Best Commuter Bikes for Everyday Riding

Last updated: February 03, 2020
BEST OVERALL
Ultralight, Durable, Powerful, Versatile
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BEST BUDGET
Affordable, Rugged, Versatile, Light
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BEST FOR WOMEN
Light, Comfortable, Practical, Modern
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BEST FOR MEN
Balanced, Reliable, Ergonomic, Durable
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BEST WITH BASKET
Stylish, Lots of Storage, Convenient
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Your guide

A good bike lasts for a long time. If you’re in the market for a replacement or upgrade, it pays to be prepared before recklessly reaching for your wallet. Knowing is half the battle, after all.

The choice is all the more important if you commute by bicycle. If that is the case, you need to find a high-quality bike that can reliably meet your needs, day in, day out.

Finding a bike online has never been easier – but looking for the perfect commuter bike can easily take up a lot of your time. Thankfully, we’ve done the legwork and have prepared a detailed review of five great bicycles for you to check out.

Top 5 Commuter Bikes

Commuting via bike has a host of benefits. It’s healthy, ecologically friendly, and reduces congestion. All in all, it’s a great, positive choice to make.

But it does have a learning curve that can be steep at times. Figuring out the best route and how much time the commute will end up taking are just some of the issues that you will inevitably run into. Thankfully, all of these problems can be solved with time and experience.

a man carrying a cummuter bike

However, there is one condition without which it is impossible to successfully make a habit out of cycling to work. That condition is quite simple – you have to be properly equipped. Without a good bike, it is nigh-impossible to make driving to work a thing of the past.

We’ve made a list of five fantastic bikes. All of them are well-made, durable, and they offer great performance in their respective areas. On the whole, they can be quite dissimilar – but all of them are great for commuting. The only question is which one, in particular, is the best choice for you. So, without further ado, let’s kick things into gear.

1. Best All-Around - Trek FX Sport 4

Specifications:

  • Gearing → 20 speeds
  • Wheel size → 28 inches
  • Weight capacity → 300 lbs
  • Weight → 23.11 lbs

Key Features:

  • High performance 200 series Alpha Aluminium
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • IsoZone handlebar and grips
  • Puncture-resistant tires

Trek FX Sport 4 Review

The Trek FX Sport series is a well-known, renowned line of flagship bikes. These are cutting-edge bikes in every sense of the word. They excel in every area. It’s no surprise then, that they are also some of the best commuter bikes on the market.

A Trek FX Sportbike isn’t a small investment. These are expensive, premium products. The FX Sport 4 is meant for customers who aren’t too concerned with price. If you have a need for the absolute best, performance-wise, and the means to pay for it, this is the bike for you.

Top of the Line Build Quality 

The Trek FX Sport 4 is a state of the art bike. It’s made from the ultra-light, durable 200 series Alpha Aluminum alloy. This material is incredibly strong – yet the FX Sport 4 weighs only a measly 23 pounds.

That “no expense spared” approach applies to every component of the bike. The suspension fork is made from carbon fibers, which are incredibly light and soak up vibrations, contributing to overall stability.

In the same vein, the unique IsoZone material used in the construction of the handlebar and ergonomic grips also dampens vibrations, allowing you to retain complete control over the bike at all times.

The FX Sport 4 is also equipped with tubeless-ready rims and puncture-resistant Bontrager R1 tires, which provide lightning-fast speed and fantastic grip, even in poor weather conditions. A set of built-in mounts allows you to easily add racks or fenders to the bike.

The bike is also compatible with DuoTrap S, allowing you to log your routes and track your progress using a computer or smartphone.

One of the more interesting features of the FX Sport 4 is that the cables are internally routed – they go through the body of the bike. This reduces wear and tear, making the entire bike much more durable. As an added bonus, the overall presentation is much simpler and cleaner.

Impressive Performance

As far as performance goes, the FX Sport 4 goes well above and beyond what is expected of a commuter bike. It’s incredibly light, fast, and stable. The 20 speed Shimano Tiagra drivetrain allows the bike to rise to any occasion, while the MT201 hydraulic disc brakes guarantee maximum stopping power in all weather conditions.

Switching gears is nearly effortless, and the breaks provide the highest possible standard of safety.

