It can be trying to find bikes you can effortlessly take from your door through towpaths, trails, and parks. That’s where the best bikes for greenways come in.
Greenways come in all shapes and sizes and need bikes that can handle varying terrains like sand, cement, loose pebbles, and sometimes even snow. Suppose you’ve been brave enough to use your road bike. In that case, you probably know those specialized handlebars and skinny tires won’t cut it. Your ordinary hybrid bike is often not as fun.There are many options to consider for bikes, especially if you aren’t specializing.
These are some of the most fun and best bikes for greenways:
- Aventon Aventure
- Giant Yukon 2
- Borealis Crestone X01
- Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5
- Trek Farley 7
- Aventon Level
I would usually offer up to eight options for an exciting category like this one. Still, these comfort and fat-tired bikes are so unique that having more choices isn’t necessarily better. That’s why it’s essential to go further down the article to find out why these unique selections made the cut.
As always, I’m not particularly an expert in this field, but I invest a lot of time and resources in coming up with this list. I spend too much time lurking around in bike forums, reading customer feedback and expert reviews. So, I hope you know that each bike is diligently researched and appropriately considered for each use-case scenario.
6 Best Bikes For Greenways
The regular hybrid bikes you are used to are lovely for many occasions, but they can quickly become dull. That’s where comfort bikes, electrified hybrids, and fat bikes come into the picture.
Comfort and fat bikes can be surmised as a variety of hybrid bikes with wider tires and some form of suspension to offer the best possible comfort in relaxed rides in Greenways. These bikes aren’t built for speeds but for daily use, so you know they have well-cushioned saddles and an upright riding geometry.
Before diving into the main course, I did want to shout out to the $700-ish Boardman MTX 8.6 and the sub-thousand-grande Focus Crater Lake 3.9. Still, they failed to impress because they were not too different from other hybrid lists I’ve done.
1. Aventon Aventure
Aventon Aventure is an electric adventure bike with premium fat tires. The Aventure might have components like the battery and display unit from lesser known brands, but it doesn't skimp on anything.
Aventon is unique with their e-bike offering in that they ship out the Aventure as a Class 2 e-bike with pedal and throttle assistance of up to 20 mph. Still, they also allow the user to easily upgrade it to a 28 mph Class 3 on the pedal assist.
The bike's Class 3 might not be as good as a throttle-assisted Class 3, but the ability to shift between the classes means it can comply with all the regulations and by-laws in most states.
Regardless, or maybe because Aventon is a relatively new contender in the fat-tire e-bike category, they have paid meticulous attention to every feature of the bike. Even accessories like the fenders are built from a sturdy metallic material and well-fastened in place to not rattle while riding.
The kickstand is solid and capable of supporting the 74-pound tank. Tank is perhaps an apt descriptor for the Aventure as it also gets the IPX4 water-resistant treatment that all Aventon electric bikes receive.
At $1,999, I know this bike isn't cheap, especially with the similarly specced Radrover 6 Plus going for $1,649. I remain steadfast in my pick because the Aventure seems to keep performing just a bit better in real-world tests.
The 750W motor on the Aventure can squeeze out a peak of 1130W, which allows the bike to not falter for a second on challenging inclines. The rear hub mounting of the Bafang brushless motor doesn't appear to affect performance.
When it comes to the torque output the bike can generate, it makes you wonder just how powerful this bike would be if it weighed a bit less. Of course, the removable 720W Li-ion battery contributes a noticeable 10.3 pounds with its Samsung cells to the overall weight.
The BC280 colorful display has an app and app syncing functionality with your phone. Outside tests of the Aventure show just how accurate Aventons range estimates are, with results not deviating far from manufacturer claims.
With the bike's five levels of pedal assist, you can get around 45 miles on the lowest level of pedal assistance when going around 20 mph and about 25 miles on the highest level.
The Aventure does lack a torque sensor and has cadence and speed sensors instead. The single-butted 6061 Aluminum frameset has an internal battery, which makes worrying about theft a non-starter but considerably increases the inconvenience of not being able to remove it to charge it conveniently anywhere.
The lockout-enabled front suspension has only 80mm of travel, making it ideal for Greenways that are pretty well-behaved. Fortunately, the 26x4 inch Kenda tires are impressive e-bike-rated tires with a responsive compound that's sticky and soft.
The tires not only add comfort and easier maneuverability on loose gravel and sand, but they also support the braking power of the hydraulic disk brakes on 180mm rotors.
You can use the 8-speed adventure machine without the battery, which is excellent for quickly turning it into a non-electric bike. Although it's not at all impressive as a manual, the 12-32T cassette can take you about relatively flat Greenways without too much toil.
The throttle on-demand setup can also kick in from a complete stop which could save those knees if you add racks and infringe on that 400-pound maximum load capacity.
2. Giant Yukon 2
Giant Yukon 2 might be the more affordable fat bike than the Yukon 1 from Giant, but it doesn't much compromise on the build. The few noticeable exclusion on the Yukon 2 are a dropper post, but the slightly optimized Q-factor and overall geometry remain competitive with its fuller sibling.
