Worldwide, it's hard to miss the trend of commuting with a bicycle, whether that is to work, to class or wherever life might bring you.
Bicycling as a major transportation mode is healthy both for the individual and the planet. These positives will never go out of style.
So, now is a great time to pick out the best commuter bike as a way to change your lifestyle and go green all at once. As well as add a couple of accessories to make you fall in love with your biking experience.
This guide will make it easier for you to get started on your best path and here’s what we'll cover:
- Which brands make the best commuter bikes,
- What bike might be best for your budget,
- Where to shop for the best city bikes,
- And, which accessories are the must-haves
I hope this post answers all your common and not so common questions about commuting in the city.
Why It's Beneficial to Ride a City Commuter Bike
If you are going to commit to riding to work or class instead of driving, then you need a commuter bike that will ensure a pleasant trip and will reliably and promptly get you where you need to go.
Here's what a good urban commuter bike should have:
- A steel or aluminum alloy frame – these last a lifetime.
- A comfortable, soft padded seat – to avoid unnecessary pain in the backside!
- Tires that suit the terrain – thinner tires (1.0” to 2.2”) are great for streets but wider (2.2” and up) for a rough surface.
- Functional storage spaces on the racks and fenders – to help carrying things and keep you clean.
- Plenty of accessories– gadgets make the life easier & more enjoyable.
- A lightweight, with sleek design – to not weigh you down unnecessarily.
With the best commuter bike, the valuable investment pays for itself in many ways:
- Biking is a workout to keep your body healthy
- No fuel money required
- Maneuver around pesky traffic jams in the city
- Finding a parking spot for your bike is easier than for a car
- Bikes cost thousands of dollars which is a lot less than a used car
- Riding a bike means less car traffic on the roads
- Gain the freedom of exploring alternate routes, not just required roads.
When I decided to get my first commuter bike, I couldn’t wait to get my bike delivered.
It didn't disappoint.
So, to make sure your commuter bike gives you a fuzzy feeling – here’s a list of the best city bicycles and their reviews.
Unisex Commuter Bicycles
We have picked only the best, most lightweight, size-adjustable and functional models that can fit anyone.
Now, buckle up the best of the best commuter bikes are here.
Starting From: $275
A great commuter bike thanks to its German engineering. Moreover, the price of this bike is more than affordable. And many will enjoy its excellent features:
- Aluminum frame
- Lightweight, but durable
- Suspension fork
- Alloy crank
- 21-speed shifter
- Comfortable seat and grips
- Alloy linear-pull brakes for added safety
- Rear cargo carrier
- Fenders that catch debris and water
- It has all you need to make it easy to ride to the grocery store, work, school, or wherever else.
- Its 21 speeds make it naturally easy to ensure you're not working too hard, no matter what the terrain you're riding on is.
- Affordability and practicality are the qualities of this Schwinn model.
- Common problems with this model are mostly with the rims that come on the bike. The 700C alloy rims have a 24-spoke pattern that is of standard construction. For more serious riders that put on hundreds of miles in a month, these rims just aren't cut out for it.
- The spokes are known to blow out, resulting in the rim coming out of true alignment, and hopefully not happening at high speeds.
Bottom line: if you're looking to give your car a break when you go somewhere close, then this is one of the best commuter bikes you can find.
But if you will commute to work on daily basis, another type of bike might be a better purchase.
Starting From: $598
Diamondback Haanjo Tero All-Terrain bike is the perfect solution if you are looking for a comfortable ride on all surfaces. No matter where you live or where you ride, this commuter bike will take the abuse in stride.
Unlike most other urban bicycles, Diamondback offers this model in separate sizes. Choices are a small, medium, and large, so it'll fit virtually anyone. The size chart is here.
This cycle is made of aluminum alloy and the frame can withstand pressure for years. It has a formed top tube that is fully butted for extra strength and security.
Other benefits of buying this commuter bike:
- All-Terrain Design
- Size options
- Aluminum alloy frame
- Fully butted formed top tube
- Kenda tires
- Two water bottle holders
- Tektro Lyra disc brakes
- X-Duro Flaero gravel bar
- Diamondback gravel disc steel fork
- Fenders and low rider mounts
- Many accessories available
- Diamondback has set the bar high. Adventurers or commuters will be able to have enjoyable rides all year long thanks to the tires and the steering capability.
