The 11 Best Commuter Bikes For Big City Living

Bikes built to survive tumultuous traffic and punishing pavement.

Fortified Bicycles

While style counts, getting to or across town means running an urban obstacle course. Not every bike is ready to endure this kind of abuse day after day. Even fewer are comfortable enough to enjoy longer miles.

This line-up of hybrid, folding, single-speed, and fat tire models connects the dots between home, office, coffee shop, and pub. These aren't the best wheels for road races or dirt trails, but all are priced under $1,000 so you can add lights, locks, and a much-needed backpack.

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1 Best for Alternate Routes: Diamondback Haanjo

Go side-by-side with brands costing 50 percent more to see the wisdom of Haanjo. Diamondback's smart component selection suits this all-conditions, year-round option. Sora shifters manage any terrain while the gearing allows for speed on road or trail. Adding optional fenders turns this capable bike into a county-wide cruiser.

2 Best for Conquering Rough Roads: Marin San Rafael DS2


Fear gives way to fun when fractured pavement, construction zones, and road debris threaten the way. Capable of jumping the curb to paths and trails, DS2 excels as the one-bike winner in the group with upgraded components and snag-free internal cable routing. Hydraulic disc brakes are a big plus as are extra-wide Schwalbe tires.

3 Best For Mobility: Dahon Mariner D7 Folding Bike


There's nothing cute in how D7 unfurls to plow ahead after being stowed in closet or secured on public transit. Dahon deploys a long list of in-house innovations for 15-second assembly and smooth riding. Mariner refers to rust resistance that's essential in coastal locations, and it ships only lacking seat post and pedal attachment.

4 Best For Efficient Riders: Tommaso La Forma Hybrid Bike


Responding to traffic, other riders, and pedestrians is where La Forma excels. The 3x9 Acera drivetrain delivers 27 smooth-shifting gears to manage it all as the carbon fork dampens road vibrations. Ready to customize with water bottle cages, fenders, racks and packs, La Forma is the foundation for easier, road-aware riding.

5 Best For Thwarting Thieves: Fortified City Theft-Resistant Eight Speed


Reality rolls with this Fortified City selection that delivers on its name. While the frame and chain are lightweight aluminum, custom security bolts send component thieves down the block. The look commands respect as simplicity slashes maintenance time in tandem with puncture-resistant tires.

6 Best for the Daily Commute: Nashbar Flat Disc Road Bike


A TIG-welded aluminum frame and steel fork turn the 3x8 Shimano drivetrain into road mastery with an enhanced performance feel. An upright riding posture promotes comfort but puts more watts to the pedals backed by the stopping power of Tektro mechanical disc brakes. Kenda Kwest tires are a favorite for traction and control.

7 Best For Bike Lanes: Pure City Classic Diamond Frame Bicycle


Solid mechanically, this model comes with the bell, fenders, kickstand, rear rack, and leather seat that convey confidence. More throwback than leading edge, Classic musters a Shimano shifter while a metal chain guard protects pant legs to catch eyes, not fabric. This approach to low adrenalin riding has a growing fan base in flatter cities.

8 Best For Hill Riding: Raleigh Cadent 1 Urban Fitness Bike


Flow through 21 speeds to manage hills without losing speed on wide-open sections. Flat handlebars complement a more aggressive frame design that's long on power and short on excuses to be late for your next appointment. A vintage-inspired look and wider 35mm tires deliver a timeless ride for well under $300.

9 Best on a Budget: Schwinn Discover Men's Hybrid Bike


It may sound unimportant but this model's among the easiest to hop on and off. Frequent stops or a need to walk some sections put Discover on the list as Schwinn and SRAM components provide a solid commuting experience. The rear gear carrier takes some wrangling as does the somewhat heavier frame.

10 Best For All Seasons: Mongoose Malus Fat Tire Bicycle


Commuting, really? Absolutely when shorter distances are the plan, winter hits hard, and being unstoppable is the mission. Malus comes with 4-inch tires and platform cruiser pedals that adapt to any road and footwear. The 26-inch frame is ideal for average height commuters and the low bar height makes dismounting easy.

11 Best for Most City Dwellers: Critical Cycles Beaumont-7


Looking straight out of period movies set in London, a classic diamond-shaped frame gets seven speeds of Shimano reliability controlled by Revo grip shifters. Fenders help the cleanliness of both bike and rider with an included rear rack to carry the load. Brakes, tires, and seat quality are better than the value price suggests.


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