A beginners guide to commuting!

Posted On August 30, 2019

Why should you ride to work? 

Well 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.


Another 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.

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Tim: Specialized Roll. It’s a solid bike. Designed with your comfort in mind, this bike will take you anywhere. If you are the type of person who enjoys a speedy ride to work, this bike isn’t for you… but if you like to leave a bit earlier and take it slow, you’ll find your best friend in the Roll. It’s available in a standard style and a low entry version, meaning we have something that will work for anybody. 

Mike: The Specialized Sirrus, The great thing about this bike is it’s premium aluminium frame. The higher quality aluminium means that you will enjoy excellent power transfer, meaning that each pedal stroke gives you the maximum return. Combined with Specialized Body Geometry components, each ride will be very comfortable and enjoyable. 

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. 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 Specialized Align for $9o is a great choice, very comfortable and light weight. Not to be forgotten is the MIPS system which allows for more movement in a crash, protection your neck along with your head. 
  • 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 AbusOnguard 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 (up to debate) 

  • 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
  • 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 winter 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. Ortlieb offer a huge range of bags for every kind of bike. $170-200.
  • 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! 



256-258 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North, Vic 3068
+03 9481 4613


Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm
Saturday 9am to 4:30pm
Sunday 10am to 3:30pm