LOOKING to ditch the car or public transport in favour of two wheels?
You’ll want to find yourself a solid commuter bike that can be used year-round, which means it has to be reliable, cheap to maintain and enjoyable enough to spend a chunk of every day on.
What is the best bike for a daily commute?
There isn’t a set design of shape for a commuter bike. A road, mountain, hybrid, fold-up or electric bike can all be used for getting to and from work on.
Choosing the right one for you will all depend on your budget and your route to work.
Whatever you opt for, you can expect to save money in the long term by commuting by two wheels, with a bike paying for itself in terms of money saved on petrol, parking and public transport costs.
It’s also a great way to stay in shape year-round, and is one of the greenest ways to get around
What’s more, thanks to the Cycle to Work scheme, getting to work by bike has never been more affordable.
Not sure where to start in your search for a commuter bike? Check out our handy guide to find the best one for you.
1. Best Dutch bike for commuting
- Kona Coco Hybrid Bike, £669.00 from Wheelbase – buy here
For those looking to arrive at work in style, look no further than the Kona Coco.
Ideal for commuting in a town or city, this style of bike is seen everywhere in the Netherlands (hence the name) and has an upright position that gives the rider an improved view of the road.
It also leads to better airflow, reducing the need for a shower once at work.
The Canadian brand’s take on a European classic packs a wide-range of options into its nine gears, meaning it’ll be able to handle the odd hill on your commute while still keeping up with traffic on the flat.
Other notable features include disc brakes, comfort-boosting 47c tyres and integrated mudguards.
Finished in eye-catching orange, and with tan wall tyres, it’s sure to turn heads for all the right reasons.
2. Best cheap hybrid commuter bike
- B'Twin Triban RC 500 Disc Flat Bar Road Bike, £549.99 from Decathlon – buy here
The middle ground between road and mountain bikes, hybrid bikes are ideal for commuting thanks to their comfortable positioning and lightweight build.
The Triban RC 500 from Decathlon’s in-house brand B’Twin has everything you could want in a commuter bike, and you can complete the package by adding essential accessories like a D-lock and lights to your Cycle to Work scheme bill.
The bike includes large volume 28c tyres that will handle riding on the road and canal paths, a lightweight carbon fork and mechanical disc brakes that will provide you with enough stopping power whatever the weather.
3. Best hybrid commuter bike
- Specialized Sirrus 4.0 Hybrid bike, £1,200 from Tredz – buy here
For those who want to make the most of the lifting of the Cycle to Work scheme's £1,000 limit, this top-of-the-range hybrid by American brand Specialized is hard to beat.
A carbon fibre frame and fork not only make it a lightweight and nimble build, but combine to absorb the worst of the UK's pothole-strewn roads with no problems.
Sharp Tektro hydraulic disc brakes guarantee you stopping power in all conditions, and an 18-speed Shimano Sora drivetrain will be able to withstand years of daily use and abuse.
Wide 32C RoadSport tyres include 'Flak jacket' puncture protection and reflective detailing to help keep you seen, while the frame also has space for mudguards and pannier racks thanks – making the Sirrus a serious commuting ally.
4. Best singlespeed commuter bike
- Fuji Feather Singlespeed Bike, £529.99 from Wiggle – buy here
Singlespeed bikes, or "fixies", are a popular choice in city centres, and not just because of their status as a fashion accessory.
Similar in design to road bikes, singlespeeds – as their name suggests – only have one fixed gear.
The bikes are perfect for the flat, stop-start nature of inner-city commuting, and the minimising of mechanical components make them easier to maintain as there's less to go wrong.
The steel-framed Fuji Feather not only looks the part with its track bike geometry and slick Vittoria Zaffiro tyres, but at less than £529, it won’t take long for it to start saving you money on your daily commute. Plus sealed hubs and minimal components should help spread out your visits to the local bike shop a bit more.
5. Best e-bike for commuting
- B'Twin Elops 900 Classic Electric Bike, £999.99 from Decathlon – buy here
If you like the idea of pedalling to work without actually having to do too much then an e-bike might be the way forward.
The electronic battery-assisted technology is becoming more popular in the world of cycling, and with there no limit to the cycle-to-work-scheme allowance, an e-bike is now that bit more affordable.
B’Twin’s Elops 900 E Classic is 1p under £1,000 – making it great value for money – and offers around 40 miles of assisted riding between charges.
The bike itself is a comfortable cross between a Dutch and hybrid bike, has seven different speeds and includes LED lights, mudguards and a rear pannier that can take a whopping 27kg.
6. Best folding bike for commuters
- Brompton M3L Folding Bike, £1,060 from Evans Cycles – buy here
Commuting into work by bike is all well and good, but what if you rely on a train to get you to the office?
Enter the fold-up bike.
The compact design is perfect for travelling to and from train stations efficiently at either end of your commute, thanks to fold-up bikes being allowed on peak-time trains.
Brompton is one of the most famous manufacturers of folding bikes, and it’s easy to see why.
The British brand’s popular M3L model has three gears, mudguards, and can be folded away and placed in an overhead luggage rack in a matter of seconds.
You might need a bit of practise to get you up to speed first though.
How do I choose a commuter bike?
Choosing the right commuter bike for you will depend on the route you’re planning on taking to work and, ultimately, your budget. If you’re going to be cycling solely on roads and cycle paths, then a Dutch bike, singlespeed or even road bike are going to be your best bets.
Encountering the odd canal path? A hybrid or even a dedicated mountain bike are the ones for you.
And if you have to factor public transport into your commute, then look no further than a fold-up bike.
How much should I spend on a commuter bike?
Deciding how much to spend on a commuter bike is the same thought process as buying any bike. Sure, you want to get something that's good value for money, but you also want something that is going to be reliable and affordable when it comes to any repairs it will need with regular use.
Fortunately, the Cycle to Work scheme, where you effectively pay for the bike out of your pre-tax salary, allows you to save between 25-39% on a new bike.
Best of all, there’s no longer a £1,000 limit, it can be used on most bikes and most employers are signed up to the service. So what are you waiting for?
Enjoyed our roundup of the best commuter bikes? Then you might enjoy our selection of the best road bikes that money can buy.
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For more active recommendations, check out our dedicated health and fitness section.
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