Reasons for Bike Commuting
There are a number of reasons why more and more people engage in Bike Commuting. Some do it because it provides them with a high degree of reliability when it comes to their arrival time to work. Some get a kick out of the daily exercise. Others like seeing and enjoying the scenery on the way to work and for others it's the greater opportunities for more social interactions that come with being part of the cycling community. Other than these few mentioned, we’ll go through some of the practical considerations that you may consider for yourself.
One big thing to consider is that a study found that in 2017, Data collected on one-way household trips show that the majority (59.4%) of vehicle trips were less than six miles. In fact, three-fourths of all trips are ten miles or less. (1) This is a very achievable distance.
Bike commuters are consistently shown to have the highest levels of satisfaction with the trip to work. (2) If you aim to make your commute to and from work something that you look forward to, then bicycle commuting may be for you. Some people would rather go on a bike and be out in the open air rather than be trapped in a steel box in traffic. In addition to being a bike commuter, you can try trail riding or just recreational cycling, especially on weekends. If you're looking to save money on your bicycle commuting, then you should consider taking advantage of evans cycles student discount. Evans Cycles offers discounts of up to 50% on all their products, including bicycles and accessories. This makes it easier and more affordable to get out and enjoy the open air while commuting on your bike.
Biking is a good cardio workout while providing minimal impact on the joints. (3, 4) Cycling works out your legs, back core, and your arms. As an exercise, cycling can make you sweat, breathe deeply and improve your cardiovascular health. It helps with losing weight and improving strength, balance, and coordination. Aside from that, cycling is also associated with reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. (5)
Traffic in urban areas can be so unreasonable even with short distances, and being on a bike allows commuters to bypass a lot of things. Of course, bicycle commuters still need to abide by the rules of the road but any place with good cycling infrastructure and dedicated bike lanes is generally going to help you get around without the hassle of being stuck in traffic. With a bicycle, you also don’t need to worry about looking for a parking spot. You can park nearly anywhere with a couple of sturdy bike locks, no more wasting time going around parking lots and roads looking for the perfect parking spot.
In many developing parts of the world, bicycles are favored by people to commute to work, they are relatively low-cost and allow you to move around without having to worry about gas prices or expensive mechanic checkups. Gas prices really have soared recently and it may be more beneficial for you, depending on your lifestyle. You can easily recoup your commuter bike purchase expenses with the steady accrual of your gas or petrol savings and mechanic and maintenance costs throughout the year.
Different Types of Bikes for Commuting
You can find a lot of different styles and brands of commuter bikes in a local bike shop, and each has its own pros and cons. The variety of bikes and the availability of bike parts and accessories can really help personalize your commute.
The Gravel Bike has become more popular in recent years, mixing some of the best qualities of road bikes and mountain bikes. With a Gravel Bike, you can ride with the speed of a road bike, as well as the ruggedness of a mountain bike. If you expect to come across rough unpaved roads, dodgy pavement, or even gravel and dirt during your commuting route, the Gravel Bike may be the one for you.
In addition to its ruggedness and versatility, most gravel bikes have various mounting points so you can add baskets and panniers to it if you expect to carry more cargo or want to have the versatility to go on supermarket runs with just your bike.
Gravel bikes, unlike dedicated road bikes, also have wider wheels to deal with the various terrain so you can feel more secure with your traction no matter what kind of surface you cycle on. One thing you can do on a gravel bike is you can take off whatever accouterments you put on like bells, fenders, racks, panniers, and so on, and go out on a gravel trail for some recreational riding.
For those who plan to take the train or only bike part of the way to work. The Folding bike is the ideal bike. As its name suggests, folding bikes can be folded and stored in just a few steps. They pack much smaller wheels and a much smaller frame than a regular bike, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in portability and versatility. Once you’ve completed the biking part of your commute, you can easily fold it up and then hand-carry onto a train bus or on rideshare.
Another benefit of the folding bike is its easy storage, you’d be surprised at how well they can store so easily, you can also hop on and off buses and carry one with you.
You can’t compete with other bicycles when it comes to speed, but we are not here to compete. We are here to commute, and if public transportation is an indispensable part of your daily grind, then the folding bike would be too.
Roadsters are single-speed bikes that are popular all over the world. They were made as utility bikes so they are packed full of features that would make a commute more comfortable. They have lights that you don’t have to charge, panniers and baskets you can put your cargo in, chain guards to keep your clothes clean and free from grease, fenders to keep you clean, a kickstand, a bell, and a built-in bike lock. Some of them even have two or three gears to help with hilly urban roads.
These bikes really just built everything you would need to go out on your bike. These bikes are great in urban landscapes. They have great utility. Their ease of use and maintenance are also convenient.
