Commuting to work is an important part of having a job. You need to make smart choices about how you get there so that you arrive on time. Choosing to cycle to work can bring you a different point of view about the town you live in, and get your day started on a healthy foot
Are Comfort Bikes Good for Commuting? Overall, the comfort bike is suitable for a wide variety of purposes. Cruising around leisurely on a comfort bike may be the ideal situation. But, for many of us, we have to get back and forth to work. Cycling is a good choice, and a comfort bike is an ideal way for a lot of commuters.
Comfort bikes are popular for pleasure riding. And, great for commuting and as well. Not to mention it is more environmentally responsible to choose a bike over a motor vehicle or even public transportation. And it’s a lot cheaper, too! Comfort bikes are popular for commuters and pleasure riding, as well.
What is a Comfort Bike?
There are many different types of bikes. And, though they may be built for different purposes, they can be used outside of those purposes. Depending on where you live, terrain quality on your route, and your preference for whether a comfort bike is the right one for your commute to work.
Generally, the answer is yes; comfort bikes are a good choice for those that cycle back and forth to their place of employment each day. They are comfortable, reliable, and user-friendly. Go green and get some heart-healthy exercise while you’re at it.
Some characteristics of a comfort bike:
- Comfort bikes are a close relative to a cruiser.
- Relaxed style handlebars give the rider a comfortable arm position for long rides.
- Wide seats often referred to as saddles are far better for distance than a narrow seat of a road or racing bike.
- Large tires are standard on comfort bikes. Big tires give the rider a smooth adventure because it virtually glides over bumps in the road and has a decent amount of grip, giving you peace of mind.
This style of bike is available in a low or high bar frame. Low bars are easier to get on and off of, which is not only convenient but safer.
Riding to work may be fun and freeing. But there may be something that can take your experience to the next level. How about a motorized comfort bike? It’s the best of both worlds with a motor-powered comfortable, agile new mode of transportation.
Riding on sidewalks in most areas is prohibited, so you may have to ride on the street. Bike lanes have started to become more popular across the nation. However, if there are no bike lanes, you will want to keep a lookout for vehicles that don’t understand how to share the road. Comfort bikes are safe in most settings.
If you will be taking back roads, or off roading on your commute, a comfort bike may not be the best choice as they are not made for serious hills or off roading. When riding on soft terrain, your alertness is imperative for your safety. Watch for tree roots, patches of gravel, and ice if it is cold out.
On the road hazards to look for are things like cracks in the asphalt or sidewalk, low hanging tree branches, and people getting in/out of parked cars. One major issue cyclists face is debris like shredded tire pieces and other random articles on the side of the road, making it difficult or impossible to pass.
Know your route; learn where the possible dangers could lie. And, learn the traffic patterns and traffic laws of the area. Working in heavily populated areas can be reason enough to cycle to work, as getting around on a bike may be easier. And sometimes it can even be quicker than driving.
- What time of day will you be commuting? If you will be riding during rush hour or through the school bus stop central, you will want to be aware that there could be extra traffic on the road. There may also be more frequent red lights and delays than normal.
- Will your ride to and from work be in the dark or in the daylight? Riding during the day is a completely different ball game than riding between dusk and daylight. The lack of daylight makes it more difficult for drivers to see you and makes it harder for you to see the road and obstacles in your way.
- What’s the weather going to be like? Cycling on a warm sunny day is a ride in the park. But, if there is inclement weather and precipitation, not only will it make for an uncomfortable ride, but it could present many hazards. If there is rain or snow in the forecast, take the proper precautions, or perhaps organize a different way to get to work.
Deciding whether to cycling to work is right for you may be based on what you will need to bring with you. If you have multiple bags or heavy items that you store in your car and carry into work each day, then you must ask yourself if it is realistic to commute on a bike.
Is it possible for you to store those items at work or change the amount of baggage you bring every day? Lightening your load could be the difference between you being stuck in traffic each workday or zipping past the long line of cars on your bike.
Every ounce counts when you’ve got a full sack on your back. Lay out the items you wish to take with you to work, and items you may need for the ride there/ back and activities after work. Ask yourself if you really need each of these items before packing a sturdy bookbag, preferably one with chest and waist straps for extra support.
You may be able to add a small basket to the front of your bike, and a rack on the back for bonus storage space for all of your work and commute needs.
Comfort bikes themselves are generally light in weight, averaging 18-20 lbs. At this weight, it makes it fairly easy to pick up the bike if you have to. You may be able to get it lightened up a bit by a professional bike shop if you will be carrying it often and find that it is too heavy.
What gear will you need for your commute to work? First of all, let’s cover your safety gear. Items such as:
- A helmet
- Front/rear reflectors
- Light or bright-colored clothing
The reflectors and bright clothing are less easy to ignore – and can save your life in the unfortunate case of an accident.
If your route is off-road or dusty, you may wish to pack your work clothes in your bag and wear something that you do not mind getting dirty. Looking presentable and professional isn’t important at every job, but to most appearance does matter.
- Should you bring a portable bike tire pump? If your commute is a good distance away from your home, or if you just like to be prepared, perhaps you should pick up a compact bike pump to pack in your bag.
- Good old H2O. It’s always a good idea to bring a bottle of water with you on your drive to work, especially when the weather brings high temperatures. Staying hydrated is important during physical activity like bike riding will help your brain and body function at its best.
Don’t forget a bike lock, the last thing you want is to leave it unlocked and have it stolen (aka no ride home.) After you lock it up, you may want to cover it, or at least the seat. Full coverage bike covers are lightweight and affordable. Using one will protect your bike from rain, dust, and debris while it’s parked.