College can be a ton of fun, with great activities, interesting classes and more. However, the main issue for most is transportation! Bicycles are one of the best way to not only get around campus, but also give you a bit of freedom to be able to either go out into nature and into town whenever you need.

However, not every bike is built in the best way to be able to help you make all of those things happen! That is why we spent quite a bit of time searching around to find the bikes we believe will give you the best possible experience.

We tried to bring together budget options, different styles of options and more to make sure there is something for everyone.

1. Kent Bicycle Nazz Gravel Bike

We are starting off this article with one of my favorite gravel bikes! Now, it isn’t the best gravel bike in the world, and it isn’t necessarily the cheapest either, however it is my favorite. It offers all of the features that you could want in a gravel bike, and a college bike at the right price.

The main downsides to this cycle, is that (just like all gravel bikes), it has a more forward positioning. However it should be comfortable for most, and and easy upgrade to including a bike rack will make this an extremely usable, and lightweight option for those looking to go to college with a bike, but keep to a budget.

Bicycle StyleGravel Bike
Frame MaterialSteel
Wheel Size700C
Speed Count14

2. Decathlon Triban RC120

If you liked the Kent Nazz bicycle, but wish you had something a bit nicer, you should consider this Triban RC120! Built with much nicer components, but still having the gravel bike geometry allows you for the quicker speeds and comfort.

This bike is equipped with a 16 speeds, an aluminum frame, disc brakes all around, and one of my favorite features – a lifetime warranty.

I also really do like the styling, and paintwork on this bike!

Bicycle StyleGravel Bike
Frame MaterialAluminum
Wheel Size700C
Speed Count16

3. Huffy Nel Lusso Cruiser Bike

If you are looking for a great classic cruiser style bike to ride from your dorm to classrooms, the Huffy Nel Lusso is a great, inexpensive option to make that happen! It comes standard with both a basket on the front, and a rack on the back to store your books, backpacks, and more.

It’s extremely comfortable saddle seat, and a built in cup holder mean you can get around campus while traveling in luxury. Of course, its still on a budget, but no-one else has to know that.

This is a 24″ wheel bike, with a single-speed setup, meaning it has low maintenance, and parts should be inexpensive as well.

While it may not be as quick to get around as hybrid bikes, or gravel bikes, this should be a great bike for a campus either way.

Bicycle StyleCruiser Bike
Frame MaterialSteel
Wheel Size24″
Speed Count1

4. Kent Bicycles Belle Aire Cruiser Bike

Looking for an even less expensive bike than the Huffy we just talked about? This Kent Belle Aire is going to be your best bet! It also has a rack on the back, with a basket on the front! However, this time it utilizes a 7 speed shifter (Shimano), and an aluminum frame design, and 700c wheels. All three of these things actually make it a better bike overall for campus life.

While I personally like the styling of the Huffy better, you can’t beat the value of this Kent bike by any means. At under $200 (at the time of this writing), it is one of the best budget cruisers out there.

Bicycle StyleCruiser Bike
Frame MaterialAluminum
Wheel Size700c
Speed Count7

5. Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Bike

Most of my favorite bikes have all been Schwinn! Yes, they aren’t the best bikes in the world, but they also don’t have the price tag to match that either. What they do, is give you an awesome value with a great quality bike. We actually have a Schwinn bike that we have had for 7+ years and thousands of miles of riding.

That said, this Hybrid would be perfect for using at a college campus! As a hybrid bike, it has a more upright position, thinner 700c tires, and a cargo rack in the back for all of your stuff.

This bike in particular looks awesome in the white finish, and the swooping handlebars. The 7-Speed drivetrain should allow you to get up any hills that you may encounter, but still be able to pick up speed on flat ground. You also have the choice between a step through frame, or a step over, depending on the style that you personally like.

Bicycle StyleHybrid Bike
Frame MaterialSteel
Wheel Size700c
Speed Count7

6. Trek District 4 Equipped City Bike

Most of the bikes on this list so far have been budget options, however there most definitely need to be some higher quality options as well. That is where Trek enters the field. Trek makes some fantastic bikes, that are also awesome values for what they are. I mean, they are more expensive, but for their price point, they offer a lot.

The Equipped City bike is a hybrid bike with a rear cargo rack, 8-speeds, 700c wheels, and multiple size options. The drivetrain is Shimano all around, and has some quality Bontrager wheels and tires to compliment the higher end bike.

One of its biggest standout features, is that it is a belt driven drivetrain. This means that it does away with the chain, and replaces it with a belt! While uncommon, this is becoming more popular in the industry, as it has considerably less maintenance, and chain drops.

I very much like the styling of this bike, and it should do extremely well out on the college town, or on campus.

Bicycle StyleHybrid Bike
Frame MaterialAluminum
Wheel Size700c
Speed Count8

7. Trek Loft 7i Step-Over

If you like the Trek bike above, but want something a little more budget friendly, you should consider this bike! It is in the sub-brand of Trek, called Electra bikes. This is an extremely lightweight option that sits under $800, so that many people should be able to afford it (if they save up for it).

It has a great upright position for riding, high quality components including an internal gear system, and Shimano shifters, all packaged in a 7-speed hybrid bike.

