What’s the best Bicycle for commuting daily?

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jul 3, 2013
get elephant's newsletter

"Waylon lewis" redford "hanuman festival" yoga boulder bicycle dog

I’m the founder of elephant (8.3 million readers/month, Google Analytics, voted #1 nationally on twitter for #green coverage, twice). Host of Walk the Talk Show. And I’m an everyday cyclist (as you’ll know from my Instagram, @waylonlewis).


What should my next bicycle be?

After five years of daily abuse, winter and summer, rain and snow, my last bike, a Masi, is having constant problems. Spent a fair amount of money trying to revive it, and it’s still causing some trouble.

So, next bike?

For a daily ride, Spot Bicycle seems like a gorgeous rip-off, and highly stealable. Belt drive makes it hard to hide how stealable it is, and might ruin the beautiful hub. The two models sold locally (at University Bicycles, my bike shop for many years) that would work for daily rider would be $1,800-2,200.

So I’m looking instead at “cheap” daily ride, one’s a Civia, one’s another model I can’t remember…both come with Nexus hub, at $850. Internal hub is key for daily rider. Both come with fenders and rack, unlike the Spot. Both would need better saddles and one needs a bell and one would need a rear rack. Both have gripshift which is far preferable imho for frequent-shifting commute use–no getting stuck between shifts in intersections.

Any alt suggestions I should look at?


Bonus: What should we look for in a daily commuter? This: “elephant’s handy guide to buying an everyday bicycle for commuting: save money, save time, lose stress, get in shape, enjoy life.” 


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


3 Responses to “What’s the best Bicycle for commuting daily?”

  1. Prem says:

    I have a great urban steel frame bike made by Burley in 2005 with a Nexus 7 internal hub that I use to haul groceries and such with a Nomad trailer–but for daily riding, I loves my Felt Curbside single speed (freewheel). Friends were on my case for years to try out a single speed, but I wanted gears for all the hills we have around the Seattle metro area. But I finally gave in 6 years ago and got the Curbside. I love it! It's simple, sleek, and reliable. If you haven't considered going single speed (not saying "fixed wheel" here–that's on a whole other level). check it out. My only regret is that I didn't make the change years sooner. Namaste.

  2. elephantjournal says:

    Hunh. So how does the single speed take to hills, both downhill where you want a tougher gear and esp up hills, where you want an easy gear? I have a single speed I got cheap off craigslist via a friend, but call it my "date bike"–it's cute but impractical. That said, I do love riding it–it's light and bomb proof.

  3. Waylon,

    Craigslist is a great source. Unless you can find a local guy that rebuilds. We all have them in all cities. Definitely buy local, supporting the small guys. Steel is real and dependable.

    Good luck in your search!