Best Commuter Bikes

Review & Comparison, Last Update May 26, 2020
Commuter bikes allow you to commute with more comfort and confidence than most bikes and, from some perspectives, all cars. The best commuter bikes can do so much more than take you from point A to point B though, which are precisely the bikes you'll find within this selection. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Frame
Wheels
Brakes
Gearing
Extras
Warranty
 
PROS

The LCD screen shows you the speed, distance, and the remaining charge. The sizable font makes these values easy to read, whereas the screen's backlighting makes them visible even under direct sunlight. The battery and the motor are protected from splashes and the elements. 

CONS

The brakes squeak in wet conditions.

OUR VERDICT

Between three riding modes, the 500-watt motor, the 700c wheels, and the trekking tires, the Swagtron EB12 will allow you to climb hills, challenge mountain paths, and ride with relaxed confidence even when the road ahead presents many seeming obstacles.

detailed parameters
Frame

Aluminum alloy frame

Wheels

700c wheels with trekking tires

Brakes

Front and rear V-brakes

Gearing

Shimano™ gearing and shifting, 7 speeds (3 riding modes) 

Extras

500W brushless electric motor, Li-ion 36 V/7.5Ah battery, adjustable saddle height, adjustable handlebar, non-slip grips, kickstand, rear rack, bell

Warranty

1 year

PROS

You can adjust the saddle to fit anyone between 5 and 6 feet tall. The folding lock mechanism makes sure the frame does not fold mid-ride. Between 16 speeds, the model's drivetrain tolerates more misalignment and lets you go from descending to ascending without noticeable issues. 

CONS

The saddle is relatively stiff. 

OUR VERDICT

The Kespor Venture Folding Bike will accommodate men and women, teenagers and adults. The bike weighs no more than 30 pounds yet can support no less than 230 pounds. Plus, when folded, the bike measures only 29 x 29 x 19 inches, so you can take it with you anywhere.

detailed parameters
Frame

Aluminum alloy frame (foldable)

Wheels

20" wheels with road tires

Brakes

Front and rear mechanical disc brakes 

Gearing

Shimano™ gearing and shifting, 16 speeds 

Extras

Adjustable saddle height, adjustable handlebar, non-slip grips, kickstand, rear rack, mudguards 

Warranty

Lifetime warranty for frame, 1 year for parts 

PROS

The IP65 enclosure protects the components even from water jets coming from different angles at the same time. The high-strength carbon steel frame is resistant against warping. The sensitive brake levers bring the bike to an abrupt halt without delay, even when the road is wet.

CONS

The tire protectors start wearing out pretty early. 

OUR VERDICT

Despite its humble beginnings, the Ancheer Electric Folding Bike allows covering between 15 and 30 miles on a single charge (using throttle-only and electric-assisted mode respectively). Even without you pedaling, the bike can reach 15.5 mph. The battery takes 4-6 hours to recharge.

detailed parameters
Frame

Lightweight steel frame (foldable)

Wheels

16" wheels with road tires

Brakes

Front and rear mechanical disc brakes

Gearing

1 speed (3 riding modes) 

Extras

250W brushless electric motor, Li-ion 36 V/8Ah battery, adjustable saddle height, adjustable handlebar, non-slip grips, kickstand, mudguards, bell

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The ergonomic non-slip grips will prevent even the sweatiest hands from slipping. The safety reflectors will let you ride during nighttime without worrying about being invisible to the drivers. The matte seat does not absorb moisture and dirt, enabling easy maintenance. 

CONS

The white frame is easily soiled. 

OUR VERDICT

The Ancheer Collapsible Electric Bike does not look as awkward and clunky as most e-bikes around $500 usually look. On the contrary, with its elegant white frame hosting the company's logo crossed out with blue stripes, the bike oozes style, so you will not be feeling like a dork commuting atop this e-bike.

detailed parameters
Frame

Lightweight steel frame (foldable)

Wheels

16" wheels with road tires

Brakes

Front and rear mechanical disc brakes

Gearing

1 speed (3 riding modes) 

Extras

250W brushless electric motor, Li-ion 36 V/8Ah battery, adjustable saddle height, adjustable handlebar, non-slip grips, kickstand, mudguards, bell

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The fenders are incorporating flaps to keep you dry and protect from puddle surprises. The trim 700c tires will be increasing the rolling momentum, therefore reducing the resistance between you and the road. The Zoom suspension fork will absorb the shock from small bumps. 

