Bikes aren’t like cars. Cars are expensive – even when they’re just sitting on your driveway – and they take up a lot of space, so most owners have only one or two. Bikes are more like shoes. Most of us have multiple pairs: smart ones for the office, casual ones for kicking back, trainers for sport, walking boots for hiking, etc. No one makes do with a single pair of brogues for everything if they can afford other footwear. It’s similar with bikes. Bikes are easy to store and affordable – especially if you use Cyclescheme to get another– so why wouldn’t you own several?
Do you need to revolutionise your commute?
One of the advantages an extra bike (or bikes) is that you’ve always got a spare if your primary commuter breaks down. No need for a same-day repair; just jump on the other bike. Alternatively, you can use your spare bike(s) for temporary spare parts. Broken pedal on worn brake pads on bike A? Whip them off bike B.
The main advantage, however, is that extra bikes expand your cycling horizons. Different bikes do different jobs well. Assuming you bought a hybrid first – it’s the default, non-specialised bike – here’s why you might want others.
Folding bike. Ideal for travelling by train, as it goes in a luggage rack instead of one of the limited number of bike spaces. It also suits car boots, taxis, ’planes, etc, and it solves parking problems at home or work as it can go indoors with you.
Electric bike. Provides extra energy so you can cycle further, up steeper hills, or with a heavier load than you could unaided. Perfect for those returning to cycling, it could also be a substitute for a (second?) car for any cyclist.
Roadster. Designed to be ridden short distances in normal clothes, a roadster takes all the preparation out of cycling so that it fits seamlessly into everyday life. You get on, you go. It’s durable and weatherproof too.
Road bike. For anyone who wants to cycle faster on road, for competition, fitness, or fun. A road bike suits long-distance commutes, not just races and summer sportives.
Cyclocross/gravel bike. A roadie with a bit of mountain bike in its DNA, the gravel bike is a more rugged machine that will go where a tarmac racer won’t. Takes bad roads and unsurfaced tracks in its stride.
Touring bike. Essentially a drop-bar hybrid, the tourer is designed to carry luggage comfortably over any distance. It’s great for holidays on two wheels, weekend excursions, or loaded commutes.
Mountain bike. The mountain bike makes off-road riding fun, particularly singletrack trails where other bikes would struggle. Wide knobbly tyres, suspension, and stable steering provide comfort and control.
And we haven’t got started on fixies, recumbents, fat bikes, tandems, cargo bikes, and more!
Taking the time to exercise and get outdoors can be a great antidote to any feelings of sluggishness you might encounter, whether mental or physical.
Here’s how regular cycling can play a key role in your mental wellbeing.
You don’t have to be able to repair your bike to enjoy worry-free commuting. Most roadside problems can either be pre-empted or soon solved.