Choosing to cycle to and from work is great for your physical health, mental health, and the environment.
Cycling to work is a great form of exercise. It’s a great way of squeezing in some cardio without really thinking about it.
Commuting by bike is almost like sneaking in a workout. You don’t have to force yourself to do it as you need to get to work one way or another.
So you can’t skip it.
Cycling also releases endorphins which make you feel amazing. If you have been considering taking up cycling to boost your mental wellbeing, then cycling on your commute is a great way to start.
You also probably know that cycling instead of driving or taking public transport is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. We are constantly being asked to improve our environmental impact.
Cycling is an easy way of doing this. And as it’s so great for your health, you’re taking care of both yourself and the planet at the same time.
All of this good stuff means that you need a bike that will make your commute become the best part of your day. To help you out with that, we’ve put together a list of the best commuter bikes under $500.
Need to get on your bike ASAP and don’t have time to browse?
No problem, here’s our top pick for the best commuter bike under $500.
OUR TOP PICK
Our top pick for the best commuter bike under $500 is the Golden Cycles Single Speed Fixed Gear Bike. It is easy to ride and will make any commute an enjoyable one.
If you have a simple commute, then you need a simple bike. A single speed fixed gear bike is just that.
Riding a fixed gear bike is easy and it is also really enjoyable. Due to the fixed gear, your motion on the pedals will be in sync with the motion of the bike as a whole.
This makes you feel much more comfortable and in control of the bike.
You will feel a much closer connection to the bike which will make commuting a breeze. This is especially useful if you will be cycling in a busy area like a city.
If you feel a connection to your bike, it will almost feel like an extension of your body. This will keep you safer as you’re cycling through traffic as you will feel in control and can easily move about.
Your commute could mean you will be zipping about through lines of busy traffic or gently cruising down country roads. Feeling at one with your bike, especially this bike, will make both easy and fun.
- Available in 6 colors
- Available in multiple sizes
- Greater control
- Enjoyable to ride
- The motion of bike and ride sync up
Don’t be intimidated by the handles of this bike. It might seem like something professional cyclists would use in a race. But this style of road bike is actually great for a commute.
The drop bar handles of this bike will make you more aerodynamic compared to flat bars. But that’s only if you go faster than 15.5mph.
Otherwise, these handlebars will be just like any other. The main difference will be how you position yourself.
The positioning of these handlebars is actually very comfortable. Drop bars provide you with three different hand positions.
If you have a long commute, you can start to feel stiff and need to move about a bit. This isn’t really possible with other handle styles. This bike’s drop bar handles will give your hands and wrists relief when riding.
This bike is also very lightweight. This is great for commuting as a lighter frame means that the bike will be easier to ride. It also means that it will be easy to carry through your office building if you need to.
If you don’t have much space in your home for a bike, a lightweight frame is also a bonus. If you can (and if your landlord allows), you can hang a lightweight bike up on the wall.
- Available in multiple sizes
- No kickstand
Folding bikes are a relatively recent invention and are almost a controversial product. Folding bikes are incredibly practical, especially if you need to take your bike on public transport.
They can be easily stored away in the office and won’t get in the way. You also won’t have to worry about it getting stolen or trying to find a place to lock it up outside.
You can quickly fold this bike up and carry it about with you. This bike’s folding abilities also mean that it is easy to store at home.
If you don’t have a garage or a backyard, it can be difficult to find space for a bike. You won’t have to worry about this bike rusting outside or tracking dirt across the floor.
The shape of this bike is a little different than usual. As it needs to be able to fold up, the wheels are smaller and the u-shape crossbar frame is much lower to the ground.
This may take some getting used to. But both the seat and the handlebars are height adjustable. So you won’t have to be concerned about comfort.
You can also choose between a u-shape crossbar and a curved crossbar. So you can find the style that will suit you best and is the most comfortable.
Once you become used to the shape and style, you will surely love this folding bike. It’s advantages definitely outweigh the minor disadvantages.
- Choice of curved or u-shape crossbar
- Adjustable handle height
- Riding a folding bike might take some getting used to
This is another bike that features drop bar handles. As mentioned above, a drop bar handle can be a bit intimidating and may seem a little too professional for the daily commute.
But they are super comfortable.
As you lean forward on this bike, you feel more at one with it. When you’re sat up straight on a bike, you might feel a little more in control but this isn’t necessarily the case.
When you’re leaning forward, your body is flush with the frame of the bike. This makes you feel so much more comfortable and at ease with the bike.
This bike also comes with spoke reflectors on both wheels, as well as a reflector below the saddle. This is especially useful for commuting, whether you’re in a busy city or a deserted rural area.
When you’re cycling on the road, safety is the top priority. Having these extra safety features already included will bring you the peace of mind that you will be safe from your very first outing.
This bike also features a kickstand and comes in three different bright colors. Bright colors are nice for aesthetic reasons but will also make you more visible.
- Available in three colors
- Spoke and saddle reflectors included
- Features kickstand
- Drop bar handles might not suit everyone
The majority of commuter bikes are aimed at people traveling through busy cities. But that, of course, is not the reality for everyone. Many people who live in rural communities and less built-up areas also commute by bike.
So, a commuter bike does not automatically equal a road bike. Of course, those who live outside of cities will be regularly traveling on tarmac and concrete. But they may also be traveling over dirt tracks and across bumpier terrain.
With that in mind, a hybrid bike is a good idea. A hybrid bike is essentially a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike.
