How to commute with ease?

The use of bicycles for commuting is booming in many countries.

Started about 15 years ago, this mode of travel has developed enormously since the COVID crisis. The bicycle is more and more popular for short distance trips. This is particularly true for people living in large urban areas or in regions that have invested in bicycle facilities that allow them to cycle to work.

How is the velotaf developing and what are its advantages and its evolution in the future? Here's a look at this new way of cycling.

Commuting content



What exactly is bike commuting?

A woman arrives at work and folds her bicycle helmet Always think about your safety when cycling Taking your folding bike to work on the subway is very practical




"Vélotaf" (french word). This new word is a contraction of the word "bike" and the word "work" and is used to "designate the fact of going to work by bike".

The expression appeared in the 2000s. Previously marginal, cycling to work has literally exploded. One French person in five living in large urban areas rides his or her bicycle to work.

Curiously, bicycle commuters refer to those who ride their bikes to work and do not apply to professionals who work with their bikes (delivery drivers).

The portrait of the bicycle rider is a person aged 42 on average, a manager by profession (61%), in a couple with dependent children (38%). A study published by INSEE* shows that four times as many managers as craftsmen use this means of transport to go to work.




Why it is interesting to start velotaf (bike commuting)?

A woman in better shape because she rides a bike in the city Vélotafer allows you to make real energy savings Bike commuting makes you more zen according to different studies




What if happiness was as simple as a bicycle? According to the Active Mobility Barometer, 57% consider that city cycling improves their quality of life. Cycling allows for both physical exercise and savings.

Cyclists are no longer dependent on traffic conditions. They are no longer concerned by traffic jams or the price of fuel at the pump. According to the youtuber "AltisPlay", using a bicycle to go to work is ten times cheaper than using a car! An estimate that takes into account the purchase of equipment and accessories, insurance, maintenance costs, etc.. Thus the bill amounts to 0.58 euro for 440 trips of 4 km with a traditional bicycle and 0.70 euro for the electric bicycle against 6.80 euros for the car.


Velotaf (bike commuting) which bike to choose ?

Bike commuting in Paris is cool Choose the bike that suits you for cycling to work Bike commuting in the Netherlands




It's decided, you're going to take the bike to work! You're joining the club of bicycle commuters that has been growing steadily over the last two years in France.

But for that, you need to equip yourself to ride a bike...

What are the essential elements and what are the most practical accessories to velotaf in all weather and in full safety?

Here are our advices and a checklist of recommended or essential equipment to be pointed out before getting on your bike.


Choosing a bicycle to go to work

It is important to choose the right bicycle for commuting

We can't say it enough: cycling is great for your health and for the environment. Not only will you save on fuel and reduce your carbon footprint, but you'll also get a great cardio workout and a sense of freedom from traffic.

However, before you can enjoy all the benefits of velotaf, you must own a bicycle.

You have two options:

  • either you put your old bike back into service, stored in the back of the garage,
  • or you can take advantage of the financial aid from the State to buy a bike from among all the models offered by the manufacturers.

The folding bike to save space

Choosing a folding bike for commuting

If storing your bike at home or at work is a problem due to lack of space or if you are looking for a practical model to transport, we recommend the folding bike.

In a few seconds, you can store it in the trunk of a car or put it in a luggage storage.

"vélotafeur" (bike commuter) will appreciate it when going to the office, especially if they have to climb stairs to get it out of the way. The mini-bike makes it easy to get around a city and there is an electric version of the folding bike.

The right electric bicycle you need

Advantages of electric bike when commuting velotaf with electric bike in Madrid



You like physical effort, but you don't want to arrive at work out of breath and exhausted. Red cheeks and gasping for breath are not good for speaking at meetings.

In this case, the electric bike will be the one of your choice.

It is recommended to make important displacements and to climb great differences in altitude. The EAB exists in all models (road, cargo, folding, gravel, mountain bike, etc.). To help you find the perfect electric bike, evaluate your needs and the distance of your commute. You will immediately know what the battery life should be.

The bigger your budget, the more powerful and smooth your electric bike will be for climbing steep hills. Also check that you can remove the battery easily to avoid theft.

We remind you that, in France, by decree, the electric bicycle is limited to 25 km/h.

The cargo bike for transporting children, the dog, groceries, picnic, camping equipment, Christmas presents...

Commuting with a cargo bike It is possible to use a cargo bike to take children to school



For parents who want to ride a velotaf and drop off their children at school or daycare, the cargo bike will simplify their lives.

Designed to seat up to 4 children on some models, the cargo bike requires a little practice because of its low center of gravity. You can also use it to carry your shopping bags.

In the city, it is a very practical means of family transportation that is increasingly replacing the car in homes.

The city bike: comfort for the bike commuter in the city

City bike for commuting Commuting in Paris Nearly everyone can ride a bike




The Dutch bike immediately comes to mind when you think of the city bike.

Its ergonomic position, large wheels and wide, padded seat offer real comfort for commuting.

