A trick any bike can do

Simple Stuff to Make a Road-Worthy Commuter

Did you know? You’re sitting on a practically perfect commuter bike! Well, metaphorically speaking. But, the truth is, ANY bike can be a great commuter bike. Whether it’s an old mountain bike, road bike, or beach cruiser, it’s practically perfect! We asked our friends over at Bicycle Sport about some simple tricks to get that old bike a new job!

Porteur in Use

Sometimes people see my front rack or basket, and seem to think I’ve got some kind of crazy cargo bike… but I think of this as more of a bare minimum for utility biking around town. A week’s worth of groceries for two? No problem!

Tires: The bigger the rubber, the better. Tires go a long way – no pun intended – in creating a smooth, comfortable ride. And the bigger and wider the tire you can fit on your bike, the more impact they’ll absorb along even the roughest roads. And yes, wider tires are safer in the turns and less-than-ideal weather.

Fenders: Want to get where you’re going and not take some of the road grit along with you on your cuffs and rear end? Want to keep your bike’s drivetrain cleaner longer? Then fenders are for you! Some bikes have little eyelets for easy installation of fenders, but creative use of clips and zip-ties can mount fenders securely to nearly any bike.

Touch Points: No matter how long your commute, you’ll spend some quality time connected to your handlebars and saddle. New grips or bar tape and a comfortable saddle go a long way toward making even the shortest trips more enjoyable. Plus, you can add a little “personality” to your ride with some cool, colored grips or bar tape!

Lights: Be safe, be seen, as the old saying goes. And here’s a news flash: In December, a state law takes effect requiring bikes to have at least a red, rear taillight. And lights aren’t just for night riders. Studies show the single best way for a cyclist to increase the likelihood of being seen by a driver is to use a flashing light that’s visible during the day.

Racks: There’s no better way to take a load off than to shift it to a rack on the back of your bike! Even a simple rack and a bungee cord and strap can increase your capacity to carry stuff on your bike. Add bags or panniers and you’re now ready shop and take advantage of some front-row parking at your favorite store!

But hey, your “new” favorite bike doesn’t have to be just for errands and such. Show it off in uptown Charlotte and historic South End on October 15 for Sustain Charlotte’s Biketoberfest!


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