CONS

Some find the pedals shoddy. 

OUR VERDICT

The Royce Union RMX is classy, something that you cannot say about most commuters. This is the bike you can ride to work wearing an expensive three-piece suit without looking like you have borrowed your son's bicycle. Plus, the bike is plenty comfortable and really durable.

detailed parameters
Frame

6061 aircraft-grade aluminum frame

Wheels

700c wheels with trekking tires

Brakes

Front and rear V-brakes

Gearing

Shimano drivetrain, Shimano twist with a Shimano Nexus rear derailleur, 3 speeds

Extras

Adjustable saddle height, adjustable handlebar, chainguard, non-slip grips, kickstand, rear rack, mudguards, bell

Warranty

10 years for frame, 1 year for fork, 6 months for parts

Swagtron EB12

Streamlined Swag

The Swagtron EB12 has more swag than most commuters. To begin with, its "no-frill" profile is somewhat misleading because behind the simple design is the outline that's been streamlined to promote maximum efficiency.

Incorporating a flat handlebar, the bike facilitates comfortable upright riding. Riding in an upright position, you're reducing stress on the hands, wrists, and shoulders. Meanwhile, the rigid frame allows you to push the bike as hard as you can, feeling the road and putting everything that you have against the pavement, making the ride that much more satisfying.

Commuters seldom face considerable obstacles. That being said, when you're paying ~$1,000, you want something strong, something tough, something long-lasting. Here, you're receiving that something from the premium-grade 6061-series aluminum that is behind the frame and rims. Making them strong and resistant against rust, the e-bike remains lightweight yet tough as nails and twice as durable. To add more, the fork has been reinforced, featuring high-strength steel to add resilience and enable a compliant ride. Strong as it is, the frame can support riders up to 265 pounds, so the bike does not discriminate.

Reaching an IPX4 rating, the bike's components are protected from the elements, including splashes. Also, the battery mount will be pulling double-duty as a cargo rack too, offering increased utility.

Review of Swagtron EB12 Electric Bike | City Commuter eBike

Solid Grip and Traction

More often than not, people judge e-bikes based on maximum speed and mileage first and foremost. Because that's the case, the Swagtron EB12 has been fitted with a massive 36-volt battery and a 500-watt motor, giving you 28 miles on one charge without pedaling. Using only the motor, you'll be able to reach 16 mph, more than commuters need. Besides that, with its 500-watt peak output and 350-watt continuous performance, this road bike will enable climbing hills and even mountain paths with relative ease.

As much as these contribute though, without the right wheels, these components are useless. On that note, the bike adopts 700c wheels with trekking tires, offering excellent grip and minimizing flat tire chances. On city pavements, these tires are giving you the traction that puts most commuters to shame.

Where the product somewhat drops the balls are the brakes. To be more specific, the brakes are responsive and reliable, sure, but they're also squeaky in wet conditions, which is unfortunate considering the premium price tag.

Apart from that, the Swagtron EB12 is a lean and mean commuting machine that rises to the occasion even when you stray away from city roads.

Swagtron EB12 Electric Bike | City Commuter eBike in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

KESPOR Venture Folding

A Nimble One

The Kespor Venture Folding Bike is a nimble one. Measuring (when folded) 29 x 29 x 19 inches and weighing around 30 pounds, this is the bike that you can shove inside elevators and down the subway. Despite weighing only 30 pounds, the bike can support as much as 230 pounds, which's pretty incredible, even though some people around that weight range might find the bike's dolphin-style frame and reduced size uncomfortable to ride.

Having said that, the adjustable saddle height might convince the doubters otherwise, accommodating riders ranging from 5 feet to above 6 feet. Now, the seat is quite stiff, so we are not going to make any claims that the entire ride will always remain enjoyable because bumpy and jerky grounds will not prove conducive towards that.

Still, even with these questionable moments, the bike is easy to prescribe. First things first, the patented folding lock mechanism makes the frame stiff and secure, ensuring that the bike will not be folding mid-ride. Also, made from heavy-duty aluminum alloy, the foldable frame can not only support the weights that we have outlined above but also survive consistent drops and falls without bending and warping.

