Well to start off I am no experts on a lot of things but I have been using a bike as my full time transportation and I have rode a lot of miles, used them for hunting and have been fixing/rebuilding on them for the past 14 years. I have also kept bikes that were really falling apart running. I have lived in Florida most of my life and Florida for the most part is flat with really sandy soil but ,I have lived in Omaha, Nebraska and ridden in snow and deep mud so most of what I said about this is based from riding in this kind of terrain(also deep water both fresh and salt). I have always heard that in a zombie apocalypse Mountain bikes are the best transportation but that kind of right but, most experts that say that to me have not used bikes as full time transportation and leave out gear I think you would want on them.
Now there are 3 types of bikes out there that are good for both reg. use and bugging out if zombie come and here is some info I know about them (I have used/owned these 3 kinds before). I am leaving out other kinds like road bikes and BMX because they are specialty bikes made to do only one thing good and they cost too much. Also with bikes when people say “off road” they are talking about wide flat gravel roads, forest roads, and hard packed or firm ground because no bike can really go off road without getting bog down easily and you having to push it out, so keeping that in mind these 3 can do hard packed/ firm ground riding or trail riding.
1st up are Mountain bikes. Most of these bikes come with 26’’ fat knobby 40-55PSI tires, Shimano Revo twist Eighteen speed shifters that help in shifting , suspension fork for a smooth comfortable ride , alloy front and rear linear pull brakes for good control and they are very comfortable to ride both on and off-road and have lots of traction. They’re heavy and sturdy over all but on road they have too much friction to go really fast (15 mph is my agv. speed). They’re a good pick for most city and country people and will last about 10+ years of you take care of them. They cost as low as 50$ and can be found most places. I paid 88$ for my Road master Granite Peak Mountain Bike at Wal-Mart.
Some people have said this kind of bike can go over rocks, curbs, and damaged roads. http://zombie.wikia.com/wiki/Transportation
Well I here to tell you from someone that been over rocks, curbs, flooded roads and damaged roads that unless you want a flat tires, bent rims, broke front forks or getting tossed of your bike don’t do this unless you got the skills to and you’re going very slow when you come to over go over them.
Touring bikes: these 21 speed bikes were made for long days in the saddle riding the highways of the world and are built for load carrying. Touring bicycles come usually equipped with luggage racks front and rear. There frames and forks are made of steel so they can carry heavy loads, be field-repairable and for reliability. To accommodate long rides, touring bikes have comfortable handlebars and saddles. They are a heavier road/ Racing bikes that many people use for camping or for long distant road riding carrying lots of gear. These bikes are popular with commuters and couriers in NYC and other large cities.
The down sides to them are cost and have lower traction on wet or dirt roads. They are not too bad if you have the money for them and you do a lot of riding carrying lots of stuff. They can be found at target and Wal-Mart for around 250$ and up. I have had limited use of these but I like them and I got it 29mph with an adv. Speed of 20mpr.
Last we have hybrid bikes which are a cross between a Touring bike and a Mountain bike. They have 27” tires with alloy rims for strength without extra weight, are also fitted with a suspension fork like a Mountain bike, most come fitted with a suspension seat post and a padded comfort saddle which provides absolute comfort especially during long journeys, a convenient rear rack for carrying needs and do well in both paved and most bikes trails I have been on. For most people this is the best pick for city people because provide a pleasant and comfortable ride and it can do light off road and ride well in the city. My mom who is 54 rides one and out of the 3 she like this one the best for how easy it is to ride and that she can carry her shopping bags on it. Now I paid 89$ for this huffy savannah but they are mostly 150$. Any of these 3 would do for zombie land transportation but if I had to choose one, I would have the mountain bike if I lived somewhere with a lot of snow because you can make / buy studded winter tries for them, a touring bike if I live somewhere with little to no unpaved roads, and the hybrid bike for everywhere else that has lots of unpaved roads and no snow. There is really one no best choose because most of the US is paved roads and all 3 can do so well in most roads.
