Beat the rising fuel prices and commute by bike: our top tips for cycling to work

Cycle commuting is good for your wallet, waist, and the world’s environment. Here’s our guide to everything you need to know about cycling to work

Getty Images: Tobias Ackeborn
(Image credit: Getty Images: Tobias Ackeborn)

The health and environmental benefits of commuting by bike have been extensively documented for decades, but now, with fuel prices shooting through the roof, the economic argument is perhaps stronger now than it has ever been.

If you’re considering swapping four wheels for two – or if you’re a season commuter looking for an upgrade – here are the best deals we’ve found on the kit you need for cycling to work.

Marin Muirwoods | $799.99 $639.20

Marin Muirwoods | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$799.99 $639.20

A low price doesn't have to mean limited functionality. The Muirwood comes with mounts for fenders and pannier rack, while the hydraulic disc brakes provide ample stopping power. With a 3x9 drivetrain, there's unlikely to be a hill you can't handle.

Rondo Booz ST Urban Bike | $2,340.00 $1,872.00

Rondo Booz ST Urban Bike | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$2,340.00 $1,872.00

Polish brand Rondo has put together an urban machine, featuring a sporty geometry and fat tyres for tackling unpredictable city streets at speed. A 1x drivetrain simplifies shifting while the hydraulic brakes are powerful anchors.

HaibikeTrekking 1 e-Bike | $2,600.00 $2,340.00

HaibikeTrekking 1 e-Bike | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$2,600.00 $2,340.00

Haibike has included pretty much everything you could need in one simple package. It's got fenders, a pannier rack, integrated lights and a powerful Bosch motor for powering around town.

Hurley Amped ST E-Bike | $1,149.99 $799.00

Hurley Amped ST E-Bike | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$1,149.99 $799.00

A more accessible step into the world of e-assistance comes in the form of Hurley's Amped ST E-Bike. It still comes with a few extras, such as the front and rear fenders, but it loses the gears for a more simple single-speed set up – letting the motor manage the hills.

Tern Link B7 Folding Bike | £600.00 £540.00

Tern Link B7 Folding Bike | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">£600.00 £540.00

A cheap and cheerful folding bike, the Tern still packs the extra features you want for commuting. There's a range of seven gears to help you tackle the hills, it's got a full complement of mudguards and it weighs a not unreasonable 12.1kg.

Brompton C Line Explore | £1,430.00 £1,215.50

Brompton C Line Explore | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">£1,430.00 £1,215.50

Bromptons are the industry standard for folding bikes. They're reliable, relatively light and fold into an extremely compact size. As such they're rarely discounted – this only has money off because it's a previously used item. That also means you'll have to snap it up quick before someone else gets there.

Brompton H2L Electric Bike | £3,019.99 £2,499.99

Brompton H2L Electric Bike | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">£3,019.99 £2,499.99

Doing pretty much what it says on the tin, this is a Brompton that combines the excellent qualities of reliability and compact fold size with the convivence of an electric motor. Again, the only reason this model is on a discount is because it's ex-display – so act fast!

Giant Escape 2 Disc | £599.00 £489.00

Giant Escape 2 Disc | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">£599.00 £489.00

An efficient and reliable bike for town duties shouldn't cost the earth – and it doesn't have to either. Giant's Escape 2 combines disc brakes with practical mounts for mudguards and panniers. It's got a wide band of gears  and generous tyre clearance of up to 45mm – perfect for a huge variety of terrain. 

Orbea Vector 15 Disc | £1,099.00 £825.00

Orbea Vector 15 Disc | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">£1,099.00 £825.00

The Vector 15 saves you the hassle of buying and fitting accessories separately. It comes with mudguards, pannier rack and dynamo lights already mounted – yes, you don't have to worry about charging or remembering to bring lights with this one. Only sizes small and large are left, so act fast to grab this one

Kinesis Lyfe Equipped E-Bike | £2,300.00 £1,899.00

Kinesis Lyfe Equipped E-Bike | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">£2,300.00 £1,899.00

Again, packing all the accessories you need in one complete package, it has mudguards, pannier rack, lights – even a kickstand and simple 1x10 gearing. Best of all, it has a seamlessly integrated battery stored in the downtube, giving 

REI Co-op Commuter Pack | $89.95 $49.93

REI Co-op Commuter Pack | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$89.95 $49.93

There are so many features to this bag. It's got a simple helmet carrying attachment system, integrated rain cover, a laptop sleeve for 15" laptops, and so many pockets for arranging your things. At 25 litres, it can hold a handy amount too. 

Oakley Kitchen Sink Backpack | $191.99 $118.80

Oakley Kitchen Sink Backpack | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$191.99 $118.80

Yes, this is Oakley's commuting bag sporting a huge carrying capacity, with even proverbial household items inside its remit. Okay, perhaps sinks are a stretch, but it can comfortably take a 17" laptop, which isn't common for commuter rucksacks. It's also got a separate shoe compartment. 

Blackburn Wayside Backpack Pannier | $79.95 $59.97

Blackburn Wayside Backpack Pannier | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$79.95 $59.97

Sometimes a rucksack is more convenient, sometimes a pannier is. Thanks to Blackburn, you don't need to choose one or the other – this rucksack can attach to a pannier rack without any mounts or hardware and is made from a durable waxed canvas. 

