Choosing a bike for the City 2

What bike to the city? by Isidore Prévalet

Read the 1ere Part.

MTB, MTB or Mountain Bike

The fashion of the VTT has made it possible to put on the market of the bicycles robust and very interesting for the urban displacements. ATVs have several big advantages. They offer a third platform at the front: this further widens the range of usable speeds. In addition, their large-size tires combined with powerful brakes (cantilever or, even more powerful, the V-Brake) significantly improve comfort, handling and braking in all conditions. Their mechanics demand the same level of skill as road bikes. You will also find more adaptable parts to modify your mount. For example, it will be easier to choose tires. The tire ranges are incredibly wider on ATVs.
The standard adult MTB is a wheel size of 26 inches in diameter. In width, one generally finds 2.00 but the most extended ranges are in a range of 1.80 to 2.20 wide.
The purchase prices of mountain bikes are quite high. Even a poor quality and old mountain bike is trading around 50 / 60 €. The choice is also much lower compared to racing bikes.
The frames are often resistant and it is possible to equip these bikes with luggage racks, bulky mudguards (think of the wide tires which stir up a lot of water) and even a baby carrier. In the end, mountain bikes are mainly handicapped by their weight. It is indeed not uncommon to meet specimens weighing 17 or 18 kilos. Under these conditions, we quickly understand the usefulness of the third plate for milling in climbs ...
Large section tires offer comfort but they will also require more energy to overcome their rolling resistance.
The mountain bike is especially the bike of "rolls always", very rustic, that one will be able to load without appriori, intuable most often, but whose field of action will be limited to a few kilometers around of you.

ATV with suspensions and fork in Town?

You can use all types of mountain bikes in town. However, be aware that the suspensions are useless and that neither a telescopic fork nor a rear suspension brings additional comfort on the very smooth tar of cities.

The folding bike.

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The folding is a separate bicycle. It's a minimalist bike that meets an additional need: to be easily transported without anyone on it. Thus the folding bike is justified if you make part of your journey by train or by car. For example, you can park your car at the entrance of a city and finish by bike. The folding bicycle is quite rare and the purchase often has to be new. An elementary bike (low quality, single speed ...) will be inexpensive (easily count 80 to 100 €). There are, however, some very good folding bikes that fold at several points, with a good speed range and powerful brakes. On the other hand, the prices can go up very quickly (up to 1000 € without forcing!). Example: the smallest folding bike in the world. Choose a folding wheel with tires that you can easily find tires and tubes. Avoid too exotic dimensions! Your interview will be easier.
Finally, the folding bike is probably the only "urban" bike that is difficult to draw the portrait robot because there are a multitude of models without really common frame equipment. Be careful in the choice and take your time: the best is the worst.

folding or folding bike
Folding bikes are hard to find cheaply. Always prefer models with equipment for which you will easily find spare parts (brakes, tires, etc.).

The bike of "La Poste".

Symbol of urban cycling in all its splendor, letter carrier bikes have a number of advantages: very comfortable, allowing a significant load, enduring ... The difficulty of these bikes is to find one! It seems that we can buy new ones from Peugeot or Valdenaire (the supplier of La Poste sometimes changes) but the price must reduce more than one. However, these bikes remain excellent machines for the city with a very studied ergonomics, fantastic brakes and a ridiculous maintenance. On the other hand, they are heavy enough (to be able to withstand the load of mail) and therefore requires a certain habit (in a hurry to refrain ... pure speed is out of the question). However, they are quite suitable for those who want to take a child to school. In addition, their lighting system is efficient and protected from external shocks (something unusual with other bikes). It should also be noted that these bikes are more manoeuvrable than stable (easier for the city) and are very bulky with all their tubes, baskets and luggage racks. If you do a lot of kilometers, in all weathers and speed is not a priority: a bike of this type will do you very well.

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Bike of the Post

A Post Office bike is still very heavy but incredibly strong and comfortable. Findable for a few euros in the public sales of domains.


Some call it Bi-Cross. It is a small bike equipped with 20 inch wheels. Young people are most often seen using this type of bicycle to do tricks. BMX are not as uninteresting as you might think. The small size makes it easy to transport and store them. In addition, they are more rigid than folding bikes that they can replace effectively, especially for the most ... turbulent cyclists! BMX only have one speed and that reduces their possibility. On the other hand, all the equipment is traditionally rustic (steel) and the endurance is first rate. In terms of price, it is rare to find a second-hand BMX. For new models, there are correct entry-level from € 200 and we can again climb to new heights in terms of price (€ 800 or more). Remember that BMX are machines for having fun. These are passionate bikes for, as I have already seen, going to the office in the morning and finishing the day in a street session or on a bumpy field!

BMX bike
BMX is interesting for its robustness and small size. Be careful, however, because it has only one speed and the comfort is rather spartan. To be reserved for people of small stature, young… and turbulent!

The recumbent bike.

The recumbent bike appeared many, many years ago, but it has been a big breakthrough for some time now. Just say it right away: the recumbent bike (or Bent) is really not suitable for urban practice unless your city has many bike paths. It is much too low (understand discreet), the motorists discover it at the last moment in a queue of cars. The recumbent bike is not easy enough in town. Moreover, in built-up areas there are acceleration and braking sequences and the recumbent bike is not designed for this purpose. It is impossible to be a dancer when looking for maximum power. Finally it is a model to forget for the city unless you are a strong supporter of bent.

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Recumbent bike
The recumbent bike is especially designed for miles and not for driving in the city and stop every 500 meters after climbing a line while remaining almost invisible for cars.


What to remember from all that ? It is important to look for its use of the bike in town. Do you have any objects or children to transport? Are you a continual in a hurry? You prefer a versatile bike to use it also on weekends and for family rides?
Once this has been determined, take a tour of bicycle shops and sports supermarkets around your home, various barter markets, second-hand shops… Look at new and used bikes and their prices. In a few weeks you will be “in the know” ready to find your bike. At worst and proven forums stay open night and day for the ultimate questions.

urban bicycle
In town the best is to equip with flat pedals (without foot wedges) to be able to put the foot on the ground very quickly.

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