Featuring a reliable aluminum city frame, padded saddle, suspension seat post, and a shock-absorbing Schwinn suspension fork, the Schwinn’s Discovery is a men’s hybrid comfort bike designed to meet the highest possible standards for commuting or leisurely rides. Among its many ingenious features, we find 21-speed SRAM shifters allowing quick, simple gear shifting, a Shimano rear derailleur, Promax linear pull brakes, a Schwinn quality alloy crank, a convenient handlebar with easy-adjust stem, a rear gear carrier, and impressively durable fenders. Overall, it is perhaps one of the best commuter bikes the market has to offer right now.
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What To Look For In A Commuter Bike
Due to the broad and versatile nature of commuter bikes, you are advised to use your own judgment when choosing a bike for yourself. This is because commuter bikes have come a long way over the years engineering-wise, meaning that you are unlikely to get a sub-par model as long as you’re buying a reputable brand. Even so, some of these bikes definitely stand out from the others due to their particularities, which you can use to determine whether a bike meets your needs or not. Before getting there, however, we should perhaps understand the nature of these bikes by looking at how they’re built:
You have to understand that commuter bikes are designed to incorporate the best features of mountain bikes and casual road bikes into a practical blend without losing any of the benefits each style of bike has to offer. While some of them use larger tires for added comfort, others employ powerful disc brakes to increase control. It is for this reason that you must first understand what makes a good commuter bike design-wise, so that you may make a wiser decision when you finally make a purchase.
Steel Frame – It used to be that all bikes were made of steel back in the day, a tradition that seems to have died off over the years. Although very sturdy and resistant, steel frames are somewhat heavier than their modern counterparts, even though they make up in practicality what they lack in weight. Bikes made with a steel frame are generally easy to maintain and even easier to repair when it comes to dents or bends.
Carbon Fiber Frame – These bikes are a lot lighter in weight than steel bikes, which recommends them for people who enjoy a more sporty approach to riding their bike. The greatest advantage of using a nonmetal like carbon in the making of a bike is the increased stiffness and strength in areas where steel bikes would have needed extra binding. At the same time, carbon fiber frames make bikes more affordable due to being easier to make.
Aluminum Frame – Aluminum bikes tend to be quite stiff, lightweight, and reasonably strong. As such, bicycles with an aluminum frame deliver an excellent power transfer along with a smaller shock absorption. This ensures that the rider experiences a much smoother ride, even when riding across rough terrain. Then again, the purpose of commuter bikes isn’t to be ridden off-road but rather on a relatively even terrain.
Titanium Frame – Bikes made with a titanium frame are usually top-notch, mostly because of how expensive they are. With the increase in price, however, you are also guaranteed a much smoother and comfortable riding experience, devoid of any surface vibration to speak off. This is owed to the fact that titanium delivers an inherent flex, similar to well-made steel frames to some extent yet in a more lightweight package.
Although the design and purpose of gears are pretty straightforward with most bike types, with commuter bikes you can expect the gears to present a more flexible design. Many of these bikes use either double or triple chainrings, each with their own particularities. Double chainrings, for example, are perfect for changing gears rapidly across an entire speed range, thus allowing you to either rise or drop in gear at a moment’s notice. With triple chainrings, on the other hand, you lose the speed but gain a much more precise gear change range, many of these tweaks happening in the low-end gear range.
It is fairly important for any bikes to have decent brakes, not just for their maneuverability but for your safety as well. In this respect, some commuter bikes employ hydraulic disc brakes while others use either mechanical disc brakes, dual pivot caliper brakes, or v-brakes. With hydraulic brakes, you get a superior bundle of power, control, and reliability, characteristics that will surely help you when riding across particularly rough or wet terrain. You can also opt for v-brakes or dual pivot caliper models which are a lot more reliable without losing any of the bike’s maneuverability.
For the most part, commuter bikes benefit from some pretty ingenious accessories like pannier racks, mudguards, or kickstands. They are intended to provide you with an added level of control and stability when riding the bike on dangerous terrain while boosting the rider’s comfort levels on even ground. Commuter bikes with rear rack mounts, for instance, are perfect for people who also like to do a bit of shopping on their daily commute or for people who have to carry items that they cannot put inside their pockets. Last but not least, you definitely want a bike with a mudguard, not only for the protection they offer when it’s raining outside and there is a risk of getting dirty but also to protect you from any small objects that the
wheels might throw at you as you ride.