The Best New City Bikes
By Alan Coté
Y ou could use your batch motorcycle to ride to work, but then why take a local bus when you can hop the express ? Frankly, a fat-tire machine just international relations and security network ’ t designed, in either geometry or componentry, for comfortable riding on city streets. A true city motorcycle is lighter, has upright geometry to give you a better vantage in dealings, and features mounts for
racks and fenders to help you haul your wares and avoid the urban debris. not to say that everyone needs a city bike–obviously a steed made for the trail will do fine for curtly jaunts on pavement. But if you ’ ve come to realize that you spend more time on the streets than on dirt, you should consider buying a bicycle designed specifically for the job. Herewith, four of today ’ south
Specialized Crossroads Ultra, $379
Rare is the under- $ 400 bicycle that warrants much praise, but the Crossroads Ultra is a far cry from anything else in its price range. Where one would typically expect heavy high-tensile sword and gawky parts, Specialized offers a chrome-moly skeletal system and spruces it up with lightweight aluminum alloy rims, handlebars, and stem. At 27 pounds, the Crossroads is a few pounds lighter than
a similarly priced batch motorcycle, making for a amazingly alert tease that responds to your every command. And with wideish hybrid tires and an enormous give saddle, the Crossroads provides enough cush to smooth out all but the longest of commutes .
Marin San Anselmo, $599
Reading: The Best New City Bikes
No halfhearted attempts at providing dual-functionality here : Marin designed the San Anselmo strictly for use on the blacktop. necessity elements of urban department of transportation such as a chainguard, fenders, and rear rack, all of which would differently be upgrades, come stock on this aluminum-frame commuter. rather of using quick-release skewers, you ’ ll need a wrench to loosen
the bolt-on hub and seat-post clamp, making wheel and seat removal a harass, to be sure–but enough of a deterrent to foil most thieves. ultimately, possibly the friendliest feature of the San Anselmo is its internally geared Shimano Nexus seven-speed rise hub, which means no derailleurs and frankincense very little maintenance .
KHS Fleetwood, $799
Like the cruisers that inspired its design, the Fleetwood is a retro-lover ’ sulfur dream, with a bosomy frame of reference, two-tone key job, and stretched-leather saddleback. Yet it ’ s fashioned with advanced updates–aluminum tube, pedals that are clipless on one side and street-shoe friendly on the other, and Shimano ’ s inner seven-speed hub–that make it as enjoyable to ride as it is to
behold. Of course, with fat tires that are dull on pavement and a quite stern-feeling seat, it seems more suitable for spins to the coffee bean workshop than for everyday commute. But in the erstwhile capacity the Fleetwood has few peers : It ’ s a functional celebration of the bicycle ’ s halcyon days.
Cannondale Silk Path 700, $1,029
With suspension both fore and aft, the Silk Path provides a fluid ride on all but the worst stretches of pavement. Cannondale uses a shock-absorbing seatpost to provide give in the rear, and its proprietorship HeadShox to soak up bumps in movement. This one inch of front man pause can be locked out if you wish not to use it, but considering the unyielding aluminum frame, you probably
won ’ triiodothyronine want to ride without it. indeed, with the suspension activated, the Silk Path is sol forgive that it plainly plows through missing chunks of asphalt and flies over tall curbs. And changing gears is evenly smooth, thanks to quick-action Sachs Powergrip wrench shifters and a Shimano STX-RC raise derailleur .
A T o o l o f M a n y T a l e n t s
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Whether you ride macadamize or trail, there ’ s very no reason to lug along your entire creature breast. not when one covenant, lightweight multitool, along with a pump and spare part inside tube, will get you out of about any jam. Presenting our favorite, the 2.8-ounce Blackburn Mtn
Tool ( $ 30 ), in all its utilitarian glory .
- The handle holds eight-, nine-, and ten-millimeter box wrenches to adjust brakes on older bikes; its tip is a flathead screwdriver, while the other end (obscured) contains three spoke keys to true rims of any vintage.
- Twin tire levers separate rubber from rim.
- The rather uncommon three-millimeter Allen tool can be used to adjust your clipless pedals.
- The MtnTool’s chassis does more than just house its implements. It’s actually a chain tool, allowing you to remove damaged links and then reattach the dangling ends.
- Finally, the T-handled wrench has four-, five-, and six-millimeter Allen heads to secure seatposts and adjust threadless headsets. It also can be used to turn the pin on the chain tool.
Photographs by Clay Ellis