A bike that will carry you around your city must be perfectly suited to your specific urban environment and your needs as a rider. The best city bikes can help you beat the traffic on your way to work or school, or while on errands. If you hope to enjoy all the advantages of a good city bike, though, you need to know what type of bike you want.
Essential Qualities of the Best City Bikes:
- Reliable — You need a bike that can be reliable over great distances. A bike that requires heavy maintenance to function properly will not be ready when you are.
- Maneuverable — City streets can present narrow passages through tightly congested traffic. Tight control is needed for moving at medium or low speeds while avoiding unpredictable obstacles.
- Comfortable — It would do you no good to arrive at your destination cramped, hunched or sore. Proper attention to your contact points (grips, pedals, and saddle), and the frame’s geometry will increase the comfort of the ride.
- Durable — Urban terrain can be unpredictable. There will be smooth tarmac, packed trails, gravel roads and plenty of potholes. It takes a hardy bike to face the rigors of the urban jungle without flinching.
- Safe — Expect the unexpected. Every day the fate of a commuter’s life is decided by the quality of their braking system. Make sure your brakes are responsive, sharp and precise.
- Lightweight — If you are seriously commuting, there will be times when you must get off your bike and carry it over a railing or up a flight of stairs. Attempting these maneuvers with a particularly heavy bike can lead to muscle strain as well as bumps and scratches for you and your bike. Lightweight frames will also make those hills that much easier.
More Important Comparisons for a City Bike
Most, if not all, of these important facets of the best city bike, will be decided by the quality of the design and the materials from which the bike was constructed. Here is a quick overview of the aspects that affect your biking experience the most:
Materials —Steel is a more comfortable choice. This heavy metal can reduce the discomfort of road vibration or shocks caused by bumps in the road. Aluminum is more lightweight but does not dampen the vibrations of the road as good as steel. Carbon fiber does a great job of reducing the transfer of vibrations; however, it is unnecessarily expensive for a city bike. Because aluminum and carbon fiber are more costly and stiffer, they are better suited to the committed road racer than the time-conscious commuter.
Design — The frame of the bike will offer a particular geometry that can enhance or detract from your riding style. The careful rider who wants to retain full awareness of their surroundings would probably favor an upright position in the saddle, which may feel more relaxed than the aggressive forward tilt. But it is the rider’s spine that will feel most of the shocks and bumps in the long run; a comfortable saddle will make all the difference.
Safety and Convenience — Unlike mountain or road bikes, the city bike is more versatile. A city bike will often feature additional components that make the commute more pleasant. Rear cargo holds and handlebar baskets provide extra carrying capacity, for example. Fenders will keep the mud and grit from the road off your clothes. Lights and reflectors will keep you safe while riding at night.
When navigating the hectic and often dangerous city traffic, safety should be your priority. Also, consider how much cargo you need to carry and make sure your bike is up to the task. The braking system is an important concern as well. As an urban cyclist, your greatest fear probably is that something will jump in front of you, which happens sooner or later. Proper braking systems keep you safe.
Best City Bikes Review
Retrospec has manufactured a wonder with their Step-Thru Comfort Hybrid Bike. With a design that celebrates the glory days of European biking predominance, the vintage Venus Hybrid bike is both highly attractive and luxuriously comfortable.
To protect the important contact points, cushy grips on the handlebars and an extra comfortable saddle come standard with every bike. The extra comfortable seat relieves the pressure that an upright position can place on the spine.
This design is available as a single speed, three-speed or seven-speed bike so you can select the perfect ride for your regular route. Top quality Kenda Commuter tires add durability and stability to rides in all urban environments.
Finally, the Venus Hybrid bike comes with a sturdy cargo rack and increased carrying capacity. Safety-conscious riders will love the retro-style chrome headlight that makes night riding all the safer. For a commuter looking to cruise about town in style, comfort, and safety, the Retrospec is one of the best city bikes in its class.