While I would personally recommend the District 4 we talked about above, this would be an awesome option for someone that wants a Trek bike on a budget.

Bicycle StyleHybrid Bike
Frame MaterialAluminum
Wheel Size700c
Speed Count7

8. Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike

Yep! Schwinn is on this list again. I can’t mention how great of a value their bicycles really are, and this hybrid is another fantastic value from the brand.

This one is on the nicer end of what Schwinn has to offer, with 18 speeds, 28″ wheels, and even suspension in the front (becoming more rare as we move forward). I have a bike very similar to this one from Schwinn, and this is one of the most comfortable bikes I own.

If you are looking for an awesome, budget, comfortable (due to the suspension) commuting bike, this should be near the top of your list.

Bicycle StyleHybrid Bike
Frame MaterialAluminum
Wheel Size700c
Speed Count18

9. Sixthreezero ReachyourDestination

This brand is a quickly growing company, with some awesome value bicycles! The ReachyourDestination bike is one of their cruiser bikes, which makes it perfect for longer rides, while staying comfortable. It sits on 28″ wheels, and as many cruisers are, has 7 speeds to choose from.

It may not have a basket on the front (you can buy one here), but it does have a built in cargo rack for everything you need.

This bike also is built with an aluminum frame, which makes this cruiser one of the lighter cruisers on this list, which is awesome for going up and down stairs at your campus.

Bicycle StyleCruiser Bike
Frame MaterialAluminum
Wheel Size28″
Speed Count7

What makes a great college bike?

Need to be able to carry items

A college bike should have a rack or some other way to easily carry items. While these are technically items that you can add to any bicycle via accessories, it is nice to know that a bike you may be buying new might already have them installed.

Should be comfortable

College students often have to ride their bikes long distances, so a comfortable seat and handlebars are important. You should also be paying attention to the geometry of the bike, as this determines your seating position.

Generally speaking, college students will want a more upright and comfortable position, as riding around campus is not going to require you to need as much control as something like the geometry of a mountain bike would give. That is why we included so many cruiser or hybrid style bikes on our list, as they offer this comfortable positioning.

Quick to get around campus

Of course, you are going to want a bike that can get you around campus quickly. This likely means that you will want a bike with thinner wheels, rather than bulky wheels that are more difficult to pedal, but also slow you down in the long run. This is why we did not include any mountain bikes or fat tire bikes on this list. While those are very versatile bicycles, they aren’t great for campus life.

The only time I would recommend something like a mountain bike for going to college, is if you are using it as a dual-purpose bike, where you do some serious mountain biking on your time off from studies.

Needs to be reliable

College students often don’t have a lot of time to spare, so an easy bike to maintain is a must. This means getting a bike with quality components that are easy to find replacements for if something does break.

This also means finding a bicycle that is not overly complicated either, the more components you have on the bike, the more likely those components will break and need to be maintained, which costs money and time.

Needs to be able to go long distances

If you are going to be riding your bike to class every day, or even just a couple of times a week, you need a bike that can handle those long distances. This means getting a bike with gears, so you can pedal easily even when going up hills, and also getting a bike with comfortable tires.

The tires on a college bike do not need to be as thick as mountain bike tires, but they should be thicker than road bike tires, as they will need to handle more bumps and obstacles.

Lightweight for carrying upstairs

Most college students will have to bring their bike up to their dorm room or apartment at some point, so a lightweight bike is important. This is why we included bikes made with aluminum frames on our list, as they are much lighter than steel frames.

Of course, if you are not worried about carrying your bike upstairs, then you can get a bike made with a steel frame, which is generally more affordable.

How can you make your existing bike better for college?

Alright, so you have a mountain bike, a road bike, etc, but you want to take it to college! However, it just isn’t quite set up for taking your books around town, and you are probably going to get wet from water splashing up during your rainy bike rides to and from class. Here are some great accessories you can buy that will help your bike be better suited for your new lifestyle!

  • Tote & Kari Bike Basket – You will want a good bike basket like this one to keep food, drinks (it has a cup holder), and of course books, computers and more in. This one can be installed on your existing bike no problem!
  • Ventura Economical Bolt-On Bicycle Carrier – There will always be times that you need to take things on your bike, that won’t fit in the basket or in your backpack. Because of that, you need to have a cargo rack on your cycle. This is a great universal version that should work great, for a good price.
  • VELMIA Bike Fender Set – Depending on where you are going to college, you will likely be using your bike out in the rain. Having some good fenders for your bike will help you keep that water from spraying up on your.

How do you keep your bike from getting stolen at college?

There are some simple steps you can take to protect your two-wheeled steed. First of all, make sure you always lock your bike up, even if you’re just leaving it for a minute. A good lock is your best defense against thieves, so invest in a quality chain or U-lock.

You should also avoid leaving your bike in the same spot day after day; mix things up to make it more difficult for thieves to target your bicycle. Lastly, don’t forget to register your bike with the campus police or security office. By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that your bike stays where it belongs: with you!


If you are looking for a great college bike, then you should look for one that is comfortable, reliable, and able to go long distances. A good college bike should also be lightweight so that it is easy to carry upstairs, and it should have a rack or some other way to easily