You'll appreciate its stylish look and practicality. The bike panniers and luggage rack are great for carrying your office stuff, storing some purchases on the way home and protecting them in case of rain.


Bike commuting equipment
What do you need first?

Protect yourself with a bicycle helmet when cycling Making sure your light is working properly is a must when cycling A bicycle pannier is quickly becoming indispensable when you go to work by bicycle




It is advisable to make yourself as visible as possible to get to work It is mandatory to have a working bell on your bike An OxiLum helmet light is a very effective product in a bicycle context




Before taking to the roads and traffic with your bike, it is essential to make it as safe as possible to avoid the risk of accidents and their consequences.

Here are some accessories that will make bikes safer day and night. Adopting them is also the best way to assert yourself as a bike rider responsible for the safety of all:

  • A bell attached to the handlebars that can be activated quickly if necessary, to make yourself heard and seen.

  • A reflective vest, usually yellow, is mandatory when riding a bicycle at night.

  • A bicycle light is a mandatory piece of equipment on a bicycle. Make sure it is efficient. Red lights on the back and white lights on the front are necessary for night riding. Without them, cyclists on the road are not visible to motorists.

  • Reflectors fixed on the spokes of the bike to increase your visibility as soon as the light decreases or to ride in foggy weather in winter.

  • Self-adhesive reflective stickers to put on the bags or any smooth surface to be seen at night everywhere.

  • A bicycle helmet: although not mandatory for adults, it is strongly recommended for head protection in case of a fall. However, if you are carrying children, they must wear one if they are under 12 years old. You can improve your visibility by adding reflective strips or lighting to the helmet shell.

  • A smartphone holder to keep your cell phone securely connected on the road. Many applications allow you to use guidance systems to choose your routes. Choosing bike commuting allows you to avoid traffic jams. But in case of disruptions, being able to change your route quickly and calculate a route that will prevent you from arriving late at the office is appreciable.

  • Mudguards on bicycles are essential to protect against water and mud splashes from the road. A chain guard is also very useful to avoid dirtying the bottom of your pants with grease stains from the bike chain.

  • A pannier attached to the bike is an accessory you won't be able to do without. It avoids carrying a bag that can keep you off balance and hot in summer.

  • A basic repair kit consisting of a flathead and Phillips screwdriver, a couple of Allen wrenches, a pair of tire levers, a flat tire repair spray and of course, a pump and an inner tube. In winter, remember to include a de-icing spay to de-ice the lock which can freeze in sub-zero temperatures.

  • A lock will reduce the risk of not finding your bicycle or electric bike when you leave the office, especially if you don't have a place to store it during the day.
  • Bicycle clips or a skirt clip to avoid dirtying the bottom of the pants and weight the bottom of her skirt.



Cycling clothingThe essentials to dress (well)

The mantra of the biker should be "there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing". To face the cold, the rain and the heat, you have to be well equipped, because there is no question of arriving at the office in shorts when you are biking. This could be a clash with the suits, tailors and blazers of some companies...

The cyclist must learn to combine clothing that allows him or her to pedal at ease and to be presentable in the workplace.

There is no one ideal outfit for biking, but there are many different types of clothing chosen by cyclists depending on the weather. Technical materials such as Gore-Tex are the most suitable for cycling. They are specially designed for cycling and offer elasticity, breathability, easy care and quick drying. The cuts are designed to give ease of movement.

Winter bike commuting clothing :
warm and breathable clothes

Cycling in winter requires special equipment

Nothing is worse than feeling constricted in a garment when riding a bike. Your movements are restricted and you feel less comfortable to ride a bike.

To stay warm and protected from the cold that is felt more when traveling, put on a technical undergarment under a thin sweater that maintains body heat. Add a sleeveless down jacket to keep your chest mobile or a lightweight fleece jacket. This combination is inspired by the three-layer rule of thumb used by all hiking specialists.

It helps maintain body heat and good ventilation. You will be less prone to thermal shock when arriving in heated premises and consequently to a sudden flush of perspiration.

In winter, you need to protect your extremities too. Frozen fingers and feet are an ordeal when cycling. It is necessary to wear waterproof, lined gloves to avoid frostbite. You will wear a pair of sneakers with insulating and non-slip rubber soles.

Finally, don't forget to protect your ears and head from the cold. You can put on a balaclava under your helmet to keep your neck and nose warm in winter. These winter cycling clothes and accessories are even more necessary for electric-assist bike, who require less physical commitment and can maintain a constant speed in the city. The risk of getting hot and cold must be taken into account.

Cycling clothes for rain

It is necessary to be well equipped to ride in the rain Waterproof clothing for cycling in rainy weather It is not recommended to cycle while holding an umbrella




Cycling in the rain is no fun! But with the right clothes, it can become bearable.