- Groceries can be strapped to the bike rack. And any items you need for work can be stowed in the secure bag that straps to the frame.
- For longer rides, you might want to consider switching the saddle because it might not that comfortable.
In short, for the price, the quality is what you would want in a commuter bike.
Starting From: $2,248
The Alpenchallenge is BMC’s hybrid bike. It’s famous for its stylish and sleek design.
This bike will be your perfect companion in town, and most importantly it’s scary-fast! It's also ideal if you tend to oversleep and be in a hurry for work.
This urban bike moves through town so effortlessly thanks to its triple-butted, hydroformed aluminum frame with super short chainstay and weight-shaving carbon fork.
The Shimano drivetrain and hydraulic braking system elevate your urban riding experience with reliable shifting and steady braking regardless of weather conditions.
The best part is this bike has no chain. It comes with a Gates carbon belt, making it the perfect commuter bike because the belts typically last up to three times longer than chains. Obviously, this ensures easier maintenance, while protecting your pants from getting greasy marks.
- Triple-butted, Hydroformed Aluminum frame
- Shimano Alfine 11-speed gear
- Disc brakes and hydraulic braking system
- Hidden fender mounts
- Size options
- Gates carbon belt
- Carbon forks
- Continental Sport Contact II, 28mm tires
- This bike has an incredible speed and will be quicker than a car in most instances around the town.
- Definitely, a bicycle you want to consider if you want a reliable, low-maintenance commuter bicycle.
- It has mud-proof bicycle fenders.
- This bike is not cut out for off-road excursions.
- And you will need to add a rack mount if you tend to do grocery shopping when commuting from work.
Starting From: $599
Some of the best urban bicycles are folding bikes, which compress easily and fold up neatly for storage while being easy to carry.
With this bicycle, you will be able to navigate the urban terrain with the 8-speed drivetrain that comes standard. It comes in at 26 lbs., that tells that it is built solid with quality standards in mind, but it is lightweight enough for the user to easily carry it around.
Folding bikes certainly look different than other solid bikes, but for their mobility features, the design and look is well worth it.
This bike's main specs:
- Folds for easy storage and increased mobility
- 15-second unfurl time
- Theft resistant
- Quality build
- New look and feel
- Aluminum alloy construction
- 8-speed Shimano drivetrain
- Fits in a carry bag
- Many available accessories for commuting
- Rear rack included
- Single wall aluminum alloy rims
- Front and rear fenders
- Being able to fold up your bike and carry it with you in a shoulder bag is certainly a plus.
- You could stow your bike under your desk or in the corner of your office at work.
- Another option, of course, is using VELOSOCK which is a great solution for storing a bike both at home and at work
- It takes to unfurl the bike is only about 15 seconds. Unchaining a bike from the bike rack takes longer than that.
- It feels solid and robust, so when you get up to high speeds, you do not feel like it will fall apart.
- The ride is comfortable, despite the design, and the bike is adjustable to fit any rider.
- Some people may not like the design of the bike. It is designed in a way that makes it easy to fold and takes up the least amount of space.
This bike is not for everyone, admittedly. Folding bikes look different, but for a good reason, and the good might outweigh the bad.
Starting From: $769
Electric commuter bikes have grown in popularity because it takes the hard work out of riding a bike. Their sole purpose is to be used as an alternative to a car.
Electric bikes are environment-friendly, which is great if you are all about living green. And all you have to do to ride this bike is charge it every night.
Featuring a Samsung ion-lithium battery, your bike will stay charged for up to 25 miles, so bicycling to work and back home shouldn’t be a problem.
What’s even better, this electro-cycle has a pedal assist with five speeds to suit your needs so that you can go a little faster if that’s necessary. Furthermore, dual disc brakes make it easy to stop and slow down when the 240w motor gets you going.
So, here are the specs:
- 240w motor rides with ease
- Green and environmentally friendly
- Samsung ion-lithium battery
- 25 miles until next charge
- Dual disc brakes
- 650in. wheels
- 5-speed drivetrain
- Durable, built to last
- Front suspension
- Rear rack
- This bicycle is perfect for you to conquer wind and hills. If you’re just starting to commute, this could spare you from breaking an extra sweat.
