To help you choose the best bike for riding around neighborhood roads, trails or mountainous areas, we researched and compared tested models from the best bicycle brands, looking for the best commuter bike, best road bicycle and the best bikes for your kids. We preferred products with a wide variety of useful accoutrements, like hand brakes located both the front and rear of the bicycle, so as to maximize riding safety, plus multiple gears and forks with suspension travel. Of course, we also liked attractive designs that simply look great.
Our top pick, the SixThreeZero Around the Block cruiser bike offers a durable steel frame, 7-speed external hub and even the option for up to a 500W motor assist to help on longer rides. Keep reading for more of our top picks.
Top 6 Best Bike
#1 SixThreeZero SixThreeZero Around the Block Bike
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: Timeless beach cruiser bike style plus quality running gear and a convenient e-assist option make this a top choice overall for best commuter bike with a step-through “women’s” style frame.
Read Full Review: SixThreeZero Bike
- Best electric
- Excellent Shimano 7-speed hub
- 18-40 mile range on a single charge
- Available electric motor assist
- Heavier than many of the best road bicycles
- Step-Through frame not for everybody
If you’re looking for a relaxed ride in classic beach cruiser style, this might be the best bike for the money right now. The Around the Block is priced competitively and features plenty of quality, well proven components like the Shimano 7-speed hub, aluminum wheels with versatile waffle tread tires, the option of an electric motor giving as much as 500W of power assist and disc brakes for quick stopping power.
Great for riding around the neighborhood, college campus or, of course, at the beach, this cruiser is easier to ride comfortably than our more narrowly focused picks for the best road bike. The SixThreeZero lets you sit upright and its relatively soft, cushy seat makes for a comfortable, leisurely ride. Make sure you protect it with the best bike lock.
#2 Schwinn Loop Folding Bike
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: A high quality folding bike that is easy to store or throw in the back of a car. Plus it’s from one of the best bike brands around, this Schwinn adds lots of convenience and doesn’t compromise on riding experience.
Read Full Review: Schwinn Loop Folding Bike
- Best folding bike for the money
- 7-speed hub
- Light, at just 33 lbs
- Smallish 20” wheels limit top speed
- Less suited to rugged terrain than some hybrid bicycles
Folding bikes offer fantastic portability and this model is no exception. This well designed folding commuter bike is easy to set up and get moving, and since it weighs only 33 lbs, very light for a folding bike, is one of the easier bicycles to take with you on the subway, on road trips, or just to have in your car for a more eco friendly and parking-friendly hybrid commute. It also makes a great city bike. Folded up, it measures just 29.5 x 29 x 19 inches.
It uses a 7-speed Shimano Tourney hub, giving plenty of versatility to climb small hills and providing a decent cruising ratio so you don’t have to pedal too fast, in spite of the small 20” wheels. It also allows for a good seating position, with plenty of height adjustability on both the seat support and handlebars. It includes a rear carry rack and even comes with a nylon bag. The best electric bike is another good option for fun on two wheels.
#3 Mongoose Dolomite Mountain Bike
Award: BEST ALL TERRAIN
WHY WE LIKE IT: A rugged off-road focused mountain bike, this Mongoose bicycle comes with fat tires for added comfort and a durable steel frame, plus front and rear disc brakes for surefooted stopping.
Read Full Review: Mongoose Dolomite Mountain Bike
- Super sized all terrain tires
- Front and rear disc brakes
- Designed for aggressive trail riding
- Not for small people
- Lacks the suspension travel of some more relaxed mountain bikes
- Knobby tires make for slower on road performance
This fat tyre trail bike from Mongoose, long considered one of the best bike brands for BMX bikes, mountain bikes and hybrid bicycles, is a simple yet effective tool for rugged trail riding. The steel frame handles dips and jumps well, and the 4” wide mud and snow tires allow for excellent grip in challenging terrain.
The Mongoose Dolomite also has sophisticated front and rear disc brakes, allowing it to stop effectively even on hills, and making it easy to lock up a wheel for powerslides on dirt or mud. It also has a 7-speed hub so you can shift gears for going uphill. It does weigh about 49 pounds, so it can be a handful especially for smaller riders, and those huge tires don’t make it the best for easy cruising on pavement. However, if you want more power on two wheels, try the best motorcycles.
#4 Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This lightweight aluminum road bicycle from Tommaso offers affordable high-performance riding, with 24 speeds and great shift quality with integrated shifters and brake levers.
Read Full Review: Tommaso Bikes
- Great entry level road bicycle
- Comfortable, adjustable shallow drop handlebars
- Sleek lightweight aluminum construction
- Designed for riders with at least some skill
- Road bicycle riding position not for everyone
Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or just looking for the best commuter bike for road commutes and want to trade up from a hybrid or cruiser, this may be the best road bike for the money on the market today, thanks to its genuine 24-speed Shimano Claris Groupset, which was updated in 2018 and offers truly outstanding performance and a high quality feel.
The Imola weighs just 23 pounds thanks to its aluminum frame. A strong, durable yet lightweight crank, plus integrated shifter and brake handles, helps make this road bicycle an excellent value for recreational cyclists and commuters alike. It’s comfortable enough to use every day, thanks to a well tailored frame–be sure to choose the right size for your height, for best fit–and it excels on long distance rides. You might also want to read about an electric motorcycle for kids if they want more power.
#5 Diamondback Tess Youth Mountain Bike
Award: BEST YOUTH
WHY WE LIKE IT: Designed for kids riding on trails and dirt roads, this hardtail mountain bike is durable, versatile and a great value.
