For many of us, college is the first time in our lives when we first truly experience what it’s like to live on our own. Because you’re on your own during college, you need to be self-sufficient and that should account for traveling as well. To make the traveling aspect of daily college life more comfortable, you will require a good bike.
The Best Bikes for College Students in 2023 Review
In this article, I will take a look at some of the best bikes for college. In this list of best bikes, I will also discuss specific factors that make a particular bike a good and professional fit for the average college student. In this article I’m going to review the following 10 best bicycles for college students for 2022.
- 6KU Fixie Urban Track Bike (MY FAVORITE)
- sixthreezero EVRYjourney Men’s Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle
- Public Bikes V1
- Soltera E Bike
- Vilano Diverse 3.0
- Schwinn Discover
- Tommaso Monza Endurance Road Bike
- Batch The Fitness
- Schwinn GTX 2.0
Read more: Buying Tips for College Students
Type: Fixed Urban Track
- Size: Small (52cm) / 5’5 “- 5’7”, Medium(55cm) / 5’8 “- 5’11”, Large (58cm) / 6’0 “- 6’2” frame
- Number Of Speed: 1 speed
- Weight: 21 LBS (from comments)
- Frame Material: Aluminum
- Brake Type: Front and rear brakes
- Suspension: Rigid
I start off my list with the Fixie Urban Track Bike.
An affordable bike for college students, though I would argue that it features an even more appealing cost-efficiency proposition.
In exchange for the relatively affordable amount, you are asked to spend on this bike you are getting a high-performance single speed or freewheel machine.
You want a fixed gear bike or you enjoy free-wheel riding? Just pick the one you’re most comfortable with and stick with it for a smooth experience.
The seat, as you’ll see, is positioned in a way that you should be able to maintain a comfortable riding position for an extended period of time. As long as you pick the right-sized bike, you will also have no trouble reaching the handlebars and controlling them completely.
Depending on your preference, you can also quickly remove either the front or rear brakes so that you can exercise more control over this bike.
On top of all that, the 6061 double-butted aluminum alloy is also very durable. It also doesn’t add a ton of weight to the bike. The type of aluminum used in this bicycle features quality that is comparable to carbon fiber and even titanium.
For me, putting this bike first on the list a no brainer.
The paint used on this bike can chip away if it gets scratched, but it’s a very minor issue that you can easily deal with especially given the value proposition presented by this item.
Full 6KU Bike Review
For more in-depth information about this bike, read my full 6KU bike review in this post.
Alluminium aloy is remarkably durable without adding plenty of weight
- One of the more affordable bikes for college students
- Fixed or free-wheel riding possible using this bike
- Urban geometry frame
Aluminum alloy does not add plenty of weight to the bike
Type: Hybrid Cruiser
- Size: 26″ wheels
- Number Of Speed: 1, 3, 21 speeds for usual bike, 7 speeds for electro-bike
- Weight: from 34.1 LBS to 39.7 LBS
- Frame Material: Aluminum or Steel
- Brake Type: Only Front Linear Pull, Front and Back Or Dual Disc Brakes depending on the configuration
- Suspension: Rigid
There’s beauty in simplicity. If you need proof of that, just look at the EVRYjourney Men’s Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle from Sixthreezero.
The designers kept it simple when it came time to put this hybrid bike together. I find that the matte black shines beautifully across the aluminum frame of the bike while also permeating its finer points.
Even if you don’t often pay close attention to the bike’s design, you will likely appreciate this look and understand why I added this bike to the list of the best bikes for college.
Beyond the effortlessly stylish look, the EVRYjourney also features the 7-speed Shimano external hub. Most of the time, you can keep the gears low and cruise in comfort. In those situations when you’re in a hurry though, you have the option of hiking the gears up.
According to the manufacturers, this particular bike can comfortably seat riders ranging in height from 5’6” all the way up to 6’4” but I’m not sure if that’s the case. The cockpit can get snug if you’re taller and that can make the riding experience uncomfortable.
It’s not a major issue, but you may encounter some difficulty trying to put this bicycle together, as we mentioned in another review about this hybrid bike.
The instructions included can be confusing especially for those who don’t have a ton of experience working on bikes.
Once you get past that though, you should be able to get plenty of great mileage out of this stylish cruiser.