Review of KESPOR Venture Folding Bike Commuter

Tolerating More Misalignment

As far as the drivetrain is concerned, this city bike comes fitted with Shimano™ gearing and shifting, offering 16 speed options. Between these options, the bicycle tolerates more misalignment than most commuters and also enables you to go from descending to ascending considerable hills without much trouble.

Setting aside the 20-inch wheels that are somewhat surprising considering the bike's size, the model's not bringing anything new to the table. The kickstand is present, balancing the bicycle and preventing the two-wheeled vehicle from falling when left unattended. The rack has been put behind, above the rear wheel, the least unorthodox choice. The manufacturers did not forget to include the mudguards too, so you will not be cleaning the bike every time you ride when it is raining outside. Now, the non-slip grips, while not necessarily unique, are offering ample padding, absorbing pressure and allowing you to ride with confidence even when the hands get sweaty.

Because the bike comes fully assembled, you can take it from the box and go to town almost immediately. When you also take into account the reasonable price and the easy folding mechanism, this commuter bike becomes an attractive option, maybe even too attractive to ignore.

KESPOR Venture Folding Bike Commuter in the use

 

Ancheer Folding

All-Weather Stopping Power

The Ancheer Electric Folding Bike is not the most hardworking e-bike we have reviewed. The bicycle lands somewhere in the middle, keeping the price reasonable and the performance respectable. Range-wise, the battery will let you reach at least 15 miles using the throttle-only mode and double the mileage when you add some pedaling to the mix. The bike's maximum speed caps at 15.5 mph, what you would expect from an e-bike around $500. Since the battery takes somewhere between 4 and 6 hours to recharge, even when the distance between you and the workplace is considerable (>15 miles), you can arrive at work, recharge the bike, and go back home without worrying about running out before reaching the desired destination.

Needless to say, when you're reaching certain speeds, the brakes become the most important article. With that in mind, the bike's adopting mechanical front and rear disc brakes, offering reliable all-weather stopping power. Besides, the brakes are sensitive and responsive, so you will not be forced to squeeze them to produce immediate results.

We would not recommend playing with them though because the tire protectors here are quite fragile and will start wearing out pretty early, which means that scratching them without any reason would be ill-considered.

Review of Ancheer Folding Electric Commuter Bike

High-Strength Carbon Steel

The bike folds within seconds, something that you can say about most folding bikes from Ancheer. You can also say that about the console, reaching the IP65 rating to protect the components even against water jets coming from any angle. Can you necessarily extend the same sentiment towards the frame? At times, sure. Even so, made from high-strength carbon steel, the frame's no joke even by the company's relatively high standards. You can abuse the bike with relentless hate and the frame will not yield.

Now, let's proceed to the boring part - the bike's measurements. Weighing around 37 pounds, the bike's load capacity reaches 220 pounds, nothing to sneeze at, right? The 16-inch MTB wheels, despite the somewhat pedestrian road tires, will ensure dependable off-road grip and smooth-rolling on most roads. In the meantime, the mudguards will prevent you from getting dirty while riding off-road.

In other words, forget about traffic jams and crowded buses. With the Ancheer Electric Folding Bike, you'll be able to commute with style and efficiency, taking different routes, enjoying the scenery, and folding the bike when necessary.

Ancheer Folding Electric Commuter Bike in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Ancheer _Folding

Riding With Style

The Ancheer Collapsible Electric Bike has been engineered and designed with lofty ambitions to prove that an e-bike can be affordable, efficient, and stylish at the same time, which is no small feat considering how awkward, clunky, and downright hideous budget e-bikes usually are. From where we're standing, the goal has been accomplished, at least to some extent. Looking at the bike's elegant white frame and the battery hidden from sight, you're thinking anything but awkward and clunky. Quite the opposite, the e-bike appears sleek, stylish, and charming. That being said, the flip side is that the white frame is easily soiled, an unavoidable drawback when you're ditching dark paintworks and choosing light washes.

Setting aside the paintwork, this two-wheeled vehicle is indistinguishable from the bike we have reviewed before this one, so we will keep things brief, without overlooking anything that is worth mentioning. The driving force behind the bike is its 250-watt brushless motor, offering maximum single-charge mileage between 15 and 30 miles depending on the pedaling. Also, the brushless part means that the motor's basically silent, something that cheap electric bicycles are seldom able to ensure.

