Written By
Published Nov. 30, 2018

Some of us live close enough to work to be able to cycle there. However, for it to be a long term habit, it is best to invest in the best commuter bike possible so that commuting to and from work is comfortable and safe. However, there are so many urban bikes out there that choosing one can be an intimidating prospect – especially when some of the best bikes for men and women can be quite expensive.

Here is our selection of the top ten urban bikes on the market. Each one is an an excellent city commuter bike, whether it is a hybrid bicycle or just a straight city bike that should not be used on any terrain other than roads. We also have included our buying guide to the best urban bikes so that once purchased, it is possible to keep your city bike in the best possible condition as well as finding the position to ride your chosen commuter bike in.

The Best Commuter Bike

Schwinn is a highly reputable brand and with the the manufacturing and production of this hybrid bicycle, it continues to make market leading commuter bikes. This is a prime example of the best commuter bike available at the moment.

This particular urban bike model has a classic look that means it will not date while the coordinating fenders further work towards its sleek finish. The fenders also mean that your clothes should remain protected from any splashes on the morning commute so that you can turn up to work looking pristine – like all the best city bikes should do.

It has 21 speeds available with a Shimano twist shifter and a Shimano rear derailleur. This makes riding this good commuter bike easy and manageable so that you do not turn up to the office flustered or overworked. That being said, the amount of gears make it suitable for more difficult rides than your average urban bike and can be taken out for longer jaunts with ease.

Those that need a hybrid bicycle that is excellent as a city commuter bike should look no further than this commuter bicycle. It is quite simple the best commuter bike on the market. Plus it comes in at a very good value for money price.

Key Features
  • Classic look with front suspension fork
  • Suspension is excellent so no need to fear bumps in the road
  • 21 speeds with a Shimano twist
Specification
  • Brand Schwinn
  • Model 46 pounds
  • Weight 46 pounds

This is a close second to the best commuter bike that is available on the market at present. 6KU is one of our preferred manufacturers of urban bicycles that make for easy riding to work. This is a fixed gear single speed city bike, which does not suit everyone, but it is often preferred for those that simply want an urban bicycle to act as a commuter road bike.

It comes with a lightweight design due to the aluminum frame, which keeps it strong. Its weight allows users to carry the bike easily to and from wherever they need – be it up stairs, off a busy train or into a bike rake. 6KU has definitely designed this therefore with the commuter in mind. As a manufacturer they pride themselves on building bikes with the end user in mind, so do not do anything too flashy. They simply get the basics right, time after time creating some of the best city bikes around.

All in all this is a very affordable bike that won’t disappoint those that are looking for a city bike that helps them with their everyday transportation to and from work. It has so many top quality features like replaceable stainless steel dropouts, smooth welds and, of course, that premium aluminum frame that make it one of our top buys.

Key Features
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Removable front and rear brakes
  • 30mm deep V double wall alloy wheels
Specification
  • Brand 6KU
  • Weight Track-Black-Black-47cm

For those that have not tried a fat tire bike yet, this may be the hybrid bike that makes you do it. The wide tires make going over any terrain a breeze, so that whatever your commute to work is like, you can make it with ease. Plus, fat tires give you a distinct look to help you stand out from all the other types of urban bicycle out there.

While the tire width may not be for everyone, there are plenty of other features that may make potential customers buy this bike. For starters, the Malus has 7 speeds with a Shimano rear derailleur. Additionally, it has rear disc brakes as well as disc brakes in the front, so it is an incredibly practical design, which may surprise some. The frame is made of steel, so while it may make it heavy, it does enable riders to get up over sidewalk edges and embankments with more ease than many other of the best urban bikes available.

Plus, the fat tires means that this commuter road bike can also be used at the weekend, regardless of the task in hand. If that means a trip to the beach for a cycle on the sand, the tires can cope – as can the riders legs, without any difficulty.

