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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Considering bike commuting?

I could wax poetic all day about the benefits and joys of bike commuting, but let's pretend you already are "sold" on the concept. Just to clarify, we're talking about utility cycling or transportation cycling, not recreational or sporting.

It's not the world's easiest thing to pick up, but once one does it enough times, it becomes rote. Until one gets there, thought, it's quite a bit of trial and error. A cursory Google search will probably yield many different opinions and solutions for bike commuting. Because this is my own blog, and I'm allowed to say whatever I want, I'm going to throw my two cents in. Oh, the glory of having a personal soapbox, er, blog.

The basics:
  • A bike.
  • A way to to carry your gear.
  • Bike-appropriate clothing.
  • Misc. accoutrements to make the ride easier and more comfortable.
Let's start at the top: the bike. The key ingredient to this being a bike commute and not some other form. I'll probably cover the rest in future installments.

If you already have a bike, you're probably golden. But depending on what type it is, the conditions you face, and how long your commute is, you might be searching for a different bike.

Short commutes will accommodate pretty much any type of bicycle, but for really long commutes, you might want to consider a bike more suited to long distance, like a touring bike.

If you're facing rough road conditions like potholes and whatnot, I'd highly recommend a steel frame bike. They might be heavier, but they absorb much more than other materials.

Might be biking the rain? Aluminum rims wheels are the way to go (and probably my next upgrade to Jay).

Got a flat commute? A fixed gear or a single speed might be an option for you.

Hilly commute? Definitely a geared bike.

The bottom line is to find a bike that fits you, is comfortable, and that you look forward to riding. Bike commuting should be fun!


  1. interestingly there are a few guys in my group at work who sometimes bike commute. one guy does it almost everyday. and sometimes that cute guy does too, or at least i see his helmet in his cube or in the lab. :) actually there's a lot of bike commuters in this area period. you should come here!

  2. @amy,

    That's awesome! I think you should commute on your Felt. Setting speed records to and from the office. ;)