When you choose the electric-assisted mode and add some pedaling, the bicycle will even be able to climb 15-degree hills. Its 15.5-mph maximum speed is not different from most e-bikes within this price bracket (~$500) and the battery's charging time, fluctuating between 4 and 6 hours, is also something that most model's peers are offering.

Review of Ancheer _Folding Collapsible Electric Commuter Bike

Durable Matte Seat

The two aforementioned modes will be available via the bike's basic and straightforward console, adding the third one to enable switching between low-, medium-, and high-speed options. To no one's surprise, the console has been put next to the left grip since the right one hosts the bell. Also to no one's surprise, this urban bike lets you adjust the handlebar supporting these parts to match the adjustable saddle and make sure the bike accommodates varying heights. To add more, the matte seat on that saddle, while not especially soft, is quite durable, so all you'll have to do is wipe it with some damp cloth from time to time and the seat will maintain its pristine appearance.

To sum this up, the Ancheer Collapsible Electric Bike puts style centerstage but without sacrificing performance, comfort, and efficiency. Provided you don't mind cleaning the white frame every second ride, this is the e-bike for you.

Ancheer _Folding Collapsible Electric Commuter Bike in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Royce Union RMX

Ride with Class

The Royce Union RMX is elegant and dignified, with its twin-tube frame, polished gray paintwork, and glossy overcoat separating the bike from most commuters. Sure, you will not fold this bike. This is not something that you can bring down the subway without inconveniencing the people around you. This is the bike that projects class and style, something that commuters used to do before manufacturers started chasing ergonomics and compromising aesthetics.

Supporting the stylish appearance is the 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum frame that makes the bike lightweight (45 pounds, which is more lightweight than it sounds considering the size measures 58.3 x 9.4 x 31.5 inches), easily maneuverable, especially when tackling tight corners, yet tough. You will not have to worry about the frame forming rust patches and showing corrosion signs. Meanwhile, the Zoom suspension fork will ensure solid performance atop most roads, absorb the shock coming from small potholes and uneven pavement.

Some find the pedals shoddy and awkward, which is unfortunate considering that everything else here is top-notch. That "everything else" list includes the Shimano drivetrain and Shimano twist. The drivetrain is smooth, shifting with but the faintest twist, making hills easy to climb and enjoyable to glide down. What's more, the internal hub will be protecting the drivetrain from dirt, rain, and mud, reducing cleaning and maintenance needs.

Review of Royce Union RMX Mens 3-Speed Commuter Bike

Increasing the Rolling Momentum

Unlike the commuters we have reviewed above, this one is fitting the softest seat, with ample padding and dual springs keeping you comfortable throughout the longest rides. Not only that, the quick-release binder will allow you to customize the saddle height without twisting and jerking. The rack has been spring-loaded too, securing the laptop bag and vulnerable grocery bags when commuting.

Besides that, the handlebar has been raised to facilitate comfortable upright riding, reducing the stress on the shoulders and back. The ergonomic grips have been molded to match average hands' contours and make them fit like gloves. Last but not least, the trim 700c tires increase the rolling momentum and provide reduced resistance between you and the destination so that you can accelerate even when riding on uneven roads.

In short, as much as we value comfort and convenience, sometimes class and style should prevail. This is precisely what this bike is offering, allowing you to ride with poise and aplomb.

Royce Union RMX Mens 3-Speed Commuter Bike in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is a Commuter Bike?

Cars are great except when they're not. The planet is polluted enough so, when possible, commuting via biking is an excellent alternative to driving. Biking is much more engaging than driving across the same roads. You can choose different routes, explore new areas, check out new roads.

Bikes do not depreciate (value-wise) as much as cars. They do not lose 10% of their value the moment you drive off the lot. Needless to say, they're also more affordable. You can buy an excellent new commuter bike for 200-400 dollars, whereas a half-decent used car will cost you 15 times more than that.

Some believe that bicycles are not as safe as cars but as long as you equip them (or choose the ones that are already fitted with these components) with horns, lights, and safety reflectors, accident chances become practically nonexistent.

Some commuter bikes are pretty versatile but they will not allow you to attack cross-country paths and traverse challenging trails with as much confidence as you'd have on an electric mountain bike, so you can look into these too. Also, do not forget about the helmet, better be safe than sorry.

