It’s quite true to say that any type of bike can be used for riding to work (with the exception perhaps of full-on downhill mountain bike rigs). However, it’s a pretty empty statement if it’s not backed up by some hard examples. So we’ve put together a selection of specific bike models — all rear-rack friendly and all bar one available for less than a £1,000 (so think Ride-to-Work scheme voucher) — that we think would make great options for different types of commuter bike.
Specialized has been making great ride-to-work bikes for years, and the Sirrus mixes all that knowledge with some modern tech. This bike comes fitted with a Promax F1 hydraulic disc brakeset and a full Shimano Altus 24-speed drive train. It also comes complete with fender and rack mounts, so in time you can add everything you need to make it your perfect commuting partner.
The ultra-classy Jamis Aurora touring bike could be used to ride across continents, so the daily grind is well within its capabilities. With a rear rack already fitted and front rack mounting points also in place, this machine can transport everything you may ever need to take to work. A beautifully colour-coordinated set of mudguards comes as standard, but the real head-turner is the genuine Reynolds 520 frame, which benefits from all the plush ride qualities of steel.
Although quite a few hybrids come with short-travel suspension forks, they’re not proper mountain bikes. However, in the right circumstances even a dedicated off-road machine can be a great commuter, too. Presenting to you, the Norco Charger 2. The frame is built from custom-formed 6061 aluminum with double-butted top tube, engineered to deliver strength and stiffness in a lightweight design. Rockshox 100mm travel fork soaks up trail bumps, reduces chatter and enhances rider comfort and control over long rides.
With the exception of folding bikes, we think there’s a model in the Pinnacle range that could fulfill almost every category here, but we’re highlighting the Chromium because it offers just about the most refined cycle commute you could hope for. Available with either a compact or step-through frame, the Chromium 1 comes with swept-back bars, large volume 650B tyres, a reliable 8-speed Shimano gearset and reassuring Tektro hydraulic disc brakes to have you arriving at work in comfort and style.
Although there are some fantastic folding bikes around there’s still one name that you see more during rush hour than any other: Brompton. The legendary British marque has a unique quick folding system, superb reliability and style in abundance. This 3-speed, mudguard-equipped M3L model featuring the original M-type handlebar shape is the company’s best-selling and comes in a variety of colours. To browse the whole range, head to the website here.
We know we’re biased but we reckon this is just about the prettiest commuting bike on the planet. The only problem is, you’ll only have the chance to get a good look at one if it’s parked up at the workplace cycle rack (or if you pop into an Evans Cycles stores) because on the road it’ll probably pass you in a blur of speed. With a lightweight alloy frame, carbon fork, SRAM Rival 22-speed gearset and Tektro Orion hydraulic discs, this is a top-end bike for top-end velocity.
And finally to the type of commuting bike that is exciting huge amounts of people. Of course, electric bikes are fantastic for riders who face a slightly tougher commute, whether because of terrain or their own health and fitness. But e-bikes, and especially our funky new Pinnacle Ion, offer benefits for everybody — such as getting to work without looking like you’ve been dragged through a soggy hedge backwards. Oh, and the Ion is incredibly good fun to ride, too.