Urban bikes are the perfect vehicle (that’s right, bikes are vehicles!) for getting from A to B, with style, safety, comfort and practicality.
However long your commute to work, whatever detours you like to make, whichever your favourite type of footwear is (high heels can be just fine!), whatever you need to transport (simple laptop or bags of groceries); riding a bike to run all your errands or commuting is simply a matter of choosing the right bicycle, and using the right accessories.
A lot of cyclists we talk to are fed up of being hunched over their straight mountain bike handlebars, often carrying a neck crunching backpack.
It doesn’t have to be like that! There’s a bike to suit every need and rider, and at Good Rotations we want to help customers find their perfect match. Sometimes all it takes is a classic handle bar for a more upright position and a more comfortable saddle (we think the sprung Brooks models are the bees knees). Add a rack and set of panniers, or a framebag, and you’re all set for a whole lot more fun getting around.
Many urban bikes are built in the traditional European mold: an upright position that gives a better and safer view of the road and a healthier angle for the back and neck, a quality saddle that doesn’t feel like a razor blade, and accessories such as mudguards, chain protectors or skirt fenders that let you ride in your normal clothes without getting muddy or oily.
Ditch the neck crunching backpack for a courier bag, or better still a rack and removable panniers or basket, and you have the perfect urban vehicle. For stylish ladies, a step-through frame and flat pedals mean heels and dresses are no problem. Some classic bikes even have built in locks to make life even simpler.
You don’t need to arrive in a sweat either – modern urban bikes have great additions like internal hub gears that can even be changed while you’re stationary, so you can start off in the right gear. You can go for an electric bike or add an electric motor to your favourite bike for an even sweeter ride.
Choosing the right accessories such as mudguards, chain protectors or skirt fenders will mean you’ll arrive looking as good as when you left the house. No oily trouser legs here.
In New Zealand, whether you think it’s a good idea or not, we have to wear helmets. Until recently most helmets looked like a NASA program had landed on your head, but now there are stylish helmets out there that are more akin to hats, and you can change the covers for different looks to suit your mood and fit your outfit.
Your bicycle can be a great expression of your personal style. Choose your style, your colour, add a bell, pick some beautiful handlebar tape, add a cool pannier, or use a wicker basket to transport stuff. Just remember, every single piece of your bike can be customised!
Types of Urban Bikes
A common site in many European cities as the preferred mode of transport of the enlightened and car or public transport weary. These stylish urban bicycles are what people used to think of when anyone mentioned the word ‘bicycle’. With an upright riding position and various user-friendly features such as carrier baskets, sprung saddles and mudguards, these bikes make the perfect and often stylish daily ride.
With one pedal borrowed from the classic Italian and French race steeds from the glory days of road cycling, and the other from the gritty and stripped down aesthetic of the bicycle courier sub-culture, classic sports bicycles give the rider a thrilling mode of urban transport.
For the modernist, discreet and efficient hub gears like the Rohloff and Shimano Alfine and silent belt drives such as the Gates Carbon Drive let you retain a sleek look of aesthetic refinement while having a very practical urban arrow.
For the purist, the fixie or fixed gear bicycle (that’s right, one gear only!) a descendent of the velodrome and the hardcore bicycle messenger scene, brings a thrilling ride and endless options for customisation both modern and classic.
Fine examples: Linus Roadster
Ideal for the commuter who needs to also use public transportation or a car, or has little space for bike storage, these bicycles can be folded into a small size, to be quickly un-folded to ride to the end destination.
They’re also great for people wanting to travel on holiday with their car or public transportation but use a bike around their temporary accommodation. You could even imagine easily packing it to take on a plane, and ride around the streets of Melbourne or Suva!
With a compact bicycle, you will never again have to walk for miles to go to work or when visiting a new place!