Riding a commuter bike is a great way to drop those 10 pounds you’ve been trying to shake since January. You’ll also get a big endorphin boost from peddling to work instead of driving your car or taking public transportation. Biking also helps the environment by limiting the number of toxic fumes that you’re contributing to the air. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint substantially by jumping on a commuter bike. You also don’t have to spend big bucks to get a really good commuter bike! You can pick one up that’s totally serviceable and does what you need it to do for under $500. Here are the best commuter bikes that will give you the best value for your dollar.
What You Need To Consider Before Buying
Not all commuter bikes are created equal, and not all commuter bikes will be able to do what you need them to do. Consider strongly what you’ll be using your bike for before making a purchase. Presumably, you’ll want to use your bike to get to and from work, but do you want it to do double duty on the weekends as a mountain bike? How good are you at biking? Do you consider yourself to be a beginner or more experienced? Ask yourself honestly how athletic you are, because that will dictate what kind of bike is best suited for you.
Even on the high end, the Retrospec Bicycles Kinney 14-Speed Vintage Hybrid Diamond Drop-Bar Frame is a total steal! Its unique handlebars are designed for city riding or rough terrain and the tires are designed to repel water; a big plus if you’re cruising around slippery streets. The frame of this bike is light but it’s completely powerful. Really, the only downside to this amazing bike is that it only comes in a few limited colors so if aesthetics are important to you, you might want to give it a pass.
Pros: This bike is completely versatile and able to ride seamlessly in the city or in rural terrain.
Cons: This bike comes in a limited color palette.
The Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike is a great bike that you can get. This is a good bike for people who ride quite a bit and need to change from smooth to rough terrain. You can go at a single speed or use the fixed gears and switch between these two settings is really easy. In fact, your entire experience with this bike will be really easy as they pride themselves on having a great customer service department and will answer any questions quickly and thoroughly. Once you get your new Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike you’ll be able to assemble it very quickly too, because there are no tiny finicky parts. Everything seems designed to streamline the process. The frame is also really sturdy and this bike can definitely take a beating! The only real problem is that sometimes the pedals can lock up, which is both annoying and slightly dangerous.
Pro: The frame of this bike is extremely durable and easy to assemble.
Con: The pedals can occasionally lock up on this bike.
The affordable Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike is a really beautiful piece of equipment, both physically and in terms of how operational it is. It runs as well as a bike that’s twice its price and is a great ride for getting around the city in style and comfort. It’s easy to put together and lightweight, so if you’re living in an upstairs apartment you’ll be able to move this bike pretty easily. The paint finish is nice as well. You can tell that the manufacturer put a lot of time and effort into making a really gorgeous product. The only downside is that the brakes can be a little on the touchy side. They are fully operational but stick once in a while.
Pro: This is a really well-crafted, lightweight, and easy to assemble the bike.
Con: The brakes on this bike can be a little touchy.
If you want to move seamlessly from the metropolitan road to the woods, this is the bike for you. The Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Tourney Gravel Adventure Bike is priced at $499.99 which just gets it a place on this list. Even though it’s on the higher end of the bikes we’ve reviewed, it’s worth every penny of the price. This bike is totally intuitively designed and will give you an amazing and comfortable ride whether you’re cycling down busy streets or exploring off-road! Aside from doing double duty, you’ll also find it to be extremely durable and easy to handle in bad weather conditions. This bike does well in the rain, so you won’t have to worry about sliding all over the place during a downpour. The only real downside is that you can’t assemble this bike yourself. You need to take it to a professional to make sure it’s put together right, which could put some people off.
Pro: This bike is really durable and able to seamlessly go from riding in the city to riding in the country.
Con: You will not be able to assemble this bike on your own. You have to take it to a professional.
Vilano FORZA 3.0 Aluminum Carbon Shimano Sora Road Bike comes in at $429.00, making it a little more expensive than some of the other options on this list, but it’s worth every penny. Their customer service department is really on point and responds to queries quickly and thoroughly. The bike itself will arrive fairly quickly and you can assemble it easily. It’s very strong but lightweight and has an astounding 24 speeds so you can easily take this one from the city to the country with absolutely no problem. The only real problem with this bike ironically comes from its many speeds. It can be difficult and confusing to shift between them, so even though this is an easy bike to ride it’s not the best option for novices. Learning how to operate it effectively requires some biking experience and a whole bunch of patience. Once you figure it out though, it’s worth the ride.
Pro: This bike is really easy to assemble and it’s very strong but lightweight, making it an ideal city bike.
Con: Some people might find shifting between gears on this bike to be difficult because there are 24 of them.
What’s The Final Verdict?
With so many people ditching the four wheels and turning to two-wheeled transportation, it makes sense to give biking a go. The environment and your waistline will both thank you! You don’t need to be a Rockafeller to buy a really good commuter bike that will get you everywhere you need to go to the city and even do double duty as an off-road bike. The biggest thing you need to consider is what you’ll be using your bike for. If you need something that’s lightweight enough to get you around and also move up to an upper apartment, consider an option like the Vilano FORZA 3.0 Aluminum Carbon Shimano Sora Road Bike or the Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike, which are light enough to move anywhere. Do you want something that’s easy to assemble? Why not go for the Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike? For a premium riding experience, Retrospec Bicycles Kinney 14-Speed Vintage Hybrid Bicycle is a great option and if you need your bike to transition seamlessly from smooth city streets to the great outdoors you should really check out Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Tourney Gravel Adventure Bike. Each has different features but every commuter bike on our list is a great option that will get you into shape and make you fall in love with biking.