The best five bikes for commuters
Heading back to the office? Discover the benefits of cycling to work with these five brilliant bikes
Cycling to work comes with no shortage of advantages: it will make you fitter, improve your mental health, increase your productivity, save you money and potentially time - and it will reduce your carbon footprint.
But which bike will deliver you the greatest benefits? The Week has joined forces with sister publication Cyclist and the experts at Bike is Best to pick out the five bikes that would be a perfect fit for first-time cyclist commuters.
These bikes cater to everyone from the easy-rider who wants to avoid breaking into a sweat to the urban racer. Prices range from the affordable to the eye-raising.
To find out more about #BikeIsBest - and for helpful tips on getting started cycling, please visit www.bikeisbest.com
For the everyday commuter
Fast, practical and comfortable, the Genesis Broadway is your classic commuter bike, even down to its urban jungle-inspired paint job.
A double-butted alloy frameset provides stiffness in key areas for better performance and more efficient ride while not compromising on comfort - which is helped by 37mm WTB All-Terrain tyres that will eat up potholes and keep you puncture-free.
The nine-speed Shimano Alivio gears ensure the hilliest of areas are still rideable and the hydraulic disc brakes will provide ample stopping power to match. The Broadway also features mounts for front and rear mudguards for all-year riding, as well as racks capable of carrying medium-sized loads.
For the speed demon
Giant TCR Advanced Pro Disc 2
If you are on the hunt for a bike that can take you beyond your commute and onto weekend rides and even the occasional sportive, look no further than the Giant TCR Advanced Pro Disc 2.
With 25-years of heritage, the TCR is a frame dynasty that has won the biggest races in professional cycling and is often regarded as one of the best all-round road bikes that money can buy. In 2020, it received an aerodynamic facelift, introducing wind-cheating tube shapes for a faster ride on the flat while retaining the stiffness-to-weight ratio that led the TCR being revered for its climbing prowess.
This particular build from Giant also comes equipped with a crank-based power meter and Giant’s SLR-1 carbon disc wheels with Giant Gavia 25mm tubeless tyres.
For the easy rider
Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0
Rolling into the office with steam coming out your ears not your style? No problem - just go for an e-bike. With a small motor inside the bike’s frame or rear wheel, they provide a subtle pedal-assisted push that can alleviate the hardships of cycling while retaining all the fun.
Our favourite is the Turbo Vado SL 4.0 from Specialized. A light motor in the bike’s bottom bracket provides the rider with a smooth 240W of power across three levels of assistance up to 15.5mph. A generous 120 miles of range will have you cruising to work in comfort, no matter the terrain or distance.
Specialized has also incorporated a set of integrated lights to ensure you can be seen by fellow road users.
For the hybrid commuter
Even if cycling won’t get you all the way to work, you can still incorporate it into your daily commute - for example, to get you to or from a railway station. The ultimate bike for this is the Brompton.
With a trusty steel frame and petite 16-inch wheels, the M3L can be unfolded in ten seconds flat. The classic commuter model, it comes with three-speed Sturmey Archer gears and a leisurely M-shaped handlebars.
A few miles coasting on the Brompton each morning will be enough to improve not only your physical health but also your mental state. And after a year of saving money on station parking or tube journeys, you’ll be financially better off too.
For the adventurous commuter
Trek Checkpoint ALR 4
For most commuters, the goal is to get from A to B in the shortest time possible. But It doesn’t have to be that way! In fact, the commute can be the perfect opportunity to unwind from the day’s stresses and discover your sense of adventure.
Enter the Trek Checkpoint ALR 4, a gravel bike with a sturdy alloy frame, internal cable routing, knobbly 40mm tyres, a generous gear ratio, hydraulic disc brakes and mudguard mounts. All big, fat green ticks for anybody looking to explore a range of terrains in comfort and with speed, all year round.