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Best Commuter Bike Under $1000

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The ideal commuter bike is usually one that’s affordable and doesn’t attract thieves.

So, the best commuter bike under 1000 USD might be the best commuter bike, period!

In this article, we’ll review a bunch of commuter bikes that cost less than 1000 dollars, including the Cannondale Quick CX 3 Bike for its stunning frame quality and smooth ride.

We’ll also be telling you what to look for in a commuter bike so you can make your own informed buying decisions! You could even go secondhand if money is tight.

Top Picks

Top 17 Best Commuter Bikes Under $1000

Below, you’ll find a bumper selection of the best commuter bikes $1000 can buy.

1. Cannondale Quick CX 3 Bike (best overall)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): Shimano Tourney (2 x 8 speed)
  • Weight: 31.5 lbs.

For its supreme comfort and superb butted SmartForm C3 alloy frame, we choose the Cannondale Quick CX 3 Bike as our best overall pick. This lightweight bike has a beautiful clean design and delivers smooth ride quality.

The plush ride comes from several areas, including the butting in the frame that provides a balance of strength and compliance. SAVE micro-suspension technology allows the frame to flex, and there’s a suspension fork with 63mm of travel.

You can ride this bike on smooth roads or light trails. The 16 gears of the Cannondale Quick CX 3 include some low ratios for easy climbing.

A fun feature is the integrated wheel sensor that sends ride data to a Cannondale app. If there’s a downside from a commuting perspective, it’s the lack of fenders or a rack, but there are mounts for those if you need them.

What We Like

  • Frame – beautifully finished frame.
  • Comfort – several sources of ride comfort.
  • Sensor – data lovers can track speed and distance.

What We Don’t Like

  • Bare – no fenders or rack.

2. Dahon Mariner 8 Folding Bike (best folding)

CHECK PRICE AT DAHON

For its robust construction quality and innovative design, the Dahon Mariner 8 Folding Bike wins our best sub-$1000 folding category. This bike uses Dahon’s flat-edged Sonus tubing to boost the frame’s strength and torsional rigidity.

The Mariner 8 includes patented ViseGrip and Fusion technologies. The former relates to  Dahon’s easy-to-use latching mechanism. Fusion technology fuses the frame, fork and handlebar post into a strong unit.

A steel steerer and fork bring compliance to the bike and help create a smooth ride. This is a mid-priced folding bike, so there are cheaper options out there if you’re on a budget.

What We Like

  • Strong – strong frame with Sonus tubing.
  • Tech – innovative ViseGrip and Fusion technologies.
  • Comfort – steel fork for compliance.

What We Don’t Like

  • Cost – excellent quality, but there are cheaper options.

3. Ancheer 26” 250W E-MTB (best electric bike)

CHECK PRICE AT ANCHEER

  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): Shimano (3 x 7 speed)
  • Weight: 44 lbs (approx.)

For its great-value spec and appealing price, the Ancheer 26” 250W E-MTB is our best commuter e-bike below $1000. This is a bike that keeps its weight under control with an aluminum frame, though it has steel forks for a more comfortable ride.

There are 21 Shimano gears to help you tackle any terrain on your commute, as well as three pedal assist levels to offload some of the strain. In “e-bike” mode, you ride without pedaling on the throttle. Max speed is 15 mph.

If there’s a downside with this model, it’s the slightly low capacity of the 36V 8A battery, which affects range. You can still get up to 30 miles (approximate) of pedal assist from it.

Stopping power comes from disc brakes, and you get some handy extras like an LED headlamp and horn.

What We Like

  • Price – great value.
  • Gears – choice of 21 gears for varied terrain.
  • Brakes – disc brakes for reliable all-weather performance.

What We Don’t Like

  • Battery – slightly low capacity (okay for typical commutes).

4. Marin Bolinas Ridge 1 27.5” 2022 Mountain Bike (best MTB)

CHECK PRICE AT JENSON USA

  • Frame Material: 6061 Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): Shimano Tourney (3 x 7 speed)
  • Weight: 30 lbs (approx.)