- That said, it’s a 2-in-1 bicycle, so when you want to work out, just turn the motor off and start pedaling by yourself.
- Depending on the distance you want to go, you might have to charge the battery nearly every day.
- This bicycle also is quite heavy, so be prepared to build some extra muscles if your apartment doesn’t have an elevator.
Starting From: $4000
This bicycle is open for pre-orders, and it might be worth the wait because Haibike xDuro Urban is everything and more a commuter might need.
The new Haibike xDuro Urban 4.0 2018 electric bike has a sleek design and with this bicycle, you will never be late for work. It’s Speedy Gonzales kind of fast.
It's the perfect eBike for someone looking for that roadworthy machine for everyday use. With the capacious Bosh battery, you’ll get between 30-140 assisted miles and the motor peaks at 500w.
The new model will have a more comfy saddle, ergo grips and high-rise bar that offers comfort over longer distances than its predecessors. And there’s more:
- All-aluminum frame
- 11 speed XT drivetrain
- Bosch 500Wh PowerPack Battery
- Frame sizes available
- Schwalbe’s Marathon Supreme tires
- Shimano SLX 2018 hydraulic disc brakes
- Integrated front and rear LED lights
- This road bike is more “urban” than the others of its kind, so you’ll have a better position for the daily commute.
- It's fast enough if you want to keep up the pace with your friends, while the assisted speed will make it effortless.
- It also means that you don't have to wear your Lycra to ride it!
- The top assisted speed is 20 mph.
- This bike will be a better option for roads rather than bumpy terrain.
- The bike doesn’t offer throttle mode, so you’ll have to bike a little yourself too, but we don’t see it as con all the way because you will definitely benefit from the exercising.
Starting From: $1450
The Cube SL Road SL is a good-looking bike, right?
Furthermore, there's no compromise on comfort and performance.
This bike packs a lightweight frame with built-in fixing points for mudguards, a luggage rack and Cube’s CMPT kickstand, available as an accessory.
What’s great it has all the necessary parts a commuter might need:
- Aluminum Superlite Crossroad Taper Double Butted Frame
- Shimano Deore Hydraulic Disc Brake
- 11-speed Shimano drivetrain
- Schwalbe Kojak 35mm tires
- Carbon forks for lightweight
- Frame sizes available
- This bike is our favorite from the list. Style, comfort, and functionality define this bicycle.
- You’ll need to pull some strings to find a dealer in the United States that sells this beauty, but nowadays everything is possible.
- For our European friends, however, nothing stops you.
Women's City Bicycles
Our female readers might be looking for something a bit more special to make commuting enjoyable no matter what.
So, we got you covered.
Women's bikes tend to be a bit smaller than men's bikes. Also, a step-through frame gives women a chance to wear skirts and dresses while hopping on and off the bike. So these are the things we took into account when picking these bicycles.
I hope you like it.
Starting From: $139.00
This bike is a wonderful choice for women who want style, modern features, and design with safety in mind.
You don't have to worry about wearing skirts or dresses while riding this roadster because it has a steel step-through frame and added comfort where it is needed. For just over a hundred dollars, it is a steal.
Here are the parts:
- Retro urban style steel frame
- 7 Speed twist grip shifters
- Chrome-look fenders and rear spring loaded rack
- Free pedals and locking kickstand
- Water bottle mounts and rear spring loaded rack
- Suspension saddle and matching grips
- Linear pull brakes for great stopping power
- The features promise that this will be a reliable commuter bike.
- The set of accessories that come with it will be enough to start commuting.
- It won’t take you far on a daily basis, so consider the distance you must travel daily as well as the terrain.
- Nevertheless, if the budget is low and you want that retro style, it’s a good pick.
Starting From: $1100
If you want one of the best electric bikes you can own, then this bike will not let you down.
The bike features an 18in. euro-style step-through frame, front suspension, double wall aluminum rims with Kenda tires, and all these wonderful features:
- Aluminum euro-style frame
- Shimano 3 or 7-speed drivetrain
- Bafang 240W motor
- Between 25-50 miles per charge
- Vader comfort city saddle
- Accessories included: Bell, kickstand, front and rear lights
- Transparent wheel guard
- Rear rack
- This bike is packed with everything you'd need on a bike, so if you’re averse to bicycle parts and assembly, you can just jump on and get going.
