Swapping in a bike ride for your daily commute is a great way to save carbon emissions, get a workout and enjoy the world around you. In New York City, riding a bike can also save precious time, money and sanity when you choose two wheels over public transit or a ride sharing service.

Whether you’re dipping a toe into bike riding or upgrading your current bicycle, you’ll want to choose the best type of bike for city riding and gear up on accessories. Urban bikes or city bikes provide an easy ride with enough adaptable features to help you tackle a wide range of obstacles. Check out these tips when you’re getting ready to take on those New York City roads.

Types of Bikes for the Navigating NYC

The best type of bike for traveling around New York will depend on what type of riding you plan on doing, how much distance you’ll be covering, and your personal comfort preferences. Consider these options for what type of bike to buy.

  • City Bikes: For many people, city bikes offer a happy medium between a comfortable cruiser style and a more lightweight road bike. City bikes place the rider in an upright position, which helps prevent soreness in the back and shoulders. This type of bike is best for short rides at a moderate pace on relatively flat surfaces, making it an ideal choice for a reasonably short daily community in an urban setting. City bikes come in a range of speeds, with many models featuring three or seven speeds. Look for a model with a lightweight aluminum frame that will keep you from having to work too hard.
  • Hybrid Bikes: Similar to a city bike, a hybrid bike mashes up elements from several different styles, including road bikes, mountain bikes and touring options. This style will often come with slightly wider tires that are more capable of handling common city obstacles like curbs, potholes or bumpy roads. For maximum adaptability, a 21 speed road bike will allow you to vary speed and handle a wider range of roadways, including flat surfaces and hills. Both city bikes and hybrid bikes are sometimes referred to as urban bikes.

Accessories for Staying Safe on the Road

In addition to having the right type of bike for your trip, you’ll want to get outfitted with a few essential accessories to navigate the city. Here are the items you should grab before heading out the door for a bike ride.

  • Helmet: Look for a helmet that sits securely on your head, and adjust the straps so the fit is snug.
  • Bell: According to the bike laws in New York City, you need to have a bell attached to your bike to alert pedestrians, motorists and other cyclists.
  • Headlight and taillight: Both lights are required and will give you extra visibility if you’re riding after dark or on a cloudy day.
  • Fenders: Many hybrid and urban bikes come with fenders. Especially if you’re biking to work, you’ll be glad to have the protection from dirt, mud and gunk getting kicked up by your tires.

When you’re ready to start cycling, turn to a trusted vendor of hybrid and city bikes to find the best selection and quality.

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Lauren Sanchez - Author

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