What bike do you ride on your commute?

A Brompton cyclist waits at a red light

On this weeks “Comment Friday” I’d like to hear about what bikes you guys use to commute.

My bike is a Marin Hybrid. I bought it second hand a few years ago and whilst it’s on its last legs now it still serves me well until I have enough money for the next bike purchase. I like it because it rarely requires any maintenance and if needs be it can take on a bit of off-road action.

What bike do you ride around on your commute and where did you get it from?

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147 Responses to What bike do you ride on your commute?

  1. To-jo 10/09/2010 at 12:04 pm #

    If its dry – Planet X Carbon – its pretty damn quick and comfortable
    If its wet – my hack – Old Univega mountain bike with mudguards – I’ve not replaced anything on it for 5 years so it’s tired and its in dire need of a service and parts replaced but it just keeps going.

  2. LCrystalSea 10/09/2010 at 12:23 pm #

    I have a decathalon twin 5, she handles really well but is heavier than I thought when I first got her; especially carrying over the rails at my home station 🙁 Having said that the weight is good when its really windy over Southwark bridge!!!

  3. Tim H 10/09/2010 at 12:31 pm #

    I got a brand spanking new Cannondale Bad Boy in March – got hit by a motorbike after just 8 weeks and had all the back end rebuilt. Rides like a dream now, 14 mile round trip. Although Im not to happy with the kojak tyres and want to swap to something with a little more grip now the sumemr has gone.

    • dave the rave 10/09/2010 at 1:04 pm #

      Are you proposing replacing slick tyres with knobblies or ones with tread to get more grip? This doesn’t make sense. For something as light and narrow as a bike, slicks will give you more grip on the road than any kind of tread pattern.

      • Tim H 10/09/2010 at 2:30 pm #

        Is that true? Everyone who sees my tyres says they’ll be no good in the wet!

        • peter 10/09/2010 at 3:41 pm #

          That’s true. Bikes don’t aquaplane so you don’t need tread unless you’re on mud. See http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html

          Bicycle tires for on-road use have no need of any sort of tread features; in fact, the best road tires are perfectly smooth, with no tread at all!

          Unfortunately, most people assume that a smooth tire will be slippery, so this type of tire is difficult to sell to unsophisticated cyclists. Most tire makers cater to this by putting a very fine pattern on their tires, mainly for cosmetic and marketing reasons. If you examine a section of asphalt or concrete, you’ll see that the texture of the road itself is much “knobbier” than the tread features of a good quality road tire. Since the tire is flexible, even a slick tire deforms as it comes into contact with the pavement, acquiring the shape of the pavement texture, only while in contact with the road.

          People ask, “But don’t slick tires get slippery on wet roads, or worse yet, wet metal features such as expansion joints, paint stripes, or railroad tracks?” The answer is, yes, they do. So do tires with tread. All tires are slippery in these conditions. Tread features make no improvement in this.

  4. Stephen 10/09/2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Bianchi Via Nirone, with flat/spd pedals – flats for commuting spds for weekend riding as it’s my only bike

  5. Andrew 10/09/2010 at 12:49 pm #

    ATM I have a b’twin sport 1 road bike, which is a good bicycle and really cheap. However if I was buying a bike right now, I’d have bought a city bike with basket, hub gears and an upright riding position. I’ll be soon upgrading to bakfiets cargobike long.

  6. Chris 10/09/2010 at 12:55 pm #

    I have a Ridgeback Storm I bought as new from an Aussie off Gum Tree two and a half years ago. It is great for my daily commute (60% on canal path) I have a slick continental on the front and a trusty Marathon on the back. Had to replace chainset, chain rings and chain this year as completeley worn down after regular 4 days p.w. 23 mile round commute

  7. Ian 10/09/2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Wilier La Triestine 08 Road Bike with SPDs. Brought under C2W in 2008 from Cycle Surgery. Very happy wit it – not serviced once yet!
    If I’m running really late (like today) I’ll get out the Burls titanium with Look Keos… burning rubber

  8. eric 10/09/2010 at 1:17 pm #

    Brompton… what else? 🙂

  9. Adam 10/09/2010 at 1:20 pm #

    A re-conditioned steel frame dream machine, built and sprayed to my spec with care and expertise by specialbike on the South Coast. Didn’t cost much (given the going rate) and spared me all the fiddly bloatware nonsense that an off-the-peg bike assumes you want.