A bike you can confidently take onto trails during a commute is the Marin Bolinas Ridge 1 27.5” 2022 Mountain Bike. This attractive bike is a hardtail with 100mm of travel in its SR Suntour XCE suspension fork. It gets our vote as an off-road commuter.

As with most MTBs, the gearing errs towards the low side, so you can climb steep hills with minimum resistance. The Marin Bolinas Ridge 1 has 42/34/24t chainrings at the front and 11-34t rear cassette.

You also get mechanical disc brakes, strong double-wall alloy wheels, and 2.25” wide tires. The knobby tires are a mild downside if you plan on road commutes, so you might want to swap them for faster slicks in that instance. You may want fenders, too.

What We Like

  • Gears – versatile gear range.
  • Brakes – disc brakes for reliability.
  • Comfort – suspension fork and wide tires deliver a smooth ride.

What We Don’t Like

  • Fenders – you’ll need fenders if you commute in all weathers.

Read more: MTB commuting

5. Co-op Cycles CTY 1.1 Bike (best hybrid)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

  • Frame Material: 6061 Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): Mixed Shimano (3 x 8 speed)
  • Weight: 27.8 lbs

An irresistible pick as the best hybrid is the Co-op Cycles CTY 1.1 Bike. It’s affordable, lightweight and has comfy 700c x 40mm tires to help iron out bumps in the road. The 24-speed gear range is wide, too, so you needn’t be afeared of hills.

A potential downside of this bike is the absence of fenders or a rack. You might need either or both for commuting.

Tektro M300 mechanical disc brakes bring the CTY 1.1 Bike to a confident halt, even in wet weather. Other features include a riser handlebar for extra comfort (more upright position), a Selle Royal saddle, Wellgo platform pedals and water-bottle mounts.

What We Like

  • Value – good specifications for the money.
  • Gears – versatile gear range.
  • Components – Shimano parts, including the crankset.

What We Don’t Like

  • Lack of extras – no fenders or rack.

6. Tommaso Imola Road Bike (best road bike)

CHECK PRICE AT TOMMASO

  • Frame Material: 6061 Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): Shimano Claris R2000 (3 x 8 speed)
  • Weight: 23 lbs (approx.)

The Tommaso Imola gets our vote as best road bike largely because of its componentry. With many affordable bikes, you’ll get a mixture of branded and unbranded parts, but the Imola is kitted out with a complete Shimano Claris groupset.

This is a respectably lightweight bike for the money, too, due to its aluminum frame. A steel fork adds weight but makes up for that with its vibration-dampening qualities.

Like most bikes at this price, you can improve performance by investing in better tires. Budget tires are invariably mediocre in puncture resistance and rolling resistance (i.e., speed), so there’s an instant upgrade opportunity.

Owing to its ultra-compact handlebar, riders can change hand positions with ease on the Imola without having to stretch.

What We Like

  • Groupset – complete Shimano Claris groupset.
  • Lightweight – respectably lightweight for a sub-$1000 bike.
  • Handlebar – compact bar makes it easy to change hand positions.

What We Don’t Like

  • Tires – upgrade tires to enhance performance.

Read more: Commuting with road bikes

7. Talon 2 Lightweight Hardtail Mountain Bike (best value)

CHECK PRICE AT GIANT

  • Frame Material: ALUXX-Grade 6061 Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): Mixed (9 speed)
  • Weight: 30 lbs (approx.)

We’re choosing the Talon 2 Lightweight Hardtail Mountain Bike as our best-value bike mainly for the quality of its frame.

The ALUXX aluminum frame is made in-house by Giant using its own special forming and welding techniques. The net result is a lightweight single-butted frame with excellent strength-to-weight properties and responsive ride quality.

Complementing the frame is the drivetrain with a 30t or 32t chainring (depending on wheel size) and an ultra-wide 11-42t rear cassette. You won’t have any problem ascending hills on your commute, whether on or off the road.

This hardtail MTB has a front suspension fork with lockout. You can use lockout to make the bike more efficient on smooth surfaces where you don’t need any suspension. The suspension isn’t the springiest, so you might not need this.

One downside of this bike is the low-end pedals, which are easily replaced.

