Yet again, another school year has snuck up on us and we’re looking at the best bikes for college students. The college life comes with dread, excitement, room-mates, tailgating, homework, budgeting for fast food, beer, excessive winter walking, dirty laundry, school shopping, and Friday nights! It’s time to ready all the gear and saddle up – after all, college life is nothing but an adventurous ride!
To help make your bike searching process a bit easier, we’ve rounded up 10 of today’s most exclusive bikes specially designed for college students. Take a look at our findings and see which one suits your taste!
How We Made Our Choice
Since we have been riding on different types of bikes since our early days, we were already familiar with the best bikes for college students. Still, we followed a product selection process that involved researching the market to list down today’s popular models.
Once we sorted out 18 bikes, we tested them one by one with our volunteer group. During the testing phrase, we looked into the factors that could differentiate a good bike from a not-so-good one. It took us over four months to find out the most extraordinary bikes that youth will love to own and that would suit their budget.
Once we finalized our top 7 list, we got in touch with other industry experts to get their insights. As expected, they too gave us a heads up to present our findings to our audience. Since we followed a strict product testing procedure, we are confident that all of our choices are the best that any college student will find today.
Best Bikes for College Students Here:
Top of the Chart: Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women, 21 Speed, 28-Inch Wheels, Step-Through or Step-Over Frame, Multiple Colors
Schwinn is a name you can always put your trust in. With this hybrid bike, you won’t have to worry about transportation during your college years. A hybrid bicycle will let you enjoy the best of both worlds – MTBs and street bikes. Other than this factor, we believe this is the best bike for college students for a number of reasons.
This retro-style bike has its own personality that cannot be ignored. Not only the look, from the suspension fork to the adjustable stem to the 21-speed SRAM grip shifter to the Shimano rear derailleur to the padded seat, it is specially designed for a comfortable ride.
The best past is the price point. When we think of a budget bike, we automatically think of a too generic and feature-less bike that won’t make us a proud owner. But the scenario is totally different here since what you get is optimum comfort and extraordinary performance without having to break the bike.
The only downside is that being made of aluminum, it is on the heavy side. The assembly may also take some time if you are not used to the process.
- Optimum comfort
- Great performance
- Great pricing
- Instruction manual not so clear
- A little heavy
We simply love the bike Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for its stylish look, great comfort, affordability for college freshmen, and amazing performance on city roads. Give it a try and you will feel the same.
For Female College Students: Sixthreezero Around the Block Women’s Single-Speed Beach Cruiser Bicycle
We know what a sweet college girl wants in her bike – attractive look, easy handling, comfortable ride, minimum maintenance, and front/rear racks for carrying a variety of roads. As you can guess, this single-speed cruiser bike ticks all the boxes.
Riding on this bike is so comfortable that you won’t feel a thing after biking for hours. This is really important because based on our experience, we know nobody wants to attend their class all tired and sweaty after a tiring ride from home.
Being a single-speed bike, you also won’t have to spend a lot of time taking care of the sturdy vehicle. We especially liked the fact that it came in 18 color variations! Women are especially picky about colors and the manufacturers surely kept that in mind when designing this bike.
The bike may not be cheap, but it is still not out of the range for most. The strong build, little to no maintenance costs, and durability will make up for those extra bucks in the long run.
- Pleasing to the eye
- Well made
- Perfect for long rides
- Little to no maintenance
- A little expensive
- Not for uphill riding
We cannot think of a better alternative for female students than the Sixthreezero Around the Block Women’s Single-Speed Bicycle. If you have the money, go for it without a second thought. Your peers will surely be jealous of your bike. As long as you don’t live in a mountainous area where you will have to ride uphill, this single speed bike is your perfect road companion.
For the Hilly College Campus: Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike, Stone Mountain, 26 inches, 21-Speed, Charcoal, 26 Inch Wheels/17 Inch Frame, Model Number: 76818
Any bike enthusiast will love to own a mountain bike and if they do, they better own the Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike. This is one of the best bikes for college students because it’s so cheaper when compared to other MTBS from popular brands. Your every commute to the college will be like an adventure with this 26-inch bike.
