Whether you’re a novice cyclist or simply on a budget, the best cheap bikes can get you where you need to go. But not all bikes are right for all types of use. Hybrid bikes are a great go-to for comfortable, casual riding. Pared-down fixed-gear bikes take some practice to master, but require relatively little maintenance over time. Road bikes can be pricier than other types of bikes, but they’re the optimal choice for speed on paved roads. Durable mountain bikes are designed to expertly handle off-road conditions. And if storage is an issue, a folding bike will take up less space in between uses.
Budget-friendly bike frames are commonly made of aluminum or steel. Steel is more durable than aluminum, but it’s also heavier — so if weight is a concern, opt for an aluminum frame. A cheap bike may have limited features compared to more expensive models, but many still offer name-brand "groupsets" (the mechanical components that make the bike move). A multi-speed bike is widely appreciated for helping riders find comfortable pedal resistance across different terrains, but fixed-gear bikes with just one speed have become popular, and some riders find that they're easier to control in urban settings.
There’s no substitute for test-riding a bike at a store, but looking closely at particular model’s specifications with your own measurements in mind can help you choose the right size. For each bike, make sure to read the size chart and the bike's listed dimensions, as manufacturers can measure bikes differently. While many are sold as unisex models, women’s bikes sometimes feature different proportions. Your own needs and measurements should determine the size and type of bike you get, regardless of how it’s categorized.
Can you spend upwards of $10,000 on a bike? Sure. But it’s also possible to find a reliable bike for a fraction of the price. Here are some options to get you started.
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1. The hybrid bike
The sixthreezero EVRYjourney Bike combines features you'd find in a comfort bike with those of a commuter bike to create a practical, everyday mode of getting around. The 19-inch steel frame has a step-through retro cruiser profile which allows you to sit more upright for a comfortable ride, and it comes in an eye-catching matte black color. The Shimano external derailleur offers you seven speeds to shift between, and front and rear brakes help you stop quickly and safely.
The EVRYjourney features an extra-wide saddle, faux leather handlebar grips, a rear rack for attaching a basket, and fenders to keep you dry as you ride. The bike's 26-inch wheels and 2-inch-wide tires can provide traction on both paved surfaces and hard-packed trails, according to Amazon reviewers. It's designed to fit riders who measure between 5 feet and 6 feet 4 inches in height, and it comes 85% assembled so that it's easy to finish putting it together.
This bike is categorized as a men’s bike, but remember that you can choose any bike that fits you best, regardless of how it’s labeled.
One reviewer says: “The bike is absolutely beautiful - it's the best looking bike on the road. All the materials are high quality and nothing feels 'cheap.' The ride is extremely comfortable. It provides a nice, laid-back riding position with the most comfortable bike seat I've ever had. Switching through the gears is effortless and the brakes are smooth and responsive. The seat height can be easily adjusted so both my husband and I can ride it. [...] I can't say enough good things about this bike!”
- Available sizes: One size only
This Explore Your Range Bike is made by the same company as the EVRYjourney Bike, and features some of the same features, including a Shimano seven-speed external derailleur, front and rear handbrakes, full fenders, and a rear rack. The seat and handlebar are positioned to allow you to sit comfortably upright, similar to a cruiser bike, and it comes 85% assembled so it's easy to put together.
Unlike the EVRYjourney bike, this sixthreezero model features an aluminum hybrid frame and a 700 x 38C wheel set. It's designed to carry slightly smaller riders, ranging between 5 feet and 6 feet 2 inches tall. It comes in a bright teal color.
One reviewer says: “I absolutely love this bike. It is so beautiful and rides very smooth. The gears shift well and it is so light but still sturdy! I would highly recommend this bike to others looking for everyday bike transportation. It has 7 speeds and rides very comfortably - not to mention the sleek and modern design that it has. Love this bike, great details, sturdy and rides well!”
- Available sizes: One size only
2. The fixed-gear bike
There’s a learning curve with fixed-gear bikes like the 6KU Urban Track Bike because they don’t have multiple speeds and they're designed to be slowed with your feet. But they have plenty of pros: they tend to be low maintenance, budget-friendly, and lightweight. If you're new to the "fixie" world, this model could be a good way to dip your toes in, as it features a flip-flop hub which allows you to set it up as either a fixed-gear or freewheel bike.
