The sweltering heat of summer has come and gone, and now we face the briskness of fall, a.k.a., perfect biking weather. For short distances, biking is the ideal mode of transportation right now: Not only is it great for your physical fitness and gentle on the planet, it allows you to avoid public transportation, which you might feel uncomfortable taking during a (sigh) lingering pandemic. Whether you want to ride to work or the grocery store, or to hang with your quarantine pod, here are our team’s picks for the best bikes for fall commuting.
The timeless classic
This bike is your quintessential luxury transportation if you've taken a break from mass transit. It comes in vibrant colors (hello Mango!) and rests upon a the most trustworthy name is bikes. Everything about the Wayfarer feels approachable, from its sunny retro aesthetic to its stability and smooth, quick braking and gear-changing. We recommend this one for chill urban riding (including those last-minute grocery runs, when you can make use of its handy-dandy rear rack).
The Benz of e-bikes
Perfect for the perennially late who need to get somewhere, stat, but don’t want to arrive a sweaty mess. You can use as little or as much of the electric component as you want on this lightweight e-bike, whose pedal assist and thumb throttle allow you to cruise as fast as 20 mph. A single charge powers up to 50 miles, and a handlebar display tells you how many you have left. The rear rack can hold up to 36 pounds of your stuff, too, so the Charge is as functional as it is flashy.
The sturdy, chic space-saver
If your space is limited and you’d rather not awkwardly affix a big, clunky bike to one of your walls, look no further than Tern’s Link C8, a roughly 28-pounder that folds into a compact size, so you can discreetly tuck it away. But small as it is, it doesn’t skimp on functionality: Its 20-inch wheels and 8-speed gearing allow for nimble stopping, starting, and maneuvering through city streets. And because the wheels are on the smaller side, it also awards you a great leg workout if you're riding even slightly uphill. Treat it kindly though: It’s customized, so the parts can be a little tricky to find at local bike shops.
The city and mountain bike
This mountain bike-road bike hybrid is ideal for non-urban dwellers, with a shape that allows you to sit comfortably over longer distances, and thick tires that can stand up to bumpy terrain. Use the racks to carry your stuff, and the fenders to keep you dry when it rains.
The foldable e-bike
If you’re not sold on the swaggy name, maybe the convenience factor will win you over. Not only does weigh only 37 pounds and fold for easy storage, it comes already assembled (a huge plus if you’re anything like me, and putting together even Ikea furniture is a struggle). A full charge — around four to five hours – will keep you pedaling for 15.5 miles.
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