I was visiting an office in Bracknell, UK, and the bike parking had the following bikes: a cyclocross bike, a BMX, 4 hardtail mountain bikes, 2 full suspension mountain bikes, a steel-framed racer, and a guy in the office had a folding bike under his desk. Everyone’s riding the wrong bike.
BMX for the inner child
First off, there’s nothing wrong with being a fully grown adult and riding a BMX. They can be a lot of fun – but don’t kid yourself that commuting on them is a long-term solution. Sooner or later, you’ll want to be kind to your ankles and other road users and buy a bigger-framed bike.
Both mountain and road bikes will go faster and give you just as much exercise and fun. Also, you’ll feel like a right idiot if you have to explain your absence from the BMX park due to an injury sustained on the commute. With the money you saved on buying a BMX, a cheap hybrid will do you wonders.
Mountain bikes in flatland
One thing is notable about Bracknell – it lacks mountains. Another thing that’s notable about Bracknell is its fully tarmacked cycling infrastructure, which is free from motorised vehicles. So, given the lack of mountains, why do the people of Bracknell love mountain bikes so much?
OK – so if you can only justify owning one bike, a mountain bike may well work for Bracknell. The larger geometry means you won’t struggle as much as commuting on a BMX. But wouldn’t it be nice to cycle tarmacked cycle paths on a road bike? Come on – you live in Bracknell. You can afford another bike for the commute.
On tarmac, road bikes are perfect and make long commutes easy. But if you’re not going to commute, why buy a commuter bike? If you’ve got a young family and want to take them on a ride with you, racing geometry is a bit tacky – too competitive to give you relaxing time with the fam.
Better still, invest time in your children by getting proper family vehicles. These recumbent hybrids mean that you’ll spend quality time with them – every ride will create the memories of an adventure. Sure, your children will rightly judge you to be completely insane. But I think that’s a good thing and, in time, your children will appreciate it too.