What We Like

  • Frame – lightweight ALUXX frame is responsive and strong.
  • Gears – big gear range on a 1X drivetrain.
  • Lockout – suspension lockout option for road commutes.

What We Don’t Like

  • Pedals – not the best quality.

Read more: Giant commuter bikes reviewed

8. Schwinn Wayfarer 700c Hybrid Bicycle (best budget)

CHECK PRICE AT SCHWINN

  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Groupset(s): Shimano Tourney (7 speed)
  • Weight: 44 lbs

A stylish bike equipped with useful commuting components is the Schwinn Wayfarer 700c Hybrid Bicycle. And you needn’t remortgage the house to buy it. So, where is the money saved?

The steel frame of the Wayfarer makes the bike heavy but it also delivers a comfortable ride. You get 7 Shimano gears to help with undulating terrain.

Definite plus points are the fenders, chain guard and rear rack that make this an excellent commuting machine. A weak point is the single-wall wheel rims, which aren’t as strong as double-wall, so the wheels might go out of true more readily.

This is a comfortable bike to ride with a swept-back handlebar for a natural wrist position and upright posture. It also sports traditional good looks!

What We Like

  • Handlebar – swept-back handlebar for a comfortable back and wrists.
  • Gears – sufficiently geared for typical commutes.
  • Equipment – includes a rack, fenders and a chain guard.

What We Don’t Like

  • Wheels – potentially weak single-wall wheels.

9. Trek Marlin 6 XC Mountain Bike

CHECK PRICE AT TREK

A cross-country mountain bike that’s eminently suitable for commutes is the Trek Marlin 6 XC Mountain Bike. This bike sports one of Trek’s Alpha Aluminum frames, which are notable for their compliance—a comfortable ride!

One notable feature of this bike is its 1 x 10-speed drivetrain, which eliminates problems with the chain falling off during front gear changes.

Other attributes of the Marlin 6 include rack and kickstand mounts, a suspension fork with 100mm of travel and lockout, internal cable routing, and Blendr stem technology for attaching accessories to the front of the bike.

A downside of this bike is the handlebar grips, which tend to twist.

What We Like

  • Frame – Trek Alpha Aluminum frame designed for compliance & comfort.
  • 1X drivetrain – fewer mechanical problems with a single front chainring.
  • Clean – internal cable routing enhances looks.

What We Don’t Like

  • Grips – handlebar grips tend to twist.

10. Hiland Clifford HIR020 700C Hybrid Bike

CHECK PRICE AT HILAND

  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): Shimano (3 x 8 speed)
  • Weight: 32 lbs

Commuters on a budget could do a lot worse than the Hiland Clifford HIR020 700C Hybrid Bike, which offers some nice spec for its price. For a start, it has a respectably lightweight aluminum frame and mechanical disc brakes to bring you to a safe stop.

Furnished with a 12-32t Shimano cassette at the rear and triple Prowheel 24/34/42t chainrings upfront, the Hiland Clifford offers a wide choice of gears for all terrains. Separate Shimano gear shifters for front and back reside on the handlebar.

Some riders might prefer a gear range with bigger top gears. The gears on this bike err towards easy pedaling and climbing on uneven surfaces.

The bike also includes mounts for a rack, fenders and a kickstand, so you can accessorize it as you please!

What We Like

  • Price – ideal modest bike cost for commutes.
  • Weight – reasonably lightweight.
  • Climbing – very low gears for climbing.
  • Mounts – potential to add fenders, racks, a kickstand, or a water bottle.

What We Don’t Like

  • Top gears – strong riders might prefer bigger top gears.

11. Sixthreezero Around The Block Women’s Cruiser Bike

CHECK PRICE AT SIXTHREEZERO

  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Groupset(s): Shimano Tourney (1 x 7 speed)
  • Weight: 33 lbs

If you fancy a casual ride into work, the Sixthreezero Around The Block Women’s Cruiser Bike may be the answer! This is a bike that promotes an upright riding position for relaxed, unhurried cycling.

