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The Fitness Bike: Smooth + Comfort

2 cyclists biking on fitness bikes near water

The fitness bike, also known as a flat bar road bike, is the most popular style of the bicycle – and for good reason. This bike is perfect for many cyclists because it combines a comfortable and efficient ride. These bikes don’t put the cyclist in an overly aggressive body position that many riders can find uncomfortable. But at the same time, these bikes can really go! Chances are a fitness bike could be the perfect option for you.

specialized sirrus fitness bike

Fitness Bikes are sometimes called commuter bikes, flat bar road bikes, event bikes, or road hybrid bikes. These bikes share similar features and frame geometries with drop bar road bikes. They are made for riding primarily on the pavement, but they can easily handle a wide range of terrain. Most flat bar road bikes have tires that both roll smoothly and easily on the pavement while still being able to handle crushed limestone surfaces and even some light gravel!

specialized bike with bar ends added to flat bar

Despite their similarities, fitness bikes differ from drop bar road bikes in a few ways. The biggest difference is the handlebars. A drop bar road bike has a handlebar that drops down. This style of bar gives the rider a number of hand positions. This also allows cyclists to get into a lower, more aerodynamic, and powerful position. On the other hand, the flat bar on a fitness bike allows the rider to have a wider, more stable grip leading to more confidence and control over the bicycle. If the rider of a fitness bike wants more hand positions, bar ends can be added (and many fitness bikes even come with these included).

cyclist biking on fitness bike under bridge

Many riders find the flat handlebars are more comfortable than drop bars because they keep your body position more upright. But don’t think these bikes are slow. There are some high-performance, carbon fiber, fitness bikes that rival the performance of a drop bar road bike!

Another great thing about fitness bikes is the wide price range. On one hand, you have bikes that are light and fast but also won’t break the bank. On the other hand, you have high-performance, full-carbon fiber flat bar road bikes. As you move your way up from entry-level to high performance, you are going to get a bike with better parts, lighter weight, and overall better ride quality.

cyclist on fitness bike on the street

A fitness bike is a great option for many cyclists! Whether you’re a beginning rider who is just starting to ride or you’re a cyclist who is doing weekend-long charity rides, or even if you’re an everyday bike commuter, a fitness bike will meet your needs! It rolls smoothly on the street and has no problem with gravel trails. It gives you a more relaxed riding position without sacrificing speed.

With all of these options, it isn’t surprising how popular this bike style is. If you’re looking for an all-purpose bike that can go everywhere from roads to bike lanes to gravel, be sure to check out the great selection of fitness bikes at your local ERIK’S or online at