Best Commuter Bike Under 500

Best Commuter Bike Under 500

by Jean Whitehead - Last Updated: November 15, 2018

Have you ever wondered how to combat the rising fuel prices and still improve your fitness? If so, the best commuter bike under 500 is one of the best options to travel from point A to point B. Commuter bikes are designed to travel on all the corners of the earth. They can travel off-road when needed, but they are mostly designed for roaming around town. The Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike is rated as one of the very best on the market today.

Whilst studying, I found that I needed more money to spend and the fuel prices seemed to be out of my budget. This forces me and many fellow students to find a new method of roaming the varsity grounds and around town. I tested numerous different commuter bikes and eventually started upgrading them and trying to find the best options. In this article, we look at all the top bikes I have found and a few new options available.

Best Cheap Commuter Bikes On The Market Today

 

Best Commuter Bike Special Features Our Rating
Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike This is the top option and it has all the features you might need for commuting around town ★★★★★
Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Bike With a fixed gear design, the bike takes all the guessing work out of cycling ★★★★
Critical Cycles Harper  Fixed Gear Commuter Bike If you love commuting around town and taking a little break from your home, this bike has the basics for this ★★★★★
Retrospec Mars Hybrid City Commuter Bike With a vintage design, the bike stands out from the competition in terms of the overall look ★★★★★
sixthreezero Explore Your Range Women’s Hybrid Commuter Bicycle Female riders will definitely enjoy the ergonomic design of this bike and the comfort it offers ★★★★
Big Shot Bikes Track Bike Larger riders in the 300-pound range will now have a comfortable bike that offers them a riding opportunity ★★★★

 

Commuter bike features are the same as road bikes, with only a few minor differences. We have done research to find the most important features in the buyer’s guide. However, the bikes themselves are a little more interesting. We have decided to start with them to give you a better idea of the top options to choose from:

Top Pick: Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike

Schwinn is one of the top brands when looking for a reliable bike that offers you some of the elite features. The Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike is a stylish bike and it features a durable aluminum frame. Since it has an ergonomic design, it can be great for people of all sizes and shapes to ensure they get the best value for their money.

The Good:

  • Aluminum frame: The aluminum frame has been incorporated to save you on your budget. It also keeps the bike lightweight
  • Drivetrain: The drivetrain is one of the most configured. It offers you 16 speeds and the micro-shift technology ensure fast and efficient shifting
  • Brakes: This bike might not have the best brakes, but for slower speeds, the caliper brakes should help in most conditions
  • Stylish: This bike is quite stylish and the color is something that makes the bike look a little more professional. It also looks like the top commuter bikes

The Bad:

  • Tires: The tires are a little narrow and this might not be ideal for every rider. You might need to buy wider tires

Best Fixed Gear Bike: Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike

A fixed gear bike is sometimes much simpler to use, especially when you are new to cycling. The Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike is one of the best options and it has been constructed from Hi-ten steel for added durability. Expert assembly can be expensive, but this bike comes 90% assembled.

The Good:

  • Affordable: The bike is really affordable and offers you some of the best features for commuting around town at a budget
  • Fixed Gear: The fixed gear design is perfect for newcomers and it takes the guessing work out of the fray
  • No expert assembly: Yes, this bike is 90% assembled when you receive it and this can save you or give you a couple extra bucks for upgrades

The Bad:

  • Brakes: You might need to upgrade the brakes as the braking system is not the best for us at the moment

Best Urban Bike: Critical Cycles Harper Single-Speed Urban Commuter Bike

While many 0f these bikes can be used for urban or off-road purposes, the Critical Cycles Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Commuter Bike is designed for your varsity ventures. Made from a solid steel frame, it is durable and the fixed gear will take the guesswork out. The Kenda commuter tires are also highly valued for their durability.

