Getting around the city is always easier (and healthier!) by bike, and here we look at the best 3-speed commuter bikes that you should consider today. We’ve chosen our favorite commuter bikes from a broad price range that will suit every pocket.
In this article we will cover 3-speed commuter bikes as these are the most practical for the majority of urban cyclists – relatively gentle inclines and racing bike speed not a priority.
Our choices include unisex, male and female specific bikes (which are generally available with the opposite sex version too) that will spark your imagination and hopefully you will find your next bike in the following paragraphs – we think you’ll find something to love in our selection!
Critical Cycles Mixte 3-Speed City Coaster Commuter Bicycle
- Hand-built high tensile strength steel mixed step-thru frame
- Sturmey Archer internal 3-speed hub and grip shifter, you won't have to take your hands off your handlebars
- Coaster brakes for easy, distraction-free braking
- Kenda Kwest 700x32c puncture resistant tires
- Comfortable faux leather saddle and grips
A warm coral or cool turquoise; the Critical Cycles Mixte is a very clean lined and user-friendly bike. Opting for coaster brakes, there is no need for any additional cables to clutter the design. Coaster brakes work equally well come rain or shine and require less maintenance than regular brakes. On courses that require lots of braking such as mountain trekking the constant need for braking makes coasters prone to brake fade but they are ideal in urban settings. Not needing to slacken your grip on the handlebars to operate them is also an important safety benefit. A word should be said about the gears too because the built-in grip shifter means that changing up or down doesn’t require you to slacken your grip either!
The hand-built high tensile strength frame follows step-through type design cues, not having a crossbar or top-tube. This is a popular layout for utility bikes where the convenience of being able to mount and dismount easily is desirable. The Mixte follows the best of the archetypal design and uses a sturdy twin top tube that puts less pressure on the seat post. The Kenda Kwest tires are among our favorites; their puncture resistance is top notch and makes us feel confident of not missing important meetings due to blow outs. You will need to get yourself a Presta adapter if you don’t already have one to fill the tires.
Utility bikes are aimed squarely at riders who want a reliable alternative to the bumper to bumper city traffic. The Critical Cycles Mixte gets extra points from us for using an internal 3-speed hub from Sturmey Archer. These rarely require much maintenance or repair, concealed as the components are from the elements. We noticed the absence of fenders but at this price-point it would be asking too much. We liked the Critical Cycles Mixte faux leather, cushioned saddle, finding it comfortable and supportive for your average commuter ride. The faux leather carries through to the handles where it gives you a reliable grip.
Everything is going well so far and we now move on to assembly, bearing in mind we want to get this from the box to road ready as quickly as possible. We were pleasantly surprised at how little there was for us to do; it took us less than 15 minutes to attach the front wheel, seat, pedals and handlebars. The instructions were clear and are also available online which is always appreciated.
Royce Union 700c RMX Womens 3-Speed Commuter Bike
- The RMX, an Amazon exclusive, has superior performance, easy maintenance and stylish comfort; the durable, lightweight aluminum frame is easy to handle and maneuver in tight corners, and will never rust; ZOOM suspension fork delivers solid performance
- We deliver this bike 90% assembled; all tools are included for fast assembly; the RMX is just perfect for commutes, hops around campus, weekend trips; 15-inch frame is suggested for a minimum inseam of 26 inches; 17 inch frame is also available
- Premium, richly padded VELO saddle includes dual springs for real comfort; ergonomic grips are molded to match the contour and feel of your hand, almost like a glove; slight-rise handlebar enables upright riding for more comfort; bell/kickstand included
- Simple yet brilliant, the 3-speed SHIMANO Twist with SHIMANO Nexus rear derailleur enables smooth shifting with just a twist; the SHIMANO internal hub protects from harmful dirt, rain and mud to minimize cleaning and maintenance
- Lightweight alloy linear pull brakes with machined alloy wheel rims enable superior brake pad contact to deliver smooth, stopping power; all-terrain tread on the 700c tires enhances rolling momentum for less resistance between you and your destination
If you are in the market for something with a little more comfort and performance then look no further than this Royce Union ladies’ bike. Royce Union has been designing bikes since 1904 and they have an owning experience that garners a lot of respect from the community.
