Is there a perfect bike for commuting?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Ryan1967
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Is there a perfect bike for commuting?

Postby Ryan1967 » 30 Jan 2019, 11:15am

Is there a perfect bike for commuting? folding/road or just your average normal bike?
Last edited by Graham on 31 Jan 2019, 12:03pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Graham
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Re: Best bike

Postby Graham » 30 Jan 2019, 1:56pm

Yep, just take a look at the type of bike that folk in Netherlands / Germany / Denmark / etc. use for transport.

Cheap, robust, reliable . . . .

Hub gears : enclosed chain-case : weather protection = mudguards, etc. : oiling & greasing points : simple, proven technology : comfortable . . .

thelawnet
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Re: Best bike

Postby thelawnet » 30 Jan 2019, 2:22pm

No.

It depends what your commute is like. If you are going 3 miles on a muddy path you will want a different bike from a 20 mile commute on a road

CliveyT
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Re: Best bike

Postby CliveyT » 30 Jan 2019, 3:11pm

thelawnet wrote:No.

It depends what your commute is like. If you are going 3 miles on a muddy path you will want a different bike from a 20 mile commute on a road

and where you are. My current commuter is a singlespeed, even less maintenance than a hub gear, BUT I live in Cambridgeshire, I cross the 10m contour line twice in my 15km commute (possible 4x if you count the railway bridges). If I was still in Cornwall my knees would have gone on strike after a week.

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TrevA
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Re: Best bike

Postby TrevA » 30 Jan 2019, 4:16pm

Depends on your commute and the type of riding you want to do. If I just want to pootle in to work, I'll ride my touring bike, as it's more comfortable than the roadie. If I want to push on a bit then I'll ride my road bike, or winter road bike at this time of year. It also depends if I'm just doing the commute or want to do an extended ride home. The longer I go, the more likely I am to choose the road bike. My normal commute is 9 miles each way. It also depends on how much stuff I've got to carry. If I'm taking a fresh towel and/or complete change of clothes, I'll take the tourer as it has better load carrying capacity. Normally I just take a clean shirt and underwear and leave the rest of my stuff at work.

whoof
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Re: Best bike

Postby whoof » 30 Jan 2019, 4:17pm

CliveyT wrote:
thelawnet wrote:No.

It depends what your commute is like. If you are going 3 miles on a muddy path you will want a different bike from a 20 mile commute on a road

and where you are. My current commuter is a singlespeed, even less maintenance than a hub gear, BUT I live in Cambridgeshire, I cross the 10m contour line twice in my 15km commute (possible 4x if you count the railway bridges). If I was still in Cornwall my knees would have gone on strike after a week.


As above. When I worked in the Netherlands I rode a bike as described by Graham to the office. It was 2 km on the flat. The Dutch tend to live closer to work that the British. If I had to do my current commute of 20 km each way with the finish below on a Dutch sit-up I'd get the bus.
com.jpg


Personally I find a bent over more 'racing' position a lot more comfortable.

Brucey
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Re: Best bike

Postby Brucey » 30 Jan 2019, 4:21pm

Ryan1967 wrote:Is there a perfect bike for commuting? folding/road or just your average normal bike?


The perfect bike is one that is fast enough, comfortable enough, reliable enough, and has acceptable maintenance demands......


....for you....


Obviously folk have different ideas about what constitutes acceptable levels of comfort, reliability, speed, maintenance etc.... which perhaps explains why you see folk using so many different types of bike for the daily commute.

My personal favourite is something that looks a bit like a touring bike, but has an IGH and hub dynamo fitted. This goes for months on end with little more than a drop of oil on the chain and a whiff of air in the tyres.

cheers
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The utility cyclist
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Re: Best bike

Postby The utility cyclist » 30 Jan 2019, 11:09pm

Ryan1967 wrote:Is there a perfect bike for commuting? folding/road or just your average normal bike?


Yup, a lightweight hybrid that can take wide tyres and heavy loads, mine is below, 9 years of hard use, carbon forks, seat stays, bars and seatpost make it comfortable and light, it's also extremely robust. Maintenance wise it's been fantastic, despite being struck by motors including a rear ending and a side swipe hit and run plus a couple of 'incidents' were I've laid it down the frame just brushes it off.
I was so impressed I bought another and converted it to drops that is now my winter racer/audax/utility/touring ride.

