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If you live in a big city, then you probably know all too well how valuable time is. You also probably know very well how easily you can lose a lot of it if you get stuck in traffic on your daily commute.
Nobody wants to spend hours in a car on the highway, inching their way home, when they could be spending that time with their family. Let us suggest an alternative — commuter bikes.
Commuting by bike can often cut your travel time in half, and it doubles up as a daily workout that will help you lose weight, get fit, and stay healthy.
If you like the prospect of that, check out our selection of the 15 best bikes for commuting that will get the job done!
Finding the best bikes for commuting is not rocket science. These bicycles are built with a simple mission in mind — to get you from point A to point B in the quickest possible time, with the least amount of fuss involved.
Therefore, the best commuter bike should meet the following demands:
Basically, you need a lightweight bicycle that will have quality components able to take the daily abuse and keep working smoothly the next day. A commuter bike is a workhorse that needs to navigate intense traffic, haul a bunch of crap, and not squeeze the last cent out of your pocket on maintenance and repairs.
Deciding which 15 commuter bikes to include on this list is a task that we took very seriously. Each and every bike was analyzed by our team of experienced cyclists and bike commuters.
Additionally, we evaluated the current situation on the market, checked user reviews, and spoke with engineers and product managers. Of course, we relied on our experience as well to give you a first-hand idea of what riding these bikes feels and looks like.
To make the cut and appear on this celebrity list, each bike had to meet rigorous demands in the following areas:
Therefore, if these are things that matter to you and that you believe your next commuter bike should offer, you can rest assured that the 15 bikes below are just what you need.
Winner! Best Design and Value
Cannondale Bad Boy 2 is a bike made to spend its life on busy city streets, navigate hectic traffic, and fulfill its ultimate mission — get you where you need to be, without fail, every single time.
Cannondale Bad Boy 2 is packed with advanced technology which justifies its title as one of the best urban bikes. First of all, it’s built on a light aluminum frame made from SmartForm C2 alloy and fitted with Cannondale’s recognizable rigid Lefty fork. All of that brings the weight down to just 25 lbs.
Cannondale Bad Boy 2 is one of the best choices for urban commuting in all possible conditions, jam-packed with clever technological and mechanical solutions.
Other features that make Bad Boy 2 a real bad boy on the streets are its 18 gears with Shimano Acera/Altus derailleurs and hydraulic disc brakes. These are the best option for edgy city rides!
Add the burly 650b x 40 mm WTB Byway tires to the image and you get a bike that’s capable of a lot. If you plan to ride at night, you’ll stay visible thanks to rechargeable LED stripes on the Lefty fork and the seat post.
Cannondale Bad Boy 2 is a foolproof choice.
Best Affordable Electric Commuter
If you like the idea of decreasing your carbon footprint by commuting by bicycle, but you don’t like being sore and getting drenched in sweat, Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0 is what you’re looking for.
Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0 is one of the best electric commuter bikes on offer that will give you the extra boost your legs need to make it over that dreaded hill on your way to work.
Electric bikes keep you safe because you can stay in flow with the traffic much more easily. Turbo Vado 3.0 has a 250w motor that can assist you up to a maximum of 28 mph (45 kph). The battery has a capacity of 460Wh which translates to a decently long range, even though Specialized did not want to disclose their range estimates.
Some compromises have been made to bring the price down — Turbo Vado 3.0 comes with a Shimano Alivio 9-speed rear derailleur. Still, it’s a high-entry-level groupset that will perform well.
But if you’re looking for a cheap electric bike with great range, disc brakes, and front suspension, you can safely go for Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0.
Best Cruiser Commuter Bike
Yes, we believe a cruiser can be one of the best bikes for commuting.
If you live near your office and you just need to cover a few kilometers every day on bike paths to get to your job, sixthreezero EvryJourney gives you just enough bang for your buck.
This is a cruiser-style commuter bicycle intended for relaxed rides to and from work, school, or a ride to the supermarket. It’s ideal to take your kids to school and pick them up afterward.
EvryJourney has a brightly colored aluminum step-through frame with a rigid fork. This makes it really easy to mount and dismount quickly.
Sixthreezero EvryJourney is available in a large variety of colors and gear options, so anyone can find a model that suits their preferences perfectly.