Commanding a slightly higher price tag than the Critical Cycles Mixte, the RMX puts this into extra features such as the front ZOOM wishbone suspension for enhanced ride quality. We also see the desirable accessories like front and rear fenders and a spring-loaded rear rack. A kickstand is also built-in which we love to see, it makes parking up that bit more convenient.
The RMX is available in 17” and as a Men’s bike. This is the 15” model which is suggested for an inseam of 26”.
From a commuter’s point of view, the RMX ticks a lot of boxes. It’s a lightweight bike with its strong aluminum frame. Being light improves your stopping distances, makes maneuvering easier and takes less energy and strength to get moving from stationary.
When we opened the package we found that the bike was around 90% assembled and it only took us around 10 minutes to complete the build with all the tools provided. It’s a real bonus to only have to spend so little time on getting your new bike roadworthy and set up to your own preferences.
The slight-rise handlebars encourage you to ride upright with better posture. We want to give a special shout-out to the grips too; they are very ergonomic and give you a confident response when cycling. On the grip is a twist smooth shifter linked to a Shimano Nexus rear derailleur with an internal 3-speed hub. As with the Critical Cycles Mixte this operates reliably and requires little maintenance or attention as it protects the mechanism from road dirt and water. The linear pull brakes comprise a lightweight alloy that gives a good, smooth and happily predictable stopping power. These have benefits compared to coaster brakes.
The pros include there being brakes on both wheels, the familiarity of the system to most riders and the fact that in the event of a chain snap – or slip – you still have full braking potential. The 700c tires are your standard 28 mm commuter tire with low rolling resistance and good water channeling thanks to their all-terrain tread. We liked the supportive and well-cushioned VELO saddle; it’s a dual spring affair with a quick release mechanism. You won’t have any complaints from using this even on longer commutes
The RMX is our first bike on test that comes with bundled safety features and, in this case, it’s a bell that satisfies the ‘hear and be heard’ criterion. We have no hesitation in recommending this good all-round Royce Union commuter bike.
Pure City Classic Diamond Frame 3-Speed Commuter Bike
- Flat bar, hi-tensile steel diamond frame bike in upright riding position design -- ideal for relaxed head-up cruising in the city or countryside
- Shimano Nexus Internal 3 Speed Freewheel Hub allows you to shift without pedaling -- ideal for stop-and-go riding
- Front and rear alloy caliper brakes and 3-piece crankset, with chain guard protector to keep oil from ruining your clothes
- Stylish, practical features include matching fenders, silver bell, kickstand, reflectors, rear rack, leather grips, and leather saddle with springs
- 30mm deep dish double-walled alloy rims with Kenda 700x35C tires
This Pure City Classic has to rank as one of our all-time favorite commuter bikes. It’s a traditional flat bar design with plenty of bells and whistles – well, one bell and pedal reflectors and rear reflector instead of a whistle! This is a very strong-framed bike made of high-tensile steel and a chromoloy downtube. Chromoly is a chrome-molybdenum steel alloy with an excellent strength to weight ratio that makes it eminently suitable for frame tubing. The Pure City Classic comes in three color schemes, the Meriwer dark red and blue version, the Upton silver and the William dark blue. We all agreed that the paint quality came in for special praise; it looks vibrant, well-applied and resilient.
The 3-speed gear system comes courtesy of the Shimano Nexus twist shifter, a popular and reliable mechanism that keeps your hand on the safely on the handlebar. We have front and rear alloy caliper brakes which provide impressive stopping power, more so than we expected, which is always a good experience. The 30 mm deep double-walled alloy rims are rust and tarnish resistant and this to keep them looking factory fresh you also get stainless steel spokes.
Accessories like a chain guard protector help keep your work clothes clear of chain lubricant. This bike is supplied with matching steel fenders, kickstand, aluminum rear rack, and leather saddle and grips. The saddle is well-sprung and we found it comfortable over full commutes or nipping between campus buildings. The swept-back handlebars help give you a tight turning circle and supreme maneuverability although they can take some getting used to if you’ve never experienced them before.
Pure Cycles is a Californian company although it still outsources construction to China but the build quality is first-rate. One aspect of the owning experience we enjoy is that Pure Cycles regularly produces new and exciting accessory color schemes that help you keep your bike looking fresh and matching your particular tastes. So if you want a different handlebar, saddle, fenders or even foot straps and water bottle carriers then there is a plethora of options to choose from.
