Almost everyone living in a big city has had an encounter with how bad the rush hour traffic can get when driving. What’s even more frustrating is that business has to go on as usual. There’re not many ways you can avoid the traffic while driving on the road, but what if I told you I got a workaround to this?
Surprising and unexpected as it may seem, commuter bikes have proven to be the best solution for many peak hour commuters. What’s even more interesting is that they’re really easy to get hold of and as a bonus to avoiding traffic, you also get a light workout out of it as well, keeping you fit and healthy.
I have to insist, however, that not just any bike will do the trick. You must get your hands on a bike that is just as durable as it is functional which is why we’re here for you today.
Today we’ll be covering the best bicycles for urban riding that won’t leave you sore at the end of the day and can handle long distances as needed – every commuter’s dream! With that being said, let’s cut to the chase and see what 5 of the best have in store for us.
Before indulging on our main agenda, let’s first look at a side by side comparison of our top 5 all-around picks.
6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike
Critical Cycles Diamond Frame 7-Speed Shimano Hybrid Urban Commuter Road Bicycle
Firmstrong Urban Man Single Speed Beach Cruiser Bicycle
Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser Bicycle
Firmstrong Bella Women’s Beach Cruiser Bicycle
The 5 best bicycles for urban riding reviews of 2021
1. 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike
The first bike in our review stands out to be one of the best that 6KU has in its class. Boasting a lightweight aluminum frame, this stands out to be one of the best street bicycles. As such, maneuvering the city won’t be a hassle whatsoever. Other than this noticeable advantage, you will also have the peace of mind that this bike will serve you for a long time thanks to the corrosion-resistant nature of the aluminum frame and fork.
With convenience being something that everyone’s after, this bad boy does not disappoint. You should be able to switch between two different settings. Whereas one puts your legs in constant control hence making it easy to tackle the streets, the other comes in handy when coasting. To add icing to the cake, all this can be handled with the utilization of the flip flop hub.
It wouldn’t be any good to you if control were a problem, right? Designed for comfort and convenience, the oversized handlebar makes the bike quite easy to handle. Additionally, the stem gives you amazing handling of the bike as with any race bike. One of the few commuter bikes offering speed and comfort all in one.
Last but not least, assembling is quick and easy since there are free tools included out of the box which also makes it easy to maintain.
- Has got a light aluminum fork and frame.
- Features a convenient flip-flop hub.
- Includes comfortable handlebars for optimal control.
- The pedals are a little too large.
2. Critical Cycles Diamond Frame 7-Speed Shimano Hybrid Urban Commuter Road Bicycle
Looking to get a bang for your buck? This is one commuter bike you should consider investing in. Besides the many add-on features it comes with, read more about what makes this one of the best urban bikes.
First thing first, the drive train, being a 7-speed Shimano, qualifies this as the perfect companion for modern, urban and hybrid riders. Simply put, depending on the kind of cycling you’ll need to handle, it sure is going to adapt to the road ahead as expected.
Something else that makes this bike one of the best urban bikes is the tyres. For easy movement in the city, the treads are smooth and rounded plus they also have large water dispersion grooves that enable you to have the very best stability.
Not forgetting the comfort factor, the design of this commuter bike is quite decent. It features a diamond steel frame. Perhaps because this is hand-built with utmost precision, I found it to be comfortable for urban commuting. To add icing on the cake, the design is also ideal for leisure rides and exercises.
This bike has some useful added features including a rear rack, front and rear fenders and a vintage-style chrome bullet headlamp.
- Features large water dispersion tyre grooves.
- Comes with a 7-speed drivetrain.
- Comes with assembly tools out of the box.
- The steel frame is a little too heavy.
3. Firmstrong Urban Man Single Speed Beach Cruiser Bicycle
Available in over half a dozen different colors, this men’s city bike is just as comfortable as it is functional. Let’s have a look at what makes this possible, shall we?
One of the many features that makes it as comfortable as it is are the tyres. Each of them is white and ballooned which allows it to smoothen out any bumps on the road. Besides the tyres, the seat is just as comfortable since it features a dual-spring design.
In addition to the comfortable seat, the handlebars are quite amazing as well. Their wide nature ensures that you have a sure grip at all times and considering they have foam around them, they’ll be comfortable to hold for a long time.
It’s worth noting that there is a guard to protect your pant cuffs from getting caught in the chain and with the bike being shipped already 80% assembled, you couldn’t go much wrong with this selection.
Last but not least, its availability in four different gearing options makes it a worthy companion for the flexibility it offers on the road. It can be used in the single speed for casual riding or with the one of the other three advanced gears; a 3-speed internal hub, a 7-speed external hub or a 21-speed Shimano Tourney derailleur.
