Best bike for neighborhood riding 2020

Looking for a simple, affordable bike for your daily commutes and short rides within your neighborhood? 

Try hybrid bikes.

They have proven to be the most ideal bikes for neighborhood riding. They provide a comfortable riding position and are best for casual riding due to their large, padded seats and upright handlebars. They come with medium-width tires that have semi-smooth tread, making riding on neighborhood pavements smooth.

In this article, we will look at what makes a bike perfect for neighborhood riding and how to choose one. We will also share with you our specially handpicked bikes most ideal for neighborhood riding.

Components of a Bike

Even though you are looking for just a simple bike to ride within the neighborhood it is important that you learn the many parts of a bicycle. This info will come in very handy during repair and maintenance. Instead of being clueless every time you take your bike for repair or when buying spare parts, and just opting to point the parts. Why not learn. Bike repair shops will always rip you off when you are clueless.

Here are the most common components of a bike:

  • Frame

This is the central component of the bicycle on which all other parts are mounted on. Depending on your preferences, you could go for either a standard bike frame or a step-through frame. A step-through frame makes it easier to climb on and off the bike. The majority of frames are made of aluminum which is light in weight yet strong and durable.

  • Steering 

Modern bicycles come with steering made by connecting handlebars with the turning fork via the stem, allowing free rotation within the headset. The traditional look steerings come with handlebars that are upright. On the other hand, modern models have drop handlebars that are curved forward and down.

  • Seat

Seats are made in different designs. You have the option of going for those that are extra comfortable and padded or those that are narrower toward the front, giving more room for leg movements.

  • Drivetrain and gearset

This part of the bicycle is the one responsible for transferring the energy you create from pedaling. This energy is transferred from your legs by utilizing mechanisms focused on three areas. Firstly, the pedals rotating on the geared wheel being the power collection. Secondly, transferring this power from the pedals onto a chain, shaft, or chainless belt. And lastly the speed and torque conversion mechanisms.

  • Brakes

The majority of the hybrid bicycles come with a linear-pull braking system. These offer you a good amount of stopping power. However, the more expensive bikes come with a disc braking system offering far greater stopping power. 

If you will not be using the bike often and don’t plan on getting higher speeds, then a bicycle with a linear-pull braking system may serve you best. If you will be using your bicycle all the time and at high speed, then one with a disc braking system will serve you best.

  • Wheels

A bicycle wheel is made up of a hub, spokes, rim, and tire. The two most common wheel sizes are 26 inches and 29 inches. The majority are made of alloy rims making them strong and lightweight.

What to consider when buying a bike for neighborhood riding

  • Size of the bike

When cycling, your feet, ankles, knees, and hips all go into motion. And as such, having the right distance between all the parts is important for comfort and efficiency. This all depends on the size of the bike. In order to get the right bike size for you, consider your height and inseam.

Get guidance on the right bike size for you from the bike shop or refer to the size charts that each manufacturer puts on their sites. 

  • Maintenance

Consider the process and cost of maintenance that comes with the type of bike that you intend to buy. Carry out a routine inspection of your bicycle before every ride. This helps you catch potential problems before they can develop into safety hazards. Keeping your bicycle parts properly cleaned and lubricated is key for good performance. Most of the dirty bike components can be cleaned with a damp rag by carefully wiping them. On moveable components, brush, scrub and lubricate them to reduce friction and keep them functioning well. 

  • Bicycle tires

Bicycle tires have crucial importance in determining how our bike performs and how it handles on the road. Aggressive or long-distance riding calls for quality tires. You need to consider your rim-width and the spokes’ strength as well as your hub’s durability. All these factors will guide you on whether you need slick, tread, studded, or whether to go for tubular tires or not.

A large diameter tire gives you more speed albeit taking away some stability. While it is the opposite with tire width. Tires that are fatter roll faster and help you stay on track more easily.

  • Gear shifting system

Gear shifting systems come in different types. Depending on your preference, you can decide to go for either the paddle models or the trigger shifter model. If you are used to the traditional bike riding techniques, you may consider going for the thumb and twist shifter systems.

Important bike safety features

It is important for you to settle for a bicycle that comes with the most safety features. This would protect you from unnecessary injury resulting from accidents. These safety features include:

  • A functional front and rear brakes to enable you to make emergency stops whenever necessary.
  • A red rear reflector in the rear wheel spokes to make your bicycle visible especially while riding at night.
  • A permanent mark on the seat to show the minimum depth that the post must be inserted into the frame.
  • The bicycle’s handlebar stem must have a mark showing the minimum depth that the stem can be inserted into the fork.
  • Recessed amber reflectors on the front and back of the pedals to enhance the illumination of the bicycle.
  • The ends of the handlebars need to be capped or covered to prevent them from inflicting cuts and bruises.