If we had to describe the performance of the FX Sport 4 in one word, it would be responsive. Accelerating, braking, turning – all of these actions feel almost effortless with this bike. It’s fun to ride, and although the seat could stand to be a bit softer, overall the bike is very comfortable.

Performance-wise, there’s nothing to detract from our initial, overwhelmingly positive impression. The bike performs outstandingly well, without sacrificing either versatility of ruggedness. It stands head and shoulders above the competition.

The FX Sport 4 is an outstanding, serious piece of kit. It has all the adaptability of a premium hybrid bike, mixed perfectly with the extraordinary performance of a top of the line road bike. We’re not sure if it would make a good first purchase – but if you already have some experience with cycling under your belt, there isn’t a better, more enjoyable way to reach the workplace.

Pros
  • Outstanding build quality
  • Effortlessly adapts to all conditions
  • Unbeatable performance
  • Innovative technology
Cons
  • Subpar seat
  • High price point

2. Best Budget - Schwinn Discover

Specifications:

  • Gearing → 21 speeds
  • Wheel size → 28 inches
  • Weight capacity → 250 lbs
  • Weight → 38 lbs

Key Features:

  • Aluminum frame
  • Shimano rear derailleur
  • Back sweep handlebar
  • Linear pull brakes

Schwinn Discover Review

It stands to reason that a high-quality commuter bike must cost quite a lot of money. And while the most top of the line bikes does indeed cost a fair amount, there is a wide variety of solid, reliable entry-level models that are very affordable.

If you’re on a budget, or if you simply want to start cycling to work and don’t have any special criteria that demand cutting-edge performance, you’ll want to check out the Schwinn Discover.

It’s a very affordable hybrid commuter bike that manages to combine several fantastic features into one simple, low-cost package.

Great Design, Solid Build Quality

Despite the humble price tag, nothing about the Schwinn Discover is cheap. It was carefully designed to offer a great mix of performance, comfort, and durability. The 18-inch step-over frame is made out of aluminum, making it both light and strong.

The Discover weighs in at about 38 pounds, making it all the more suited for urban environments.

The frame has a maximum weight capacity of 250 lbs. Schwinn’s suspension fork, alloy crank, and adjustable stem are all made from rugged materials. The Discover is a sturdy bike – one that doesn’t require much in the way of maintenance or upkeep.

Schwinn’s bike doesn’t compromise when it comes to comfort, however. The shock-absorbing padded seat, together with the front suspension, makes for a smooth and consistent experience while cycling.

The dual-density anatomic grips are soft, and the swept-back handlebars allow for a natural, relaxed posture that is easy on the back and arms.

The Schwinn Discover also features a built-in rear rack/gear carrier- and extra storage space is always handy. A pair of fenders protect the rider from dirt, mud and the elements.

Schwinn’s bike has a simple, clean-cut minimalist look to it. At first glance, it might look like a hybrid that leans slightly towards the mountain bike family, but overall it is much more similar to a road bike.

Impressive Performance and Adaptability

One of the more noteworthy features of the Schwinn Discover is the fact that it has 21 speeds. The Shimano derailleur ensures smooth shifting – changing gears is quick and easy.

The Discover can quickly adapt to a change of terrain or incline – and it’s all the more impressive that the 21-speed system is so user-friendly and easy to use.

The large, 28-inch/700c wheels complement the lightweight of the bike superbly. Gaining a lot of momentum quickly is easy, but the Discover is very manageable, even at high speeds.

As for handling, the combination of the good tire traction and front suspension can easily deal with bumps, potholes, or uneven terrain.

So, it’s a versatile bike that handles well and has no issues with speed. Only one question remains – how well do the brakes perform? Schwinn put a lot of effort into this segment – both the front and rear wheels have Promax alloy linear-pull brakes, which provide a lot of strength and stopping power.

Linear pull brakes are very durable, requiring little to no maintenance, and can grind the bike to a halt in a matter of moments should the need arise.

On the whole, the Schwinn Discover offers remarkable versatility and performance for the asking price. Is it the best commuter bike in the world? Not by a long shot. But it is unquestionably a surprisingly, unexpectedly good bike, all things considered?

Yes – and if it ends up being your choice, it will reliably get you from point A to point B, smoothly and with style, for years to come.

As far as budget commuter bikes go, the Schwinn Discover is the undisputed (lightweight) champion.

