The 6 best commuter bikes for any budget

  • Commuter bikes supply a cheap and fitness- and environmentally-friendly method to get around the city.
  • The very best are snug to journey, deal with informal terrain, and face numerous climate circumstances.
  • Our high decision in Brooklyn Bicycle Co.’s Franklin 3; it is snug and has a good design with high-quality parts.

The idea of a commuter bike is straightforward: It is a purposeful, snug bicycle that may get you to and from work, the shop, around your neighborhood, wherever. They need to be capable of being relied upon in quite a lot of terrain and climate circumstances, but it must also be one thing you get pleasure from using.

And regardless of being a kind of one-definition-fits-all form of the bike, commuters nonetheless are available quite many kinds. Maybe you’d choose an electrical mannequin with onboard pedal help for simple commutes, or possibly you will have restricted finances. No matter your desire, there is a commuter bike entirely acceptable for any of it.

As a resident of Brooklyn, New York, and the health and outdoor editor for Insider Critiques, biking is my go-to technique of transportation across the metropolis. Due to this, I have been on extra commuter bikes than I can depend on — and know tips on how to spot those value proudly owning.

That will help you work out what is finest; I’ve rounded up 5 of my favorites beneath from manufacturers like REI Co-Op, Schwinn, and Brooklyn Bicycle Co. I’ve additionally included solutions to some commuter bike FAQs, in addition to perception into how I tested each of the bikes featured.

Greatest commuter bike general

The Franklin commuter bike from brooklyn bicycle co - best commuter bikes
Brooklyn Bicycle Co.

If you need a snug, enticing commuter bike that comes assembled, the Brooklyn Bicycle Co. Franklin 3 is an excellent answer constructed to final.

Pros: Meeting is included within the worth, lovely design, sturdy development, snug to journey

Cons: Solely three speeds

Brooklyn Bicycle Co. focuses on constructing bikes that are designed for sturdiness, consolation, and elegance. This focus is apparent within the Franklin 3. The step-through body makes mounting your bike easy no matter what you are carrying, and it is a product of lightweight metal, so you may simply take the roughly 33-pound motorcycle up and down.

The rear hub and shifter are made by Shimano, one of many high names within the business. And, the bike comes with puncture-resistant tires. Each saddle and grips are the product of vegan leather-based for max consolation.

The Franklin three is a three-speed bike; however, there are additionally single-speed and seven-speed choices. The cycle is available in small/medium or giant. And, it is accessible in 5 colors: ivory, matte coral, gloss black, sea glass, and cardinal pink. In the event, you’d choose a high tube that’s nearer to parallel with the bottom somewhat than the step-through body, try the Bedford 3

Most excellent commuter bike for inexperienced persons

person riding a commuter bike - best commuter bikes
REI Co-op

The Co-op Cycles CTY 2.1 presents an easy journey, superb maneuverability, and is mildly sufficient to retail in your walk-up house.

Pros: Comfy seat, straightforward for novices to function, locking entrance suspension fork, glorious customer support

Cons: Costly

After a hiatus from the bicycle area, REI launched Co-op Cycles in 2017 to offer enjoyable and freedom on two wheels. Because the title suggests, the CTY 2.1 is mainly designed for use within the metropolis.

Several of the elements come from high names within the business, too. Shimano is the crankset, shifters, derailleurs, rear cogs, hydraulic disc brakes, and brake levers. The hubs are Joytech. And the chain is KMC Z8.

The suspension fork encompasses a locking mechanism, so you are not bouncing around whereas using on easy surfaces. And, there’s 360-degree reflectivity to maintain you seen each day and evening, although you may nonetheless need lights.

This is the main bike I use for health and when tooling around the city. From the second I picked it as much as the test, I used to be blown away by REI’s customer support. I needed to drive about an hour away to get to the closest retailer, so they insisted on ensuring it matched me accurately.

The CTY 2.1 can also be highly responsive. On one journey, the brakes reacted rapidly, saving me from crashing right into an automobile that pulled out of a drive without wanting. And, I’ve no drawback dealing with the windy trails in my metropolis. The most critical detrimental for me is that the pedal reflectors fell off after 400 miles.

