Cycling to work is such an awesome option, especially as people push to get healthier.
Not only are you cutting down on expenses, but you’re also reducing your carbon footprint on our beautiful planet.
So, which bike is best for your commute?
I took the liberty to sift through several market varieties and bring you the most reliable, best commuter bikes for women:
How Do I Choose a Commuter Bike?
The best way to choose a commuter bike is by taking the below factors into account:
I have a detailed guide on finding the correct bike size for you, but as a general rule, size based on your height.
Even so, different types of bikes have different size guides due to their profile. For example, since road bikes have a lower riding profile, you won’t need as big a bike compared to a mountain bike.
The best way to decide on height is to allow around 2 to 4 inches clearance from the top tube when on your bike. Also, ensure your knee is nearly fully extended when pedaling down and that you can touch the ground with tippy toes when on the bike.
Remember, a roomy commuter bike is more practical for those long journey commutes.
Ultimately, an adjustable bike is going to be easier to tailor to your shape and size. Fortunately, many seat posts and handlebars are adjustable, especially with the more high-quality bikes.
Tire diameter varies between different bike styles. For instance, commuter bike wheels generally size up to 700c, which is wider compared to standard bikes. The whole purpose is to prevent poke-throughs while still rolling easily. As such, a 26-29 inch should work perfectly.
Decide tread intensity by the kind of terrain you’re working with. Easy-going roads akin to those in the city don’t require heavy-built treads, whereas rough road terrains could do with a bit more grip assistance, as with mountain bikes.
The most common frame materials for bikes are steel, aluminum and carbon fiber. Carbon fiber frames are the lightest, but manufacturers reserve these for the top-end performance road and mountain bikes.
This leaves us with steel and aluminum for commuter bikes. Both steel and aluminum make for great selections, with steel being the heaviest—can be 2.5 times more dense— and more durable. Aluminum being lighter while still being durable but more expensive.
Also, steel is more corrosion-resistant, so it’s excellent for wet weather commuting.
I get it; you might not have a dedicated space at home for your commuter bike, so you may even need to store it outside.
But, you can help yourself by looking at how easy a commuter bike is to store before buying.
The single best way to do this is to opt for a folding bike. And, some of the best commuter bikes are indeed foldable bikes, which you’ll soon find out.
While cruisers are excellent for general commuting, they tend to be quite cumbersome, making them less-optimal for storage.
Additionally, look for on-board storage options. In particular, saddlebags, a basket and a rear rack are optimal.
Comfort: What Bikes are Best for Commuting?
Firstly, I’d focus on the seat for comfort. Here, look for foam seats with a leather or faux leather cover.
Quite honestly, standard seats on any bike are unlikely to be super comfy unless the manufacturer has gone all-out on making it a priority.
The good news is that most standard seats are replaceable, and there are plenty of comfy seats out there.
Also, think of the riding style: a relaxed, upright position is best for commuting, making cruisers excellent women's commuter bikes. Even some foldable commuter bikes have a long head tube, making the handlebars nice and high.
In contrast, a racing bike has low-slung handlebars and a lower head tube as standard. If you have a long commute and want pace, a racing bike is the way to go.
Conversely, a mountain bike also has a lower head tube but is a good solution for rougher-terrain commutes, with a hybrid being a happy medium between racers and mountain bikes.
Should I Pick a Women-Specific Bike? Unisex Bikes Versus Women-Specific Bikes
Generally, ladies tend to be smaller in stature compared to men. Therefore, it wouldn’t make sense to apply the same measurements for both.
Lady-like bikes, traditionally, were structured to accommodate smoother mounting and dismounting. Since women were limited to skirts and dresses, rightly or wrongly, the step-through frame became a practical addition for discreet convenience.
Despite this functional trait, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to suit all female riders. And again, we now have unisex commuter bikes to strike a balance between the best of both worlds.
Advantages of Using a Feminine Bike
- Shorter reach to accommodate petite torsos.
- Greater legroom.
- Narrower bar/stem spacing.
- Plush and wider seat specifications.
- Lower to the ground.
- Ergonomics based on physiology, strength and flexibility.
Can an Entry-Level Bike Make for a Good Commute Bike?
Typically, an entry-level bike is better placed for beginners. They’re much more simplistic and basic than more developed bike styles, such as racing or mountain bikes.
This also makes them excellent for a women's commuter bike, no matter the bike style. You simply want a bog-standard bike to get you from A to B in the best way, no questions asked.
You’d also arguably ride better if you’re not used to handling more laborious bikes. While these minimalistic designs might save you a decent coin, you don’t save as much in the long run due to the likelihood of needing more repairs.
If you’ve committed to cycling, it’s wise to start with the right equipment, especially when picking a commuter bike. If you must go with an entry-level bike, aim for one with the best frame and fork combo. At the very least, these will get you more service out of your bike.
Reviews of the Top 5 Best Commuter Bikes for Women
The Schwinn Loop folding bike is my golden pick for several reasons.
The name says it all—you no longer have to worry about losing your bike again; simply fold it away and store it indoors. This is especially handy if you’d prefer to take your bike into your place of work.
