Best Bikes for College Students

Table of Contents

I wish I’d spent more time on a bike at college, so I’m envious of college students on the hunt for one now.

There’s no doubt that cycling to your campus is a great option. It’s certainly the pocket-friendly option, not to mention being eco-friendly as well!

To help you out, I’ve researched the best bikes for college students below to help you choose.

Here are my top best bikes for college students:

Bikes for College Students: Buyers’ Guide

Before you browse the detailed reviews, I recommend you go through this section to help filter which bike is best for you.

Types

The first thing to decide on is the type of bike, each with different styles and features.

Mountain Bikes

Mountain bikes are ideal for rough terrain. While many of you won’t be going offroad for your journey to college, they can double-up as a commuter and for hitting the trails at the weekends.

They have larger wheels than road bikes with flat handlebars and lots of gears for efficient riding.

Road Bikes

You can identify a road bike based on the standard skinny tires, along with the “drop” down-turned handlebars.

The thin yet large tires help you easily glide across the road while putting in a minimum amount of effort. 

Road bikes offer great levels of speed and efficiency as you tackle city roads and are the ideal choice when you want to quickly get from point A to point B. For this reason alone, they can be excellent for college students.

The multi-position handlebar also provides different grips for either a more upright position to a more aggressive position while hitting higher speeds. 

If you plan to spend a lot of time riding on pavements, this is the model for you. From my reviews, the Tommaso Monza Endurance Aluminum Road Bike is a decent option.

Hybrid Bikes

Hybrids are the ideal balance between a mountain bike and a road bike.

Their tires are larger than that of road bikes but smaller than mountain bike tires, so you can still go offroad on the trails while getting some speed on the flats.

They perform well on all terrains but aren’t as efficient as the dedicated mountain or road bike. Even so, they’re an excellent all-rounder, especially for general college commuting.

In addition, you’ll be in an upright riding position, which is more comfortable than the hunched position on a road bike.

The Schwinn Discover is my choice of hybrid bike.

Commuting/Cruiser Bike

Commuters/cruisers are the ideal choice for pure commuting. The handlebars tend to be higher, akin to an easy-rider motorbike, making them perfect for a leisurely ride to college.

While they don’t serve well for dual-use for speed or on trails, they tend to come with more storage options, which is ideal for your college bag. Also, most have fenders to protect your clothing from puddles and dirt on the way to college.

In terms of gears, most come with a low quantity, but it is possible to get seven or more for those of you who have hills in your way.

The Sizthreezero EVRYjourney is an excellent example of a commuter bike.

Fixed Gear/Track Bikes

No prizes for guessing that fixed gear bikes only have a single gear. This isn’t ideal for many but can work if your ride to college is completely flat and you aren’t bothered about having gear versatility.

Also, they don’t always have hand brakes but instead rely on backpedaling to slow down.

With this in mind, this option could work if your college trip is short and flat.

A great example of a fixed-gear bike is the Pure Fix Original Fixed-Gear Single-Speed Fixie Bike.

group of people riding bike by the beach

Size

Purchasing a bike that’s either too big or too small for you can make your commutes to and from college too strenuous and unsafe.

The bike wheel size is what you need to aim for, and I have a detailed guide on how to measure bike wheel size so you can find the right one for you.

Durability and Safety

In terms of the frame and fork, look out for bikes made from aluminum, carbon, titanium or steel. These are by far the best materials.

Aluminum and steel frames are lightweight and affordable, not to mention durable. This is why most manufacturers will opt for these materials in their bikes, and they’re the best solution for college use.

Carbon and titanium are only used in high-end models, as they’re extremely expensive. They’re also near-indestructible and ensure long-term durability.

In terms of the brakes and gears, look out for models that utilize quality brands. A great example is the Tommaso Monza Endurance Aluminum Road Bike that uses Shimano gears for high-quality performance.

Reviews of the Road Bikes for College Students

Best Bikes for College Students

Our Overview

The Tommaso Monza takes the top honors for being a reliable, sturdy and economical option.

It features a lightweight aluminum compact frame that’s combined with a high-modulus carbon fork. This minimizes vibrations and increases stability, with the rider’s weight having an impact.

You also receive a lifetime frame and fork warranty with this model as the manufacturers are highly confident about their product’s quality.

In terms of performance, this model has:

  • 2 x 10 Shimano Tiagra groupset.
  • 50/34T Tiagra compact crankset.
  • 11 x 32T Tiagra cassette.

These are specific cogs and teeth in the gear ratio that maximize efficiency. Thanks to these specifications, you can access a wide range of speeds and tackle different riding conditions more easily.

In particular, the Shimano Tiagra STI shifters allow you to shift between the 20 gears with remarkable speed, which is ideal for hitting hills on the way to college.

However, the cranks in this model are fairly limited, and according to users, they aren’t enough to consistently maintain high speeds.

Pros:

  • Sleek and compact frame.
  • Shimano Tiagra shifters for swift gear changes.
  • Lightweight and durable aluminum compact frame.
  • HCT carbon fork to reduce vibrations.

Cons:

  • Inadequate cranks to maintain high speeds.

Our Overview

This is a seven-speed 26-inch commuter/cruiser bike specifically designed for easy urban commuting, making it ideal for getting to college.

You can ride through town with ease thanks to the Shimano seven-speed external derailleur that comes with front and rear hand brake alloys.

