If you are looking for a new bike, regardless of ride style, type or level of skill, you need to choose the best bike for your body type, budget and experience. You will also need to know what kind of bike ride you are looking for.
The Best Bike Brands by Type
There are several factors that go into assessing the best bike brands in the world. Some primary considerations are innovation, persistency of quality, and who puts riders at the top of podiums. With that being said there is a quiet revolution going on within the biking world. There are millions of busy Moms, stressed college students, and middle-aged people simply trying to lose weight that need served.
Often these rankings focus on the highly intense world of Road cycling or the ultra-cool world of Mountain biking but this review tries to account for the other 98% that need a high quality bike they can afford. But also giving credit to the bike brands on the bleeding edge of innovation that inevitably trickles down to everyday bikes.
You will see companies founded by recent MIT grads and also companies founded in the 19th century that continue to innovate. There are brands that I love that got left on the cutting room floor but I will continue to reevaluate and rank as new bikes are delivered or new areas in biking start to emerge.
Ranking the best brands is a step in the research journey but if you truly want to find the best bike for your needs, select the bike type that you are most interested in and carefully go through the bike reviews and you’ll find your match.
Known For: Cruisers
An American bike company based in Hermosa Beach, California. The company was founded with a mission to design and build a clean, simple, easy to ride bikes offered at an affordable price. The company wants to preserve the simplicity of the bike in their designs. Firmstrong’s mission is to design bikes that blend style and functionality.
Known For: E-bikes
Another California based company that mostly outsources their manufacturing to production facilities in Taiwan and China. This company is a large player in the e-bike world and also carved out substantial market share in the simple indoor bike vertical. This company focuses on efficient designs and has developed one of the best logistic networks in the industry. This translates into a consistent product at a good price point.
26. Scott Bike
Scott started out not even making bikes or bicycle parts. The first foray of the company was actually ski poles. Ed Scott pioneered the first aluminium ski poles in 1958, from there the Scott company grew to more exciting and adventurous modes. Formed in 1989 when Charley French made the first aerodynamic handlebar. The bike side of the company grew like wildfire and by 1995 Scott was a household name. The Endorphin was Scott’s first carbon bike and with wins in the Olympics and the World Cup, the name and the company took off.
Giordano bikes, based in New Jersey, are inspired by the rich cycling history of Italy. Their products focus on combining Italian tradition with the latest advancements in bicycle technology. The company is dedicated to providing enthusiast-level bicycles to their customers. The company is very concerned about the safety of the customers. They do not ship a product until they are confident that it is safe enough for their own family.
24. Montague Bikes
Known for: Folding Bikes
Montague is a bike company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They are at the forefront of evolving bicycle technology, focusing on Folding Integrated Technology. David Montague founded the Montague Corporation in 1987 while a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He immediately focused his designs on folding bicycles that offered space-saving convenience without sacrificing performance.
Known For: Road, Mountain, Hybrid
A company that is based out of China and is relatively new to the American bike market. BEIOU had it origins in the Carbon Compost and manufacturing industry. They took this expertise and started to apply it to bikes. As you are searching for a light-weight, the search inevitably will lead to carbon frames, forks, and structures. BEIOUS is the leader in replacing the old style steel and aluminum frames with Carbon, and doing it cost effectively.
22. Schwinn Bikes
An industry leader in cycling since 1895, Schwinn is practically a household name. Today, they offer innovative bike solutions for a variety of fitness riders at affordable price points. You can find their branded items in large retail stores, and their signature items at select retailers across the country. The act that made Schwinn a household name was their insistence that their bikes not be rebranded by retail stores. They wanted their name and their guarantees to remain on the bike, and because of that stubbornness/insight a STRONG brand was born.
21. Marcy Bikes
Known for making affordable home-based fitness solutions, Marcy has a line of exercise bikes to suit nearly every rider. By combining technology with space-saving features and great functionality, they give their customers lots of ways to get an intense cardiovascular workout without needing to leave the house.
20. Fortified Bikes
Known for: Hybrid
Fortified is a bike company that creates hybrid bikes for urban life. The company was founded and run by two friends: Tivan Amour and Vlad Pick (after having their bikes stolen) that had a desire to build, sell and grow a community of bikes that are unstoppable, that can’t be stolen and will last for years., who after having their bike lights stolen, wanted to find a solution.
