322 S Union St.
Traverse City, MI 49684
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August 21, 2017, 12:00 am

Autumn is the perfect time to get in the bike commute habit. As the temperatures fall, it's usually more pleasant to ride to work, to grab groceries, or run errands. With a nice set of front and rear lights and some fenders, you can keep your riding rolling even as the days get shorter and the leaves start to fall. 

Traverse City is the perfect place to get around on two wheels. Using the TART, neighborhood treats, and the growing number of bike lanes makes it quick and safe to ride. Bikes are often just as fast as cars in navigating busy traffic on weekends or rush hour, plus, parking is convenient and free! 

Getting the right commuter for your style is half the battle. Everyone is different, and taking a few things into consideration can help get you on the right bike for how you get around town. 

1. Going up? Singlespeeds are GREAT for commuters for a number of reasons. First, they're almost no maintenance. Rain, snow, hail, or even getting bumped in the bike rack aren't problems. There are no derailleurs to adjust or cogs to keeps clean, and singlespeed chains are often very inexpensive. The drawback, of course, is you will have a harder time getting up any hills. If you're just riding around TC, singlespeeds are a good idea; if you want the bike to take you a bit further, having 8,9,10 or even 11 speed rear derailleurs are very, very useful. 

2. Flat bars or Drop Bars. Drop bars, or the rounded bars you see in the Tour de France, offer a more aerodynamic position and more places to rest your hands for big days in the saddle. If you're only bopping across town, a flat bar, like on a mountain bike, might be more comfortable and more upright for your commute. 

3. How Wide Will You Go? The wider your tire, the more traction, and stability. It also means a bit more rolling resistance, which can feel like a lot more work over long, paved rides. That improved stability is very useful for curbs and rough roads. Everyone is different, so think about how rough your commute is, or if you think you'll be using this bike to ride in the winter. 

4. The Full Set-Up. You can make your commuter as simple as you want, or include as much cool stuff as you need. Lights are basically required to make sure cars and other road users can see you. As the days get shorter and the weather offers us more and more cloudy days, lights make a massive difference in how visible riders are on the roadways. However, there are a number of fenders, racks, bags, and other accessories that make your bike more utilitarian. Racks and panniers make it easy to get groceries or pick things up along your travels, while fenders make those soggy days more enjoyable. You'll see what you want and need after a few weeks of consistent riding. 

Ready to give it a shot? Stop by and let us get you set-up! 


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