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9 Best Women’s Commuter Bikes And City Bikes

Bicycle commuting is the embodiment of everything we love about cycling.  It is environmentally responsible, provides good exercise, boosts your mood, is affordable, and reduces congestion. 

Unfortunately, there are far fewer female cyclists than there are men.  There are many reasons for this–risk tolerance, child-care, etc. 

Another reason is that women are often marginalized in the sport.  It can be uncomfortable walking into a bike shop with a bunch of men salespeople, and a bunch of bikes marketed to men. 

womens commuter and city bikes

Photo Credit: Civia Bikes

For that reason, we’ve created a list of our favorite commuter bikes for women, as well as a list of things to consider when choosing a bicycle for commuting.  So you can be empowered.

Of course, the best commuter bike is quite possibly the bike you already have.  The beauty of commuter bikes is that they don’t have to be fancy. 

In fact, not fancy is often best.  An old bike can be abused without remorse–ridden in snow and salt, and left outside. 

A not-so-fancy bike can also be locked outside without fear of theft, or if it does get stolen, the consequence isn’t quite so high.  For tips on upgrading the bike laying around in your garage to make it a real “commuter,” read our article on how to turn any bike into a commuter.

All that said, if you are still in the market for a new commuter bike, here are our favorites.  Whether you are looking for a simple steed to ride to work, a family bike to haul the kids to daycare, or an e-assist commuter to make it up big hills and travel long distances, you’ll find a good option for yourself here.

Note, that these aren’t all “women’s bikes.”  We’ve picked bikes that work well for women, regardless of marketing gimics.

Table Of Contents
Best Traditional Women's Commuter/City Bikes
Best Cargo And Electric Women's Commuter/City Bikes
How To Choose

The Best Traditional Women’s Commuter Bicycles

Our favorite commuter bikes are simple, easy to maintain, and not too expensive.

BikeWhat We LovePrice
1Roll C:1 City BikeSleek, durable frame and components$899
2Priority Classic PlusBelt drive, low maintenance$599
3Tern NodeFolding bike, great for apartment dwellers / subway$1,299
4Co-Op Cycles CTYMechanical disc brakes, can use REI dividend$599

Roll C:1 City Bike

roll city bike

My top pick is the Roll C:1 City Bike. It’s everything you want in a commuter bike: affordable, lightweight, and quality but durable components.

The frame comes in either a standard OR a step-thru frame depending on which you prefer. We appreciate the step-thru frame for those days when you might want to wear a skirt.

The bike has a simple 1×10 drivetrain, Tektro mechanical disc brakes, and ergonomic handlebars and grips. You can also buy the bike in a “women’s version” which includes women-specific components like a women’s saddle.

Price: $899

Priority Classic Plus

priority classic plus womens commuter bike

The Priority Classic Plus is a fantastic bike for anybody who doesn’t want to have to deal with bike maintenance. Instead of a chain, the bike has a belt drive which means you never have to worry about lubing it. It also does well in places a traditional chain does not: in the rain and locations with humidity and salt.

Like the Roll above, it comes in either a standard frame or a step thru frame depending on which you prefer. The step-thru also fits smaller women–those with an inseam as short as 26 inches.

Keep in mind that it is a singlespeed, which again means it is great in terms of being low maintenance, but less great if your city has a lot of hills to climb.

Price: $599

Tern Node Folding Bike

tern node

If you plan on using multi-modal transportation (think bike & bus or bike & train), a folding bike is the way to go.  The Tern Node folds up so that it can be brought into your cubicle or in your luggage for your next business trip. 

The bike comes with fenders and a rear rack which makes it ideal for commuters. The internally geared hub is low maintenance, and the integrated lights mean you’ll never be caught in the dark.

Price: $1,299

Co-Op Cycles CTY 1.1

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  • Have an REI dividend burning a hole in your pocket ? The REI brand Co-Op Cycles CTY might be the bike for you.

    It is simple, affordable, but not heavy and “cheap” like many entry-level bikes. The CTY features mechanical disc brakes which do a great job of stopping in hilly and wet conditions.

    It comes in sizes XS to XL, so whatever your height you should be able to find one to fit you. The smaller frames come in a step-thru version.

    Price: $649

    The Best Cargo and Electric Commuter Bikes For Women

    As their name would suggest, cargo bikes are intended for carrying cargo (or kids!).  Whether you need to haul home groceries or pick up kids from swim lessons, a cargo bike can make life much easier.

    Similarly, a bike with an electric motor can make life easier as well. You can ride further, faster, and with less effort. If you’re replacing a car with a bike, consider an e-bike.

