“Think about where and on what roads you will ride”: how to choose a city bike

Types of bikes

Road bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes, folding bikes, cruisers – you can see all these bikes on the streets of the city in summer. But each of the models has its own characteristics, so when choosing a bike for trips around the city, experts advise to take into account a number of factors.

“Think about where and on which roads you are going: plan to drive on special bike paths, on asphalt or gravel, in the park or work on a busy highway,” says Sportmaster PRO expert Sergey Sklizkov.

According to him, almost any bike can be considered suitable for city driving. For those who do not want to understand the details, so-called city bikes are offered in sports shops.

“For the most part, these are single-speed, straight-fit bikes: a high handlebar and a wide saddle. They are well suited for walking on smooth paved roads, but give up if there are bumps, terrain, or if you need to get somewhere quickly,” he explains.

Road bikes are also preferred for city driving.

Such models, according to Sklizkov, are designed for driving on smooth asphalt roads or stadium roads, so they are more likely to suit athletes.

Ordinary city dwellers probably don’t need a road bike. “On the other hand, if the use case includes fast road riding, such a bike would be an excellent choice,” explained the expert.

Mountain bikes can also be seen in the city.

Although their main purpose is driving in the mountains or rough terrain, these models are versatile and suitable for traveling on the streets.

“This class of motorcycles is distinguished by increased handling, as well as front fork damping and a strong frame,” says the expert.

Another popular urban model is the hybrid bike, which according to Sklizkov is a symbiosis of mountain and road bikes. “Like mountain bikes, they are equipped with a suspension fork and also have a similar frame geometry. Hybrids received 28-inch wheels and narrow, smooth tires from the “passengers”.

Sklizkov explains that hybrid bikes are still at a loss against both models from which they borrowed: they are inferior to road bikes in terms of speed and mountain bikes in terms of off-road comfort. But they have become the most popular among consumers. “Such a bike will calmly pass through the park and overcome the pavement and help you reach your destination quickly enough when riding on asphalt,” says the expert.

Residents of megacities often prefer folding bikes, which are very convenient and practical, according to Olga Alymova, head of the digital communications group of the Sport category in Sportmaster.

“Not only will folding bikes be allowed on public transport, but it is also very convenient to store at home in the off-season. Also, if you take it to the office, it will be easier to agree to store it inside rather than leave it in the parking lot in the building,” he explains.

Sergey Sklizkov adds that, despite the advantages of transport and storage, folding bikes due to the peculiarities of their design are less reliable and have worse handling, speed and maneuverability.

“Due to the small size of the wheels, the bike wobbles more on bumps in the road,” explains the expert.

How is the quality of a bicycle evaluated?

There are several criteria that are worth choosing a suitable model.

According to Sklizkov, the most important indicator for a city bike is weight: in city conditions, for example, in an underpass, entrance or transport, a vehicle will often have to be transported manually. As for the material, the expert recommends choosing aluminum or chromoly (ChroMo) bikes.

“The first is light, the second is a little heavier, but much more reliable and absorbs shocks better due to the alloy’s properties. Carbon fiber can also be distinguished among the materials, but such bikes are much more expensive,” he explains.

Another point is the number of speeds. It depends on personal needs, but Sergey Sklizkov believes that ten gears is enough for a comfortable ride in the city.

He adds that there are models where the shifting function is completely absent.

“The first is one speed, they have one speed. The second fixes are even simpler. Its pedals and wheels are directly connected by a chain: if you quickly take your feet off the pedals, they will continue to spin due to the rotation of the wheel. These motorcycles often have no brakes – pedaling reduces speed,” he explains.

The preferred shape and size of the saddle, according to Sergey Sklizkov, primarily depends on the way and style of cycling.

“To walk with a flat seat, you need a wide, soft saddle, it will save your back from vibration and minor bumps when driving on uneven roads. With a slightly sloping saddle, a medium-width saddle is more comfortable, more convenient to pedal with it,” he says.

Olga Alymova advises to “try on” the saddle in the store and choose it based on the structural features of the pelvic bones. “The saddle is not worth saving—it can cause discomfort even on short trips if not chosen properly,” she warns.

At the same time, the more “sporty” the motorcycle, the longer it will take to get used to it, says Olga Alymova. “For urban skiing, you should prefer an almost direct descent – ​​yes, it’s not that aerodynamic, but riders with no pretensions to the sport will find comfort,” she advises.

When evaluating wheels, you have to decide what is more important – comfort or speed and maneuverability. In the first case, Sklizkov recommends choosing wider wheels, in the second narrow ones.

According to Alymova, with wide tires you can safely ride in the off-season – without the risk of falling and injuring yourself. Narrow ones are lighter than him, but demanding on the surface – even wet asphalt can interfere with skiing. “Overall, it’s worth having two sets of tires for the city – one that is narrower and lighter for summer driving and has more aggressive treads for trails and dirt,” he believes.

Finally, don’t forget the frame when choosing a bike – it can come in different sizes and shapes too. “When a person stands on the frame, there should be a distance of about 5 centimeters between him and the pipe,” says Sergey Sklizkov. This, he says, is essential to jumping off the bike safely in an unforeseen situation.

There is also a second test. “When a person sits on the bike, they should hold the handlebars comfortably. Frame size affects not only the height of the top tube, but also the distance between the seat and the handlebar,” he explains.

hand purchase

Bicycle maintenance specialist Yuriy Yakhtin recommends, when choosing a used bike, to run diagnostics at a service center before buying. “You can conduct an inspection on your own, but it is better to turn to specialists. They will assess the condition of the bike and tell you which parts need replacing,” he says.

During an independent inspection, the specialist recommends paying attention to the condition of the frame. “Check the frame carefully, especially where the welds are, and if it’s a carbon frame (we’re talking premium bikes), check for cracks,” he explains. It’s also worth checking the steering column, bottom bracket and bushings to play with.

“Check the derailleurs and switches. The biggest problems can only arise with these spare parts, and their replacement will cost a good amount of money,” he warns.

In addition to the above details, the specialist recommends checking the cassette and, ideally, replacing the cassette and chain with new ones immediately after purchase.

“I would also replace the tires and inner tubes of a used bike. We want to enjoy the bike and not be rolling on the roads with bald tires,” he sums up.

In the summer, many city dwellers switch from public transport and private cars to bicycles. According to experts, comfortable cycling depends on many factors, from the shape and size of the saddle to the number of speeds. Which bike is best for city trips, how often it is serviced and what to consider when buying a bike from your hands – in the socialbites.ca material.

Source: Gazeta


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