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