    Yuba KombiCargo$1,200
    Electra Townie Go!Electric$2,949
    Blix AvenyElectric$1,999
    Vvolt AlphaElectric$1,599
    Radpower RadwagonElectric Cargo$1,999

    Yuba Kombi

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  • The Yuba Kombi is a simple, yet capable, long-tail cargo bike.  The rear rack can handle passengers or packages, either of which will be protected from the rear wheel thanks to the integrated wheel skirts.

    If you choose to ride with kids, it already has mounts for Yepp Maxi seats. There are also integrated lights that make it great for low-light commuting.

    Price: $1,200

    Electra Townie Go!


    If you want to look stylish while riding around town, the Electra Townie Go! is your bike.  The aluminum frame is painted in pretty pastel hues, and has a rear rack for carrying gear. 

    The Bosch 250W motor can last between 20-100 miles before needing to be recharged and helps riders pedal up to 20mph.

    Read Our Review: Electra Townie Go!

    Price: $2,949

    Blix Aveny Skyline


    The Blix Aveny is the perfect bike for riding to work or to the library.  The rack on the back can carry your laptop bag or add some panniers to carry groceries.  If you have a child, you can also add a Yepp Seat to the rear rack.

    The thing we love most about the Blix Aveny is the pricetag. It is a great introductory electric bicycle for anybody who doesn’t want to spend a fortune.

    Read Our Review: Blix Aveny Skyline

    Price: $1,999

    VVolt Alpha

    vvolt alpha step thru

    The VVolt Alpha is an amazing commuter bike. It has an electric assist, but it’s sleek and smooth and it’s hard to tell that it’s an e-bike.

    The bike is also easy to maintain thanks to the singlespeed drivetain and belt drive (rather than a chain). For women, there is a step over version that makes riding with a skirt a bit easier.

    Finally, compared to most other e-bikes this one is significantly lighter.

    Read Our Review: VVolt Alpha Step Thru

    Price: $1,599

    RadPower Radwagon


    The RadPower Radwagon is the bike I’ve personally been using to do nearly all my around-town commuting lately. It’s a long-tail e-cargo bike that is shockingly affordable.

    The affordability doesn’t come with any major shortcuts, however. The bike is ideal for hauling a child or groceries (or both)!

    Read Review: Radpower Radwagon

    Price: $1,899

    Comparison Chart: Women’s Commuter Bikes

    Here’s how all these bikes stack up.

    BikeMSRPType of BikeBrakesWeightGears/Drivetrain
    Roll C:1 City Bike$979Traditional CommuterMechanical Disc23.5 lbs1×10 drivetrain
    Priority Classic Plus$549Traditional CommuterCoaster BrakeVaries on sizeSinglespeed
    Tern Node$1,200Folding BikeRim31 lbs7 gears
    Co-Op Cycles CTY$599Traditional CommuterMechanical Disc27 lbs8 gears
    Yuba Kombi$1,200Cargo BikeMechanical Disc50 lbs9 gears
    Blix Aveny$1,599E- BikeMechanical Disc58 lbs7 speed
    Electra Townie Commute Go!$2,949E-BikeHydraulic Disc59 lbs8 gears
    Radpower Radwagon$1,899Electric Cargo BikeMechanical Disc76.7 lbs7 speed

    Other Women’s City Bike Options

    While these bikes didn’t make our “best of” list, here are a few more that are worth a look.

    How to Choose a Commuter Bike

    There are a couple things to consider before pulling out the credit card.  Here are some tips on how to choose the best commuter bike for you.


    In general, the best tires for a commuter bike have plenty of tread, are decently wide, but still roll quickly.  Think a cross between a road bike and mountain bike tire. 

    This ensures that they will perform well in a variety of conditions, wet weather, etc.  It also gives you the flexibility to roll on gravel paths (like rail trails), which are often some of the best commuting routes.

    alpha tires

    Extras–Lights, Fenders, Bells, Racks, etc.

    Commuter bikes are most useful when they are accessorized.  A rear rack allows you to carry gear (like your laptop and a change of clothes for instance).  Fenders help keep you dry on rainy days. 

    Many commuter bikes come with these things,  some do not.  It is worth paying attention to what the bike comes with stock and how much it will cost to upgrade with any items you might need. 

    If you don’t mind a little DIY work, it can be most cost effective to add all the “extras” after the fact.  If you want a bike that can do it all on Day 1, look for a bike that comes with the full package.

    rear light


    The bikes on this list come with three different and distinct types of brakes –rim brakes, mechanical disc brakes, and hydraulic disc brakes. 