The V7 Comfort City Bike from Public Bikes is a reliable city bike and a good option for the casual recreationalist as well. A featured 7-speed Shimano gear system improves power on steep climbs and energy-efficiency for longer distances. Because you never know how deep a puddle can be, extra wide tires (35mm) improve stability and resist blowouts from rough terrain and unexpected potholes.
A sturdy steel frame adds comfort, durability and value to the V7 city bike. Steel lasts forever, reduces shocks and also reduces the long-term cost of owning a bike, so it’s an excellent choice for the frame material. The steel frame features the retro diamond geometry that allows for plenty of standover clearance. This diamond-design makes the V7 suitable for all types of riders, regardless of size.
While this bike lacks cargo space, it does feature quality fenders that help you arrive at your workplace or classroom clean and dry no matter what kind of weather you are riding in. Dual caliper style brakes add increased control and safety in all weather conditions and surface types. Simple, safe and practical, the V7 by Public Bikes is the perfect city bike for commuters or recreationalists with a desire for practicality.
It may look like something from the distant past, but the Beaumont-7 Ladies Bike from Critical Cycles features cutting-edge cycling technology. The 7-speed Shimano system features components that make the urban commute a pleasant riding experience.
On one side of the handlebars, you will find the retro-style thumb-activated bike bell, to alert pedestrians and motorists of your presence on the road. On the other side, you will find the Shimano Revoshift Grip-Twist shifter. Precision gear shifting is completed with the flick of a wrist and no need to take your eyes off the road.
Never underestimate the usefulness of the sealed bottom bracket featured on this bike. It allows the crankset to spin on a spindle and bearings. Without proper sealing, moisture can enter and compromise this essential function, calling for frequent replacements.
With thick, sturdy Wanda tires and a dependable rear rack, you can expect superb durability and comfort from your Beaumont-7 Lady’s Commuter Bike. In case you were wondering, it is available in a decidedly male version as well.
A bike that has received so many positive reviews from the online biking community deserves a spot on our list of Best City Bikes. Besides being a convenient and reliable city bike, the XDS Nadine is absolutely beautiful. Available in “Watermelon Red” or “Classic Vanilla,” the Nadine sports an attractive color scheme perfectly complimented by functional components.
Comfort and convenience are the top selling points here. With a retro-style wicker and steel wire basket in the front, a rear cargo rack, and a genuine leather pouch, you have all the carrying capacity you could ever need. Stitched leather handle grips and a springy urban saddle add increased comfort to the daily commute.
There have been some comments on the braking system and how it needs mechanical attention before it can be considered safe for use. The bike itself requires some assembly and tools are not included. These are points to consider, but not deal breakers for an excellent bike like this. Commuters, holiday riders, recreationalists, and above all bike lovers will adore the retro style and exquisite features of the XDS Nadine.
The Schwinn Discover Hybrid combines the comfort and convenience of a commuter bike with the awesome performance of a 21-speed road bike.
Schwinn Discover uses a lightweight aluminum frame, making it easy to lift and ride for longer distances. No need to worry about the uncertain urban terrain or shocks from manholes, curbs, and potholes. A Schwinn suspension fork absorbs the force before you can feel it, and a comfortable spring suspension saddle soaks up whatever’s left.
Schwinn’s Discover also has plenty of carrying space on its mighty rear cargo rack capable of carrying groceries and heavier things. This is an excellent choice for the serious cycling enthusiast who just can’t get enough biking in on the weekend. Now you can go from point A to B while hitting C-Z on the way. There are just no limits to this bike.
Best City Bikes Review
|PICTURE||NAME CITY BIKE||PRICE||RATING (1-5)|
|Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike||$$||4.3|
|Public Bikes V7 Comfort 7-Speed City Bike -2015 Model||$$$||4.2|
|Critical Cycles Beaumont-7 Seven Speed Lady's Urban City Commuter Bike||$||4.1|
|XDS Nadine City 7-Speed Step-Through Bicycle||$$||4|
|Schwinn Discover Men's Hybrid Bike||$||3.8|