Biking has the unique capability of being both an excellent form of exercise and an environmentally friendly way of getting to work every day.
If you’re new to biking and are in the market for one that will fulfill your need for exercise as well as be a reliable method of transportation, it can be difficult to know where to start. Should you go with a fitness bike that will grant you speed? Or is it best to consider something like a hybrid bike to get the best of both worlds?
We’ve come up with a list of the best bikes for exercise and commuting.
Best Overall: Cannondale Quick CX 3
Snagging the number one spot on our list is the Cannondale Quick CX 3, an outstanding fitness bike that is versatile and durable enough for everyday commutes.
As a hybrid bike, the Quick CX 3 offers a good combination of speed and sturdiness. It has a lightweight frame and an SR Suntour suspension fork, with fantastic shocks that help riders of any skill level navigate through the imperfect terrain of an urban environment.
Sixteen gears provide riders with plenty of flexibility and allow for stable shifting from hills to flat stretches. It also allows for a more upright riding position thanks to its wide comfort bars, which is ideal for commuters who need to remain upright and look around them at all times.
Comfort was clearly a huge factor in the design of this bike, as evidenced by the saddle. The saddle is made from ergonomic double-density foam. The platform pedals are also great for ensuring a comfortable ride, as any street shoe can be worn comfortably with them.
The bike has Vittoria Terreno Dry tires that are 40 millimeters wide and have a strong tread for riding over compacted gravel or pavement. The tires all have a built-in reflective strip, which is important for a commuter’s overall safety. It also has Tektro hydro disc brakes.
- Good for beginners
- Smooth, dependable ride
- Extremely comfortable
- Good for off-roading
- Some lower-quality components
- Slower city rides
Best Value: Schwinn Wayfarer Step-Thru
If you have a smaller budget to work with, the Schwinn Wayfarer Step-Thru is a comfortable and affordable commuter bike. It will allow you to get in your exercise as well.
Don’t think it’s low price point means you’ll be compromising on safety or design. This is still one of the best bikes for exercise and commuting. There are seven speeds that shift smoothly and precisely. The bike also has front and rear linear-pull brakes, so you can stop quickly and safely every time. The addition of a spacious rear rack can be used to transport cargo to and from the office with ease.
The bike comes in three colors and has a vintage-style look with a step-thru frame. It also has wide-set handlebars that are ideal for commuters.
- Vintage design
- Step-thru frame
- Only one size
- Best for flat terrain
Best for Women: Co-op Cycles CTY 1.1 Step-Through Bike
This hybrid bike from REI allows for a smooth, comfortable ride back and forth from the office, with a design that is especially helpful for ladies wearing a skirt or a dress.
The frame and fork are made of 6061 aluminum, which keeps the bike light and helps you conduct quick and efficient rides. It is a 24-gear bike with mechanical disc brakes, which not only help you stop on a dime, they perform well in any kind of weather and contribute to a faster ride.
The unique part of this bike is its low crossbar. Both the height and angle make mounting and dismounting effortless, which is especially helpful if you like to wear skirts to the office but don’t feel like bringing a change of clothes on your commute. The low crossbar makes it easy to get on and off without experiencing any kind of wardrobe malfunction.
The platform pedals are made from Wellgo aluminum and have a wide, flat surface area. This helps provide good support on both sides of your feet, lending for a more comfortable ride overall.
Finally, the Step-Through bike is compatible with cargo holders such as baskets. You can easily add what you need to carry your backpack or laptop to the office without compromising style or the smoothness of the ride.
- Lightweight at 26.8 pounds
- Mechanical disk brakes
- Great for beginners and women
- Not ideal for long rides
- Only goes up to a Medium
Best Folding Bike: B’Twin Tilt 500 Folding Bike
Not every commute is simple. Whether the length of the commute is long or you simply want to make the overall journey faster, many commuters find they need to combine riding their bike with a ride on a train or bus. In this case, a folding bike would be a great option. They are generally on the smaller side, lightweight, and functional without sacrificing durability.
The B’Twin Tilt 500 is an excellent choice if you’re a rider who wants something durable that folds up quickly and won’t bleed your wallet dry. It is a mid-range folding bike that comes in 5 different colors.
The bike has an aluminum frame and a Hi-ten steel fork. The bar is adjustable, as is the foam saddle, so no matter your size or shape you can find a position that works best for you. Furthermore, the bike folds up easily. It takes between 10-15 seconds to get the bike from ready to ride to ready to transport with the help of a side-folding lever.
The bike has seven speeds that help you tackle any on-road situation, including hills and rough pavement. It has steel rim brakes that allow for progressive braking.
Finally, the tires are incredibly durable while remaining lightweight. You’ll get plenty of traction while riding, but they don’t prohibit speed or easy carrying.
- Highly adjustable
- Great overall value
- Lifetime warranty on main components
- Mudguard with stays
- On the heavier side for a foldable bike
- Made with lower-quality materials
When it comes to the best bike for exercise and commuting, you want something sturdy and comfortable that can handle a variety of terrains. No matter what model you choose, weigh the pros and cons, consider the challenges of your personal commute, and think about how much exercise you want to get in.