Youngsters and sports enthusiasts have championed biking for decades, and now regular work commuters are increasingly ditching four wheels for two.
They are also saving money in the process.
“There are more commuter bikes than ever before and the range of offerings has increased by 50%,” says Tim Blumenthal, executive director of the Bikes Belong Coalition in Boulder, Colo., a cycling advocacy group. “These bikes are reliable, solid and have style.”
According to figures from the National Association of Bicycle Dealers, commuter bicycles have become so popular with cash-strapped consumers that they have outsold new cars and trucks for two consecutive years. For eco-conscious consumers eagerly looking for the best bike for the buck, here are a few options:
The Breezer Villager
At 32 pounds, this featherweight was named Bicycling magazine’s Best Commuter Bike of 2008. The Villager’s U-frame allows commuters to slip easily into position for that long ride to the office, and it even comes with pedal-powered lights.
Retail price: $899
The Dahon Vitesse D7
Who says you cant’ take it with you? This fold-up model may seem strange at first, but if you’re biking to your train, you’ll be happy that you left your bike lock at home.
Retail price: $660
Jorg & Olif OMA
As distinctive as its name, this city bike is reminiscent of a luxury car. Its large wheels absorb the shocks of urban biking, the upswept handlebars enable riders to cruise with their heads high, and the authentic Dutch bell will make pedestrians take notice.
Retail price: $645
The TREK Soho S
Everything looks better in black, including your next commuter bike. The Soho S looks like it’s built for an “urban warrior,” but this lightweight, single-speed, two-wheeled stealth-bomber of a bike, works just as well for those who like to travel in style.
Retail price: $599.99
The TREK Lime
Don’t let the name fool you: You can get this three-speed model from Trek in any color you like. The gears shift automatically, allowing the rider to cruise comfortably from the home to the office and back (with minimum perspiration). Moreover, the seat doubles as a trunk.
Retail price: $589.99
The Giant Transend DX
At just over 30 pounds, the Giant Transend DX’s aluminum body floats “like a butterfly,” but the 24-speed drive-train gives you enough kick to fly through traffic.
Retail price: $540
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