Matte black color scheme elevates the look of this bicycle
- Numerous gear options available for different types of riding
- Handbrakes are consistent and react quickly
- 95-inch wide whitewall tires provide added cushioning for your commute
The range is good, but taller riders may feel some discomfort using this bike
- Initial assembly can be difficult because of confusing instructions
Let’s say you are not looking for anything too complicated and just want a simple single speed bike for the flat city you live in. The Public Bikes V1 is the bike you need.
The first thing to mention is how cool this bike looks. The Public V1 screams class in that gorgeous racing green color with color coded accessories. The frame and forks are made of lightweight steel for durability and comfort. This bike will float over bumps nicely, and you’re not going to turn up to college feeling uncomfortable.
It runs large wheels and tires to add to that silky smooth ride the frame gives it, and the tires provided are puncture-proof and color coded for the bike. These are also covered by some fenders to protect you from bad weather, which is a lovely touch from the Public.
The gearing is a simple single speed setup. Excellent if you live in a flat city or town, but it could be challenging if you live somewhere hilly. The maintenance cost on this will be extremely low, and you will rarely need to service it. It also comes with a fantastic chain guard to stop oil from getting on your legs too.
A lightweight steel frame with steel fork for comfort
- Looks incredible
- Silky smooth to ride
- Color coded fenders
Single Speed Gearing
As far as cycling to college, one of my favorite bikes has to be the legendary Soltera. It is not only a fantastic bike for comfort, but it’s a super-fast electric bike that just blends in with the crowd.
The Soltera has a lightweight, high-quality aluminum frame. This bike comes in various colors and, in my opinion, just looks epic on its own but on a rack blends in with the crowd, which is great as it won’t be targeted by thieves as much. It doesn’t at all look like an electric bike.
This is a class 2 electric bike and has the capability to take you all the way up to 20mph, so if you are running late for a class, this is the bike you need. The 350w motor provides high torque to get you up any hill and also only takes 2-4 hours to charge.
It runs 700c lightweight aluminum road wheels, and they are paired up with 35c tires. Great for city and road riding, not so suitable for off road. The gearing is a 1×7 speed Shimano system and you do have the option of a single speed, but with that motor, you don’t need to worry about hills at all, and even maintenance won’t be an issue as this is built for years of use straight out the showroom.
Something we really liked about this bike was the disc brakes. They are very powerful and great at stopping you quickly.
A lightweight Aluminum Frame
- Electric Motor with quick charge time
- Very Fast
- Stealthy look
- Gearing Options
Not the cheapest
When I first saw the Vilano Diverse 3.0, I was impressed. Not only does it look pretty cool, but it is also one of the most equipped bikes on this list and is a meager price for everything that you get with it.
The first thing to mention is the lightweight aluminum frame. It looks incredible and also has excellent geometry for comfort. The rear A-frame will make it feel friendly and agile, and it is going to handle great with those flat handlebars.
The wheels are 29” on 38c tires. Great for not just city riding but for a bit of rough terrain too. They are paired up with mechanical disc brakes, giving you excellent stopping power and working amazingly in all conditions.
The bike has 24 gears on gearing on a 3×8 system. This will get you up hills with ease and just plenty of options for flat road riding.
A lightweight Aluminum Frame
- Disc Brakes with excellent stopping power
- Comfortable to ride
- 24 Speed Gearing system
Not a mainstream brand
The Schwinn Discover is one of the best bikes for college students, but it just isn’t spoken about much, and it should be. It’s incredible.
The classic styling aluminum frame is gorgeous, and it really does look the part. It’s paired up with suspension forks and produces an unbelievably smooth and comfortable ride that you just wouldn’t expect from a bike at this cost. It’s a Schwinn, so you know you have brand quality here too, and for me, that goes a long way.
The wheels are 28” and come with large puncture resistant tires made to handle the road and the light trails. I love the spoke pattern on this bike and the wheel color. It looks very retro, and for me, I think it adds a flare to the bike.
The gearing is a 3×7 Speed groupset and has a fantastic ability to make the hills feel effortless. It will never feel too demanding as you will just have so many options. An alpine climb could be a challenge though, but the 21 gears will quickly get you around towns and cities.
It has some great accessories to go with it, such as the large comfortable seat and also the rear rack for panniers, so you won’t struggle to find space for large books.
