Which type of bike is good for commute?

Which bike is good for commute?

You must make sure the criteria once you begin selecting a US30$ to US50$ class bike, because you will find too many in this price range.

I introduce you 5 points you must know to choose a commuting bicycle from my 10 years’ experience.

Do you recommend a cross bike or a mountain bike?

Which bicycle do you recommend?

You must think what type of bicycle you want at first.

A mini velo type bike and a folding bike is stylish, but I don’t recommend them because those small wheels give you a certain shock when crossing uneven points of sidewalks and streets, They are not suitable for a distance commuting or to a beginner.

And I don’t also recommend a road bike to you because it is expensive.

Therefore, a “bike to work" beginner should have either a cross bike with slim tires or a mountain bike with wide tires. Let's see the difference between those bicycles.

Items Cross Bike Mountain Bike
26 lbs.
31 lbs. and above (heavier with suspensions)
Flat tires
9 to 19 miles/hr
7 to 16 miles/hr
Tough (heavier with a front and rear suspensions)
Gear Setting
For speed cruising (Fine adjustment)
For easy cruising (Easy to climb hills)
Shocks when crossing uneven steps
Not very easy to gain speed

As I mentioned above, a cross bike and a mountain bike have so much difference in specifications. Chose a cross bike if you want a light weight and comfort bicycle or a mountain bike if you want to go without too many cares about flat tires or uneven steps.

The followings are the points when you select a body.

Point 1: The weight should be less than 31lbs.

A grandee’s bike is around 40 to 44lbs. in weight. Imagine taking off about 13lbs from this weight (equal to the weight of 4 large plastic bottle drinks) and you will find it very light.

You can easily start, stop and gain speed more than 19 miles/hr. I strongly recommend to select a light weight bike less than 31lbs to go up hills and toward headwind.

Point 2: All aluminum made

The aluminum is strong and light material. A bicycle made from steel is cheap but heavy, and easy to get rusted and broken.

You bike will get wet in the rain even if you store it in bicycle parking. I recommend an all aluminum made bike which doesn’t get rusted in the rain and light.

Point 3: More than 21 speeds

Recommended combination

The more your bicycle has gear steps, the easier you can go even on a steep up hill or on flat street. I recommend you a bike which has 21 to 24 step gears (3 steps in front and 7 or 8 steps in rear).

But you must note one thing. You will want smaller gears when you have got speed when you ride on a mountain bike with 27 step gears.

A professional mountain bike may have more large gears for mountain track ride (not considering for speed cruising). I recommend you ones especially designed for city ride. You can find that block of those tires are not so big.

Point 4: Gear ratio should be one for speed

This is a kind of too maniac point, but gear ratio is relate to comfort during a ride.

You don’t worry about it at all when your bike is a cross bike which is well designed for a city ride.

You have to be careful when your bike is a mountain bike. As I mentioned in "Point 3", you will be in lack of speed gears while going on a flat street. So check if you mountain bike has enough smaller gears (heavy to pedal but easy to gain speed).

Gear ratioDifference in the gear ratio.Mountain bike is biased to the low-speed.
If mountain bike town riding specification,It will be almost identical to the cross bike.

Most of mountain bikes have wider range of gear ratio. You may find it too heavy when you shift to 1 step smaller gear. On the other hand, most of cross bike have finer gear ratio and you can easily accelerate speed with it.

Point 5: Tires should be durable enough

A professional cross bike has thin tires like a road racer and may have a flat tire upon crossing an uneven step of sidewalk. The US40$ to US50$ class cross bikes designed for a city ride have a bit thicker tires (size: 28C) and you don’t have to worry as far as checking the air pressure once a week.

Recommended tires

Some 26 to 28C tires has deeper treads on those tires. You can replace with such tires after your purchase of a cross bike if you worry about a flat tire.

A mountain bike is more safe choice if you need to ride on some rough and sandy roads for commute.

My opinions

I recommend you a cross bike as far as you don’t have any reason (such as rough roads), if you don’t know which to choose a cross bike or a mountain bike.

Some people chose a mountain bike with suspensions because it is comfortable. However, you must maintain well in order them to work smoothly, otherwise they will be just heavy parts.

A cross bike meeting to conditions I explained here shouldn't have any problem other than flat tire. You can accelerate speed and great shift up as if you are driving a sport car and have much fun for commute.