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A Selection of the Best Commuter Bikes

Commuter bikes are the most utilitarian type of bicycle out there. These bikes form the backbone of urban travel, helping people run errands, get to and from work, haul cargo, or drop a kid off at school.

Coming in many shapes, sizes, and with a huge variety of features, the commuter bike should meet its owner’s specific needs while being durable, comfortable, and practical.

Knowing what you will require from your commuter bike will determine which type you need. It could a cargo bike for transporting large loads, a folding bike for taking public transit, a hybrid to help keep you fit and take you from A to B, or a cruiser so you can ride in comfort wherever the road takes you.

With the gradual changing of cities and urban areas to support bicycle commuting, there is no better time than now to find yourself the perfect commuter bike. In this article, we will provide you with the knowledge you need to find your perfect match.

Woman with a helmet on her everyday commute from home to work

Commuter bikes form the backbone of urban travel. Image source: Unsplash.com


 

Table of Contents

Commuter Bike 101

Best Commuter Bikes

Bike Commuter Tips

FAQ


 

What is a commuter bike?

As we mentioned above, commuter bikes encompass a number of different styles. There is no single style that best fits the category. The definition simply comes down to rider preferences, where and how you plan to ride, and your budget.

Some of the components and features that make commuter bikes so useful include:

  • Rear pannier rack – to carry cargo
  • Fenders – to stop road spray in wet weather and protect jeans from the oily chain
  • Wider, puncture-resistant tires – comfortable and controlled riding with a reduced chance of getting a flat tire
  • Chainguard – keep your clothes protected from chain grease
  • Electric motor – helps you stay sweat-free or travel longer distances
  • Folding – if you take public transit or need to bring it into the office
Most usual components and features of the commuter bike

Rear rack, fenders, wider tires, chainguard, electric motor, folding option are the most usual features of a commuter bike.

Different Types of Commuter Bikes

What one person finds useful as a commuter, another person may have no use for, this is because each of our commutes is different. We work at varying jobs, have differing responsibilities, and we like a wide range of things.

  • City/Urban – This type of bike is perfect for riding in cities, urban areas, and bike paths. Comfortable bikes for short to medium distances using upright frame geometry and wide tires. Rear racks and fenders are common components on city/urban bikes.
  • Hybrid/fitness – This type of bike works is one of the most versatile. It is not optimized for anything in particular but works well everywhere. You can use it for commuting, weekend fitness, running errands, or visiting friends.
  • Comfort – These bikes are perfect for those with a shorter commute, who want a smooth and comfy ride. Perfect for older people, or those who are prone to aches in the back, shoulders, or wrists while riding.
  • Folding – This bike is the most convenient for those who need to store or transport their bike after using it. They are not optimized for performance but can be quite comfortable.
  • Cargo – If you need to transport anything heavy or bulky each day, be it kids, groceries, your pet, or other cargo, then look no further than this workhorse bike.
  • E-Commuters – The perfect bike for those who need to travel long distances or want to keep from sweating before reaching work. They are comfortable and practical for transporting heavy loads too.
different types of commuter bikes

Types of commuter bikes include but aren’t limited to electric bikes, folding bikes, hybrids, cargo bikes, comfort/cruisers, road/gravel bikes, and touring bikes.

Commuter Bike vs Hybrid Bike

As we mentioned above, a hybrid bike is a type of commuter bicycle. Hybrids are a mix of mountain, road, and touring styles, making them highly functional but not specialized to any one discipline. This means that you can be comfortable and still achieve a decent level of performance.

They perform well and are comfortable commuting short to medium distances. In your time off, you can also use this type of bike off-road, for fitness, or just as an alternative mode of transport. Hybrids usually have rack and fender compatibility, and many come with front fork suspension and moderately wide tires to complement the relaxed upright geometry.

Commuter Bike Wheel Sizes

  • 700c – This is the most most common size in modern bikes. It is wider in diameter and narrower, creating less traction, meaning it is more efficient but offers less grip on the road and thinner tires are more uncomfortable to ride with.
  • 650b – Less common but becoming more popular in newer models. This is the lighter wheel, however, wider tires sacrifice efficiency while boosting grip and comfort while riding.

Suspension

  • Rigid Fork – This type is best for those less worried about comfort but who want performance. The more efficient yet less comfortable choice. A rigid fork is also cheaper and requires less maintenance.
  • Suspension Fork – Shock-absorbing front fork suspension makes for a super smooth ride. However, you sacrifice efficiency, requiring more energy to move. Note that many fork suspension systems can be set to rigid when it is not needed.
front forks or suspension on a commuter bike

Front suspension vs rigid fork?