  10. Tim 10/09/2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Condor Fratello – best bike I’ve ever owned! Bought new from Condor in Feb and the envy of all. Use for weekend rides, sportive and commuting. Hope to do JOGLE next year on it…

  11. zoe 10/09/2010 at 1:24 pm #

    i ride a pro-bike escape fitted with road tyres and mudguards. only recently got into cycling and thoroughly enjoy my 5 mile commute. enjoyed the skyride in central london too. no more wasted gym membership for me……!

  12. Alison 10/09/2010 at 1:26 pm #

    I use a Trek Madone 5.2 in the Summer with slicks and an older Specialized Dolce with sturdier kevlar tyres for the winter. I seem to get more punctures in the winter or maybe it’s just that a puncture feels far more inconvenient when it is cold and wet.

  13. Maria 10/09/2010 at 1:35 pm #

    I have a Brompton, I cycle one way into work, 10 miles, then take it on the tube home. I was finding carrying it hard work as I have arthritis in my spine and suffer from tendinitis in both shoulders, I noticed the tendinitis was getting aggravated in my right shoulder and I was having arthritic pain in my right hand. I went on the Brompton owners bike forum and asked about any clever ideas for carry my bike without hurting my shoulder and got tons of really useful advice, everything from asking TFL to allow me to push it, under the disability discrimination act, to using an Ikea bag to carry it on my shoulder. I utilised the latter and it works a treat, I can use my whole body to shoulder the load instead of it hanging off one joint. I also don’t fold it to carry it up the 5 flights of steps to my flat, someone suggested this and said using the handle bars to hook it over a shoulder would help even out the weight, this also works a treat.

  14. Cait 10/09/2010 at 1:47 pm #

    Mine was built but the guys in Devers in Norbury a good few years ago now. A Peugeot frame with “Kronenbourg 1664” written on it! Certainly makes it unique.

    It’s a hibrid and I put a load of really old looking furniture on it from my old steel framer so it’s got ratty looking old mudguards & panier rack on. It seems heavy now after all this time but I think that has more to do with ‘decent road bike’ envy than actual weight.

    I’ve just had the full set of bottom bracket, cassette and gears replaced after cycling 18 miles a day to work for the last three years. They had the cheek to say “wouldn’t it be cheaper just to buy a new bike?”. Nooo! You miss the point entirely!

    She does me well, the old beer drinking Frenchie. I’ll stick with her while the frame’s still rideable!

  15. Fabian 10/09/2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Pashley Guv’nor or my old Brompton depending on what I am doing in the evening. The Guv’nor is pretty much perfect for any weather and any length of ride too, and a real dream to coast along on too…

  16. Patrick 10/09/2010 at 2:31 pm #

    I have a 2007 Saracen Aravis road bike that I bought from discount bicycles in Brixton in early 2008, not only is she my daily commuter, she is my weekend training bike too, I’ve done sportives and the London to Paris on her, I’d love to say that this has been achieved using entirely original components, but in the time that I have owned her only the frame, handlebars and seat stem are original, she’s had two rear wheels, three front wheels (one which lasted ten miles). She’s been serviced in three different shops and two of these shops have let me down big time, I know I should look after her more and I do clean her each time she’s caught in the rain. She’s not the prettiest of bikes; she has a triple chainset and the welds on her frame aren’t the tidiest, but she has beaten bikes that cost five times as much as her in sportives we’ve even passed a TT rider doing an event one day this summer. I love her, even though I’ve cycled all my life on mountain bikes and hybrids, this bike is the one that has introduced me to cycling.