Review of the Best Bike for Neighborhood Riding

  1. Raleigh Route Hybrid Bikes

Raleigh Route Hybrid Bike
  • Aluminum alloy formed and butted frame is durable and strong
  • SR Suntour sf15-nvx 75mm travel fork with lockout smooths out rough pavement and gravel paths
  • Shimano shifters provide 24 speeds for easy Climbing and fast descents
  • Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes provide good stopping power
  • Pedals included; limited lifetime warranty on the frame for as long as the original retail purchaser owns the bicycle
Raleigh route bikes are categorized into route one and route 2. The two bikes are almost similar and serve the same purpose entirely though there are slight differences. Therefore, you have to get to know the two bikes well in terms of features before making the final choice.

Both route one and route 2 Raleigh bikes are built on a sturdy aluminum frame, which is super strong and more durable. They are both equipped with Tekro Aries mechanical disc brakes, which provide excellent stopping power. Both have travel suspension forks for smoothing rough pavements and gravel paths.

The two Raleigh bikes are equipped with gears that make it easy to climb a hill fast enough. Route 1 has three Shimano front gears and seven at the back while route 2 has three front gears and eight rear gears, making it more convenient for fast speed.

Route one bike is 31 pounds, while that of route 2 is 46 pounds making it more suitable for heavy people. The SR Suntour travel suspension fork of route1 bike is of eighty millimeters length while that of route 2 is of seventy-five millimeters length. The two bikes are equipped with 700c wheels that can comfortably spin on dry, wet, or wooded trails.

What we like

  •  Made of an aluminum frame which is strong and durable
  •  Equipped with mechanical disc brakes for superb stopping power
  • Equipped with front and back gears for easy climbing of hills
  • Adjustable handlebars

What we don’t like

  • Assembling the bike might be a bit technical
  • You may require some training for proper balancing while riding

Summary

Raleigh route bikes are the best for choice for easy ascending and faster descending of hills. They provide the most comfortable ride that one cannot afford to miss. They are the perfect choice to consider.

2.    Schwinn Unisex bike

Schwinn Unisex Bike
  • Schwinn suspension fork. Schwinn alloy crank, City rise adjustable stem with back sweep handlebar. All the biking comfort details
  • 21-speed SRAM grip shifter and Shimano rear derailleur mean that pedaling up a hill is easier. Alloy twist shifter compatible 4 finger brake levers
  • "Promax alloy linear pull brakes; gear carrier. Adjust the angle (rise) of the alloy Ahead stem. Assembled Weight 35.5 pounds"
  • Swept-back upright handlebars, padded seat. The aluminum frame is lighter and yet durable, fenders keep dirt off the rider
  • Fenders keep dirt off the rider and Rear carrier for convenient city riding
Schwinn unisex bike offers a super comfortable neighborhood ride due to the adjustable swept-back handlebars fitted in it.It is perfectly fitted with an aluminum frame that is both lightweight and durable.

Some of the key features of the unisex bike include; Schwinn suspension fork for smoothening rough trails,, 21-speed SRAM grip shifter for easy stopping, and an adjustable saddle and swept-back upright handlebars for a comfortable ride.

Even though the fenders are plastic, they do a good job preventing mud and water splashes from getting to the rider. This makes it ideal for riding during the wet season.

The bike comes mostly assembled so you will need little to no adjustments if you pick the right size. Also, the seat is fairly large which is comfortable enough but you can always replace it with a saddle of your choice if you find it too large. 

Everything about this unisex bike is easy to use including the brakes. Even though it is considerably heavy, weighs  40lbs, it is the extra weight that keeps it stable and grounded.

 What we like

  • Adjustable spring cruiser style seat
  • Large fold-down rear basket for shopping
  • No balancing nor gears  required when riding the bike
  • It comes mostly assembled and therefore less effort needed to adjust it

What we don’t like

  • The unisex bike has wider tires that might have a slight rolling resistance

Summary

Schwinn unisex bike is a great option for both men and women who are looking for a simple all-year-round bike to commute to work, school, pick up groceries or just keep fit. 