 

Best Commuter Bikes 2021

1. Co-op Cycles – CTY 2.1 – $799
2. Orbea – Vector Drop Bike 2021 – $1,699
3. Priority – 600 – $2,299
4. BMC – Roadmachine X – $1,999
5. Tommaso – Forza Disc – $750
6. Trek – FX Sport Carbon 4 – $1,785
7. Public – D8I Disc LTD – $1,300
8. Public – C8I Disc LTD – $1,300
9. Specialized – Sirrus 3.0 – $999
10. Schwinn – Discover
11. Raleigh – Cadent
12. SURLY – OGRE 2021

 


 

1. Co-op Cycles – CTY 2.1 Step-Through

🏆 Best commuter bike of 2021 (REI Score 4.5/5 out of 67+ ratings)

co op cycles cty 2.1

MSRP $799 REI

Co-op Cycles CTY 2.1 is, in our opinion, the best budget-friendly commuter bike out there with respect to quality and price.

This hybrid bike comes loaded with many premium components and delivers a delightful balance of comfort and performance both on and off-road. Co-op ensures this bike is ready for anything with rear-rack and fender compatibility.

The CTY 2.1’s standout features are the lightweight aluminum frame, shock-absorbent 63mm fork suspension, and responsive Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. The suspension, combined with a comfortable Selle Royal gel saddle, ergonomic grips, a step-through top tube, and upright geometry makes this bike a joy to ride.

  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Derailleur: Shimano Acera
  • Bike weight: 30 lbs
  • 700c wheels with 700x40mm Kenda Kick-Back tires
  • 24 gears (3 x 8)

CTY 1.1 – $599

Standard / Step-through

REI.com


 

2. Orbea – Vector Drop Bike 2021

One of the best men’s commuter bike

A stylish men's commuter bike by Orbea

MSRP $1,699 JensonUSA

The Vector Drop is a sleek and versatile commuter bike crafted beautifully by biking giant Orbea.

The Vector has rack and fender mounting capability, Schwalbe G-One Bite tubeless-ready gravel tires, and top-quality hydraulic disc brakes, making it perfect for riding on open roads, gravel paths, or on your city commute.

Other notable features include the dynamic Shimano Tiagra 2×10-speed drivetrain and a lightweight carbon fork. This combination makes the Vector Drop perform well over long distances and on steep gradients.

For any bike commuter that wants reliability, performance, and diverse functionality, look no further than Orbea’s Vector Drop.

  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Tiagra
  • 700c Ready GR wheels & Schwalbe G-One Bite tires
  • Rack and fender mounts
  • Hydraulic disc brakes

Availability

JensonUSA.com


 

3. Priority – 600

Best belt drive commuter bike

One of the best belt drive bicycle for commuting Priority 600

MSRP $2,299 Priority Bicycles

The 600 by Priority is an exceptional commuter bicycle built with premium components for diverse functionality on and off-road.

The 600 belt drive bike features a quality Gates Carbon Drive belt with an automotive-inspired 12-Speed Pinion gearbox and DS2 rotary shifter. The belt drive system takes the stress of maintenance and frequent repairs out of commuting by bicycle. No rust or grease makes this bike a dream to use.

This bike uses tubeless-ready Goodyear tires on 650b Road Plus wheels, blending the performance of a 700c road bike tire with enhanced cushion and grip for use on light trails and gravel.

Finally, the 600 features Tektro Hydraulic Disc brakes delivering precision all-weather stopping power, a lightweight carbon fiber seatpost, and dynamo-powered head and taillights.

  • Frame Material: 6061 Aluminum
  • Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
  • 650B premium Goodyear County tires
  • 12-speed Pinion gearbox
  • WTB Pure Saddle

Availability

PriorityBicycles.com


 

4. BMC – Roadmachine X

Best men’s commuter road bike

Fast bmc commuter bike

MSRP $1,999 BMC

Roadmachine X is a BMC commuter bike with an intricate balance of geometry, performance, compliance, and power transfer.

BMC’s attention to detail makes the Roadmachine a joy to ride on even be it on a daily commute or even a long bicycle tour. It comes with fenders and a mount option for a rear-rack, perfect for those needing to haul some extra gear.

BMC uses premium SRAM components, including a beautiful Fizik Taiga saddle, powerful hydraulic disc brakes, and a 1×11 SRAM Apex drivetrain. This limited gearing does leave a little to be desired when the road begins to rise. Finally, the Roadmachine features WTB Expanse 700c tires which perform well both on the road and on hard-pack trails.

  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Fork: Carbon Fiber
  • Rims: Mavic Open Disc
  • 1×11 gears with SRAM shifter
  • SRAM Apex HRD-A1 hydraulic disc brakes

Availability

BMC.com


 

5. Tommaso – Forza Disc

Road focused commuter bike

An orange Tommaso bicycle with commuter bike tires on.

