Best Bikes for College Students for 2018
Updated April 2018!
Commuting with a bike to college is not only a great idea because it’s a cheap way of transportation but also because it’s fun and good for your health. I know that bringing a car to campus sounds very cool but riding a bicycle is the way to go in 2018 because of the global warming and the health benefits. Also, many students still can’t afford to buy the decent car, and the bicycle is one of the cheapest transportation methods ever invented. Not to mention that we have some of the best bike-friendly campuses in the world.
So let’s find out which are the best bikes for college students in 2018.
If you don’t have time to read more just check these bikes below which we pre-selected for you.
Best Bikes For College Students in 2018
- Kent Retro 3-Speed
- Schwinn Volare 1200
- Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Urban
- Tommaso Monza
- Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Haanjo Metro
- Critical Cycles Harper Coaster
- Roadmaster 26″ Men’s Granite Peak Men’s Bike
- Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike
Regardless of how far you will be living from college, I can assure you that 10-15 miles are easily doable and you will get fitter and stronger with each day. A bike can be useful for travel between classes too because some university campuses are very large.
In this article, we’ve decided to show you some of the best bikes for college students because you should make a good and an informed choice. There are hundreds of bikes out there and picking the best one for your college commute needs is not easy. As always the cheapest bikes sold at Walmart are garbage and most probably won’t last long.
What to consider when choosing the best bike for college.
The most important aspect, in my opinion, is that the bike is affordable, reliable and cool looking because you know this is college. The truth is most of the good looking bikes which are cheap at the same time are useless. The combination of the three things affordable, reliable and good looking is not easily found on many bikes out there. This is why I took the challenge to find the best bikes for college seriously.
Today we have more than ever so many bike types but for college, the hybrid bike is a very good option. The hybrid bike allows you to sit comfortably upright like on a mountain bike but at the same time being much faster because of the narrower tires. These bikes are good for commuting in the city or between towns and you can easily travel to your college even if it’s 10-15 miles away.
Another great option is the classic road bike which is the fastest bike you can buy for traveling to college. Road bikes are different from other bicycles because they’re lighter and much faster. They have very narrower tires which make the difference. Their geometry puts the rider in a very aerodynamic position, which helps with the wind resistance. Some people don’t like the position of the road bike and for them, the hybrid bike is a better option. But if the speed is the most important thing for you the road bike should be your choice of bike transportation.
The third and last bike type I would suggest for any college students is the so-called fixie bike. If you watch the movie “Premium Rush” ( great movie btw ) then you should know what a fixie bike is. The main character rode one of these cool fixie bikes and they are used by many bike couriers in the United States.
In general, the fixie is a fixed-gear bicycle which is without any gears and brakes. Riding such bike is so simple and fun. These bikes are very reliable because they don’t have almost any components. The fixie bike is very popular in the United States and it’s associated with couriers, students, commuters, and rebels. If you want to be different buy a fixie bike.
So in a conclusion about the bike types for college, you have to choose between a hybrid bike (a compromise between speed and usability), a road bike ( fast, good looking but used only on paved roads ) and a fixie (a one-speed bike which is cool and perfect for students ). The right choice depends as usual on your needs and budget.
Best Bikes For College Students 2018 – Reviewed!
Kent Retro 3-Speed
The Kent Retro 3-Speed bike is a 700C hybrid bike which is retro-styled. It’s an ideal machine for commuting to college and it even comes equipped with a luggage carrier for your backpack, suitcase or any other luggage. Ken Retro 3-Speed also comes with full fenders which are handy if the weather is not very good in your state. The bike offers some versatility in your riding speed and conditions. The position is very upright which makes the bike very comfortable even if you have long distance ride to your campus. It has an aluminum frame which is light and strong enough. One of the downsides of the bike is that some of the components are not very high-quality but that’s understandable having in mind the low price. As we know for any college student the price is one of the most important aspects to consider.
But the good thing is that the 3-speed gears are internal which means that they don’t need any maintenance at all. The bike comes with pretty small frame sizes and if you are very tall it won’t suit you. The man’s frame size is 18″ which is OK for riders 5’7″ to 5’11”. The women’s size is 15” which is OK for women riders 5’4″ to 5’9″. One of the things that I like on this bike is the retro style. The bike looks amazing with the brown leather seat and handlebars. The hybrid retro-styled bikes are very modern these days and I see a very high demand for them in the market.
- Good looking retro-styled bike;
- Very strong internal gears;
- Cheap enough for any college student;
- Luggage carrier and full fenders;
- Some components are low-quality;
- Only one size – not suitable for the tall riders;
Purchase Kent Retro Men’s City Bike on Amazon
Schwinn Volare 1200
Schwinn is definitely one of my favorite bike manufacturers and we have reviewed many hybrid and road bikes made by this company. As we concluded many times Schwinn makes very solid and high-quality bikes and the Volare 1200 is not an exception. But the most important thing on this bike is the price. It’s so cheap and good at the same time that it became instantly one of the best bikes for college students. Practically it’s a road bike but with hybrid bike type handlebars which are more comfortable and in many cases easier to ride. The bike is very rapid on the paved roads, lightweight for the hills and agile for the city. In my opinion, the Schwinn Volare 1200 is also a very good looking bike for any college student.
