Our friend Carlton Reid over at BikeBiz.com posted an article about a high-end carbon fibre “commuter bike” (pictured above).
You can put fenders and a rack on a racing bike, but it’s still a racing bike. Lipstick on a pig.
This article has been updated from its original version to add additional commentary.
People may argue that because they commute to work on their racing bike, it’s a commuter bike. People can and do commute to work on their racing bikes. There is nothing wrong with that, and they are indeed “commuters”.
But call a spade a spade. If a bike’s primary purpose is for racing, it’s a racing bike. A road bike with fenders is still a road bike.
A friend of mine once commuted to work on his hockey skates along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. He was indeed a commuter, and there is nothing wrong with commuting to work on hockey skates.
But I would have chuckled in the same way if I came across an article on the Internet that claimed “Bauer creates high end commuter skates” and displayed a photo of $1,500 hockey skates. Sure, you can use those hockey skates for commuting, but branding them “commuting skates” is misleading.
There seems to be a perception in North America that road bikes, riding gear, and showers are required for distances longer than say 5km. My friends in the Netherlands don’t think twice before hopping on their heavy Dutch bikes and commuting 12km to their office.
I believe this perception is detrimental to expanding bicycle transportation in North America.
I regularly commute more than 10km on my heavy Batavus Dutch bike, often with steep inclines along the way (my Batavus has 5 speeds). I have also done the 22km trip to the airport on my bakfiets cargo bike many times without issue.
Below are a few photos of utility bicycles that are designed primarily for commuting. Sure, you could race one of these bikes, but I would be reluctant to brand these bikes as “racing bikes”. Heavy Dutch bicycles are fully capable of riding on the road, but I wouldn’t brand them as “road bikes”.
“Commuter bike” in Copenhagen – Photo courtesy of Mikael Colville-Andersen / Copenhagen Cycle Chic – All Rights Reserved
More Articles Like This:
- Urban Bicycling Is For Lazy People (June 2013)
- Bicycles Are For People Who Can’t Be Late (Mar 2013)
- The World Has Changed. So Can You. (April 2011)
- “Bicycling makes me feel like I’m a part of the city instead of feeling apart from the city (June 2013)
- My Ideal World (Sept 2012)