New York City is famous for its traffic jams, but you don’t have to worry about them if you ride a bicycle. If you always want to find parking and reach your destination on time in NYC, a bike is the best option for navigating the crowds and roadway congestion. What is the best bicycle for New York City?
The Tommaso La Forma Fitness Commuter Hybrid is the best bicycle for New York City because it’s made for city streets. You’ll be able to navigate packed thoroughfares quickly on this agile bike, and the precision shifting makes the trip smooth. The La Forma is also available in multiple frame sizes, so every rider gets the right fit.
To see all of my up-to-date recommendations for bikes and cycling gear, check out this resource that I made for you!
What Kind Of Bike Is Good For NYC
Most bike riders in the Big Apple need a road-ready commuter or hybrid-commuter bicycle that can move quickly.
Agility is essential in traffic, but having a comfortable upright, heads-up riding position is worth sacrificing a little speed. Commuter bikes are made for city travel.
Road bikes are a close second place, but only if you value speed over comfort and need to travel long distances fast.
Bike Hacks breaks down the differences. “Well, to put it succinctly, a road bike is essentially like an exotic race car; it drives fast, but it’s pretty bare-bones. Commuter bikes, on the other hand, are your old reliable; comfortable, easy to use, and don’t ask for much, but it’s not going to break any land-speed records.”
5 Best Bikes For New York City
If you plan to use pedal-powered transportation in the city that never sleeps, it pays to look at the options carefully.
From road bikes built for speed to a commuter that folds up for easy transport and storage, I’ve looked at thousands of bikes and carefully curated this list of the top five best bikes for New York City.
You need a highly durable and seriously reliable bicycle in NYC, and these 5 will get you where you need to go.
1 – Best Bicycle For NYC – (Tommaso La Forma Fitness Commuter Hybrid Bike)
- QUALITY CYCLING PRODUCTS SINCE 1985: Our Italian designed cycling shoes, bicycle, and cycling products have made riders look like pros since '85. But we're more than just fancy gear, we're a community. Our cycling-crazed customer service team in Denver can help with any questions or concerns. Plus, our Lifetime Warranty Replacement Promise means you can put our gear to the test with unrelenting confidence. We hope that you will Join The Ride, for fun, fitness, and community.
- THIS IS AFFORDABLE PERFORMANCE, NOT ENTRY LEVEL: The La Forma is a top-performing bike that's not just for beginners. Starting cycling can be intimidating, but we believe that new riders deserve bikes that deliver affordable performance without compromising on quality. This bike is perfect for new riders who are serious about their cycling goals. Unlike other so-called "beginner bikes" that are quickly outgrown, the La Forma comes packed with high-quality components found on high end bikes.
- NEVER MISS A SHIFT: Shimano Acera Rapid Fire shifters provide fast, reliable shifting in all riding conditions, so you can focus on pushing yourself. Unlike our competitors, who cut corners and use off-brand parts to save money, we use a 100% Shimano drivetrain. Why? Because Shimano makes the best drivetrain on the planet, and they're at their best when used together as a complete set. Please note that professional assembly is required to validate your warranty and ensure optimal performance
- OPTIMIZED FIT FOR ADDED COMFORT: This pormance machine offers an unrivaled level of comfort that takes the joy of riding to new heights. The compact frame and upright geometry ensure a riding position that keeps you in control and at ease, while the flat handlebars provide a solid grip for maximum confidence. Whether you're cruising through the city streets or embarking on your daily commute, the La Forma is perfect. Built for speed and reliability, this bike is the ultimate fitness thrill.
- BUILT TO LAST: All too often things are made cheaply and break before their time. We believe that bikes should be reliable and built to last. This is why we use premium aluminum in our frames, and back it with our industry leading lifetime warranty. We use only Shimano components, which are backed by Shimano’s two year warranty and function better than competitors. Ride with confidence! PLEASE NOTE: ALL BIKES ON AMAZON COME UN-TUNED. PROFESSIONAL ASSEMBLY REQUIRED TO VALIDATE WARRANTIES!
The Tommaso La Forma Fitness Commuter Hybrid Bicycle is the best option for New York City. This bike is the ideal combination of speed and power.
