Is commuting on a folding bike the way forward?
Currently, we are seeing an increase in the prices of nearly everything. One expense that has rapidly risen is the price of fuel. It hasn’t gone up slowly either. In the UK, we have seen a rise of 42%, which is absolutely ridiculous. Many of us are looking for a way to cut down on our spending and live more comfortably financially.
One of the most popular ways people are found to save cash is by commuting by bike. As the roads get busy and fuel gets way too expensive, many of us enjoy early morning bike rides to work and back, saving money and getting fitter. In this article, we’ll speak about the benefits and disadvantages of commuting and what the best kind of bike is to commute on.
What are the benefits of commuting with a bike?
Commuting is a lot of fun and has a huge amount of advantages. Once picking up a bike, many people completely change their lifestyle around it. So many people are switching over to pedal power and avoiding cars, and here’s why.
Using a bike is a huge amount cheaper than taking a car. You don’t just save on fuel, you save on many other things such as car insurance, vehicle maintenance, and even time if you live in a high-traffic area. The saving over a year for many people who switched to commuting by bike was over £3000 here in the UK, and this isn't giving up the car. It was just spending less on fuel and cutting down the maintenance bills.
When many people start commuting, they realise that it’s not just cash saving, but it's an incredible saving on time too. Traffic has gotten out of control, and with the rise in population growth in a wealthy country like the UK, there are just so many more cars on the road. London was ranked one of the world's top cities for bad traffic, and it isn’t getting better.
Another huge advantage of commuting with a bike is that you get some exercise. One of the biggest reasons people say they don’t go to the gym is their lack of time. Combining it with your commute is an excellent way to make the most out of a journey that you feel is a waste of time. The riding doesn’t have to be vigorous. Getting the muscles working and joints moving even lightly goes a long way to improving your health and fitness.
One thing many new cyclists have said when it comes to commuting is it makes their day much more comfortable. Sitting in a car and being stuck sitting down, without the ability to move much, tightens up the back, then when arriving at your destination, sitting at a desk all day isn't good for your back. People found when commuting to work, exercising beforehand hugely helped their comfort throughout the day.
Sitting in rush hour traffic isn’t ideal and can be very frustrating. Cycling, on the other hand, isn’t. It’s very enjoyable. People who commute enjoy their travels to work and back much more. Many cyclists say they feel much more motivated after cycling into work and are much better at leaving the stress at work as they wind down on the cycle home.
The cost of parking in the city is rocking with more and more cars on the roads. If you plan to start cycling into work, you will find parking is a lot easier. Most offices in the city have bike parking available, or if you use a folding bike like a Brompton, just take it straight into the office with you.
The disadvantages of commuting with a bike
Although the benefits are huge when it comes to commuting to work, it’s important to speak about the disadvantages. Spoiler, there are not many.
If you commute with a bike, you will find some days that the weather won't always be ideal. You have two options, you can either invest in clothing to make it more comfortable or you can take yourself to a train station or use public transport.
When it comes to commuting, you are limited if you need to carry a lot for work. People who work with tools and heavy equipment can find it very difficult to use a bike for transport. Even though you can buy a luggage rack for some bikes which attaches to the seat post.
They can be stolen
Bike theft does happen and it is an issue in many cities. Providing you have a good lock and have your bike insured you have nothing to worry about.
What's the best bike for commuting?
You can use many bikes for commuting, but not all can do the job as well as you might think. A typical bike such as a mountain bike or a carbon road bike does come with restrictions such as not being able to go on the train at certain times, and it can be awkward to ride in the middle of cities. In our opinion, the best kind of bike for commuting is foldable bicycle like Brompton Bike.
Nimble and Agile
Foldable bikes like a Brompton is ideal for riding around a city. It has a three-speed gearing system which makes shifting quickly around traffic lights easy work. Then you have the small wheels and low down weight which means weaving through small spaces and traffic is very easy to do. A Brompton bike makes city riding so easy and a lot of fun.
Small and Convenient
One of the best things about using a Brompton is its tiny size. It’s not only small and very convenient for bike parking, but when folded, it becomes absolutely tiny. Many commuters with a Brompton actually put their bike in a small cupboard when they get to work, and we have even seen some commuters keep them under their desk.
Brompton Bicycles are very sought after
Bromptons have a huge following worldwide, and there are clubs in every big city that meet up and go riding round local routes where they stop for coffee and chat about Bromptons. They have an amazing following, and when you talk about folding bikes, people's first question is, “Do you ride a Brompton folding bicycle?”
Very easy to ride and comfortable
Bromptons are very fun bikes to ride, and one of the best things about them is just how comfortable they are. They have an upright riding position, and the small 20" wheels with large tires make easy work of poorly maintained roads. They are surprisingly quick for what they are and handle excellently.
Reliable and cheap to fix
Bromptons are made to last and will give you excellent reliable service. What's even better is when you do come round to needing to change the chain or anything, the replacement parts are very cheap to buy from the local bike shop.
Should I rent or buy a bike?
Bromptons are not the cheapest bikes to buy outright, and although an excellent investment, sometimes it works out better to rent instead. Many people don’t realise that renting a Brompton is an option. It’s very easy to do and also incredible value for money.
We personally believe the best way to see how you get on with commuting is to start by renting a Brompton and seeing how you get on commuting by bike. You can rent short-term or long-term, and it’s only £45 a month which is much less than fuel to work for many. You can even get a discount for long-term rental too.
For more information, check out our Brompton rental details.