Best Bikes for College Students

College should be a fun experience. It's a time of studying as well as for making friends and memories for life. Still, going to college and around the campus can be time-consuming and tiring especially if you have a large campus.

Many universities now biking as one of the best ways to get around. It’s inexpensive, eco-friendly and altogether a faster way to move through campus than by foot. Even if you travel from home, a bike will get you places faster because of its abilities to get through traffic. 

We’ve reviewed five of the best bikes for college students, their features, specifications and pros, and cons. Read each review carefully and think about which one of these bikes would work the best for you. One of them can make your college experience easier, so it’s up to you to decide on a particular model. 

6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike

Top Pick

Pure Cycles 1-Speed Urban Coaster Bicycle

Best Value

Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Bicycle, 16-Inch 700C Wheels Small Step-Through

Highest Rated

KENT Retro Men's City Bicycle, 18"

Features:

  • Rear and front fenders
  • Rear rack
  • Shimano Nexus 3-speed drivetrain

This Dutch inspired bike has one of the most stylish frames on the market today. The frame is made of 6061 heat treated aluminum that’s lightweight at only 39 pounds. This leaves you enough room to add mass to it since it won’t feel too heavy.

The Kent Retro Men’s City Bike has a Shimano Nexus 3-speed drivetrain. Kent incorporated it because it’s probably one of the best ones for commuting bikes. The drive train has proved useful in many different bikes since Shimano is a popular name in the industry. Three speeds are just enough for your day-to-day college commuting giving you versatility and smooth shifting.

The bike comes with 700c x 38 wheels and tires. They are stable and suitable for all kinds of weather conditions. Keep in mind that they aren’t ideal for rough terrain as those could damage the tires. Extremely uneven surfaces can even damage the frame of the bike.
The seat features a quick release clamp. It’s easy to use and provides even more comfort as you can adjust the bike to your particular height.

Kent included both front and rear fenders on this one. Fenders help with riding in the rain since they will keep you clean and dry as you drive through puddles. This might not seem as important, but you’ll appreciate it since you’ll probably have to ride in the rain now and then. This one comes with a rear rack for your backpack or bag. It’s a comfortable bike with smooth shifting and reliable frame. 

Pros

  • Both fenders
  • Features a rear rack
  • Stable and easy to handle

Cons

  • No assembly instructions

Pure Cycles Urban Coaster

Key Features:

  • Coaster brakes
  • Customizable frame
  • Swept-back bars

If you’re looking for a hands-free braking system, this is probably the best bike for you. Coaster brakes allow you to stop by pushing the pedals backward. This is one of the best and most reliable braking systems when it comes to commuting bikes.

The Pure Cycles Urban Coaster is constructed in such a way to provide comfort with its geometry. The swept-back bars allow an upright riding position, so you’re comfortable at all times even when riding long-distance. 

the bike comes in several sizes to fit people from 5’2’’ to 6’3’’ tall. Luckily, the frame is lightweight, so it’s easy to handle and work with in all kinds of weather situations. The weight is also perfect for if you’re also using public transportation at some point or if you like to bring your bike upstairs to your flat. 

Still, it’s made of solid steel and is one of the most durable frames on such bikes. It’s flexible enough to soften the vibrations during your rides, so you’re comfortable at all times. The sealed bottom bracket helps with overall comfort as it allows smooth pedaling.

It features the Drome 2 saddle that’s one of the best choices for students that ride across town. It’s comfortable with just the right amount of softness. This one also comes with 700x32c WTB Freedom Wedge tires.

The bike comes partially assembled since it’s easier to ship it that way. Students also like it because it’s a customizable frame. Though it doesn’t come with a rack or fenders, it’s compatible with them so you can add them if need be. 


Pros

  • Multiple Colors
  • Lightweight
  • Comes in more then one size

Cons

  • Accessories sold separately

Schwinn Men's Wayfarer

Key Features:

  • Compatible with accessories
  • Rear and front fenders
  • Adjustable seat

Schwinn is among the most popular names in the industry. It’s dependable and trustworthy as it has been around for ages. Their Wayfarer bike is one of the best models for college because it’s easy to use and has quality features.

The overall design doesn’t really stand out as it looks like most men’s bikes. However, it compatible with plenty of attachments so you can dress it up with accessories of your choice. 

The bike frame is retro and made of steel. It keeps you in such position that you’re always comfortable and relaxed to ride for hours at the time. It also features 700c tires that make this one great for uphill riding. These are secure and have thin rims, so there’s enough traction for all kinds of roads. If you choose to upgrade it with a rack, you can put quite some weight on it as the frame is durable and sturdy. 

It weighs about 42 pounds which is somewhat more than what most similar bikes weight. This is mostly because of the sturdy frame. Still, it’s easy to use and handle in traffic. You probably won’t feel the extra weight unless you plan on carrying it a lot. 

Another thing worth mentioning is its Shimano 7-speed rear derailleur. Combined with SRAM shifters, the derailleur provides smooth performance and easy shifting even when you’re riding uphill. 

