The sun is rising earlier every day and thermometers around Australia are reaching 30 degrees by noon…Yes, it’s almost summer and it’s time to make the most of the stunning morning sunshine. If you’re ready to spice up your morning commute but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to help you as you take the all-important step of investing in your first commuter bicycle.

Welcome to the world of cycling, a place where lycra and sweat bands are your new best friends, and packets of baby food makes a wonderful snack (seriously – just ask an avid cyclist).

The benefits of riding to work are endless – from enjoying the fresh morning air, to ensuring you’re outside and active, as well as allowing yourself some ‘you-time’ each day. If you’re a first-timer cyclist, read on to see the checklist we’ve compiled for what you’ll need to look out for when purchasing your new wheels.

1. Ask for a ‘city/commuter’ bike.
• These are simple and reliable stylish designs. Commuter bikes are generally low-maintenance and have extra features such as rack and fender mounts, and an upright frame design.

• Decide which suspension you prefer. Cycling in the city is generally smooth, and bikes therefore require less ‘travel.’ The smooth ride requires larger, more stable wheels (around 27.5 to 29 inches).

• Get fitted. Seat height, saddle position, handlebar height, and reach should be tailored for your body. Find a store that will take your measurements, show you multiple bikes and will swap parts if necessary to fit your requirements. A bike fit with a trained consultant comes complementary with every new bike at 99 Bikes.

2. Take a test ride
Take a test for at least 15 minutes, wearing the same attire you would if riding to work. Perhaps bring your old bike in and explain what you like and dislike about it. Don’t be afraid to clarify any cycling jargon you don’t understand!

3. Budget
Quality commuter bikes can be anywhere between $340 to over $3,000 for an electric bike, depending on your preference of brand and additional features. Remember to budget for other essentials: a helmet, a pump, a water bottle and bottle cages, white and red lights for evening commuting as legally required. You may even like to add a basket.

When it’s time to hit the road with your new wheels, make sure you’re up to date about your state’s cycling laws, safety information and city cycling facilities – every state has their own website. With local governments investing more in cycling pathways and facilities, there’s never been a more exciting time to be a cyclist commuter in Australia. The key to getting the right bike for you is not being afraid to be specific, take a proper test ride, and budget for all the essentials that will make you as safe and comfortable as possible.  

Editor’s note: This article was written in partnership with 99 Bikes.

Don’t just stop riding when you reach the office! To share you love for riding with your colleagues and raise funds for a charity of your choice, sign up to host a Tour de Office cycling event at your workplace! Custom events now available.