I've become a biking fanatic in recent years. This summer, I tested several new models, often riding them to a coffee shop or a remote workspace. In most cases, I used a dedicated bike path or hit a gravel road as a shortcut, powered my way to the "office" carrying a backpack with an Apple MacBook in tow and a few extra accessories. Here are my top picks, the bikes that I'd keep using for a daily commute.
I love the styling on this bike--it's something any entrepreneur would love to ride to work, popping off a wheel and storing in your office or a stairwell. Like many Linus bikes, it has a wonderful glide and easy pedaling--it's not a technical bike but made for anyone who needs an urban transport mechanism. Yet, the Pronto still uses a lightweight alloy frame, has gel grip son the handlebars, and plenty of power for hills and valleys.
Raleigh let me test this bike on my morning commute to a remote workspace. They even supplied an extra battery, and on a few trips (including one at a State Park in my area) I took the battery with me. Range on this electric varies based on how you use it, but I had no problems traversing the 17-mile route one way and back with no loss of power. The Redux iE is a rugged workhorse bike that worked fine on gravel and even in mud.
A light, roadworthy bike for serious riders, the Century 1 has power where you need it. I tested this bike in San Francisco and rode over the Golden Gate Bridge. The bike rides tall, so you don't have to arch your back as much. At 22 pounds, it's incredibly light. The bike also uses a ReadyRide system for assembling it yourself--it took me only ten minutes. Another major perk: The sleek angular styling made me think of an Audi A4.
I was blown away by all of the techie details on this bike. The handlebar has lights that sync to the built-in GPS, so when you are on a route, the lights shine by your hands to alert you about turns. (More blips mean the turn is imminent.) The carbon fiber material make it light and durable, and the bike uses disc brakes to ease you into a full stop.
The glide on this amazing bike is perfect for anyone who has to deal with some rough roads on a commute or wants a thrill ride on a mountain pass. I used one for two weeks straight, pedaling on gravel most of the time. There's a reason Trek is so highly rated. The aluminum frame makes it super lightweight at 27 pounds. My favorite feature: The bike uses an offset fork and gear ratios that let me pedal slow but stay perfectly balanced and moving along nice and steady, even when the gravel road became a dirt road.