Trek Conduit+, $3,999

Commuting is unlike any other activity I do on a bike. While I might dress up in Lycra for my training rides and embrace the huff-and-puff, the sweat and the tears, my commute is all about practicality. It’s about saving money. It’s about being green. It’s about arriving looking, well, if not neat, then at least respectable. It’s about getting the job done.

So when I look for a commuter, I’m looking for the bike that has it all. I don’t want to be swapping pedals over or sticking lights on, I don’t want to have to worry about wet weather, or where to store my cargo. And yeah, I don’t really want to work up too much of a sweat.

Enter the Trek Conduit+. This neat little e-bike is all-in, straight-up, 100% about your commute. It’s built around a simple alloy frame made of Trek’s Alpha Gold Aluminium, designed to balance weight and strength, and comes with a bunch of city-friendly features like disc brakes and rear rack.

The Conduit+ is outfitted with Shimano’s trusty STEPS e6000 drive system, which operates on three power assist settings: Eco, Normal, and High. The STEPS system includes a bike computer, a neat little unit that comes mounted above the stem, and displays a range of information including time, speed, and distance, as well as the essential e-information: range and battery life estimates. A switch on the left-hand side lets you choose between the three power assist settings.

The Conduit+ is built around relaxed geometry that encourages an upright, relaxed position in tune with commuting goals of arriving fresh and stress-free. The bike weighs in at about 20 kilograms (I’m not known for upper body strength, but I could get it into the back of the car without much trouble), while Shimano’s reliable M315 hydraulic disc brakes, with their powerful and predicable modulation, provided a lot of confidence and functioned perfectly. 

But it’s the extras that really buzzed me about this bike. The rack, fenders, lights and kick stand mean there is literally nothing to do but plug and play. I don’t have pannier racks, but all I had to do to get to work was throw a lock in my bag and take off, simple as that.