A bike can be one of the best ways to get around a city. There are plenty of paths for you to ride down, and once you get to your destination, you can lock up the bike. No need to pay parking fees. Plus, it’s more environmentally friendly than driving a car.
The best way to make sure that you have a good experience is by choosing the right bike to ride. But with dozens of models on the market, it can be difficult to know what you should be looking for. To make this choice easier, let’s look at some of the best city bikes, and discuss how to choose the best city bike for you…
What to Look For in a City Bike
Before we get into the best bicycles around, it’s important to know what you should be looking for. When it comes to city bikes, there are specific parts of the bike that will make it good for city riding. Here are some of them…
Best Type of Brakes for a City Bike
One of the most important features for a city bike is a good braking system. If you’re riding in the city, you’ll face a lot of obstacles, such as pedestrians and cars. You’ll need to be able to stop quickly.
This means using either caliper or disc brakes. Both will be easy to maintain and will be an effective way of stopping in an emergency.
Buyers Tip: Caliper or disk brakes work best for city riding. They are effective and easy to maintain.
Best Type of Saddle for a City Bike
When riding, you want to make sure that you’re comfortable. Often, this means choosing the right saddle. With a city bike, it’s best to choose something that has some padding, especially if you aren’t planning on wearing cycling shorts. You should also look for a saddle that has some springs, helping you absorb any bumps in the road.
Buyers Tip: For city riders, padded saddles with springs are a good choice, especially if cycling shorts are not going to be worn.
Best Type of Gear System for a City Bike
Another important factor to consider is the gear system. In the city, you might be able to use a fixed gear bike, but this is best if you only expect to ride on mostly flat round (unless you’re really fit and have strong leg muscles!). These only have one gear setting to choose from. They’re the easiest to maintain and.
Other riders will prefer two or five gears for city riding though (I come under this boat…or should I say…bike!). The choice will depend on you and what you’re comfortable with, and it will also depend on how much incline there is in the area you want to ride.
Buyers Tip: A fixed gear bike is good for flat city areas. But a 3 to 5 gear system is ideal for city areas with some incline.
Best Set up for a City Bike
You might also want to think about the way that the bike has been set-up. Some set ups suit the city rider really well, such as:
- Adding a package carrier to the outside of the bike (like these on Amazon)
- Adding fenders to protect you’re clothing from getting dirty (these are great from Amazon)
- Adding a kickstand to make it easier to park it (here’s a great adjustable one on Amazon)
- Having a phone holder at the front to help you navigate the city (this one’s great on Amazon as it’s also water proof)
- Having reflective gear and lights for safe riding at night (This set is great on Amazon)
Often these won’t come with the bike, so you’ll need to add them afterward, but they make city journeys much easier on a bike.
Buyers Tip: It’s worth investing in gear that helps your city ride become much more practical and easier, such as fenders, phone holders, lights, etc.
Styling your City Bike
You might also want to think about the way that the bike has been styled. Pick a color scheme that suits your personality, and this will ensure that you feel good while you’re riding. There are also plenty of ways that you’ll be able to customize it later on.
What is the Proper Riding Position on a City Bike?
The way that you ride might impact the type of bike that you purchase. When riding in the city, you’ll often want to be sitting in an upright position. This will be the most relaxed and casual position when cycling in the city.
You’ll find it easier to look around, seeing the sights, and noticing traffic and hazards around you. This position will make it easier for you to spot obstacles, so you’ll be able to stop in time and stay safe.
Buyers Tip: A city bike should be positioned in an upright position, rather than a ‘racers’ position, so that you’re able to see the traffic and hazards around you. It’s also great for sightseeing!
What Types of City Bikes are There?
There are a few different types of bikes that you can use for riding in city areas. Each of these have been designed for a slightly different purpose.
In some cases, there might be some cross-over (for example, an e-cargo bike). When reading through this section, consider what you’ll be using the bike for. This will help you pick the right type of bike for you. Here are the different types of bikes that are suitable for city riding…
Hybrid bikes are a cross between a road bike and a more rugged mountain bike. You’ll be able to ride it on the road. However, the tires are thicker than a road bike. This ensures that you’ll be able to take bumps or rougher patches.
Hybrids tend to be the more versatile types of bikes and are some of the most popular city bikes in the world.
