Which Bike to Buy for Commuting to Work

Welcome! You’ve decided to start commuting to work by bike but undecided on what type of bike is best suited for your commute. We’ve put this post together to help inform on what types of bikes work best depending on the type of commute.


Why is Choosing the Right Bike for Commuting Important?

Choosing the right bike for commuting is especially important as you will end up spending a lot of time on the thing. Nothing is worse than a bike is either uncomfortable or not suited for your commute.

Some of the issues you may experience with choosing the wrong bike:

  • Impractical to take on public transport due to bulk
  • Not suited for hilly terrain
  • Uncomfortable on bumpy dirt tracks
  • Slow on city streets

For this reason, we recommend considering the following when making a decision on a bike:

  • Will you be riding on country roads/tracks or city streets?
  • Will you be taking the bike on public transport and need to fold it up?
  • Do you want comfort or speed?
  • Are you after lightness or toughness?

There’s the perfect bike out there for everyone but you need to first ask yourself what type of riding it is that you will be doing. There’s no point buying a bike that’s suited for road riding if you will be doing the majority of your riding along bumpy fire trail tracks.


Road Bikes

Example of a road bike

Road bikes are generally what most people think of when they think of a bike. Known for their drop handlebars which help put you in a more horizontal riding position to help with speed and aerodynamics, the road bike will suit some commuters better than others. 

Road bikes are made in a variety of different materials from carbon (super lightweight) to aluminium and all the way to steel (more durable but slightly heavier). We recommend steering away from carbon bikes as they are not durable enough to cope with the conditions of commuting where a small crash could affect the integrity of the carbon on the bike. 

Instead, look for a road bike that’s either aluminium or steel as this will better withstand the conditions of commuting but also come with additional extras such as the ability to attach mudguards or panniers.

Luckily in recent times we have seen road bikes evolve to include options previously only seen in mountain bikes such as disc brakes, suspension and fatter tyres. We will look to cover these types of bikes in the next section.

What type of commuters does a road bike favour?

  • Someone who is looking for speed over comfort
  • Someone who is happy to feel every bump on the road due to no suspension and skinny tyres
  • Someone that wants something that will be quick to ride up hilly terrain
  • Someone who has a long commute

What type of commuter does a road bike not favour?

  • Someone who needs to venture off road from time to time
  • Someone not confident riding in the rain with skinny tyres
  • Someone with a short commute
Bestseller No. 1
Eurobike Road Bikes EURXC550 21 Speed 54 cm Frame Road Bicycle 700C 3-Spoke Wheels Dual Disc Brake Bike Blackwhite
  • 21 Speed Shifting system ensure you to brakes for safety at any speed.
  • Dual Disc brake provided great stopping power. If you have any questions or problems for tuning the brake or shifting system, please feel free contact us directly for help!
  • This bicycle arrives with 85% assembled. You need to install the front wheel, pedals, handlebar, seat and air up the tires. We do not supply any bicycle assembly service for online pays or for free.
  • Bicycle tire may be flat due to the long time storage and transportation. Please air up the tire before you ride your bike.
  • Bicycle are the oversize products, if the packages was serious damaged when the carrier delivery it to you, you can refuse sign the package. Or, if there are any scratches or damages caused during the shipping, please contact us directly for assistance. We will do our best to solve the problem for you at soonest
Bestseller No. 2
Hiland Road Bike 700c Racing Bike Aluminum City Commuter Bicycle with 14 Speeds Drivetrain Gray Orange 56CM
  • Frame:aluminum frame,lightweight.
  • Shifters:Shimano A070 shifter with 14 Speeds.
  • Aluminum rims and 700*25C High-performance tyre,good riding experience.
  • 85% pre-assembled,easy to assemble,free installation tools and pedals include.
  • Size 56 cm for people between 5'9'' & 6'1", CHECK THE SIZE BEFORE YOU ORDER.