Like any top-quality bike, it still gives a comfortable ride when riding on bumpy roads and hilly tracts. This 21-speed bicycle can easily handle uphill and downhill riding as well as acceleration. If your college is in a city, you can still check this out because MTBs are commonly used on paved roads these days.
Let us talk about what we did not like – the steel frame. But let us be honest – such an inexpensive bike is supposed to be made of steel. So, why are we still recommending this? You won’t have to worry about this because it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
- Unique charcoal color
- Easy assembly
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Steel frame
When considering the best bike for college students, the price factor always gets our top priority. The Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike is simply unbeatable in terms of pricing and the value you get for the money. You will enjoy this MTB both in college days and when on vacation.
Top Folding Bike: Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike, 20-inch Wheels, Rear Carry Rack
A folding bike is the best commuter bike because it requires limited storage space while being super fun to use. You – as a student – can afford one because they do come cheap these days and you will definitely look cool as the owner of a folding bike.
Let us get down to business. Schwinn products are always reliable and loved by the biking community; hence the presence of several Schwinn bikes in our shortlist. Those teens that have already become 6-foot-tall due to a sudden growth spurt will be able to ride on this bike without any hassle.
Its super easy to fold out with a few simple steps – what more could you possibly ask for? Since it comes pre-assembled, you do not have to break your back trying to do the assembly all by yourself. Like the Huffy Hardtail, it also comes with a limited lifetime warranty. This means there is no question to ask about its durability.
- Easily affordable
- Great for hilly areas
- Comes with lots of accessories
Folding bikes are always cool, and Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike probably is the coolest of all. These types of bikes rarely come in large sizes. This is your go-to choice for a unique biking experience every time you get into the campus.
Top Electric Bike: ANCHEER 500W/250W Electric Bike Adult Electric Mountain Bike, 26″ Electric Bicycle 20Mph
We tried to cover all types of bikes that college students could think of owning on this review. It is natural that an electric bike would take a place on this list though many would find these types too expensive.
Keeping that in mind, we tried to single out an e-bike that won’t be too heavy on the pocket yet will be of top quality and suit the taste of any young person. ANCHEER 500W/250W Electric Mountain Bike topped the list with its outstanding performance.
How long the battery lasts is what first comes to mind when you think of getting an ebike. After trying it out, we were surprised that we covered over 20 miles on a single charge. This is a real beauty that comes at half the price of other ebikes, making it a really affordable choice though more expensive than other products on this list.
ANCHEER 500W/250W ebike has all the desired features of a high-end mountain bike – carbon steel body, disc brakes and 21-speed gear with some extras like an LED headlight and horn. It can reach up to 15 mph and you can choose between its three working models – ebike, normal bike, and assisted bike.
- Good build quality
- Quick-charging waterproof battery
- Great value for money
- The seat is not so comfortable
It is true ANCHEER 500W/250W is not really for the budget-conscious pupil. But if you have saves some cash or your family is tinking about a birthday present for you or something, make use of this opportunity and give this excellent electric bike a try. You will surely be amazed at what you will get at this price range.
Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mens Mountain Bike,17-Inch/Medium High-Tensile Steel Frame, 7-Speed, 26-inch Wheels
Mongoose Dolomite is all about look that is bound to catch everyone’s attention you drive past by. The most noticeable part is the huge tires that can handle any type of terrain with unbelievable stability – no matter the road is muddy, bumpy, snow-covered or plain.
The brand name “Mongoose” – a 40-year old leading bike manufacturer – vouches for this 7-speed bike with rigid suspension. Your college location has nothing to do when you own this all-terrain bike. But you will have to compromise on your speed because large tires are not the fastest.
Also, it’s a heavy and clunky vehicle that may burn some of your calories along the way that was beyond your expectation. Aside from that factor, any student with a moderate budget can afford Mongoose Dolomite and you will surely enjoy great value for the money you will invest in it.