The Around The Block bike, which also comes in a men’s version, is all about comfort. It has a compliant steel frame and wildly swept-back handlebars that take the strain off of your hands and back. The wide 2” tires add to the plush ride quality.

You get some useful features with this bike, too, like the rear rack and a chainguard. There are no fenders, so that’s a downside, but this bike is mainly meant for sunny days at the beach! A cruiser to commute on.

What We Like

  • Comfort – bike geometry and handlebar add to rider comfort.
  • Gears – Shimano 7-speed gears help you over hills.
  • Equipment – rear rack and chainguard are handy for commuting.

What We Don’t Like

  • No fenders – this may be for fair-weather commutes.

Read more: Best commuter bikes for women

12. Brooklyn Bicycle Co. Franklin 3-Speed City Bike

CHECK PRICE AT BROOKLYN BICYCLE CO.

  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Groupset(s): Shimano Nexus (3-speed hub)
  • Weight: 33-34 lbs.

The traditionally designed Franklin 3-Speed City Bike from the Brooklyn Bicycle Company is ideal for flat urban commutes. Vegans cyclists will appreciate the Selle Royal faux leather saddle and handlebar grips.

Thanks to its 3-speed Shimano Nexus hub gears, the Franklin is lower maintenance than most bikes. Mechanical problems are less likely. Gear changes are reliable, too, though this isn’t a bike for steep climbs.

This sturdy steel bike has strong wheels with double-wall rims. These are each laced with 32 stainless-steel 14G (2mm) spokes and fitted with 1 3/8” tires.

Fenders, a rear reflector and a chainguard all help to make this a great commuting bike.

What We Like

  • Gears – practical 3-speed internal hub gears for city riding.
  • Maintenance – fewer sprockets and chainrings means less maintenance.
  • Wheels – strong 32H double-wall wheels.
  • Extras – fenders, reflector, chainguard included.

What We Don’t Like

  • Avoid hills – ideal for flat or mildly undulating commutes.

13. Hiland Sheparo HIU022 700C Hybrid Bike

CHECK PRICE AT HILAND

  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): Shimano Altus (3 x 8 speed)
  • Weight: 37 lbs (approx.)

Another strong budget option for commuters is the Hiland Sheparo HIU022 700C Hybrid Bike. This bike offers a comfortable ride with its suspension fork. The fork has lockout, so you can stop the suspension when you need more pedaling efficiency on flat roads.

Adding further to ride comfort are the 700c x 40mm wheels. You can improve the bike easily by upgrading contact points like tires, handlebar grips and the saddle (though you may find the saddle comfy enough).

This bike offers plenty of gear options with its 3 x 8 speed Shimano gears, which will help you easily tackle any road or surface you wish to commute on. Mechanical disc brakes help you to quickly stop the bike, even in wet weather.

The Hiland Sheparo has mounts in the frame for a water bottle, fenders, or a rack.

What We Like

  • Comfort – suspension fork with lockout.
  • Gears – versatile 3 x 8-speed gear range.
  • Brakes – efficient mechanical disc brakes.

What We Don’t Like

  • Upgrades – switch budget tires for improved performance.

14. Sixthreezero ExploreyourRange Hybrid Bike

CHECK PRICE AT SIXTHREEZERO

  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): Shimano Altus (1 x 7 speed)
  • Weight: 33 lbs (approx.)

Ideal for commutes and “urban adventures” is the stylish Sixthreezero ExploreyourRange Hybrid Bike. Why’s it stylish? Just look at the traditional design and swept-back handlebar that belong in a 1950s movie. Less so the derailleur gears.

If you want a more traditional-looking bike, you can ditch the derailleur and opt for the 3-gear model with internal hub gears. These also happen to be more low maintenance, though they’re a little less versatile in their range.

What else? This bike offers a relaxing ride with an upright posture and a natural wrist position. The sweep in the handlebar takes any strain off your wrists.

The absence of fenders is one regrettable downside, but there’s not much else. You do get a handy bike rack for carrying shopping or work gear.

What We Like

  • Tradition – traditional good looks, except for the racy derailleur gears.
  • Versatile – choice of 7 gears for up-and-down riding.
  • Rack – ideal for carrying stuff on commutes.