Moreover, it rolls on wide and comfy 2-inch tires wrapped around stable and responsive 26″ wheels. To stop them from rolling, just engage the fuss-free alloy V-brakes.
The model we chose comes with 7 speeds and Shimano components on the drivetrain. But depending on what you need, you can choose 1-spd, 3-spd, and 21-spd models as well.
This is a bike for those who want to commute in style and whose main requirement is comfort. Sixthreezero EvryJourney is made for you!
Best Women’s Commuter
We’d love to see an equal saturation of male and female bicycle commuters on the streets. That’s why we’re showing you the best commuter bike for women — Cannondale Althea 3.
Cannondale made Althea 3 for women who dare to stray off the beaten path and seek adventure on a daily basis.
Its main highlights include the durable and light SmartForm C2 aluminum frame (straight from Cannondale’s workshop) and an SR Suntour NEX fork with 50 mm of travel.
These are sent down the road with a 2×8 drivetrain powered by Shimano Tourney and Altus parts. These are entry-level groupsets (it’s a $700 bike, after all), but you don’t really need much more if you’re a beginner. You’d just be paying more for something you won’t use.
Cannondale Althea 3 is a two-wheeled machine that can casually cruise on asphalt and then lift dust in the air on dirt and gravel roads seconds later.
Ultimately, what gives Cannondale Althea 3 its capabilities are the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and 700 x 40 mm tires that stay firmly on the road.
Ladies, this is one of the best bikes for commuting!
Best Fixie Commuter
Are you wondering why the world is going crazy for fixies right now? The Pure Cycles Original Series bike is your ticket to the exciting single-gear world!
Have you ever seen bike messengers slaying traffic on packed New York streets? This is the type of bike they use.
Pure Cycles Original Series is a simple and lightweight bicycle built around a durable steel frame, with a hard-to-believ price, running on a single-speed or fixed-gear drivetrain.
This Pure Cycles model has no suspension, no derailleurs, and no complicated brakes. Therefore, it has nothing that can break down. Its maintenance is as easy as cleaning and lubricating the chain now and then.
It comes with 700c 40 mm deep-dish wheels with fast and grippy 28 mm tires ideal for rugged city streets. The rear wheel features a flip flop rear hub which means one side has a regular single-speed cog, whereas the other has a fixed-gear cog. All you need to do to swap between the two is turn the wheel around.
The Pure Cycles Original Series bike comes in two colors: black and silver. Both look amazing on the road!
Zero-Maintenance Carbon Belt
How does a zero-maintenance bike sound to you? Nothing to lubricate, just sit, ride, and get where you need to be. That’s what Co-Op Cycles CTY 1.3 is all about.
As we mentioned, the Co-Op Cycles CTY 1.3 is practically a zero-maintenance bike that requires no lubrication because it has no chain. Instead, the drivetrain is powered with a durable carbon belt that requires almost no attention from your side.
To make things merrier, CTY 1.3 has a Shimano Alfine 8-disc internal-gear hub. That means that the entire gearing system is inside the hub, cannot get dirty, and does not need to be cleaned or lubed.
Co-Op Cycles CTY 1.3 is an ideal bicycle for someone who lacks the time, knowledge, or the willpower to do regular maintenance on their bicycle.
In addition, Co-op Cycles CTY 1.3 hydraulic disc brakes and wide 35 mm tires, both of which will provide you with much-needed confidence when out and about.
It’s truly one of the best picks for riders who have simplicity on their mind and just want to ride.
Best for All-Terrain
Trek Verve 1 Disc and Verve 1 Disc Lowstep are two bikes that do not accept any cycling labels. They are not whatever someone says they are but what their riders want them to be.
Trek Verve 1 Disc is the male version, whereas Verve 1 Disc Lowstep is the female version. In essence, they are pretty much the same. They have the same components and the same price, but their frame type and paint job is different.
Both are packed with Shimano Tourney and Altus components that deliver 21 gears, which is more than enough for city and off-road riding. Not all the best bikes for commuting have it!
Moreover, they have mechanical disc brakes and gnarly 45 mm tires, so you can take them on a serious gravel test if you want to.
Trek Verve 1 Disc and Verve Lowstep are two capable adventure bikes that can be used for commuting, fitness or traveling on all types of terrain.
The geometry on both of these bikes is slightly upright, with a longer wheelbase, which adds to comfort and stability. The female version has a geometry that suits the female body better, but that does not mean the men’s version is just for men.