Now I want to clear up 2 things I have hear on some sites like zombie.wikia.com/wiki/Transportation and the zombie guides I have seen. They state that you need a “a bike of high quality with a carbon fiber frame instead of steel or aluminum for instance and is rugged enough to last in a survival situation” well Steel or aluminum frame are very rugged and will last in most survival situation (unless you plan on riding somewhere like the Rocky Mountains or in a rock pit) and a cheap bike will last a very long time. I had a road master bike from Wal-Mart I got for 55$ in 1999 and this bike has been in snow, flooded salt water back woods trails, rock covered train tracks, 100s of miles of road and off road ride, BMX races tracks and hell and back before I had to dump it in 2011 because the front brakes were gone and I had a new bike to replace it. My mom’s old bike got hit by a ford F-150 and still kept being used for 8 more years after that. My point is cost when it comes to bikes does not mean a better bike. Pick what you want and take care of it.
“Cargo capacity is limited to what the rider can carry” yes and no. it’s very easy to find a trailer to tow more gear with (they sell them at the Wal-Mart and you can just hook a radio flyer wagon to your bike) and In fact many Touring bikes riders use bicycle trailer. Most bike Trailers are easy to use and are easy attach to most any kind of bike However, trailers decrease maneuverability and are not particularly suited for mountainous or on rugged terrain. But there are single wheel trailers which cost more and are extremely maneuverable. These can easily be ridden over some very hard terrain. Any trailer both homemade or bought have an advantage over panniers/racks because the bike itself carries no extra weight and the trailer itself can be loaded with up to 155 pounds of gear. Trailers will typically follow over anything the bottom bracket of the bike can clear.
Ok now that is out of the way here is some the ideas I have about things you would want to have and how to set up your zombie bug out bike.
For the bike : spare inner tube(one of those Thorn proof Tubes without the Slime Tire Sealant in them because they don’t put the right amount in them from the factor), tire liners, Slime Tire Sealant Family Size 16 oz. (when you put the right amount of 4oz in your tires it will prevent and repair flat . I have been using for the past 5 years and I have never got a flat again. You can also use it for any wheel vehicle even cars!) a good foot pump, tire levers in case you rip your tire apart on something, both flat head and Phillips screw drivers, a set of metric Allen keys, a small adjustable wrenches or socket wrench set, spoke wrench, it might also be a good idea to have a bike water bottle cage mount on the handle bars because when riding the tire keep up a lot of dirt, make sure you find a very comfortable saddle for your bike, spiked metal bike pedals(I have broken many pedals in half when hunting. My road master came with metal pedals), and last spare brake pads (believe me you what good ones when you need to stop because a deer jump in front of you). As for optional equipment like Mountain bike gun rack (cheaper than dirt and cabelas sell them), mud guards, Kevlar belted tires, etc... If it works for you then get it but, you can make do without them most times.
Now this is what I think you might want to wear if you use a bike in zombie word you already know some of the rules so starting from that. The first thing is dress for the weather, if it’s cold then it’s going to be even colder riding the bike (most times there always going to be some wind). Make sure you wear a hat; any hat will do as long as it stays on your head when riding (adding a chin strap is a good idea if you wear a wide-brimmed hat). The hat keep the sun out of your eyes so you can see, keep your head dry when it’s raining or snowing, will keep sweat from going into your eyes, keeps hot bass from falling your shirt when shooting, and most important keep your skin from getting burned(that all you need is to make then die of skin cancer). One thing on hats is that cowboy hats are not so good when riding because they catch the wind. You will want some impact resistant wraparound sunglasses or military style goggles because there always shit flying around when you get on the road (I took a bug to the eye going downhill and almost lost it). You can wear any pants and shirts you want as long as it’s not loose fitting and is comfortable but unless it’s really hot don’t wear shorts, wear cargo pants or jean pants because they protect your legs from brushes and want not.
You already know to wear boots as footwear; you will also want some gloves to protect your hand on this long ride. I wear leather fingerless biker gloves or Fox Tactical Gen II Hard Knuckle Assault Glove in warm weather and Thinsulate Insulation ECW Gloves or something along those lines.
Well that is it, my thoughts on this and feel free to add anything you think I left out