- The additional eBike feature is a huge advantage, especially if you live in a hilly area.
- Yes, the price for this electric bike is accurate, and think about the thousands you save vs. buying a car.
- As all electric bikes this one is on the heavier side, but as you shouldn’t be exhausted from the ride itself, hopefully, this will make up for it.
This is the commuter bike we recommend it will suit even the most demanding female cyclists.
Starting From $1260
This is not a bike but every girl's dream.
This Royal Dutch velocipede has everything an everyday bicyclist needs. With this bicycle you won’t have to think about any additional accessories, even the bell is included, so the price is more than wonderful.
The bicycle is packed with Shimano 8-speed drivetrain, powerful front and rear-roller brakes, and durable puncture-resistant tires.
What makes this bicycle one of a kind, but also one of the most common bicycles in the Netherlands, is its patented Flat Foot Technology – for quick stops at the traffic — getting up and down the bicycle is effortless.
Here’s everything that’s included:
- Lightweight 6061-t6 aluminum frame
- Shimano Nexus internal 8-speed w/freewheel
- Abus ring lock
- Full chainguard and integrated alloy crank
- Alloy coat/skirt guards
- Shimano dynamo front hub
- Hub dynamo powered front and rear led lights
- Premium chrome
- Puncture-resistant casing for your tires
- Alloy rear rack
- Custom bell
- With this bicycle, you get every accessory you need, including the lights, fenders and a back rack.
- The journey with this bicycle will be supremely comfortable, and if you’re new to this style of bicycle you'll soon realize the benefits of commuting in the upright position.
- It probably won’t be the quickest ride if you’re switching to this Dutch beauty from a more classic road bike, but with this bike, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the ride.
With this list of commuter bicycles, we wanted to make sure everyone will find something suitable for their needs. We asked experts. We questioned commuters. And this is what they suggested.
So, with the right commuter bike - you are almost ready. Just a few more things to know.
Tips on How to Bike to Work
Riding a bike to work can do so many wonderful things for your health, the environment and even for your mood. I guess there is a reason why the happiest countries in the world are also the ones where cycling is prevalent.
As it gains in popularity, they too might be interested in switching to commuting by bicycle. So in this section, you'll find plenty of beneficial information and biking to work tips, as well as some bicycle to work myth busting, ahead in this section.
Know Your Route
Map the distance to your destination and time the ride using your average speed.
You might have to adjust your alarm clock to be in places on time, but you could also save a lot of time by finding routes through remote streets designated bike lanes or off-road trails.
Google Maps have been updating their directions for cyclists it just depends on your location. So, find the right App ahead of the journey.
Know the Law
Don’t put yourself and others in danger, so be sure to research the law in your country and state first.
In some states, it's against the law to ride a bike on certain streets, and you must wear a helmet.
You also should know hand signals and what's considered safe and what's dangerous.
All this you should be able to research online – just Google for cycling rules in your location.
Nevertheless, the safest solution might be to stop by at your local police department, and they will gladly answer all your questions about commuting to work on a bicycle.
But don’t do it for the authorities!
You should always wear a helmet for your own safety regardless of the law.
The same goes for safety on the road. If you’re commuting along with the cars, you are in a more vulnerable state than the person in a car.
Approach cars with caution, wear reflective items and have proper lights on your bike if you commute during dark hours.
Prepare your Fitness Level
You will notice only after few trips to work that your fitness level will grow exponentially.
If you are worried about sweating, adjust the pace and just in a week you will be smelling better than if you would take the metro. Being prepared is key to enjoy commuting to work.
And on weekends you can take your bicycle off-road for a workout. Before you know it, cycling to work will be a breeze. Your body will adjust quickly for the long bike commute to work.
Keep Yourself Clean
There's no reason you should arrive at work covered in dirt.
Bikes have fenders that keep road debris, water, mud, and other icky stuff from getting on your clothes.
If you wear a suit, consider wearing different clothes during your commute, and change before your shift starts. Backpacks and rear racks are perfect for storing extra clothes and other items (that are reviewed later).
It’s hard to prepare for a bad weather. But, if you always pack rain and snow gear, as appropriate, you will be able to commute worry-free.
In cold climates, winds can be just as bad as any other weather:
- covering your face might be a good idea.