  17. Mike 10/09/2010 at 2:42 pm #

    2009 Kona Jake with road tyres (except when it snows) and a Brooks Swift saddle. Use it for commuting and recreational riding. It’s an impressively versatile bike.

    Pashley Roadster for leisurely commutes on a Friday and popping down the shops.

  18. Katie 10/09/2010 at 2:56 pm #

    I do a fair chunk of my commute by train so I use my Raleigh Boardwalk Lite for getting to/from my internship. Around home near Greenwich (doctors, shops, etc) I use my Decathlon B-Twin 5 hybrid, though.

  19. sooz 10/09/2010 at 3:40 pm #

    I ride a Raleigh Traveller – perfect for my not-too-long London jaunts between work and home. I love a bike with character.

  20. peter 10/09/2010 at 3:43 pm #

    Big old pashely. You can see over taxis, you’re very visible, don’t need trouser clips, the chain is always perfectly clean and lubed, the breaks are never wet or greasy, and it just bounces over the moon-surface they call roads in this town.

    • peter 10/09/2010 at 3:46 pm #

      I just wish I could spell “Pashley” and “brake” today!

  21. slartibartfast 10/09/2010 at 4:11 pm #

    The trusty steed:


    an aluminium-framed Giant cross bike, now after 10 years on its umpteenth chainset replacement, and with a bust (minimal) suspension fork replaced with a steel fixed fork. At one point I noticed you could simply pull off the entire fork + wheel by lifting up the handlebars and holding the front wheel with your feet – thought I better get that seen to. Replaced with 700c x 32 rear tyre inflated to max pressure (95 psi) for speed, front tyre is original 700c x 42 @ 80 psi (to cushion shitty British roads). Headset now uncontrollably loosens itself, spend a few moments each ride when I’m bored tightening by hand. Suspension seatpost has play and rattles when not sat on. Nonethelss still reliably speeds me all over town.

    Planning on getting a touring-capable bike with Shimano’s new 11-speed Alfine hub gear, disc brakes and for goodness sake a chainguard – no more oily clothes. Frame geometry / material undecided (aluminium’s nice and light, steel = bad memories of rust and weight but that may have been simply a cheap bike).

  22. Tim H 10/09/2010 at 4:18 pm #

    Wow – Ive learnt somethign today, if nothing more that i am a “unsophisticated cyclists” – cheers Peter and daev the rave.

  23. thereverent 10/09/2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Giant Boulder mountain bike fitting with slicks, and crud guard/crud catcher and bar ends in clashing colours.
    Bought almost 10 years ago and had a few bits replaced, but it has seen me through a few thousand miles. I have a BEONE road bike for weekend rides.
    I would still keep the Giant even if I got a better commute bike, as I don;t mind leaving this one locked outside the supermarket to go shopping.

  24. Paul 10/09/2010 at 4:21 pm #

    I ride an old Ridgeback mountain bike I bought for £24 from a charity shop. I got rid of a few small spots of surface rust, degunked the running gear and put on a new chain and tyres. It rides better than many brand new bikes i’ve owned in the past.

    I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a newer bike but really can’t decide which type to get, hybrid, road or more traditional. Everytime I reach the conclusion that if it (the Ridgeback) ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  25. wee folding bike 10/09/2010 at 5:06 pm #

    Brompton… obviously. An M6R (SWB), S6L (BWR) or S2L-X depending on what I’m doing or the weather.

    I recently got a Pashley Roadster 26 Sovereign for using in the winter because I can wear out a Brompton chain in a few weeks in bad weather. I’m OK with most of it but I think they could have used a generator light on the back and the Brooks B72 isn’t as good as a my various B17s and Colts however I think that might be because I’m leaning forward too much. I’m trying to be more upright.

