Top 5 Affordable Commuters

Scott Alexander

Updated September 30, 2023

Whether cycling is your passion or just an affordable and environmentally friendly way to get around town, there's no disputing that a value oriented urban bike is a must if you live in the city! In this article we'll give you our picks for the best commuter, fitness, and fixie bikes for under $1,000 in 2023!

Why You Should Trust Us

99 Spokes is a team of passionate cyclists and software developers who created a platform to help fellow enthusiasts navigate the complex world of bike buying.

Consider us your cycling-obsessed friend who you can turn to for advice on your next bike purchase.

Click here to learn more about the factors we consider when making bike recommendations.

Most Feature-Packed
Kona Dew Deluxe

The Kona Dew Deluxe has everything you need to commute comfortably in all conditions and environments.

The pandemic is over and your boss wants you back in the office. The Kona Dew Deluxe will get you there – with fenders for the rain, a wide range 1x drivetrain and hydraulic brakes for the hills, and high volume (read comfortable) fast rolling and puncture resistant 650b wheels to smooth out the rough spots. Plus, plenty of frame mount points for any additional accessories you need.

Most Simplistic
State Bicycle Co. City Elliston 3 Speed

If you're looking for a simple cruiser to take out on your commute, or just a nice stylish bike to take out on the town, we can't think of a better option than the City Elliston from State Bicycle Co.

Simplicity is what this bike is all about — featuring a  low maintenance Shimano 3-speed internal hub,  coaster brake, front and rear fenders, and chainguard. All this and still coming in as the least expensive bike on our list.

Best All Around Commuter

One reason the FX 2 is so popular is it’s made by Trek, one of the most popular cycling brands worldwide. This also means they have a lot of experience building a commuter for riders around the globe. Highlights include an aluminum frame, hydraulic disc brakes, and an 18 speed (2x9) drivetrain to provide a wider gearing range and more granularity between the intermediate gears. Trek has also added a couple interesting proprietary features, including the Blendr system for seamlessly mounting a computer or light to the handlebar, and an integrated bluetooth interface (DuoTrap) for your cycle computer.

Best Steel Commuter
Surly Preamble Flat Bar

Surly has been making rad steel bikes since the 1990s. It’s hard to define the brand ethos, but they’ve developed a cult following with their pragmatic approach to producing reliable bikes. And what more could you want from a commuter than that?

The Surly Preamble comes in a wide size range (XS-XL), with 650b wheels on the smaller sizes and 700c on the larger. The 1x8 Microshift drivetrain and mechanical disc brakes provide reliable performance without the maintenance burden of compact gear ranges and hydraulic fluid. The Preamble is equipped with plenty of mount points and a choice between flat and drop bars – commuter during the week, adventure bikepacking rig on the weekends 🤙. 

Best Fixed Gear
All-City Big Block

Is a fixed gear commuter a good idea for everyone? No… but it’s sure fun and we’d be remiss to make a commuter list without including one.

The Big Block is a rolling work of art – with its traditional looks, 612 Select steel tubing, lugged fork, signature dropouts, and integrated chain tensioner. Just don’t forget to keep pedaling.

Conclusion

From packed with features to simple and stylish, there’s a perfect commuter out there for everyone. If you want to dig a little deeper take a look at the comparison table below, and feel free to reach out to the 99 Spokes Discord channel if you have questions for the community!

MSRP
$949$499$799$899$999
Spec Level
Weight
25.9 lbs
Frame
AluminumSteelAluminumSteelSteel
Fork
AluminumAluminumSteel
Wheel Size
650b700c700c650c700c
Brakes
Hydraulic DiscCoasterHydraulic DiscMechanical DiscRim
Groupset
DeoreAltus, AceramicroSHIFT, microSHIFT Acolyte
Drivetrain
1 × 112 × 91 × 8
Where to Buy
$949

At Kona

$799

At Trek

$898

At Campfire Cycling

$999

At Mike’s Bikes