What is the Best Bike for Cycling to Work? [VISUAL GUIDE]

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.

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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?

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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?

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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

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

Crème Caferacer Man Uno Urban Bike
(£750)

Best City Bike under £500

Raleigh Strada
City Bike
(£400)

Best City Bike under £300

Elops 120 High Frame
City Bike
(£249)


Best Fixies for Cycling to Work

Best Fixie Bike Overall

Fuji Bikes Feather
Fixie Bike
(£525)

Best Fixie under £400

Quella Nero
Single Speed Bicycle
(£395)

Best Fixie under £300

Elops 500 Single Speed City Bike
(£250)

READ MORE: What Are Fixies?



Best Hybrid Bikes for Cycling to Work

Best Hybrid Bike Overall

Cube Hyde
Urban Bike
(£850)

Best Hybrid Bike under £400

Riverside 500
Hybrid Bike
(£330)

Best Hybrid Bike under £300

Riverside 100
Hybrid Bike
(£180)

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

Vitus Zenium ZRS
Road Bike
(£2000)

Best Road Bike under £1000

Trek Domane AL 2 Disc Road Bike
(£895)

Best Road Bike under £300

Triban RC 100
Road Bike
(£300)


Best Gravel Bike for Cycling to Work

Best Gravel Bike Overall

Cannondale Topstone Gravel Bike
(£2000)

Best Gravel Bike under £1000

Vitus Substance V-2 Adventure Road Bike
(£900)

Best Gravel Bike under £500

Voodoo Limba Adventure Bike
(£450)

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

Brompton M6L Super Light Folding Bike
(£1995)

Best Folding Bike under £500

Raleigh Stowaway Folding Bike
(£475)

Best Folding Bike under £300

FabricBike
Folding Bike
(£219)

READ MORE: What Are the Lightest Folding Bikes?

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Pete Reynolds

Pete is the co-founder and editor of Discerning Cyclist. He commutes by bike daily from his home to his co-working space. Originally from Wirral, UK, Pete now lives in Spain. When visiting a new city, Pete loves nothing more than to explore it on two wheels. See Pete's Muck Rack profile

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