Any bike that fits works! Make sure your frame is the right size, then check seat height, handle bar height, and stem length. There are many articles online that describe how to fit your bike. This one covers most of the basics. Of course, working with your local bike shop will take the guesswork out of it. A good fit means a more comfortable ride and a lower chance of injury. Once your bike is properly fitted make sure it is fully tuned. A happy bike makes for a happy ride.
Here are some things that we have found to be important:
Durability- depends on frame material:
Steel- heavy, yet durable, reliable, and a smooth ride (shock absorbent).
Aluminum- lighter, yet less durable, dents significantly reduce the integrity of frame.
Carbon fiber- light and smooth yet not durable
Rack mounts- convenient and reliable (but not 100% necessary) for front and rear racks.
Water bottle mounts- you got to stay hydrated. Some bike have up to three mounts.
Sitting position- for longer days a more upright position is more comfy. Stem and handlebar height should be adjusted accordingly.
Hand position- options are nice. Drop bars have multiple possibilities that not only offer a change in hand position but also a change in posture. Flat bars are limited but you can add horns to expand your horizons.
Gear Ratio- Easier gears make “spinning” possible. Spinning is helpful when carrying heavy loads up long hills and easier on the knees.
Tires-skinny, smooth tires are more efficient than fat, knobby tires. Keep in mind that sometimes the road gets bumpy and its nice to have a balance of efficiency and versatility.
Pedals- clipless pedals are most efficient, toe clips help a bit.
Accessorize- Lights, bells, water bottle cages, fenders, computer, mirror…the possibilities are endless