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I’d like to tell you that if you want to get the best bike for cycling to work, you should get the [INSERT PERFECT BICYCLE HERE]. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all answer to this question.
- What’s the Best Bike for Me?
- Best Bike for Short Commutes (under 5 Miles)
- Best Bike for Long Commutes (over 5 Miles)
- Easiest Bikes to Take on a Train
Like many questions asked in this shades-of-grey world, the real answer to “what is the best bike for cycling to work?” is a deeply unsatisfying: “it depends”.
So, what does it depend on?
Well, there are four key factors to consider when choosing a bike:
- How long is your journey?
- How flat/smooth is your commute?
- Is speed or comfort more important to you?
- Is cycling just part of your commute?
What’s the Best Bike for Me? [MATRIX TABLE]
Below is a very simplistic table that should point you in the right direction based on the type of commute you have:
Best Bike for Short Commute
- For short comfortable journeys, you should get a… City Bike (or Hybrid Bike)
- For short fast journeys, you should get a… Fixie (or Road Bike)
- For short bumpy journeys, you should get a… Hybrid Bike
Essentially, for short smooth journeys, a city bike or a fixie (AKA “fixed-gear bicycle”) will probably be all you need.
A city bike will get you there comfortably, with an upright seated position, while a fixie (very similar to a single speed bike) is a fast lightweight bike that will do a good job if your journey is smooth and flat and you want to get their as quickly as possible.
However, if your journey is rather bumpy, a hybrid bike (ideally with front suspension) will be the ideal companion.
Best City Bikes for Cycling to Work:
Best City Bike Overall
Best City Bike under £500
Best City Bike under £300
Best Fixies for Cycling to Work
Best Fixie Bike Overall
Best Fixie under £400
Best Fixie under £300
READ MORE: What Are Fixies?
Best Hybrid Bikes for Cycling to Work
Best Hybrid Bike Overall
Best Hybrid Bike under £400
Best Hybrid Bike under £300
READ MORE: What Are Hybrid Bikes?
Best Bike for Long Commute
- For long smooth journeys, you should get a… Road Bike
- For long bumpier journeys, you should get a…. Gravel Bike
For longer journeys though, a lighter more efficient bike will typically serve you best. A fixie is again an option there, but you’ll probably need gears at some point, and so a road bike will usually be your best choice.
If your journey is also a bit bumpy or takes you over trails, a gravel bike will help you take on more challenging terrain with its thicker, more robust tyres.
Best Road Bike for Cycling to Work
Best Road Bike Overall
Best Road Bike under £1000
Best Road Bike under £300
Best Gravel Bike for Cycling to Work
Best Gravel Bike Overall
Best Gravel Bike under £1000
Best Gravel Bike under £500
READ MORE: What Are Gravel Bikes?
Easiest Bikes to Take on Train (or Put in Car)
If your journey is multi-modal (i.e. part of your journey is by car or train and you then cycle the rest), you’re probably best off getting a folding bike.
Folding bikes are extremely easy to make compact so that you can easily carry it on a train or put it in your car. However, folding bikes are only really suitable for short journeys.
If you still need to cycle over 5 miles after leaving the train or your car, you might want to consider an electric folding bike to help make your commute easy. But if you really want to create your own power, a lightweight bike such as a road bike or fixie is also an option.
Best Folding Bike for Cycling to Work
Best Folding Bike Overall
Best Folding Bike under £500
Best Folding Bike under £300
What is the Best Bike for Cycling to Work?
Finding the best bike for cycling to work is dependent on the distance and terrain that your journey consists of.
- Short journey with flat terrain: city bike
- Short journey with bumpy terrain: hybrid bike
- Long journey with smooth terrain: road bike
- Long journey with bumpy terrain: gravel bike
READ MORE: What Are the Lightest Folding Bikes?