- All-terrain ride
- Attractive appearance
- Easy assembly
If you are curious about fat bikes, Mongoose Dolomite should be your top priority. Your college fellows will think that you are in a different league when you will own one. But you have to be a big fellow in order to be able to handle such a bulky bike.
Mongoose Legion Freestyle BMX Bike Line for Kids, Youth and Beginner-Level to Advanced Adult Riders, 16-20-Inch Wheels, Steel Frame, Multiple Colors
Yes, you saw this coming – the BMX bike. And yes, you can ride on a BMX bike to get to and return from your college. But this is only if you will be covering shorter distances with no or fewer hills (since they are not so great on gearing) and if you can actually afford such an expensive bike.
You can deserve a pro-level performance from the Mongoose Legion L500 and if you have been into BMXing for some time, you will know how to show off your skills with this bike. In fact, we believe this will be more about tricks and stunts in the college campus than riding to the campus.
The frame, cranks, and forks are so strong that you won’t have to see yourself buying another bike anytime soon. In short, everything on this BMX bike is high quality that ensures the owner they have made a good purchase.
- Great look
- Easy assembly
- Well made
- Not everyone’s cup of tea
Although designed for the keen BMXers full of life, this can be your ticket to commuting to the campus. This is the most expensive product on this list but for good reason. Mongoose Legion L500 is your best way to do your jaw-dropping tricks in the campus and become famous among your fellow students!
How to Choose a Bike for College Students
1. Type of bike
Well, there is nothing called “college bike.” You can make any type your college bike based on your preferences. But hybrid bikes always top the chart because you can easily and comfortably have an upright sitting position just like a mountain bike while they are much faster due to their narrower tires.
If you want more speed, a road bike could be an option but we personally won’t prefer that for college students in terms of the look. How about a fixie? That depends considering on the type of road you will be biking on.
The location of your campus will actually determine the type of gear you will need. If your campus is in a mountainous region where you will have to pedal uphill, you will definitely need multiple gears. For the city roads, go for a single-speed bike that will significantly save you money in terms of maintenance costs.
You will mainly find carbon, steel and aluminum frames. Remember this – carbon is what you want for speed, durability, versatility, and reliability. But they do not come cheap and you will need a big budget.
For the moderate budget, aluminum is the way to go because it’s cheap, lightweight (not like carbon for sure), and strong enough to serve you several years down the road.
How about steel? A big No-No. Why? They will be the best option for the cash-strapped student but won’t be long lasting.
Racks and fenders
Fenders are a must for cycling in the rain if you do not want your clothing and bag full of mud and dirt. You might also need racks for those extra books and other things that cannot be accommodated in your bag. The good news is you can add fenders separately if they do not come with the package but adding racks will not be so easy because that will mainly depend on the type and design of your bike.
You will give priority to your handlebar when you will be riding for long each day because the type and position of the handlebar will determine your comfort. The most common types are ache, flat, drop, and riser. For beginners, flat bars are what you need since you will be sitting upright and have better access to the brake levers than the drop bars. Also, always go for an adjustable one so you can easily customize your seating height and position.
- V brakes – they may have revolutionized the rim breaking performance for off-road, hybrid, and touring bikes, but today they are being replaced with disc brakes. V brakes are fine except for muddy roads.
- Cantilevers – their performance is almost similar to v brakes and many prefer them because they also work well when clogged up with mud.
- Caliper brakes – they are often used in road bikes because they are quicker to stop and lightweight. However, disc brakes are now becoming more popular
- Disc brakes – they come in two types – mechanical and hydraulic. Mechanical brakes are cheaper and lesser power than their hydraulic counterparts. The best part about them is that you will enjoy a predictable and controllable stopping power no matter the road condition.
Wheels come in various sizes based on the bike type. You will find thin wheels in road bikes that are lighter and way more comfortable though they may get punctured easily and fixing them is not so easy. On the other hand, mountain bikes have robust tires but you will have to compromise on the speed factor. There are also those hybrid wheels mostly found in commuter bikes that are better than those used in mountain and road bikes.
We know you are a student and money does matter to you. The bicycle industry is full of options with the prices starting from $150 to over $1000. There are also used bicycles that cater to those college students really short on cash.