It’s equipped with Shimano 21 gears and the components are quite good having in mind the low price of the bike. Many ”Walmart” cheap bikes use much worse and low-quality components for this price range. The handlebars are very ergonomically styled and soft. The fitness style aluminum frame is strong and lightweight and the front fork is rigid which is very important for any cheap bike. Any college student would like to ride a bike without thinking too much about the maintenance and Schwinn Volare 1200 is just perfect for this task. The brakes are linear and they are outstanding. They practically can lock the wheels at any speed with moderate pressure.
One thing that we don’t like about this bike is that it’s a little bit hard to put together. I would suggest going to the nearest bike shop for the assembly which would cost no more than $30-40, but it’s worth it. Of course, the low price has some flaws too. For example, the seat is a little bit hard and uncomfortable but you can replace it very easily with a high-quality seat for 20-30 bucks.
- Very cheap bike;
- High-quality components in general;
- Schwinn is a trusted manufacturer;
- Good looking;
- A little bit hard to put together;
- Cheap and not very comfortable seat;
Purchase Schwinn Men’s Volare 1200 Bike on Amazon
Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Urban
Pure Fix Cycles made this single speed or fixie bike to annoy the competition. This bike is made with style and affordability in mind. The urban geometry frame here is just perfect. It’s equipped with a steel frame which is super durable and rigid. As we know steel is much heavier than carbon and aluminum but it’s also a lot cheaper. Despite the steel frame, the bike is still light because the bike is nothing more than a frame, wheels, handlebars, and pedals. According to the manufacturer, the bike should weight 22-24 lb.
The bike is equipped with 700x28c Kenda tires which are just perfect for its job. One of my favorite things about this bike is the variety of color options to choose from. On Amazon, the bike is available in 24 color variants which are super cool and I guess it would take you at least 10 minutes to decide which is best for you. Also if you are tired of riding a fixed gear bike you can easily upgrade to single-speed thanks to the Flip-flop rear wheel hub. It also has a front brake if you decide to mostly run it on a single-speed bike.
Pure Fix gives a limited warranty for this bike but in order to have the full warranty, you will have to assemble the bike on a professional bike shop which would cost you around $50 depending on your location. If you decided that you don’t need the warranty the assembly is very easy and it won’t take you more than 40 minutes to an hour because the bike comes 90% done for you. In general, the bike is very solid and it has some of the best Amazon reviews and ratings for a fixie bike which is always an important factor.
- Wide variety of color options and frame sizes;
- Good looking style bike;
- Flip-flop rear wheel hub for changing between single-speed and fixed;
- Front brakes;
- Limited warranty ( available only if you assemble the bike in a bike shop);
Purchase Pure Fix Fixie Bike on Amazon
I admit that the Tommaso Monza is probably not the cheapest bike in this list of best bikes for college students but it’s so good and nice looking bike that I had to add it here. If you already have some experience with cycling and now you decide that the bike would be your main transportation to/from your college campus then the Tommaso Monza is a road bike worth it. As we already mentioned in our review of the best cheap road bikes, Tommaso is an Italian company which makes very high-quality bikes for almost 30 years. The brand is not very famous in the United States but that’s a shame considering the qualities.
One of the best things about the Tommaso Monza is the Shimano Tiagra setup. It’s one of the best setups for shifting you could find on a bike which means reliable and very fast and crisp shifting. The integrated shifters mean your hands never have to leave the brakes, even when you are shifting. The feel of braking and smoothly changing gears at the same time is unique. And they used the entire Tiagra setup in this bike which includes the front chainrings, the rear derailleur and all of it. All these high-quality components make the bike one of the best bikes for college students who love cycling.
If you like the Tommaso Monza you should also check our new Tommaso Sentiero Tourney Adventure Review.
The lightweight aluminum compact frame comes in three sizes: small, medium and large. It’s important to mention that the front fork is carbon for vibration dampening and weight savings. If this is the first road bike you consider to buy maybe the price will scare you a little bit. Well, we have also our list of some cheap and good road bikes. But if you buy the Tommaso Monza you would make an investment. It’s a bike that would cost a lot even in 5 years of use and if you take care of it the bike could serve you well for 10-15 years without issues. If you are serious about this sport and you want to go to your college campus with style, the Tommaso Monza is your best option.
- Very high-quality components including Shimano Tiagra full setup;
- Super fast on paved roads;
- Italian design;
- Smooth and secure braking;
- A little bit expensive for a college student;
Purchase Tommaso Monza on Amazon
Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Haanjo Metro
Are Diamondback bikes good? I’ve been asked this question so many times in the last couple of years. In my humble opinion, Diamondback bikes are one of the best bikes you can buy online. They are reliable, relatively cheap and good for any type of cyclist. The new Haanjo Metro by Diamondback was built to handle the daily commute of the average American without sacrificing any comfort. It has an aluminum frame and a steel fork which makes it very reliable and bombproof. The geometry and wide 40mm tires give it more of mountain bike feel than the road bike. The bike won’t be fast as a road bike but it would be much more comfortable and easy to navigate through the city.
