Can You Commute On a Road Bike? The Complete Guide

Commuting on a road bike could be your best shot to beating the incessant traffic in our cities today.

The volume of traffic in the cities has been growing steadily for years – worldwide. Anyone who lives in densely populated urban areas and has not set up their own workspace in their own home can probably sing a song about it.

Mercilessly overcrowded subways, regular delays in local traffic and kilometers of traffic jams on the streets are the order of the day.

The good news: there is a solution. Anyone who swings on the saddle in the morning not only saves time, money and nerves.

Experienced bike commuters can recite the benefits straight away. It’s good for your health, it reduces the carbon footprint, it causes almost no running costs, the airstream replaces the first coffee in the morning and so on. This proves, among other things, the ever-increasing number of cycling commuters.

But commuting is only really fun with the right equipment.

Bad material can quickly tarnish your enjoyment. But do not worry, we have put together the most important for you, so that the daily commute to work becomes a real treat. From the practical trouser clip to the perfect commuter bike we have everything you need.

The right equipment for the way to work

Helmet 

Image result for cycling helmet

Of course, a good helmet is essential for your safety on the way to work, especially if you are moving in chaotic city traffic. Add a waterproof helmet cover and your head stays dry in any case.

Wind and Rain Protection 

There is no bad weather, only bad… Everyone knows this saying. And best of all, he’s still right.

The ingenious material blends and processing techniques of the manufacturers make the seemingly impossible possible: maximum moisture protection with maximum breatheability and minimum pack size. You could only dream of that in the past.

Lighting 

Who participates in the public traffic, needs a proper lighting. That’s for sure. For one, of course, so that you see something for yourself, for example, when your commute is on unlighted roads. But almost more important is that you are seen by the other road users.

Everyone knows how bad you recognize a cyclist without lighting in the twilight of city traffic. Therefore: by no means save on the lighting. They can save your life.

Computer & GPS 

Modern cycle computers can do much more than just measure the speed and distance traveled. You want to do something for your health and do your part to avoid pollutants?

Some shows you the calories burned and the CO2 savings on the car on your way to work. That’s how the day can start, right?

Fenders

Whether in the city, in the forest or elsewhere. A good fender protects you from dirt and moisture. You have the choice between faster removable and firmly mounted.

How to improve our safety on a bicycle trip

Once we are on the road, there are three important points to optimize our safety when we travel by bicycle, everything that goes in the direction of improving any of them will make us go more secure, these points are:

  • See
  • Be seen
  • Protect us

Let’s review how we can improve each of these factors to increase our road safety.

Tips to increase bicycle safety

Rear-view mirror

See. A small mirror is one of the elements that can provide us with more security when traveling on roads with traffic.

It helps us to see what is coming from behind without having to turn around, with the added risk of going to the center of the road that it entails. This will allow us to anticipate movements and in case of emergency throw us to the gutter.

A rear-view mirror is a really cheap accessory for the advantages it offers. If you are more of asphalt than of roads, you should always take one. Important that the surface is convex.

Lights: See and be seen. We never know when the night can catch us. Sometimes a breakdown or not finding a place to sleep, can lengthen the stage until there is no choice but to pedal in the dark.

This is very dangerous if we do not carry lights, both rear to be seen by vehicles coming from behind, as well as front to see where we are going and to see the vehicles coming from the front.

I use a front for the front light, they are very practical and you can also use them when you are not riding on the bike. As a rear light I carry a small red LED driver.

Reflective and colored clothes

To be seen. Traveling with saddlebags is in itself safer than doing it without them. The bulk is larger and therefore more recognizable from a greater distance, in addition most saddlebags incorporate reflective ones and the most recognized brands (Ortlieb, Vaude …) make models with very bright colors.

This is not accidental, they do it this way so that in addition to serving to keep our equipment are as flashy as possible.

It is also recommended that our upper garments (jersey, T-shirt, windbreaker, waterproof) are strong colors. If you want to make a bet for a safe color, it is proven that yellow is the color that is recognizable at a greater distance. I always wear a reflective vest in my saddlebags.

Doorbell

Be heard and therefore seen. A timbre can be really useful, especially when we drive on greenways or bike lanes, since on many occasions we will encounter pedestrians. The bell will make them hear us and therefore they will see us. It is a very cheap accessory and weighs nothing.

Sign the left

To be seen. Many cyclists, especially long distance ones, usually carry some type of element that protrudes to the left, usually a pennant. In this way the cars have to separate something else to overtake.