You might not enjoy riding long commutes of more than 30 minutes with this bike. The problem with Roadsters is their heavy weight, lack of gears, and their limited range.
Fixed Gear Bikes
Fixed Gear bikes can be seen throughout urban areas. Fixed gear bikes are single-speed bikes that have a rear cog that is fixed to the wheel, meaning you can’t coast, if the rear wheel is spinning, your legs will be spinning too. It is one of the oldest kinds of bikes but there is something to be said about its simplicity that attracts people to it. They are used by bicycle couriers for good reason: They allow for speed, they are reliable, and are very easy to maintain. They certainly feel different from riding other kinds of bikes, so much so that many fixed gear riders fall in love with the feeling of riding fixed and would ride no other kind of bike.
It has fewer parts so there are fewer things to break down. Most maintenance you will have to do is to wipe it down or maybe clean the bicycle chain occasionally. There is less to fuss around so you can focus on the important thing about owning a bike, and riding it.
Fixed gear bikes are easy to maintain, well-built, rarely break down, and similar to a Roadster can accommodate a lot of accessories.
One of the cons, however, is that riding is not for everyone. Not everyone enjoys not having the option to coast. It may not be good for hilly areas unless you change your gear ratio to something that is more appropriate for hilly areas. You won’t have gears so you are generally stuck with the gear ratio on it.
E-Bikes do count as bicycles so you can go in a bike lane if you are new to cycling and aren’t a strong rider yet. It may also be great for commutes if you have to commute larger distances or if you need assistance to get through some hilly areas. Electric bikes are pedal-assisted, meaning the battery-powered motor will match your pedal strokes and help you go power through steep inclines and zip through long stretches of the road faster without turning into a sweaty mess.
Most E-Bikes allow for some cargo and storage but 11be prepared to carry your things in a backpack.
Though less intense (6) compared to regular bicycles. E-bikes may have the potential to improve cardiorespiratory fitness similar to conventional bicycles despite the available power assist, as they enable higher biking speeds and greater elevation gain. (7)
The great thing about this bike is that it makes the commute easier. Its drawback is that these bikes are expensive at the moment, they will require charging from time to time.
Bike Commuting Tips: What to Consider?
The average commuting time in the United States in 2019 was 27.6 minutes. You can cycle anything between 5 and 20 miles. The average commuting speed was about 12 miles per hour. (8) Consider that this is the average, some go for longer distances and many people in the city go for far less. Three-fourths of all trips are ten miles or less. (1) This is a very bikeable distance which on average would take about 30 to 45 minutes.
You may want to consider an E-Bike if you want to still have all the benefits of Bike commuting but still get the assistance of a motor. Biking will help you burn some calories and promote cardiovascular health. (3) If you enjoy cycling anyway, then distance may actually be a pro for you rather than a con.
What is your bicycle route going to be like, is it a series of rolling hills that requires you to go up and down, or a long flat way from point A to point B, perhaps during your route you have to go through several traffic lights or maybe your city does not have a well-developed cycling infrastructure so you have to be ready to by shoulder to shoulder with motorists. These are things that would merit consideration, not only on whether to ride a bike or not but also on what type of bike you get, and what accessories to invest in.
Weather and Climate
The Weather and Climate in your area will bear consideration. Raincoats, fenders, and bicycle lights are necessary for cycling in certain conditions like snow, heavy rain, and at night. You also may need to make some adjustments such as lowering your seat to ride in a more upright position and cycling more carefully and at a slower pace when in inclement weather.
Consider what you need to bring and how you want to bring it. Extra clothes, a laptop, and work equipment can be carried in racks, panniers, or a basket. You can also invest in a good cargo backpack but some people prefer to carry weight on the bike rather than on their backs.
Essential Equipment and Accessories
The kind of accessories you need will depend largely on the weather conditions, your route, the kind of bike you have, as well as the cycling laws in your country but, consider the following:
- Helmet and other protective gear. Consider these, while in many countries with developed cycling infrastructure, helmets are not always required, it is still going to protect your head from falls and the like
- Panniers, racks, and baskets. These can be mounted on your bike so that the bike can carry your stuff for you, essential if you want to go to the supermarket and go to shops with your bike
- Bicycle Lights. Some can be attached to the handlebar and we recommend having some kind of bicycle tail light for night riding.
- Bike Bells. Useful when encountering roads with a lot of foot traffic
- Bike Breaks. Some countries require at least a front brake so you cannot ride without one.
- Bike Repair tools. Several kits are available online, a good set of tools will serve you for life, and it is a good investment if you are serious. A portable set would come in handy if you ever run into a flat tire on the road.
- Patch kit. A bike tire patch kit is essential so you don't worry about being late because of a flat