Both the black-colored frame and fork are made of lightweight aluminum and the alloy rims are double-walled for extra strength. The bike comes with 700 x 25C Kenda tires, but the wheels are compatible with most tires measuring up to 28C. Although you can slow fixed-gear bikes with the pedals, your fixie may legally need brakes, depending on where you live; the 6KU Urban Track Bike comes with front and rear caliper brakes in case you need them.
This is a great deal for a bike, which means it doesn’t feature much in the way of name-brand components. If that’s something you’d like to shell out some more cash for, you should consider the pricier Schwinn Stites Single-Speed Fixie Bike instead.
According to the manufacturer, 6KU frames are warranted for the lifetime of the original owner, and all other 6KU components are warranted for one year from the day you purchase it.
One reviewer says: “The 6KU Urban Track is a great bike for anyone that needs a low maintenance commuter that looks better than the price. Definitely recommend - I commute 2 miles to university every day and love riding every time.”
- Available sizes: Small and Medium
3. The mountain bike
If you're looking for a bike to do some off-roading, give the hardy Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike a try. It has a Schwinn mountain steel frame and Schwinn suspension fork, plus Shimano twist shifters with a 21-speed rear derailleur. Front and rear alloy pull brakes help you stop on a dime, and the all-terrain tires measure 2 inches wide for extra grip as you travel across different types of terrain. The alloy wheels come in five sizes, ranging from 20 inches to 29 inches. According to Schwinn, the 26-inch, 27.5-inch, and 29-inch wheels can all fit riders approximately 5 feet 3 inches to 6 feet 2 inches tall.
The Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike comes with a limited lifetime warranty. It's available in a handful of different colors and you can also snag versions of it with an aluminum frame (with or without disc brakes).
One reviewer says: “This is a great bike. We bought it for family bike rides through cross town trails and it is perfect. It was relatively easy to assemble [...] This is a fantastic bike, and we will buy another one so we have one for each adult.”
- Available sizes: 20-Inch Wheels, 24-Inch Wheels, 26-Inch Wheels, 27.5-Inch Wheels, and 29-Inch Wheels
4. The road bike
This Tommaso Road Bike is more expensive than the other options on this list, but it’s still a very reasonable price for a brand-new road bike and it's made with many high-quality components. Road bikes tend to cost more than other types of bikes, but they're the way to go for anyone who wants to glide easily along pavement.
The bike is designed to ride smooth. It has a lightweight aluminum frame and a HCT Carbon Fork to help lessen vibrations as you ride. A full Shimano groupset allows you to adjust between 20 total speeds, and Shimano Tiagra STI shifters make shifting easy. The wheel groupset features Tommaso Corsa TC-40 rims. The frame can also accommodate a variety of racks and fenders, so you'll be free to customize it as you wish. It comes in a sharp-looking matte black.
This bike also comes with a lifetime frame-and-fork warranty, but you’ll need to have a professional assemble it and validate that warranty.
One reviewer says: “WOW!! This bike is so smooth, that's why I name it [Dr.] Smoothy. I was developing some elbow pain from riding my other bike and after the first ride, I could immediately tell the difference. So much less vibration up the bike, I felt like [I] was riding on a cloud. So glad I went with a bike that has a carbon fork. The gear shifting is smooth, and very responsive. I am over 500 miles in on this bike and everything is running like a charm. [...] The bike is [super] light and looks great!”
- Available sizes: XS (5’2”-5’6”) to XL (6’2”-6’5”)
5. The folding bike
Perfect for cramped city living, this Schwinn Loop Bike folds up to just 30 by 32 by 11 inches and comes with a nylon bag to protect it when it's not in use. The seven-speed bike has a steel frame, a rear rack for carrying your items, and a pant guard and fenders to help keep your clothes fresh. The 20-inch alloy wheels are the smallest on this list — but smaller wheels can make bikes easier to maneuver, particularly for smaller riders. It's not a bike solely for short cyclists, though — the adjustable seat can accommodate riders up to 6 feet tall.
The Schwinn Loop Folding Bike comes with a limited lifetime warranty. You can grab it in black, white, or silver.
One reviewer says: “I ride this thing all around the city, and it lives in my trunk by night. I love it, and get stopped regularly with people asking about it. They always assume it cost me an arm and a leg, and are shocked when they hear the price!”
- Available sizes: One size only