Glasses

Protect yourself Wearing glasses (sun or transparent) on our equipment is essential. Especially for the descents. An impact of an insect, a small china or something of mud can not only damage an eye, but also cause us to lose balance at great speed with the danger that implies.

Helmet

Protect yourself Helmet always. No need to add anything more.

Gloves

Protect yourself. Cycling gloves are designed to protect the palms of our hands. Before an eventual fall is the first thing that by inertia we will put on the ground to protect other more fragile parts such as the head. In addition they protect our hands from the sun in summer and from the cold in winter.

Prudent driving and signal maneuvers

Be seen and protect yourself It never hurts to remember how important it is to use manual signaling when we drive on roads with traffic. This gives vital information to the driver that we have behind our next movement, thus being able to anticipate the maneuver.

Type question: which road bike is the right one?

The variety of racing bike types is great – after all, a special frame has to be created for every riding style and every terrain.

There are Aero bikes for flat stretches, lightweight road bikes for hilly tracks, endurance bikes for the long haul, and all-road and recreational / fitness bikes designed for fun. Below we describe in detail what distinguishes the individual types and for whom they are suitable.

Aero road bike

Image result for Aero road bike

Aero bikes stand for one goal – top speed! Here it is less about weight and comfort, but only about leaving the wind behind with an aerodynamic shape as possible while saving energy.

The biggest distinguishing features of the Aero road bikes are the thicker frame tubes and the total integration of the individual frame components and the rims.

The frame profile is therefore wider to create an aerodynamically improved shape and thus reduce wind resistance. This makes Aero bikes often heavier than classic road bikes.

The integration of individual components into the frame such as brakes and cables is crucial to provide the wind less attack points and to achieve an even more aerodynamic shape. The pipe sections are partially shaped to orient themselves to the shape of the tires.

Due to the thicker tube sections, Aero road bikes are also typically very stiff and are therefore made for powerful sprints. Additional details: The frame geometry requires a more aggressive seating position, the wheelbase is relatively short and the control ear is quite short.

Endurance racing

Endurance or endurance bikes are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their relaxed geometry, stable handling and comfort.

This is ensured by the longer wheelbase and the higher head tube, the more upright seating position and lately also the equipment with disc brakes. Other features typically include a compact-ratio drive (see below), wider frame clearance for wider tires, and additional built-in damping mechanisms that iron out minor bumps in the track.

Who thinks that long-distance racing bikes are slower than their con-specifics, he is wrong. Endurance bikes often use the same frame materials and technologies as the high-end racing bikes.

There are also similar high quality switch groups and wheels. The additional flexibility of the frame is the biggest difference to the regular racing bike.

Classic road bike (ultralight road bike)

The “classic” road bikes are the favorite wheels of professionals when it comes to success in the standings or mountain stages are pending.

They are characterized by an ultra-light frame, which can be extremely agile and maneuver quickly through winding roads. The low weight makes it a true mountaineer who is on long ascents in his parade discipline.

Many lightweight racing bikes weigh even less than the 6.8 kilograms that the UCI dictates for the pro races. That is why the motto in this area is: the lighter, the better. Some manufacturers even stay under 5 kilograms with their bikes.

Gravel Bikes & Touring Bikes

Image result for Gravel Bikes

Gravel bikes are the latest trend in the racing world and are suitable for any terrain. This is made possible by a durable and flexible frame, which also provides a solid performance on the road.

In addition, the bottom bracket is higher to provide more ground clearance for obstacles. Furthermore, wide tires, disc brakes and a lighter gear ratio are important characteristics of the Gravel bike.

Touring bikes are still a bit less focused on performance and attach particular importance to stability, comfort and longevity.

This is also noticeable in the higher weight. In addition, luggage carriers, mudguards and, as with the Gravel Bike disc brakes, are standard for the tourers. As a frame material steel is often used in this type, because of the high robustness, the lower cost and the good ride comfort.

Fitness bike

Functionality and comfort are the two most important factors of the fitness road bike, which is mainly intended for leisure and exercise use.

Beginners are well catered for and come quickly from A to B. In this category you will often find a flat bar handlebar instead of the typical road bike handlebar, wider tires and normal platform pedals and a beginner-friendly gear ratio in the drive.

Fitness racing bikes are therefore especially suitable for newbies and training-hungry cyclists who do not need full racing bike equipment for cycling.