Commuter bikes are an alternate mode of transportation to and from work, or running errands, other than cars. They usually come in the form of a hybrid and mountain bike with an accompany rack for any cargo you might be toting along. If they are something you might be interested in purchasing, read on for the benefits of commuting with a bike, things you should consider when purchasing one, and reviews for the best commuter bikes available.
Top 10 Commuter Bike Comparison Table
|Pure Fix Cycles Urban||Tig-welded steel|
|Vilano Aluminum||Double Butted Aluminum Frame|
|Critical Cycles Hybrid||Diamond Steel|
Alloy Four Finger Lever
|Critical Cycles Fixie Urban||Premium Steel|
|Vilano Performance 700C||Aluminum Aero Performance|
|Alloy linear pull cantilever V-brakes|
|Vilano Women’s Classic||Classic Steel|
|Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie||Handcrafted steel|
|Dual alloy side pull brakes|
|Critical Cycles Dutch Style Urban||Hand-Built Step-Thru Steel|
|Alloy Dual Caliper Brake|
Alloy Four Finger Lever
|Schwinn Men’s Volare 1300||Aluminum|
|Alloy caliper pull brakes|
|Xspec 20” Folding Urban||Aluminum|
From your wallet to your body and mental health, bikes haave more benefits than you think.
Bikes are cheaper Than Driving
Cars require costly fuel and regular maintenance. According to AAA, car owners spend approximately $9,000 in maintenance and fuel, whereas cycling costs an average of $300 in maintenance per year.
Cycling is a great cardio workout. Using bikes to travel work kills two birds with one stone: getting to where you need to be and your daily cardiovascular exercise.
Skip the Traffic Jams
What’s great about biking to work during rush hour is that you get to weave in and out through traffic. Don’t be surprise when your commute time is cut drastically when you switch from driving to riding.
No Stress Over Parking
With a bike, you can park it just about anywhere. All you need is a good lock. If you have a folding model, you can even bring it indoors and keep it in a closet or under your desk.
Here are a few things about bikes you should consider before making a purchase.
A bike’s frame is its backbone. They can be made of aluminum which is strong, affordable and resistant to rust and corrosion, but aluminum frames tend to be heavy. Carbon-fiber and carbon/aluminum alloys are light, even stronger and are resistant to rust and corrosion, but they are more expensive.
Twenty-six inch tires are considered wide and give the rider an air cushion that makes riding over bumpy and rough terrain more comfortable. Road and mountain bikes have a 700c tire standard, which are lighter and rolls over pavement easily and aids in acceleration and climbing.
Hybrid bikes may have several different suspension options. Some models have a suspension fork which absorbs the impact from bumpy roads. Other bikes have suspension seat posts which absorb the shock where you are sitting.
If your commute is on fairly flat terrain, you won’t require a lot of gears and may even want to consider a single gear option. However, if your commute is hilly, then having gears will make your commute less strenuous.
Most of these bikes have linear rim brakes, also known as direct-pull or hub. They are integrated on the front or rear wheel hubs and are designed for easy riding with great durability and low maintenance. Disc brakes have calipers and rotors at the center of the wheels and offer more control when the rider is braking on descents and in muddy conditions.
Saddles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some are ergonomically-shaped, others are made of materials that make your ride comfortable and supportive. Saddles may feature cutouts that take away pressure to prevent numbness and pain, gel padding, and cushioning springs. If you are unhappy with your bikes accompanying saddle, switching it out for a more comfortable one is quite easy.
Check with the city you commute in for accessories requirements. It is unlawful in most places to ride without a bell and front and rear lights.
Top 10 Commuter Bike Reviews
These bikes have risen in popularity over the last decade, and the market is flooded with all kinds of makes and models. We’ve researched the reviews for the top 10 options on the market and compiled the information in this buying guide.
