The market is full of all types of bikes, with thousands of cycling brands trying to get the upper hand in an environment with an ever-increasing demand. This has availed so many options for the average cyclist that it has now hard to tell which bike is the best over the rest.
What used to be a domain controlled by a few big names has now become an open battleground with newer bike manufacturers coming through and carving out a niche for themselves within a short period, thanks to technology and research.
We’ll be looking at some of the best bike brands and bike companies that are running the show with their products right now and mention a few of their best bikes that have impacted the cycling industry in the recent past.
Top 13 Best Bike Brands – Our Reviews:
1. Ibis Bikes
Ibis is based in Santa Cruz, California, and was founded in 1981 by a group of bike enthusiasts who decided to come together and create what they considered an ideal bike.
The main parts of the bicycle, including the frame, are made in Asia. The bicycle frame is constructed using aluminum and carbon fiber.
Technological innovation is one area where Ibis has invested heavily in its attempt to keep up with some of the biggest players in the market. Ibis’s brand of bikes includes road bikes, mountain bikes, and track bicycles of all shapes and sizes.
Ibis products made for normal consumers are some of the most colorful in the market and a big reason why an Ibis bike has a strong legion of fans.
It would be safe to declare Schwinn as the best bicycle brand in the world right now, and that claim would stand, thanks to the impressive catalog of all sorts of bikes and their accessories that the company manufactures every year. It’s easily in the top 10 bike brands.
The Schwinn Bicycle Company was founded in 1895, making it one of the oldest cycling bike makers in the world, something that explains why their bikes are so wholesome. It’s all due to the accumulated experience that comes with 125 years of active operations.
The company makes racing bicycles, road bikes, hybrid bikes, and if you ever need a good mountain bike, then Schwinn is your go-to bike brand.
Despite a few bankruptcy hiccups along the way, the one thing that has never depreciated is the quality. Schwinn bikes use the best materials on the market as well as the best bike designs that are very attractive.
These two factors are part of the reason why the Schwinn brand of bikes doesn’t come so cheap.
3. GT Bikes
GT Bikes is the company behind one of the most iconic bikes of our generation, the BMX. Generations of people around the world grew up cycling these bikes in their neighborhoods.
GT was founded in 1979 by Gary Turner and Richard Long in California and is currently owned by Dorel Industries.
Over the years, GT has continued to make memorable BMX and mountain bike brands and was even involved in making the 1996 Summer Games, where it was tasked with the responsibility of making a carbon fiber superbike that cost around $30,000.
Currently, the company continues to make BMX bikes as well as high-quality mountain bikes known for their triple triangle frame design that makes cycling much more comfortable.
4. Felt Bicycles
Felt Bicycles is an American bike manufacturing company that was established in 1991 and is based in California at a place called Rancho Santa Margarita. The bikes the company makes include cruiser bikes, mountain bikes, road, track, cyclocross, kids bikes, climbing bikes, and even e-bikes.
The designs of these cycling bikes are usually done in the United States, but most of the products are outsourced in Asia, where it’s much cheaper due to less stringent tax laws.
The one area that Felt Bikes are best known for is the triathlon bikes department. The bikes are such goods that at one point, they were the official types of bikes used by American teams in the Tour de France competitions.
The bicycle brand is still involved in many races and sponsors some big teams from various parts of the world. Technology is at the core of the company and is what has been pushing the bicycle maker to new heights.
It’s hard to imagine anyone into bicycles who has never heard of the name Cannondale. The bicycle brand makes some of the most reliable mountain biking machines that have been featured in some of the biggest events on all continents.
Founded in 1971, Cannondale is a company that’s based in Connecticut and is the American division of Dorel Industries, a major distributor of quality bikes in the North American region. It has assembly facilities in Taiwan, where most of the bicycle parts are made from scratch then shipped to the United States.
Before it ended up under Dorel, the bike company has been acquired by at least three other corporations in the past, and with every acquisition, it has managed to grow and cement its place among the top bike brands in the world.
The Cannondale bike brand has invested a lot in technology like full-suspension frames and so on, and that has been the reason why their racing bikes and mountain bikes look so good and have been able to stay among the top bicycle brands for all these years.
The cycling bike has also featured on global spring events like the Olympics.
6. Tommaso Bikes
Tommaso Bikes is a company based in Denver, Colorado, and was founded in 1985 as a road bike maker. Initially, the frames used to be manufactured in Italy then shipped to the United States, where they were painted and used to make the brand’s famous bikes.
The brand has so far expanded its portfolio and now makes the best mountain bikes, track bikes, triathlon bikes, fixed-gear bicycles, and cyclocross bikes, among many others. Their very first bikes used to have steel frames, which later gave way to titanium-based frames, and now, most of their bikes use aluminum and carbon fiber frames.
The brand also makes one of the best-designed bikes for women. Fortunately for bicycle lovers, these bikes are relatively cheap and are available all over the world.
7. Pure Fix Bicycles
Pure Fix Cycles is a US-based company that was founded in 2010 by Michael Fishman, Austin Stoffers, Zachary Schau, and Jordan Schau, with its headquarters in Los Angeles. It was the first company in the world to introduce glow-in-the-dark mountain and road bikes, a phenomenon that triggered a popular trend of using bright lights in the wheels of road bikes to make them visible at night.
