5 Best Bikes for College Students that are Affordable

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I chose the Road Master Granite Peak Mountain Bike as the best bike for college students (see the Men’s or Women’s version on Amazon). 

It’s a reasonably priced choice for the budget conscious college student. Plus, you can ride it on the roads to college or trails on the weekend.

It comes in both women’s and men’s versions.

I found a few other great bikes on my search, too.

Here are your other top options.

The 5 best bikes for college students are:

  • Road Master Granite Peak Mountain Bike (Men’s and Women’s Versions)
  • KENT Thruster 700C Men’s Fixie Bike (Men)
  • Kent International Ladies Cruiser Street Bike (Women)
  • SixThreeZero EVRYjourney Women’s Step-Through Cruiser Bike (Women)
  • Kent Pomona Men’s Dual Suspension Comfort Bike (Men)

1. Road Master Granite Peak Mountain Bike (Men’s and Women’s Versions)

Quick Review: If you want an affordable and reliable mountain bike that will get you from A to B, here’s your best bet. It comes in at a reasonable price range and can be used for both getting to campus and trail riding on the weekend.

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ir?t=help prof 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B07G6GBHD9Check the Price of the Men’s Version
on Amazon.
Check the Price of the Women’s Version on Amazon.

Why I Like It:

It’s the sort of bike that you can use during the week for cycling to college and during the weekend for trail riding. I love it because it’s your all-purpose, no-fuss college student bike.

Make the most of the 18-speed twist shifter to easily navigate your terrain. Shift to a lower speed for uphill riding or cruise at a higher speed on flats.

There are both men’s and women’s versions of this bike. Guys and girls, you’ll all fit this bike if you’re between 5’4″ to 6’2″ tall.

I also look for a bike with an easily adjustable seat. You can adjust the seat on this one without the need for any tools to suit your height and style.

Best For:

Riding the streets to college on weekdays and off the beaten path on weekends. 

2. SixThreeZero EVRYjourney Women’s Step-Through Cruiser Bike (Women)

Quick Review: This bike looks like such a cool, carefree cruiser. You’ll be the envy of the campus riding this little beauty to college each day.

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Check the price
on Amazon.

Why I Like It:

What can I say except – how cool does it look! The high handlebars and cruiser saddle mean you sit further back and more upright on this bike than a normal road bike. The low frame also makes it an easy step to get on and off.

You can choose your color, too! There’s blue, teal and yellow frames to customize the bike to your preferences.

It’s the sort of bike you’d see decorating the garden of your local coffee shop.

Don’t forget about the tray above the back wheel for tying down some extra supplies or textbooks that you need to carry along to campus.

You can get it as a one-speed, three-speed or seven-speed piece. If you’re in a hilly college town, consider the option with multiple speeds.

Best For:

Cruising around the college campus or riding to the cafe on a weekend.

3. Kent Pomona Men’s Dual Suspension Comfort Bike (Men)

Quick Review: A men’s city bike with a swept-back handlebar for a stylish look. Check out the drink holder in the image below: great for getting a coffee on the way to your morning class!

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Check the price
 on Amazon.

Why I Like It:

It’s a stylish way to get to and from campus. The bike’s a city rider but the 7-speed drive train will help you get up and down the hills between home and class.

I particularly like the swept-back handlebars and brown seat that give it a classic look.

Also check out the cup holder on the handlebars, so you’ll never have to knock back that coffee before your ride again. Take it to-go and get to class on time!

Best For:

Guys who want to ride to and from their city campus in style.

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4. Kent International Ladies Cruiser Street Bike (Women)

Quick Review: Another super cool women’s cruiser bike, this one has a classic look that you’d see on campus on a warm summer afternoon.

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Check the price
on Amazon.

Why I Like It:

This single-speed cruiser is great for someone who wants to ride from A to B in style without the bells and whistles. Kent have really slimmed down the design to make it an affordable option for the college student on a budget.

This one is usually only available in teal, but heck – it’s a super cool color for a bike frame anyway, so I’m not complaining.

Like the SixThreeZero cruiser above, this Kent version has a low sitting frame so women can step through and jump on the saddle with ease.

Best For:

Cruising to and from your city campus or riding to the beach on a weekend.

5. KENT Thruster 700C Men’s Fixie Bike (Men)

Quick Review: This one’s for the college student who just wants a no-fuss ride to and from their city college campus. Feel the wind in your hair and zip between the traffic within minutes of delivery of your cruiser.

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Check the price
on Amazon.

Why I Like It:

It’s a one-speed bike, meaning it’s great for the no-nonsense city rider. However, if you want to do some off-road mountain bike riding on the weekend, I’d recommend the Road Master (above) over this one.