A mountain bike likely won’t be necessary for even very difficult commuting terrains. But there are elements of mountain bikes that will make a road bike even more commuter friendly.
The upright seating, straight and flat handlebars, and general extra comfort are great for a difficult commute.
Hybrids are also excellent bikes for any beginner. If commuting by bike is your way of getting into cycling, then a hybrid is a good option.
It will make you feel safer and more comfortable as you get used to the feel of a bike.
- Available in 3 colors
- 85% pre-assembled
- Installation tools included
- Does not feature a kickstand
If you want a classic looking bike, then this Schwinn Sanctuary 7 Cruiser is the way to go. It comes in a stylish dark red and is available in two styles.
With this bike, you have the choice of either a step-over frame or a step-through frame. The choice between these is a practical one.
But style can also be a consideration. The step-through frame is much more classic and resembles the iconic Raleigh bike.
This bike will make you feel like the protagonist of a whimsical rom com on your way to work. Investing in a bike that looks good may sound superficial but it is a good idea.
If you’re struggling to find the motivation to exercise (or maybe the motivation to go to work), riding a beautiful bike will make your mornings so much better.
Nice as this bike looks, it is also practical. If you really want to begin cycling to work but are concerned about being able to carry all your stuff in, then you’re in luck.
This bike has a large rear cargo rack that you can easily strap your bags to. If you need more space, this bike will also be sturdy enough for panniers.
More great work-friendly features are the full fenders. They might seem like an obvious addition to any bike, but they aren’t always included.
So the inclusion of full fenders will mean you won’t show up to work with your legs splattered with mud.
- Rear cargo rack
- Full fenders
- Classic aesthetic
- 2 frame styles available
- Only available in red
This is another classic looking bike. It has an elegant frame and is very smart. This is a great choice for a commute as it has a much more formal, professional look.
Many commuter bikes tend towards a sportier style. But, if you care about the impression you make when you arrive to work, then this is a very smart choice.
Available in 13 colors, this bike also allows you to add some personality. Not a lot of adult bikes allow for this. After the age of 14, bikes seem to become much more serious and come primarily in dark colors. But not everyone wants this.
As mentioned above, having a nice looking bike may just make you want to ride it more. If that bike is in a color that you like and that makes you happy, then even better.
Getting up early and commuting to work is rarely the best part of someone’s day. So if it can be brightened in any way, then it should be.
This bike is also available in a range of sizes. This is not as common a feature as you might expect. Some bikes can be of a similar style or be of the same design, yet vary greatly when it comes to size.
Or, sometimes, they will only be available in one specific size. This bike allows for a great level of personalization that is rare to see.
- Available in 13 colors
- Available in a range of sizes
- Classic style
- Price varies depending on size and no. of speeds
A mountain bike might not be the most obvious choice for a commuter bike but it does have its benefits. As mentioned above, a mountain bike provides more support and a smoother ride.
If the terrain that you travel over to get to work isn’t as smooth as a tarmac road, then you might require a mountain bike.
Even if you do live in the middle of a busy city and will be cycling over tarmac and concrete, a mountain bike is still a good idea.
Mountain bikes can be ridden on any terrain. They are just specifically engineered to be more comfortable and safe on rockier ground.
But they are very comfortable and getting to and from work should be as comfortable as possible. This bike has a strong frame and will allow for a very smooth ride.
- Extra comfort and support
- Upright riding position
- Low gears
- Will be slower on roads and sidewalks because of thicker wheels
As mentioned above, a hybrid bike is essentially the best features of road bikes and mountain bikes combined into one.
This bike has 7 speeds and 26” wheels with 2” semi-slick tires. This will give you control over any kind of terrain. This is great for mountain biking but will also keep you steady and in control on wet tarmac.
Extra control will also come from the shape of the handlebars. The curved handle bars will make you feel even more in control.
With the additional support of a mountain bike, riding this sixthreezero EVRYjourney bike will be seriously comfortable. This is also because of the well-cushioned saddle.
This bike is a great option if you’re looking for something a little different. This bike has a matte black finish which isn’t a very common sight.
This is a great choice if you regularly have to travel over dirt roads or bad weather as mud won’t show up as much.
- Unique matte black finish
- Full fenders
- Cushioned saddle
- Rear cargo rack
This single speed fixed gear bike is a great option for easy riding. As mentioned above, single speed fixed gear bikes are super comfortable and enjoyable to ride.
This bike is a great choice if you are a novice when it comes to cycling. Commuting can be daunting for beginners.
It can be nerve-racking to cycle around cars and other traffic. This bike will make you feel in control and much safer.
This bike has been specifically designed for cycling in a city. So you know that you will be in safe hands.
As well as fixed gear cycling, this bike has a flip flop hub. This means that the wheel can be flipped to allow for free wheel coasting.
So, although this bike is designed for weaving through traffic in a big city. It will also be great for gentler rides.
This bike also looks great. It comes in a bright metallic royal blue which is very eye-catching. It has alloy rims and is made from durable steel.
- Flip flop hub
- Eye-catching style
- Specifically designed for city commutes
- Only available in one color
If you’re only considering cycling to work, you probably don’t want to be spending too much on a new bike. But you don’t want to risk buying something too cheap either.
If you’re only going to be using the bike for your commute, $500 is a good price limit. You can find something sturdy and reliable that can keep you safe. But you won’t be investing in a semi-professional bike that has features you just don’t need.
Any of the bikes above will be suitable for a daily commute. But make sure you find something that suits your height, your style, and the kind of road or terrain you’re likely to go over.