The bicycle manufacturing company was later bought by JBI.bike, which is a family-owned bike distributor located in Florida. Ever since that acquisition, the brand has continued to gain traction around the world, especially in the United States where the bike brand is loved by many bike enthusiasts.
8. Salsa Cycles
Salsa is another American bike manufacturer based in Minnesota that was founded in the early 1980s by Ross Shafer. After almost 2 decades of operations, the company was acquired by another company called Quality Bicycle Products in 1997 that truly transformed the brand into a globally recognized name that had the capacity to compete with the big boys.
The brand focuses more on creating road bikes designed for colder climates where owning a bike can be a challenge due to ice. Their high-quality bikes feature aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber frames and this can give you a clear picture of what their price tags may be.
Their cycling bikes are usually touring bikes, fat-tire bikes with good traction, backpacking bikes, gravel bikes, and full-suspension mountain bikes.
9. Trek Bikes
Trek is one of the most famous bike brands in the world, thanks to their high-quality, high-end bikes that are desired by all kinds of cyclists around the globe.
Founded in 1975 under the name Trek Bicycle Corporation, the company is based in Waterloo, Wisconsin and rakes in annual revenues of over $900M. It has over 1,800 employees under its name, with subsidiaries spread out in Europe and Asia.
Besides the Trek bikes, other bike models that the company creates include Bontrager, Diamant, and Electra.
What has made the company survive for this long is its willingness to adapt to the changing times. While others take time to embrace new trends, Trek usually dives in and ends up getting a good foothold before their competitors catch up.
10. Merida Bikes
Merida is a bike brand that was born from a fascinating turn of events.
A Taiwanese called Ike Tsang, on one of his visits to the United States in the 1970s, walked into a bike shop that had a display that stated that repairing bikes from Taiwan was not allowed as they were of low quality. This prompted Ike to prove that wrong, and that was how Merida was created.
Now the company makes over 2 million high-end bikes every year. The bike has its headquarters in Yuanlin, Taiwan, and also Germany. Merida bicycles have featured in global events, and athletes using their racing road bikes have won medals in the Olympics.
Road, mountain, and hybrid bikes are some of the bikes that the company makes.
11. Retrospec Cycles
A fairly new entrant into the bike world, Retrospec was founded in 2009 by Ely Khakshouri, who decided to introduce handmade bikes to add some new style into the industry. He felt that many bicycle brands were only geared towards sales and had long forgotten the art of making bikes beautiful first.
That vision did come to pass because right now, Retrospec bikes are some of the most adorable ones with very sturdy but breathtaking designs, especially those that have been designed for female riders. Some of the bike types made by the company include road, mountain, and kids bikes among many others.
12. Raleigh Bikes
The Raleigh Bicycle Company was founded in December 1888, making it one of the oldest bike brands in the world. The British brand is headquartered in Nottinghamshire and was the brainchild of two individuals known as Angois and Woodhead.
The company has undergone several acquisitions that have played a huge role in making the brand survive for this long and continue to grow more. Their catalog is more varied than other bicycle brands as it makes road bikes, commuter bikes, mountain bikes, electric bikes, and even kids bikes.
Raleigh is also home to some of the most celebrated vintage bike brands, which isn’t a surprise owing to their checkered history. If you ever want a comfortable commuter bike that can double up as a mountain bike, then this is the brand to go for.
Raleigh bicycles have made appearances in some big events in France and other big stages around the globe. Of notable mention is the 1980 race won by Joop Zoetemelk of Holland using a Raleigh bike.
13. Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is a US-based company that was founded in 1994 by Rich Novak, Mike Marquez, and Rob Roskopp and, in the space of fewer than three decades, has managed to establish itself as one of the major players in the bike industry. With its headquarters in California, the company is mostly involved in the manufacture of high-end mountain bikes.
These bikes aren’t just among the most known high-end models, but they’re also among the most expensive bike brands. Majority of their bikes range between $1,500 to $10,000, a price that keeps them out of reach of most people.
The bicycle brand company also makes electric bikes for both women and men as well as special bicycles for senior citizens.
The Bottom Line
The brand of the bike does play a significant role in how efficient it is.
However, that doesn’t mean that any bike not mentioned in this list isn’t any good. Any road bike that gets cleared for consumers has undergone countless tests to ensure that it isn’t just safe but also delivers more than the basics.
When buying a bike, it is normal to be tempted to go for the top bike brands and the most known bicycle companies you can find, but that usually comes at a very high price. Below are some quick factors for you to consider.
- Your Budget: the bigger the brand, the more expensive the bike
- The Varieties: The best bike brands are not limited to only one type of bike; they have several varieties.
- Your Needs: Expensive isn’t always good. Does that bike serve your needs, to begin with? That’s very important.
- Versatility: Do you want a road bike that can handle the mountain when you need to? Getting a brand that makes hybrid bikes is a plus.
- Availability of Accessories: A brand that makes accessories available locally will always be better than the one that forces you to import them from abroad.
Ultimately though, what should always be your priority are your needs, and if a bike satisfies that, then it doesn’t matter whether it’s a big brand or a small one. Just get it.