Any bike will suffice: cruiser, road, mountain. Popular city choices include a retro 10-speed from a yard sale or a glammed up single-speed to show off your style. If you aim for a high-mileage lifestyle, consider a new “urban bike” for low-maintenance reliability. Add fenders if you ride in rainy conditions.
No room or funds for a bike? A bike-share program may already be in your city, or coming soon. You can rent a bike as needed for short trips and then leave your ride at a secure docking station.
For more on bikes, see the REI Expert Advice article, How to Choose a Bicycle.
Bike theft is an unfortunate fact of life. To minimize the risk of having your bike disappear:
Special bike clothing is not required for most urban cycling. A long bike commute may warrant padded cycling shorts, but otherwise you can go with your fashion of choice provided it does not compromise your safety.
Avoid long scarves and billowy skirts or long jackets, which can tangle in the rear wheel or brakes. On bikes without a chainguard, long pants can get caught up in the chain or get oil marks.
As urban cycling grows in popularity, clothing is being designed that blends cycling function with city fashion. Stretchy wind resistant fabric, discrete reflective accents, and hidden roll up pant tabs help you ride, work and play without looking like a spandex fashion model.
Basic cleaning/maintenance involves 2 simple things:
Tip: Take your bike to REI or other reputable bike-repair shop for regular maintenance. An annual service will prolong its life and minimize potential breakdowns
By John Higgins
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Last updated: 01/14/2013
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