Gravel, Cyclocross and Adventure Bikes

Example of a gravel adventure bike

In recent times, road bikes have evolved to be more than just fast bikes you ride on roads. We’ve seen a new breed of road bikes released that are capable of riding on just dirt tracks (cyclocross bikes) all the way to bikes that are capable of riding both on and off the road (gravel and adventure bikes).

What makes these bikes more capable of riding off road than road bikes you ask? Good question. Some of the things that make these bikes more comfortable off the road include:

  • Disc brakes for improved stopping power especially in the wet
  • Basic suspension to help absorb bumps
  • Fatter tyres to provide a more comfortable ride

Gravel, cyclocross and adventure bikes are well suited for any commuter that:

  • Do the majority of their riding on and off the road
  • Ride in the rain a lot to benefit from the increased stopping power of disc brakes
  • People with longer commutes

 Where these types of bikes are not suited for commuters who:

  • Ride a relatively short commute
  • Spend most of their time on the road
  • Are on a budget
Bestseller No. 1
26 Inch Bike Aluminum Full Suspension Road Bikes Mountain Bike Dual Disc Brake, 21 Speed Bicycle, 700c for Men and Women (Black 2)
  • 1. 3 spoke aluminum wheels: lightweight and more durable
  • 2. Disc Brakes, Fashionable, advanced Suspension, Shimanos Derailleur, SHimanos 30 Shifter
  • 3. Disc brakes-Mechanical, High quality, Full suspensio
  • 4. It is an affordable entry level 21 speed road bike well suited for commuting. It features a lightweight aluminum frame , a Shimanos drivetrain powerful disc brakes for all weather stopping. The complete bike weighs in at an impressive 35 lbs, the lightest in its class. Free pedals are included with every bike!
  • 5. Mens/womens bikes, Gift for friend
Bestseller No. 2
Raleigh Bikes RXW Women's Cyclocross Bike, Grey, 54cm/Medium
  • Designed for Women's cyclocross riding and racing with the option for commuting and city riding as well
  • Sizing: 50cm=5'3-5'5, 52cm=5'4-5'7, 54cm=5'7-5'9, 56cm=5'9-5'11
  • Made with a superlight butted 6061 alloy, women-specific geometry dsc brake frame with thru axles, and a lightweight Carbon-Alloy disc brake fork
  • Features SRAM Rival 1x11 shifter for the Rigors of racing and TRP spyre dual actuated mechanical disc brakes for great stopping power
  • Includes durable weinmann impulse TL, double wall rims and clement mxp, 700x33 tires made to perform

Hybrid, Urban and Commuter Bicycles

Example of a hybrid bike

Major bike manufacturers use the terms hybrid, urban and commuter interchangeably to mean a bike that is a mix between a road bike and mountain bike.

What exactly is a hybrid bike? They are designed with a more comfortable riding position using flat handlebars (think the type you see on mountain bikes) instead of the more aggressive riding position you would see on a road bike with its drop handlebars. Additionally, hybrid bikes also come disc brakes similar to what you would see on a mountain bike. These are great for anyone that rides in the rain a lot.

We’ve started to see commuter bikes emerge using more lightweight materials but we’d recommend sticking away from carbon and using a durable material like aluminium which will endure the harsh conditions that commuting will throw at it. 

What type of commuting is a hybrid bike suited to?

  • Someone who wants something that can ride on a range of surfaces (on and off road)
  • Someone who just wants to be able to quickly get on the bike and ride without much hassle 
  • Someone with a mid to long commute
  • Someone who has a good balance of hills and flats on their commute

What type of commuting would a hybrid bike not be suited for?