The Good:

  • Fixed Gear: Once again, the fixed gear feature is perfect for beginners and you also have fewer maintenance problems to deal with
  • Pedals: The freestyle pedals are excellent for all riders. With an ergonomic design, they offer comfort to every rider with the right cycling shoes.
  • Affordable: This can be one of the most affordable options for you to choose from. It is excellent for students and beginners

The Bad:

  • Durability: We have had a few people complaining about the overall durability of the chain that needs to be replaced if you ride often

Best Hybrid Bike: Retrospec Mars Hybrid City Commuter Bike

The hybrid bike might not be something you always consider, but it is one of the lightest options. The Retrospec Mars Hybrid City Commuter Bike is vintage inspired with an excellent design made for durability. Irf you need a bike that can take a lot of punishment, this might be the perfect bike for all your needs.

The Good:

  • Design: The stylish design is one of the biggest draw factors and I love the vintage look. It is also available in numerous colors
  • Drivetrain: The drivetrain is highly rated and you have the option to choose a 1-speed drivetrain. I personally prefer the 7-speed option
  • Storage: A rear rack has been added and this is great for the functionality when you are carrying some of your books or groceries as you commute

The Bad:

  • Assembly: even though the bike has been 85% assembled, you still need to add a few tricky things when it arrives

Best Bike For Females: sixthreezero Explore Your Range Women’s Hybrid Commuter Bicycle

Ergonomic bikes are much more comfortable when it comes to commuting around town and they offer a wide array of comfort. The sixthreezero Explore Your Range Women’s Hybrid Commuter Bicycle is designed for the female riders and since it is so affordable, you can buy is just to cruise around town with your family.

The Good:

  • Drivetrain: The 7-speed drivetrain is comfortable for selecting gears and with a smooth shifting motion, nothing stands in your way
  • Storage: A rear rack has also been installed to carry all your important items along. This should work well for students
  • Ergonomic: The ergonomic design that has been used for the design makes it perfect for every female rider to use

The Bad:

  • Style: Unfortunately, the bike has a stale design and with females being so picky, it might not be for everyone

Best Bikes For Large Riders: Big Shot Bikes Track Bike

Many of us want a bike that meets our weight limit when we are overweight. The bike can be used by some of the larger riders and should make life more comfortable when trying to lose that excess weight. The Big Shot Bikes Track Bike is stylish and extremely durable with a top class steel frame for the best possible durability.

The Good:

  • Durability: This bike can be used by larger riders up to the 300-pound mark. However, it does not have all the features of the best mountain bikes for large riders
  • Stylish: Once again, the bike features a stylish design that should turn the heads of your friends with ease
  • Single Speed: You no longer need to suffer from all the different gears as this bike is available in a fixed gear version

The Bad:

  • Assembly: The assembly can be a little tricky, especially when you need to install the fork correctly upon receiving it

Key Features To Consider When Choosing A Commuter Bike

Now that you have seen the top bikes, the features are also important to consider. These features have been used to ensure the bikes we selected are some of the most important and I also found that out the hard way while experimenting. Here are the top options that are currently on the market today:

Materials

Reducing the costs is fundamentally important and you will definitely get some value for your money with a hi-ten steel bike. However, we have seen that aircraft grade aluminum is also used. For the top bikes, we would also suggest looking for carbon fiber is you need some of the best durability and you are willing to pay the price.

Drivetrain

These drivetrains can be basic and they should help you when it comes to choosing the right bike. If you have experience in the industry, you should consider a drivetrain that has more gears. The single speed option is better for older riders and still offers you some great value.

Design

With so little actual top quality features on these bikes, the design is something we consider important. Since you will be riding with this bike around town, you do want the bike to look stylish and not cheap. Most of the bikes we have selected are really stylish and should offer some great value

Which One Is The Best You Ask?

Now you have seen all the features and the top bikes that should help you when buying your next bike. However, the Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike still stands out as one of the very best. It is lightweight with top quality features for all riders. While we love this bike, you might not. Let us know in the comment section which bikes are the best for you.

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