What Features to Compare

Frame

Commuter bikes are not as demanding as MTBs when it comes to the frame's strength and durability. However, they're as demanding (and even more sometimes) in terms of weight. You do not want to be hauling 45 pounds to work with you, so the right bicycle for commuting should not weigh above 30-35 pounds. Still, nobody likes fragile framesets, which means that the challenge here is to find something that's both lightweight and sturdy. The most expensive commuting models are made from high-tensile steel and different high-strength alloys but even your average bike with an aluminum alloy frame will usually do as long as the weight does not start going above 30-35 pounds.

Wheelset

Technically speaking, bicycles can exist without the frameset, though that's when you start stretching the "bicycle" definition. Without wheels though? Nope. The wheels are important but from different angles compared to MTBs. Mountain bikes are all about grip and traction, whereas commuters' wheels and tires have to be able to minimize rolling resistance yet remain resistant against wearing out. Double-walled wheels and double-butted spokes are preferable to the alternative, though you'll have to pay more for them.

Brakes

Bikes and brakes, brakes and bikes. One's not complete without the other, one cannot survive without the other. City roads can be unforgiving, so do not even think about looking at the bicycles that come without both front and rear brakes. Also, they have to be sensitive and responsive enough so that you can stop immediately when necessary, avoiding accidents.

Gearing

Because these bikes are not designed to accommodate variable terrains, the gearing is usually limited to 7-8 speeds, allowing you to handle sudden inclines and enabling smooth switching. Anything more than that is unnecessary.

Everything Else

Bikes these days are seldom complete without height-adjustable seats and handlebars, so talking about them is pretty pointless. Light reflectors though? MTBs can survive without them but you better make sure that the commuter bike you're looking to purchase has those in spades. Without them, you're risking serious accidents riding at night. With commuters, kickstands become more important as you stop for a coffee in the town and have to make sure you're able to position the bike upright anywhere. Rear racks and storage baskets are optional but, again, much more prevalent with bikes designed for commuting than they are with mountain bikes.

Why Bike Commuting Beats Driving

Reducing Expenses

The average automobile will cost you ~8,500 dollars to cover ~15,000 miles or somewhere around 50 cents per 1 mile. Needless to say, these numbers are averages, going up and down with different vehicles. This is without factoring in the resources you spend on maintenance and everyday upkeep. As you'd imagine, you're not paying for gasoline/electricity with bicycles (unless we're talking about e-bikes but even then the costs are not comparable) and they're much less demanding maintenance-wise, so you'll be spending far less time and money on a bicycle than on a car.

Receiving Health Benefits

Do we even need to outline them? Getting outside, using lungs, muscles, and everything that entails riding bicycles is a much healthier alternative to driving. Some exercise benefits do not require any advertisement. That being said, riding bikes also makes people happier, releasing chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and phenylethylamine. You're also absorbing vitamin D from the sun when you're outside, which's conducive towards improving the quality of your sleep. What's also interesting is that riding bikes has been linked with improving the riders' sex life, which is not the worst bonus, right?

Having Fun

Yes, driving can be plenty fun too. The adrenaline rush you experience when you're going 150 miles per hour is hard to put into words. The issue here is that you're not really going 150 m/h, are you? More often than not, you're stuck in traffic and even when you're not, there's nothing fun about slowly cruising the city roads. You're not really feeling any difference going uphill and downhill at these speeds in a car too, except that you have to apply more or less pressure to the accelerator. With bikes, you're not fighting traffic. You can go anywhere, from taking different routes when commuting to exploring country roads, canal towpaths, farm pathways, and more.

Parking With Ease

Finding available parking space somewhere downtown sounds about as realistic as meeting Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, in the middle of that city center. Is that the case with bikes? Not really. Bike racks are everywhere and because bikes take less space than cars, you can always find an available parking spot without circling around the parking lot.

Exploiting Consistency

Because road repairs, different accidents, breakdowns, and strikes are unpredictable, you never know when the streets that are not usually swarming with traffic might become blocked. You can arrive late for an important meeting even though you've made the responsible decision to leave home early. When you're riding a bicycle, you know that these issues will not prevent you from reaching the desired destination. Remember - slow and steady wins the race.

Helping Society

Again, this is not something that might come as a surprise to most readers but something that we have to outline. The pollution is getting worse and worse, so when you choose to ride a bike rather than drive a car, you stop being part of the problem and become part of the solution.

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Publish Date: 2020-05-26 19:14:45