19. Mongoose Bikes
Known for: BMX
Founded in a Southern Californian garage in 1974 and now currently headquartered in Wisconsin. Mongoose has always been an aggressive brand focused on the innovation of performance bikes. Their products have consistently pushed the limits of what bikers can do, and their sturdy frames and handlebar configurations have allowed riders tremendous creativity.
BikesReviewed Recommends: The Mongoose Legion
The Legion series dominated our BMX Buyers Guide for 2019. With The Legion L40 and L80 coming in first and second place for kids.
18. Magnum Bikes
In 2010 Magnum Bikes entered the scene with a vision of revolutionizing the electric bicycle industry. Focused on innovative technologies and high-quality designs with a luxe aesthetic, the company began producing e-bikes that made waves on an international stage. Magnum creates many of their bike components from scratch, and have a design team that conceptualizes everything from circuit boards to molds to ensure that every step of the process meets their high standards. For pieces they don’t build in-house, they partner with top brand name companies to ensure that their expectations of quality are met.
17. Fuji Bikes
Known for: Road, Hybrid, Mountain
Fuji has been around for over a 100 years. Having gone through a few reorganizations and acquisitions the company continued to focus on being an innovator. During the early 1980s, Fuji developed touring bicycles, and in 1986 was one of the first to develop titanium frames. Currently part of the Advances Sports International brand, which includes Kestrel and SE.
The company prides themselves on producing bikes that are durable, reliable, comfortable, and affordable. They stand behind their products 100%. Sixthreezero allows customers to test-ride a bike for 365 days after purchase. If at any time during the first year a customer does not love their bike, sixthreezero will accept a return. They don’t charge restocking fees and will pay the return shipping.
BikesReviewed Recommends: SixThreeZero Ride in the park
With one of the highest scores received by any bike we reviewed, the Ride in the park clinches top spot in our Hybrid Bike Buyers Guide for 2019.
15. Critical Cycles
known for: Fixed, Hybrid, Cruiser, Folding
The company made it mark in the best Fixie bike market and then quickly moved into all forms of casual biking. The company’s statement does the best job at defining what makes it special: “born of an ambition to eliminate the barriers to adventure and powered by an ethical business model and small team of innovators. We savor every moment we have outside and want to share our appreciation of fresh air with you.”
14. Vilano Bikes
Based out of Elkton, Florida the company focused on filing a niche in the “cool design” area. Often their bikes will have colorful, sleek frames, thoughtful color schemes. This brand is definitely focused on the aesthetics, and does it quite well.
Known for: E-Bikes
Based out of California this company had its origins in motorcycles. In 2011 the company turned its focus to the burgeoning e-bikes industry and has never looked back. Specific to electric bikes this company focused on capturing the off-road niche and their bikes can be found to have fat tires, sturdy frames, and long battery life.
Known for: Fixed gear Bikes
6KU is most known for the “Fixie” style bike. This style of bike was built with simplicity in mind. Instead of having multiple gears these bikes have just one and allow you to pedal forward or backwards. 6KU is one of three new brands under the parent company Avant Sports, 6KU was created as an answer to the growing demand for high-quality fixed-gear bikes at affordable prices. The company founder, JW, started his journey back in 2012 and was disappointed with the quality that factories delivered on his designs.
11. Santa Cruz Bikes
Do one thing and do it well. Santa Cruz bikes are built for top end riders that need a special bike. Santa Cruz has a rotating line up of mountain bikes and all are made from aluminum and carbon fiber. Santa Cruz doesn’t offer any other type of bike except for mountain bikes. However, when it comes to the mountain, Santa Cruz delivers.
10. Exerpeutic Bikes
Known for: Indoor
Known for their home-use exercise equipment, Exerpeutic is a manufacturer of treadmills, ellipticals, and a line of indoor bike options. By combining the latest technology with upright, recumbent, and training models, Exerpeutic gives you the tools to get an effective cycling workout at home.