Pros
  • Great value
  • Durable, low maintenance
  • Very adaptable
  • High-quality components
Cons
  • Paint chips easily
  • Cheap, low-quality pedals 

3. Best for Women - Sixthreezero EVRYjourney

Specifications:

  • Gearing → 7 speeds
  • Wheel size → 26 inches
  • Weight capacity → 300 lbs
  • Weight → 34 lbs

Key Features:

  • Rear rack and fenders
  • 1.95-Inch wide semi-slick tires
  • 17.5-Inch step-through frame
  • Dual spring saddle

Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Review

A good commuter bike can offer you a fun, healthy, and environmentally friendly way to, quite literally, get to work. Commuter bikes come in many shapes and sizes, all of which have their own pros and cons – but some design choices and features are simply better geared towards women.

Sixthreezero’s EVRYjourney is a well-rounded, high-quality bicycle that has a lot going for it. But most of all, it was designed from the ground up with women in mind. So, let’s take a closer look at the features that make this bike so attractive.

Smart, Practical Design

The EVRYjourney features a 17.5-inch aluminum frame. The frame is incredibly light, weighing in at just 34 lbs. Carrying the EVRYjourney up a flight of stairs is a piece of cake.

The frame has a maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs, which is nothing to scoff at. The sleek, curved step-through frame is very convenient – getting on or off the bike is easy, and this design also has a plethora of other benefits.

The shape of the frameshifts the center of gravity lower than it would usually be – meaning that the EVRYjourney is more stable than your regular bike. The forward pedaling geometry makes it easier to keep your back in a proper, upright position while pedaling.

At the same time, this makes for much more natural leg extension and allows you to place your feet flat on the ground when you come to a stop. The dual-spring seat of the bike is quite large and well-cushioned – overall, the EVRYjourney is remarkably comfortable.

It’s built in a way that encourages proper posture, removing any unnecessary stress from your joints.

The 26-inch model can accommodate riders from 5 feet to 6 feet 4 inches tall. The leather-stitched grips are comfortable, and both the rear and front handbrakes are powerful and reactive.

The EVRYjourney features a set of matching fenders to protect you from rain and debris, as well as a rear rack that can support a basket or pannier.

The EVRYjourney is a well-designed, modern bike that puts comfort above all else. It’s marketed as a hybrid cruiser – but fills the niche of commuter bike superbly.

Serious Performance

So, now those ergonomics are out of the way, how does the EVRYjourney handle when you kick it into high gear? You’ll be happy to hear that it deserves high marks both with regard to speed, stability,  maneuverability, and traction.

For the purpose of commuting, we’ve chosen the 7-speed model of the EVRYjourney. It’s also available in 1-speed, 3-speed, and 21-speed configurations, in case your personal commuting needs are out of the ordinary.

But for a huge majority of cases, the 7-speed configuration is the sweet spot, providing you with more than enough versatility. The 7-speed model of the EVRYjourney can handle quite varied terrain, while also allowing you to match your preferences more easily.

The EVRYjourney is a very steady, consistent bike. The low center of gravity, combined with the relatively large wheel size and 1.95-inch wide semi-slick tires, provides a lot of stability.  The tires provide a solid amount of traction, more than enough for your daily commute.

All of this is further enhanced by the design geometry which promotes proper posture, ensuring a pleasant, stable, and comfortable ride no matter the circumstances.

The low-set design of the frame, combined with the bike’s low weight and good traction ensures an impressive amount of maneuverability. Using a bike for your daily commute carries its own, admittedly harmless risks – be they traffic, careless pedestrians, or crowds – but the EVRYjourney allows you to quickly react and adapt to traffic conditions if need be.

So, when all is said and done, what are our impressions? The EVRYjourney is a great bike – it’s well built and well designed, offering solid performance across the board without any glaring faults or flaws. Sixthreezero made a series of appealing design choices – and the result is a bike that is a fantastic choice for women who want to cycle to work.

Pros
  • Light
  • Comfortable
  • Versatile
  • Stable
Cons
  • Relatively high price
  • Lackluster instruction manual for assembly

4. Best for Men - Giant Escape 1 Disc

Specifications:

  • Gearing → 18 speeds
  • Wheel size → 27.5 inches
  • Weight capacity → 300 lbs
  • Weight → Undisclosed, but approx 25 pounds

Key Features:

  • Composite fork
  • Tubeless tires
  • D-Fuse seat post and handlebar
  • Rack and fender mounts

Giant Escape 1 Disc Review

Giant’s Escape 1 Disc is a high-quality all-rounder that is fun to ride and offers premium performance. This comfortable flat-bar road bike hybrid can handle anything you throw at it, and its mix of rugged reliability and versatility is nothing short of impressive.