The Haanjo is equipped with Tektro mechanical disc brakes which improve stopping power and performance in wet conditions. This bike is one of the most rigid on our list. But it’s a little bit on the heavy side with the weight of around 26 pounds. The setup is a little bit of slow for touring or long-distance rides. If you are up to 10-15 miles from your college that won’t be a problem at all. Diamondback Haanjo Metro is just a perfect choice for city commuters who value the comfort and durability. All these things make the bike one of the best bikes for college students.
- Very solid and high-quality bike;
- Tekro mechanical disc brakes;
- Good for city commutes and up to 10-15 miles ride to college;
- A little bit heavy ( 26 pounds ):
- Not very fast due to the wide 40mm tires;
Purchase Diamondback Haanjo Metro on Amazon
Critical Cycles Harper Coaster
Critical Cycle’s Harper Coaster is an extremely good looking fixie which I love! The design of the bike is just timeless and even in the standard black color, it looks amazing. But what is really important here is that the Harper Coaster is a premium quality hand-build bicycle which can be used perfectly for going to your college. And you will look very cool doing so.
This bike comes with a standard Wanda commuter tires which are good enough for the job, KMC chain which is perfect for this bike and a nice pair of VP freestyle pedals. The frame is really really good and its made of high-tensile strength steel composition which very durable and also comes with lifetime warranty.
This bike comes with no brakes as most of the “fixies” which are nice if you learn how to stop with your feet. But as we know the fixies as very simple to use thus making them perfect for college students and other commuters. I recommend this bike to everyone who likes simplicity and wants to use the bike as the main transportation method. Not to mention the great design which will be appreciated on your college campus.
And of course, we have to mention something which is very important for every college student – the price. The Harper Coaster is a really cheap bike with a price tag below $200 bucks. It is one of the cheapest bikes on our list which makes it perfect for college freshman. Don’t forget to lock your bike in the campus of your college!
- Great timeless design
- Super easy to ride
- Very cheap to buy
- Solid and rigid bike
- Not very comfortable seat
Roadmaster 26″ Men’s Granite Peak Men’s Bike (Black and Red)
Roadmaster 26″ Men’s Granite Peak is one of the cheapest bikes I have ever seen. The price is normally well below $100 which is crazy. You can ask why this bike is included in our list of the best bikes for college. Well, the reason is the price. As we know when you are a student you can’t afford to spend a lot of money on a bike. And spending less than $100 on a bike is really tempting.
This bike includes some really cheap components but the good news is that they do work. The frame is a standard steel one which is rigid and works well. The geometry of the frame is really nothing special. It’s fitted with 26″ wheels but unfortunately, the tires are really cheap and rubbish. You can upgrade them for $20-30 bucks if you don’t like the ride which is really not very smooth.
Roadmaster 26″ Men’s Granite Peak features an SRAM drive and standard twist shifters which I don’t like very much, but they work and if you use them gently they will work for a few years without need of repairs. These bikes are fitted with a suspension fork for a smoother ride which is nice for this price range.
I know that this bike is really not a very high-quality product but it’s great for the price. If you are not looking for something expensive for your daily commutes to your college you should definitely consider buying the Roadmaster 26″ Men’s Granite Peak. I understand that some students are on really tight budgets and can’t afford to buy a bike for more than $100-150, that’s why I recommend this bike for those cases.
- Extremely Cheap!
- Suspension Fork for smoother ride;
- Good enough for daily commutes to college;
- Low-Quality components;
- Cheap and bad tires;
- Seat is not comfortable;
Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike
Vilano R2 Commuter is a really good 21-speed road bike for the money. The price is normally around or below $200 which instantly makes it a very nice option for college students and commuters. All components used on this bike are at least decent quality and we can’t complain. Vilano R2 Commuter rides really very well and is quite stable. The shifting is smooth and good enough for your daily needs.
The 6061 double-butted aluminum frame is lightweight and makes a perfect bike for the ride to work! In my opinion, this bike is much better than the so popular GMC Denali which I personally do NOT recommend. Vilano R2 Commuter has some downsides too which is inevitable for so cheap bike. For example, the tires are really cheap and not good at all. You can always upgrade them because there are a lot of good and not expensive tires on Amazon.
In a conclusion, the Vilano R2 Commuter can be a really great and cheap bike for students and commuters. If you don’t want to spend too much for your transportation to college campus this should be your choice. Vilano is a reliable brand which we at YesCycling like a lot.
- Really cheap bike
- Nice and smooth ride and shifting
- Good sporty look
- Tires are cheap and not good-quality
Purchase Vilano R2 Commuter on Amazon