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Best Commuter Bikes

Updated on February 8, 2018
Kona Smoke Commuter Bike
Kona Smoke Commuter Bike

Inexpensive Bikes for Commuting

Commuting by bike is a good way to save money, exercise, and save the environment, all at the same time. Yet, many bicycling forums and cycling web sites have enthusiastic cyclists who often look down upon bicycles costing less than $1,000. However, in fact many of the best commuter bicycles can be purchased for less than $1,000 -- and many affordable bikes for commuting are for sale for under $500. This hub will help you find the best bike for commuting by bicycle.

While it is technically possible to commute to work by bike on almost any type of bicycle, the following characteristics should be taken into consideration:

  • Drivetrain -- Many people prefer either single-speed bikes (in mostly flat areas) or bikes with internally geared hubs (in hilly areas) rather than bikes with external gears and derailers -- as these types of drivetrains require less maintenance, especially if you will be parking them outside in the elements.
  • Fenders -- While most mountain bikes and road bikes do not come with fenders, fenders really come in handy to keep your work clothes from getting sprayed with water and muck on rainy days. You can buy bikes that come with fenders, or alternatively they do make fenders that you can add later to almost any type of bicycle.
  • Chainguard/Chaincase -- The chainguard protects your pants from getting caught in the chain and gears. A chaincase almost totally encases the chain and in addition to protect your pants, it protects your chain from dirt and water so that you don't have to oil your chain nearly as often.
  • Lights -- Many states require bicycle lights when riding after dark, and in any event you will want them for safety reasons. While you can add lights that use batteries or are rechargeable, it can be very convenient to have a bike that has the lights installed and wired to a bicycle dynamo that powers the lights from the motion of the bike wheel -- never a need to worry about batteries or charging.
  • Racks/Baskets -- Some bikes come with racks and/or baskets already installed. However, these are easy to add to most bikes if you don't already have them.

Commuter Bicycles Under $500

Unless you will be locking your bike up inside your office building, it is often a good thing to have a cheap commuter bicycle -- so that you do not attract thieves. So, here are some cheap commuter bikes for under five hundred dollars:

  1. Schwinn Crest bikes for around $350 -- available as a men's bike and a women's bike
  2. Kona Smoke Bike (available for around $399).
  3. Electra Townie 7D (available for around $399) and add the optional Electra Townie Fenders.
  4. Breezer Uptown EX (7 Speed) available for around $429
  5. Scott Sub 40 Bike available for around $499

Commuter Bicycles Less Than $1000

Are you o.k. spending more than $500, but still interested in a moderately priced commuter bicycle? If so, these commuter bikes under a thousand dollars are a little more upscale without breaking the bank:

  1. Jamis Commuter 2 Bike available for around $585
  2. Women's Electra Townie with 24 Speeds, lights and rack available for around $699
  3. Electra Ticino 8D available for around $799
  4. Novara Fusion bike available for around $899

Finding the Best Commuter Bikes

After reading this article, if someone insists that you need an expensive commuter bike, you can tell them that you know of nine good commuter bicycles under $900 -- and five of them are actually under $500. You really don't have to spend more than a thousand dollars to buy affordable commuter bicycles and to enjoy the benefits of commuting to work by bike.

Poll: Frequency of Commuting by Bicycle

How often do you commute by bicycle?

See results

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