Also, the bike includes matching full fenders (to protect you from dirt and rain on the way to college), and a brown synthetic leather saddle for comfort. A set of semi-slick tires also ensure that you have excellent roll while maintaining stability.

You can easily mount and dismount the bike thanks to the low frame for step-thru entry. This combines well with the overall upright design, keeping you in a heads-up position for comfortable cruising to college.

However, customers pick out that this bike’s durability is somewhat lacking. Many have had to replace parts within a year, but others haven’t had issues at all.

Pros:

  • Aluminum city frame.
  • Shimano seven-speed external derailleur. 
  • Brown, synthetic, leather saddle.
  • Easy to mount and dismount due to the frame design.

Cons:

  • Poor durability.

Our Overview

My second Tommaso choice comes with a super-lightweight aluminum frame and a set of lightweight wheels to drastically minimize this road bike’s weight.

Despite its lightweight frame, this model is extremely sturdy and durable in the long run. Tommaso reassures you of this by offering a lifetime warranty on its frames.

Consider the Imola ideal for beginner cyclists as it provides high performance at an affordable price. This is especially due to the all-new Claris shifters, derailleurs, cranks and brakes. 

All the cables are routed under the bar to offer a clean and minimal look. It also has integrated shifters and brake levers to make the most of the Shimano gearing and allow for precise shifting.

Despite being a road bike, Tommaso has designed it so you’ll remain relaxed on the bent-over position that naturally goes with road bikes. This position is further accentuated with the shallow handlebar drop that maintains your comfort levels even in the lower handlebar position.

Note that some customers pick out that the wheel spokes can become loose quite quickly. This can impact the wheel’s natural shape, causing some discomfort as fewer vibrations are absorbed.

Pros:

  • Lightweight aluminum frame.
  • Lifetime frame warranty.
  • Excellent performance at an affordable price.
  • High-quality Claris shifters, derailleurs, cranks and brakes.

Cons:

  • Wheel spoke quality is poor.

Our Overview

This is a 19-inch men’s cruiser bike that features a low step-through aluminum frame for easy access and increased durability. This bike is ideal for cruising, leisure rides, commute rides and getting to college.

An upright riding position allows you to keep your posture comfortable for your ride. In addition, the foot-forward design allows you to maintain a proper leg extension and minimize cramps.

This is a single-speed bike that’s great for tackling flat terrains, and it uses a front handbrake and a rear coaster brake that allows you to easily stop the bike when necessary. Despite this, customers mention that the brakes are difficult to adjust.

Also, the lack of gears will make your ride to college a bit more difficult if there are hills en route.

Pros:

  • Strong aluminum frame.
  • Upright riding position for comfort.
  • Black matte frame matches with dual-spring saddle.
  • Includes matching fenders.

Cons:

  • No gears.
  • Brakes are difficult to adjust.

Our Overview

This is a 21-speed bike with an SRAM grip shifter and Shimano rear derailleur that allows you to tackle a wide range of challenging terrains on your way to college, or even for doubling-up outside of college use.

The use of swept-back upright handlebars and a padded seat means that you’ll be in a comfortable riding position while using this bike, and your posterior will be well-cushioned. 

A high-quality aluminum frame allows the bike to remain light yet durable, which is perfect for long college commutes.

The fenders keep dirt off, even as you tackle muddy terrains. A rear carrier is also provided to help you take some extra weight along with your books or backpack.

Keep in mind that users comment on how the seat is mediocre and uncomfortable. Fortunately, the seat is replaceable.

Pros:

  • 21-speeds with an SRAM grip shifter; ideal for hills.
  • Lightweight aluminum frame.
  • Includes fenders and a rear carrier.

Cons:

  • Mediocre-quality seating.

Our Overview

This is a lightweight and stylish single-speed road bike that you can use to tackle your college roads and city streets, and is certainly one of the best bikes for college students.

It uses a flexible flip-flop rear hub system that allows you to shift from a fixed gear to a freewheel ride based on the road conditions.

Also, a high-tensile steel frame and fork boost the stability and durability, while the front alloy dual-pivot braking system offers excellent control during braking. This combines well with the Thickslick 700 x 28C tires, offering great control and contact with the road and ensuring your safety across a wide range of road conditions.

Additionally, this bike comes 90% assembled and is even backed by a lifetime manufacturers’ warranty.

However, users report that some parts were missing on delivery. Additionally, the lack of gears isn’t great if you have to tackle uphill routes to college.

Pros:

  • Lifetime manufacturer's warranty on frame and components.
  • Thickslick tires for great control and road contact.
  • Comes 90% assembled.
  • Strong and sturdy steel frame and fork.

Cons:

  • Some customers received their bikes with missing parts.
  • Lack of gears makes for a challenging ride.

a pink bike parke on the field

 

Ride on, Broheim! 

a girl with curly hair holding bike

Sure, it would be wicked cool to own a motorcycle when you’re in college, but not every college student has that kind of money to burn, plus they aren’t as practical.

The Tommaso Monza Endurance Aluminum Road Bike is an excellent choice for guys in college. It’s lightweight, affordable and has high-quality features for a comfortable cruise. 

For the gals in college, the Sixthreezero EvryJourney is our top pick due to its seven-speed capabilities and low-swooping frame.

These bikes are sure to make those top of the morning dull commutes to college far more interesting and pleasurable!

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