It is definitely one for those that looking for a hybrid bicycle.

Key Features
  • Designed specifically with being one of the best bikes for men in mind
  • Has 26 inch by 4 inch knobby tires
  • Cruiser design helps rider on any terrain
Specification
  • Brand Mongoose
  • Model R5714AZDS

This elegant commuter bike is designed for a woman rider with the low slung frame design. It comes in a variety of pretty colors that will suit most women’s tastes. From candy floss pink, to classic black, there will be a shade made of this good commuter bike for everyone lady out there.

Importantly, for the city dweller rider, it has 7 speeds and is therefore suitable for a variety of gradients within any city. Those that ride to and from work every day on their commuter road bike will find that this answers all their needs, therefore, comfortably. This also means that the rider will have a comfortable ride with its well designed bike seat and easy mount frame. Given that it is made with women in mind, even those that use their urban commuter bike while wearing a skirt, will be able to get to work with ease.

The Beaumont 7 is not totally constructed when first delivered, but the manufacturer promises that it is 85% of the way there. It is easy to finish off however, with the easy to follow instructions, plus it is a good way to get to know your bike for any further issues. Plus, it comes with a steel rear rack so that you can transport your items that you need for your day easily. 

Key Features
  • Lightweight steel frame
  • Upright riding position specially designed with commuting in mind
  • 7 speed Shimano gears and RevoShift grip shifters
Specification
  • Brand Retrospec by Westridge
  • Model 2378

This is the best commuter bike out there that folds up for a commuter’s ease and needs. It is fantastic to use therefore when coming to and from work every day and is the perfect commuter bicycle. It comes with the all important Shimano gears for up to 7 speeds. Those gears can be changed with the grip style shifter that many riders of a hybrid bike prefer.

It is a lightweight folding city bike too. In fact, it weighs just 28 pounds so it is easy to carry in any situation. Plus, even the most clumsy of users will be able to fold up the sleek design within seconds as the manufacturer has made it as easy and fuss free as possible.

What is even more clever on the part of the designers is that the adjustable step means that riders of all shapes and sizes – from 5 foot to 6 foot tall – can ride this bike, so it really is a city bike that will suit almost everyone.

Key Features
  • Lightweight aluminium frame
  • Easy to fold up into small compact area
  • Comes equipped with multi terrain tires
Specification
  • Brand EuroMini

This is a high performance hybrid bike by Vilano. It has a huge 24 speeds available to any rider so it is great as an urban bike as well use at the weekend on different terrains as a hybrid bicycle. Importantly, whatever you use it for, it has disc brakes that are quick to respond to a user’s pressure.

The frame is hydroformed alloy with a fork design. The gears are made from Shimano components and this urban bike is finished with 700c wheels. The handlebars allow for an upright position for ultimate comfort making this a good commuter bike for all.

Finally, we rate this amongst the best urban bikes for its classic black design.

Key Features
  • 24 speed gears
  • Shimano disc brakes
  • Frame and fork made from lightweight aluminium
Specification
  • Brand Vilano

For the guys that not only need one of the best bikes for men, but one of the chicest, then this urban bicycle from sixthreezero is the one for them. Not only does it look great, it also has a lightweight aluminium frame so it is easy to handle. Additionally, it has 7 gears in the external Shimano derailleur, so if your commute is long distance, this hybrid bicycle can handle it.

It will fit riders from five foot to up to 6 feet two inches tall and comes 85 per cent assembled. The wheels are double walled for the ultimate smooth ride on this stylish urban bike.

Key Features
  • Retro design
  • Upright handlebar position for comfort
  • Rear rack for optional baskets
Specification
  • Brand sixthreezero
  • Model 630051
  • Weight 37.5 pounds

This is a classic black commuter bike that comes packed with a whole load of extra features. For starters, the manufacturer has added security bolts in an effort to make this urban bicycle as theft resistant as possible. Additionally, this city bike comes with wheels that or puncture resistant so that any broken glass or potholes you encounter are not an issue. Finally, as it should be for all every single urban commuter bike, it is lightweight so it is easy to transport if needs be.

