Build a Commuter Bike

Sep 6, 2011
Outside Magazine
Commuter Bike

Single speed commuter.    Photo: velopax/Flickr

Strip an old steel road bike to the frame. Work with a shop to equip it with a single-speed drivetrain using the rear wheel listed below, then top it all off with the following components.

1. Wheels: Paul Dorn, co-author of The Bike to Work Guide, recommends a beefy rear wheel to support the extra load (laptop, books, lunch). Have the shop lace up a Miche Primato hub (from $111; to a Sun ME14A rim ($31; Retread the bike's existing front wheel.

2. Pedals: Opt for sturdy two-sided BMX pedals like the Diamondback Sounds ($40; If you wear cleats, the Shimano PD-M324 ($85, has a clipless attachment on the flip side.

3. Handlebars: Get a riser bar so you'll be more upright and visible in traffic (from $13;

4. Lights: The main idea is to be seen. Knog offers some of the best, easiest-to-mount LED lights (from $16;

5. Lock: Low-profile commuters get stolen just as frequently as flashy rides. Improve your odds with the cut-resistant TiGr lock (see our review). ($125;

Filed To: City Biking, Best Towns
From Outside Magazine, Oct 2011

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web


Not Now

What You Missed

Our most important headlines, sent to you every weekday.

Thank you!