We start by buying a rain poncho or a waterproof jacket. Preferably choose models that come down to the knee for the protection of the lower body from splashes. The must-have rain cape is the one with a gusset in the back to accommodate a backpack, a hood to fold over the bike helmet, elastics to put the thumbs and hold the handlebars and reflective strips on the back.

We imitate hikers by adding rain pants, not to mention overshoes or shoe covers. Water repellent materials allow water to slide off the surface.

The rain skirt is a protection for the skirted cyclist. Waterproof and non-slip gloves allow the handlebars to be held securely. Moisture will not cause a poor grip that can cause road deviations during a ride.

Thus equipped, the cyclist arrives at work dry, even on a rainy day.

To protect yourself from drops, especially if you wear glasses, you will appreciate wearing a helmet with a visor.

Finally, a waterproof jacket slipped into a pannier pocket is a precaution to avoid being caught in the rain in town.

What to wear to ride a bike in summer?

A well ventilated bicycle helmet is appreciated in summer in Paris Cycling on the beach in summer Cycling on the Ourcq canal in summer




The heat is quickly more unbearable in the city. The first few trips are often more difficult for cyclists in summer. The rise in body temperature caused by physical effort adds to the rise in the thermometer. The problem for cyclists is not to arrive at work sweating.

To avoid this, here are some tips on how to choose your outfit. Buying a lighter windproof jacket than a rain cape for the off-season avoids the sauna effect which increases perspiration.

The electric bike also allows you to reduce your efforts during your trips and to sweat less to go to work. Equipping your bike with a pannier or basket also allows you to put your backpack, a source of perspiration, under your jacket or blazer.

These tips allow cyclists to ride with less fear of the consequences of the heat in the city. In addition to these tips, it is a good idea to wear a neck warmer in the spring to avoid getting a sore throat and to wear a helmet to protect against sunburn. And don't forget to carry a spray bottle in your bag to cool down when you arrive.

How to dress for cycling in the feminine ?

Here are a few tips on how to dress for women cyclists. In the summer, cyclists will wear shorts or a short skirt and a technical top (tee-shirt and windbreaker) depending on the weather.

In the fall, they will opt for a pair of city socks associated with a jacket or a light down jacket and a technical top. The rest of the outfit is kept in the bag. We also recommend leaving a pair of city shoes at work so that you can ride in sneakers. 


Financial aid for velotaf (bike commuting)

Attention: The information in this paragraph applies only in France.

In order to convert working people to the bicycle, many financial aids have been put in place in France. Employees who adopt the traditional bicycle or electric bike, scooter or scooter for their work trip are granted a mileage allowance of 500 euros per year. The FMD (Fond Mobilité Douce) voted in 2019 applies to all means of transport falling within the scope of soft mobility, but remains conditional on the goodwill of the company, which can choose to apply it or not.

Bicycle commuters can receive both the employer's contribution to the public transportation pass AND the MDF. This is a welcome addition for those who need to bike to a train station and then take a train or subway to work.

Since January 1, 2022, the allocation of the mobility voucher has been simplified. Inspired by the luncheon voucher, it is now available as a prepaid and dematerialized voucher to pay for "goods and services related to employee travel".

In addition, working people who want to take their bike to work can also benefit from several government and local authority grants:

  • The conversion bonus giving the right to a reimbursement of 40% of the purchase price of an electric bicycle (up to a limit of €1,500)
  • the electric bike bonus (limited to 200 €)
  • the special cargo bike bonus allowing the reimbursement of 40% of the purchase price of a cargo bike (up to a limit of €1,000)


The region and the department offer assistance to encourage bicycle travel that can be added to the assistance granted by an agglomeration.

It is up to each person to find out which ones they can claim. Their accumulation can be really interesting and cover up to 75% of the purchase of a bicycle in certain regions.


What if you switched to a "company bike" in your company?

Commuting with a company bike

According to a study conducted by AG2R La Mondiale and L'Union Sport & Cycle, 8% of French people say they use their bicycle to go to work at least once a week.

For the time being, these bike fans live in cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants, mainly in the Paris region.

On average, these cyclists cover a distance of 6 kilometers in 23 minutes. These figures showing the popularity of the velotaf are correlated with those published by the active mobility barometer revealing that "69% of employees would like to have a company bicycle".


To facilitate this conversion, there are initiatives that encourage companies and employees in cycling. The Objectif Employeur Pro-Vélo program aims to support 4,500 employers in developing a bicycle culture within their structures, while the Goodwatt program offers to help companies lend an electrically assisted bicycle (VAE) to their employees for a month, with training to learn how to ride in the city.

Start-ups such as Tandem or Zenride offer company bike rental services to employers. They have imagined "all inclusive" solutions including, in addition to the rental of bicycles, an insurance contract also covering the equipment and safety gear.

These initiatives are all the more interesting for employers as they open up rights to a tax deduction. This action in favor of soft mobility and the development of the company bicycle is a good investment for employers. These actions must be carried out at the same time as new bicycle facilities are built in France so that employees can cycle in complete safety.