9. Bianchi Bikes
Known For: Road, mountain, hybrid
Bianchi was founded over 125 years ago in Milan, Italy. The father of the safety cycle and the first modern bike, Bianchi has consistently been on the forefront of bicycle innovation. Later innovations was the first BMX bike and later the first Mountain bike. Obviously this is the grandfather of the biking world and their pricing reflects both the heritage and quality of the product delivered.
8. Salsa Cycles
Known For: Touring, Mountain
Founded in 1982, Salsa was acquired by QBP in 1997 and is one of the premier mountain bike manufacturers in the world. Their mission is to “inspire adventure by bike”. This company sponsors hundreds of riders throughout the world and is dedicated to providing the best bike so its riders continue to dominate the MTB competitions. By the way, the also make a very impressive road bike. They were also the first to introduce a carbon fat tire option. Innovators!
7. Pure Fix Bikes
Known For: You guessed it..Fixed gear bikes
Founded six years ago in a dorm room, Pure Cycles is the brainchild of Austin, Jordan, and Michael. After spending time looking at the empty bike racks on campus, they started asking students why they weren’t riding. They found common themes in the answers they received- people wanted bikes that were affordable, simple, and looked great, and from there Pure Fix Cycles was born.
6. Kestrel Bikes
Known For: Road Bikes
Formed in 1986 by Trek employees and Aerospace engineers, Kestrel has introduced many cutting-edge and forward-thinking designs. With a goal to make faster, lighter and better handling bikes for athletes, Kestrel started working with carbon-fiber.
Their first design, the Kestrel 4000, released in 1987 was an all carbon, full aerodynamic design. Kestrel didn’t stop there, releasing designs with the first full-carbon fork, the first completely 3-D molded design, and seat tube-less designs.
Known For: Road Bikes
Specialized was founded in 1974 by Mike Sinyard. Based in California, the company intially focused on importing Italian parts and evolved to manufacturing their own. In 1981 Specialized released their first two models. Rivaling the biggest names in cycling, Specialized was bought by Meridia Bikes (a 40 percent share) in 2001 and has relaunched with new efforts and even better designs.
BikesReviewed Recommends: Specialized Sirrus
Specialized's entry level road bike is one of our favourites in this price range. We'd recommend the Sirrus to anyone looking to get started in road cycling events.
Known For: Road, Mountain, Hybrid
Cannondale got their start in 1973 by crafting and releasing bike accessories. They were the first company to introduce the Bugger, a bicycle trailer. They followed that up with a canvas bag that they produced in a loft above a pickle factory. By 1983 Cannondale started to innovate with aluminum being introduced into the frames but did so with a larger frame tube that introduced stiffness and efficiency into their bikes. In 2004 they led the industry with the aggressive adoption of Carbon into their assemblies and their bikes continued to outperform. Cannondale is a company that is driven with an engineering mindset.
3. Trek Bikes
Known For: Road, Mountain
Founded in 1973 focused on building mid to high-end bikes in America. During this time the only top end models were from overseas. Trek made a reputation in quality, craftsmanship and work ethic. The Trek 850, in 1983, was the first mountain bike they ever released and it soon caught on that Trek was a name to remember. By the late 1990s they were building all ranges of bikes for all riders: children to athletes and everyone in between. By 2001 they had introduced electric-hybrid bikes for endurance riders and trainers. The Trek FX1 is the best hybrid fitness bike due to its popularity, reviews and sales.
Known For: BMX, Mountain, Road, Hybrid
Founded in 1977 as a California company, it was originally a BMX brand. A major bicycle manufacturer based in Washington state, Diamondback Bicycles offers an array of models you can ride on the trails or the road for men, women, and children. One of the innovations pioneered by Diamondback is the Knuckle Box suspension, which is found on its Mountain Bikes. In 1999 the company was purchased and later merged with Raleigh Bicycle company.
Known For: Road, Mountain, Hybrid
Founded in 1972 in Taiwan it took nine years to release their first model. Giant has always been known for quick assessing market trends and improving them. While Kestrel may have the first all-carbon design, Giant was the first to use computer aided design for carbon frames. In 2004 Giant incorporated Maestro suspension and revolutionized off road capabilities. By 2010 they were winning awards for nearly every design they created and introduced Liv/Giant in 2011. Liv/Giant specializes in designs specifically built for women.