If you’re looking for more adventure in your life, you can begin with Trek Verve 1!
Cheapest on This List
MSRP: Check From Amazon
As its name tells you, Raleigh Detour 1 is a bike that can serve as a city commuter but can take you on a detour as well. If you want to do both, keep reading below.
We like Raleigh Detour 1 because it is affordable, simple, and versatile. It is not a flashy bicycle that will impress everyone, even its paint job is quite inconspicuous.
It has a durable aluminum frame with an even more durable Steel Hybrid fork that will last you a lifetime. These feature numerous eyelets where you can mount fenders, lights, racks, water bottle holders, and whatever else you need to ride comfortably.
Raleigh Detour 1 is a do-it-all cheap bicycle with excellent value, that does a fantastic job of transporting you and your stuff from one place to another.
The components are entry-level Shimano Altus and Tourney which shift smoothly and are a good deal for this price. In total, there are 21 gears at your disposal — I can’t imagine a situation where you will need more.
One thing lacking is disc brakes, but you can certainly do without them if you ride casually. Finally, the 42 mm tires will ensure a comfortable and stable ride every single time.
Best Retro Design
MSRP: $549.99 (was $749.99)
Tommaso Classico is a versatile commuter bike that sports a retro Italian design that will leave nobody indifferent. We love the concept behind it and the surprises it packs considering the price.
When it comes to materials, the engineers at Tommaso decided to go for a mixture of aluminum and steel when building Tommaso Classico. The reason is simple — steel is a durable and comfortable material that also brings the production costs down.
The drivetrain is quite simple — a 1×7 setup operated by a Shimano Tourney rear derailleur and a Shimano shifter. Nothing too impressive, but it will shift swiftly once you adjust it properly.
Tommaso Classico is a simple, straightforward, and elegant bicycle that feels at home when using it to commute or go on multi-day tours off the beaten path.
The star of the show on Tommaso Classico is definitely the Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes since many commuter bikes at this price range come with V-brakes.
The main reason why this is one of the best commuter bikes out there is that it comes with a rear rack and fenders included in the price. Thus, you can haul weight and ride it in wet weather without spending a dime more.
Most Authentic Style
Do you view a bicycle as more than just a means of transportation? If a bike is also a fashion statement for you, then you will love the unique style Brooklyn Driggs offers.
Brooklyn Driggs is one of the most authentic bicycles on our list. Its main focus is not on performance but rather on appearance and making a statement wherever you go. However, that does not mean it doesn’t ride well and it’s just for show — far from it.
Driggs is a 3-speed bicycle that touts a 4130 CrMo steel frame with a double top-tube, rear carrier, and down tube braze-ons. That certainly makes it stand out wherever you go. The rear rack can be used to fit a basket or panniers to carry your belongings.
Brooklyn Driggs is a durable everyday commuter that has it all — attractive design, reliable components, bulletproof steel frame, and lots of style.
It has just three internal gears provided by the Shimano Nexus groupset, which makes this bicycle suitable for flat, urban areas.
Brooklyn Driggs also has retro swept-back handlebars that keep your body in an upright position and gives you a good view of the road ahead. Coupled with 35 mm tires, you will be stable and comfortable on the road.
Best Spec’d Commuter
Are you serious about commuting and are willing to spend a bit more on your bike? Then you can get the Niner RLT 9 Apex with a carbon fork, hydraulic disc brakes, and a mean design.
This is a bicycle that you can use to run daily errands, commute, do a cardio workout, or go on a week-long trip. Whatever comes to your mind, you will have a trusty companion.
Niner RLT 9 exemplifies the Road-Less-Traveled matra in every single component on the bike.
It features a 760 mm wide flat handlebar that provides comfort and more control on loose terrain. It also has quite knobby 37 mm WTB All-Terrain tires that won’t slow you down on asphalt but will speed you up on gravel.
For $1,650, you’ll also get a lightweight and stiff carbon fork that translates the power from your legs directly to the wheels. On it, you’ll see trusty SRAM Level hydraulic disc brakes.
Last but not least, Niner RLT 9 has a 1×11 drivetrain and SRAM Apex components that bring simplicity and elevate performance on the road.