3.  Sixthreezero EVRYjourney bike

SixThreeZero EvryJourney
  • Versatile men's hybrid cruiser bicycle with 19-inch swooping step-through aluminum frame; perfect for cruise, leisure, and commute rides
  • Upright riding style keeps your back and shoulders comfortable; foot-forward design helps maintain proper leg extension
  • 21-speed Shimano Tourney derailleur and friction shifters for tackling uphill climbs and long distances; front and rear handbrakes
  • Black matte frame with matching comfy dual-spring saddle and grips; includes matching fenders and rear rack for optional baskets and panniers
  • 26-inch, 1.95-inch wide whitewall semi-slick tires provide a cushioned, stable ride for easy rolling
Sixthreezero cruiser men’s bikes are mostly suitable for cruising around the neighborhood, long-distance, and uphill journey. The bike has 21-speed Shimano gears, making it the best for climbing hills and descending.

Sixthreezero hybrid bike is designed with a cushioned dual-spring saddle that makes you very comfortable while riding it. It is also designed with an aluminum frame that is super strong and sturdy. 

The bike has forward pedaling design to facilitate an upright riding position to keep shoulders and back in a comfortable position. This prevents back pains and strains when riding especially for long hours.

The hybrid bike is equipped with 2-inch semi-slick tires that provide perfect roll, and a cushioned stable ride. It is suitable for people with 4-inch and 5 to 6 feet heights.

Sixthreezero bike is designed with a well-fit rear rack, which you can easily add a storage basket to carry your items.

What we like

  • Comfortable curved handlebars
  • 2-inch semi-silk tires for perfect rolling and stable riding
  • Front and rear brakes for easy stopping
  • Rear rack for optional basket fitting
  • 21-speed Shimano gearing for comfortable uphill riding

What we don’t like

  •  It is not suitable for those with height above six feets

Summary

Sixthreezero EVRYjourney is perfect for short rides within your neighborhood or even commuting to work or school. We loved how stylish it looks and the fact that it is a very affordable bike.

4. Schwinn Discover hybrid bike

Schwinn Discover Bike
  • Schwinn suspension fork. Schwinn alloy crank, City rise adjustable stem with back sweep handlebar. All the biking comfort details
  • 21-speed SRAM grip shifter and Shimano rear derailleur mean that pedaling up a hill is easier. Alloy twist shifter compatible 4 finger brake levers
  • "Promax alloy linear pull brakes; gear carrier. Adjust the angle (rise) of the alloy Ahead stem. Assembled Weight 35.5 lb"
  • Swept-back upright handlebars, padded seat. The aluminum frame is lighter and yet durable, fenders keep dirt off the rider
  • Fenders keep dirt off the rider and Rear carrier for convenient city riding
Another great bike for neighborhood riding is this Discover hybrid bike from Schwinn. Just like the Unisex model, its frame is made of aluminum which is a light material but very strong and durable. 

It is fitted with the signature Schwinn suspension fork and alloy crank for smoothening rough pavements and gravel trails around the neighborhood. 

It also features adjustable handlebars in a swept-back design to make riding more comfortable for both tall and short users. This allows you to share your bike with your spouse or even older kids.

Schwinn discover hybrid bike is designed with 21-speed SRAM grip shifter for easier hill climbing and matching fenders to prevent a rider from mud and water splashes during the rainy season.  

In addition, the hybrid bike is equipped with alloy linear Promax brakes for safety while stopping or for emergencies making it a pretty safe bike for both the rider and pedestrians. 

Schwinn discover hybrid bike comes in two styles; 16- inch step-through frame in white and an 18-inch step-over frame in black.

 What we like

  •  Easy for maneuvering busy streets
  •  Has 21-speed SRAM grip shifters for easier hill climbing and fast descending
  • Comfortable upright handlebar 
  • Padded saddle
  • Easily controllable and manageable speeds
  • Guaranteed safety as emergency brakes can be pulled easily

What we don’t like

  • Assembly of the bike can be time-consuming and a bit technical

Summary

Schwinn discover hybrid bikes have excellent features that a perfect neighborhood bike should have, talk of its lightweight nature, the strong and durable aluminum frame, and the best of all the ability to smoothen rough trails. I suggest you consider having a closer look at it.

5.  Sixthreezero women’s cruiser bike

 

SixThreeZero Cruiser Bike
  • Suspension Type: Rigid
  • Bike Type: Cruiser Bike
Around the block women’s cruiser bike takes the win for being the most popular Sixthreezero bike.  Probably for the fact that it is super affordable, stylish, comes in elegant colors, and is incredibly comfortable even for long rides.