- Has got large, comfortable handlebars.
- Available in 4 different gearing options.
- Comes with dual spring seats.
- Shifting gears needs frequent adjustments.
4. Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser Bicycle
Yet another one from Firmstrong, here’s an amazing commuter bike for the ladies. From the wide tyres to the various gearing options and sizes, this should be a worthy investment.
Since comfort is what commuter bikes are mostly all about, the wide tyres are backed up by dual springs under the seat. There’s no better way to even out bumps on the road ahead. Continuing with the comfort feature, the handles are also designed with the utmost precision- their wide nature and comfortable foam grip are designed to allow for long cycling sessions.
The braking system on this is achieved with the pedal backward coaster brakes. As much as this could take some time getting used to for some, it is just as convenient as the handlebar braking system.
To make it one of the best urban commuter bikes, its firm and durable steel frame should support your weight well enough. In addition to this, it is already 80% assembled right out of the box so there won’t be much left to be done once you receive it to get it road ready and riding.
- Includes functional rear coaster brakes.
- Has got a comfortable seat and wide tyres.
- Comes mostly pre-assembled out of the box.
- It is difficult to pedal uphill.
5. Firmstrong Bella Women’s Beach Cruiser Bicycle
Yet another one for the ladies is the beach cruiser. Coming in 3 different colors and 5 gear options to choose from, you are sure to get one that suits you perfectly well.
With comfort being a priority in all commuter bikes as mentioned before, the oversized seat and dual springs make this one of the best city bikes. Regardless of where you’re headed, you’ll have the bumps evened out. So, no need to worry about having a sore back at the end of the day.
With safety also being a priority while on the road, the handlebars on this bike are not only made of comfortable leather but their wide nature gives you an amazing grip. The single and three-speed models have coaster brakes whereas the 7-speed has got the front and rear hand brakes.
That’s not all…
The bike also features a guard that protects your pant cuffs from being caught in the chain, 2.125-inch wide tyres and it comes already 80% preassembled out of the box.
- Features an oversized, dual-spring seat.
- Comes with a coaster braking system.
- Includes wide tyres for smoother rides.
- It’s a little too heavy.
Essential things to keep in mind before buying the best bicycles for urban riding
Once you make up your mind on getting a commuter bike, consider the following tips:
The cycling routes
There’s not a single commuter bike that fits all cycling situations. The trick is to pick a bike depending on the routes you’ll be taking frequently.
To be able to tackle most situations, however, I’d recommend that you choose a bike between 18 and 27 gears. You could go overboard and settle for 30 gears but the former is pretty much all you need.
It would also be wise to go for the internal rear hub feature rather than having all the gears outside. This is so maintenance is kept easy and they are well protected from the elements. All you have to do is ensure your chain is kept clean.
Something else worth paying attention to is the braking system. In most cases, you’ll have to choose between the rim and disc brakes. When choosing between these two, I’d recommend the disc brakes and more specifically the hydraulic ones.
Even though commuter bikes mostly move on pavements or bike lanes, you may end up on gravel once in a while. As such, you must go for wheels measuring at least 26 inches with well-treaded tyres. This is pretty much all you need for city riding.
How much should you spend on a commuter bike?
Depending on the bike you choose and the features it comes with, the price will vary. At the end of the day, however, you should always prioritize performance over everything else.
Why should you get either of the bikes reviewed above?
So, why are the 5 above the best bicycles for urban riding? Well, we passed each one of them through rigorous tests of speed, comfort and tolerance, and durability. We also considered gender centric preferences. Based on these criteria, the bikes mentioned above came out on top with some faring better in one criterion over the other. You couldn’t go wrong going with one of these options chosen according to your needs and priorities.
Frequently asked questions
Questions: What bike is best for riding to work?
Answer: The 6KU Aluminium Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike should be a worthy companion. It features an aluminum frame double-walled alloy rims and maintenance is easy as well.
Question: Which bike is best for a long ride?
Answer: For longer rides, the Firmstrong Urban Man Single Speed Beach Cruiser and Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser Bicycle should be good enough. They’ve got dual springs and a foam grip on the handles.
Question: What is the best street bicycle?
Answer: For the streets, I’d go with the 6KU Aluminium Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike that allows for easy and relaxed riding while at the same time paying attention to utmost safety with the included braking system.
In conclusion, there’s no better way to get the best bicycles for urban riding. With either of the bikes mentioned above, you’ll be getting a worthy investment. However, it’s of utmost importance that you observe the recommended maintenance procedures. The last thing you’d want is for your bike to come apart after only a few uses.