Key Takeaways:

  • Davis, CA’s title — Bicycle Capital of America — is secure: the Sacramento-area city topped the charts in most subcategories.
  • California dominated the list of most bike-friendly cities, securing eight spots in the top 20, including San Francisco, CA in 2nd
  • New York City, NY was the third-best city for bike commuting in the U.S. with a low accident rate and plenty of bike-friendly flex offices.
  • Boulder, CO was the highest-scoring city in the Western U.S., followed by neighboring Denver and Fort Collins.
  • Chicago, IL and Minneapolis, MI represented the Midwest, scoring consistently high across all bike-friendliness metrics.
  • Atlanta, GA emerged as the best city for bike commutes in the South, followed by Austin, TX.

There’s not much one can say against the humble bicycle. As a means of transportation, it’s affordable, accessible and, on small distances, even quicker than the car or public transit (especially as the congestion problem grows in many cities). And, in today’s pursuit of maximum efficiency, it’s hard to think of a better decision than downsizing to two wheels. But is it really that simple?

Indeed, a wider adoption of cycling and scooter-riding seems to be one of the most straightforward and easily applicable solutions to curb the effects of rush-hour traffic and keep air pollution at bay. However, some cities are better primed than others to spin their way toward a green future. With that in mind, we analyzed various factors from infrastructure to weather, traffic safety and more to unveil the top 20 most bike-friendly U.S. cities for commuters.

The scores below reflect the cities’ overall cyclist-friendliness on a 0-100 scale:

California Home to 8 of America’s 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities

Geographically, these bike-friendly cities spanned across various regions of the country. That said, California emerged as a clear leader with no less than eight cities dominating the top spots. Clearly, the Golden State’s commitment to bike infrastructure and pro-cycling policies — like the Complete Streets Act or the Three Feet for Safety Act — have paved the way for a thriving biking culture, and the weather is also as close to a cyclists’ paradise as it gets.

Notably, Davis, CA has earned the reputation of being the Bicycle Capital of America due to its exceptional bike-friendly environment and extensive infrastructure. As urban sprawl was peaking in the 1960s and 70s and America’s middle class definitively embraced the car as the new family member, Davis did the same with the bike. As a result, there are now a whopping 14 miles of bike lanes for every square mile in Davis. Even without a bike-sharing program in place (in all likelihood, temporarily), the Sacramento-area city is easily the leader of the pack — more than 10 full points ahead of runner-up San Francisco.

It seems obvious that the more bicycle lanes there are in a city, the safer green mobility is overall, and Davis provides the prime example with no registered bike accidents over the last 5-year period. Underscoring the importance of bike lanes, accidents became more frequent as we went down the list toward cities with less-developed infrastructure, with San Francisco, Long Beach, San Jose and Sacramento exhibiting incrementally higher accident rates. However, it’s important to emphasize the weight of other factors influencing cyclist safety beyond the presence of bike lanes, including driver awareness, traffic regulations and overall road conditions.

See which California cities performed best in each category:

Granted, one notable aspect for which San Francisco, CA stood out was its favorable weather conditions, with mild temperatures and a relatively low amount of precipitation throughout the year. Additionally, the 3.3% share of bike commuters — translating into more than 16,000 cyclists — is further proof that the Bay Area offers not only an inviting climate for bike commuting, but also plenty of other incentives. And, with 3.9 miles of bike lanes per square mile, it’s second only to Davis (although it’s hardly a fair comparison). What’s more, many coworking operators also capitalize on the developed cycling culture with bike-related amenities in 15 locations throughout the city.

Likewise, the other California cities on the list also had their own unique strengths. For instance, Oakland CA, did well when it came to road safety, while Long Beach, CA impressed with its high share of bike lanes, boasting 3.2 miles per square mile.

Of course, Long Beach also had a prominent weather score, showcasing exceptionally good conditions for cycling year-round even by California standards, and so did Los Angeles, CA and San Diego, CA. And, while San Jose, CA didn’t excel in any of the metrics, the Silicon Valley powerhouse still managed to obtain consistently high scores across the board.

Regional Pioneers: The Most Prominent Bike-Friendly Commuting Hotspots

On the opposite coast, the Northeastern region boasted several outstanding cities that have established themselves as leaders in fostering bike-friendly environments, despite having a considerable disadvantage compared to warmer regions with less rain and snow.

More precisely, New York City, NY snatched a podium position in the overall ranking due to its good traffic safety score — just one bike accident registered per 100,000 residents­­ over 5 years — and no less than 33 bike-friendly flex offices.

Meanwhile, the 25 cyclist-friendly coworking spaces in Washington, D.C. was the second-highest in the country (in a tie with Chicago); and the strong bike-commute culture further boosted the nation’s capital bike-friendliness score with 3.7% of the working population riding a bike to work.

Conversely, Boston, MA, landed on the list for its safe traffic with less than one biking accident reported per 100,000 residents in five years, and the 2.3-mile per square mile bike lane density is also among the 10 highest in the nation.

Similarly, while the Philadelphia, PA weather isn’t comparable to the warm western and southern cities in the top 10, consistent high rankings across all other metrics, as well as a strong presence of bike-friendly flex offices, earned the City of Brotherly Love a spot among the best places for bike commutes.

