Commuter & Urban Bike Guide
There are a huge array of commuter / urban bikes available. The best commuter bike for you depends on a few factors including where you live, terrain you ride on, distance you usually cover and, of course, personal preference. Commuter and Urban bikes are ideal for riding in built up, busy areas, they offer great control, speed and comfort. Whether you ride to the shops or commute to work, these bikes are the ideal option providing simple, straight forward, no-nonsense bike riding.
What are the different types of Commuter & Urban bikes?
Hybrid / Flat bar Road Bike
Essentially a road bike but with flat (MTB style) handlebars, these bikes are very popular for the commute to work or the trip to the shops. Flat handlebars promote a more upright riding position, making the rider more visible with a good level of control. With the relatively lightweight components and the same fun-to-ride characteristics of a road bike, hybrid / flat bar road bikes offer an ideal package for commuting and urban day-to-day transport.
Single Speed Bike
With just one gear, single speed bikes offer the simplest of rides. Without derailleurs and shifters, single speeds offer relatively light, basic and tough bike riding. Choose a single speed wisely though, hills on the commute or trips to the shop could be more of a challenge without gear options. Some single speed bikes come with a single sprocket / freewheel, others come with a double sided hub allowing a ‘fixed’ track style option as an alternative to a freewheel-able gear.
Electric Utility / Hybrid Bike
Electric assist utility and hybrid bikes are a great option for many riders. Whether you want to arrive at the office with less sweaty effort or haul more shopping home, electric bikes provide just enough power to make things much easier. With choices of step-thru or hybrid style, an ebike offers much of the benefits cycling, but with less of the effort.
If your commute journey includes a train trip, or if you have limited space to store your bike, or if you need a bike option on your caravanning holiday, folding bikes can provide the solution for a lots of confined space cycling issues. Just because you have space constraints doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun, modern folding bikes can feature all the things that make cycling great, such as reliable Shimano gearing, suspension and disc braking.
The easiest bikes to ride, with a safe upright riding position, step through bikes make getting on and off your bike really super-easy, even when wearing a slightly-too-tight suit or a dress. These bikes feature a user-friendly frame with no top-tube. They are Ideal for riding around town and stop / start riding, step-thru bikes open up and make cycling more accessible for a broad range of people, electric step through bikes, broaden their appeal even further.
Which Should I Buy?
Before choosing a commuter / urban bike, think about how and where the bike will typically be used. For example if you live in a hilly area, a single speed bike might not be the best option. Similarly, if you are not pushed for space, and don’t regularly take your bike on a packed train, maybe a folding bike is unnecessary? Thinking about where and how you ride should steer you towards one style of commuter / urban bike. It is also worth considering gravel / cyclocross and mountain bikes too, particularly if your commute or trip to the shops could include off road sections.