Most Comfortable Commuter
Marin Muirwoods RC is ready to conquer any city street you start riding it along. It has a durable and compliant Chromoly steel frame along with 47 mm slick tires that don’t mind occasional curbs or potholes.
First of all, it sports a chromoly steel frame and fork that are strong, easy to repair if need be, and pliant. Add to the mix the 47 mm tires and this bike becomes as comfortable as your couch.
If you don’t like tampering with the derailleur and the drivetrain, you’re in luck — Marin Muirwoods RC has internal gearing which offers 8 speeds. No need to clean it or lubricate it. Choose the gear you want and start pedaling.
We chose to recommend Marin Muirwoods RC because it provides an excellent ride quality thanks to the smart selection of parts fitted on it.
If you’re concerned about rain, water, and mud, you’ll be happy to see front and rear fenders when Muirwoods RC arrives at your home. It will keep the gunk on the ground where it belongs.
Best Women’s Step-Through
What does the perfect women’s commuter bike should look like? Something similar to Liv Flourish 4. Stylish, elegant, and smart, with versatility and performance in mind.
Liv Flourish is all you need from a women’s commuter bike and much more. It has a lightweight aluminum frame with a steel fork that make riding easy and comfortable. The classy step-through design makes it easy to get on and off the bike.
This bike also has a kickstand, so you can park it anywhere you like and go about your day. Just remember to lock it, because we’re sure a lot of people would like to own this beauty!
Liv Flourish 4 is equipped will every possible feature that a practical women’s daily commuter should have — upright geometry, great looks, and quality components.
Apart from these, Liv Flourish 4 features a straightforward 1×7 drivetrain which eliminates the front derailleur and all of the complications that come with it. It brakes using aluminum V-brakes which are tried and true.
There are also numerous eyelets, so you can fit a rear rack and fenders, mount a kid’s seat, and take your children to school. Do it all in style with Liv Flourish 4.
Best Electric Commuter Bicycle
Finally, something for the e-bike lovers out there. Benno Escout 9D is the ultimate electric commuter that will make your life easy and your commutes fast and smooth.
Ever since e-bikes were introduced to the cycling world, we’ve seen a boom in the number of cyclists on the city streets — and we love it.
Thanks to the high-spec’d Benno Escout 9D, there are no more hills that are insurmountable or locations that are too far away to cycle to.
Benno Escout 9D is a pedal-assist bicycle with a Bosch 250 Watt motor and a 400 Wh battery. This means you can develop a 20 mph (25 kph) speed and cycle for anywhere between 30 and 75 miles (50-120 km). That’s more than enough to get you to your office, run errands after work, and leisurely cycle back home.
Apart from these high-tech gizmos, Escout 9D also features a 9-speed Shimano Alivio drivetrain which you will solely rely on if you run out of battery.
Stopping the bike is easy as well, thanks to the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and 27.5″ x 2.4″ wide Schwalbe tires that provide plenty of grip.
Best Foldable E-Commuter
Folding bike for best bike for commuting? Why not!
If you’re not cycling to work because your commute also involves a train ride, that’s not an excuse anymore with the Tern Vektron D8. This a folding electric commuter bike you can ride, carry or drive anywhere.
This electric bicycle rolls on small and wide 20″ x 50 mm wheels and tires which are its main asset. It also has a powerful 250 W motor and a long-lasting 400 Wh battery. It’s estimated range is between 40-90 km, so even if you go as fast as possible, you can still make a 40km round trip on one charge.
Tern Vektron D8 is a tiny foldable commuter bike that packs a strong punch when it comes to performing in any given situation and disappears in a corner of your room when you don’t need it anymore.
We should not forget about the Shimano Claris 1×8 drivetrain which moves the bike in the first place — electrics are only there to lend you a helping hand.
Even if you go too fast, you can easily stop on a dime with the trusty Shimano hydraulic disc brakes.
Tern Vektron D8 also comes with fenders and a rear rack which adds to its functionality and makes it extremely practical in all weather conditions.
When we were deciding which bikes to include, we made sure to only choose reliable bikes that come with quality parts and a quality build.
In terms of components, you get what you pay for, but even the cheapest bike on this list is made to last for years and ride for thousands of miles.
Therefore, whichever model you end up choosing, you will get a practical, durable, and fun commuter to ride every day, avoid traffic jams, and stay healthy and happy.