Why not start making plans for the warm weather now

By: Alan Trotter

Commuting to work by bike is something that lots of people are considering, with rising petrol prices, congestion and environmental issues all contributing to a surge in people cycling to work. However if you've never used a bike as your main means of transport before, there are a few things you need to think about.

Firstly, what is the route like on your way to work? For most people who live in urban areas, it will be mainly tarmac roads and cycle paths. This is why many people choose to ride to work on a road bike, as these are designed for exactly these types of conditions.

A road bike is a type of cycle that has a lightweight, slim frame, a low riding position, and thin, smooth tyres, all the better for cycling fast on tarmac surfaces. They often feature drop handlebars, to allow the rider to assume different positions depending on their speed.

If you're thinking of buying a road bike solely for commuting, you don't have to go out and buy one of the expensive, carbon-framed sporty ones. An entry-level model should do - just make sure you test it first and make sure you're comfortable with the weight and riding position.

For some commuters, a road bike may not be suitable for their daily journey. If you have to go across a park or country trail, then a road bike's smooth tyres and rigid frame will not be any good. You'll probably need a mountain bike or hybrid bike, which can feature suspension and chunky tyres to help cope with any bumps in the road and make your journey more comfortable.

Over the past few years there have been more and more modern bike designs coming onto the market aimed mainly at commuters. You can now get electric bikes, which feature a motor to help with pedalling long distances, and also folding bikes which are handy for jumping onto a train or bus. Look out for some of these models as they may be just what you're looking for.

Lastly, think about the accessories you'll need if you're going to be riding your bike to work and back every day. You'll definitely need a helmet, some bike lights, and a bike lock, and you should really consider buying some high-visibility clothing for night-time and winter commutes. Also make sure you carry a puncture repair kit and some bike tools with you, as you never know what you might encounter on the road.

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Mountain bikes, electric bikes and road bikes are all types of cycle that can be used to commute to work. For the best deals on top names like Raleigh bikes, make sure you do your research and take a good look around before buying.

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