The manufacturers have designed this one as a sleek looking bike for an athletic fee;.

The other big pro of this bike it that it’s super lightweight. Without the bells and whistles of extra gears and off road suspension, it comes in at a low weight and low maintenance bicycle.

Best For:

City riding to and from college. You could also retrofit an electric motor to it if you’re interested in a weekend project!

Considered a Tricycle? See the Happybuy 20 Inch Adult Tricycle (Unisex)

Quick Review: I couldn’t resist showing you one more option: A tricycle! You’ll make a splash riding this one to and from campus. The carry tray in the back will easily hold all your textbooks – and more!

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Check the price
on Amazon.

Why I Like It:

It’s cool, quirky and practical. It’ll bear a load of 300lb, so throw as many textbooks into that basket on the back as you like!

The high-rise, swept back handlebars give the rider a laid-back Sunday rider look.

The comfort spring saddle will help you feel relaxed on your ride to campus.

Lastly, you can fold it down for storage or to throw in a car, so when your friends invite you for a beer after class, you’ll be able to hitch a ride and throw the trike in the trunk.

Best For:

A quirky college student out for a good time on campus!

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What to Look for in a Bicycle (College Student Version)

1. Gears

If you’re going to be heading up and down hills to get to campus, consider a multi-gear bike.

Similarly, consider whether you’ll be using the bike on weekends for some trail riding. If you’re interested in checking out the trails, you’ll probably want to go for a multi-speed bike (Try Number 1 on this list). 

If you’re a city dweller without too many hills to worry about, a single speed will do. They’re much less fuss and more lightweight, so you’ll probably have a better time without those extra gears.

2. Suspension

Quality suspension is necessary for going off the beaten track. If you’re thinking you’ll be bumping over some loose rocks and tree roots, go for the mountain bike option. But you might not need to worry quite so much in college cities with great bike paths. A single-speed cruiser would be plenty for a cruisy city rider.

3. Fenders

Fenders cover the back wheel or bike chain. They can be a great look on some bikes. But, they also serve an important purpose. If you’re riding to and from campus on rainy days (let’s face it, there will be a few each year), the fender will protect your clothing from the splash of muddy water.

4. Saddle

The bike seat (or ‘saddle’) needs to be comfortable. Some bikes have extra suspension on the seat to absorb bumps. Others will simply try to have a padded surface to help you feel comfortable.

Another thing I like to look out for in my bike seats is tool-free adjustability. I want to be able to stop and adjust the height of the saddle at a red traffic light – no fuss!

5. Baskets and Drink Holders

If you’re carrying very heavy objects, consider the tricycle on this list … which has an awesome basket on the back and a 300lb weight tolerance.

You could also buy an aftermarket handlebar basket.

Drink holders are another plus, especially if you love your coffee. Try the Kent Pomona (Number 5 on this list) if you’re really keen on a coffee drink holder on your bike.

What Else You’ll Need

1. Backpack

If you’re riding to and from campus, you’ll need somewhere to carry your textbooks (oh, and lunch!). Consider reviewing out list of 5 best backpacks for college students for a range of options that’ll suit your needs.

2. Helmet

It’s a bad idea to go riding without a helmet. And in fact, in many jurisdictions, a helmet is legally required. I’ve seen cops pull college students over who weren’t wearing helmets and deflate their tires so they couldn’t keep riding!

3. Bike Lock

You’re at college – it’s full of idiot kids who make terrible life decisions. Like stealing bikes. So, you’re going to need a bike lock. They’re affordable and necessary, so I’d recommend just adding one to your purchase when you buy your bike off Amazon.

What to Expect when you Buy a Bike Online

Your bike should turn up in just a few days (Amazon is super fast usually). It’ll be a bit like Ikea, though. There will be a little bit of work required to assemble it. With a simple toolkit (mostly screwdrivers and allen keys), you’ll be on your way in about 30 minutes.

You might also want to check the warranty before your purchase. Most decent retailers will have a returns policy in case something happens on delivery.

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Final Thoughts

College is a great time of life. Riding to and from campus with your friends is a rite of passage. When you get that cute shared rental home around the corner from campus, the bike is the obvious next step.

The main thing to keep in mind when looking at the best bikes for college students is whether you want a multi-purpose bike or just a city cruiser. 

If you’re interested in a little casual mountain biking or trail riding on the weekend, make sure you get one with suspension and gears such as Number 1 on the list above.

If you’re more of a city cruiser just looking to get to campus, the pub and the cafe on a weekend consider one of the awesome looking cruisers on the list above.


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Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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