The Bike: Three options for mile-eater commuters

The Bike: Three options for mile-eater commuters

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Once you break through the five-mile-barrier, the benefits of a reasonably lightweight more responsive machine start to stack up. Whereas on a short distance commute, the Dutch bike and the folding bike are kings of convenience, the further you go, efficiency, combined with practicality, become your friends.

Let’s take a look at three bikes that will all serve the longer distance commuter well, ranging from fast town bike to full-on road bike dressed up for commuting duties. The bonus is that all three of these bikes will serve dual duty come the weekend.


Flat bar road bike/fast hybrid

Based on a flat bar road bike, this bike has the essential commuter elements of mudguards, pannier rack and lights. It’s got a sprung leather saddle to take the sting out of potholed city streets and towpaths. Its flat, swept back bars combine good visibility, hand comfort, great control and efficiency. The flat pedals allow any shoes to be used. The gearing is road bike and braking is courtesy of V brakes, plenty powerful enough for the inevitable urban emergency stops. During the week it’s a fast town bike. At the weekend it’s ready for longer rides out into the country.


Cross/commuter/touring bike

This disc brake equipped cross/commuter/touring bike is as much at home in the city streets as it is on a muddy CX course, a week long tour or a sportive. The powerful brakes are ideal for city conditions and the 35mm tyres will ward off punctures and potholes with ease. Again, panniers and mudguards mean that its owner can keep clean and dry on the way to work, while carrying everything she needs with the weight off her back.


‘All season’ road bike

At the speedy/long distance end of the mile eater spectrum, this is a road bike with clearance for slightly wider tyres (up to 28mm) and mudguards. Look closely and you’ll see that it will also easily accept a pannier rack (with eyelets on the rear dropout and the seat-stays) although its owner chooses to keep the bike light and nimble and uses a rucksack instead. A bike like this is ideal for someone who wants to ride to work all week and then hit a sportive or long road ride at the weekend.