A beginners guide to commuting!

Jonathan Meyer - Monday, February 12, 2018
A beginners guide to commuting!

Why should you ride to work? 

bike commuter featWell this is a question that I get a lot, why commute on a bicycle? I mean you can just catch the train! I get it, no one likes having to exercise early in the morning, and it can be difficult to actually take the plunge. I think for most people it's because they haven't had the chance to know what it's like to commute on a good bike, and so they believe that cycling is something that is always difficult, but believe it or not, not every bike has to have suspension forks.  The thing is, if you are feeling apprehensive about your ability, you shouldn't! Your main goal is to get to work, and any person in the world can keep a bike moving forward, just gotta keep on pedaling! You'll get stronger and stronger and before you know it you won't even notice the hills. Let's not forget, people who ride everyday experience other benefits. Riding to work leads to a substantially lower risk of cancers and cardiovascular disease, it's one of the most practical ways to keep fit and stay healthy.

5616Another reason is it's fun! When you are on a bike, you aren't able to get lost in your phone sifting through Facebook and as a result your brain is much more active, you take notice of the things around you. You might see something interesting you never would have seen on the train. You have time to think, to breath some fresh air, time to mentally prepare yourself to face your coworkers. This gives you a fresh mind starting work, you'll feel happier and you have a larger break between your bed and your workplace. When you get there you might even find that you don't need that coffee, what with all that blood pumping around your body. 

And don't get me started on how cheap it is. Let's do some quick maths, the cost of an adult Myki daily ticket is $8.60, times that by 20, the amount of days you'd probably take Public transport comes to $172 per month, assuming you catch public transport 5 days a week. If you invested into a commuter bike with average price around $600-700 depending on what you like the look of, it would take a little more than 4 months for your bike to pay for itself, every month after, you make $172. At the same time, you are becoming more fit and more healthy and (probably) more happy. It's like being paid to go to the gym! 

Now that I've convinced you to buy a commuter, you need to decide which one! To help you get through this difficult time, I have surveyed my pals at NFC and asked them what their favorite commuter would be. But keep in mind there are plenty more to choose from! Head over to our store and check out our extensive commuter range.


trace 45 2016

Tim: Apollo Exceed 30. It's a solid bike. With a 10 Speed SRAM via centro group-set, you'll enjoy a wide range of gears that shift beautifully, the bike is reminiscent of a feather, the aluminium frame and carbon forks. If you are the type of person who enjoys a speedy ride to work, this bike will Exceed your expectations!


Alfie: Apollo trace 45, The great thing about this bike is that it has a Shimano 8 speed Rapidfire with Alfine internal gear rear hub, it uses a belt instead of a chain, which means you are able to get years out of a single belt. Because the gears are internal and relies on disc braking, the bike is very low maintenance and silent.



Jonathan: Fixie/Single Speed. 100%. These bikes are for all intents and purposes, bomb proof. The steel is strong, it has no gears which means it's so simple you barely need to service it and it's pretty light too. In Melbourne a single speed is all you need! There are no hills here. At $399 this bike pays for itself in no time at all.




Now this is the point where you are in danger of spending too much money. So I'm going to do you a favour and tell you the essentials


  • Helmet - The Lazer Tonic for $99 is a great choice, very comfortable and light weight
  • Lock - Spend money on the lock. No question. There's no point in buying a bike if it gets stolen two weeks later. At North Fitzroy Cycles we have a great range to choose from with brands such as Abus, Onguard and Kryptonite. Generally U-Bolts are the simplest and most effective. $40-120
  • Lights - Usually anything will do, but try to get something mid range for better battery life, Cygolite is my recommendation. Just remember to take them off when you lock the bike! $25-100
  • Mudguards - This really depends on which bike you choose, but most are around $30 or so. Just need one that fits! Check out the Zefal range and also SKS!
And the non-essentials 
  • Phone Mount - This is mainly used for GPS, I recommend Quadlock, very secure and they come with a high quality case to protect your phone when you aren't on the bike! 2 birds 1 stone! $69.95 Quad Lock
  • Chain Lube - Generally good to have around the house, 1 bottle will last a long time and lubing your chain regularly will mean your gears work much better and your chain lasts longer, so when you do have your bike serviced you are less likely to need to replace your chain, saving you even more money! $14.95 for Rock n Roll Gold and you are set to clean and lubricate.
  • Gloves - In winter and summer gloves are important. A pair of finger-less gloves will be cool in summer and provide you with more support. In winter a pair of Defeet Gloves go a long way and keep you warm and dry on those chilly days ~$30
  • Bottle Cage - We'll chuck one in for free with the purchase of a bicycle ;) 
  • Rack and Panniers - Basically, while a backpack will do the job, on the longer rides they can become quite uncomfortable, so a rack and pannier bag will make you much more comfortable and provide you will much more storage space on your bike $170-200. Check out the cool stuff that Ortlieb offer.
  • Bicycle Shorts - Bike seats can be uncomfortable, but you can get used to it. Bike shorts help reduce friction and provide padding. $39


To get started commuting to work is one of the easiest things you could do and one of the best decisions you may make. With an extensive range of commuting gear and commuter bicycles, the team at North Fitzroy Cycles is always available for a chat. Come have a test ride! 

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