Our Favorite Bikes From Each Category
Best Road Bike
Best Hybrid Bike
SixThreeZero Ride in The Park
Best Mountain Bike
Best Electric Bike
Ancheer Power Plus
How You Should Choose Your Brand
Now that we've done a broad ranking of the best bike brands for 2019., let's zoom in to your needs.
How do you select the best bike, brand and fit?
Here's our step-by-step approach which will take you from casually browsing for a bike online, to getting the right bike and brand delivered to your doorstep.
Step 1. Select your Bike Type
The first, and most important part to selecting the right bike is figuring out what you plan to use it for. Do you need a city bike to commute with, are you going camping with your bike, or perhaps training for the Tour de France?
Check out the quick summary of each bike type below. Click on the red button if you want to get our take on the best bikes of each type.
If the idea of cruising down the highway as fast as you possibly can, then a road bike is exactly what your adventurous spirit needs.
Mountain bikes are ideal for all sorts of conditions. While they’re a bit heavier and slower than a road bike, they’re easier to ride.
Electric bikes (also known as e bikes) are perfect for long-distance riding, or when you just don’t feel like working up a sweat!
Hybrid bikes are all about versatility. While they don’t really handle specific tasks as well as a dedicated bike, the appeal is that it can do both.
Cruiser bikes have had a resurgence in the last decade or two. With large tires, the ride is considerably more comfortable and smooth.
If getting from point A to point B is too boring, you might be looking for a little bit more fun. Are you looking for the best BMX bike for adults or kids?
No speeds and gears, fixed gear bikes are known for simplicity. Fixies are popular - they’re easy to tinker with, and you have a lot of control.
Folding bikes are more than just a gimmick. Being able to fold your bike up and carry it is incredibly useful in bustling downtown areas.
An exercise bike alows you to workout in the comfort of your living room. Looking for an upright, spinning or recumbent bike?
Step 2. Deciding On A Brand
Brand goes with performance and your bike type.
You don’t want to go with a popular bike brand just because you have heard of it. If you are looking for the best cruiser bike, for example, for every day casual riding, you won’t want to spend your money on a Santa Cruz model designed for downhill racing.
While most brands will manufacture most types of models and types, the one for you will come down to budget, comfort and performance.
Mountain Bike Brands
Almost without fail, every manufacture will have a mountain bike in their lineup. This doesn’t mean it is the best option. Best mountain bike brands such as Giant and Fuji provide some of the best MTBs built because that is the main focus of the company.
BEIOU shouldn’t be overlooked in the mountain bike category either. Their standards will ensure a great ride with a budget friendly model.
Road Bike Brands
Road bikes are designed for riders that want to train, or that never like to go off-road. The best road bike brands are:
Triathlon Bike brands
Just as with any other category, more than brand will make a triathlon bike. For the serious athletes out there, two names stand above the rest. Kestrel has won more triathlons than almost any other bike brand.
Vilano has excellent triathlon bikes for smaller budget professionals.
Urban and Fixie brands
Downhill and BMX bike brands
When it comes to downhill racing, one brand is more dedicated and experienced than any other: Santa Cruz.
Specialty Bike brands
Fitness bikes have two brands solely dedicated to your needs: Exerpeutic and Marcy. If, however, you are looking for an electric/hybrid bike then you will want to focus your attention to Addmotor, Ancheer or Magnum.
For a folding bike, you should scan the options over at Montague.
Finally, if you want a daily cruiser to just ride around in, Sixthreezero has you covered.
If you want to dabble in a little bit of everything, then you want to look for the best all-around bike available.
Step 3. Find The Best Fit
Once you know what type of bike you prefer you need to find the best fit. You will need to be able to stand, straddling the top bar with your feet flat on the ground. You should measure your inseam height from the ground to your crotch and ensure the bike will fit that measurement.
You will be able to adjust he seat height as well as the handlebar height on most every model, including the lean and angle. If you are on a mountain bike, for example, you will want a more back angle seat and down angle handlebars to provide the best maneuverability.