This commuter bike also has a step-through aluminum frame, making it excellent as a women s commuter—you'll have an easy time mounting and dismounting with it remaining lightweight and sturdy.
Even so, customers do pick on the frame as being difficult to fold down and keep down. So, expect to put some elbow grease into the folding.
It’s also a bit heavier than some users expected, but this hasn’t stopped them from using it for commuting.
Also, the 7-gear twist shifter is there to get you uphill with extraordinary ease and speed. This feature is reinforced with dependable front and rear linear brakes for reliable deceleration.
As a bonus, the additional duo fenders and rear rack are excellent for clean commuting and an extra storage option.
- Smooth gear transition to ride uphill effortlessly.
- Easy to fold.
- Front and back fenders for cleaner commutes.
- Top tube loops down for convenient loading and unloading.
- Can be difficult to fold for some.
- Heavier than expected.
If convenience is something you’re after, this folding city bike is one to go for. I particularly love how customers find it easy to use and store afterward—no technicalities involved. Plus, the overall weight is a steal at 33 pounds! This is on top of it arriving completely assembled.
It’s also durable for any terrain, thanks to the hi-tensile steel frame and non-slip tire spec.
Customers also really like this bike’s look, adding an element of style for a commuter bike, with the seat and handlebars being adjustable to fit your needs.
While it comes with front and back fenders and a rear rack, customers find them to be a bit rattly and clumsy. Also, some have received their commuter bikes damaged or not put together correctly.
- Arrives ready to ride.
- Hi-ten steel frame.
- Folds in seconds for convenient portability and storage.
- Adjustable seat and handlebar for personal fit.
- Bike accessories may be clumsy.
- Not the best shipping experience.
This Sixthreezero is a simple, straightforward cruiser commuter bike not needing an awful lot of maintenance. Customers particularly pick out its superior long-ride comfort, mainly due to its classic cruiser design with high handlebars.
It’s also compatible for all heights, being suitable for women from 5’ to 6’2”, and is sturdy thanks to the steel frame.
Adding to the comfort are the padded seat and foam handlebar grips, which some users feel should last longer. Even so, there’s no denying the comfort they provide.
Braking is a bit different on this one since it uses coaster brakes—you simply pedal backward to engage the brakes. Some customers don’t like the brakes, but they did know what they were getting on purchase.
While the design is ideal for a calm, leisurely commute, don’t expect to tackle difficult terrain with the lack of gears and coaster brakes, despite the wheels rolling over with ease.
- Comfortable ride.
- Fits riders 5’ to 6’2” tall.
- Wide handlebar with foam grips.
- Wheels roll over with ease.
- Seat and handlebar padding can wear quickly.
- Only city/street ideal.
If you were put off by the Sizthreezero’s lack of gears and brakes, this Kent Oakwood commuter bike is the next best option. In particular, the seat is thought to be super comfy, making it ideal as a commuter bike.
It has seven gears, which might not seem like much but does provide a step up if there are hills on your commute. These combine well with the front and rear handbrakes, which are simple and effective. Note that customers pick on the brakes being quite loud, though, with some replacing them for better options.
Customers love how it’s pretty lightweight for a large cruiser, thanks to the aluminum frame. This has the added benefit of being ideal if you’re smaller than average.
While you’ll need to assemble this commuter bike on arrival, it takes most about an hour to put together, without issues.
Take note that there’s no rear rack with this commuter bike, so you’re limited on storage.
- Lightweight for a cruiser.
- Easy to assemble.
- Smooth ride.
- Comfortable seat.
- Needs assembling.
- Brakes squeal.
- No rear rack.
This Schwinn Discover is a hybrid commuter bike that is more aligned with experienced riders.
Customers mention that you need a bit more biking experience to control it, perhaps due to the large 28-inch wheels. However, once you get used to it, even relatively shorter bikers have found it manageable.
Despite this, it remains relatively lightweight due to the aluminum frame, and the included front and rear fenders keep dirt and grime away from the frame well.
Featuring Promax alloy linear-pull handbrakes, a suspension fork and 21-speed SRAM grip shifters, the bike is built for speed while suiting hills on your commute.
Also, the swept-back handlebars improve riding comfort, which is where other hybrid commuter bikes lack. In addition, you can adjust the alloy head stem to suit your height.
- High-quality components.
- Light yet durable aluminum.
- Rear derailleur that eases uphill cycling.
- Swept-back handlebars.
- Fender add ons.
- Problematic for small stature riders.
- Can’t sit upright like in a cruiser bike.
What Is the Best Bike for a Woman?
All factors aside, the bottom line to picking the best commuter bike is taking into account your commute’s distance and terrain while maximizing comfort.
However, concerning optimal functionality, I have to single out the Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike as the best commuter bike. It packs a ton in terms of speed, rear rack storage and practical add-ons for cleaner commutes. And the best part is, nobody’s excluded from getting up on this ride—even if you’re a cycling newbie.
That said, if you’re past the intermediate stage, then go for a bike with more challenging control functions, such as the Schwinn Discover Hybrid.