Commuter Bikes at Treehugger.com

The folks behind the green blog treehugger.com are usually on about norwegian prefab housing and expensive bamboo furniture, but every now and then, they remember the lowly bicycle, and the potential it has to change the way we interact with our environment, on levels personal, national, and global. Today, they posted a tidbit about comfortable commuter bikes, and the trend that is driving all major bicycle manufacturers to release commuter models. Though I do take some quarrel with the idea of a bicycle that is designed only for getting to and from your job (I just went to the movies, for example, on the same bike I use for my commute), I understand that transportation to and from work represents the majority of travel for most people, so I’ll let it slide.

In any case, the article links to a listing with photographs of commuter bikes and gear produced and available in the US, which contains many models of which I was not aware.

More utility bikes there than you can shake a stick at!


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0 thoughts on “Commuter Bikes at Treehugger.com”

  1. mark-E-mark says:

    I can see there being a separate “commuter” category in that I’d want fenders, rack, and safety lights at a minimum. …but if that’s what one typically has on their regular bike, then it’s a different story. It seems to me that the marketing folks have gotten a hold of this animal without consulting with real commuters. Many of the bikes in this category are either missing essential components or are still on the impractical side (and what’s with the electric bike?)

  2. Nick says:

    Impractical and missing essential componenents? What exactly do you look for in a bike? And what do you consider an “essential” component, ’cause I commute every day without most of the components on these bikes, i.e., the fenders, rack, rear brake, derailleurs, shifters, gears, freewheel, mirrors, chainguards, baskets, dynamo hubs and built-in lights, and I get to work just fine.

    The commuter category was introduced for consumers looking for a practical transportation option rather than a recreational vehicle. These bikes may not be for everyone, but I do think they fill a gap here in the US. Bikes like this are the standard in many European countries, where people use bikes as transportation rather than toys, and I’m very happy that this trend is reaching the states.

  3. Jay says:

    Seems like most everyone at CBB is now riding fixed gear. Maybe you should change your name to Commutebyfixedgearbike.com. Seems like riding fixed gear is the other side of the spectrum of people getting all the latest high tech and expensive gear they don’t need. As evidence by Nick’s post it seems fixie riders get a charge out of looking down on those of us who ebrace technology that makes biking even more enjoyable. Seriously Nick, if you don’t need gears, brakes, fenders, lights…etc. why don’t you just do away with the front wheel and commute with a unicycle? I mean really, who needs the extra weight of having two wheels? I can commute via a unicycle in NYC traffic just fine. Heck let’s go a step further…I don’t even need a bike! I’ll just walk to work. I don’t need the unnecessary weight of a bicycle, I can walk to work just fine!

    I’ll keep my fenders, gears, panniers, chainguard…etc and let Nick continue riding his Amish bicycle.

  4. Nick says:

    Walk to work! Commute by foot! Brilliant!

    In seriousness, I don’t want to come off as an elitist. When my stepfather asked for a recommendation for a new bike, I encouraged him to get a Breezer Villager, which appears in the aforementioned list. It’s the right bike for him, and that kind of bike is right for a lot of people. My objection was to Mark-E-Mark‘s assertion that this style of bike was somehow not suitable for commuting (?!).

    I do want to discourage the idea that you need to buy a special commuter-style bike in order to ride your bike to work. Even a unicycle will get you around, if you know how to ride it. If the bike you already have is in working order, ride that. If you decide the bike doesn’t suit your needs, buy one that does, but you don’t need a special bike to get to work. I offer my simple example only to show that even the most basic machine will do the trick.

  5. Hey Jay, are those Amish bikes horse driven?

    I think Nick has a good point here. It doesn’t matter what type of bike or the amount of accessories you add. If you choose a fixed gear, a mountain bike, a road bike, or a commuter bike. As long as you’re happy with it and it suits your needs, ride on! I rode a Wally World special the first year I started commuting by bike and it got me from point “A” to point “B” with no problems.

  6. JiMCi says:

    My commute is longer than what most people are willing to ride to get to work. That’s why I dress like a roadie, use a road bike with all the gears and shifters and carry my gear in a backpack. Besides, I have the use of a shower at work and I never felt a need for fenders, chain guards, etc.

    However, if my commute was short and I didn’t have the shower, I would most likely dress in my work clothes and ride a bike that would help me keep them clean.

    Finally, I could use the commuter trains. A folding bike would suit me just fine. Especially one of these: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/02/cannondale_jack.php !

    I believe in all kinds of bikes for all kinds of cyclists.

  7. Moe says:

    Even though I owned a road bike and a mountain bike, I did search for a ‘commuter’ specific bicycle. My biggest requirement was price. I wanted something cheap but reliable. I ended up with a Kona Smoke, to this point, one of the best bikes I ever owned. My commute is mostly flat, a singlespeed, a fixed gear, or a 20″ foldable bike is also suitable for my commute, and I think that’s the key. Ride whatever suits your needs, lifestyle and budget.

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