The Yukon 2 doesn't inspire immediate action from your wallet at just under two grand base price, especially after taxes and other fees are tacked on. However, it does share the same rugged ALUXX SL-Grade Aluminum frame and carbon fork as the Yukon 1. At about 32 pounds, the Yukon 2 is on the lighter side of entry-level fat-tire bikes.
Giant has made the bike not feel burdened by its weight or entry-level status as a fat bike. The Giant Sport Comfort saddle on the Giant Contact seat post paired with Giant Connect Trail handlebars offers comfortable contact points that should let you meander about for many hours on routes with loose dirt or snow.
Comfort and utility are further missioned by the 27.5x4.5 Maxxis Colossus tubeless-ready tires. The tires might be overkill for year-round use on the more looked-after greenways as the beefy knobs are pretty grippy and otherwise make the bike slow, but you'll be happy to have them as your companion during winter rides.
The single-gear, 12-speed Shimano Deore shifters seem to transition without inciting grievances from most testers. The rear derailleur also appears to move about its business over the 10-51T Shimano Deore M6100 cassette without invoking a complaint.
I don't think the ProWheel MPX is the lightest option Giant could have gone with, but I'm sure it helped bring the price down a tiny bit, and the 28T simplifies the required logistics of steering a big bike with fat tires.
The Shimano Deore rear derailleur setup is reliable enough to not corrupt your Sunday fun days because their quality is high enough in the Shimano hierarchy not to provoke immediate concern. Still, they don't have much else to rave about.
The bike has no suspension, but the inflatable-castle tires will still bring the comfort you seek from a hardtail or full-suspension bike. Giant made sure to provide plenty of mounting points for water bottles and fuel because you'll need as much fueling as you can pack if you encounter inclines in your adventures.
The beautifully sloping frame does a great job at integrating some of the cables, and there isn't much clutter of wires in the Yukon 2's front end. Regarding the bike's front end, the SRAM Level brake levers are incredibly minimalistic. Just like with the shifters, the petite size of the levers doesn't seem to pose any issues when operating them through gloves.
Now, the actual brakes that the levers operate on aren't really the greatest sampling of SRAM'sSRAM's quality. These SRAM Level hydraulic disc brakes operate on 180 mm front and 160 mm rear rotors and are generally dependable, but now and again, their budget status does creep up.
The great thing about the brakes is that they are straightforward to set up when needed.
3. Borealis Crestone X01
The extravagant Borealis Crestone X01 is a fantastic option for any trail, towpath, or rundown route, but it was released in 2016 and is often quite tricky to buy brand-new. That scarce availability to acquire first-hand is maybe a concealed blessing as the bike usually went for between $4,000 to $5,000.
So why bother at all with the Crestone X01? Because it can come lavishly outfitted with a top-end kit that brings the highest performance and aesthetics the fat bike market has to offer. Borealis does have newer offerings, like the 12-speed Crestone Eagle.
Still, because the brand isn't as easily recognizable as Giant, Trek, or Boardman, it is often challenging to convince other bike enthusiasts that their new drops are worth their time and wallet without an extensive track record. The Crestone X01 has been around the circuit long enough to have excellent customer feedback to allay doubts, and it is a US-based company to boot.
Borealis made only durable carbon fiber for their frame, and their fork has RockShox Bluto RCT3 Solo Air suspension with 100mm of fork travel. This is the same suspension you can opt for on the Crestone Eagle, even though Borealis's high customizability allows you to have rigid suspension to save a few hundred dollars.
If you can get the SRAM X01 mechanical shifters on your Crestone X01, then you should do so because shifting helps relieve the slow, cumbersome nature of the tires and the rest of the build. Regardless of which customization you can get, the drivetrain should be pretty much the same with a 30T Race Face Turbine crankset married to an 11-speed, 10-42T SRAM XG-1150 cassette.
This combination is nothing special to help ease the work you must put in to push against the resistance of the aggressively grippy tires and any inclinations on your way. The reason why the tires are so troublesome for some people is because of their 4.8-inch width. I mean, these are fat tires even on a fat bike standard.
The 26x4.8 inch Schwalbe Jumbo Jim EVO LS is already formidable with its aggressive wheel pattern. Still, adding the durable Addix rubber compound into their construction may be too much of an overkill for Greenways in any conditions. The tire construction is beastly and more suited for giving security on rigorous off-road riding.
Again, the version with the fork suspension isn't guaranteed, especially now that Borealis doesn't seem to stock it. Still, if you are blessed enough to get your hands on it, you'll probably be disappointed by the 30-ish pound machine.
4. Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5
The $1,999 RadRover 5 is an impressive and unstoppable force. 6061 aluminum is used to construct the sloping, high-step frame and the step-through version. The step-through frame is perhaps more wieldy to mount and gives you the security of a quick recovery if you were to be pushed off kilter on this 69-pound flattening machine.
Rad Power Bikes continue to cement their name as contenders for producing dependable electric bikes, and now they've combined that same Protestant work ethic into this fat-tire bike presentation.