The swept-back handlebars are adjustable to suit varying heights. They are designed for an upright riding position to keep your back and shoulders more relaxed.

AS far as safety, the bike has coaster brakes that you can easily pull to stop.  Also, It is available in four gearing options; single-speed, 3-speed,7-speed, and 21-speed hence giving plenty options for your ride.

In addition, It is fitted with deluxe cushioned saddle and foam grips that provide excellent comfort. You will also love the rear rack, it’s great for a storage basket that you can use to carry groceries home.

This Sixthreezero bike is also fitted with 26-inch,2.125-inch wide aluminum wheels that are durable and rolls with ease.

   What we like

  • Designed with a coaster brake that is safer and never wears out the brake pads
  • Fitted with adjustable handlebars for super comfort ride
  •  7-speed Shimano external hub gives room for plenty of riding

What we don’t like

  • Many have found the assembly quite complicated 

Summary

Around the block is designed for a free-spirited young adult who is looking for something stylish yet affordable. If this is you, here is your best pick. 

Conclusion

Considering the terrain and the regular roads that you will be using in and within your neighborhood are vital aspects when looking to purchase a bicycle.

If your neighborhood is in a hilly area, then you may need to consider a hybrid bicycle with more gears. This gives you a wider range of gear ratios to make it easier for you when getting up the steeper hills. The gear ratios also allow you to gain very good maximum speed in the higher gears when on flat terrain.

Whichever hybrid bicycle you choose, make sure you are comfortable with its design and durability. Always insist on test driving so that you can experience their features as well as differences before committing to one. This will ensure that you get yourself the best bike for neighborhood riding.

When you’re looking for the best bike for neighborhood riding you’re probably not looking for a $3000 performance mountain bike.  Instead you’ll be looking for a more comfortable bike that is in the $300 – $700 budget.  You’ll be looking for good quality parts that won’t break on you in 12 months’ time.

The bikes we’ve taken upon to review in this article are backed by myself and a friend who are both biking enthusiasts.

One of the best types of bikes for neighborhood riding is a hybrid bike.  If you’ve not heard of a hybrid bike before it’s a combination of the mountain bike and the road bike.  It takes the comfort of the upright riding position from the mountain bike and the lightweight and fast rolling wheels that were designed for the road bike.

Hybrid bikes are for people who are looking for a more casual ride.  For people who aren’t looking to commute everyday but want a lightweight and fast bike.  And the casual aspect comes from the mountain bike with the upright riding position and the more rigid and toughness of the mountain bike design.

In your neighborhood you might have a lot of hills.  Or you might not.  But thinking about your terrain and regular roads you’ll be using is one of the top factors that you need to know when looking to purchase a new bike.

If you live in a hilly area then you’ll be wanting to look for a hybrid bike with more gears.  Why?  More gears = Wider range of gear ratios.  Having a wider range of gear ratios will make it easier to get up the steeper hills with ease.  And will also allow you to take full advantage of the fast rolling wheels on the hybrid bikes to gain a very good maximum speed in the higher gears when on flat terrain.

Whereas on the other hand if you live in a relatively flat area then the number of gears doesn’t really make too much of a difference.  However, from personal experience I always find that opting for more gears on a bike you’ll be using for casual use is better for the long term in case you end up going out for bike rides in the future.  That way you’ll not have to buy another bike later on down the line unless you’re looking to upgrade to a more performance based bike.

Bike Components

We’ll be talking about the common components you’ll find and should expect for the price range of between $300 and $700.

FRAME

Majority of frames will be aluminium frames which offer a lightweight yet strong a durable properties.  Unfortunately at this price range carbon frames are out of the question and for casual riding carbon bikes are not really worth it.

Depending on your personal preferences you could opt for a step through frame instead of the standard bike frame.  A step through bike frame offers the benefits of making it easier to mount and dismount the bike.

Gearset

As we spoke about above the recommended gearset would be a 21 speed shifter which offers a wide range of gear ratios no matter whether you’ll be on flat terrain or steeper inclines.  You’ll also find some 7 speed shifters at this price range.

At the sub $700 price range you’ll find that most gearsets are from brands such as Shimano and SRAM who are two of the best manufactures in the biking sector.  It’ll also be limited to the entry ranges from these two brands with the main gearset being the Shimano Tourney range.

