Getting a bike for the city is a great way to get around town, save money, exercise, and explore the lesser-known areas of the place where you live. They are, however, relatively big-ticket items, so you’ll want to know what type of bike to buy, how to customize it, how to secure it, and, most of all, how to use it safely. This guide will help prepare you with everything you need to know about your first city bike, so start here:
The Best Types of Bikes for Cities
The type of bike you choose will drastically alter your experience biking in the city. It’s also how you can narrow down your options and get the best performance out of your purchase. For example, buying a mountain bike in a city is unnecessary unless you’re also an avid mountain cyclist. If you’re planning on using your bike for your work commute, or to run errands, then you’ll be far happier with single speed bikes.
Single speed bikes are far lighter than their multi-gear counterparts, making them a breeze to carry around up stairwells and even on public transport (if your city allows). They can even be converted into a fixie bike if you want to ramp up your cardio. While you could opt for a convertible bike or an e-bike, as these are great for city biking, the latter two options come at far higher price points. If you want the best performance for the best price, single speeders are the way to go.
Add Storage to Your Bike
From carrying your laptop and other work gear to bringing your shopping home, your bike needs to be able to carry your stuff while you bike comfortably. If the weight is evenly distributed around your bike, you’ll maintain maximum maneuverability without bulking yourself up.
So add a basket up front, side saddles, and even consider getting a pull-along wagon for larger purchases. These are becoming very popular in cities as people aim to save and get healthier.
Learn How to Secure Your City Bike
Bikes are stolen, and when you put so much time, effort, and money into buying and customizing your own setup, it can be devastating for someone just to steal it. That’s why security is so important. Either keep your bike in your home or, alternatively, in a bike locker.
When you’re out and about, try to put your bike in one of the lockable sheds, as this will keep your bike out of sight and better protected in the city. Otherwise, get two locks to secure the body and wheels safely. There are non-bulky options that lock the wheel in place, so you can just keep one super-strong, anti-theft chain on hand.
Don’t Forget Your Own Safety
It’s important to wear a helmet and even thicker clothes on your legs and arms when you bike. This way, if you fall, you minimize the risk of any serious damage. It’s also a good idea to brush up on the road rules and get into the habit of using hand signals so that you can safely share the road with other vehicles and pedestrians.