- 5 BEST COMMUTER BIKES UNDER $200
- Best Commuter Bikes Under 200$
- OUR FAV PICK
- Buying Guide to Find The Best Commuter Bike Under 200$
How in the world is anyone supposed to pick out “The Best Commuter Bikes under 200”? Don’t all those words sound problematic? Can I really get a good bike for under $200? How will I know I’m buying the right one? Are these questions buzzing through your head?
There is a lot of information to wade through when you begin researching ‘commuter bike’ basics. The way in which so many bike styles cross-over and hybridize in a million different ways, tends to make things even worse! What tends to happen most often is that people just get online and buy a good-looking bike with good reviews. We really don’t want that to happen!
This article is going to help you:
- Understand what a ‘commuter bike’ is
- What to look for in YOUR commuter bike
- Show you how to wade through countless options and see how various bikes can serve as a commuter bike
- List some of the best bikes you can buy online on a $200 budget, along with a few similar options if you may be able to bump up your budget by a few points
- Give you a few pointers to keep in mind about buying bike online
- Point out a few things to consider when you’re going for a low-budget bike
In case you’re not interested in the info-overload, here’s a run-down of the best commuter bikes you can get with a $200 budget:
5 BEST COMMUTER BIKES UNDER $200
Defining A Commuter Bike
The mysterious commuter bike is, quite simply, a bike that you’d be comfortable on for long or short commutes, be able to take on a few different kinds of terrain, and keep you company on an almost daily basis. It is fitted to give you comfort, cover distance easily, and it is designed for durability.
|FAQ What is a commuter bike for? The commuter bike is meant for rides around the neighborhood, daily commute to work, fitness rides on bike-paths, and fun-riding in general. Longer commutes should be handled on sturdier bikes with carry-on capacity for any baggage you may want to carry.|
What To Look For In Your Commuter Bike?
This usually depends on what kind of commute you are planning. It might also depend on what you expect out of your commute. Here are a few of the necessary basics you will need to consider:
- Ride length: For trips around the neighborhood, short daily commutes, and other brief excursions, any bike that is suited to your height and posture requirements would do. The longer rides (around 10 miles and more) would start having a more pronounced effect on your body, as well as your bike, and, ultimately, your wallet!
- Tire size and grip: you’d be surprised how much riding conditions matter when choosing your bike! Certain bikes are designed for wet weather (wider wheels with grip), while others are only suited for warmer conditions (smoother tires). While you may have speed and comfort as your top priority (narrower wheels), you need to figure in factors such as terrain and obstacles (like potholes, slick spots, or even tram tracks) among your considerations.
- Suspensions and brakes may not always be your best choice: when you are looking at cost-effective bikes, suspension and braking systems may actually become an unwelcome hindrance, instead of a help. So, unless you are sure that these features are functional, it’s best to do without these on budget commuter bikes.
|FAQ How do I choose a commuter bike? What we recommend is that when you are limited on budget, a bike with an excellent frame, suited to your height and comfort should be your focus. Budget bikes usually give you lots of room to upgrade, until you are ready to invest in your first life-time bike.|
The Best Commuter-Friendly Bike Styles
Touring bikes: These are a special hybrid of the road bike style. The tourer’s mounting bolts for cargo racks and fenders, its relaxed riding position, compared to that of the roadies’, keeps you comfy in the saddle for hours at a stretch, for several days. They also have a lower gear range to allow for easy load-carrying up a hill. The main point to note in terms of our focus is that these bikes don’t come cheap.