Greatest electrical commuter bike

The 6 best commuter bikes for any budget
Priority Bicycles

The Priority Current is a low upkeep e-bike that delivers an easy, straightforward journey, and its 50-mile electrical varies. 

Pros: Can deal with quite a lot of terrain, has a 50-mile vary when charged, rides easily and does not feel prefer it’s jolting you when first pedaling, requires little or no upkeep

Cons: E-bikes are costly; the fenders can rub on the tires if nudged misplaced

If you’re usually commuting long distances or reside someplace close to numerous hills, I extremely suggest contemplating an e-bike. The pedal-assistance native to e-bikes makes biking, be it to work, the shop, or simply round city, a way more nice expertise (plus, who does not like displaying as much as the place they intend to go not coated in sweat?). 

My favorite e-commuter is Precedence’s Present, which additionally occurs to be Insider Critiques’ top choice for all e-bikes in general. The Present presents 50 miles of vary on an ultimately charged battery, handles quite a lot of terrain with ease, and is simply an all-around pleasure to journey. The very fact it wants no routine upkeep makes it a much more enticing possibility. 

The bike itself is a Bosch-heavy setup that includes a Bosch motor, battery, and head unit — and its reliance on one model for these parts is a significant motive why upkeep is so easy. It has five completely different pedal-assist modes, so I can simply customize precisely how much oomph I would like it to of. It has a high velocity of 28 mph of assisted speed appeared like greater than sufficient. 

Greatest customizable commuter bike

Person on commuter bike - best commuter bikes
State Bicycle

State Bicycle Co.’s Core line of commuters is a customization dream. The positioning enables you to tinker with the pedals, handlebars, saddle, and different parts to create a completely unique-to-you bike.

Pros: Tons of customization choices online, encompasses a sturdy metal body, is available in quite a lot of colors, prices lower than $400 even with add-ons.

Cons: Not all add-ons are at all times accessible, tires aren’t appropriate for a lot off-the-beaten-path using

The Core line of bikes from State Bicycle Co. is the epitome of what a commuter ought to be: Durably constructed, straightforward to journey, and customizable to the max. When first buying a Core, the State Bicycle Co. website offers you the power to select from quite a lot of add-on choices comparable to the kind of pedals you need, the saddle it comes with, and whether or not you wish to add lights or a lock (amongst others). These choices let me make a commuter bike that was wholly my very own. 

Driving the Core is simply as enjoyable as digitally assembling it, too. Although I would not suggest taking it on something rougher than flat dust street, it does nonetheless deal with uneven streets or sidewalks with ease (plus, what commuter is far of an off-roader anyhow?).

For informal neighborhood use, the Core has grown to be my go-to. It weighs lower than 30 kilos, so it is simple to stroll into my house, but its metal body feels sturdy regardless of the lightweight. I’ve nicked it several instances on railings or metallic fences, and it is by no means taken any harm, nor did it appear to be hitting it a lot more durable would do a lot both. 

The one side I could not ignore instantly after studying in regards to the Core was its worth. With most builds clocking in below $400, the bottom mannequin with no add-ons runs for simply $300. That is a hell of wealth for as strong a commuter as that is — and it is one thing that provides an excessive quantity of return on funding.

In the event you like the concept of customizing your commuter bike and need one thing that is exceptionally sturdy and enjoyable to journey, I am unable to suggest the Core line from State Bicycle Co. extremely sufficient.

Greatest retro-style commuter bike

picture of a commuter bike - best commuter bikes

The Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Bike is a superb entry-level various if you wish to give bicycle commuting a strive without spending some huge cash.

Pros: Reasonably priced, comparatively straightforward to assemble, enticing, comes with fenders and rear rack, lifetime restricted guarantee.

Cons: Several of the elements come from no-name producers

For below $300, you get so much with the Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Bike. The bike comes partially assembled, and ending the job is straightforward sufficient for a novice, so chances are you’ll not spend additional for skilled assist.

