Last updated: August 6, 2021

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Health and environmental protection have long been defining themes in our everyday lives. More and more people are taking a closer look at these issues and deciding to do their bit. As a result, more and more city dwellers are switching from cars to city bikes. The city bike is a true all-rounder. They usually get you to your destination faster and you can always find a place to park them.

However, it is not so easy to find the right bike for your needs. With our big city bike test 2021 we want to help you find the perfect bike for you. We have looked at different city bikes and picked out the most important facts for you. We also show you the advantages and disadvantages of city bikes. Have fun reading.




Summary

  • City bikes are ideal for riding in the city because they are designed to be comfortable to ride. That's why you won't get neck pain even on longer rides.
  • City bikes are also the perfect choice if you have more to carry. You can easily mount baskets or bags on them and thus have enough storage space for various things.
  • Thanks to the different frame shapes and variants, city bikes are very versatile. No matter what you are looking for or what your needs are, a type of city bike is guaranteed to meet them.

The Best Citybike: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for city bikes

If you are looking for the perfect city bike for you, you will quickly see that there are many different models and designs. Therefore, we will show you below which criteria you should take a closer look at and what you should pay particular attention to.

In summary, these are the following criteria:

Weight/material

City bikes usually weigh between 15 and 20 kg and are somewhat heavier compared to other bicycle models. When buying, you should make sure that the city bike does not exceed the 20 kg mark, otherwise it will be more difficult to navigate it in city traffic.

Steel or aluminium is usually used for city bikes.

The weight also depends on the type of material. However, various tests have shown that most people prefer aluminium bikes because the ride comfort is higher. The reason for this is that city bikes made of aluminium do not bounce and are also lighter than those made of steel.

Frame height

When buying a city bike, it is very important to find out which frame height is right for you. If the frame height is not suitable, the riding comfort will be greatly reduced.

The following table shows you which frame height is ideal for you:

Body size frame height
1.50 to 1.60 m 42 to 48 cm
1.60 to 1.70 m 48 to 52 cm
1.70 to 1.75 m 52 to 55 cm
1.75 to 1.80 m 55 to 58 cm
1.80 to 1.85 m 58 to 61 cm
1.85 to 1.90 m 61 to 63 cm
1.90 to 1.95 m 63 to 66 cm
from 1.95 m from 66 cm

In the long run, you may also develop neck problems because your riding posture is not ideal. That's why you should find out which frame height is best for your body size. This will not only save you time and money, but will also protect your health.

Frame shape

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to frame shape. We have therefore identified the three most common ones for you and present them to you:

The diamond shape is the classic among the shapes. It is mainly used for men's bicycles. Its design maintains ergonomics without losing sportiness or dynamics. In addition, it is possible to sit upright, which relieves the neck and cervical vertebrae.

City bikes with diamond-shaped frames are very popular. Especially because they offer a high level of riding comfort. (Image source: Robert Bye / unsplash)

The second shape is the so-called classic shape. This shape is the modern women's bike version. Its frame is lower than that of the diamond. This makes it easier to get on and is therefore also very suitable for older people. This shape is also ideal for sporting purposes.

Last but not least, there is also the wave shape. The wave shape is by far the most common shape. It makes it easy to get on the city bike and also makes it possible to sit upright. This shape is also comfortable and gentle on the neck, which makes it ideal for longer distances.

Gearstick

When it comes to deciding which gear system to choose, you are usually faced with the question of cog or derailleur gears. These are the most commonly used gears on bicycles.

Derailleur gears are simple in design and can therefore be easily maintained and repaired by non-professionals. In addition, spare parts for this type of derailleur can be found almost everywhere. A disadvantage of this shifting system is the high wear of parts. This is because the system is open and can be affected by all external influences.

Grain derailleurs, on the other hand, are more complex than derailleurs.

They are also closed and therefore not as susceptible and therefore require less care and maintenance. However, they are somewhat heavier and are therefore not found in sports bikes. For e-bikes and city bikes, however, the low additional weight plays a subordinate role.

Drive

To make the right choice here, it is important to know how long and what kind of routes you ride. This is the basis for your decision.

If you only ride short distances on surfaces without steep inclines, then it is perfectly adequate to buy a city bike without e-drive. However, if you are someone who goes on longer trips with a city bike, then it makes sense to buy a bike with e-drive.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a city bike

After the most important buying criteria have been explained in more detail, this section is dedicated to frequently asked questions and answers them as well.

Which drive is the best choice?

It is important to know what you intend to do with your city bike. Your choice will depend on this.

E-driven city bikes are becoming increasingly popular. They are particularly popular for longer journeys. (Image source: Wolfram Bölte / unsplash)

If you travel exclusively in hilly terrain, your choice will be different than if you only ride 10 minutes to and from work every day. Your financial possibilities must also be taken into account here, because the price differences can be immense.

City bike with e-drive

The first type of city bike is the one with an electric drive. In recent years, city bikes with e-drives have become increasingly popular because they offer a completely new riding experience.

Advantages
  • Ideal for long distances
  • Enables easy riding in areas with inclines
Disadvantages
  • Significantly more expensive than normal city bikes
  • Higher weight

In this version, a battery is built into the bike to help you pedal, so long distances or routes with inclines are no longer a problem.

City bike without electric drive

Another variation is the city bike without electric drive. Here, you cover the distance purely with your own muscle power.

Advantages
  • Easy to use
  • Much cheaper
  • Lighter weight and easier to handle
  • Good sports unit
Disadvantages
  • Not everyone can cover long distances if they are untrained
  • Less comfortable because you have to work harder

Unlike the other variant, you have to put in a lot of effort here. Because cycling uphill isn't quite as easy, but it's a great sporting activity and a great way to stay fit.

Which frame height is ideal for me?

Which frame height is ideal is certainly one of the most important questions when buying a city bike. Because depending on whether you choose the right height determines the comfort of your rides.

You can find out which frame height is suitable for your body size in the following table:

Body size frame height
1.50 to 1.60 m 42 to 48 cm
1.60 to 1.70 m 48 to 52 cm
1.70 to 1.75 m 52 to 55 cm
1.75 to 1.80 m 55 to 58 cm
1.80 to 1.85 m 58 to 61 cm
1.85 to 1.90 m 61 to 63 cm
1.90 to 1.95 m 63 to 66 cm
from 1.95 m from 66 cm

You may not notice it immediately, but at the latest when you cover longer distances you will notice that you are tense in the neck area. For this reason, you should find out exactly which frame height is right for your body size. This way you can prevent health problems and have optimal comfort on your city bike.

What does a city bike cost?

This means which material, type and brand you choose. However, if you don't have too high demands on your city bike and really just want to get from A to B, you can expect prices starting at around 200 €.

This question is not so easy to answer, because it depends on what you expect from your city bike.

However, there are almost no upper limits. Depending on the type of bike and the equipment, it is quite possible that you will spend more than 1,000 €, especially if you choose a city bike with electric drive.

Image source: 123rf / 117699054

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