A lightweight Aluminum Frame
- Suspension Forks
- 21 Speed Gearing system
- Pannier Rack
Will be fairly heavy
Type: Road Bike
- Size: S (5’6″-5’8″), M (5’8″-5’11”), L (5’11”-6’2″), XL (6’2″-6’5″)
- Number Of Speed: 20 Speeds, 2×10 Shimano Tiagra Groupset, featuring a 50/34T Tiagra compact crankset and 11x32T Tiagra cassette
- Weight: 22.3 LBS
- Frame Material: Aluminum
- Brake Type: Shimano Tiagra Brake Calipers
- Suspension: Rigid
The Monza Endurance Road Bike is the outlier of this article for a very obvious reason. Unlike the other options mentioned before and the two other bikes coming after this one, the Tommaso Monza is probably out of the price range of most college students.
The average college student would need to save up for quite a while to afford this bicycle.
So, is this road bike worth that high price tag?
In terms of comfort and compatibility, it’s really hard to argue against this road bike being the best fit for you regardless of your body type. It will fit your body like a glove and you’ll never have to feel cramped or stretched out while using out.
As you would expect from a road bike this expensive, the manufacturers have also not skimped on including premium components. There’s an HTC carbon fork included that reduces road-induced vibrations while the 2 x 10 Shimano Tiagra Groupset and Shimano Tiagra STI Shifters significantly improve the bike’s overall performance.
Still, it’s hard to get past the high price tag and quite frankly, it doesn’t help that you will have to spend extra to get it professionally assembled if you don’t want to void warranties.
The appeal presented by this bicycle is obvious, but I can see why many students would pass on it.
Will fit your body exceptionally well
- HTC carbon fork prevents vibrations from reaching you
- Features high quality components
- One of the more beautiful road bikes you’ll see
Has to be professionally assembled to keep warranties valid
- Price tag will make it unattainable for more than a few students
The Batch the Fitness is an incredible bike, and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a bike just to do everything. It will go on and off road, great for commuting, and long rides with friends on the weekend.
The frame is solid and durable and made of aluminum and paired up with a steel fork for comfort. It looks fantastic in a bright blue color, which is great for safety.
The wheelset is a 27.5″, paired with some 1.95″ oversized tires. This makes the bike super comfortable and suitable for a lot of mixed terrains.
The gearing is a Shimano groupset. Shimano makes top quality components you know they are going to last. It’s a 3×7 Speed groupset, and it’s going to give you a massive range of gearing for all inclines.
The linear pull brakes are going to be pretty good at stopping you. It also has rack and fender mounts if you want to add panniers or even mudguards.
A lightweight frame with steel fork for comfort
- Shimano Groupset
- Looks Incredible
When we are looking at bikes for students, it’s vital that we have options. We don’t just use the bike to get to places to study, but typically it’s our primary form of transport. This is the Schwinn GTX 2.0, and this is a bike that is going to be able to take you anywhere.
The bike looks epic, and the baby blue really stands out from the crowd. Suppose it’s not for you though they offer many different styles and colors. It’s a lightweight Aluminum Frame with a set of off road suspension forks. It is not the lightest of bikes, but you won’t feel the potholes much on this.
The wheelset is a solid aluminum build, and it is equipped with mixed-terrain tires, so as expected, it will be efficient on the road and also be capable of a cheeky trail if required. The disc brakes will stop you quickly and in all weather conditions.
The gearing is a 3×7 groupset giving you 21 gears in total. It’s similar to many other gearing setups on this list and is ideal for climbs and riding flats. The Schwinn is a great bike if you are looking for something to take you to college and have some fun on the weekends.
A great multi-purpose bike
- 3×7 Speed 21 Gear groupset
- Disc Brakes
- Suspension Forks
Heavy bike with all the equipment
Factors to Consider for Finding the Best Bike for College
Most articles on this website are about road bikes, hybrid and mountain bikes.
But for this guide, we’re talking about bikes that are going to be used by college students. That why I’m going to tweak my criteria just a bit.
To be more specific, I’ll put more emphasis on certain factors that matter more to college-age kids looking for bicycles to use such as comfort and design of the bike.
It’s time to read the buying guide. Let’s discuss something important to know for anyone shopping for a new commuter bike for traveling to the college campus.