What’s more, do not spend it all on your bike because there are accessories to get ranging from the helmet to bike lock to air pump to pedal straps to reflectors and so on.
What Not to Do When Choosing a Bike?
Extravagance is not always so cool
It’s true riding an $8000 Diamondback Series S Ready around the campus will make you feel like a king for the day since you will be catching everyone’s attention around. But you won’t be on cloud nine for long if you notice your precious bike has been snitched by some low-life.
Suspensions do not matter much in road bikes
This is true especially if you will be riding your bike in the city. They will do nothing good other than adding more weight to your vehicle. You do not want this because you may have to carry it yourself every once in a while.
Take your time before making the final decision
Whether you are a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior, you are still a student and you do not want your money wasted on a bad purchase. We recommend that you do your research and then make an informed buying decision instead of rushing about it and then feeling disappointed.
Bike Riding Techniques for College Students
Here are biking tips that every school, college, or university student should follow to ride safer and better. After all, these tips could make the difference between a pleasing riding experience and a tragic accident that could have a life-long impact.
- Wearing helmet is a must:
In the USA, 60% of cycling deaths occur due to head injuries every year that could be avoided through using helmets. You should wear your helmet whenever you are off to the campus and get back home even if this is not compulsory by your state law.
- Make good use of your gears
Uphill climbing could put a lot of stress on your knees. Shifting into the right gear could help keep your cadence in the perfect rpm range. As said before, never pick a single-speed bike or a fixie for hilly regions.
- No paddling in high gear for a long period of time
This is also necessary to keep your knee joints sound and healthy. We recommend that you keep your tempo between 70 to 90 rpm’s to stay on the safe side.
- Get the ride bike fit
Your riding will be smoother, easier, and much more efficient without any pain or soreness if your bike setup fits your body. Make sure the saddle is long with a cutout for a comfortable ride. Get all the accessories necessary to keep your riding fun and enjoyable.
- No riding with your headphones on
This is an issue so many teenagers make these days. You could be in a dangerous situation if you fail to notice an emergency vehicle behind you. If you really need music during your commuting time, there are bike phone mounts that you can use to play music on your smartphone’s loudspeaker.
- Follow the rules
Know all the traffic signs and keep your eyes on all the cars in front and around of you so you can anticipate their movements. This is especially necessary for beginner cyclists. Also, be prepared for a sudden break all the time to avoid collision.
Bike Maintenance Checklist
You may be able to find the best bike for college students according to your budget, needs, and preferred style. But it won’t be in its best condition if you do not take good care of it. Here is what you need to do –
- Inspect the vehicle
Make sure that your bike is in its optimum condition before every ride. Inspect all the parts are okay and tighten the loose nuts and bolts immediately if you notice any. Check the cycle once or twice a week for any worn out parts that need replacement.
- Use fenders
You do not know when it will be raining especially during the rainy season. Your fenders will keep both you and your bicycle away from mud and dirt. Otherwise, you will have to go through the trouble of cleaning the bike after every ride.
- Get a good quality lock
Getting your bike stolen in the campus or any public place will be a nightmare for you. We often spend a lot on our bikes but not much on the safety systems. You should not make that mistake and get a quality lock preferably with an alarm system that turns on whenever someone touches your bike.
- Keep your spare parts handy
You do not know when your bike would malfunction, hence the necessity to ride with the spare parts that may include a hex key, tube, patch kit, bike pump, and so on
A Word from Us
The world’s youth is full of spirit that should also be reflected in the bike they choose as students. We know very well learners usually are not the bread earners and their budget is their first priority. Based on that, we tried to find out the best bikes for college students covering all bike categories that come with reasonable price tags e.g. Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike and Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike.
However, some of our choices are also more about being cool instead of caring at all about the budget, especially the Mongoose Legion Freestyle BMX Bike and the ANCHEER 500W/250W Electric Bike. We believe that any student will be able to make an informed buying decision once they will go through our review.
We are always eager to listen to your bike riding experience. Use the comments section below and let us know how cool your bike really is!
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