Bikes for commuting vary dramatically – and that’s because people’s commutes vary dramatically. The machine you choose for your daily grind needs to be tailored to your needs – and there are a few distinct styles available.
For many bike brands, creating a model that sits just at the cusp of the £1000 mark is the goal – and that’s because many commuters will choose to use the Government Cycle to Work scheme, for which employees can spend up to the magic £1k on their bike and equipment and save on tax whilst paying via salary sacrifice.
Though you can opt for a £700 bike and invest in £300 worth of kit, it’s worth maxing out your budget as much as possible – the more you spend on your bike in the first place, the less you’re likely to spend on upgrades just a few months down the line.
What you get at this level will vary depending upon the style you go for – so here’s a run down of the most popular commute options – and our favourite pick of the bunch for each…
A road bike as a commuter will suit someone who wants to combine their ride in to work with their fitness goals. A more sporty option, you’ll probably enjoy this bike on the weekend too. Road bike geometry varies greatly – some bikes will be race orientated, whilst more relaxed options are often described as having ‘sportive’ and ‘endurance’ geometry – these are generally considered more appropriate for a commute where comfort and an ‘eyes on the road’ position are crucial.
Disc brake road bikes are becoming more common these days and are great for commuting where you’ll want effective brakes, even in the rain. You may also want to look for models with clearance for wider tyres which will be more resilient and feel safer in wet conditions.
Pick of the bunch: Pinnacle Dolomite 5 Women’s Road Bike – £1,000
Confession: What we like most about this bike is probably the colour. Isn’t it stunning? Cherry red aside, the aluminium frame Dolomite comes with 25c tyres, plus space for 28c if you want more comfort. It’s got Shimano hydraulic disc brakes which promise to be fast stopping without the efficiency fade of cables, and a full Shimano 105 groupset as well as female specific saddle and narrower bars.
Genuinely a bike you can commute on and use for the Saturday club run, this is an all rounder. Having ridden Dolomite models in the past, we’d always note that comfort is clearly much higher on the agenda that race-style speed, so expect a fairly upright stance and confidence inspiring handling.