Heading westward, Boulder, CO stood out with its impressive bike infrastructure, boasting 3.2 miles of bicycle lanes per square mile, as well as the second-highest bike use among commuters at a whopping 8.8% — meaning almost 5,000 cyclists. Neighboring Fort Collins, CO., was exactly half that with a 4.4% share of bike commuters, yet still made the podium for two-wheeled commuting. The city also came in third place for infrastructure with 3.7 miles of bike lanes for every square mile. And although Denver, CO scored slightly below Fort Collins by infrastructure, commute culture and safety, the Mile High City earned decisive points for its 17 cyclist-friendly coworking spaces and rounded out the top 10.

Moving further west, Phoenix, AZ showed great potential as a bike-friendly city, despite the fact that its share of bike commuters remained below 1%. One detractor limiting the wider adoption of bike commuting is the sheer size of the city, with high temperatures over several months making pedaling long distances difficult in the desert climate. Even so, Phoenix’s bike lane infrastructure was comparable to some higher-scoring bike powerhouses like San Diego, and even slightly better than Los Angeles.

Back in the Midwest, Chicago, IL emerged as the most bike-friendly city for commuters in the region, followed by Minneapolis, MN. Road safety was average in both cities with 1.3 and 1.6 bike accidents per 100,000 people, respectively, and the same could be said about the popularity of bike commute (1.5% and 2.9%, respectively).

Here, the humid, continental climate with lots of precipitation in the winter resulted in the lowest overall weather scores out of the top 20 cities. That said, Chicago still made it into the top 10 and Minneapolis wasn’t far behind in 12th place. In fact, Minneapolis came in slightly higher than the Windy City in all metrics except for its 13 cyclist-friendly coworking spaces, where Chicago outperformed it almost 2:1 with 25 flex offices catering to bike commuters.

In the South, Atlanta, GA, had the highest overall score, taking 14th place in the national ranking. Even though it’s a southern city, precipitation can be a problem here, but Atlanta embraced cycling with a notable, 1% share of bike commuters — adding up to more than 2,500 cyclists. Furthermore, the 14 coworking spaces with amenities that cater specifically to cyclists, place Atlanta among the most progressive cities from this point of view as well.

Similarly, Austin, TX had a comparable bike commute culture with one out of every 100 workers riding a bike to their workplace. However, despite the similar weather and culture (and having almost twice the bike lane density as Atlanta), Austin fell behind the Big Peach in the overall ranking due to its slightly higher accident rate and fewer bike-friendly flex office options.

Regardless of your region or climate, highly bikeable cities are scattered across the U.S, and wherever you are, there’s a bike commuter’s paradise nearby. Each city in our top 20 has its own strengths, whether it’s great infrastructure, safe traffic, a mature cycling culture, or something that’s simply a given, like great weather year-round. With a collective focus on nurturing cycling culture, promoting safety, and investing in infrastructure, these cities pave the way for a healthier, more sustainable future.


For our scoring method we considered several key criteria based on their potential influence on the appeal of bicycle-based commuting. We then assigned an appropriate metric to quantify each, and carefully weighted them to reflect their significance in gauging the overall bike-friendliness of a city.

    1. Bike Lanes – 20% of the total index – Bike lane density in miles per square mile of city surface (Source: League of American Bicyclists)
    2. Traffic Safety – 20% of the total index – Number of bike-related accidents reported in the last five years with available data (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [2017 – 2021])
    3. Weather – 20% of the total index – Average number of sunny/cloudy days per year with negligible or no precipitation; Average number of days per year with average temperature between 32°F and 90°F (Source: National Centers for Environmental Information)
    4. Commute Culture – 15% of the total index – The share of working population using a bicycle to go to work (Source: U.S. Census Bureau [2021])
    5. Coworking Options – 15% of the total index – The number of coworking spaces that offer amenities for bike commuters (bicycle parking; bike storage rooms; on-site bike-sharing services; bike repair stations; changing rooms/showers, etc.) (Source: CoworkingCafe)
    6. Bike Sharing – 10% of the total index – The presence of at least one private or public bicycle- or scooter-sharing provider (Source: League of American Bicyclists)

    Additional notes:

    • Data points were analyzed comparatively, with the extreme values within the data pool determining the highest and lowest possible scores for each metric.
    • No population or city size filters were applied. Cities were compared on the same scale irrespective of their size.
    • Cities with a bike commuter share below the national average of 0.5% were eliminated.
    • Data from the nearest location was used for cities with no available weather information.
    • In the case of Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C., which had multiple weather data collection points, average results were calculated.

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Balazs Szekely, our Senior Creative Writer has a degree in journalism and dynamic career experience spanning radio, print and online media, as well as B2B and B2C copywriting. With extensive experience at several real estate industry publications, he’s well-versed in coworking trends, remote work, lifestyle and health topics. Balazs’ work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as on CBS, CNBC and more. He’s fascinated by photography, winter sports and nature, and, in his free time, you may find him away from home on a city break. You can drop Balazs a line via email.

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