Sixthreezero EVRYjourney 3-Speed Commuter Bicycle
- Versatile men's hybrid cruiser bicycle with 19-inch swooping 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
- 3-speed Shimano internal hub with easy-to-use Nexus shifter enables you to handle longer distances and moderate hills; front handbrake and rear coaster brake
- 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
The EVRYjourney hybrid bike from sixthreezero is an awesome-looking men’s bike that gets rave reviews and lots of admiration from riders and passers-by alike. A large 19” aluminum frame and upright rider position gives you a good posture making for a comfortable and enjoyable ride. The foot-forward positioning helps maintain your leg extension; all good things if your commute is long or if you have any musculoskeletal problems. Where most bike manufacturers opt for bright colors and glossy finishes this bike stands out for its stealthy matte black looks. The bundled fenders are also matte black, no scrimping here by going chrome or stainless steel.
You may be wondering why we’ve included a hybrid cruiser in our list. Well, not every commuter’s trips to work or college is on well-maintained roads and sidewalks. A hybrid cruiser gives you a more all-terrain experience. So, if your route is bumpy or if you want to use your bike recreationally then this EVRYjourney could be right up your street.
Low maintenance is part of this bike’s charm, its 3-speed Shimano hub is internal and it has a coaster brake system for the rear wheel. The front wheel has a standard handlebar grip connecting to an alloy caliper brake. The brakes make a good job of slowing and stopping this lightweight – but robust – bike. The 2” thick semi-slick tires are an enviable choice performing well in most weather conditions and surfaces. The 26” tire option is suitable for riders between 5’ and 6’4”. Not every rider is super fit and healthy and many using cycling to help improve fitness levels and lose weight. With this in mind the sixthreezero has a load capacity of 300 lbs.
Strida Folding Bicycle 3-Speed
- Frame/Fork: 7000 series aluminum frame and fork
- Wheels/Tires: 18 inch aluminum wheels and reflective Kenda tires
- Drivetrain: STRiDA special belt drive for 50,000 mile use and internal 3 speed transmission
- Brakes/Cockpit: Disc Brakes and aluminum parts
- Includes: Kickstand, Rear carrier rack, weight limit of 220 lbs, height range of 4'9"-6'4", and folds to a mere 45.2 x 20 x 9 inches and fenders
No review of the best 3-speec commuter bikes would be complete without mentioning the extraordinary STRiDA EVO commuter bicycle. Okay so let’s address the elephant in the room; yes this is one expensive bike but is it worth your money?
It looks weird. It does, but we think it’s weird good not weird bad. Once you get your head around the unusual design layout there are some serious benefits that the EVO has to offer. New to models made this year, the EVO has its 3-speed internal hub located in the BB parts which means you can change gear simply by back pedaling; there is no need for a shifter or additional cabling.
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This is a folding bike that fits snugly in most trunks and can even be carried onto public transport and boats without any drama. The A-frame breaks apart by removing the bonding pin. Both wheels securely lock to the collapsed frames with magnets to prevent scratches and to maintain the bike’s portable integrity. The handlebars collapse using a quick-release mechanism that makes them tuck into the body for safe transit.
The pedals fold flat against the crank. It took us about 15 seconds to complete the procedure the first time but with practice we’ve got it down to about 7! When you’ve finished your working week, the STRiDA can be stored in a closet – it is that convenient. Its collapsed size is a mere 45” x 20” x 9”. Mechanically, everything is sound and well thought out.
We noticed the robust 18” alloy wheels have Innova tires with reflective piping around the rim. The chain isn’t literally a chain either: it’s a Kevlar belt that requires no lubrication and is good for 50,000 miles!
Despite its unconventional appearance, the STRiDA EVO rides really well and is surprisingly comfortable over long distances. It has impressive torque for moderate hills and a high gear for when you’re rolling fast. That said it’s not the fastest commuter bike you can buy but it is among the most powerful for uphill gradients. Aside from the off-putting price, there is something to be said for seriously considering the EVO if your finances stretch. It’s a high quality bicycle that is brimming with clever and useful design quirks that make the owning and riding experience very special.