  • Someone that wants to go as fast as possible
  • Someone who wants a bit of suspension in their ride for bumps
Bestseller No. 1
Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Bicycle, Featuring Retro-Styled 16-Inch/Small Steel Step-Through Frame and 7-Speed Drivetrain with Front and Rear Fenders, Rear Rack, and 700C Wheels, White
  • Schwinn steel retro city frame and fork offers a stylish, comfortable ride
  • Schwinn 7 speed twist shifter with Schwinn rear derailleur provide quick gear changes.
  • Alloy front and rear linear pull brakes ensure precise stops.
  • Fenders protect you from splashes, while the classic rear carrier provides convenient storage.
  • 700c size wheel fits adult riders 5’4” to 6’2”. Includes limited lifetime warranty for as long as you own the bike.
Bestseller No. 2
Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women, 21-Speed, 28-inch Wheels, 18-inch/Medium Frame, Black
  • Schwinn suspension fork. Schwinn alloy crank, City rise adjustable stem with back sweep handlebar. All the biking comfort details
  • 21-speed SRAM grip shifter and Shimano rear derailleur mean that pedaling up a hill is easier. Alloy twist shifter compatible 4 finger brake levers
  • "Promax alloy linear pull brakes; gear carrier. Adjust the angle (rise) of the alloy Ahead stem. Assembled Weight 35.5 lb"
  • Swept-back upright handlebars, padded seat. The aluminum frame is lighter and yet durable, fenders keep dirt off the rider
  • Fenders keep dirt off the rider and Rear carrier for convenient city riding

Touring Bicycle

Example of a touring bike

As the name suggests, touring bikes are made for touring with long days in the saddle with panniers and bags attached. Touring bikes are designed with a similar look to road bikes with drop down handlebars but generally favour more durable materials like steel which can better withstand the different conditions of touring. 

We think touring bikes make a great option for anyone who has a mid to long range commute and is looking for something that is both reliable and comfortable.

Touring bikes favour people who:

  • Have a mid to long distance commute
  • Prefer to ride with panniers and mudguards. Generally touring bikes are designed for these to fit natively on the bike without much effort
  • Want a durable bike able to withstand the different conditions of commuting

Touring bikes won’t favour people who:

  • Have a short commute 
  • Want a lightweight bike 
Bestseller No. 1
Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women, 21-Speed, 28-inch Wheels, 18-inch/Medium Frame, Black
  • Schwinn suspension fork. Schwinn alloy crank, City rise adjustable stem with back sweep handlebar. All the biking comfort details
  • 21-speed SRAM grip shifter and Shimano rear derailleur mean that pedaling up a hill is easier. Alloy twist shifter compatible 4 finger brake levers
  • "Promax alloy linear pull brakes; gear carrier. Adjust the angle (rise) of the alloy Ahead stem. Assembled Weight 35.5 lb"
  • Swept-back upright handlebars, padded seat. The aluminum frame is lighter and yet durable, fenders keep dirt off the rider
  • Fenders keep dirt off the rider and Rear carrier for convenient city riding
Bestseller No. 2
Schwinn Vantage F3 700C Performance Road Bike with Flat Bar and Disc Brakes, 56cm/Medium Frame, Black
  • Designed for beginner to intermediate riders who want to start pushing themselves further and faster than they ever have before. Suggested rider height range for the Vantage F3 is 5' 7" - 5' 10"
  • Schwinn Smooth Ride Technology frame features an elastomer soft tail suspension that provides optimal comfort wherever your adventure takes you
  • Light and strong Alex DC-26 rims with Schwinn 35c hybrid tires provide a dependable and comfortable ride
  • Rack and fender mounts let you customize your ride to meet all your commuting and touring needs; Schwinn sport Ergo dual-density grips add comfort
  • Shimano 21-speed Tourney drivetrain with Shimano EZ-Fire trigger shifters for precise shifting and a wide, versatile gear range. Bottom Bracket - VP cartridge square taper 68 mm

Fixies and Single Speed Bicycles

Example of a single speed bike

For those of you that want a bike with little maintenance, a single speed bike is for you. Designed with a similar look to that of a road bike, single speed bikes do not have any gears and relies on one gear. This results in less maintenance compared to other bikes which have a full gear set.

