How to Choose a Bike for College (5 Tips)

When it comes to campus transportation, a bicycle is a fantastic (and often the only) option for busy college students who commute. Riding a bike eliminates the anxiety about fuel costs and parking disasters and gets you to your destination quicker than your feet can. Who wants more stress when they already have a packed schedule? 

You may be wondering what a time- and money-strapped college student should look for in a bike for riding about campus. We’re here to assist you.

What are you astride?

Take into account the landscape on and around your campus. This will influence the kind of bike that is best for you.

For the majority of college campuses, an all-purpose bike meant for city riding will suffice. Your bicycle should be easily maneuverable and not too heavy. The bike should be constructed in a robust and straightforward manner that is easy to maintain.

Mountain bikes are an excellent option for rural areas with rough terrain. However, keep in mind that these specialist bikes are often larger and equipped with amenities that are superfluous for navigating a college campus, which likely adds significantly to the price.

Road bikes are also a viable option for those seeking speed and long distances. However, these bikes may quickly become prohibitively pricey. Additionally, road bikes need greater maneuverability. While certain models are suitable for college campuses, the majority of these bikes are designed for long-distance riding.

How much money do you require?

You actually don’t need to spend a fortune on a bike for commuting to and around campus. However, bear in mind that purchasing a bike that is constructed too cheaply will simply leave you in a terrible situation, forcing you to immediately purchase another bike. Spending between $200 and $400 on a bike should bring you a high-quality machine that’s ideal for cruising between the library and the student union.


Are you a fixed-gear or a freewheeler?

Fixed gear bikes, or “fixies,” are characterized by a simple design that is very easy to maintain. Additionally, this method gives a more effective exercise due to the constant movement. While riding, you get a sense of the bike; as you move, it moves. Freewheel bikes are excellent for cruising. While riding, you may rest your feet on the pedals. You may choose whether you like the effort required to ride a fixie or the relaxation associated with riding a freewheel bike.

Many bikes include a flip-flop hub, which enables effortless transitions between fixed-gear and freewheel riding. All that is required is to remove the back tire and turn it over.

How many gears are there?

Single-speed bicycles are quite simple to ride. They’re ideal for college campuses that are primarily flat. It may take some effort to ride these bikes up steeper slopes, but it is possible. Seven-speed bicycles are ideal for any campus. It’s simple to climb inclines on a bike with more gears, which makes these bikes excellent for hilly campuses. When you’re in a rush, the higher gears also assist with downhill speeds.

If you shop wisely and consider your budget, you’re likely to discover the right bike for your requirements. With a little maintenance—such as keeping your bike greased and your tires inflated—you can enjoy your bike both during and after school. Remember to get a bike lock if you want to keep your bike outside during class!

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Written by Bradley Knight, Staff Writer

Hey there! My name is Bradley, and I've been riding fixed for years. I love all the joy and pain that comes with this unique style of cycling and the passionate community that drives it. If you love fixed-gear bikes, this is the place for you.

Edited by Jordan May, Staff Editor

Jordan is a seasoned editor with over seven years of experience. His passion for writing and storytelling started when he was a teenager, spending countless hours reading books and creating his own stories.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Brooklyn Fixed Gear is your source for fixie, single-single-speed & track bike content. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions to regarding fixed-gear cycling.

What is a fixed-gear bike, and how is it different from a regular bike?

A fixed-gear bike, also known as a fixie, is a type of bike that has a fixed rear wheel, which means that the pedals are directly connected to the rear wheel. Unlike a regular bike, a fixed-gear bike has no freewheel, so you cannot coast or stop pedaling while riding. This means that you must constantly pedal while riding a fixed-gear bike, and you can slow down or stop the bike by resisting the pedals with your legs.

Why don't fixed-gear bikes have brakes

Fixed-gear bicycles, or "fixies," often do not have brakes due to their simplicity and minimalism, which allows riders to control speed through pedaling resistance. This brakeless design reduces the bike's weight, making it more maneuverable while connecting riders to the tradition and culture of track cycling. However, riding a fixed-gear bicycle without brakes can be dangerous, particularly in urban settings with traffic and unpredictable conditions, so many places require bicycles to have at least one functioning brake by law. It's a good idea to have at least a front brake installed for safety if you're considering riding a fixed-gear bike.

What are the benefits of riding a fixed-gear bike?

Some people prefer fixed-gear bikes because they are simpler and require less maintenance than bikes with multiple gears. Fixed-gear bikes also provide a more direct connection between the rider and the bike, which can make for a more responsive and enjoyable riding experience. Additionally, riding a fixed-gear bike can help improve your leg strength and pedal stroke.

Are fixed-gear bikes legal?

Fixed-gear bikes, also known as "fixies," are generally legal in most countries. However, local laws and regulations may require bicycles to have certain safety features, such as brakes, reflectors, or lights. For fixed-gear bikes, some jurisdictions require at least one functioning brake, typically a front brake, to be considered road-legal. It's essential to check the specific laws and regulations in your area to ensure your fixed-gear bike complies with local requirements. Keep in mind that riding without brakes or necessary safety features can be dangerous, and it's always a good idea to prioritize safety when cycling in any environment.