Choosing a bike for the City

What bike to the city? by Isidore Prévalet

Rising oil prices associated with recurring traffic jams have made you take the plunge. From now on, your urban journeys will be by bicycle. Wise decision. Choosing your future mount will be exciting… but difficult.

urban bicycle

This urban bike chain recognizes that controls the speed at hub. The chain is under "cover" to avoid splashing on skirts and trousers.

To get around town, a bike must combine several qualities: handling, highly reliable components, efficient braking in all conditions, protection against rain, capacity to carry some luggage ... We are however not equal under these constraints. While for some, the volume of baggage will be decisive, for others, reliability and component adjustment facility will be paramount. Let's make a small review of bicycles that can be purchased to transport us in everyday life. Far be it from us to give you a culture "cyclist" huge. This does here as a lovely introduction to make your life easier. Technical parameters remain very rudimentary.

Race bike.

The racing bike (or similar) has several advantages. Its weight is often very small, close 10 kilos and it will be so much energy that there will not spend to get it moving. Moreover, we find this type of bike everywhere, in various flea markets and other swaps. Suffice to say that the prices are very low (from € 15) because the supply is large. These bikes can be old (from 1975) which further lowers the price of these "old BRELES". These bikes are easy to maintain because there is a lot of spare parts and bicycle organ donors. We can still get parts like this outside the network of the usual bicycle shops in supermarkets, for example. Racing bikes are fitted with at least 2 trays in the front and rear sprockets 6. This leaves a sufficient choice of speeds to evolve in all urban conditions.
However, it is desirable to know a little bicycle mechanics to acquire this type of machine. The purchase is used mainly and it is better to have some basics to not gain anything. The hardiness of all sometimes requires putting hands dirty to make some adjustments. The fenders are missing on most models and splashing water are the daily lot since the first drops. It will invest in adaptable rooms to protect (10 €).
For dimensions, choose wheels 700 (the diameter) rather than 650 and tire 23 or 25 wide. Beyond this width you will be in the range of tire hikers.
The handling and comfort are the major drawbacks of this type of bike. The narrow tires often associated with old design brake jaw (called monopivot) do not allow to pass the turns and back lines of cars 'haphazard'. The caution. Its tires small sections contain some air and it therefore does not allow to easily absorb shocks from the road. Was quick to lose a bit trajectory due to excessive optimism.
In the final race of the bike is the craft of "penniless" tinkerer at heart and know early urban driving. Not to get exhausted or soaked in sweat this is the best. Those who have a lot of kilometers will find their account.

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racing bike with padlock
The racing bike is excellent for the city when pressed, agile and we are not looking at the comfort. Note here the U (theft) attached to the frame to always be at hand without interfering with the conduct however.

The hiker.

The hiker is aesthetically very close to the racing bike. However, its use is much easier and less exclusive. Thus, the tires are wider (more than 28 mm wide) and the wheels still 700. The hikers are equipped with luggage racks, mudguards, lighting… The weight is necessarily affected but the comfort is incredibly better (especially in the rain) and daily use requires fewer precautions. The cyclist will necessarily have more energy to provide on this bike.
Women hikers are as easy to find as racing bikes. The most common problem will come from the condition of the equipment (dead dynamo, bent mudguard, broken headlight, etc.). Take the opportunity to negotiate the price knowing that we find complete set of lighting for a few € uros in the first supermarket come.
We say that the hiker is a clever compromise between a road bike and a mountain bike.

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hiker bike

A hiker like this is for a few euros without difficulty.

seat clamp
The quick release seat clamp can change the saddle height quickly ... it is also a possibility for theft. A screw saddle clamp is preferable because it does not change its saddle height daily when driving in town.

Read more: which bike to the city?

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