Commuting is a daily occurrence for nearly everyone. All of us have a way of getting to and from work and play. Car, bus, walking, or riding a bike are the most prevalent forms of commuting in Iowa City. Here at World of Bikes we are a little biased towards the bicycle commute. Everyone has a different reason for wanting to commute by bicycle, cost effectiveness, short distance, fitness, or simply to relax during a ride. While the reasons may be plentiful, the ways to make bicycle commuting work for you are more straightforward.
What Bike Should I Ride??
First thing to do is to pick out the right bike! The FX series from Trek is our most popular commuter bicycle.
The reason the FX series bikes are great for commuting is because they are incredibly versatile. They are equipped with a very wide range of gears to tackle the hills of Iowa City and keep you in a comfortable position while riding. The versatility also allows the bike to become transformed into a commuting machine. Commuting by bicycle may seem intimidating at first, but by owning a bicycle that can handle the challenges and aid your commute is key. You want the bicycle to do as much work as possible, creating a smooth, relaxing commute to and from home for you!!
Once you have a bicycle picked out it is time to outfit it, creating that commuting machine! We have dressed up one of our 7.3 FX bikes to display what we believe are the most important pieces to add to your bicycle.
A Breakdown of the Bicycle!
FENDERS ARE YOUR FRIEND…ERS! Fenders are the first range of protection for you and your bike from the exciting new changes that spring brings. Puddles, sand, mud, and more puddles are generally the biggest enemy from March onward. Fenders keep you clean while riding your bicycle, eliminating the dreaded skunk stripe of mud up your backside. Once they are installed on the bicycle they become a part of it, never needing to be removed. The Planet Bike Cascadia fenders are a personal favorite here!
RACK ATTACK! Let the bike do the work! A rear rack is another piece that once added will become a part of your bike. Mounting over the rear wheel, the rack is designed to allow the rider to carry more with them without the use of a backpack or purse. A must have on bike tours and extremely handy for commuters. Pair it with bags or baskets and ka-pow! Your bike just became your pack-mule! We have tons of options so you can choose the perfect rack for your needs and style.
BAGS! Panniers are bags designed to fit onto your new rear rack. A great place to start is Banjo Brothers. These panniers start off as simple as the Grocery Bag Pannier, a simple open faced style pannier which can carry your existing purse or backpack easily. If you are looking for a bag that can do more we carry Axiom and Jandd panniers. They will become your go-to bag on the bike, eliminating the need for extra bags to carry around!
THE FINAL TOUCHES!
Some final necessities for commuting are lights, lock, and a helmet. Front lights are the law in Iowa City limits. Some of our favorite lights are the Urban lights from Light and Motion. They are an indestructible force when it comes to commuting. They are bright enough to light your way to and from home, USB rechargeable, and made in the USA!
Locks are invaluable, especially in Iowa City. The college town doesn’t lend itself to being the most friendly towards bike theft. We really love Abus locks, they offer reliable locks that are easy to use.
Helmets are a personal option. We strongly encourage helmets here at World of Bikes. They start at the friendly price of $45.00 for a Bontrager Solstice helmet. It isn’t a bad looking helmet! You can really make a fashion statement!
Last but not least, the bicycle needs three things to keep it happy and running. A bicycle pump to keep air in the tires. This will prevent pinch flats, allow you to get the full life out of the tires, and the ride will be much more enjoyable. Bicycle chain lube is a simple $8 investment that will keep the chain and gears on your bike running smoothly. Finishline 1-step cleaner and lubricant is a great all-around chain lube. It can be used on your commuting bike, as well as any bike you own! Finally the last bit of information! Bringing in your bike for regular tune-ups will make sure you stay safe and comfortable on your bike. Staying on top of the tune-ups will also save you money in the long run. Small overhauls are much easier, convenient, and will make sure you get the full life out of the bike as a whole!
Now get out there and ride! I know this is a ton of information. It doesn’t have to happen all at once. One does not simply change the way they commute overnight. It is a lifestyle change, and a great one!