What We Don’t Like

  • Absent – fenders would’ve been nice.

15. State Bicycle Co. The Elliston Deluxe Single-Speed City Bike

CHECK PRICE AT STATE BICYCLE CO.

  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Groupset(s): Single speed

Since this bike has numerous customization options at the point of purchase, it’s hard to specify a weight. But you can be sure the steel State Bicycle Co. The Elliston Deluxe City Bike isn’t unduly heavy with the absence of any gears or conventional brakes.

This is a stylish single-speed commuter that comes decked out with fenders, racks and a chainguard. A particularly wide choice of alternative saddles is offered as an option, including Brooks or Selle Italia models for traditionalists.

The mustache handlebar contributes to a comfy upright riding position. And yet this bike looks stealthy and potentially fast. Coaster brakes bring you to a halt, which involves pushing backward on the pedals. This is a bike predominantly for flat urban riding.

One downside of the bike is that the warranty is voided if you have the temerity to assemble it yourself. That seems a tad harsh.

What We Like

  • Ready – includes useful commuting components.
  • Comfortable – promotes an upright posture for relaxed riding.
  • Customize – various customization choices when buying.

What We Don’t Like

  • Warranty – pay a pro mechanic to assemble the bike or void the warranty.

16. Retrospec Kinney 7-Speed City Bike

CHECK PRICE AT RETROSPEC

  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Groupset(s): Shimano Tourney (1 x 7 speed)

Designed for metropolitan bike rides, the Retrospec Kinney 7-Speed City Bike makes an ideal commuting bike. It’s affordable, replaceable and efficient. It’s also comfy to ride with its compliant steel frame and swept-back handlebars.

While the 7 Shimano gears of the Kinney City Bike won’t see you over any alpine passes, they’re more than enough for a few urban inclines. There’s a 44t chainring at the front and a 14-34t freewheel at the rear.

The wheels on this bike are sturdy, too, with double-wall rims and 32 spokes apiece to help them hold their shape. Upgrading the Retrospec tires is probably a good idea for extra puncture protection and/or speed. But you can give them a try!

There are no handy commuting extras on this bike, but there are eyelets for fenders and a rack. Thirsty cyclists benefit from two sets of water-bottle mounts.

What We Like

  • Comfort – steel frame and swept-back handlebar provide comfort.
  • Gears – a useful gear range for city riding.
  • Wheels – sturdy double-wall 32H wheel rims.

What We Don’t Like

  • Lack of extras – no fenders or rack.

17. Pure Cycles Pure Fix Original Series Single-Speed Urban Bike

CHECK PRICE AT PURE CYCLES

  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Groupset(s): Single speed
  • Weight: 21 to 26 lbs (XS to XXL)

Despite its steel frame, the Pure Fix Original Series Single-Speed Urban Bike is a lightweight machine. That’s mostly because it’s a single-speed bike, so there are no derailleurs or hub gears to weigh the bike down.

This bike has a flip-flop hub, which means it can be ridden as a freewheel that allows coasting, or a “fixie’ that doesn’t. Just flip the rear wheel around to choose your riding mode.

You’ll find the 700c x 40mm wheels are impressive on this bike, too. They are double-walled for lightness and strength, and they’re laced with 32 spokes apiece. Also noteworthy are the durable WTB Thick Slick tires.

Is there a downside? The lack of any extras, which is common at this price. There are mounts for fenders, racks and twin water bottles. Do you want to spoil the minimalism?

What We Like

  • Lightweight – lightweight bike despite a steel frame.
  • Flip-flop – rideable as a fixed gear or freewheel single-speed bike.
  • Wheels – strong 32H wheels with good tires fitted (durable rather than fast).

What We Don’t Like

  • Absent extras – no fenders or rack, though there is provision for both.

What Features To Look Out For When Picking A Budget Commuter Bike

There are always specific things to look out for on a budget commuter bike.

Frame Materials

At under $1000, the frame is going to be made from aluminum or steel. There aren’t many carbon bikes that can be bought for a 3-figure sum.

We can make generalizations about steel vs aluminum frames.