If you’re wanting a more enthusiast level gearset then you’ll have to start looking towards the $1000 price range for your new bike.  And if you’re only going to be using it for neighborhood riding then you have to think if it would be worth spending more than $600.

Brakes

Majority of the brake systems in this price range will still be linear pull brakes.  They offer a good amount of stopping power.  With the brake disc systems coming in at the closer to $600 price range.

Disc brakes offers far greater stopping power.  But as you’ll find are only on the more expensive bikes.

Are they worth it?

Yes and No.  If you know you’ll be using the bike all the time then maybe you should consider however, if you’ll be using the bike once or twice a week and don’t plan on getting to higher speeds then you’ll probably be wasting your money.

Wheels

Most wheels at this price will be alloy rims.  That are either 26 or 29 inch wheels.  These are two most common wheels sizes and are both strong and lightweight.

With them being hybrid bikes you’ll have fast rolling wheels which will allow you to get to higher speeds although for neighborhood riding you might not find any difference.

Our Pick

Raleigh Route 2

✅ Aluminium Frame
✅ Disc Brakes
✅ 24 Speed Shimano Shifter

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The Raleigh route 2 is a hybrid bike that offers most of the top features that we’ve discussed.

It has front and rear disc brakes which provide a fantastic stopping distance.

We spoke about 7 speed and 21 speed shifters.  However the Raleigh offers a 24 speed shimano shifter which makes for easy climbing of steep inclines.

The aluminium frame is lightweight and durable.

One thing Raleigh are always good at is providing a wide range of frame sizes.  The four different frame sizes supports riders with heights from 5’4” to 6’4”.  Which covers 94% of users.

Also Great

Raleigh Detour 2

✅ Aluminium Frame
✅ Step Through Frame
✅ 24 Speed Shimano Shifter

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Another Raleigh bike with a few differences to our pick.  The Raleigh detour 2 once again offers a 24 speed shifter.

One of the main differences between the Detour 2 and the Route 2 is the Detour 2 has a step through frame which allows the rider easier mounting and dismounting of the bike.

This hybrid bike is designed with comfort in mind.  Not only are you riding in the upright riding position which all these bikes use.  But it also comes with a comfort saddle which is unusual to find standard on hybrid bikes at this price range.

However, it does come at the cost of using standard cable operated brakes compared to the Route 2’s front and rear disc brakes.

Also Great

Sixthreezero EVRY

✅ Step Through Frame
✅ Rear Rack
✅ 21 Speed Shimano Shifter

Buy From Amazon

The sixthreezero is a classic step though hybrid bike.  The step through frames allows for easier mounting and dismounting as well as the 21 speed shifter.

The 2 inch wide semi-slick tires make for a more cushioned ride for added comfort as well as easy rolling.

The 21 speed shifter is from the shimano tourney range which is shimano’s entry level gearset.

Unfortunately we only have the standard cable operated brakes but they do offer a good level of stopping power for stopping at faster speeds.

However, the sixthreezero is more designed for a cruiser style bicycle where you’re cruising around the neighbourhood rather than trying to set your new personal best getting to the shop and back.

The addition of the rear rack allows you to carry more items or attach a child seat.

Budget Pick

Schwinn Siro

✅ Aluminium Frame
✅ Comfort Saddle
✅ 21 Speed Shimano Shifter

Buy From AmazonAlthough a budget option.  The Schwinn Siro is a great alternative.  Being from Schwinn you know that the quality is top notch.

Frame is made from aluminium making it lightweight.  This is especially useful if you are having to lift the bike over obstacles, upstairs or onto a bike rack for storage in your garage.

The Shimano 21 speed offers a good amount of gears whether you live in a hilly area or relatively flat area.

Best bike for neighborhood riding

Why Trust Us

As a biking enthusiast I’ve had my fair share of bikes and have used bikes for all types of occasions from riding around my local neighbourhood doing errands to using performance bikes on extremely difficult dirt terrains filled with obstacles.

I also don’t like recommending bikes that don’t have good reviews or components.  Which is why you’ll find that all the bikes that are reviewed in this post are well known brands who produce super high quality bikes.

Who are these bikes for? 

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The bikes that we’ve reviewed in this post are for people who are looking to get around their local neighbourhood without walking or taking the car.

Taking this further the bikes we’ve reviewed are for leisure use.  If you’re looking to take on dirt trails and go into the hills then you’ll probably be better off with a regular mountain bike.

Whereas these bikes are for people who casually ride around the neighbourhood and complete their errands.