I’ve been thinking of getting a new bike for commuting and errands. For years I’ve had commuter specific bikes that would allow me to carry a load of stuff like groceries and other junk. Since I’m in the business that I’m in (running this site as well as MtnBikeRiders.com), I’ve had bikes come and go through my stable — from fast road bikes to heavy duty utility bicycles.
What I’ve come to realize is that I like going fast. But I also want to be practical. I own a mini-van; yes I have cars and even a motorcycle. But one thing I love about my mini-van is the fact that it’s pretty useful, yet powerful enough to pass other vehicles while I’m on the freeway. You see that’s kinda been the story of my life: I like things to be exciting yet practical. That’s probably why I’d never own a 2 passenger convertible nor would I ever own a carbon fiber road bike…both are exciting, but I can’t justify getting them because it just doesn’t make sense for me.
I know that there are some of you who commute with a carbon fiber road bike or some that do it with an Xtracycle. So when I’m shopping around for a new commuter bike, I’ve got to think about a few things.
1. Is it going to be fun to ride?
2. Is it comfortable?
3. Is it practical? Will I be able to install a rack and panniers if I wanted?
4. Will it be fast?
My 4 reasons may not fit with what you would consider when looking for a new bike and that’s completely ok. When you are looking to get a new bike, you should make up a list of what things you’re looking for in this new bike. That way you can pinpoint the exact style and type of ride you want to try out.
Since I’m a mountain biker at heart, I’ve always leaned towards flat bar road bikes because it’s the positioning that I favor the most. However, I do like road drop bars just because when I was a young lad, I was heavily into road biking.
Before I end this article, just remember: When you’re shopping for a new bike, consider what type of terrain, where you’ll be riding and how you want to use the bike. Some will be ok with either a road bike or a mountain bike. Heck, some of our readers use recumbents to commute with while others use fixies and folding bikes. Whatever your choice will be, just remember shopping for it is the best part since you can pretty much custom tailor your bike to your needs.