vary hugely from bike to bike. Hybrids will usually be made from either aluminium, carbon fibre or a mix of the two. Aluminium is light, strong and durable while carbon fibre is lighter, even stronger but considerably more expensive.
  • Suspension – a number of hybrid bikes come equipped with suspension. If you are riding a smooth route every day then there is no need to opt for a bike with this particular feature. It can come in handy if you encounter a lot of pot-holes or commute on uneven terrain however as it will give you a more comfortable ride.
  • Suspension seatposts are also available which will also absorb vibrations. These can be added pretty easily at a later date though so fear not if your ideal bike doesn’t have one.
  • Gears – Again think about where you want to ride your bike. If your commute is hilly then opting for more gears will make life easier. If you commute is completely flat then you have the option to go for a single speed bike, which in the long term might make maintenance considerably easier.
  • Fit – Ensure you pick the correct size bike for you. An ill-fitting bike will not only lack efficiency, it can also have serious consequences like back pain etc.

Hybrids usually start at about £190 and go up to £2,500.


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