12 Best Bikes for Beginners in 2018

The best bike for beginners can take on many shapes; it all depends on where you want to ride. There are cruisers with a handful of gears and mountain bikes built to be easy on new cyclists as well. While the terrain is important things like comfort, performance and price certainly play a part in things as well.

Whether you want to climb up terrain, race downhill or casually ride to work, we have a bike and price point for everyone. While we didn’t include any bicycles with training wheels, there are options for the younger crowd along with teenagers and adults.

Top 12 Bikes for Beginners Comparison Table

DesignNameBike StyleFrame SizesRating (1-5)
  1. Diamondback Bicycles Hook Off-Road 16, 18” 4.6
  2. Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser Bicycle Urban 24, 26” 4.6
  3. sixthreezero Around The Block Men’s 26-Inch Single Speed Cruiser Bike Urban 19” 4.5
  4. Diamondback Bicycles Insight 2 Complete Hybrid Bike Hybrid 16 – 22” 4.1
  5. Merax 26″ Dual Disc Brakes 21 Speed Hardtail Mountain Bike Mountain 16” 4.0
6. Schwinn Discover Men’s Hybrid Bike Hybrid 18 – 20” 4.0
7. New 2017 Raleigh Rowdy 20 Complete Kids Bike Off-Road 20” 4.0
8. Diamondback Bicycles Sorrento Hard Tail Complete Mountain Bike Mountain 16 – 22” 3.9
  9. Critical Cycles Harper Coaster Fixie Style Single-Speed Commuter Bike with Foot Brake Urban 16 – 24” 3.8
  10. Aluminum Road Bike Commuter Bike Shimano 21 Speed 700c Road 19 – 22” 3.7
  11. Schwinn Capital 700c Men’s Hybrid Bicycle Hybrid 18” 3.7
  12. Schwinn Men’s Sanctuary 7-Speed Cruiser Bicycle Urban 18” 3.5

Have Bike, Will Travel

We briefly mentioned terrain; now we’re going to dig into things as you need to choose the right type of bike to match the roads you travel. That said, if you get your heart set on a particular model, you can always change out the tires and rims although the frame will make or break your experience in some instances. Well, that and the seat.

If you live in an urban environment and plan on riding to work or around the neighborhood, you’ll want a commuter style bike or cruiser. Road bikes would also be a good fit, but not MTB’s or mountain bikes. They have knobby tires more often than not, and while it may be good for going off-road, it’s not suited for city streets.

The speeds are another thing to consider and tied to the style of bike more often than not. If you have no experience on a bike, shifting through two dozen gears can be a major hurdle to overcome. That means road bikes and MTB’s are out unless they have a low gear set, but cruisers and urban bikes would be a perfect fit.

Bicycle Styles

While there are dozens of bicycles styles, we stayed away from anything too exotic as the best bike for beginners needs to be easy to ride. We did include a frame for most folks, however, which we’ve broken down below.

  • Urban – This style of bicycle is also referred to as cruisers as they are known for cruising around town, and not for their top speed. They are comfortable to ride and usually have a low amount of gears which makes them ideal for beginners.
  • Mountain – Mountain bikes are made for off-road use, and can be difficult to ride if you aren’t great with gears. Entry-level models are suitable for new cyclists, and some are suited for road use as well. Bikes we’ve labeled as “off-road” are slotted into this category as well but perform better on dirt tracks and the streets over the trails in some cases.
  • Hybrid – As the name implies, hybrid bicycles offer up the best of two worlds. In most cases, they are a combination of road bikes, MTBs, and cruisers. Sometimes it can be as simple as a handlebar switch to alter your riding position while other times the frame or other elements are involved.

Sizing & Assembly

Choosing the right size bicycle is easier said than done when buying online, especially for beginners. The easiest thing to do is find or a bike to check its size and get a rough idea of what you’ll need. Bike shops can be of assistance in that regard, and can often direct you to the proper sizing for your frame. As for actual frames, most manufacturers size them from small to extra-large and use inches for measurements while others have official sizing charts.

Riding a bike can be tough for new cyclists, but not as hard as actually putting one together. Instruction manuals have never been great when it comes to bikes, and when you’ve never worked on one, it can be a nightmare. Many of the bikes on our list come partially assembled although expert installation is an option as well. So are bike shops, and we recommend taking your new cycle to one for a tune up if you have trouble putting it together or anything feels loose.

Top 5 Best Bike for Beginners Reviews

1. Diamondback Hook Bicycle

Diamondback produces some of the best bikes around although they generally fall into a particular category. While road racers aren’t their cup of tea, the Diamondback Hook is a beautiful hardtail built to handle hills with ease, and it’s one of the easier MTBs for beginners.

