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11 Best Affordable Bikes to Buy Starting from £160

Looking for an affordable bike? You’re not alone. Since lockdown measures have been eased in the UK the demand for affordable bicycles has skyrocketed. Along with home gym equipment and face masks, affordable bikes are set to be a sell-out over the next few months.

The good news? There are still plenty of great options out there that you can buy online. We've also picked out the best bikes that are due back in stock soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

All the bikes in this edit are under £1,000. That’s still a lot of money, but for a piece of equipment that you’ll use every day it’s worth spending a little more to get the performance and quality you need. For those looking for a more affordable option, we've also tracked down good-quality bikes you can buy for as little as £200.

A note before we get started: these bikes are in stock at the time of publication unless it's indicated that they'll be back in stock soon. This piece will be monitored and updated , but given the unprecedented demand, some bikes may go out of stock.

How to buy a bike online

We asked the experts at Canyon whether it's better to buy a bike online or IRL. 'The options on how to purchase a bike have grown rapidly in recent years,' says Jack Noy, Canyon's UK Marketing Manager.

'Traditional bike shops offer a face-to-face service and advice but can vary in terms of expertise and quality. The last five to ten years have seen several bicycle manufacturers focus on selling direct to their customers, through e-commerce.'

'The benefits of direct sales range from more competitive pricing, through to guidance and advice straight from the brand,' he says. In short – it's totally fine to buy a bike online, just buy from a trusted retailer and do some research beforehand.

What kind of bike should I buy?

When buying a bike, especially if you're a beginner, it can be confusing when you're faced with so many different options. 'The first thing to think about when you're buying a bike is the terrain you’re riding on and where you’re riding to,' says Noy.

'Are there lots of hills? How far is it? Will it be on road, or off road? Are the roads and paths very bumpy, or relatively smooth? Do I need to carry the bike up any stairs, or put it on the roof of a car?' All of these are important questions to consider when purchasing your bike. Here is a brief rundown of the main types of bike and what each one is suitable for.

Road bikes

'These are distinguished by their narrow, slick tyres and drop handlebars that curve down and back on themselves. Offering the lowest rolling resistance and lightest weight, they are perfectly suited to longer distances at higher speeds.'

Mountain bikes

'Featuring larger volume tyres, and a more knobbly tread profile, teamed up with some suspension to help absorb bumps and further increase traction – these are the perfect option if you plan on going predominantly off road. While certainly useable on roads too, the increased resistance from the larger tyres and extra weight mean they are less efficient than others on smooth terrain.'

Hybrid bikes

'With a name derived from being part road bike, part mountain bike, a hybrid offers a nice blend of efficient on-road riding and some capability off-road. Lightweight variants with relatively smooth and narrow tyres are perfect for predominantly road use. Their flat handlebars offer improved comfort and visibility over a Road bike, too.'

City bikes

'Similar in many ways to a hybrid, but with some optimisations for City riding and commuting. Usually featuring fenders, luggage racks, low maintenance parts and sometimes integrated lights, these are a great, ready-to-ride option for city living.'

Electric bikes or e-bikes

'With an inbuilt electric motor assisting every pedal stroke, e-bikes offer you the chance to ride further, faster or over hills and terrain (things you may have previously dismissed).'