Sometimes it’s just not the time to ride your bike to work or school or on any other of those routes so regularly taken we call them our commute. In heavy rain or snow, when the mercury tops out in the 90s, when we have a banker’s box full of files to transport, or when we’re wearing our finest $3,000 suit, for example—these are all reasons to skip the bike commute for a day.
On all other days though, provided your destination is within five, even 10 miles of home and there are streets on which you can safely cycle, switching to bicycle commuting may be one of the best moves you ever make. Seriously.
Not convinced just yet? Here are five great reasons to consider bike commuting, and know that it would be easy to come up with many more.
1. You will save money – a monthly transit card in NYC costs $127 per month, or $1,524 per year. In Boston, an annual T pass comes to about $1,080. In Chicago, annual public transit fees cost $900 if you pay via lump sum. And on the costs go, city by city. Want to drive yourself? The average lease on a 2022 Honda Civic is about $4100 per year, plus a big down payment. And the average American spends about $3000 each year on gas.
2. You will never have to search or pay for parking again — Even when you skip the bus or train and drive yourself, where to put that car? Sure, some neighborhoods in America may still be easy and cheap to park in, but that’s a rarity nowadays.
3. You will get exercise — Sure, everyone knows it’s important to get enough exercise, but who has the time? You do. Instead of sitting behind a steering wheel or jammed into the corner of a subway car, use your commute as a time to burn some calories, work those muscles, and get some fresh air.
4. You will be greener – Every time you bike to work, class, or to run errands, you are not driving or adding to the passenger load of the trains or busses, which means you are not adding pollution to our beloved planet. (Though to be fair a few of the bikes here are electric, so a small amount of carbon may be produced to charge them—it’s negligible, but we’re aware of it, for the record!)
5. You will save time – As crazy as it may sound, quite often riding a bike is faster than driving a car (or catching a cab or Uber), and much faster than taking a train or bus. On a bike, you can cut through alleys, use trails, hop from street to sidewalk, and even skirt the occasional stoplight or Do Not Enter sign and such. Not that you ever would, because you follow all laws, but… you could.
Sold on bike commuting and its many positive aspects? Then all you have to do is pick the best commuter bike for your specific needs and wants and then you’ll be ready to get rolling in cleaner, greener, fitter, faster, and more affordable style. (And yes, I tested all of these brands out first-hand. Really.)
Aventon Sinch Step-Through Foldable Ebike
A big, comfy cruiser of a bike if ever there was one, the Aventon Sinch e-bike is a perfect choice for someone who wants a fun, laid-back ride thanks to its stable handling and powerful motor. And don’t worry about that laid-back ride leads through conditions that are a bit harry: the bike’s large, durable “fat” tires can handle some dirt and gravel and even some mud, too.
The electric motor assists you up until you’re zooming along at 20 miles per hour and at a full charge, the range is about 40 miles. And while this is a heavy bike you won’t want to carry up and downstairs all the time, despite how big and comfortable it is when set up, the Aventon Sinch folds down small enough to pop in a car’s trunk or tuck into the corner of the room.
State 4130 All-Road Bike
If your daily ride takes you on roads, trails, grass, and gravel, then this is a great bike to consider. Smooth and speedy on streets, the 4130 All-Road series of bikes from State are also more than rugged enough for off-road riding, even including mountain-bike style terrain, though your joints and spine will feel the lack of hydraulics in the seat and forks if you ride trails hard for hours on end.
This bike is a perfect choice for someone whose daily ride takes them through the many varied types of surfaces one encounters when commuting from suburbs to the city and back again.
Priority Classic Plus Gotham Edition Bike
Based off looks alone, you’ll probably guess that Priority’s Classic Plus Gotham Edition bicycle costs a lot more than its $599 price tag. This bike is of great value given its style, its quality of construction, and of course its ride.
A smooth three-speed city bike that can be zippy when needed and easy-riding when not, it’s a perfect commuter cycle that requires minimal maintenance thanks to Priority’s unique rust-free drive belt system. The brakes are quick and responsive, helping you avoid that suddenly-appearing car door, while the tires resist punctures, helping keep you on the go in the big city, broken glass and gravel bits and such notwithstanding.
Lectric Bikes XP 2.0 EBike
If you want to cruise easy, this is your bike. It’s a fun, easy-to-ride bike that can operate as a pedal-assisted cycle, or it can operate like a fully electric bike, with an 800-watt motor powering you along even without you pumping the pedals thanks to its throttle.
The bike can easily be fitted with racks for transporting goods, it has wide tires that keep you steady on varied terrain, and it folds up easy to be tucked away when you’re not pedaling, riding effort-free, or pedaling with power. And at just under a thousand bucks, it’s a pretty good price, too.
Dahon HIT Pandemic Special Bike
This folding bike is rather like a great compromise: not perfect in any way, but very good in many ways. It felt plenty big enough as I rode it (remember, I’m 6’2”, and about 184 pounds, for even more reference) but can also be adjusted small enough for people a foot shorter. (And it can accommodate 300-pound adults.)
Folded, it easily fits in the trunk of a car, and it’s light enough to carry around for a while if needed. The bike feels almost as stable as a non-folding model and its brakes were crisp and responsive, important in the city.
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