- wear Chapstick on your lips,
- a neck gaiter for your neck and face,
- and consider getting glasses or goggles that fit with your helmet without impeding your field of vision.
Here’s an excellent video guide on everything you need to pack to have a safe trip to work by bike.
Bicycle at Work
One of the last things that bicycle commuters consider is where and how to store their bikes when they get to their office.
No one wants to lock up their expensive commuter bike outside, especially in bad weather.
However, your employer may not appreciate you bringing a dirty or wet bicycle into the office and leaving tire marks all over the floor and walls.
VELOSOCK is the perfect solution to this dilemma.
Every cyclist commuter should own one of these amazing accessories that keep the office clean and your bike safe!
See, riding a bike to work or class is a piece of cake.
You just have to be prepared for what comes next, and you will notice that the benefits vastly outweigh the negatives.
Now when you know how to prepare for biking to work, let’s review few essential accessories.
Must-Have Bike Accessories for the Daily Commuter
Commuter bike gear is essential to keep you safe on the road and to make the journey to work, university, or wherever else, more comfortable.
Commuter bike accessories have saturated the market, the prices are low, and the value is sky-high.
So, here’s our bicycle accessory list and our reviews as cycling experts with many years of experience.
Starting From: $81 each
The Rindow Bullet light is the perfect light for city commuting and will double as a stylish accessory.
With USB charging and three modes, this light can get you up to a 50-hour runtime. Moreover, when it comes to safety no price is too expensive.
Starting From: $500
For night riding when it’s essential to see your surroundings, you might want to invest in something more sturdy. Like this 2,3500 lumens bright bike light with a rechargeable 11,600mAh battery.
This light adapts the brightness level in real-time and can provide up to 3,200 lumens when required. This means less illumination when climbing and more when descending during the ride.
It’s perfect if your trips take place through hilly city districts, forests or remote areas.
Starting From: $12
A mirror is a necessary and affordable accessory.
It mounts on a handlebar, so anyone will be able to install this bike accessory.
The mirror rotates to ensure you see exactly what you need to when you are cycling. Moreover, the curved glass lets you see more behind you.
You can also opt for a mirror that's mounted on your helmet.
Starting From: $59
Moving your bicycle from the trails, roads or dirt and inside the home or your office can be frustrating.
Hosing off and brushing your bike is not always an option every time you ride.
Thus, VELOSOCK has the perfect solution for you and your bike.
It covers the entire bottom half of the bike acting as an impenetrable barrier between all the dirt your bike has picked up and the clean, beautiful floors and walls.
When you take it off for a ride, it folds up easily, so you do not dump all the dirt out onto your floor. As the VELOSOCK becomes dirtier, you can just throw it in the washing machine and either let it air-dry or put it in the dryer on a gentle tumble setting.
Another cool thing about this product is that it comes in many designs so that you can match the color of your bike ± or even your walls, so your bike turns into a chameleon.
Starting From: $160
The Walnut Bicycle Beer Combo is possibly the most ingenious leather-cycling product we've come across.
It'll be ideal for transporting drinks while on the bike.
The Bicycle Beer Combo consists of six-pack carrier that is comfortable to carry in hand and an adjustable frame cinch that can hold other suitable items, too.
So after a long day at work, you can carry those beers safely and in style.
Starting From: $160
This hand-crafted leather barrel bag is full of character and will allow you to ride in style.
It’s the perfect item to accommodate the essentials you need at hand and you can either attach it to your saddle or handlebar.
This barrel bag will look good both with an uber-modern urban ride or more traditional city bike.
Starting From: $67
The Bern Watts Helmet is a bike helmet inspired by skate style.
That means it's a non-traditional cycling look that is ideal for city cyclists looking for something a little more stylish for their ride.
This design is creating a trend that has been growing as the favorite for city commuters and can be upgraded with a winter liner, so you’re set for commuting all year long.
With all these gorgeous and useful accessories, your hands will be full. So, a good backpack for these items is a must.
Best Commuter Backpack for the Daily Rider
A great commuter backpack is not hard to find. But here are a few things to keep in mind and some features that a cyclist backpack should have:
- The best commuter backpack is one that can be used with a bicycle and is not too big
- Make sure the size is right for your application
- You will likely pay a lot more for quality materials in high-end bike commuter backpacks
The best commuter backpack should have the following features:
- Quality material construction
- Plenty of space to store everyday items
- Secure pockets for sensitive items
- Be water resistant
- Comfortability in the design
- Fair affordability
- Extra features that justify the price tag
With all this in mind here are our selection of the finest bicyclist backpacks.
