What to Look For
When looking for a city or commuter bike, you should take several things into consideration. The amount of time you plan to spend riding your bike, the time in which you want to arrive at your destination, the way in which you would like to store the bike and the amount of baggage you will carry during your ride are all important. These factors all interplay to determine which kind of commuting bike is best for you. Road bikes are the fastest bikes. They are also exceptionally light and the tires are narrow, making it quite easy to store. Another option, a touring bike, or cruiser, can be retrofitted with panniers to carry excess baggage such as grocery bags or a laptop case. These bikes are heavier, but have a more comfortable seat, making them ideal for longer rides.
Not all bikes are created equal. Buying bikes made for off-roading, such as cyclo-cross or mountain bikes, is not necessary for commuting unless you plan to bike on grass, mulch or unpaved paths for extended periods of time. Mountain bikes are especially heavy, making them harder to store, too.
Where to Buy
Bikes can be purchased from chain stores such as Target and Wal-Mart. They can also be bought from outdoor outfitters and specialty bike shops. Outdoor outfitters and bike shops can give you one-on-one attention and answer questions you may have regarding your bicycle. Some bike shops give special warranties for bike equipment, such as a policy in which they make any and all bike repairs for free for one year after your date of purchase.
Bikes can be very expensive. Riders on a budget may want to consider buying a used bike. A quality road bike can cost upwards of $200 to $300. Keep in mind that you might have to by additional items for many bikes to get them road-ready, such as a bike lock, kick stand or a seat cover.