Commuter bikes are specifically designed with comfortable, medium distances in mind and incorporate both performance and comfort elements into their design and components. Most commuter bikes feature more relaxed frame geometry (how far forward you lean on the bike) than traditional road bikes and feature components like hydraulic brakes for quick stopping, moderate gear differentials for easy pedaling, and integrated lighting systems. If you’re looking for a commuter bike, we’ve rounded up some top choices and divided them into categories, no spandex required.
THE BEST HYBRID BIKE
All City Macho Man ($1600)
This hybrid is designed for road cycling and mountain biking. You can be king of the road on bike lanes and dirt paths. It’s made of sturdy steel, allowing for a smooth ride over the most rugged terrain. Safety is no issue due to large tires and fenders that allow you to go over deep potholes without worrying about going Bono. In wet conditions, the disc brakes allow for action-hero-type swerve stops.
THE BEST LIGHT BIKE
Surly Pacer ($1600)
Wallet, keys, phone, helmet & go. This bike is for the 'lightweight' commuter who isn't carrying too much excess gear aside from the basic essentials. Surly describes this bike as a go-to for the “backpack” commuter. Sturdy and stable, the Pacer handles beautifully and manages long-winded rides with ease and comfort. Easy geometry assures you a comfortable ride but doesn’t sacrifice performance either. The Pacer is set on 28mm tires, but can accommodate up to 32mm. Sturdy Shimano 105 components will last you through many miles and year.
THE BEST BIKE FOR SPEED
Specialized Sirrus Elite ($900)
Built for both speed and efficiency, the Sirrus combines a lightweight aluminum frame with the always-reliable Shimano Sora drivetrain and powerful disc brakes to deliver a comfortable and fast ride.. The bike absorbs shocks and provides a smooth ride, even in the roughest conditions. Fender mounts and reflective details enhance this bike’s already impressive feature set.
THE BEST VALUE BIKE
The Momentum Street ($425)
The Street is made for for riding around bustling city streets. It’s also the most affordable bike on our list. At just $425, the aluminum bike has 700c wheels, rear rim brakes and a seven-speed Shimano drivetrain. Despite the bargain price, the Street is ready for any commute. A top tube integrates both a U-lock slot and a cup holder built into the frame. Full fenders make the bike perfect for any weather and an integrated rear rack is handy to carry cargo or your drunk friend from the bar.
THE BEST FIXIE BIKE
Shinola Detroit Arrow ($1000)
In case you aren't in the know, a fixie is a bike that has a drivetrain with no freewheel mechanism. The point of such a bike is to connect it more closely to the rider, allowing for smoother maneuverability. The Detroit Arrow features a tig-welded True Temper steel frame. If you aren’t familiar with the uber-cool Shinola brand you will be after riding this hand-assembled masterpiece. This ride features an all-black component spec, with a leather saddle, cork grips, jet- black fenders, chain guard, and bell. Puncture-resistant 700×32 C tires with a reflective 3M strip make for both a smooth and safe ride that will have you looking like the coolest big kid on the block.
THE BEST ALL-AROUND BIKE
Cannondale Bad Boy 1 ($1800)
The aluminum-framed Bad Boy 1 has engineered flex in the frame and fork that enables smooth riding on uneven surfaces. The bike has 8-speed drivetrain. 30 gears and hydraulic disc brakes. Framed eyelets allow you to add fenders and a rear rack. The bike has built-in headlights and adjustable handlebars and seats. In terms of ride, the Bad Boy is exactly as the name implies, coming out on top for its uncompromising features to say nothing of its head-turning stylish good looks. The bike is sleek, thin, and sexy. It’s comfortable with aggressive forward lean and allows you to weave through traffic on city streets with quick handling and breakneck braking.