Read Full Review: Diamondback Mountain Bike
- Great beginner/ intermediate for youth
- Steel frame with 40mm travel suspension fork
- Powerful brakes
- Too small for most adults to comfortably ride
- More complicated to operate than a single speed bike
A great thing about this Diamondback kids 20” mountain bike is that it’s generally beginner friendly, with a low stepover height and wide tires, but it also makes a great learning tool for kids ages about 4-10. It has a Shimano 21-speed drivetrain with easy-to-learn trigger shifting, plus powerful brakes with both front and rear brake levers, so you can teach your kids good trail riding technique.
With 20 inch aluminum alloy wheels, it weighs just under 29 pounds and is designed to be easy and forgiving to control. It also incorporates some durability focused features like a rear derailleur guard to help keep the chain properly connected. An electric unicycle is also a lot of fun.
#6 Strider 14x Sport Balance Bike t
Award: BEST CHILDREN’S
WHY WE LIKE IT: This innovative kids bicycle can convert from a push balance bike to a real bicycle with pedals, making it a good investment for kids learning to ride a bike.
- Lets kids learn with confidence
- Frame weighs just 12.5 lbs
- Nearly 8” of seat height adjustability
- Pedals not included
- Limited to ages about 3 to 7
If you have young children who are just learning to ride a “grown up” bike, this youth bicycle from Strider is a great stepping stone to real bike riding. It starts out as a little kids’ push bike, without pedals, but comes with the ability to mount a sprocket, hub and pedal set, converting it into a real, fully functional bike for kids. Making it effectively a bike with training wheels.
Unfortunately the pedals aren’t included with your purchase, but it’s an easy upgrade, and you don’t need special tools to install the sprocket and pedals. The Strider 14x is designed for kids ranging in age from about 3 to 7, and as such it offers lots of adjustability in seat and handlebar heights, so it can literally grow with your kids. You can also check out the fastest hoverboard for more fun. The best hoverboard is a whole different experience.
How We Decided
In order to select the best bike for the money in as broad a range of categories as possible, we first checked off basic quality and safety standards. At least among bikes for adults, we only considered models that came with powerful and effective front and rear brakes– disc brakes were a bonus for downhill and mountain bikes.
We also gave preference to bikes with proven gear set components, and when looking for the best commuter bike we only considered those with at least 7 speeds, so as to offer leisurely riding. We limited our list to bikes with well-proven and durable shifting components, such as the Shimano 7-speed hub.
For our selections among the best road bikes, we only looked at models with at least 21 speeds and with streamlined, aluminum, alloy or composite frames. For the best electric e-assist bikes, we looked for comfortable seating position and at least 500 W of power so you get a useful assist for going up hills or extending your journey.
We looked at bicycles for kids as well, and for youth bikes we picked models with at least 6 inches of height adjustability so kids won’t outgrow them virtually right away, and for trusted steering and braking components.
Bike Buying Guide
Features to Consider
Probably the first thing to consider when asking yourself “what’s the best bike for me,” is your personal height preference. Do you prefer to sit up high or closer to the ground when riding? Road bikes for experienced cyclists are typically sized according to inseam; like a tailored suit, getting the right fit can make all the difference.
- Drive Train
While not necessary by any means in order to have fun on a bike, a good set of gears with a decent number of ratios, like the industry-standard Shimano 7-speed hub, helps make for more comfortable riding on hills and for more relaxed long distance riding. The best hybrid bikes and the most popular commuter bikes typically have at least 7 speeds, and commonly feature 21 speed gear sets.
If you’re looking for the best road bicycle, look for a lightweight yet sturdy frame; the Tommaso Imola, for example, has an aluminum frame that weighs less than twenty pounds. For commuting or more casual cruising, a heavier frame will do just as well. Mountain bikes have a whole different set of demands, requiring a study frame that will provide plenty of stiffness to maintain control while going over bumps and dips.
Are you looking to ride off road, on the trails, go on 100+ mile bike rides over paved roads, or casually cruise around the beach or a college campus? Depending on your needs and preference, you may find the best bike for you is a mountain bike, a road bike, a beach cruiser or a hybrid bicycle. The best hoverboards for kids also has a lot of options.
Best Bikes FAQs
What are the best bicycle brands?
For the money, California-based Mongoose is among the best bike brands for mountain bikes, BMX and flatland bikes, while Diamondback GT are also strong contenders. For the best hybrid bicycles, commuters and cruisers, Schwinn has been in the bike business since the 19th century and makes consistently high quality bicycles. Road racers generally have their personal faves, but for a solid, entry level high performance bike, the Italian-designed, US-made models from Tommaso are among the best bikes for the money.
What type of bike should I buy?
It depends on your intended use, and on other factors like what your preferred seating position is. Do you like to ride upright, in a relaxed way? Consider a cruiser bike, as well as some hybrid bikes. If riding fast is a priority, consider a road bike. Conversely, if you ride trails, a mountain bike may be the best bike for you. If you would like to combine the two, consider taking a look at gravel bikes – a model that is the combination of a road bike and a cyclocross bike.
Which bike is best for daily use?
For casual everyday riding, around a neighborhood or in places like a college campus, many prefer a laid back cruiser or a hybrid bicycle. However, for enthusiasts, the best road bikes and even mountain bikes can be perfectly usable everyday transportation.
What’s the best hybrid bike for the money?
If budget is a priority, a hybrid bicycle from Tommaso, if not an all-out performance model like the Imola, may be the best hybrid bike for you.
When were folding bikes invented?
Folding bikes were invented roughly 60 years ago in 1962. The first modern small-wheel folding bicycle can be traced back to the F-frame Moulton and was introduced to the United Kingdom in 1962.
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