Public Bikes Carryall Single Pannier | $99.99 $59.95

Public Bikes Carryall Single Pannier | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$99.99 $59.95

A straight-forward, no nonsense pannier. It's made from a robust waxed cotton canvas, has plenty of space for a laptop, gym clothes or whatever else you might want to take along. It's also got handy carry handles for easier transporting off the bike.

Altura Grid Backpack | £60.00 £44.99

Altura Grid Backpack | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">£60.00 £44.99

Simple and effective. This rucksack is a little larger than most of this style, at 30L and it comes with a range of pockets and internal organisers to keep your kit separate – but not so many you lose track of what's where. It's got reflective detailing and a DWR coating for shower protection.

Oakley Kitchen Sink Backpack | £160.00 £99.00

Oakley Kitchen Sink Backpack | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">£160.00 £99.00

With a 34L capacity, you should easily be able to fit in all you're likely to need – naturally excluding any proverbial household items. It's bedecked in pockets and even includes a separate compartment for shoes – useful if you can't bear to cycle in flats.

Altura Grid Roll Up Pannier Bags | £70.00 £49.99

Altura Grid Roll Up Pannier Bags | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">£70.00 £49.99

Offering a full 30L capacity (2x15L each side), there's plenty of space for all your things. The bags have an easy grab handle for transporting off the bike, they're water resistant, and they even roll up pretty tight when they're not in use – about the side of a smallish picnic blanket.

Hiplok DX Wearable Bike Lock | $106.99 $63.99

Hiplok DX Wearable Bike Lock | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$106.99 $63.99

At just over a kilo and with an integrated clip system that makes it easy to attach to belts, pockets and bag straps, Hiplock's DX lock is one of the most portable out there. It's super strong too, being awarded the top level Diamond rating by independent lock testing company, Sold Secure.

Kryptonite New York lock | $142.99 $91.99

Kryptonite New York lock | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$142.99 $91.99

A little bigger and burlier, Kryptonite's New York series of locks have been a stalwart of bike security for years. Although it's over half as heavy again as the Hiplock DX lock, it does come with a frame mounting bracket, at least it's the bike doing the carrying and not you.

Hiplok DX Wearable Bike Lock | £79.99 £59.00

Hiplok DX Wearable Bike Lock | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">£79.99 £59.00

Just over a kilo and sporting an integrated clip system to fit belts, pockets and bag straps, Hiplock's DX lock is highly portable. It's super strong too, getting the top Diamond rating from independent lock testing company, Sold Secure.

OnGuard Pitbull U-Lock | £47.99 £28.99

OnGuard Pitbull U-Lock | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">£47.99 £28.99

Spending £100+ on a bike lock is all very well if your bike cost multi-thousands of pounds, but not when that's a quarter of your bike's value. OnGuard's Pitbull lock is Sold Secure Gold rated, so still super strong and extremely good value.

Kryptonite Evolution Mini-5 | £64.99 £44.99

Kryptonite Evolution Mini-5 | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">£64.99 £44.99

A highly portable lock that can stay on your bike. At 1.2 kilos, it's pretty light weight, while a Sold Secure Gold rating is verifies its high-security claims.

Exposure Trace Pack | $110.00 $79.99

Exposure Trace Pack | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$110.00 $79.99

Exposure lights are almost a by word for quality and durability. They are more expensive than other lights on the market, but they will stand the test of time. Having one piece of kit perfectly designed for the job is a lot more satisfying than continually going through cheaper items.

LifeLine USB Safety Light Set | $22.99 $17.99

LifeLine USB Safety Light Set | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$22.99 $17.99

But, if you are looking for something cheaper, LifeLine's light set is an excellent entry level option. They have direct, cable-free USB charging – so one less thing to remember – and they attach quickly and easily with silicone straps. On high, the lights last for 2 hours, but that goes up to 17 hours on flashing. 

Knog Blinder X Twin Pack | $69.95 $60.00

Knog Blinder X Twin Pack | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""">$69.95 $60.00

A bit of a step up from the LifeLine lights, the Knog Blinders boast a 200 lumen front light and 100 lumen rear, running for up to 2.5 hours on full and up to 60 hours on eco-flash. They've also got built-in USB charging, perfect for cable-amnesiacs.

Exposure Trace Pack | £85.00 £68.00

Exposure Trace Pack | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">£85.00 £68.00

Exposure lights have earnt a strong reputation for quality and durability. They are expensive, but it's not a purchase you'll have to keep on making as with cheaper, more temperamental lights. And anyway, there's something very pleasing about equipment perfectly designed for the job.

LifeLine USB Safety Light Set | £19.99 £12.99

LifeLine USB Safety Light Set | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">£19.99 £12.99

But if you're looking for something rather cheaper, LifeLine's mini light set makes a good low cost option. The lights have integrated USB charging, so no need for cables, they attach with simple silicone straps and have a run time from 2 hours to 17.

Knog Blinder X Twin Pack | £74.99 £47.99

Knog Blinder X Twin Pack | <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">£74.99 £47.99

Otherwise, there's Knog's Blinder lights. The front packs 200 lumens and the rear 100 lumens, but despite the high output, the claimed battery life is 2.5 hours on full and up to 60 on eco flash. They're fully waterproof and also feature direct USB charging, without any cables.