The Vilano Aluminum has a double butted aluminum body and features a Hi-Ten 700c 1-1/8” threadless fork, a Shimano rear derailleur, Shimano A050 thumb shifters, a forged alloy 50/40/30 crankset, alloy caliper brake, a 700c double-walled black anodized wheelset, 700x25c tires, and free platform pedals.
It is easy to assemble, with everything you need in the package. It is durable and sturdy for a lightweight bike. With this one, the rider can easily shift with the accessible buttons. However, the brakes and tires could be of higher quality, and the narrow seat could use a little more padding for comfort.
Critical Cycles Hybrid
The Critical Cycles Hybrid has a lightweight hand-built Diamond high-tensile strength steel frame with rack and fender braze-ons. It has extra-soft brown rubber grips, a synthetic leather saddle, a lightweight hand-built classic urban fork, a Neco 1-1/8” headset, alloy riser city handlebars, a Shimano 7-speed Revoshift grip-twist shifter, alloy dual caliper brakes, an alloy four finger lever, a Shimano TX35 derailleur, Kenda Kwest 700x32c tires, alloy urban pedals, a classic bell, and a vintage style bullet head lamp.
The Critical Cycles Hybrid is lightweight but durable. It has advanced components that riders can use both in urban settings and off-road. The ergonomic design makes it very comfortable. The Shimano drivetrain is perfect for long distances and climbing hills. Grip twist shifters enable the rider to change gears while losing very little control. However, this bike is not recommended for extreme mountain biking. The kickstand is a tad too long. There is no user manual included in the package, but the assembly instructions can be found online.
Critical Cycles Fixie
The Critical Cycles Fixie has a hand-built steel track body. It features Wanda city 700x23c tires, a KMC 1/8” chain, a 1-1’8” threaded headset, a Promax alloy stem, 25.4mm riser handlebars, Kraton rubber track grips, Promax rear brake, 9/16” plastic pedals with nylon straps, and a Critical Cycles pista saddle.
The Critical Cycles Fixie is durable with solid components. This bike has a flip-flop hub which allows you to use it with the standard fixed gear or with cogs. The BMX handlebars make the riding experience safe and more comfortable. However, it does not have any front brakes, is a bit heavy, and the rims could be stronger.
Vilano Performance 700C
The Vilano Performance 700C has an aluminum double butted frame. It has a Hi-Ten straight blade fork, a Shimano TX51 front derailleur, a Shimano TX35 rear derailleur, Shimano TX-50 3/7 speed SIS shifters, alloy linear pull v-brakes, an alloy stem, Kenda 700x28c tires, an ergo comfort saddle, alloy riser handlebars, and an integrated sealed 1-1/8” alloy headset.
The Vilano Performance 700C is lightweight but strong. Shifters are easily accessible and the steel forks are built to withstand many surfaces. However, to make this one ready for hilly trails, the rider will need to upgrade the brake pad. Also, the seat is not very comfortable. Accessories like kickstand, fenders, lights and racks are not included along with basic tools to assemble the bike.
Vilano Women’s Classic
The Vilano Women’s Classic Fixie has a Hi-Tensile steel body. It features a Hi-Tensile classic curved fork, rear coaster brake, a 30mm double walled alloy rims, 700x28c tires, a Neco threadless headset, alloy mustache handlebars, a classic brown saddle with suspension, a KMC chain, and free platform pedals.
The Vilano Women’s Classic Fixie has coaster brakes which make stopping easy using foot pedals instead of your hands. The geometry of the bike gives the rider an ergonomically comfortable ride. Assembly is easy with all required tools included with the purchase. However, the frame and size might be an issue if you live in a small space. If you’re used to hand brakes, the cruiser ones might be hard to get used to. Also, it might take a while to get used to the mustache handlebars.
Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar
The Takara Sugiyama Fixie has a handcrafted steel frame and comes with Kenda 700x32c tires, 32 hole alloy wheels, a Sugiyama flip-flop hub for fixed gear or freewheel single-speed mode, and front and rear alloy side pull brakes.