If you have limited space, you might want to consider getting a folding bike. As the name suggests, this will be able to fold up into a smaller, compact shape, which allows you to place the bike into the boot of your car, taking it on trips with you.
When you arrive, you just need to unfold the bike and you’re ready to go. It’s also a really great option if you want to commute by using public transport for part of your journey, and your bike for the rest.
A third popular option is an e-bike. These have a battery in the bike, which can be a great option for people who need to travel a long distance. You’ll be able to take a break in the middle, using the battery power.
It can also be a good option for people who need to go over rough terrains, such as over hills. When picking these types of bikes, look at the range. This is how long the bike can run on battery power.
Finally, you might want to consider a cargo bike. These often have storage racks on them, which is ideal for people who plan to use the bike to go to the shops or commute to work.
As I mentioned earlier, you might be able to convert some types of bikes into cargo bikes by adding storage racks.
NOTE: If you’d like more detailed information on how to choose the best bike for you, check out my guide here.
Now that we have a rough idea of the different types of bikes that are suited to city riding, let’s take a look at some options!
The following bikes have been hand picked from a wide range available on the market at the moment, and have been selected specifically for someone looking for a city ride. I’ve given detailed information about each bike and who it might be good for, so you can make an informed choice.
I’ve also included a link to where you can purchase it from (if available online). Here’s the selection:
The first bike that you might want to consider is the Schwinn Collegiate. As one of the most respected manufacturers in the industry, Schwinn has a reputation for providing excellent bikes. The Collegiate was built to celebrate their 125th anniversary!
Because of this, they went all out to produce a stunning bike that provides a nod to the history of the manufacturer. When you purchase this bike, you’ll also get a book, with images of the best designs that the manufacturer has produced.
This bike is designed with your comfort in mind:
- Foam padding has been added to the saddle.
- There are comfortable ergonomic grips.
- There are fenders, which add to the vintage look while keeping you protected from any mud or water.
- Though they have polished to look like chrome, the bike’s rims are made from aluminum. Because of this, the bike will be very light and easy to steer.
- You’ll also get wider wheels, so you’ll be able to glide along the pavement and absorb any bumps along the way quite easily.
- There is an eight-speed gear system. This means that it will be suitable for climbing up hills and will allow you to get up to speed quickly when traveling through the city streets.
To assure that it’s high-quality, this bike comes with a lifetime guarantee from Schwinn. And consider the quality and features on this bike, it comes with a fairly decent price tag.
Marin Presidio 1
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, you might want to consider the Marin Presido 1. These bikes will cost just $499. However, as we’ll see, that money will go a long way, making it one of the best budget bikes.
Some of the features include:
- Tires that have been designed to be resistant to punctures. This ensures that they will last longer. It also ensures that you’ll be able to take on rougher terrain, like a steep hill in a park.
- There are three gears, which means you’ll be able to take on a range of slopes.
- The gears have internal hubs, which reduces the amount of maintenance that you’ll need to perform.
- The frame of the bike is made from aluminum. This means that it will be lightweight, allowing you to achieve high speeds.
- The steering responds well, so you’ll always feel like you’re in control.
- There are disk brakes, for a more controlled stop.
- This bike is available in a range of sizes, you’ll be able to find the one that best suits you.
Treadwell EQ Remixte
If you’re searching for a more high-tech option, you might want to consider the Treadwell EQ Remixte.
This bike comes with an integrated wheel sensor. You can then connect your bike to the free app, for a lot of cool features.
First, you’ll be able to see how far you are traveling and track your performance. Tracking things like calories burnt can be great motivation for those looking to use the bike to help them lose weight. It also tells you when you need to perform maintenance tasks, making it easy to care for the bike.
This bike is also a lot of fun to ride:
- It’s lightweight, with an aluminum frame.
- There are fat tires, which will allow you to get over any bumps.
- This bike is also packed with special features, such as the tech I mentioned above.
- It comes with fenders included.
- You’ll also get a bike rack that you can attach to the front of the bike, for added storage. This can be useful for those who are planning on using the bike for their daily commute.
While this is a fun bike, it will come at a cost. This bike is retailing for around $1,000. However, considering the built-in technology and functionality, this is a reasonable price.
If you’re looking for a super affordable bike, you might want to consider the Lowry. Though they’re well-built, they also have a lower price, and will only cost you $399. It’s a great bike for beginners:
- This is available in both step-thru and step over varieties.