  26. John 10/09/2010 at 5:39 pm #

    Its a GT Transeo Ulra City cross for me, aluminium frame 27 speed with front suspension and disc brakes.
    I wanted it to be a commute bike so had it fitted out with Marathon plus tyres, mudguards and a rack.
    Superb bike, like a sports car to anything else I have owned and although dics brakes do have their little niggles no and again it was only when a work colleague pointed out to me how smooth hydraulic brakes are that I remembered myself how good they are and dont they keep your bike so much cleaner!

  27. rosamundi 10/09/2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Hello, I’m new here – been lurking for a bit, though.

    I’ve just bought a Pashley Princess Sovereign (who rejoices in the name of Zephirine) for cycling to work on – eight miles each way, not quite up to doing it every day yet, but am getting there.

  28. Mark M 10/09/2010 at 6:38 pm #

    A Marin Inverness single speed. Love it. 20 mile round trip.

    Have a Ridgeback Tempest as well, but its like cycling through soup in comparison now. Even Did the Dunwich Dynamo on the Marin.

    Downside – I’ve ruined my left 165mm crank arm (Tip: if you ever feel your crank arm is loose DO NOT ride – even to the bike shop. It ruins the arm and you’ll need a new one!) and finding one has been a nightmare.

  29. Mark H. 10/09/2010 at 7:14 pm #

    20 year old Marin Pine Mountain. Bought with my first pay from my first job for £569.

    Wonderful bike.

  30. John90 10/09/2010 at 7:37 pm #

    Marin Point Reyes. Love that bike. Or my Brompton if I have to do the school run first.

  31. Jules 10/09/2010 at 8:06 pm #

    Much loved Bianchi Milano. A really nice bike, not too pricey at around £300 and sturdy enough for my slightly mental cycling 😉 With the added bonus of being a Bianchi, so their customer support is great by email when i’ve had to ask a stupid question…

  32. Big Mike 10/09/2010 at 8:53 pm #

    “Dr. Lechter” is my 2009 Kona Hoss with Schwalbe Marathon tires. I bought it because I needed a really strong frame, hydraulic disc brakes, overbuilt components and gearing that would drag me over ski jump steep hills, not for speed.

    Too bad more manufacturers don’t make bikes for bigger riders…

  33. Simon 10/09/2010 at 9:24 pm #

    Second-hand Ribble Audax – Ultegra gearset, mudguards, rack and SPD/flat pedals. Only bike due to lack of space. Picked it up cheap and after a bit of work now great for whatever I want to do – whether a 5 mile blast to work, a ride round the park with the kids or something more interesting and longer.

  34. David Mac 10/09/2010 at 9:42 pm #

    Up to six weeks ago, a Specialized Crossroads Elite – trusty steed for 6 years until I found cracks in the head post. Sent her back to Specialized under the lifetime warrantee and she came back as a Sirrus Limited carbon frame – albeit with all the old bits attached. Liking carbon, can barely feel the potholes

  35. Diana 10/09/2010 at 9:52 pm #

    I ride a Ridgeback Speed – she’s 3 years old now and I love her! Not the speediest bike on the road, but she’s pretty steady, and I do a ten mile round trip a day.

  36. nununoolio 10/09/2010 at 11:01 pm #

    A 10 year old Kona Nunu mtb with big nobblies. Not had a puncture yet while commuting. Straight over potholes, kerbs etc….. and I can go off road and cut through parks, woods, estates without having to worry about slipping or buckled wheels. Much more fun than sticking to the road!
    Speed isn’t everything

  37. robbie craig 10/09/2010 at 11:22 pm #

    I ride a Dahon Speed TR. Has some quirks of its own but surprisingly robust and can cope with the rural bit and the urban bit

  38. Rose 11/09/2010 at 12:12 am #

    Marin Larkspur 2010 acquired via Cyclescheme at work. Absolutely love it.

