Best City Bikes

What is a city bike?

Strictly speaking the terminology ‘city bike’ or ‘city bikes’ is a misnomer simply because cities do not have the same kinds of tracks, thoroughfares, and streets that’d be suitable for using the eponymous bicycle type. Manufacturers of different categories of bicycles like mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, road bikes or cruiser bikes would claim that their wares would be more than suitable for riding in and around cities. But you’d be hard put to come across any manufacturer that designs and produces bikes that they’d categorize as city bikes.

Urban riders and cyclists looking for a performance oriented bicycle that would enable them to reach their workplaces in time or get around in the city conveniently usually opt for a road bike or a hybrid bike. Road bikes are particularly designed keeping the city commuter in mind and hence are more appropriate for using in urban and suburban areas. Hybrid bicycles, on the other hand, are favored by cyclists who wish to have a single, basic mode of transportation for cycling on paved roads as well as for off-roading.

So, it is up to you whether you want to go for a hybrid bike or a road bicycle for commuting in the city and the outskirts. Both the aforementioned types of bike would fit the bill for using as a city bike.

Advantages of using a city bike

A city bike or urban bicycle nowadays is designed in a manner that it’d allow you to cycle on busy city streets for getting to work, complete everyday errands with convenience, and also embark on leisurely rides. Therefore, it follows that such a bike should be lightweight and a breeze to handle as well as easy to maintain and stay in service for several years. Following are some benefits that you’ll enjoy when you use a city bike:-

  • Choice of drivetrain with multispeed gears-Depending upon your cycling needs and preferences, you could opt for a city bike with a fixed gear drivetrain or one with multiple speed shifters. If you’d be using the bike mostly for riding on paved roads and metalled thoroughfares, then a fixed gear tandem would be apt for you. Alternatively, if you’d be riding on both paved and unpaved tracks, then you could choose a bike with a 7-speed or 8-speed gear system.

 

  • Maintaining an upright position-While commuting in and around the city, the cyclist needs to be constantly visible to others and at the same time should be able to view everything clearly. A quality city bike comes with a saddle and frame structure that lets you maintain an upright position while riding thereby allowing you to see everybody and everything perfectly as well as keeping you in others’ viewing range.

 

  • The convenience of carrying essential items-It does not need to be emphasized that when you are moving around in your city or hometown, you’d be carrying essential items or sundry supplies. Premium city bikes are equipped with attachments/add-ons like a bike basket where you keep groceries, a rear rack for storing a backpack, and a bottle holder strapped to the frame.

The drawbacks

  • Not geared for pedaling up steep tracks or going downhill-City bikes, especially the single-speed models are not ideal for using on mountainous tracks or for off-roading. Though bikes with 7-speed or 8-speed gear mechanism can be used on elevated or rugged tracks but not as conveniently as a 25-speed or 27-speed hybrid bike.

 

  • Tires are susceptible to going flat-The 700c tires that are generally attached to city bikes tend to be smooth and soft and hence more vulnerable to going flat.

Essential gears of a city bike

  • Frame-The framework of city or hybrid bikes are shaped out of steel, aluminum or carbon fiber materials or a blend of carbon and aluminum. Aluminum, carbon fiber, and steel frames have their distinct advantages and drawbacks.

 

  • Saddle-Saddles or seat posts in urban bikes/hybrid bikes tend to be sizable and wide for comfortably accommodating the butts of different cyclists. The seat posts hinge on suspension springs that absorb the impact and shocks that results when the bike goes over bumps or speed breakers on the tracks.

 

  • Suspension fork-Bikes that are usually ridden on city roads tend to be hardtail models. A hardtail bicycle comes with a fork component that extends from the cycle’s handlebar to the front wheel’s center. This fork acts as a suspension system that checks vibrations or wobbles when the cyclist is riding speedily particularly over jagged or bumpy tracks.

 

  • Brake-Most city bikes feature a linear, hub or rim braking mechanism on the wheel set that enables the rider to come to slow down rapidly or come to a stop almost immediately. However, nowadays, many city or hybrid bike models come fitted with mechanical disc brakes typified by rotors and jaws affixed in the middle of the wheels. Disc brakes come handy when you’re trying to control the bike while riding through muddy tracks or going downwards.

 

  • Gear system-City bikes sport a wide range of gear systems. If you’re going to be cycling largely on flat terrains, then opting for a bike with 6-speed or 7-speed derailleur system or even a single-speed drivetrain will do. Alternatively, if you intend to use the bike on different types of terrains, then choosing a hybrid bike with a 24 or 26-speed gear system would be ideal.
Raleigh Cadent 2 Urban Fitness BikeRaleigh Cadent 2 Urban Fitness Bike
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6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Track Bike6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Track Bike
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Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men's Road Bike 700c Wheels, 56CM FrameSchwinn Phocus 1600 Men's Road Bike 700c Wheels, 56CM Frame
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Critical Cycles Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Commuter BikeCritical Cycles Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Commuter Bike
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Merax Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Road Bike Racing Bicycle ShimanoMerax Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Road Bike Racing Bicycle Shimano
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1. Raleigh Cadent 2 Urban Fitness Bike

Raleigh Cadent 2 Urban Fitness Bike
If you’re scouting for an efficient bicycle that you can ride to work or pedal for keeping self in the pink of health, then the Raleigh Cadent 2 Urban Fitness Bike would be your best bet. This bike sports a sturdy and lightweight aluminum frame, Shimano 24-speed shifters, and Tektro Novela mechanical disc brakes.

