Best City Bike Under $300 (Year 2018)
While it’s already done in many parts of the world and has been done for a long time, bike commutes are slowly growing in popularity in the developed world, where higher costs of living and a greater ecological conscience are pushing people towards looking for affordable and clean ways to move around.
In this article, we’ll discuss what makes bike commutes so popular and why you should try them, as well as what can you do to make your commute more comfortable.
We’ll also check out different city bikes under $300 that you can use to move around.
Let’s get started!
Why Bike to Work?
It’s a no brainer, using your car to work might seem like the easiest, and definitely the most comfortable, option out there so why would you even consider biking to work?
Well, it’s simple:
Purchasing a city bike is just plain easier.
Let’s face it, bicycles will always be cheaper than even the cheapest of cars. You don’t need a loan or a permit. You can just buy a bike and hit the road.
Using a city bike is cheaper.
This is a no brainer; Bicycles don’t run on gas, so you won’t have to pay for that and maintenance is way cheaper as well, not to mention the amount of money you’ll save in parking tickets, oil changes, wiper fluid, etc, etc, etc.
Sure, there are some things you’ll have to invest on to make your bike safer / more comfortable to ride on, but come on, the costs can’t even begin to compare.
Yes, your bike will need maintenance from time to time and, yes, you’ll probably have to change some parts here and then but a) Those are still cheaper than car parts and b) You can do it yourself from the comfort of your own home.
Using a city bike is faster.
Alright, so this one is a little bit trickier.
If you live in the suburbs or a country such as Texas, where the roads just go on and on, then bikes aren’t going to do you any favors when it comes to speed and comfort.
But if you live in a city?
A city with a well-maintained bike lane can make all the difference and can get you zipping past heavy traffic without any issue; The same applies to cities without a dedicated bike lane, although we suggest more caution when biking outside the bike lane.
Not only that, but you won’t have to fight over parking spaces or worry about going over the time limit.
Nope, just bike to where you need to be, chain it up and go do your thing.
City bikes are compact.
We’ve already mentioned the fact that bikes will help you avoid parking lots altogether, but it will also save you a lot of headaches when it comes to finding a parking space outside your apartment.
No need to watch your space like a hawk or have someone else do it for you. Just chain your bike outside or, better yet, take it with you inside your home for safe keeping.
And if you do have a parking space of your own?
Great, now you have plenty of room for bicycles.
City bikes are clean.
With global warming being what it is, every little we can do to reduce our ecological footprint helps and a fantastic way of helping is by using bicycles instead of cars.
This goes way beyond simple carbon emissions. It starts from the moment the bike is built and continues through their entire useful life:
- Bicycles are much smaller and take less materials to buy. This means less resources used during the construction process.
- Bikes have a lot less impact on the streets than cars, which means that pavement and bridges need to be repaired a lot less frequently. This also means less resources used, which helps our environment.
- Bicycles produce zero pollution, as they use no fuel to work and they work without antifreeze, oil or any other harmful toxics.
Simply put, save from walking, you won’t find a cleaner transportation mode.
Bicycles are good for you.
Perhaps the greatest advantages bicycles have over cars is the fact that bicycles are good for you, health-wise.
Biking is a form of exercise all by itself and exercise has been shown to improving lives, as it reduces the risks for heart disease, improving overall mental health and even reducing your chances of getting cancer.
And if your health isn’t enough motivation and you’re looking for a way to control your weight, biking for 20 minutes can help you burn anything from 90-200 calories (depending on factors such as gender, weight, height, and more) which coupled with a good eating habits and adequate portion sizes can go a long way towards a healthy weight.
How to Make your Commute Easier
If you’re considering commuting to work on your city bicycle, the following tips might make things easier, and safer, for you:
- Always have commuting specific clothes: This will help you not only keep your workplace clothes clean but will also make your commute more comfortable, as you can protect from the cold and rain much better.
- Try the route first: Whether you’re thinking about commuting on your bicycle for the very first time or you’re simply thinking about trying out a new route, always try it during a Sunday or Saturday to see if you can handle it and if it’s safe.
- Have a backup plan: No mode of transportation is perfect and sometimes things will happen that will make biking to work impossible. Have a backup plan for these situations, such as a second bike, a subway pass, a friendly co-worker or even your own car.