Key Features
  • Rust resistant lightweight aluminium frame
  • Puncture resistant tire
  • Custom security bolts to help prevent against theft
Specification
  • Brand Fortified

Raleigh has been making bikes for years, and their reputation precedes them with this excellent example of one of the best urban bikes out there. As is often wanted with a commuter bicycle, the handlebars are positioned in an upright position for comfort whilst on the road. A commuter road bike has to be able to be ridden without causing the rider’s muscles any stress.

What helps with this is the fast rolling tires that are still able to perform across a variety of surfaces. Plus, the gears are easy to change so that the rider can find the best speed depending on the situation.

Key Features
  • Shimano gears
  • Fast rolling tires that are wide enough to have traction on slippery surfaces
  • Comes in a variety of sizes to become one of the best bikes for men and women
Specification
  • Brand Raleigh Bikes
  • Model 14-17-3640

A folding bike is a great solution when looking for a commuter road bike. Plus, even though this commuter bicycle is small and lightweight, it still manages to be very quick and efficient in many situations. This is down to the 15 speed Shimano gears as well as the highly reliable Shimano disc brake system. It’s not the cheapest of our best city bikes, but it will definitely last the test of time. 

Key Features
  • Folds to 31 inches by 24 inches by 13 inches
  • Comes in a variety of colorways
  • Weighs up to 29 pounds
Specification
  • Brand Camp
  • Model Thunderbolt
  • Weight 29 pounds

Best Commuter Bike Buying Guide

Things to Consider When Buying a Commuter Bike

When in search of the best commuter bike for your journey to and from work, there are a number of things that should always be considered along the way. Firstly, however fit you are, the length of the ride will really matter. This is for so many reasons. In the first instance, the shorter your commute, the cheaper the bike you can buy as it won’t need to be able to handle such long, regular distances. Plus, a short distance commuter bike will be designed differently in terms of what the frame can handle. As a general rule of thumb, a three mile commute means that almost any urban bike will suit your needs. It is when this creeps up to 6 miles one way, that you will need to find an urban commuter bike with a seat that you find comfortable. Anything above 9 miles means you should pay special attention to how efficient the ride is as well as its speed.

commuter bike

Secondly, take note of the tire size or width. The bigger it is, the more grip on the road you will have. In general, skinnier tires will result in a quicker ride for you, but if you are likely to suffer from inclement weather on your commutes, skinny tires are not as safe. In the same vein, you also need to consider suspension. It is not always better to have suspension as again this depends on your particular needs on your daily commute with your city bike. While suspension can give you a smoother ride, some simply add weight to a journey that is smooth in the main anyway.

Lastly, look at the brakes. Not all braking systems are created equal. The best braking systems are disc brakes which are far safer than rim brakes that are much cheaper to install than disc ones. Rim brakes are prone to slipping on tires that are either wet or overly worn.

How To Get The Right Fit

Getting the right bike fit is crucial to find the best commuter bike for you. Without it, you are subject to uncomfortable rides making you far less likely to use your urban bike to get to the office everyday. It can take awhile to find a fit that suits you, but it is absolutely fundamental that you do. It is one of those things that you don’t notice when it is right, but when it is wrong it can cause your body all types of very noticeable aches and pains. The right fit will depend on your own personal goal as well as how flexible you are along with your core strength.

Firstly, look at your foot wear or cleats. If you want to ride clipped in, hetting your cleats right is essential. Start in a neutral position which means putting normal shoes on and figure out where the bony knuckle is below your big toe. Then with your eye or wipeable pen, draw a line along the sole of your shoe. Your cleats need to tally up with this market line.