The RadRover 5 uses an RST spring fork suspension with a humble 60mm travel. Even though the suspension seems stingy, there is a preload adjuster and lockout. The small amount of travel also means that you don't need to be doing anything crazy to get a response, and you can quickly go over obstacles without giving them any of your concerns.
An aluminum chainring guard fully protects the 42T crankset, and the back cog is an 11-34T DNP freewheel. The derailleur is decent but doesn't forget that this is an e-bike just because you can use the drivetrain without the throttle's help.
First, the 589 to 672 Wh battery uses Samsung 35E and isn't integrated into the frame, making it easy to take out and charge or add more capacity. The smart charger is Rad Power Bikes' standard 48V, 2 Amp, which you can plug into a 100V-240V outlet.
The Rover 5 can do 25 to 45 miles of range on a charge, depending on which of the five assistance levels you choose. Using the half-twist throttle to add power to your ride progressively is reminiscent of shifting on a motorbike.
The 750W Bafang rear hub motor with 12 magnetic cadence sensors doesn't immediately destroy that thought. There is enough torque with the motor's 80Nm torque to ease your worry of not being able to take the bike over some sneaky inclines. There are rear and front lights, sturdy mudguards, and an aluminum kickstand to balance the shadow of the 26x4 inch Kenda Juggernaut tires.
5. Trek Farley 7
Trek Farley 7 doesn't disappoint with the number of features it has. The Alpha Platinum frame has an internal derailleur for longevity and dropper post routing for adjustments on the fly. The air spring suspension fork is Manitou Mastodon 34 Comp with lockout and ABS damper for controlled and seamless shock absorption.
This 36-ish pound fat bike is a bit of a slog to maneuver, and its $2,600 price tag doesn't lighten the burden. But again, with the ability to give you max fork travel of 100mm, you might be having too much time casually cruising over loose dirt, sand, pebbles, or snow through paved and unpaved parks and greenways to notice any of the other misgivings.
The Farley 7 uses SRAM's 12-speed SX Eagle shifter to further your comfort and ease of transitioning between the 11-50t SRAM PG-1210 Eagle cassette and 30t SRAM X1 1000 Eagle crankset. The groupset isn't the latest innovation from SRAM, but it still shows off SRAM's stellar quality.
The brakes used on the Farley 7 are equally good with Trek's choice of the SRAM Level T hydraulic disc brakes, which help greatly to control the unruliness of the 27.5x4.5 inch tubeless-ready Bontrager Gnarwhal Team Issue tires.
These are genuine do-it-all aramid bead tires as you can install studs on them and continue enjoying adventures through snow, hail, and bale. The finishing kit is also pleasant without seeming superfluous.
6. Aventon Level
Frankly, I can't tell you just how many times I've mentioned this $1,799 Aventon Level to anyone interested in an electrified bike that's a fantastic commuter while effortlessly moonlighting as an adventure companion.
The ease you can go from grocery shopping to being chased by geese is too appetizing to pass on. The medium version of the Level is 62 pounds. Hence, it's not a simple lift and walks upstairs, but the 6061 double-butted aluminum frame is sturdy enough to hold everything together without compromise.
The 48V, 14Ah Li-ion internal battery is removable and gives 672Wh of an estimated range of between 25 miles to 57 miles. The mileage dramatically varies depending on the PAS level you choose to toggle up to from the list of 5.
Because this is a Class 3 e-bike, the highest level will let you roll at 28 mph for about 25 miles, and the lowest assistance gives you 13 mph for around 57 miles. However, these are best-case ranges; if you have loaded and experienced different route conditions, you should expect an average of about 40 miles.
Aventon also makes it easy to change a few options and unlock higher speeds of about 31 mph if you have your unregulated runway to takeoff on. The brushless rear hub motor gives a sustained 500 Watts of power and can crank out 750 Watts at peak effort, which should be plenty for provoking cyclists not yet baptized into the e-bike faith.
Calling on the Level's throttle from a standstill is another excellent addition to the throttle-on-demand capability, which can save you when you've got groceries or a picnic basket on the included rear rack.
The entirely metal fenders are also another beautiful accessory on the Level, just like the chainring guard that's been integrated into the design. The only minor hiccups with the build appear to be the angle of the chain which runs slightly on the chainring guard, and the rear derailleur, which can sometimes be too low on some terrain.
A simple but effective M5 LCD screen takes center stage on the helm of the front end with a responsive SR Suntour coil spring fork suspension. The suspension is maybe too responsive to the point of being harsh for people with a bit more mass behind them, especially with the absence of a rebound adjuster. Still, you can always use the lockout to tap out of the 75mm of travel the suspension offers.
Aventon does give riders the option of being able to go fully manual. Still, the Level having an 8-speed Shimano drivetrain with 12-32T cassette and 46T crankset doesn't invite much confidence that you'll be able to push all the bike's sizeable weight. 27.5x2.2 inch Kenda Kwick Drumlin tires keep you floating above any detritus fully, knowing that you are pretty safe with the fenders.
The finishing kit is lovely and helps support the geometry's comfort when choosing the correct size bike for yourself.
About THE AUTHOR
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.Read More About Danny Lawson