Commuter Bicycle recommedations?

Planning to move in a couple months, the goal for my fiancee is to bike to her school (also her workplace)
Hopefully it’ll be about 5 miles each way, mostly on roadway or sidewalk.

She hardly ever cycles so is a bit nervous about this change, do you know of any good commuter bikes that are good for a short person (5’1’')
We are also on a budget, not sure what to expect maybe around $400?
We live in Florida so the only other concern is occasional rain and crazy drivers :laughing:

Maybe if there’s better deals for multiple bikes I’ll get one for fun too…

Definitely over your budget but I love these bikes;

I always recommend people look at cyclocross bikes for commuting. so much better than a hybrid. Road bike speed with bigger, treaded tyres and disc brakes.

Oh those are nice, but yes definitely out of my range. I think I’d spend 400 max, it seems like 200 maybe too low

Good tip I’ll look into those! Decent speed would be a plus, and who knows we may want to go off road if we got something like that

This one is $295, closer to your budget. :smiley:


Treaded tires on a road or sidewalk? Disc brakes? With that budget?

I’ll come right out and say it, your girlfriend is short. A horizontal top tube with 700c wheels won’t work. Unless she is all torso, the top tube length will be too long to avoid toe overlap. She’ll be stretched out and will eventually hate the bike.

I would recommend what is call a mixte. They can readily found on Craigslist. I would also recommend fenders and a rear rack to carry a change of clothes, lunch, other work stuff. Carrying a bag will make you back sweaty, even in freezing temperatures. Good blinkies front and rear. And good commuting clothing - good stretch, form fitting so it doesn’t act as a sail and a couple water-repellent items.

If you don’t want used from CL, and you are a decent mechanic because the quality is not the highest,, $500

$400 doesn’t really give you much in the way of budget, something small with fenders will be fine. I’d suggest just going to your local bike shop and seeing what they have in that price range and also letting her ride a few different variations to see what she prefers.

For a 5 mile commute I would personally recommend something less hipster (straight bars vs very swept back - those bars are cute but ergonomically poor and offering fairly bad control on a long ride). Something more like a hybrid with a step through frame. Your shop can add fenders on.

Also, depending on your area, my $100 used commuter (20 year old Cannondale road bike) got stolen after 3 weeks and I wound up just replacing it with a $150 Amazon China bike so when it gets stolen again I don’t feel as bad.

How about this?

In Europe almost all women ride something like this. A good percentage of men also rides the female version.
No gears, often a kickback brake, less mechanical parts = less issues
They are great rides. Add a basket on the front and bags on the back, a loud bell, and you can do groceries with it.
Believe me, I have a lifetime of experience with bike commute :slight_smile:


A rigid mountain bike with slick tires would be cheap as dirt off of CL. 26" wheels would fit better.

+1 to everything iab has suggested and questioned.

My wife is 5’3" and barely fit a “women’s specific” 47cm road bike with 700c wheels.

Go as small as posssible. 15" mountain bike with 26"x1" tires would be perfect. You can get something used for under $350, then add tires for $50.

I pretty much own every type of bike under the sun, so its not as ridiculous as it sounds. You can get one brand new in Aus for $550:
So 440 USD isnt that crazy…

I pretty much own every type of bike under the sun, so its not as ridiculous as it sounds. You can get one brand new in Aus for $550:
So 440 USD isnt that crazy…

Me like.

Dang. That is inexpensive. Cheaper to ship to Oz from China? :wink:

And I wholeheartedly agree that the OP should get a bike with enough clearance for a minimum 32mm tires and fenders like a CX. But it does not negate the fact that diamond frames don’t work for short people and tires should be smooth for pavement and the only place for a heavy tread is mud.

I would also advocate the simplest bike for a commuter. More stuff just means more stuff to fix. Needing to fix a commuter means you have to do it before you go to work the next day. When I get home, or to work, the last thing I want to do is fix my bike. (Although like you, I have several bikes and could substitute, but us bike nuts are the exception) While not for everyone, my commuter is fixed with a single rim brake, platforms and 35mm Panaracer Paselas. Probably could get a good $200 on Craigslist for it. Perfect tool for the job.

I ride 35c Panaracer T-Serv’s on my Salsa Vaya (because I’m on the larger size of adult male). They’re delightfully durable for commuting as they were designed for messengers. Highly recommend.

I like the tan sidewall of the Pasela. But I am old school.

As soon as I get the first flat, they are done. After the tread gets thin, you’ll get a flat once every 2 weeks. A grain of sand will pop the tire when there is thin tread.

But I get 1 season out the rear (maybe 4K-5K miles?, I don’t measure) and 2 seasons out of the front before I start flatting.

Thanks for all of the recommendations everyone!
I am ok with CL but we will keep all these notes in mind and visit a specialty bike shop as well.

I was reminded of this thread when I saw this article;

can I just get the bike from Rushmore though? :slight_smile: