10 Best Commuter Bikes of the Year

by Marc Lindsay
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10 Best Commuter Bikes of the Year

It’s no secret commuting by bike instead of using a car can reduce stress and is a great way to save money. Studies even show biking might be the healthiest way to get to work. Whether you’re looking to get into the swing of things or are in the market for a new ride, check out these 10 great commuter bikes that get you where you need to go as fast and comfortably as possible.

1. CANNONDALE BAD BOY 1
$1,840

While the new Bad Boy from Cannondale might look like nothing more than a hybrid, it’s 650b wheels and aggressive frame geometry make it nimble and fast whether you’re on city streets or the local bike path headed home. Integrated tail lights, disc brakes, a low-maintenance internal hub and reflective bumpers on the top tube, which keep you from scratching your paint when you lean your bike against a pole, make this model a commuter’s dream.

2. PURE CYCLES ROAD BIKE
$499

The ‘90s are coming back with a vengeance, and thankfully some of the prices are along for the ride. This simple, retro-inspired, steel-frame road bike from Pure Cycles is sturdy, comfortable and built to take a beating. Twenty-eight millimeter tires and mounts for fenders also make it an ideal choice for longish commutes in a variety of weather conditions when you might not want to muck up your expensive road bike.

3. TREK ZEKTOR 3 (WOMEN’S MODEL)
$879

With the geometry of a road bike and the luxuries of a hybrid, this reasonably priced women’s commuter from Trek is responsive and agile. The all-weather build makes it easy to navigate slippery urban streets, while the inclusion of 2×9 gearing allows you to tackle steep gradients without breaking too much of a sweat. Built-in mounts for racks and fenders and internal cable routing are other notable features.


READ MORE > A CYCLIST’S LOVE LETTER TO BIKE COMMUTING


4. SPECIALIZED TURBO VADO 3.0
$3,200

If you’re looking to turbo charge your commute, the new electric lineup from Specialized does the trick. Although the 3.0 is at the lower end, it still packs plenty of kick, delivering an electric assist featuring a battery that goes up to 38 miles before it requires a charge. It tops out at a blazing 28 mph. One downside: It is heavy at 40 pounds, but it still handles better than you might think due to impressive overall balance and weight distribution of the battery in the downtube. For an even more powerful electric assist, consider the 6.0, one of the best on the market.

5. BREEZER BELTWAY 11+
$1,969

Greasy trouser legs aren’t cool. To solve the problem, the Beltway 11+ from Breezer uses a Continental CDS belt drive system instead of a more traditional chain for a clean, quiet and exceptionally smooth ride. It also requires very little maintenance, is lightweight and lasts nearly twice as long as a standard chain. Add in integrated lights, fenders, disc brakes and a smooth-shifting, internally-geared rear hub and you’ve got a bike that’s nearly perfect for urban commuting.

6. DIAMONDBACK HAANJO
$899

One of the most versatile bikes on this list, the Haanjo can go anywhere — whether it’s a weekend gravel ride or the roughest city streets. It’s also fast enough for commutes in the 10-mile range, and climbs more like a road bike than a mountain bike. A Shimano Sora 2×9 drivetrain, a Gravel Disc front fork and 40-millimeter Kenda tires round out the specs.

7. LIV ALIGHT 2 CITY
$540

Whether you want to ride for fitness or just need an easy, cheap way to get around town, the LIV Alight 2 City checks all the boxes. The aluminum frame makes it a bike capable of handling the occasional weekend ride, while the rack mounts, fenders, durable alloy rims and 3×8 speed gearing make riding to work comfortably an easy task. And the best part: It offers great value for the price.

8. SHINOLA DETROIT ARROW
$1,000

Shinola is known for craftsmanship and quality. While the Detroit Arrow is one of the simpler designs in Shinola’s lineup, there are style plenty of unique features that separate it from other bikes in its category. A gender-specific black leather saddle, custom laser-cut rear dropouts and a hand-built steel frame made in Waterford, Wisconsin, are a few of the details you’ll appreciate once you’re on the road.

9. FELT VR60
$899

Depending on the length of your commute and how much riding you do in your free time, a road bike might be a better choice than a standard commuter. For a bike that won’t break your budget and rides well on gravel and rougher roads, consider VR60 as one of the better options. Solid components, disc brakes and a carbon fork make it a reasonable option for serious roadies looking for a training bike that can be used for long-distance commuting and training in harsher weather conditions.

10. RALEIGH REDUX 3
$899

If you like to tackle the occasional dirt trail or fire road, the Redux 3 is a commuter that steers more toward a mountain bike than road. The aluminum frame is also surprisingly light, and the 10-speed drivetrain means you’ll always be able to find the right gear whether the road heads up or down. The best part, though, is the Schwalbe Big Ben balloon tires, which roll over just about anything that gets in the way.  

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