Adventure road bikes: these are a newer variation on the cyclo-cross bike style. They are also called all-road, or gravel bikes. They feature the typical ‘drop’ handlebars, but replace the more vigorous geometry in the cyclo-cross and road bikes for slightly better seating and wider wheels. This means you could find the adventure road bike suitable for light touring and commuting activity.
|Good to know: Best Cyclocross Bikes around $2000|
Hybrid bikes: Hybrids were usually meant to be a cross between road and mountain bikes, giving you more comfort with their large saddles, cushioned seats and upright handlebars. Tires are usually medium-width with slight treading to perform fairly well on paved surfaces and be at home on unpaved trails. A front suspension works at fairly smoothing out your ride in some hybrid bikes. Hybrids are best suited to bike trails, but can also serve as great short-distance commuters, urban riders or errand bikes. But with all the comforts of a wide padded seat and front suspension, these bikes can come in pretty heavy, compared to the road bike. If you’re not looking for much speed, the hybrid can serve you well as a commuter.
City Bikes – A city bike can be thought of as a ‘hybrid’s hybrid’ – it combines some of the features of the hybrid with the cruiser bike. These are the ultimate ‘commuters’ – especially if you’re looking at daily commute through the city. A city bike has the cruiser’s comfort riding posture with the wheel size of a hybrid, fenders, chain guards and rear guard over the rear wheel. These features make it easy to ride in regular clothing. A city bike may come with a rear hub that is internally geared for easy use and maintenance and built-in features for riding after dark.
|Did you know? City bikes are often called ‘Dutch Bikes’ because they look so much like the daily commuter bikes that are used in Amsterdam and other European cities.|
Folding bikes: These bikes are on the rise in popularity with so many opting for using public transport for part of their daily commutes, and using two-wheelers for the rest of the journey. They also serve well in cramped spaces like apartments. These ‘release and fold’ bikes usually come with smaller wheels and an overall smaller size, and could be less efficient. But they serve a great need and have carved their own niche in the market!
Best Commuter Bikes Under 200$
1. 6KU Urban Track Bike
SPECS AT A GLANCE
|BIKE STYLE: Urban Track|
- Lightweight and easy to ride
- Dual brake-system with caliper brakes
- Stylish features
- Flip-flop hub gives you coasting option
- Ultra-wide and low riser handlebars for comfort and control
- Tool-set for assembly, video tutorial, customer support for assembly help
- Very good value at this price
- Oversized pedals
- Flip-flop hub sometimes shows resistance
This crossbred bike brings the track bike’s geometry with the urban bike’s comfort and style. This sleek looking bike comes in many cool colors, giving you a wide range of choice.
The saddle is sporty and minimally padded, and surprisingly comfortable, though this is a matter of personal choice. The riser handlebar keeps you upright and we love the ‘flippable’ hub, the high-performance drivetrain and the front and rear brake system that work together to give you a really sleek, fast bike.
The only part we’d immediately replace is the over-sized pedal, which brings down the final look and feel of the bike.
All-in-all a really great bike for this price point. This does shoot a little past the $200 mark, but we recommend that every penny is worth it!
BEST-SELLING OPTION – Schwinn Network 1.5
|Schwinn is an oldie on the bike market-place, so you know you’re investing in years of experience when you buy a Schwinn. The Network 1.5 is a superb choice as a commuter bike: Light-weight at just 14.4 kgFront suspensionHigh-rise, swept-back handlebars for a comfortable riding positionElastomer spring saddle, ergonomic grips for maximum comfort These are just a few of the features that recommend this bike to you for a few extra hundreds. If there is a way you could splurge on your bike, we would highly recommend this one!! |
Schwinn Network 1.5
2. Golden Cycles Fixed Gear Bike
Golden Cycles’ single speed Fixie is a pleasure to ride with. Its flat seat cushion gives you a unique riding posture for easy riding, and even climbing, if it comes to that.
SPECS AT A GLANCE
|BIKE STYLE: single speed fixie|
- Super-flat cushion keeps you in upright posture
- 25+ color scheme and 7 different sizes to choose from
- Front and rear alloy caliper brakes for effective stopping power
- Lightweight steel frame
- Adjustable seat and handlebar for optimal comfort
- Very easy maintenance
- Not meant for long distances
- Only meant for bike paths, pavements and flat surfaces
There’s not much that can go wrong with this fixie because of its simple construction and clean build. This bike is also super-light and carry-friendly. Some experts have called this the most customizable bike available!