We chose the Escape 1 disc as the best commuter bike for men because of its great specifications and a wide variety of size options. It can accommodate riders from 5’3” to 6’7” tall, and the innovative technology used in its construction makes this bike well worth the price.

Premium Build Quality

The Escape 1 Disc’s frame is made out of Aluxx 6061 aluminum alloy. Formed into butted tubes, this material ensures a strong, rugged, and incredibly light chassis. Giant doesn’t disclose the exact weight anywhere – but it’s clear as day that the strength-to-weight ratio of this bike is incredible.

The 1 Disc also features a deliberately oversized composite fork that absorbs vibrations and allows for precise front-end maneuvering. This feature pairs well with D-Fuse technology, which allows the seat and handlebar to absorb road shocks and provide a more stable riding experience.

The Escape 1 Disc uses high-quality puncture-resistant tires which make use of Giant’s EasyRide tubeless system. The large tires guarantee easy acceleration, good traction, and high-performance even in bad weather, with the added bonus of a reduced risk of flats.

A set of integrated mounts allows you to customize your bike with accessories such as fenders, bags, or bike racks, so you might want to check our guide on bike accessories. The handlebar and grips are ergonomic, offering a lot of comfort.

The overall geometry of the bike lends itself to a comfortable, upright position when riding. Add to that the shock-absorbing features, and you end up with an incredibly stable bike that feels light, sturdy, and fun to use.

Professional Performance

The Escape 1 Disc has quite a wide range of gears – it has 18-speed settings, to be exact.  That amount of variety allows you to adapt to a slew of weather and terrain conditions. The 1 Disc can easily deal with hills, potholes, and even slippery, wet roads.

The combination of the frame’s lightweight, together with the adaptable gear system and large, high-performance tires, makes for a very fast bike that is easy to control. The 1 Disc is a hybrid, but it resembles are road bike first and foremost. It’s fast and maneuverable, but much more rugged and stable than your typical road bike.

These features are supplemented by a series of high-performance heavy-duty Tektro disc brakes. The Escape 1 Disc features a disc-brake integration system – the frame and fork of the bike are tailor-made to work well with this particular break design.

The KMC X9 nickel-plated chain works great with Shimano’s front and rear derailleurs. Switching gears is easy, and the mechanism is both low-maintenance and reliable.

The 2020 model of the Giant Escape 1 disc is a force to be reckoned with. It’s an innovative product, made from the very best materials. Designed to be versatile and reliable, the Escape 1 disc is a fantastic bicycle for commuting to work.

Pros
  • Maneuverable
  • Stable
  • High-performance
  • Rugged
Cons
  • Relatively expensive
  • Unremarkable, average seat

5. Best With Basket - Raleigh Superbe

Specifications:

  • Gearing → 7speeds
  • Wheel size → 28 inches / 700c
  • Weight capacity → 250 lbs
  • Weight → 38.8 lbs

Key Features:

  • Ceramic coating
  • Ionic technology
  • Unique airflow vents
  • Ergonomic oval design

Raleigh Superbe Review

Commuter bikes are utilitarian by nature. The biggest priority is always to get you where you need to go, but most quality commuter bikes can fulfill several roles. The Raleigh Superbe is one such bike.

We chose the Superbe because it comes with a large, beautiful, handy wicker basket. But in truth, that’s just one of the many things that make the Superbe great. It’s comfortable, stylish, and made from high-quality materials. It blends modern technology with a timeless vintage design.

If you’re after a bike that can do it all, check out the Raleigh Superbe. It’s a great commuter bike that can easily handle grocery runs, recreational cycling, and a variety of other activities.

Classic Style, High-end Design

The Superbe is probably the most beautiful bike on this list. Raleigh is an iconic, distinguished company, with a long history. The Superbe is a tribute to that fact – it may be a modern, high-performance bike, but it has a unique, timeless retro style.

