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I've been riding CitiBike for a couple years to ride to work in NYC (7mi commute) and am looking to purchase my own bike. Are there any standard suggestions on what to look for in a commuter bike?

Note that I love CitiBike. I love the convenience of fenders, chain guards, easy gears that never come off, lights built in, etc. The only thing I don't like is it is big, bulky, and heavy. Would like something that is lighter and faster that has the convenient attributes of CitiBike.

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marked as duplicate by PeteH, mattnz, Gary.Ray Jul 20 at 22:55

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2 Answers 2

Did you like the CitiBike? If so look for a bike like that. A commute bike will normally have slightly larger tires - 28mm-35mm. If you want fenders then get a bike with fenders or at least will take fenders. If you want a rack then get a bike with rack or at least will take a rack. Many manufacturers now have lines called City/Hybrid/Mulituse/Urban (or to that effect). Kind of need to decide if you want flat bars or drop bars - you can get commuter type bikes both ways. In NYC a single speed might be enough. A lot depends on what you want. Also how well can you lock it up? If you have to leave it out then go cheap.

After I first answered you added that you like the CitiBike. Look around. Fender and basket are going to be pretty easy to find. Internal hub is not going to be as easy. A nice internal hub is more expensive but a lot of people like them. My neighbor got a cheap internal hub and has trouble with it. If you go the internal hub route then get a nice bike. Hopefully you will get some specific recommendations.

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I love CitiBike! Love the convenience of fenders, chain guards, easy gears that never come off, lights built in, etc. The only thing I don't like is it is big, bulky, and heavy. Would like something that is lighter and faster that has the convenient attributes of CitiBike. –  Marcus Jul 20 at 18:58
    
Then look at Specialized Globe line. Cannondale Badboy Commuter. Most brands are going to have heavy duty city line. They will be lighter than CityBike as they are not built for commercial use. –  Blam Jul 20 at 19:01

If you want speed over longer distances, I recommend to buy a Trekking bike. They have 700C wheels, and therefore are faster. My experience is that for 30 min or longer commutes I like speed. For this bike a derailleur gear is better so you can speed up.

If you like comfort, you can buy a Cannondale Badboy or similar. With 2" wide tires that handle well the potholes. To get from A to B in a big city, lots of stopping, changing directions, I liked the comfort better.

A third option can be a Brompton foldable bike, with 6 gears, which is the most versatile in city traffic, you can mix biking and public transport, and use whichever is faster/better. They last long, so good investment.

  • If you are a serious commuter, ie not just when the sun is shining, and you ride in the rain, you need fenders.
  • The rack is a must for carryng your bag. On such a ride I wouldn't wear a backpack. Check that the bike has braze-ons/eyelets for fenders, and for the rack. I recommend Tubus Cargo Evo. For the bag, I like the convertible ones, that can be hang on the rack, and used as a messengar/backpack, too. VauDe has such nice bags.
  • Otherwise, I recommend to buy a bike that looks very "average". V-brakes, rigid forks, etc. nothing that tells it's an expensive bike.
  • A hubgear gives more flexibility, to change gears at red lights when standing. 7-8 gears are enough, unless you need to tackle hills like in San Francisco, so a Shimano Nexus 7 or 8. I also commute 20 miles with a hubgear bike, for me it works, but many find it not enough.
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