Unless you have great cardio, mountain biking can be tough. We’re not talking about cutting through some trails on your property either, but taking on tough terrain that would break regular bikes. The Hook will make short work of the most challenging trails thanks to a study 6061-T6 Butted Frame and an SR Suntour XCM fork which sports 120mm of travel. The wheels are just as knobby as you’d expect as they are Kenda Nevegal Lites that sit on SL-7 double wall rims. This bikes braking system is top-tier as well with Tektro Aries disc brakes and levers.

We feel like this bike is the best fit for consumers looking for an off-road bike to get started, and while it is not cheap, it’s built to last. There are only 8-speeds as well, so shifting will be easy to get used to, and the wide handlebars are a nice touch as well. This bike is available in orange with blue accents in either a 16” or 18” frame.

2. Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser

Our first cruiser is a classic that allows your mind to drift back to simpler times. The Urban Lady Beach Cruiser from Firmstrong looks like it rolled off the production line in the 50s, but sports modern components and gives consumers a choice when it comes to speed.

Many bikes on our list are offered up in different hues, and there are plenty to choose from with this model. That’s not what makes it stand out, however, that has something to do with the gears.

The Urban Lady Beach Cruiser comes in several different configurations as one tier has 1-speed then there are three models with 3-speeds. There is also a 7-speed model if you want a bit more oomph although this one’s made for cruising, not for speed. The bike itself is a looker with a curvy frame and wide whitewall tires. The oversized seat will be comfortable for extended rides, and there are no hand brakes to deal with – you get coaster brakes on this bike.

You won’t break any land speed records with this bike, but you will look good pedaling around the neighborhood or beach. It is available in 19 different colors including several models that give you an option of fenders and a bell.

3. Sixthreezero Around The Block Single-Speed Cruiser

Cruiser-style bikes just aren’t for the ladies as the style alone makes it a top option when it comes to the best bike for beginners. Sixthreezero’s cruiser is geared towards the guys and is tough enough to handle the rigors of the road but sans some of the options found on the Urban Lady.

Cruiser-style bikes just aren’t for the ladies as the style alone makes it a top option when it comes to the best bike for beginners. Sixthreezero’s cruiser is geared towards the guys and is tough enough to handle the rigors of the road but sans some of the options found on the Urban Lady.

At first glance, the Around the Block bike could easily be mistaken for the Urban Lady as they have the same style aside from a slightly different bar in the middle. This one comes with a rear rack standard however and is only available in two styles with a single speed model and a 7-speed variant.

The black bike has coaster brakes, a durable 18” frame, and 2.125” wide tires that sport a waffle tread pattern which provides traction on multiple surfaces. The bike transitions nicely from the pavement to the dirt, just don’t try and take up to the mountains.

The Around the Block Cruiser is the type of bike that can be passed down from one generation to the next as there’s nothing on it that you can’t replace and it’s easy to work on – even for beginners. It’s also easy to assemble considering it arrives 80% put together; we just hope you like black as that’s the only colorway available.

4. Diamondback Bicycles Insight 2 Bike

Our first real hybrid bicycle comes from the folks at Diamondback and is built to help you traverse both the road and the trail. While it looks like it belongs on the streets, we assure you it handles light off-road duty admirably although there are a few things not quite up to snuff.

You don’t have to look long at this bike to know what it’s all about. The frame screams “road bike” but it’s suitable for off-road as well. That’s partially true; just don’t get crazy on this one.

While the Diamondback Insight 2’s build quality is top of the line, the seat is going to be rough on rugged terrain. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, but you may want to prepare to pick up a new one if you plan on riding the Insight like you would an MTB. The big difference between this model and the previous style is the braking system which is now handled by Tektro mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors.

The Insight 2 is not a true hybrid compared to other bicycles that carry the moniker, but it still allows you to slide from pavement to dirt with ease. As mentioned, it’s also good on trails to an extent, just be prepared to modify a few things depending on the terrain and your riding style. This bike is only available in one hue sized from a small to an extra-large.

5. Merax Dual Disc Brake 21-speed MTB

Whereas Diamondback’s Insight 2 was a bit of a hybrid, the Merax Hardtail is a bonafide mountain bike. That means you’ll get extra suspension to help cushion the blows and a durable steel frame that can support riders up to 330 pounds.

We’re just going to cut to the chase with this one. The Merax Dual Disc Brake MTB is what’s referred to as an entry-level mountain bike, so you’re not going to get expensive components this time around.

As long as you can get by without big brand name parts, it’s a fine option for beginners and has 21-speeds to shift through and 160mm dual disc brakes which quickly bring you to a halt. That’s a bonus, and so is the suspension fork up front. It’s available with a 16.5” frame and is fairly hefty for its size at around 46 pounds.

While Merax’s bike may not last a decade, it is an affordable way to break into the world of mountain biking without breaking the bank. Once you get some experience under your belt, you can always upgrade the components, and we like the fact it comes 85% assembled although you may need it tuned up at a shop.