Aluminum frames are less comfortable than steel frames. This is not necessarily true, but aluminum frames are liable to be made thicker for rigidity, partly because steel is an inherently stronger and more durable material. It’s also mendable.

Frame Technologies

Some bike manufacturers use innovative tech to make their aluminum frames and others more comfortable. For example, Cannondale’s SAVE micro-suspension technology is used in numerous bikes.

Video: Cannondale SAVE micro-suspension technology

Fork Materials

Steel forks are common on cheap aluminum bikes for their vibration-dampening qualities. On more expensive aluminum frames, you might find carbon forks for the same reason, except carbon forks don’t make the bike heavier.

Steel Comfort & Weight

Steel bikes do tend to be comfortable to ride, but an aluminum bike needn’t be uncomfortable. Quite the reverse is possible, depending on the design.

Steel frames are normally heavier than aluminum ones by varying degrees.

Bikes can be made from chromoly steel or high-tensile steel (aka hi-tensile, hi-ten or mild carbon steel). The former tends to be more expensive because the material is stronger, thus the tubing can be thinner, lighter and more compliant.

You’re more likely to encounter high-tensile steel in bikes under $1000. With butted tubes (steel or aluminum), thicknesses in the tube vary for optimum compliance and strength in key areas.

Gears & Gear Ranges

A cheaper bike below $1000 needn’t limit your gear range. It’s extremely common for bikes in this price bracket to have lower-tier Shimano Tourney or Altus cassettes at the rear with 7 or 8 sprockets (i.e., 7 or 8 speeds).

At the front, triple chainrings are common on road bikes, hybrid bikes and MTBs, which compensate for the fewer gears at the rear to allow 21 or 24 gears overall. Naturally, there’s some duplication in these gear ranges.

Bikes like cruisers or city bikes normally have a single chainring at the front and a 7-speed (or 8-speed) derailleur at the rear. Or they might have 3 internal hub gears, which are heavier, less versatile, but also lower maintenance.

Hybrid bikes and MTBs err towards a low gear range so they can potentially ride uphill on rough surfaces. A road bike will typically give you some bigger gears for fast riding on smooth, flat surfaces. So, the gearing is based on the bike’s intended terrain.

Brakes Below $1000

Disc brakes are ubiquitous on bikes now, even at fairly low prices. They’ll usually be mechanical disc brakes at the sub-$1000 point, but these still allow reliable stopping in wet conditions. That and their greater power are the main selling points of disc brakes.

Bicycle Disc Brake Rotor And CaliperPin

On short, flat commutes, disc brakes might be considered a luxury. It’s not like rim brakes completely fail in the wet, though they can do on carbon wheels sometimes. On typical commuter’s alloy wheels—they’re fine. Rim brakes are lighter, too.

Thus, all types of brakes have their strengths and weaknesses. V-brakes are a powerful form of rim brake often found on MTBs and other bikes.

Read more: Are disc brakes for commuting essential?

Commuting Extras

Features that are sporadic among bikes below $1000 are fenders and racks, both of which are useful for keen commuters. Fenders are probably more of a necessity if you must choose between the two.

If bikes don’t have these items, check to see if they include eyelets in their frames for adding them later.

Read more: Mount a bike rack without frame eyelets

Wrapping Up

To briefly revisit our reviews, the Cannondale Quick CX 3 Bike is the perfect example of a comfortable bike with an aluminum frame. It’s this SmartForm C3 alloy frame and smooth ride quality that earned it the top spot.

Our second-placed Dahon Mariner 8 Folding Bike is another bike with an innovative design. Dahon’s proprietary Fusion technology gives the bike an overall rigidity that makes it seem like a regular high-performance bike.

Next, the Ancheer 26” 250W E-MTB was picked for its comfortable ride and versatile gear range. This bike is easily up to the task of your daily commute.

All that remains now is for you to choose your ideal commuter bike under $1000!

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Glenn H
Glenn H
When I’m not contributing articles to Bike Push, I can often be found cycling on the rural roads around me. If I can help you benefit from bicycling in some small way, I’ll consider it a win.

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