Commuting by bike can be a great opportunity for students and a rewarding means of transportation. Bike riding can also be a fun way to get some exercise and enjoy the great outdoors. If you are considering a bike for campus, here’s what you should know.

Benefits of Commuting with a Bike

Cost-Effective

Commuting by bike will help you save money! Cars come with expenses like gas, insurance, and costly repairs. These sorts of expenses really start to add up as a student. The cost of a good bike is well worth it in comparison.

Daily Exercise

Riding a bike is a good source of exercise, and as your mode of transportation, you’ll be able to get exercise daily without going out of your way. Plus, you won’t need to purchase a gym membership!

Parking

One of the best parts about riding a bike is the easy access to parking. Campuses have plenty of bike racks, often closer to your classes than the parking lots and garages, and at no cost, unlike campus parking passes.

Options

You don’t have to ride your bike every day, or everywhere you go. You can ride your bike half of the time, or occasionally. Drive or take public transportation as an alternative on days when the weather isn’t ideal or you need a faster commute. And if you decide you no longer want to commute via bike, there are alternatives.

Desired Features

Warranty

While buying a used bike from a friend might sound appealing, a warranty is a must for commuters. If your bike is damaged, a warranty will fix or replace your bike (depending on the warranty) so you won’t be without a means of transportation. It’s a much better deal than the alternative of buying another bike.

Price Range

The preferred price range for a commuter bike is $500 – $1000.

Steel Frame vs. Aluminum Frame

If you don’t need to carry the bike, a steel frame would offer a steadier ride. Steel frames are less rigid and more durable than aluminum. If you do need to carry the bike, aluminum frames are lightweight and despite their rigidity, ride well enough in city streets. They also do not rust like steel frames can, making them ideal for year-round transportation.

Suspension Fork vs. Rigid Fork

Whether you should get a suspension fork or rigid fork depends on your preference as a rider, as well as how you will use your bike. A suspension fork, also called front suspension, provides a smoother ride and absorbs bumps. A rigid fork (AKA rigid suspension), however, will help you conserve your energy.

Rear Rack

You’ll want a bike rack for carrying your bag and supplies. With all of the items you’ll need for your classes, a bike rack can make carrying large or loose items much easier and safer.

Front and Rear Fenders

Fenders are guards placed around a part of your wheels that protects you and your bike from water & mud. If you plan on riding in the rain, fenders are a must. Your clothes will thank you!

Gears & Multiple Speeds

To ride comfortably and efficiently on the road, gears and multiple gears may be necessary. Having these can help you ride on multiple terrains without strenuous efforts, and keep your speed up while riding on streets.

Accessories

Helmet

Wearing a helmet is standard safety practice for rides, especially those who plan to ride on roads and in public spaces. It may even be required in some cities and states.

Lights & Reflectors

Lights and reflectors on your bike will help drivers and other cyclists see you. These are necessary to keep you safe and prevent motor accidents, especially at night.

Bike Lock

When keeping your bike on campus or in public spaces, you will need a bike lock. A good bike lock will keep your bike secure and prevent theft.

Top Bikes

Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike 

  • Aluminum Frame
  • Front Suspension
  • Rim Brakes
  • 21-Speed

Sixthreezero Hybrid 

  • Aluminum Frame
  • Rigid Suspension
  • Coaster Brakes
  • 1, 3, 7, or 21-Speed

Schwinn Loop

  • Aluminum Frame
  • Rigid Suspension
  • Cantilever Brakes
  • 7-Speed

Kent Retro 700c City Bike

  • Aluminum Frame
  • Caliper Brakes
  • 3-Speed
  • 700c Wheels

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