- There is only one gear, making it a good choice for people who live in the city and don’t need to deal with a lot of hills.
- The one gear system means a huge decrease in the amount of maintenance you’ll need to perform.
- Very lightweight, making it easy to lift and carry up stairs if needed.
- If you do want gears, there is a more expensive 8-gear model that you can get.
- It also decreases the amount of maintenance that you’ll be able to perform. This bike is very light. This means that you’ll be able to lift it and carry it up the stairs.
Mongoose Envoy Cargo Bike
If you’re planning on getting a bike that you can use every day, you might want to consider the Mongoose Envoy Cargo Bike.
This bike will allow you to carry large packages. You’ll be able to get two cargo bags, which attach to the back of the bike, and they’ll be weather resistant and you’ll be able to seal them with a zip.
This makes them the perfect choice for carrying your shopping or taking documents into a business meeting. These are kept securely on an aluminum frame.
There are also some features that make for a comfortable ride:
- You can get a shock dampener on the front brake. This allows you to absorb the force of any impacts that you experience.
- There is a quick release for the saddle.
- The tires are thick, with double rims, and will be ready to cope with a range of circumstances.
- This bike comes equipped with eight speeds. This can reduce the amount of work that you need to do when hauling it up a hill. (However, it can still require a lot of effort, particularly if you have a lot of weight to carry.)
- The benefit of securely having your belongings carried with you on your bike.
Batch Bicycles E-Commuter
If you need to travel long distances, you might want to consider getting an e-bike. These will come with a battery pack. If you ever get tired, you’ll be able to run on battery power for a while. This’ll give your legs some time to recover.
The Batch Bicycles E-Commuter is a great option for anyone who’s looking for an E-bike.
- The battery will be able to last for 80 miles. (Though if you want to travel faster, it will last for 30 miles).
- There is a dashboard that you can use to monitor the amount of battery life that you have left.
- When you get back home, it’s easy to recharge it. You should be able to just plug in a cable.
- If you want to pedal yourself, there is an eight-speed gearbox. This will give you plenty of options, allowing you to conquer large hills.
- The wheels are built to be durable and will be able to absorb any bumps in the path.
- There are fenders included.
- There’s also a rear rack, where you’ll be able to put your luggage.
- The aluminum frame means that the bike will be very durable, but also light enough to handle easily. If you want, you might even be able to carry it if you don’t have too much in your carry bags).
The only potential downside to this type of bike is the price. E-bikes will require more electronic components. Because of this, they tend to be more expensive than manual components.
This bike will cost you $2,199. Despite the price, you’ll need to purchase and install your own lights. Though this is a minor issue, with most lights costing less than $25.
Stowaway Foldable City Bike
If you’re planning on driving in the city, you might want to consider a foldable bike. When you get to your destination, you’ll be able to get off the bike and fold it up. This makes it easy to stow away, perfect for those with limited space. A great example of this concept is the Stowaway Foldable City Bike.
There are a few reasons why this is a great foldable bike:
- Once it’s folded, it’s very compact.
- It only weigh 34 pounds. This makes it light enough to carry with you into the office. (However, it won’t be as light as other bikes).
- It comes with a six-speed gearbox. This makes it perfect for traveling up steep hills and mountains.
- It’s very comfortable to ride.
- Unlike some other bikes, it will come with a lot of important accessories. For example, you’ll be able to get the fenders, rear rack, and a kickstand included in the purchase.
One thing to note thought, is that when the bike is folded, the wheels can flop around a tad while carrying, which is a little frustrating.
The real reason why this bike has made the list, though, is because of the price. In most cases, if you’re looking for a foldable bike, you’ll need to be prepared to pay at least around $300.
But, when you purchase a Stowaway, you’ll only need to pay around $100! This is a great choice for people who are on a tight budget.
Dahon Mariner Folding Bike
If you like the concept of a foldable bike and are willing to spend a little more, you might want to consider the Dahon Mariner Folding Bike. This has become one of the most popular folding bikes in the world and there are plenty of reasons for this.
- It has a very compact design. You’ll be able to store it easily.
- It’s easy to fold up.
- It’s 38 pounds, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to carry.
- Unlike the Stowaway, the wheels will get clipped into position, so they shouldn’t be flying anywhere.
- When you arrive, it’s easy to unfold it and get riding.
