By Jackie Smee
The number of people who commute to work by bicycle in the U.S. has increased by 60% over the past decade, according to USA Today. With more cities investing in bike share programs, pedestrian-friendly streets and bike lanes, there’s no doubt that bike commuting rates will continue growing. If you’re new to commuting on a bike, you’ll definitely want to set up your bike in the right way to ensure riding comfort and safety when on the road. Instead of jumping right into buying essentials like bike helmets, it’s important to think of how you can build a commuter bike that specifically meets your needs. Here’s how to set up your bike for commuting bliss.
What Type of Commuter Are You?
Start by asking yourself a few questions related to your commuting needs and understand the basics of biking to work. How far will you be commuting on a daily basis? Will you be riding in the city or hilly terrain? Are you planning to commute to work or school exclusively using a bike? You need to be practical for the type of riding you’re intending to do so you can make the right choice. From hybrid/flat-bar bikes for all-round use, folding bikes for those who need to take a train or bus, town bikes for hassle-free day-to-day riding, single-gear bikes for low-maintenance, road bikes for long distances, mountain bikes for riding on rough terrain to ebikes for a truly exciting riding experience, there are lots of options for commuter riding.
Get the Right Essentials for Your Commuter Bike
Every commute bike requires some essential accessories to improve the overall riding experience, as well as your own safety. Whether you own one of the latest commuting bike selections in the market or want to revamp your old bike, it’s important to have up-to-date riding essentials for your bike. These include, a helmet for riding safety, front, back and optional side lights to improve riding safety and visibility on the road, reflectors to increase night visibility, fenders, cycling gloves, ergonomic hand grips, riding glasses to protect your eyes, bike rack for extra additions like your bag, bike lock, comfortable bike saddle, bike pump and flat protection, bicycle mirror and bell, saddlebag for first aid emergency kit and the right tires. When buying essentials for your bike, what matters most is going for the best quality you can afford.
Get Serious About Comfort
For any commuter bike setup, it’s important to focus mostly on comfort. Considering that you’ll probably be spending a lot of time on your bike, you have to think of different ways you can setup your commuter bike for maximum comfort. From suspension options to make your ride smoother to the right bike frame size for your body size and tire selection for a good grip, bike manufacturers are constantly improving bike features to ensure riders enjoy their daily commutes in comfort. A raised handlebar, front suspension, comfortable saddle and grips as well as hydraulic brakes are some of the options you have to improve riding comfort.
While setting up your bike for commuter use is a major priority to ensure safety and comfort, it means nothing if you have the wrong type of bike. You’ll definitely want to make sure that you have the best bike. Avoid dirt-cheap department store bikes, and instead, go for a more reliable bike that’s built for daily commute. An ideal bike should be of high quality, have a rigid frame, come with front shocks to be gentle on your elbows and hands and combine reliability and superior performance on the road.
Featured Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash
After taking a career sabbatical to become a mother, Jackie Smee now writes and researches full time on anything to do with health, wellness and exercise. She has, in the past battled problems with anxiety and panic, and in her spare time she volunteers for a number of local charities that support people with mental health issues. Follow her biking guides here: https://bikesreviewed.com