One downside to single speed bikes is they aren’t great on hilly areas where having a range of gears is handy when the going gets tough. The same also applies on flat areas where sometimes it’s handy to have heavier gears to help build up more speed. For this reason, we recommend fixie or single speed bikes for people that live in urban environments with a relatively short commute.

But what’s the difference between single speed and fixies? A fixie (or fixed gear) is similar to a single speed bike but without the freewheel. This means that when the wheel is turning also are the pedals. This can be quite scary when riding fast as the pedals start turning rather quickly. One of the positives of not having a freewheel is that pedaling backwards acts as a brake similar to what you may have had on a BMX bike when you were a kid. 

What type of commuters should buy a fixie or single speed?

  • Someone with a relatively short urban commute with no hills
  • Someone on a budget
  • Someone looking for a bike with little maintenance

What type of commuters shouldn’t buy a fixie or single speed?

  • Anyone with a hilly commute 
  • Anyone who needs more than one gear
  • Anyone who has a long commute
Bestseller No. 1
6KU Fixed Gear Single Speed Urban Fixie Road Bike, Slate, 58cm/XL, 89499-Fixie-Slate-XL-58cm
  • Comfortable Steel Frame
  • Reliable Front and Rear Brakes
  • Fixed or Freewheel with a Flip-Flop Hub
  • Easy Maintenance and Upkeep
  • Forged high quality aluminum components
Bestseller No. 2
Schwinn Kedzie Single-Speed Fixie Road Bike, Lightweight Frame for City Riding, Blue
  • Dive into the world of fixed-gear cycling with the Schwinn Kedzie 700C Fixie Bicycle. This fixie bike features a Schwinn steel racing frame and fork for a responsive, reliable ride.
  • In true fixed-gear fashion, a 46T by 18T single-speed drivetrain with flip-flop hub propels this bike (fixed cog sold separately).
  • 700C wheels with 32H alloy rims offer strength and performance during commutes.
  • Designed for city riding, alloy front and rear caliper brakes deliver precise stops, while Schwinn urban seat and grips add comfort and style.
  • This men's bike ships ready to be assembled, has a limited lifetime warranty, and the wheels measure 700C.

Mountain bikes

Example of a mountain bike

Depending on the type of mountain bike you get, most are generally made for rugged cross country riding and not for riding on urban roads. Most mountain bikes come with disk brakes and front suspension at minimum with some also including back suspension.


We generally recommend mountain bikes for anyone that has a bumpy commute and a need for suspension. From our experience, suspension bikes can be slow as it absorbs a lot of the effort you make when riding which can result in a very spongy and sluggish commute when riding on smooth surfaces. While you can lock and disable the suspension, you might as well just buy a hybrid bike if you see yourself locking it often.  

Mountain bikes favour people who:

  • Have lots of bumps and holes on their commute to ride over
  • Spend most of their commute off road
  • Want quick stopping power that comes with disc brakes

Mountain bikes aren’t for people who:

  • Have a relatively smooth commute 
  • Spend more of their time riding on road
  • Are on a budget
Bestseller No. 1
Schwinn High Timber ALX Youth/Adult Mountain Bike, Aluminum Frame and Disc Brakes, 26-Inch Wheels, 21-Speed, Red
  • Schwinn aluminum MTB frame with Schwinn suspension fork are great for all around fun on the trail. 26-inch wheel fits riders 5’4” to 6’2” tall
  • Shimano 21-speed EZ-Fire shifters with rear derailleurs provide easy gear changes.
  • Mechanical disc brakes deliver extra stopping power
  • Schwinn alloy cranks and 7 speed freewheel offer the right gear at all times
  • Alloy, high-profile double wall rims are strong and lightweight. Schwinn 26 x 2.25 All Terrain tires provide go-anywhere capability.
Bestseller No. 2
Eurobik OBK 27.5 Wheels Mountain Bike Daul Disc Brakes 21 Speed Mens Bicycle Front Suspension MTB (Yellow Aluniminium Rims)
  • Great Braking System: The front and rear disc brakes and help keep the cyclist safe even in high speeds and down sloppy terrains. You will also have more control on when and where to stop.
  • Shimano 3*7 shifter,front derallieurans rear deralieur make the gearshift sensitive.
  • Suspension fork smoothes the bumps and easy to control.
  • Aluminum rims and magnesium wheels for you to choose.
  • Easy assembly Required includes all the tools you need for building and maintaining your own bicycle.