- It has a seven-speed gearbox. You won’t need to worry about going up hills or going over any rough terrain.
- The fenders are included.
- You also get a rear rack.
- You even get some touch-up paint in case you have any accidents!
- Though the frame might be light, it’s built to last. You won’t need to worry about whether or not it will be able to cope with a rough track.
The only potential downside is that the paint isn’t rust-proof. Because of this, you might get a few scratches, but they do provide some touch up paint with the purchase as I mentioned earlier.
Many people choose foldable bikes because they want something easy to store. However, most of these models will be manual. But that doesn’t mean that electric varieties aren’t available.
This is why so many people choose Brompton Electric. Let’s take a closer look at some of the features that it offers:
- It’s easy to fold up into a more compact design. This will take just three steps.
- Once folded, it will retain its shape. You’ll then be able to store it easily.
- Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll be able to unfold it easily. You can be riding within a few minutes.
- This bike has an electric battery. This is great for longer journeys, giving you a chance to rest your legs. It can also be ideal for helping you go up steep hills.
- The battery on the Brompton Electric has a range of 20 to 35 miles.
- It also comes with three levels of pedal assistance. This will let you decide how much help you want.
- When running on battery power, you’ll be able to achieve a maximum speed of 15.5 miles per hour.
- Once you arrive, you can remove the battery and recharge it. The standard power cord that comes with the bike will charge up the battery in four hours.
- If you want, you can purchase a separate cord which reduces the charging time to two hours.
- You’ll either be able to get a two-speed or a six-speed, which makes it easier to get the speed you need to ride up big hills. Though the wheels might be smaller, this will let you travel faster. This can be useful when accelerating away from traffic lights.
- There is space for you to hang a bag over the front handlebars without overbalancing the bike.
The only potential downside to this bike will be the cost, and this will depend on the model that you want to purchase.
- If you want the two-speed, it will cost $3,499.
- If you want the six-speed model, you’ll need to pay $3,639.
At this price point, you would need to be using it regularly. It’s also essential that you have the time to maintain it so that it will last for a long time.
Giant Fastroad SL 2
Another great city bike for you to consider is the Giant Fastroad SL 2. This bike comes with a durable aluminum frame and is built to take rough roads, and last for a long time.
Some more features this bike has are:
- This bike comes with an excellent gearbox, so you’ll be able to climb up hills easily.
- The hydraulic disk brakes will be able to give you plenty of control.
- It’s also easy to take the fenders and rack on and off. This lets you switch between riding in the city and riding for fitness.
- The tires and the handlebars make it easy for the bike to absorb any rough patches in the road.
- The tires are also very strong and will be resistant to punctures.
This great performance does come at a price. You will need to pay around $1,250 to own this bike, which is fairly good, considering the quality of the build. When you purchase this bike, you can expect if to last for a long time.
Benno eJoy 9d
In some cases, you might want to blend the sturdiness of a cargo bike, with the efficiency of an E-bike. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, you might want to check out the Benno eJoy 9d. It’s a very powerful bike. Here are some of its features:
- This bike comes with plenty of storage. There is a large rear package carrier, which allows you to carry large parcels with ease. And if you want more storage, you’ll be able to attach a tray to the front of the bike.
- You’ll be riding in an upright position, so you’ll be comfortable.
- The light frame and step-through design ensure that you’ll be in control of its movements at all times.
- The tires are wide enough to insulate you from any bumps in the road.
- It comes with fenders, to protect you from mud or dirt.
- The battery delivers excellent performance. It has a range of 80 miles, which will suit most riders.
- When using it, the battery will be silent. It’s estimated that you’ll be able to achieve a speed of around 20 miles per hour when it’s in the highest setting. (However, this might depend on the amount of weight that you have on board.)
- It’s also easy to charge up at the end of your journey.
This bike has a lot of power and an attractive design. You’ll be able to choose between three different color selections, to find the one that you like the most.
The only potential downside will be the cost. You’ll be expected to pay $3,199.99. Because of this, you’ll want to be sure that you’ll be using the bike frequently enough for it to be worth the investment.
There are plenty of city bikes for you to choose from. I’ve picked out what I think are the top 11 on the market at the moment. From those that can fold into a small size, to those that can carry a lot of weight, these will cater to all types of riders. So, use this guide to find the perfect city bike for you.