Conquer the streets on urban bike!
Coexistence between the bike and the city, a reality and a need!
Now, with the sensational range offered by all manufacturers, the doors are wide open to participate in changing the world and even your own life.
The unbearable whims of traffic and traffic jams, the price of fuel or the need for personal time beyond work and commuting, have brought the bicycle to the forefront of new approaches to urban sustainability.
Your perfect city bike. Key points for your new urban bike
At Cycling Friendly we want to help you analyze a few that you will find useful when making your purchase. Here are some considerations before your final decision so that you and your new city bike are made for each other from the first pedal stroke.
- Wheel size
- Gear shift
- Shift levers
- Handlebar grip
- Folding system
- Pannier rack
- Chain & chainring covers
- Brakes & lighting
- Anti-Theft systems
Think about the routes you will be cycling, the condition of the ground (be it asphalt, smooth with sidewalks, cobblestones with sand, etc.) and even the speed at which you will be driving. The size of the wheel largely determines the performance and possibilities of your bicycle. The smallest wheels of 16, 20 or 24 inches make very light bikes, in the case of folding bikes they allow very compact designs and allow very tight turns, but at high speeds they are very unstable because small irregularities affect them more and have little grip on the ground.
As a bike’s wheel gets bigger, up to 26 and 28 inch (700) wheels, bikes gain in stability, grip and comfort, allowing us to ride on almost any terrain types safely, although they are slower to turn at low speeds.
Due to their simplicity, single-speed bicycles are becoming more and more fashionable, but they require a fairly good physical condition and are only useful in mostly flat cities.
The best part is that your city bike has development options regardless of variety. If you ride at moderate speed on flat ground, three gears are enough, in hilly conditions you need six and if you ride sporty you should look for bikes with 1 or 2 chainrings and 7, 8, 9, 10 and maximum 11 speeds to always have enough development.
One of the safest systems that unites shifting is the generation of city bikes with a toothed belt and an integrated gear in the hub. This type of bicycle is very unlikely to experience an accident with the transmission, such as a slipping or breaking of the chain, but on the contrary, they are heavy and relatively much more expensive.
For a regular cyclist, any gear system will be easy and suitable. However, for those not too used to cycling with gears, twist grip systems will be much easier. They are more intuitive, faster in action and less sensitive to shocks, but it is true that over time the push buttons end up being more precise in action because untimely gear changes are more unlikely.
City bike saddles are usually very comfortable. However, don’t ride a bike without checking the comfort and adjusting the saddle correctly to make sure the bicycle is adapted to your height. In saddles, there is a universe of options, but if you have to value one quality above all, forget about aesthetics or weight, comfort should always prevail.
The safety of the bicycle is determined by the riding position and handlebar control. Get on the bike and check that you are riding it with confidence and that you can reach the brake levers properly. There is a huge range of city bike options in terms of their design and when it comes to handlebars our advice is to stay away from the extremes and go for a bike with balanced handlebars, not too wide as it will be hard to get the bike in the elevator or between cars, not too narrow because you sacrifice the control and natural space a handlebar needs to hold the grips, brake levers, gears, lights, bell…
If a folding bike is your choice, pay attention to the folding system. Speed and ease of action are the most valuable aspects of a bike of this type. Not all folding bikes are equally folded. Check that the fully folded bike meets your expectations, because it’s not the same to need a folding bike to store it easily in the trunk of a car, than to transport it hanging from your arm in a crowded commuter train. Before you take it with you, think carefully about everything you will have to do with the bike since you leave the house, where you are going with it and how or where you will store it folded.
It’s one of the most useful accessories for a city bike, but not all bikes assemble or can even assemble it, and not all racks are created equal. They are well remembered if you usually use the bike to get to work and at the same time want to carry the sports bag or when shopping. Think about the load you are going to put on it, the bags you are going to anchor and if the dimensions are sufficient or too large.
It is very important that the chain always remains in contact with the chainring and for this the chain guards, the outer plastic disc of the chainring, are essential. Chain guards are the plastic shrouds that wrap around the top of the chain path and keep us from staining or catching the bottom of the pants with the chainrings. If your bike doesn’t have one, you should always use a plastic ring that sticks the pants to your right ankle, which is on the drive side and is also a good gadget to be reflective and high-visibility.
Brakes are the number one safety measure on a bike. Check that the bike brakes with enough power and modulation. V-type brakes are the most common, horseshoe brakes are outdated and don’t even buy a second-hand bike with this system. The most successful models include disc brakes, which is another dimension in terms of safety and comfort, although it is also true that with some current V Brakes it will be enough for you, if the use is not going to be very demanding. On the other hand, the bike must be well equipped with a system of front, side and rear reflectors, and even position LEDs or night lighting lamps.
You might not think about it much, but we don’t always have a wall to lean our bike against. It’s very useful if you have to stop to take a call, take out your diary… and you don’t have enough hands. If you need your bike to have a stand or a “kickstand”, make sure it’s solid, or it will bend and break.
Besides the tire pattern, important is a mixed one (with a light pattern), it is essential for obvious reasons that the tire of a city bike is reinforced and puncture free. A city bike is not looking for optimal performance, but for usability and the almost zero possibility of having this kind of incident, which in itself is not serious, but is a nuisance if it happens on the way to the office. There are tire models that already have a lateral reflective strip and even if you want to reduce the risk of punctures to zero, there are very good quality solid tires that, if you want to fit them, you must first check whether the bike that you choose, due to its wheel size and rim type, allows them to be fitted.
A simple small puddle in the middle of the road, or just one all the way, can stain your clothes from top to bottom. If your area is rainy, the solution is for your bike to include front and rear mudguards to prevent the drops that come off the tyres from staining your clothes.
Unfortunately, light-fingered friends exist and always will. If your bike has to wait for you on the street, as well as being parked in a crowded place without security, make sure you first get a high-quality anti-theft system that secures the frame and wheels, and also that the bike you choose has all the “removable” elements fixed to the bike without quick-release systems. There are even city bikes that already provide these conditions with specific security keys, so that removing the wheels or the seatpost has an added degree of difficulty.
As we’ve added in all these tips, cycling in the city also implies certain obligations, such as wearing reflective elements, lighting systems in low light and even having the bike equipped with a mechanical or electric bell.