On the other hand, this fixie isn’t meant for long distances, or varied terrain. It performs best on bike-paths, pavements and roads. It is ideal for daily commutes to and from places of work, or purely city-based fun.
3. Raleigh Bikes Rush Hour Fixed Gear City Bike
This entry from Raleigh bikes is all about speed. It is a sleek, aggressive model, meant to zip through traffic and side-alley streets.
SPECS AT A GLANCE
|BIKE STYLE: city bike|
- Steel frame and fork for durability
- Single-speed fixie
- Hybrid gear system
- Low riding position to maximize speed
- Smooth tires with small grooves for road traction
- Lifetime warranty (limited)
- Adjustable saddle and handlebars
- Flip-flop hub
- Great value for money
- Riding posture may not be comfortable for everyone – aggressive road-bike style
- Not meant for long distances
- Only meant for bike paths, pavements and flat surfaces
This bike is great for zipping in and out of traffic because of its narrow frame and lightweight design. This, combined with the drop track bars gives you great control and the confidence of a pro!
That being said, the Raleigh Rush Hour is a budget bike – though it gives you the best of what you can get at this price, perhaps a lot more, the goal should be to start replacing what had to be compromised on – wheels, handlebars, pedals, etc. The frame is a solid build and can last for years, but it will be a good idea to get a professional to look it over and tune it up to your own preferences.
|Did you Know? Raleigh Rush Hour was designed in collaboration with two best friends i.e. Nelson Vails(Olympian cycling medalist), and graffiti artist Zephyr!|
4. SXL Expressway Urban Track Bike
SXL may be a new name to a lot of people, but their Expressway Urban track bike has earned a place on our list of ‘Best Commuter Bike Under $200’. Here’s a look at why:
SPECS AT A GLANCE
|BIKE STYLE: urban track|
- Lightweight aluminum frame and suspension fork
- No-fuss single-speed design
- Responsive double-brake system
- Minimalistic frame which allows for a lot of upgrades
- Bottle-cage bosses (2), eyelets for fenders
- Chao Yang 700X25C tires
- Neat cable routing – great looks
- Life-time warranty on frame and suspension fork, 1year warranty on smaller parts
- Packaging is not the best, so a visit to a professional may be in order
This is another minimalist bike and we’re pretty excited about how much it offers the rider. Our favorite part about the bike is that there is so much potential for upgrade and customization. Features like the wide-clearance frame and fork to accommodate a larger wheel size if needed; 2 bottle cage bosses; a provision for fenders, and even a Joytech flip flop hub for adjustable mode! It comes in 3 different sizes to cover a wider audience, as well.
This is a fast, slim bike with a lot to offer the daily commuter or the weekend racer.
|FAQ: What is the best bike for long-distance riding? |
We do not recommend a budget-bike for long-distance rides! Your best option for rides that may last more than a few hours, days on end will be touring bikes. Read more about Touring bikes HERE
Let’s look at the most curious style on the list: the foldable commuter bike. The foldable frame of this bike is novelty enough to have this as a keeper!
5. IDS Home unYOUsual U Transformer
This 20-inch folding bike from IDS Home is ideal for commuting, as well as exercising. This bike may look frail, but it packs a punch with its strong frame, Shimano shifters and 20-inch Wanda wheels. Consumer reviews have stated that it can easily carry a weight of 250 pounds.
SPECS AT A GLANCE
|BIKE STYLE: commuterfolding bike|
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Shimano 6-speed shifter and derailleur
- Durable Wanda wheels
- Adjustable handlebar height
- Easy assembly, quick folding frame
- Not much of a looker
- Saddle is not comfortable
As far as biking goes, this may not be the most comfortable of bikes, but it serves a very specific function. Those who purchase this bike primarily for its fold-and-store feature will definitely love what it has to offer. The quick-release feature on this frame makes it ideal for quick on-and-off commutes, especially those that involve public transport. You will love the compactness of the bike.