I don't see how a 'Dutch' bike is more advantageous over a lot of others.
here is a site that has some good bikes at a reasonable price, this one is just the ladies that I had the link to but there is plenty of choice at varying spec levels. https://www.bikester.co.uk/ortler-linda ... 51190.html
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Cunobelin
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Re: Best bike

Postby Cunobelin » 31 Jan 2019, 6:13am

Ryan1967 wrote:Is there a perfect bike for commuting? folding/road or just your average normal bike?


Yep - the New Kettwiesel does all of that, and also tours

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mjr
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Re: Best bike

Postby mjr » 31 Jan 2019, 9:36am

The utility cyclist wrote:I don't see how a 'Dutch' bike is more advantageous over a lot of others.

Like you, I was sceptical, so I bought an old Polish clone to try it out, then I liked that so much despite its flaws (clanking metal mudguards, thin wire rear rack, ate its front wheel bearings once) that it largely usurped my modern hybrid so eventually I bought a modern Dutch bike. I find them much more fun to ride (higher riding position, wider tyres, springier frame) and much more practical (chain guard, thicker chain up away from road crud, shift while stopped, hub brakes impervious to most weather).

I heartily recommend a roadster for any non mountain commute, although I've lowered the gearing on mine for touring...

Folding bikes are better if you need to take it on trains, though.
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CliveyT
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Re: Best bike

Postby CliveyT » 31 Jan 2019, 9:38am

Cunobelin wrote:
Ryan1967 wrote:Is there a perfect bike for commuting? folding/road or just your average normal bike?


Yep - the New Kettwiesel does all of that, and also tours


I work in Cambridge and don't have really secure bike parking. I'd have to pay for an armed guard to stand watch all day if I left that in the bike park.

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Re: Best bike

Postby pwa » 31 Jan 2019, 9:45am

CliveyT wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:
Ryan1967 wrote:Is there a perfect bike for commuting? folding/road or just your average normal bike?


Yep - the New Kettwiesel does all of that, and also tours


I work in Cambridge and don't have really secure bike parking. I'd have to pay for an armed guard to stand watch all day if I left that in the bike park.

That is a very good point. An expensive bike makes a poor commuter if you don't have a secure place to park it.

Brucey
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Re: Best bike

Postby Brucey » 31 Jan 2019, 9:59am

if you don't have secure bike parking then you need something that works well but looks like a tatty heap, and has no parts on it that could conceivably be of the slightest interest to thieving toe rags.

My own hack bike looks like a disaster area on wheels but it is normally kept in a condition such that I would happily ride it a hundred miles or so. I am loathe to make it look any better than it does, (even though it wouldn't be difficult to do so) because it will only attract thieves.

Remember that there is a balance of quality of lock vs 'desirability of bike' (in the eyes of a bike thief). Up to a point all you have to do is make your bike less appealing than those parked around it and it should be relatively safe. However if you park in the same place every day and there are even a few nice bits on it then some toerag may take a fancy to them and take the bike anyway.

cheers
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robc02
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Re: Best bike

Postby robc02 » 31 Jan 2019, 10:05am

mjr wrote:
The utility cyclist wrote:I don't see how a 'Dutch' bike is more advantageous over a lot of others.

Like you, I was sceptical, ..........
.....I heartily recommend a roadster for any non mountain commute, although I've lowered the gearing on mine for touring...

+1. I bought my Humber roadster (1951 model) about twenty years ago.

The plan was to cannibalise it for other projects, but after trying it I thought it was so good for its intended purpose that I kept it as it was! A few years later I restored it and it is now one of my most used bikes - mainly for local transport but I have also used it for a couple of flattish camping tours.

The only changes from the original spec are LED lights (powered by the original Dyno hub), lowered gearing and a homemade rack (in the style of the original but much less wobbly).

peetee
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Re: Best bike

Postby peetee » 31 Jan 2019, 11:40am

For 10 years I rode a pretty decent drop handlebar bike with a Sturmey 5 speed hub as a commuting bike. I took a broad paintbrush and slapped yellow paint around then never cleaned it. It looked a right mess but rode like silk. I used to leave it at a ferry port so it was fairly obvious to any observant Tea Leaf that I wasn't going to be back for hours but it was never tampered with.
Current status report:
Latter side of fifty and feeling less than nifty.
Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.