This post may contain affiliate links, which help to keep Discerning Cyclist rolling. Learn more.
If you’re looking for something simple and comfortable to cycle to and from work, there’s no need to spend a fortune.
There are plenty of cheap bikes available which can do just as fine a job in serving you on your commute. Good cheap bikes won’t be state-of-the-art by any means, but that doesn’t mean affordable bikes can’t get the job done for you as efficiently as others.
Below, we’ll look at five which could all claim to be the best commuter bike under £300 currently on the market, including cheap fixie bikes, which are a good commute bike due to their simplicity, the hybrid commuter bike and a comfort bike. If you’re looking for cheap bicycles for commuting, we’ve got you covered here.
Best Budget Commuter Bikes in the UK
How to Find the Best Budget Commuter Bike for You
There’s such a wealth of choice in this regard that, especially for newbies, it can be difficult to differentiate between them and decide which is the best cheap commuter bike for you.
Indeed, it’s worth mentioning that there isn’t one specific type of bicycle commuters use – especially since the coronavirus pandemic triggered a ‘cycling boom’, you’ve probably seen people riding to work on mountain bikes, road bikes or even hybrid bikes.
Here, we’ll talk about the best places to find cheap new bikes for commuters, and hopefully give you some clarity in your mind as to what you’re looking for, and where you should be looking.
But first, a side note. Don’t turn your nose up at second hand bikes, either (as long as you’re sure they’ve not been stolen, anyway!). These may not be all new and shiny, but you don’t need them to be to get you from A to B every day.
What to Look for in an Affordable Commuter Bike
Before you start shopping, have a think first about how you would answer these questions:
- How heavy and tall are you? (Sorry if that’s an overly personal question to start with, but ‘bigger’ riders may prefer mountain bikes due their larger size)
- Where will you be riding? (Urban commuters may prefer lighter frames with thinner, bigger tyres; off road cyclists will need stronger brakes, gears and suspension)
- Will your commute also involve using public transport? (If so, a folding bike may be your first port of call)
- What’s your budget? (Even if only looking at the best bike(s) under £300, that won’t narrow your depth of choice by much)
- How important is design to you? (Is a bike that looks great a top priority, or totally unimportant?)
- Will the bike keep me comfortable? (Commuting to work this way isn’t worth it if it causes your neck intense pain. Also consider the length of your journey in this regard)
Best Cheap Commuter Bikes under £300
Below we’ll take a look at three of the best commuter bikes that you can find today for under £300. These are simple, efficient bike that are pretty cheap, but will help you get where you want to go without any trouble.
Discerning Cyclist’s expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing cycling products so you don’t have to.
Testing stylish gear since 2012
Hundreds of hands-on product tests
Unfiltered opinions from experienced cyclists
Best Commuter Bike under £200
Prices are approximate
- Weight: 13.9 kgs – 14.3kgs
- Wheel Size: 28″
- Gears: 6-Speed
Six-speed single grip shifter
Hybrid steel frame, versatile road and trail tyres
We’ll start with one of the best budget hybrid bikes money can buy. This Riverside model, costing comfortably under £200, is great for commutes of short to medium distance, but is also the first bicycle enabling you to switch from urban to rougher terrain with no fuss atwas actually the first commute bike I bought and it served me well for several years. One of the best cheap bikes there is. Indeed, this will almost certainly be one of the cheapest new bikes you can find.
It also boasts a six-speed grip shifter, a height-adjustable stem, and unisex frame, so will suit no matter what your height or gender is.
And that’s not all. Its saddle is a welded steel seat post, ensuring you’ll be even more safe on this low price bike as you embark on your commute. One of the best value bikes out there.
Prices are approximate
Weight: 11.5 kgs
Wheel Size: 27.5″
Powerful alloy V-brakes
Seven-speed gear shifting
Deli 700 x 38c City Tyres provide excellent traction
Next on our picks for the best beginner commuter bike: if you’re looking for a commuter bike that can do a bit of everything, this Pinnacle model is the way to go.
Its heat-treated alloy frame is lightweight enough to keep you comfortable, but sturdy enough to feel you’re in control, while it also boasts accurate, reliable seven-speed gear shifting capable of taking on the steepest of hills.
Plus, it possesses powerful alloy V-brakes which you’ll always feel in control of, while its Deli 700 x 38c City Tyres offer much in the way of traction. It’s also compatible with mudguards, for those commuting in less accommodating conditions.
This isn’t a commuter bike specific to men, either – there’s also a lush women’s model just as good for the same price here.
Prices are approximate
- Weight: 13.3 kg
- Wheel Size: 20″
- Folded Size: 78 x 66 x 41 cm
- Gears: 1-Speed
Single-speed folding bike
Designed for flat, urban terrain
The BTWIN 100 Tilt is the range’s entry-level folding bike. It’s at the low end of the price range, uses cheaper materials, and offers less functionality than some of the pricier models.
However, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a great bike in itself. At £199.99, it certainly is a bargain, and could be a great choice for someone who wants to see if a folding bike is right for them and their lifestyle before committing to a more expensive model.
The BTWIN 100 Tilt is a single-speed folding bike designed for flat, urban terrain, and can be folded down in just 30 seconds for easy stowing in cars, on public transport, or at the office. It weighs 13.3kg, so is not the lightest folding bike on the market, but is still easy enough to carry and lift when needed.
It has a steel frame and fork, chosen for durability, and Decathlon offers a lifetime warranty on the frame, stem (excl. hinge), rigid fork, and handlebar. Its 20-inch wheels come with a wheel restraint system for easy carrying and storage, and the gumwall city tyres have been developed to provide the best compromise between performance and grip.
Overall, this is a decent, sturdy bike. It won’t blow your socks off, but could be a great place to start for folding bike newbies.
- Can be folded down in just 30 seconds
- Sturdy bike
- Basic functionality
- No fenders
- On the heavier side
Cycling to Work – FAQs
What is a commuter bike?
A commuter bike is a bicycle tailored to helping you cycle to work and back with the minimum amount of fuss.
What type of bike is best for commuting?
That really depends on factors like your personal fitness, or the route you’ll be taking. Electric, hybrid, folding, road and mountain bikes, for instance, can all make great commuter bikes.
How much should I spend on a commuter bike?
Not much at all if you don’t want to. You probably aren’t looking for a state-of-the-art bicycle to get you to work and back, so cheap commuter bikes can still prove just as worthwhile. Whether you’re looking for the best city bikes under £500, £400 or even £300, you should still find excellent value for money.
What makes a good commuter bike?
One that suits you. That might mean a folding bike if you need to also take the bus or train to work, a more durable bike if you cycle off-road, or a more stylish model if the look is important to you. One thing a good commuter bike must do, though, is provide a high level of comfort.
How to dress for cycling to work?
However you like. You basically have three choices: 1) wear sporty gear and then get changed and shower at work; 2) wear normal clothes and take your time to avoid getting sweaty; 3) go the Discerning Cyclist route and wear stylish clothes with discreet cycling functionality for a smooth and comfortable ride, without the need for a spare wardrobe.
Best Clothes for Cycling to Work:
- Stylish Bike Commuter Jackets
- Performance Dress Shirts for Cycling to Work
- Best Cycling Chinos
- Best Bike Helmets for Commuters
- Best Bags for Cycling to Work
Essentially, though, it’s again dependent on personal circumstances – such as the climate you live in, or how much of your commute is spent on dry cycle paths or boggy, uneven terrain.