  39. Andrew Priest 11/09/2010 at 4:16 am #


    My daily commute is a 2007 Giant CRX 1 flatbar, my first bike which is now fitted with aero bars. The longest leg of my regular commute is 45 km and during summer that is typically into 40 km/h winds coming directly off the ocean, i.e., no protection. I ride down the coast … good training apparently 🙂


  40. Doug 11/09/2010 at 10:12 am #

    My commute ride is a Fuji Feather. I ride it fixed on 46×17 with front and rear brakes and have recently replaced the drops (as I never use them) with bullhorns. Heading into autumn, I’ve put on Specialized Armadillo 23/25c tyres, which are nearly bullet proof but unfortunately don’t seem to leave room for me to fit my clip-on mudguards under the brakes. My commute is Richmond to Waterloo – very flat.

  41. Colette 11/09/2010 at 10:28 am #

    A Specialized Allez Sport – I love it so much. Great balance, really nippy and fast. Great for a 22 mile round daily commute. I’ve had 3 bikes over the years for commuting and this road bike is my fave!

    For the days I can’t cycle (eg. when I have to carry things / need to go somewhere after work / going drinking etc) I have solved this problem by ordering a customised 6 speed Brompton.

    People think I’m obsessed. I am!

  42. Samuel 11/09/2010 at 11:58 am #

    Decathlon Riverside Hybrid bike.Not fancy but does the job I can’t really complain and I have done some long ride with it (>100 miles)

  43. Mithun 11/09/2010 at 4:40 pm #

    Trek 1.5 Triple.
    Glides on the roads, have a 100-200 metre strech on Grand Union Canal path for which I usually hop off and jump back on when Im back on the road. Otherwise no complaints, bike is light fast and rigid!

  44. ivor 11/09/2010 at 9:20 pm #

    A rather heavy, creaky Montague Paratrooper mtb. Slowly pimping it out to make my 24 mile round trip commute more bearable. Best purchases yet have been the Joe Blow track pump recommended here and Continental Travel Contact tires. Basically shaves off around 7-10 minutes on each journey! Get rid of your knobbly tires folks!

  45. Stephen 11/09/2010 at 10:47 pm #

    A Brompton M6R+

    Decided to go for the 6+ after my M3R was stolen 🙁 Glad I did because I did the BHF London to Hastings on it over the bank holiday and god it would have been damn near impossible with only 3 gears

    • Andrew Priest 12/09/2010 at 1:37 am #

      I didn’t realise the UK had hills 🙂

      • Stephen 12/09/2010 at 6:28 pm #

        I suppose not compared to Australia 😉 But I think a lot of people were surprised about how hilly it was, especially in comparison to the BHF’s big cycling event (London to Brighton)

  46. James 12/09/2010 at 2:49 pm #

    Specialized Cirrus Comp 2007 – would like something faster but have to carry 2 panniers filled with gym kit and office clothes every day. Anyway my lock seems to weigh more than the bike!

  47. Argon Welder 12/09/2010 at 6:56 pm #

    1990ish Dawes Super Galaxy – paid a £10 for it and an expensive bottle of wine (when my conscience kicked in)
    It’s a giant 25″ frame, so it keeps small robbers at bay and who would be seen on such an old fart’s bike?
    I do lock it, but the previous few lines do the ‘added value’ bit of bike security.

  48. Tilde hiller 12/09/2010 at 9:07 pm #

    A Brick Lane Bikes custom build, single speed freewheel. Love it.

  49. Rich 13/09/2010 at 1:51 pm #

    I ride my yellow and black Brompton and have done for just about every day now for 4 years. I’m never going back to the underground – I love riding through London

  50. Phil 14/09/2010 at 10:48 am #

    At the moment my Mundo is my only roadworthy bike, until I have finished saving up for a Sturmey-Archer 8 speed IGH wheel for my ongoing Marin MTB-to-upright commuter conversion. £130 to go for the wheel and a new chainset, and I should be able to chop 10-15 minutes off my commute time simply through hauling 35lbs lower weight of bike up 1 1/2 miles of hill every morning *grin*

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