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Marin's 5 Top Tips for Commuting To Work By Bike

Thinking of riding your bike to work? We've crowdsourced our top tips for cycling to work, to school, to college or just about anywhere you might need to go every day.

Ready to Bike To Work?

Great for the environment, great for your health, and great for your wallet, commuting by bike can be one of the most positive changes you can make to your life.

As huge fans of the daily bike ride to work, we’ve created a list of our top tips for commuting by bike to help you on your journey to freewheeling through the working week.

Man riding in city on drop bar bike

Priority #: Let's Cycle To Work Safely

First, let's make sure you're going to ride to work safely. You shouldn't let cycle safety scare you off the roads, but there are a few things to keep in mind for your daily commute by bike.

Start small and set your plans for commuting by bike based on your experience and confidence. We’d recommend planning your ride to work route using a website like Komoot or Google Maps and learning what to expect before you ride.

For less experienced riders, it’s great to stick to traffic-free bike paths and quiet streets where you can set your own pace away from traffic. This might add time to your commute by bike but will make the experience far more enjoyable. If it's your first time riding your bike to work, it’s always worth a dry run of your new route before you need to use it to get to your 9AM meeting.

Proper clothing and equipment are also a big help. A well-maintained bike is a must. A decent set of bike lights are worth their weight in gold. A brightly colored, reflective jacket will keep you comfy and visible. Wearing a helmet is always a good idea and there are plenty of stylish, and affordable options available.

Last but not least, plenty of cycle training is available for kids and adults alike. Don’t be afraid to sign up and boost your skills and confidence. You'll be cycling to work safely in no time.

Stay Fresh On Your Commute By Bike

It’s easy to be put off commuting by bike by the prospect of arriving hot and sweaty, but don’t let that deter you.

While you rarely need specialized clothing for a bicycle commute, lightweight and technical fabrics can help keep you cool when you’re working hard. Many lightweight jackets come with vents to keep the air flowing and a decent pair of shorts, a wicking base layer, and a well-vented helmet will all help. Frame-mounted bags, such as pannier bags, mean you don't need to wear a backpack and you won't get a sweaty back on your ride to work.

Many employers provide shower and changing facilities and if you’re one of the lucky ones, it’s as simple as adding a bit of time to your journey and packing some products to freshen up when you arrive.

Commuting by bike to work with no shower? Don't let that put you off. Nearby gyms, swimming pools or sports facilities often have shower facilities that you can access.

You might also find that pedalling an easier route or riding less strenuously helps you ride to work without getting sweaty. And, of course, wet wipes, dry shampoo, deodorant and a change of clothes will all help with hygiene on your ride to work.

And, of course, for the ultimate upgrade you could try an eBike to ride to work - we'd recommend the Marin Sausalito family as a great eBike for commuting.

Man riding bike in urban environment with yellow wall
2021 Marin Larkspur drivetrain

Bike Maintenance 101 For Bicycle Commuters

Bike maintenance is every bit as important for riding to work as it is for those just-for-fun, weekend shreds.

If you’re just starting out with cycling to work, get your local bike shop to give your commute bike a thorough check. Perform your own check once a week and keep an eye on your brakes, gears, and tires.

Before you ride each day, perform a quick ‘Bicycle M Check’ on your bike - start at the back wheel, up to the saddle, down to the gears, up to the handlebars, and down to your front wheel. See why it's called an 'M Check'?

Learn how to fix a puncture, how to put your chain back on when it falls off, how to adjust your gears and replace worn brake pads and you’ll rarely be left stranded.

Wondering what tools or essentials to carry for your ride to work? We’d recommend that you pack a bicycle multitool, a bike pump, tire levers, an inner tube, and a chain repair tool on every ride... just in case. If you ride tubeless, don't forget a tubeless repair kit. Your local bike shop can help with all of these.

How To Carry Your Essentials On Your Ride To Work

Whatever your job, you're going to need to carry your gear to and from your place of work or study.

Start by thinking about what you actually need. Can your laptop stay in the office? Can you commute in cycling kit and leave your work clothes at work? Less is more on your daily commute by bike.

For many, dedicated bicycle pannier bags are perfect and offer loads of storage and the ability to carry bulkier items. The simple bike basket is also a great option and is as suited to riding to work as it is to grabbing groceries on the way home.

If your route is a bit more off-road, you might need to consider bike-packing style frame bags or a traditional backpack.

Whatever you do, we'd suggest just starting with whatever gear you currently own and getting used to your new route before spending a fortune on new kit.

Remember, riding to work needn't be expensive and needn't require a huge initial outlay.

Man standing by Marin Bike by Golden Gate Bridge
Man riding bike in city from above

Last but not least, what's the best commuter bike?

Last but not least, yep it’s the commuter bike. A safe and comfortable bike for your ride to work will give you the best possible chance of turning your new commute into a lifelong habit.

The best commuter bike for you will depend on what you need it to do.

Is your commute a short spin through quiet streets or a long ride, head-down on busy roads? Are there plenty of chunky ups and downs between home and the office? Can you travel fast and light or do you need to carry a bit more equipment?

Here are three of our favorite bikes from the Marin commuter bike range that are perfect to bike to work:

Get a Boost with the Sausalito

Looking for a helping hand on your commute? The Marin Sausalito family of electric bikes will get you from A to B in style, flattening climbs and keeping your clothes clean and your body energized for the day.

Built with Shimano’s Steps ebike system, the Sausalito will give you a helping hand with a quick and efficient motor and wide, sturdy tires that work on all but the toughest of terrains.

You should get about 40 miles of electric-assisted riding from a single charge and, when you arrive at work, you can either lock your ebike battery on your frame to keep it safe or easily remove it and charge it up indoors.

Ride in Style With the Larkspur

The Marin Larkspur family is our take on the classic commuter and round-towner bringing together retro cruiser style with up-to-date components. The perfect pub bike and grocery-grabber, it’s as suited to the ride to work as it is a spin into the city to meet a friend.

Disc brakes and wide tires keep it fun and comfy on all terrains while room for fenders, luggage, lights, and baskets keep it on task for the working week.

And, of course, it looks great right?!

Further and Faster with the Lombard

For anyone looking to go a little further and faster, there’s the Marin Lombard. Built as a bad-ass, drop-bar urban bike it’s tough, light, and fast and ideal for those riders that need to munch a few more miles. You'll buy the Lombard for Monday to Friday... but it'll rarely stay in the shed on the weekends once you see how much fun it can be.

Built to be fun and safe, the Marin Lombard has a reflective frame to keep you visible in traffic and powerful disc brakes and high-volume tires for bags of confidence.

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