The Takara Sugiyama Fixie is well made and strong. The flip flop hub allows riders to choose between riding as a fixed gear or a standard single-speed freewheel. The Kenda tires can navigate imperfect roads but is not meant to go off-road. However, this bike only comes in two sizes – 54cm and 58cm. Those who are shorter than 5’7” may be too short to ride it.
Critical Cycles Dutch Style Urban
The Critical Cycles Dutch Style has a lightweight hand-built step-thru high-tensile strength steel frame and has extra-soft brown rubber grips, a synthetic leather saddle, a lightweight hand-built classic urban fork, a Neco 1-1/8” headset, alloy riser city handlebars, an alloy 30” rise stem, Shimano 7-speed Revoshift grip-twist shifters, an alloy dual caliper brake and alloy four finger lever, 700c double-wall alloy rims, a Shimano TX35 derailleur, Kenda Kwest 700x32c tires, alloy seat post and seat clamp, and urban pedal alloy pedals.
The Critical Cycles Dutch Style is a good looking bike. It comes almost completely assembled and includes a lot of nice extras. The brakes work great, and the chain guard effectively keeps oil and dirt away from the rider. However, the seat gets to be uncomfortable after a while. The bell is difficult to use. Tools aren’t included with the purchase, and the bike itself is quite heavy.
Schwinn Men’s Volare 1300
The Schwinn Volare 1300 has a Schwinn Aluminum frame and features a Schwinn Aluminum Rigid fork, a clamp-on down-pull double front derailleur, a Shimano Tourney rear derailleur, Shimano A050 bar-mount shifters, alloy Aero 36h rims, alloy hubs, 700x25c tires, steel platform pedals, alloy caliper front and rear brakes, Promax levers, 25.5 drop handlebars, and a Schwinn saddle.
The Schwinn Volare 1300 is durable and lightweight. It is easy to maintain and rides smoothly. The components are of excellent quality, and the bike is easy to assemble. However, the tires get punctured easily and the derailleur is not as responsive at low gears.
Pure Fix Cycles Urban Fixie
The Pure Fix Cycles Fixie has a Hi-Ten Steel Frame and a Hi-Ten fork, 45mm deep dish double-walled alloy rims, a 16T flip flop hub, an alloy 25.4mm alloy seat post, a Drome saddle, Wellgo 9/16” pedals, front and rear reflectors, alloy front and rear brake, Kenda 700x28c Presta valve tubes, WTB Thickslick 700x28c tires, riser 25.4 aluminum handlebars, and standard grips.
The Pure Fix Cycles Fixie is aesthetically pleasing. It is easy to assemble and offers a safe and smooth ride. This bike is lightweight and sturdy and needs very little maintenance. However, the tires are easily punctured and the rim stripes are of poor quality. The saddle is also not very comfortable.
Xspec 20” Folding Urban
The Xspec 20” Folding bike has a high tensile folding body and features a Shimano SL-TX30 shifter, a Shimano RD-TZ50 rear derailleur, a 14t-28t 7-speed fixed freewheel, unique folding pedals, a steel V brake, alloy wheels with high grade 20” x 1.75 tires, a 48T chainring, and alloy handlebars.
The Xspec Folding Urban is easy to assemble; all you must do is attach the handlebars. It is simple in design and well built. It rides smoothly with easy shifting. However, the instruction manual is not included but is available online. Finally, it could have a better rear brake and brake set overall. The saddle is quite uncomfortable.
Commuting via bicycle is a great way to save money, get exercise, and skip out on annoying traffic jams while being able to park your vehicle virtually anywhere. Before purchasing a bike, you should consider the frame material, types of tires, suspension (if needed), gearing (if needed), hub versus disc brakes, saddle comfort, and accessories. After reading this guide and reviews, we’re confident you should now be able to pick the best commuter bike for yourself and your needs.