- Leave with time: Leaving your home with plenty of extra time so you can get to your workplace sooner is always a good idea, but it’s even more important when it comes to using your bicycle, as this will allow you to bike at your own rhythm and taking small breaks if you need them.
- Invest in the right equipment: This means messenger bags, fenders, helmets, first aid kits, extra tires, etc. You want to be prepared for every eventuality, so don’t be afraid to upgrade your bike whenever you feel like it needs it.
- Be nice: It’s no lie that there’s a certain animosity between car drivers and bicycle commuters so try to be as nice as possible. This means respecting traffic lights, not cutting in and overall being the kind of bike rider you wish others were.
Now that you know the advantages bike commuting has over car commuting and what to do in order to make your commute comfortable and safe, you may be thinking about trying it out yourself.
If that’s the case, let us help you choose the right city bike under $300 for you.
Best City Bike Under $300 Reviews
1. Retrospec Fixie Style Siddhartha Single Speed Urban Coaster Brake Bike Review
With a simple, yet charming style, this Siddhartha bike is the kind of city bike you think of when picturing an easy ride through your city park during the weekend.
Having a single speed isn’t necessarily impressive, but it translates into a sturdy bicycle that needs very little maintenance and can be used downhill with very little issue, though the same can’t be said for going uphill, if only for the fact that the single speed might make things a bit harder for you.
Weighing close to 25 lbs, it’s not the lightest city bike out there, since it has a steel frame, but it’s built quite solidly and thanks to its straightforward build, you’ll be able to ride it while sitting straight, which makes it a great option for those worried about making sure the cars see them.
2. Vilano Performance 700C-21 Speed Shimano Hybrid Flat Bar Commuter Road Bike Review
A city bike that clearly cares more about function than form, this amazing bike comes with a solidly built aluminum frame that makes it remarkably easy to carry, 21 speeds and a compact build, the Vilano offers a lot of value at a pretty economic price.
Quality wise, this bicycle is what you’d expect from the kind of bike you can get for less than $300, which means reliable but short lived. A city bike with good components and built with good materials that, nevertheless, you need to assemble yourself and sometimes even align on your own.
A word about the last point. While you may need to replace your Vilano at some point, make sure to keep all the functioning parts so you can repair your new one and save some money.
3. Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Bike Review
Another attractive looking bicycle that’s sure to turn heads as you pass by, the Schwinn offer’ multiple speeds and beautiful accessories, all at a very affordable price.
While this is a hybrid bike, the limited number of speeds and build makes it better suited for the road and the city rather than anything outside of it, but it does what it does well, giving you a smooth and comfortable ride.
The frame is quite solid and lightweight and the bike itself comes with two fenders, as well as the ability to attach accessories. That said, the seat is rather uncomfortable, so chances are you’re going to have to change it sooner than later but for the price? It’s well worth it!
4. Critical Cycles Beaumont-7 Seven Speed Urban City Commuter Review
With a bit of a hipster look to it, this beautiful city bike is perfect for those looking for an affordable and lightweight bicycle they can use to get around the city with little to no problem.
Made with a sturdy steel frame that’s a callback to retro bicycles, it comes with faux leather handles and seat that are comfortable to use. There’s a back saddle included, though it can’t hold much weight there so it’s better saved for lightweight attachments.
This is a rather short bike so it’s important to consider that as it can be too short for some people. In fact, this bike has been designed with women in mind, so it works best for the shorter crowd.
That said, there is a male version available, so you can take advantage of this beautiful city bike for less than $300.
5. Vilano Aluminum Commuter Bike Shimano 21 Speed Review
As lightweight as they come, this city bicycle offers 21 different speeds and a comfortable frame that will allow you to zoom by the city regardless of the terrain you’re in.
This is a rather large bike, so it might not be perfect for the shorter crowd, but for those that can use this bike comfortably it’s a very reliable choice, thanks not only to its solid built but also due to its affordability.
While the bicycle works well on its own and can be used alone without any issue, it might require some upgrades and adjustments with time, as you’ll find what this bike brings to the table is rather simple, which is unsurprising for its price.
As a whole, this bike offers great quality and reliability but little else, so it’s safe to say they focused on the function rather than the form, which is an OK thing to do, but it’s worth to keep in mind if you’re looking for an eye-catching ride.