    Types of Brakes

    V-brakes are the cheapest and the simplest to maintain, but do not stop as well, particularly in wet conditions.  Mechanical disc brakes are the mid-price option.  They perform better than rim brakes but not as well as hydraulic disc brakes. 

    Hydraulic disc brakes have the most stopping power, and provide the best modulation.  They also have the highest price tag and require the most maintenance.

    Riding Position

    Generally, the best commuter bikes have a moderate riding position–not too upright, not too aggressive.  This makes for the best mix of power transfer to the pedals, comfort, and maneuverability. 

    If you are biking long distances, and enjoy riding fast, you might consider a more leaned-over, aggressive riding position.  Alternatively, if you are planning only biking short distances, a fully upright, beach cruiser might be your thing.  For everybody else, pick something in the middle.

    Gears / Drivetrains

    Commuter bikes come with several types of drivetrains and gear configurations.  Some commuter bikes, are singlespeeds, meaning they have only one gear.  This is nice for keeping maintenance to a minimum, but isn’t recommended for folks who live in cities with hills. 

    More commonly, you will see bikes with an external drivetrain.  The bike might have anywhere from a few gears to 21+. Much better for hills, but be prepared to do some maintenance.

    belt drive

    Other less common builds are bikes with internally-geared hubs and belt drives.  An internally geared hub is ideal for many commuters. 

    Instead of an internal drivetrain (with front and rear derailleurs), the gearing is inside the hub of the gear wheel.  This is particularly nice for folks who ride in a lot of inclement weather–it won’t get bucked up with slush or grime. 

    Similarly, a belt drive is nice for these types of riding conditions.  A belt drive is a carbon-fiber belt that takes the place of a chain.  It doesn’t require lubrication or other maintenance and remains quite even in mud and rain.

    Frame Style

    One thing to decide before shopping for a commuter, is what style of frame you would like: a traditional frame or a step-thru frame.  Step-thru frames are often good choices for women because they accommodate shorter riders and make it easier to ride with a skirt.

    standing over the frame on the blix aveny


    Unless you are buying a bike with an electronic assist, make sure you take the weight of the bike into consideration.  The heavier a bike is, the less enjoyable it will be to ride, particularly for folks commuting long distances.

    Electric Assist

    Electric bikes, especially for urban riding, are becoming more and more common. And for good reason.

    An electric assist can help you ride further, faster, and with less energy. Personally, even though I love to ride a bike, I’m often way more motivated to do a quick trip to the grocery store (or wherever) on my e-bike than I am on my regular bike.

    An electric bike does add cost and maintenance, so it’s not for everybody, but if you are considering giving up your car of cutting way back on the amount that you drive, an e-bike may be for you.

    To learn more about e-bikes, read our guide:

    More Reading / Listening

    About The Author

    kristen bonkoski

    Kristen Bonkoski is the founder and owner of Femme Cyclist.

    An avid cyclist for a few decades now, she took to cycling during her late teen years — a time when she needed something to help boost her self-esteem and confidence.

    Mission accomplished, the sport has become an important part of her life.  Kristen’s favorite disciplines are mountain biking and bike commuting, although you can also find her cranking out a century on her road bike and touring with her husband and son.  If it has to do with two wheels, she enjoys doing it.

    Kristen is a certified USA Cycling coach, and she runs Rascal Rides, a website about biking with kids.

    IG: @femme_cyclist

    4 thoughts on “9 Best Women’s Commuter Bikes And City Bikes”

    1. The issue for me is what some consider affordable I consider pricey. For me a nice affordable bike should be between 200-400 at the most. I’m a poorer individual and on disability. Are there good bikes those of us without loads of cash can get or should I start paying attention to the dumpsters in hope someone throws one out? 😛

      • Hi Angela, your price point and mine are about the same! I ride a Schwinn Wayfarer which is $370-$400 and sold at Amazon and Walmart available in both “men’s” and unisex/step-through frames. I’ve ridden mine for 8 years. Mostly reliable – I’ve taken it to my local bike shop for 2 services in that time. It has mud guards and a rear rack so it’s a good commuter. You’ll need to buy lights.
        Other similar bikes to look at are 1) the Retrospec Beaumont 7 speed currently approx $300 and also available in mens and step-through frames, and 2) the Kent Retro 3 speed (internal hub gears) at $350. Actually Kent have a lot of good commuter choices on their site in the “Comfort” bikes section – a lot in that $200 – $200 sweet spot depending on what you want for gears etc.
        Hope that helps, Ru

    2. Another advantage of step-through frames is when you’re carrying things on the back you can get on the bike without kicking your kid/groceries/stuff.

      Do you know that in Europe all your commuter bikes come with fenders, racks, lights, and swept bars standard?


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