Utility BicyclesUtility Bicycles

Will you mainly use your bike to pick up milk and bread from the grocery store? You probably want a utility bicycle, sometimes known as a city bicycle or a "beater." A good utility bike is functional, durable, comfortable and versatile...but you won't use it to beat Lance Armstrong.


  • Easily mountable. Utility bicycles often feature a step-through frame, which means you can get on and off easily.

  • Easily maintained. These bicycles usually have fewer gears and foot brakes, which creates a simple, low-maintenance ride.

  • Protects clothing. Some utility bikes feature mudguards and skirt guards to keep the rider's clothing clean and a chain guard to prevent skirts or loose trousers from being caught in the chain.

  • Kickstand and Accessories. Most utility bikes feature kickstands so they can be parked anywhere. You can easily buy a basket or pannier rack to carry personal possessions or shopping bags.

  • Upright Riding. A utility bicycle's handlebars are almost always curved back and higher than the saddle so you can ride in an upright position.

Reality Check

  • Heavy! Again, this isn't the bike you want when you're racing Lance Armstrong. Rims and wheels are chosen for strength, durability, and low cost rather than high racing performance.

Quick Facts

  • The utility bicycle is the most widely used form of bicycle in many parts of the world


  • $200-$500 at your local bike shop.