The alloy brakes are ideal for commuting bikes thanks to their reliability and effectiveness. These will always stop, even when it’s raining. The rear and front fenders will protect you from getting dirty and wet on your way to school or home. However, it’s not recommended you ride in snow due to how slippery the roads get.

Its handles are swept-back, and the seat is adjustable so you can customize the bike to your preference. It comes in only one size best for people up to 6’2’’. 

Pros

  • Durable
  • It has both fenders 
  • Comes with instructions
  • Features stable tires

Cons

  • No headlights

Schwinn Sanctuary Cruiser Bicycle

Key Features:

  • Fenders
  • Padded and adjustable saddle
  • 7-speed gear

If you want something that’s going to attract attention, the Schwinn Sanctuary Cruiser Bike is probably the best choice. The unique frame and modern design are the first things everybody will notice. Its fenders are also vintage-looking which just enhances the overall style. It comes in only one color combination which might be a setback if you care about the appearance as much.

This is a 7-speed bike which is probably what makes it stand out the most. Most commuting bikes people use for college or work are usually single or 3-speed bikes, so the difference is quite noticeable. For this reason, this one is a bit better when it comes to rough terrain and uphill streets as it allows more versatility and options.

It features a steel frame and fork, so it’s durable and comfortable to ride for hours. The material makes it heavy, but it’s nothing too much, and you’ll still be able to carry the bike if need be.

The 26” lightweight allow rims along with the wide tires make the bike ideal for bumpy roads a bit rougher surfaces. More so, it features two springs under the saddle which absorb the vibrations.

The shifting, however, isn’t smooth at all times. The Shimano derailleur and SRAM grip shift require somewhat more maintenance than what you’ll have with another, simpler bike. But all of its other pros are far more significant, so the setback isn’t as big of a deal.

Both bike wheels have secure rim brakes to help you stop the bike in a second. Still, the brakes make the frame look a little cluttered, but are probably the safest type on the market. 

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • 7-speed gear
  • Secure braking system

Cons

  • Doesn't come with lights

6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Fixie

Key Features:

  • Adjustable seat
  • Kenda tires
  • Lightweight frame

If you’re not used to riding a bike, or you’ve never done it before, 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Fixie might be the best for you. The way it performs makes it ideal for beginners though it’s equally as suitable for experienced commuters.

This is a quite responsive bike that’s easy to handle and control at all times. The angle of the steep head tube allows the responsiveness which might be too much for experienced riders but it’s nothing you won’t be able to get used to.

It’s a well-balanced bike that features convenient and comfortable pedals. Each is easy to mount and dismount which is great in case you want to pack the bike in your car. 

the bike comes in several bright colors as well as a basic black so you can choose depending on your favorite. The 28c tires have a great grip and allow you to ride in all kinds of roads. These are among the best to absorb vibrations, so all your rides are comfortable especially if you don’t live as near the campus.

Fixie features 6061 aluminum frame and smooth welds, so the entire construction looks sleek and put together. It’s lightweight enough for you to carry it around if you also use public transportation. Another reason why students opt for Fixie is the 32H F/R flip-flop hub that brings versatility for different riders. 

The 1 1/8-inch alloy fork and 30mm deep V double wall alloy wheels give remarkable stability and control, so the bike handles rough terrain and slippery tracks with ease. It also features 700x25c Kenda tires.

It’s a single-speed and comes partially assembled. There are many sizes to choose from, and the seat is adjustable so you can customize the height a bit to make the experience more comfortable. 

Pros

  • Stable wheels and tires
  • Lightweight
  • Comes in multiple sizes and colors

Cons

  • The seat might be uncomfortable to some 

Buyer’s Guide: What to look for in the Best Bikes for College Campus

You have to think carefully about what you’re buying since there are many bike models on the market. Essentially, every bike can get you from one place to another, but not all will be comfortable for every day commuting to college.
Here’s what you should pay attention to:

Bike Frame

You want a durable frame that’s lightweight at the same time. Since you’ll probably ride every day, it’s important that the frame keeps you in an upright position. Look for sturdy materials and a paint job that won’t chip quickly.

Ease of use

Most bike models come partially assembled, so it’s important it’s easy to put together. Look for a bicycle that has accessories, fenders, a rack, and adjustable seat. These might not be essential but will undoubtedly make each ride much easier. 

 Bike Comfort

College students need comfort above all. If you’re riding your bike long distance and every day, it’s crucial that you’re comfortable. Look for the bike that you’ll ride in an upright position. It’s also recommended you pay particular attention to the saddle and pick the one that’s padded.

Conclusion

When it comes to the best college bikes, there are several things you should pay attention to. The bikes we’ve reviewed are the most popular and often chosen by students all over the world. These are easy to handle, versatile, and have reliable and secure braking systems.
It’s up to you to select which one of five is the best for your needs and preference. Make sure to double-check all reviews and compare them to what you’re looking for. Consider the critical factors from our buyer’s guide and enjoy the ride to college every day. 

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