Starting From: $80
This cyclist commuting backpack is stylish and large enough to fit your laptop, with its spacious 10-liter volume.
These bags are tough — made from used truck tarpaulins, seat belts, and bicycle tubes and will last much longer than any canvas or leather messenger bag. They are perfect for cyclists because they feature a hip-belt that holds the bag snug to your body when biking.
Freitag’s bags are not cheap, but they will outlast any bag you already have had.
Best Waterproof Commuter Backpack: Velo Transit Men's Navigator 30
Starting From: $124
This is a waterproof bicycle backpack. So, the weather will not ruin the important items you are carrying.
Inside the bag, you'll find ample space to fit a laptop, notebooks, VELOSOCK and any other items a person may need on their journey through the urban jungle.
Two color options are available for those that need color in their lives. You can also pick a size, medium or large, and the difference between them is about one-third of the space.
Starting From: $350
The Brooks products are perfect for cycling. And this spacious, water resistant roll-top backpack is no exception.
Its unique features are the innovative shoulder strap arrangement – the straps can be crossed diagonally over the chest or around the waist. With the 30-liter capacity, this spacious backpack will be your favorite ride companion on shorter or longer commutes.
Best Cycle Commuting Backpack for Work: The Brooks Piccadilly Day Pack
Starting From: $325
This versatile backpack is designed with a simple, timeless elegance and will suit the fashion-conscious rider, regardless of their gender.
It’s as comfortable as a backpack as it is when carried in hand and has a special laptop sleeve and a zip pouch for smaller items, that can be detached for effortless handling.
You are almost ready — let’s “suit-up” and get ready to commute.
Bike Commuter Clothes
Besides protecting yourself from the weather and keeping you safe in the dark, you want clothes that will look good whether you are biking or working in your office.
Daily commuters need clothing that is functional but versatile and is suitable for many different occasions.
Starting From: $98
Levi's line of commuter pants is among the best on the market.
Levi commuter cargos are strong but stretchy and wrinkle resistant, making them perfect for the daily commute and heading straight into the office.
The fit is loose enough to look like a fitted khaki but functional enough to serve as commuter pants.
Bicycle commuting pants don't get any better than this.
Starting From: $130
The Vulpine makes clothing with urban cyclist in mind.
These jeans are constructed from high-performance fabrics that look stylish and are versatile to wear in any kind of weather.
These Vulpine trousers are reflective. You can be sure that during the late-night commuting, car drivers will notice you from the distance.
Starting From: $220
Cut from Italian Epic Cotton, this Jacket guarantees great durability and comfort.
It’s water resistant to all but heavy rain. And when you have to commute in a bad weather, this jacket will keep you warm.
The design includes magnets to close the neck and rear pocket flap, avoiding untidy, noisy or fiddly buttons when riding.
Starting From: $85
These jeans are made with two-way stretch denim and lycra — a cyclist's dream for comfortable pedaling.
The seamless crotch and patented No-Crack-Back make these jeans perfect for commuting while being stylish and comfortable.
These jeans are straight and slim, giving them a tailored look that's appropriate for casual Fridays at the office!
Starting From: $40
These gloves are a great choice for biking to work or even taking longer rides.
This pair is made from breathable and impact absorbing materials. Moreover, these gloves have a reflective trim and touch screen compatible layer on the thumb, index, and middle fingers. Thus, answering a phone with these gloves will be a breeze.
Starting From: $45
This female-specific glove will fit you like…a glove. :D
The blended merino upper and micro-fiber palm creates an extremely comfortable design. But most importantly with these gloves, daily commuting will be so much more enjoyable.
Like Riding a Bike
As soon as you start commuting from point A to B, you will notice a daily boost in energy, be able to explore your surroundings and notice that you can almost always handle the weather if you are dressed properly.
Are you as excited as I am?
Your commuter bike is on its way. Commuting to work tips are in your pocket. Accessories that you need are in your stylish backpack. And you are dressed in your fancy new cyclist clothes that not even bad weather will stop you.
Happy commuting and I hope you will share your first commuting story with us.