There are front and back fenders to guard you against the grime the tires may kick up. And, you may carry your work objects utilizing the included rear rack. The body is a product of metal and encompasses a fabulous make quaint city fashion. The spring seat supplies a snug, upright journey. Schwinn backs the standard of this bike with a lifetime restricted guarantee.

Check it out

Greatest full-featured commuter bike

a commuter bike sitting outside - best commuter bikes

The State Bicycle Deluxe 3 Speed City Bike comes with everything; it’s an essential commute in all kinds of climates, so you do not have to fret about buying extras a la carte.

Pros: Engaging look, comes with all it’s essential to begin commuting to work, handles an array of street circumstances

Cons: Laborious to assemble, complaints about flimsy elements

The State Bicycle Deluxe 3 Speed City Bike comes with a rear rack, an entrance basket with a drink holder, fenders, and a chainguard. These options all assist get you and your work gear from level A to level B, whereas defending you from particles and water your tires could kick up. Like our high decide, the Franklin 3, this can be a Dutch-style bike, suggesting your journey in an extra upright place for better consolation and visibility.

There are three kinds of the Metropolis Bike: The Keansburg, The Elliston, and The Rylee. The principal variations are the colors, although Rylee’s body has a step-through geometry, whereas The Elliston and The Keansburg have high tubes which are extra parallel to the bottom.


What ought to I search for in a commuter bike? 

A crucial consideration when shopping for a commuter bike is consolation. If using a bicycle is not gratifying, you are by no means maintaining it and will simply accumulate mud. Happily, while buying a motorbike online, retailers usually work with native outlets to assemble the bike and supply the mandatory last tweaks to ensure the match is correct.

Do bikes purchase online come assembled?

Many online bike purchases provide the possibility of assembling the bike by yourself or having a neighborhood bike store do it for you. In my expertise, it is valuable the additional cash to have knowledgeable do it. The specialists have the fitting instruments, loads of knowledge and can probably end the job in a fraction of the time it will take you.

Are there electric commuter bikes?

Sure, there may be a variety of electric bikes that fall into the class of “commuter,” and we have even included one above. If you’re keen on this type of bike, I like to recommend trying out our complete guide to electric bikes.

With e-bikes, you will get as much or as little assistance as you need in your commute. That is particularly useful if you encounter hills in your route; otherwise, you simply wish to get house rapidly after an exhausting day. And it is value declaring that whereas an e-bike does present powered help, you continue to pedal.

How I test commuter bikes

The commuter bikes featured on this information have been examined (aka ridden) to determine how properly they carried out throughout these four classes: Trip expertise, upkeep calls for, consolation, and worth.

Here is how every class notably contributed to which bikes, in the end, made it into the information:

Trip expertise: A commuter bike is not going to wow you with its off-road prowess or on-road velocity; nevertheless, it ought to nonetheless be enjoyable to journey. This implies how properly it handles metropolis using as much as cruising by way of the park or taking a journey by way of your neighborhood. We also checked out how every bike’s dealing with affected its journey fashion, and if it is one thing we appeared ahead to use, regardless of whether we wished to go to the shop or break a fast sweat.

Upkeep calls for: Recurring upkeep prices are inevitable; nevertheless, it’d be good to not should get one thing fastened in your bike each other month. Although commuter bikes will not be pushed to their limits whereas merely used to a neighborhood espresso store, we nonetheless pushed the examined fashions to their limits to see if any parts have been unnecessarily pressured or displaying indicators of damage and tear. 

Consolation: Maybe an essential side of a commuter bike (and most bikes, basically) is how snug it’s. If it is not one thing that is nice to journey, you are unlikely to wish to journey it very much. Consolation also extends not simply to the seat but the handlebar form and fabric used on the grips. 

Worth: A mixture of the classes earlier than it, worth appears to be like not simply at how a lot a commuter bike is but when it is well worth the sticker worth. It is at all times higher to spend extra for high quality and sturdiness than to pay much less extra usually. 

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