COMMUTER BIKE BUYING GUIDE
Urban and Commuter Bikes are probably the most diverse and fastest growing segments of bikes in Australia. More people are jumping onto bikes as a healthy and money-saving way to get around. Reid Cycles understand that there’s a huge of new bikes out there. Check out our urban and commuter bike buying guide, and you’ll be able to buy with confidence.
Urban and commuters bikes vary as much as the people that ride them, but they do share some characteristics that you should check out to determine which one will suit you best. In all cases the priority will be comfort, control and reliability, plus the ability to handle different conditions and carry a little cargo.
Most urban and commuter bikes are based on the design of a mountain bike or a road bike.
HOW TO CHOOSE A COMMUTER BIKE
MOUNTAIN BIKE STYLED COMMUTERS
The mountain bike style commuter bike usually has flat handlebars, a stronger frame, 26-inch wheels and a wider range of gears.
If you’re into all-terrain riding, a mountain bike derived commuter may be the right way to go. The 26-inch wheel sizes gives a lower centre of gravity, making it well suited to rapid changes in direction and more technical riding.
A commuter bike modelled on a mountain bike could be great for touring or trekking, off-road duties, bikepacking and weekend back-road riding adventures.Bikes from our popular Urban X range are examples of this type of bike.
ROAD BIKE STYLED COMMUTERS
The road bike style commuter may have flat handlebars or drop bars, but will usually feature 700c wheels. A newer wheel size, called 29” or 29er, is actually the same diameter as the 700c wheels, but the rims are wider to suit bigger tyres.
The larger wheel size tends to roll over bumps and obstacles more freely, as well as rolling faster on the road. That why 700c / 29” is the typical choice for faster commuting and touring bikes.
Our Osprey Flatbar is an example of this type of bike. Simply add a pannier rack and mudguards and hit the road!
ALL ROAD AND CX AS COMMUTERS
Thanks to the booming interest around Cyclocross and Gravel racing, the key characteristics for the perfect commuter bike have been honed into a new class of machine – fast, tough, nimble and comfortable on rough roads. Welcome to All-Road / Cyclocross bikes! Although these new bikes have a racing pedigree, they manage to strike a balance that makes them perfect all-conditions all-round commuters for most regular riders that also open up all sorts of options on the weekend (including racing).
Gearing varies with the intended purpose of commuter bikes. Looking at the crankset in particular, most commuter bikes come with either double or triple chainrings. Double chainrings are ideal for rapidly changing across the range of gears, such as dropping to a low gear to climb a hill. Double cranksets are great for faster endurance riding and mixed terrain.
Going with triple chainrings gives you even more range, with plenty of low-end gears. This is fantastic for more diverse commuting, touring or hill-climbing, especially with a loaded bike.
No matter which wheel size and frame style you’re looking at, commuters really benefit from a few key accessories such as pannier racks, mudguards and kickstands.All of our commuter oriented bikes feature rear rack mounts. This means that there’s a threaded lug at the top and the bottom of the chainstay that allows you to easily install a rear rack. A rear rack can be used to mount a pannier bag, basket or box. Even strapping on the classic milk crate gives you a useful storage space. Full-length mudguards mean that riding in the rain, or when there’s water left on the road, is much more comfortable and fun. When cycling in the rain, most of the water comes up from the ground rather than falling from the sky! Mudguards cut this out. They also keep mud and gunk from getting splashing into your chain and gears, keeping everything cleaner.
With brakes, look for ‘dual pivot caliper brakes’ or ‘v-brakes’. These modern styles of brake are far more reliable, powerful and safe than traditional calipers brakes, while still being very easy to maintain and adjust. The ‘dual pivot caliper brakes’ are often found on road bike style commuters, but ‘v-brakes’ can also found on high quality commuter bikes intended for regular use. V-brake technology trickles down from mountain biking, where braking power is critical, so they’re a great option.
If you’d like some more information, give us a call or come into one of our stores for a warm welcome and friendly advice. In the meantime, check out our full range of urban and commuter bikes here.
SHOP REID CYCLES, AUSTRALIA'S BEST VALUE COMMUTER BIKES
For all new bikes we offer FREE servicing for 12 months, lifetime warranty on frame and forks and 2 years warranty on parts.
If you’d like some more information, give us a call or come into one of our stores for a warm welcome and friendly advice. In the meantime, check out our full range of Commuter Bikes.