Bike Style Guide: Commuter

Which kind of bike is best for riding around town and getting from place to place? Schwinn has a whole category of bicycles made with the everyday commuter in mind. See how commuter bikes work (and feel free to browse our selection for more inspiration).

What is a commuter bike?

Functionality is the top priority for a commuter bike. They're designed for frequent rides through city traffic at moderate speeds. Simplicity and durability are the two defining characteristics of a classic commuter bike. Most models will come equipped with racks to carry bags for the ride to work or school, like the Schwinn Wayfarer or Wayfarer Step-Thru.

Handlebars and Riding Position

Commuter bikes typically have flat handlebars which tend to be in a more elevated position than other bike models. This elevation creates an upright riding position, giving the rider better visibility when riding through traffic. The upright riding position that the commuter bike provides is also comfortable for the typical shorter rides that a commuter will be doing on a daily basis. 

Gears

Because commuters ride through the city at slow to moderate speeds, commuter bikes typically have fewer gears. The gearing is often located internally on the rear hub so it is better protected from the wear and tear of city riding.

Some commuter bikes have only a single-speed or freewheel drivetrain in order to keep the bike as simple as possible and easy to maintain. This is true for the Kedzie and Stites, as well as the eMonroe 250.

Specialized Components

Commuter bikes tend to come with components that are ideal for the city environment. They are made to be compatible with panniers, fenders, front racks, and other built-ins. There are some commuter bikes that have a rear rack for the transport of bags and other items. Some commuters will also purchase panniers, that can be mounted on bike racks to store items.

Strength

The frame of a commuter bike is built strong and is made to last since they are made to endure city riding and all weather conditions that a typical commuter would experience. 

Commuter bikes are the obvious choice for those who want to use their bike as their main mode of transportation to work, school, and everywhere in between. Having the right bike will make you want to commute to work more often, which is great for both the environment and you.