PROS

  • Perfectly structured aluminum framework that keeps the bicycle lightweight
  • The saddle together with the frame enables the cyclist to sit in an erect position thereby promoting visibility
  • Mechanical disc brakes facilitate stopping in all types of terrain whatever the weather
  • Shimano 3 x 8 speed shifters allow flexible gear shifting for riding on a variety of tracks
  • Wide 700c wheels with tread patterns for minimizing friction during rides

CONS

  • There are no fender coverings for wheels that would have prevented spouting
  • No attachments for mounting rear rack or bike basket at the front

2. 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Track Bike

6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Track Bike
The 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Track Bike has a minimalist look yet it delivers on all fronts. This urban bike features a lightweight 6061 aluminum alloy frame with smoothly welded tube sections and a smooth saddle that keeps the rider erect thus allowing him to see and be seen clearly. The single-speed fixed gear system is ideal for cruising along in heavy traffic.

PROS

  • Double butted aluminum alloy frame is lightweight and hardwearing
  • The extended alloy suspension fork checks bumpiness and vibrations
  • Hub brakes at the front and rear bring the bike to a stop instantly
  • All bolts and drive chain are lubricated
  • Handlebars have a flat design which helps in steady holding
  • The grip tape on handlebar ends prevents slippage of sweaty hands
  • Double wall alloyed wheel rims

CONS

  • Pedals are somewhat oversized and of a flimsy quality
  • No fenders, bottle holder attachment, and mount for front reflector

3. Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike 700c Wheels, 56CM Frame

Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men's Road Bike 700c Wheels, 56CM Frame
The Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike 700c Wheels with 56cms frame is your best bet if you need a city bike for accomplishing routine errands, cycling to office or going for long rides to keep yourself fit. The Schwinn Phocus 1600 is reinforced with a proprietary aluminum frame, carbon fiber fork, Shimano Claris 16-speed gear, and alloy caliper brakes. The height of the saddle can be adjusted as per one’s convenience via the quick release.

PROS

  • The aluminum frame together with the drop down and flat handlebar helps in steady riding
  • 16-speed derailleur system facilitate easy gear shifting as per road condition
  • Carbon fiber fork suppresses wobbliness and vibrations during rides
  • Alloy rims with paired wheel spokes facilitate momentum
  • Quick release front wheel and saddle
  • Pro max alloy callipered road brakes for flexible and effective braking

CONS

  • The tires of the bike might give away sooner than later
  • No attachments or accessories for storing essential items like a water bottle, backpack or umbrella

4. Critical Cycles Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Commuter Bike

Critical Cycles Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Commuter Bike
The Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike 700c Wheels with 56cms frame is your best bet if you need a city bike for accomplishing routine errands, cycling to office or going for long rides to keep yourself fit. The Schwinn Phocus 1600 is reinforced with a proprietary aluminum frame, carbon fiber fork, Shimano Claris 16-speed gear, and alloy caliper brakes. The height of the saddle can be adjusted as per one’s convenience via the quick release.

PROS

  • Handcrafted steel frame keeps bike lightweight and lends it an extended lifespan
  • KMC chain, freestyle pedals, and deep set V-rims makes navigating on city roads very smooth
  • The profile of the handlebars and the seat keeps cyclist upright while riding
  • Single speed fixed gear system is perfect for cycling on city pavements and roads

CONS

  • The flimsy tires could go flat if bike is ridden on bumpy roads
  • The firmness and hardness of the seat could cause saddle soreness

5. Merax Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Road Bike Racing Bicycle Shimano

Merax Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Road Bike Racing Bicycle Shimano
The Merax Finiss Road Bike Racing Bicycle is a remarkably affordable bike yet does not compromise on the basic features. The urban bike boasts of a 6061 aluminum frame, threadless steel fork, Shimano speed shifters, aluminum caliper brakes, Kenda 700 x 28c tires, and drop down handlebars that all work in perfect harmony resulting in comfortable rides.

PROS

  • Durable and lightweight 6061 aluminum frame with contoured saddle for an upright riding position
  • Shimano derailleur systems and speed shifters for fast and flexible gear shifting
  • The front wheel can be easily detached and replaced with other wheels having different size
  • Separate kickstand for convenient parking
  • Pannier bag has been provided free of cost

CONS

  • Cyclists may not be able to hold the handlebars conveniently because of the thumb shifters
  • The brake hoods have not been ergonomically designed which could lead to your hands slipping from them when you angle the handlebar

Conclusion

So, there you have it- 5 of the best city bikes that urban commuters will find extremely comfortable to ride as well as get to their destinations in time even during rush hours. Raleigh and Schwinn are established names in the bicycle industry, so you can choose any one out of the two. If you’re willing to bet your money on a brand that’s practically unheard of, you can go for the 6KU and chances are that you’ll give yourself a pat on the back for having chosen the same. And if you are looking for something affordable without willing to compromise on the quality front, then pick either Critical Cycles or Merax Finiss.

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