Folding bicycles

Example of a folding bike

We've written about some of our favourite Dahon branded folding bikes in the past and we're big fans! Folding bikes are a great option for anyone who is space conscious and has a relatively small commute. We wouldn't recommend them for people with long or hilly commutes due to the limited gear range which will make any hill a grind!

Who we think folding bikes are great for:

  • Small commutes
  • People who need to take their bike on public transport
  • People who have limited space to store their bike

People who might not suit folding bikes

  • People with longer commutes
  • People with hilly commutes
  • People who like the feeling of riding on a true to size bike
  • People who like the feeling of multiple gears
Bestseller No. 1
Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike, 20-inch Wheels, Rear Carry Rack, Black
  • Discover the convenience and utility of the schwinn loop adult folding bicycle; in just a few easy steps, this brilliant device folds out to a bike that's big enough to accommodate a six foot rider
  • Great for camping or RV this durable steel bike packs up so small that no bike rack is required; The folded size is 29.5 inches by 29 inches by 19 inches
  • Tackle Small hills and cut through brisk winds easily, thanks to a seven speed Shimano Revoshift twist Shifter and Shimano tourney rear derailleur
  • The rear carry rack and an included nylon carry bag keep the bike protected and concealed; Perfect for commuting, this bike features a kickstand and durable steel hinges
  • This bike ships ready to be assembled, weighs approximately 33 pounds, has a limited lifetime warranty, and the wheels measure 20 inches
Bestseller No. 2
Goplus 20'' Folding Bike, 7 Speed Shimano Gears, Lightweight Iron Frame, Foldable Compact Bicycle with Anti-Skid and Wear-Resistant Tire for Adults (U-Shape Crossbar)
  • 【7-Speed Folding Bike】The shifting handle and rear derailleur allow you to easily change the speed as needed, giving you a new experience during your ride. In addition, the ergonomic anti-slip handle relieves discomfort caused by prolonged riding.
  • 【Rugged Frame & Foldable Design】With high-strength iron frame, this folding bike has strong load-bearing capacity and can be used for a long time. Besides, the foldable design makes it easy for you to carry and store. And the entire folding process takes only 3 steps.
  • 【Adjustable Handle & Seat Height】 Made of high quality aging resistant rubber and aluminum alloy rims, the tires are non-slip and difficult to pierce. So you can use it on a mountain road or on a rugged road. Not only that, the height of the seat and handle can be adjusted to provide you a better comfort experience.
  • 【V-style Brakes】This bicycle is equipped with front and rear V brakes, which make the brakes more efficient and shorten the braking distance when riding out. Cortical seats provide you with the greatest comfort, and you can adjust the height from top to bottom to find the height that best suits your ride.
  • 【Easy Assembly Process】Our folding bicycle is 98% installed, so you can install and use it very quickly, reducing a lot of tedious installation steps, allowing you to use our bicycle quickly. And our wear-resistant wheels can cope with all kinds of road conditions. The anti-skid foot with BS reflector allows you to ride at night without any problems.

Summary

Like anything in life, you get what you pay for and for this reason we'd recommend not cheaping out too much when buying a bike to commute on. Cheaper bikes generally won't last the harsh conditions that commuting throws at it. 

One way to look at spending more money on a commuter bike is to think about all the money you will save elsewhere whether it be not needing to go to the gym anymore or saving money from public transport. I save $1,500 from not needing to catch public transport anymore so it's a huge saving!

Good luck in your hunt for a new bike! 

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