A commuter’s heads-up riding position means you’ll be more aware of your surroundings so you can navigate traffic smoothly with the excellent Shimano Acera Rapid Fire shifters.
A lightweight frame and carbon fiber fork contribute to making your travels comfortable.
Plus, you get the Lifetime Frame & Fork Warranty to ensure they provide that reliable, vibration-draining comfort.
Check out this outstanding Tommaso La Forma Hybrid Commuter Bike when you click the link.
2 – Best Commuter Bicycle For New York City – (Xspec Compact Folding City Commuter Bike)
- This is NOT an electric bike! The folding bike easily folds to fit into the trunk of a car, making it perfect for students and commuters, who do not have a car bike rack or who would prefer bringing their bikes along to avoid being stolen.
- Folds flat in seconds! Folded dimensions approx. 29" L x 24" H x 13". Easy to carry and easy to store in the car, closet, or garage. Note: Pedals are different in appearance. Only the right pedal folds in.
- Quality parts such as 7 speed shifter and rear derailleur. (NOT ELECTRIC)
- The comfortable seat easily adjusts to most riders ranging from five feet to over six feet tall. Max user weight: 220 lbs.
- Aluminum wheels with high grade 20" x 1.75" road tires. Some assembly and tools are required.
The top non-hybrid commuter is the Xspec Compact Folding City Commuter Bike from Amazon.
This bike is ideal for anyone with limited space in their apartment for bike storage.
Plus, this well-designed portable bike folds down flat in seconds, so you can put it in a car trunk or carry it with you instead of leaving your bike outdoors in a rack where you risk theft.
You will appreciate the smooth SL-TX30 shifter on this seven-speed bike. Moreover, the seat post on this 20″ wheeled bike adjusts to fit people from 5′ to over 6′ tall despite its compact appearance.
You can find this fantastic fording commuter when you click the link.
3 – Best Road Bicycle For New York City – (Schwinn Phocus Adult Road Bike)
- Aluminum road frame with carbon fiber road fork provide lightweight strength; 700c wheels fit riders 64 to 74 inches tall
- 16-speed shifter / brake lever combination offers precise, smooth gear changes
- High profile alloy double wall rims with paired spokes are lightweight and strong with front quick release
- Promax alloy dual pivot caliper road brakes deliver crisp, secure stops
- Alloy crank for wide gear range; road style tread tires supply fast and smooth riding
It’s always a good idea to get a bike from a trusted company, and Schwinn has been around since 1895.
With over 132 years of experience, you can always count on this reliable and beloved brand to put out a great bike.
I recommend the Phocus Adult Road Bike for people living or working in New York City.
The Promax alloy dual pivot caliper road brakes offer superb stopping power in traffic. Plus, the light aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork offer excellent durability.
Learn more about this great Schwinn bicycle when you click the link.
4 – Best Men’s Bicycle For New York City – (Vilano R2 Commuter Road Bike)
- 6061 Double Butted Aluminum Frame - Lightweight
- A050 Thumb Shifters
- 700c Doubled Walled CNC Machined Wheelset with Quick Release Skewers
- 21 Speed Drivetrain to Handle Any Situation
- Free Pedals Included, Bike is Factory Direct, Assembly & Tuning are required
The Men’s Vilano R2 Commuter has massive 29″ wheels designed to get you places quickly.
A larger tire means you don’t have to work as hard or pedal as much to cover distances.
With a 12-speed drive train, you can ride this versatile commuter in the city or take it on tour and ride in varied terrain with more hills.
You’ll love how smooth and easy it is to use the A050 thumb shifters. Best of all, Vilano bikes come factory direct.
Have the Men’s Vilano R2 Commuter delivered to your door fast by clicking the link.
5 – Best Women’s Bicycle For New York City – (Hiland Hybrid Ladies Commuter Bike)
- 【Professional Design】The high quality aluminium frame and excellent painting make this bike very attractive and designed for some cyclists or commuters. The lower seat height is also suitable for women.
- 【Safe Ride】The brakes are dual caliper to ensure you get good control in case of emergency. And the SHIMANO 7-speed drivetrain lets you enjoy a variety of riding styles on all types of roads.