The Superbe features a classic, low step-through frame made out of steel. The low-step frame design makes it easy to mount and dismount the bike, and the overall geometry promotes a relaxed posture. Compared to most other bikes on our list, it is a bit on the heavy side, weighing a respectable 38.8 lbs.

The seat is made out of soft leather and features a dual-coil spring system for added comfort. The handlebar has a minimalist design and is made out of a polished silver alloy.

The leather grips and comfortable and ergonomic – although they could stand to be a tiny bit longer. However, all in all, this is a great design, perfect for both commuting and general urban cycling.

The Superbe also features custom wrap-around chain guards, brass and copper etched nameplates and a stylish brass bell. Both style and functionality were obviously of the utmost importance.

Versatile, Convenient, Practical

The Raleigh Superbe is no slouch when it comes to performance. It is equipped with a 7-speed drivetrain. A 14-28 Shimano cog set and high-quality Shimano rear derailleur make for reliable, smooth gear shifting. For a bike that was mainly designed for urban commutes, that’s a lot of adaptabilities.

The large Kenda 700x35c tires offer solid performance, and a pair of fenders protect the rider from mud, dirt, or water. The Superbe is heavy – this means that it is quite stable, but this comes at the cost of speed.

However, that isn’t a bad thing- in fact, it’s quite useful. That weight allows you to carry a respectable load in the wicker basket without sacrificing stability. It’s a small price to pay for that amount of convenience and storage space.

So, is the Superbe slow? Not by any stretch of the imagination – but it can’t compete with aluminum-frame road bikes, speed-wise. It performs well in a variety of conditions, offers a lot of versatility, and is comfortable even with longer commutes.

Overall, the Superbe handles much more like a cruiser. The Promax alloy V-brakes offer a lot of smooth, effortless stopping power. The Superbe is a convenient, well-made commuter bike that is perfect for the city. It will make your commute relaxing and enjoyable, turning heads along the way with its signature style.

Pros
  • Gorgeous design
  • Versatile speed settings
  • Basket included
  • Solid performance
Cons
  • Difficult to assemble
  • Slightly small

 

Commuter Bikes: Frequently Asked Questions

What Exactly Is a Commuter Bike?

Commuter bikes feature design elements that make cycling to work easier. There is no strict definition, but commuter bikes usually feature comfortable seats, ergonomic grips, and a geometry that leads to an upright stance while riding.

Is Commuting by Bike Expensive?

No - in fact, the opposite is true. The average American household spends approximately $2000 each year just on gas. Once you add maintenance, insurance, parking, and the occasional repair or replacement part to the equation, the cost of owning a car rises to almost $9000 per year.

In comparison, a top of the line commuter bike can cost anywhere from $500 to $2500. But even at the high end of that estimate, the maintenance costs are far lower. Commuting by bike is a very financially responsible decision.

How Convenient Is Cycling to Work?

With proper preparation, cycling to work can be very convenient. Under certain conditions, it can even be more convenient than driving. Cycling to work has a host of benefits - you’re immune to traffic jams or delays in public transport, and struggling to find parking space is no longer an issue.

Is Commuting by Bike Safe?

If you take the necessary precautions, cycling to work is very safe. Most of these precautions are just common sense - always wear a helmet, make sure your tires are inflated, obey the rules of the road and pay attention to traffic signs and signals, and stay alert.

Making sure that you have working lights and bright or reflective clothing is a must for driving in low-light conditions. If you follow these simple rules, commuting by bike is a safe and fun addition to your daily routine.

How Often Should Commuter Bikes Be Tuned Up?

This depends on a couple of factors. If you notice any malfunctions or problems with your bike, take it to a mechanic immediately. However, even if there’s nothing wrong with your bike, you should get it serviced at least once a year, with minor tune-ups every three months.

You should also check your tires at least once a week - deflated tires are a potentially dangerous, but easy to fix problem.

Is Cycling to Work Each Day Healthy?

Yes! Cycling to work, even at a moderate, brisk pace, burns as many calories as jogging to work would. Cycling lowers blood pressure and safeguards your cardiovascular health. It also boosts your endurance and can have a positive effect on mood and improve sleep patterns.

Even if your commutes are long-distance, cycling to work each day is a very healthy choice, as riding a bike is a low-impact form of exercise which is easy on the joints.

Best Commuter Bikes for Everyday Riding in 2020 — Bike Hacks