We Think You’ll Like It: How to Convert a Road Bike to a Gravel Bike
Bicycling Tips for College Students
As always, the most important consideration before you purchase a commuter bike, hybrid bike or any other type of bike is how it fits you.
Buying a Bike That Fits You Best
Without taking the time to first check if the bicycle fits your body correctly, you are opening yourself up to possible injuries. You will also subject your body to hours of unnecessary discomfort by using an ill-fitting bike.
Because one of the bike types that will work best for college students is the road bike, that’s the size chart we’ll be referring to.
Riders who range in height from 4’10” to 5’2” will be most comfortable using a bike with a frame that’s around 18 inches. Students who fall within the height range of 5’2” to 5’6” will need a bike that’s at 19 inches.
College kids who are around 5’3” to 5’6” will want to look for a bike sporting a 20-inch frame. Those who are 5’9” to 6’0” in height can feel more at ease atop a 22-inch bike.
Bicycles with 23-inch frames are best for students in the height range of 6’0” to 6’3” and the 24-inch bikes are suitable for riders who are on the taller side at 6’3” to 6’6” because they feature quite a bit of room.
Looking cool is still an important part of the student life. To choose the best bike for college, it has to feature a great look or at the very least, a sensible design.
Basically, you just want to avoid anything that stands out for all the wrong reasons. If the bike looks good to your eyes or is capable of easily blending in, then it should not cramp your style in any noticeable way.
The Right Type of Bike
Bikes are designed for specific terrain. Mountain bikes are obviously best for rugged terrain, while road bikes or hybrid bikes are best for daily commutes.
If you can find a cruiser or a comfort bike, that would be ideal for the traveling you will have to do as a college student. You can take that type of bike out on the road more easily than a mountain bike, and they are at their best when operated at a moderate speed.
According to Consumer Reports, comfort bikes enable cyclists to enjoy a more upright position on the bike when riding, compared to for example a mountain bike. (1)
Those bikes also feature seats with thicker cushioning. You also don’t have to struggle with them as much even if you’re biking uphill. That could turn out to be a very useful feature depending on which school you go to.
Comfort bikes are also preferred before mountain bikes, because they are generally more affordable compared to the other options.
In the absence of a comfort bike, you should still find a standard road bike to be more than suitable for covering your needs as a college student.
The material composition of your bicycle can have a huge impact on its performance.
Bike frames are typically made out of carbon, aluminum, steel or titanium. In an ideal world, all the best bikes for college would be made out of titanium.
The material mentioned above is exceptionally light and remarkably durable. If your bike is made out of titanium, you can count on it lasting for a long time in your possession.
Unfortunately, titanium is not cheap. Most bikes that utilize this material could very well be out of the price range of the average college student.
If titanium bikes are not an option, you can still go and get one made out of aluminum.
Aluminum is also on the lighter side and it features surprising strength. Numerous high quality bikes are fashioned out of aluminum. You can choose one of those and be confident that you’ll be safe and comfortable during your commutes.
Steel is an option as well because of its durability. It typically adds more weight to bikes than aluminum though.
Since you’re not using your bike to conquer any type of difficult terrain, you don’t have to worry about getting special wheels. Any standard-sized 700c wheels should work well for you. If the 700c wheels are too big, go for the smaller 650c wheels.
Flat handlebars are ideal because they enable you to ride in a more natural position. The flat bar will give you an easy and smooth ride on your way to your college campus.
Students attending a college campus or university located uphill will want a bike with an easy gearset. That will ensure that the morning commutes go well.
Don’t forget to think about your safety. Wear a helmet when you ride a bike!
Conclusion – The Best Choice for College Students?
After getting the chance to test out the different items listed as the best bikes for college, I’m going with the 6KU Fixie Urban Track Bike as my personal favorite.
The reason why this bike is a perfect choice compared to the other bikes is that it’s easily affordable, highly functional, and looks great too!
The chipped paint issue can be a bit of a bother, but you can easily live with it given everything else that this 6KU bicycle offers.
Some of the other items in this article may feature marginally better performance or looks, and a few may even be cheaper. Still, none of them can beat the value proposition you’re getting from the 6KU Fixie Urban Track Bike.
TIP: Here you find all the articles I wrote about cycling. Guides, tips, reviews and much more.
- Bike Buying Guide, retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/bikes/buying-guide/index.htm