Next, look at your saddle height. It can be tempting to put it low enough so that both feet fall to the floor easily. However, over a period of time this will cause knee pain. Instead, when you are on the bike, have ne leg that is almost straight with a very slight bend. This means that most people will be able to reach the road with their toes – not their whole foot.

After that check your saddle position. The saddle needs to be in a suitable place on the rails for the rider. It can’t be too far forward or too far back – both will cause some form of muscle strain. As a general rule, have the saddle in a place so your knee is over the pedal spindle.

Finally, check where the handlebars are. The reach and height of them are both equally important and can affect control and comfort. The ultimate aim is to have a slight bend in your elbows. However, some people change their handlebar height as they believe it helps them achieve better speeds.

bicycle

How To Take Care of Your New Bike

There are a number of ways to help take care of your bike so that it lasts. Keeping it clean is obviously one of the best things you can do for your bike. All you need is some soapy water, a sponge, an old toothbrush, some degreaser and some of your own elbow grease. This way you can get rid of all the oil and grit that gets in the nooks and crannies of your bike.

Secondly, ensure that your tires are always inflated properly. Standing track pumps are the best at keeping tires properly inflated, though hand pumps are obviously best when out on the road. Then, check your brake pads. If they are worn, they won’t be able to provide any braking power to your road bike. If they’re squeaky, often the answer is to clean the brakes or wheel rims. To tighten loose brakes, the best thing to do is to fiddle with the barrel adjuster right by the brake lever. An Allen key can come in useful too to open the brake nut so that you can pull it taut and close it again.

Lastly, check that your wheels are ok. If you turn the bike on to its saddle, you can then spin the wheels freely. If either wobbles from side to side, they need ‘truing’. In this event, it is best to take your bike to a professional bike mechanic.

Different Types of Commuter Bikes

These are all the main types of commuter bikes on the market at the moment

  • Hybrid city bike

Hybrid bikes are great because they mix speed and agility of road bikes with a comfortable seating position that is more commonly seen with mountain bikes. This means that the handlebars and front suspension systems are positioned where a mountain bike would have them. They are suitable for longer or mixed terrain commutes.

  • Gravel bike

Gravel bikes weren’t designed to be a city bike, but they have increased in popularity as an urban bicycle nonetheless. Also known as a cyclocross bike, they are able to handle any type of surface that a commuter may have. They are quick, durable and highly agile.

  • Single speed

Single speed bikes weren’t designed for the commute either, but they are still very popular as a commuter road bike. Otherwise known as a fixie, they’re popular as they need a minimal amount of maintenance making them almost hassle free to own. They look stylish owing to the pared back design that the lack of gears allows, but they’re not for everyone. They make it difficult to impossible to coast along which is often what happens on a commute.

  • Folding bike

For those that take public transport as part of their commute, a folding urban commuter bike should definitely be thought of as an option. For starters, it makes it easier loading it onto any train, tram or bus that is used as the best commuter bike that folds, can fold up incredibly small. They are also very lightweight making them even more portable. Depending on user preference, a folding urban bike can come either as a single speed city bike or a fully geared urban bicycle.

commuter bicycle

Our Top Pick

Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bicycle

Without doubt, our preferred city bike for commuting is the Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bicycle. We like it for its robust design that keeps the rider safe and on an even keel at all times, yet looking great and professional too. With a number of innovative features, Schwinn has most definitely made the best commuter bike that is presently available on the market at the moment. This is a hybrid bike that will suit everyone.

It is highly practical owing to the Shimano twist shift gears, of which there are 21 speeds available. These gears make it possible to use at the weekend and not just as a city bike as this hybrid bicycle can handle more than just road terrain. The bike also comes with all important fenders so that commuters can be confident that they can arrive at the office look great as their workwear won’t have been splashed on.

In short, this is a hybrid bike that will suit everyone.

Sources:

  1. How to Commute By Bicycle – wikiHow
  2. 5 Ways to Cycle Safely in the City – howstuffworks

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