MSRP $750 Giantnerd

Tommaso’s Forza disc is a good commuter bike option for any urban commuter looking for an entry-level bike without sacrificing performance.

Although primarily designed for comfortable commuting and city cruising, the Forza also performs well and rides smoothly on light trails. It does so using wider tires, powerful disc brakes, and a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame. The frame is also rack-ready for any commuters who need extra space. This bike uses a reliable Shimano Tourney Triple drivetrain, giving users a wide range of gears to choose from.

Lastly, Tommaso designed the Forza frame to balance power transfer and comfort by dampening road vibrations which makes long-distance rides more enjoyable. The company is so sure of the quality of their frames, that they offer a limited lifetime warranty to back them up. By selling direct to consumers, Tommaso has been able to offer this excellent quality at the most competitive prices on the market.

  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Bike weight: 25.6 lbs
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • 700x32c Kenda tires
  • Saddle WTB Speed V-street

Availability

Giantnerd.com


 

6. Trek – FX Sport Carbon 4

Best Trek commuter bike

Dark Aquatic Trek commuter bike

MSRP $1,785 Trek Bikes (In-store only)

The FX Sport 4 one of Trek’s premium fitness bikes that is versatile enough to perform perfectly as a commuter bike.  Look no further than this sleek and fast commuter bike for its great price and quality.

The FX Sport 4 is the cheapest in the range built with a full carbon fiber frame which delivers a lightweight and responsive ride. This bike uses a flat handlebar to maximize control and comfort for urban riders. On this bike, Trek chose a simplified 1×11 drivetrain which still offers plenty of choices for different gradients.

Using the industry-leading IsoSpeed decoupler technology, the FX Sport 4 makes riding on rough roads as smooth as possible. Additionally, the FX Sport 4 comes with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, a tubeless-ready wheelset, puncture-resistant Bontrager tires, and hidden fender compatibility.

  • Frame Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Bike weight: 21 lbs (M size)
  • 700x32c Bontrager tires
  • 1×11 Shimano 105
  • Shimano hydraulic disc brakes

Availability

Trekbikes.com


 

7. Public – D8I Disc LTD

Best urban commuter bike

A stylish grey bicycle which is one of the best for city commutes

MSRP $1,300 Public Bikes

The Public D8i Disc LTD a workhorse city commuter bike with a clean look and performance feel.

The D8i Disc LTD has a Chromoly steel frame that is strong and durable, capable of handling long commutes or weekend trips. To boost durability, this bike also comes with double-wall wheels and puncture-resistant tires, greatly reducing the chance of roadside repairs.

Public has opted for a Shimano Alfine 8-speed internal hub that requires little-to-no maintenance while still giving plenty of gear options for different types of rides and terrains.

Other notable features include premium Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. a comfortable yet high-performing Sport Saddle, and weatherproof handlebar grips. Finally, the bike comes with fenders installed to keep road spray away.

  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Bike weight: 32 lbs
  • 700x35c Kenda Kwest tires
  • Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
  • Shimano 8-speed shifter

Availability

Publicbikes.com


 

8. Public C8I Disc LTD

Best women’s commuter bike

This light pink city bicycle is one of the best commuter bike for women

MSRP $1,300 Mikesbikes

The new C8i Disc LTD by Public is a beautiful take on the Dutch style urban bicycle, built for functionality with an elegant rose gold finish, an excellent ladies commuter bike option.

Again, Public has gone with a Shimano Alfine 8-speed internal hub. This is a silent and smooth gearing system that protects the delicate moving parts of the drivetrain to reduce the need for maintenance.

The C8i Disc LTD rides perfectly even in poor weather conditions. It performs well due to the combination of hydraulic disc brakes, weatherproof grips, wider threaded tires, a chain guard, and fenders.

Additionally, this bike is built for comfort. A convenient step-through top tube, cruiser-style commuter bike handlebars, upright geometry, and a saddle with a traditional worn leather feel.

  • Frame Material: Chromoly Steel
  • Bike weight: 33 lbs
  • 700x35c Puncture-resistant Kenda Kwest tires
  • Shimano 8-speed shifter
  • Shimano hydraulic disc brakes

Availability

Publicbikes.com


 

9. Specialized – Sirrus 3.0

Best Specialized commuter bike

A green lightweight commuter bike with commuter bike pedals

MSRP $999 Mikes’ Bikes

If you are looking for a great value hybrid commuter bike, look no further than Specialized’s Sirrus 3.0.