OUR FAV PICK
All of these bikes would perform great as commuter bikes They have each been uniquely equipped to handle the commute in their own way! But our pick of the week would be the 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Urban Track Bike for the great features it combines, and for the comfort and performance it gives the rider as an exceptional commuter bike!
The SXL Expressway Urban Trackie is in a tie with this bike. We love the bottle bosses and fender eyelets, the low-maintenance simple design, and the attention to detail!
So, there you have it! The run-down of the 5 best commuter bikes on a budget!
We hope you have enjoyed this read! Below are a few useful points to keep in mind as you shop for your perfect commuter, as well as a few Q&A. Read to the end and let us know if you have any of your own in the comments below!
Buying Guide to Find The Best Commuter Bike Under 200$
When Buying A Bike Online
- Research like crazy before you commit to a purchase. Figuring height, posture and other minor details will go a long way in landing the right bike at your doorstep.
- Read reviews and interact with other customers and professionals. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.
- Look for as much insurance as possible in terms of warranty/guarantee/replacement policies. Don’t be lazy about utilizing them.
- Take the bike to a mechanic. Most negative reviews reveal that a few dollars spent on a professional mechanic could have saved the customer a ton of sorrow and disappointment.
- Expect a little damage during shipping. This is wise when you have semi-assembled bike parts vying for space with other bulky packages and facing rough handling. This, again, can be rectified with a visit to a good bike shop or mechanic.
- Be patient. Don’t be alarmed at the first sign of damage. Taking the bike to a mechanic before you begin assembly will give you an idea about any truly debilitating damage. The decision to return the bike should come after a professional assessment.
When Buying A Bike On A Budget
- Remember that you will never get all the comfort and performance features of a high-end bike on a budget model.
- Along with comfort, performance also suffers on an economy commuter. That’s why ride length should be a major consideration when you are looking for a commuter bike on a low budget.
- The inexpensive models are usually open to upgrade, and should be fitted with better parts wherever, whenever possible.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Answer We recommend you read this article on the best budget commuter bikes on the market. You’ll be able to see a few good options here, areas you could do research in and a few reminders to keep in mind about buying a low-budget bike.
The definition of ‘best’ comes from you. It is a very subjective term in the biking world, particularly when we are talking about daily riders like the commuter bike. Choose your bike according to your:
Body configurations – most bike manufacturers include sizing recommendations according to height and in-seam.
Preferred riding position – upright/laid-back/aggressive
For more on choosing the perfect commuter, click HERE
This depends on the kind of terrain you have to cover and the speed you want to go at.
The Raleigh Bikes Rush Hour Fixed Gear City Bike is a superb choice for congested city traffic riding.
The 6KU Urban Track Bike and the SXL Expressway Urban Track bike work great as low-maintenance daily commuter bikes.
Ideally speaking, $500 – $1500 should be a good budget to start with. Anything lower would have lower-grade components, heavier frames, and other undesirables. But we all know that not everyone may have that kind of money to start with. So, the trick is to find a bike with a very solid frame, so that you have the space to upgrade as you go.
Check out the 6KU Urban Track Bike, or the SXL Expressway Urban Trackie for great starting points.
We’d recommend a fixie (like the 6KU Urban Track Bike and the SXL Expressway Urban Track bike ) for anyone who is in reasonably good health, whether you’re 14, or 74. These bikes are lightweight, easy to handle, low maintenance, easy on the pocket, and customizable.
We hope you are inspired enough to make a venture into bike-shopping and choosing a lovely commuter bike that will be with you for years to come! Do check out the bikes we have listed here and drop a comment below about what you think of the bikes we have recommended, and what your recommendations would be.