- 【Special Experience]】The 700C's wheels reduce aerodynamic drag for a more controlled ride. It also gives you the high-speed experience of a road bike.
- 【Assembly Guide】85% pre-assembled, easy to install, including free installation tools and pedals.
- 【Height Recommendation】18 inch frame fits people who are 5'6"-6" tall.
Women in New York need a great commuter bike as well. I suggest looking into the Ladies Hiland Hybrid Commuter bike from Amazon.
This small or medium framed bike comes in three great colorways and offers a lower toptube for riding in a skirt or dress.
Since this bike comes 85% pre-assembled, you can quickly put it together with the included tools in a few minutes.
More importantly, the pedals are included, which isn’t always standard. Cruise the NYC streets in style on the Ladies Hiland Hybrid Commuter by clicking the link.
Best Bicycle For New York City Buyers Guide
Choosing the best bike for any environment can be tricky because you need to consider the terrain.
Fortunately, NYC streets may be crowded, but they are also reasonably level. You won’t need to tackle many large hills.
However, you need to consider parking, brakes, and tire attachment issues.
1 – Kickstand Concerns
Living in the city means you’ll probably spend more time out of the house, making lots of shorter trips and quick stops.
A bike means never having to worry excessively about parking, which is excellent. However, the downside is that it wears more than usual on your kickstand.
The metal will probably hold up for years, but the hinge or spring will wear faster.
Double-check the reviews for any complaints about kickstand failure before you buy and ensure that the company your bicycle comes from sells spare parts for your model.
2 – Tire Attachment
High-quality tires are always worth the extra, but you won’t have them for long if you park your bike in a high-risk area with removable wheels.
Quick-release tires are great and make repairs easy for DIYers. However, in a crowded city with a higher theft rate (compared to smaller towns and rural areas), tires that anyone can grab in a few seconds are detrimental.
Always check to see how your wheels attach, and whenever possible, opt for harder to steal tires.
3 – Brakes
City traffic can be incredibly unpredictable. Good bicycle brakes aren’t negotiable because they can save your life.
Before you even consider a bicycle, look at the type of brakes it has installed and do a search to see if there are any known issues with them.
For example, disc brakes have excellent stopping power, but they tend to slip when wet.
Alternatively, a coaster brake is abrupt and won’t let you slow down gradually, but it never fails in the rain. These brakes engage when you push backward on your pedals.
Unfortunately, as Two Wheeling Tots explains, “They are commonly found on kids bikes as well as adult cruiser-style bicycles, but are never found on technical bikes such as mountain bikes or road bikes.”
Still, you can sometimes get these brakes on a hybrid city bike.
Helpful Tips To Know About The Best Bicycle For New York City
New York City is a fantastic place to ride a bike because it can reduce wasted time since you can avoid traffic jams and park with ease.
Additionally, cycling to work or for fun is an excellent way to ensure that you stay healthy.
Here are a few helpful tips to know about the best bicycle for New York City.
- New York is surprisingly bicycle-friendly. As part of the Green Wave, NYC DOT installed 29.5 lane miles of protected bike lanes two years ago. Now you can get around town more safely and accessibly on two wheels.
- There are about 8.5 million people in NYC, and there are around 20 million bicycles produced every year, enough for every New Yorker to have 2 bikes at home.
- According to the New York City Department of Transportation, “Approximately eight hundred thousand (773,000) New Yorkers ride a bike regularly. It is estimated that over 530,000 cycling trips are made each day in New York City—more than triple the amount taken 15 years ago.
- Road bikes often come with up to 21 speeds. However, in a city like New York that isn’t known for many elevation changes or steep hills, you’ll have no trouble using fewer gears.
New York City is a fantastic place to be a cyclist. You can avoid the problem of finding parking, and you’ll get where you’re going much faster in many cases.
The famous NYC traffic jams are a mess, but cyclists can weave between cars and keep right on moving.
However, you’re not going to make it very far on a cheap, busted bike. The right, high-quality, durable bike will shift and stop smoothly and help you get around town safely and quickly, so you are always on time.
Once you know what to look for, it’s a lot easier to find the best bicycle for New York City, and any one of the five bikes on this can take the pressure of city traffic.