The Sirrus is perfect for fast commutes, weekend fitness rides, and running errands, providing a comfortable and lightweight ride throughout. Using a lightweight aluminum frame, a carbon fiber fork, and dependable Shimano components, this bike proves to be durable and functional.

With the Sirrus 3.0, riders are both comfortable and in control. The bike comes with hydraulic disc brakes, ergonomic Body Geometry grips and saddle, and a 2×9 Shimano Sora drivetrain for precision shifting. With all of this and more, you won’t find a better deal out there than this Specialized gem.

  • Frame Material: A1 Premium Aluminum
  • Carbon Fork
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Sora
  • Double-wall Rims
  • 700x32c RoadSport Reflect Tires
  • Hydraulic Disc Brakes
  • Rack & Fender Ready

Availability

Mikesbikes.com


 

10. Schwinn – Discover

Best cheap commuter bike

Black Schwinn commuter bike with fenders and rear rack

Check Price at Amazon.com

Schwinn’s Discover is one of the most popular commuter bikes on amazon for its broad functionality at an entry-level price.

This comfort-style amazon commuter bike uses upright frame geometry, saddle and front-fork suspension, wide tires, and a padded saddle to deliver a super smooth ride even on the bumpiest of roads.

The Discover comes fitted with fenders and a commuter bike rack, two of the most important components of a functional commuter bike. Riders can also rely on a 21-speed SRAM drivetrain to provide options on those hilly roads. Additionally, the Discover is built with a lightweight aluminum frame to cut weight and make riding easier.

  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Drivetrain: 21-speed SRAM
  • Bike weight: 35.5 lbs
  • 28-inch wheels
  • Promax alloy linear-pull brakes
  • Rear rack and fenders

 

11. Raleigh – Cadent 2

One of the best Raleigh commuter bike

A light blue commuter bicycle by Raleigh

Check Price at Amazon.com

Raleigh’s Cadent 2 commuter hybrid bike balances road bike performance with the toughness of a mountain bike, in an all-around sleek ride.

Raleigh chose flat handlebars and performance geometry paired with 35c tires on a 700c wheel, to generate added traction and comfort along with super-smooth efficiency.  This bike uses reliable Shimano Acera and Tourney drivetrain components with 24 gears to choose from.

Other notable components include Tetra mechanical disc brakes, Raleigh comfort grips, as well as mounts for fenders or a rear rack for extra commuter functionality. The Cadent 2 is a great budget-friendly choice for any commuter.

  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Acera 3×8
  • 700c wheels
  • Raleigh Series seat

 

12. Surly – Ogre

surly ogre bike

MSRP $1,525 JensonUSA

Look no further if you’d like to travel in all kinds of terrains with comfort, and speed.

The rigid frame and MTB geometry with trail-ready tires and derailleur, the Ogre is a true beast to rule them all. Surly never stops to amaze by their unique color-schemes, and underrated builds. With Shimano Deore derailleur and cassette, SRAM SX Eagle crankset, and hydro brakes – this bike is a true gem at its price range.

Best for touring, commuting, gravel and adventure – this bike can be equipped with all kinds of accessories to make it one of the most versatile commuters around. Surly knows how to hide some good features, and still keep the price low. It is the WTB i29 rims with Novatech hubs, Salsa Bend MTB handlebar, and WTB Volt Sport are something that are not as relevant in the commuter bike range.

  • 29×2.5″ / 27.5×2.8″
  • Steel frame & fork

 

Availability


 

Bikes That Didn’t Make It to the List

Didn’t find what you were looking for?


 

Bike Commuter Tips

If you have decided to do your daily commute by bicycle, there are a few things you should ask yourself before you make the change.

What are the accessories I need to stay safe year-round?
The two most important tools are finding the best bike lights and choosing the best commuter bike helmet for you.

What is the best way to carry the things you need for work or school?
The best options are bike commuter backpacks or a rear rack and pannier bags.

Also, make sure to follow road etiquette and safety practices in the city, and know how to keep your bike secure at all times.


 

FAQ

What is the difference between a road bike and a commuter bike?

A road bike is a style of bike, whereas a commuter bike is a category that features many styles, including hybrid, comfort, road, e-bikes, and more.

For long commutes, entry-level road bikes can be an excellent choice. They are fast, lightweight, and comfortable for longer distances.

Should I get a commuter bike?

Consider getting a commuter bike if you need your bike to be a versatile tool to help you get from A to B, run errands, transport cargo, or for leisurely rides.

How much should I spend on a commuter bike?

In this article, we have provided a wide variety of commuter bikes in different styles between $600 to $2300. Decide what features you need from your bike, and then maximize your budget ensuring the bike has each of these features. For more information, see our article on buying a bike and gear.


 

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