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Ultimate List: The Best Urban Bikes of 2018

By Christopher Ashley

The most diverse range of bikes are those ridden by people with things to do and places to be. We take a look at some of the best value bikes for getting you across town – your way.

Brompton-Electric – Starting at £2,595

The Tern Vektron is worthy of consideration, but the Brompton-Electric just about edges it for me. Although the Brompton weighs just shy of 17 kg with its battery, the it’s still over 4 kg lighter than the Tern. The Brompton is designed with lifestyle in mind – it’s very much for those who don’t want to break a sweat – and that includes lugging your bike up the train station stairs.

If you forgot to charge your Brompton at work, you can leave the battery charging overnight because, without the battery, the Brompton is a manageable 13.5kg. This makes the Brompton light enough to do the commute home. Your charge anxiety will ensure you keep your battery charged for next time.

Straightedge Vice Gear Bike – £233

Mixies looked to be the next big thing in cycling, but then disappeared with a whimper. Or did they?  I was out on a photoshoot when I saw two race past me. Mixies look odd, and the people riding them didn’t appear to be… cycling lovers. They were wearing bomber jackets and were wheezing on cigarettes as they cycled. So what’s so attractive about Straightedge bikes?

For one, they’re incredibly cheap to make and the savings are passed on to you.  Second, the geometry is not far off a Brompton. The small wheels make them agile, and if you’ve no need to fold a bike, mixies are more practical. The range of colours available means you can pick yours out in a crowd and bounce. Truly a bike for hood-rats.

Cinelli Gazzetta – £750

For a fixie, the Gazzetta isn’t cheap – so what do you get for your money? Well, the double-butted steel frame will last decades and has a timeless paint-job to match. The geometry is more relaxed than a track bike, which helps keep you in tune with urban traffic.

The design is a classic example of Cinelli’s Milanese heritage – the marriage of steel and style adds more than a touch of sprezzatura that should appeal to the notoriously style conscious fixie-clique.  This bike comes with a flipflop hub, so if you like to coast down hills you have the option of riding this as a single-speed too.

Batavus Quip N3 – £600

A modern twist on the classic Dutch-bike, the Batavus comes with all the trimmings you’d expect from the Grand-Old-Dame of urban cycling. Frame lock, side stand, roller brakes, and lights are all standard options, so any extra money you have saved can be spent on panniers and bags for the generously sturdy, and stylish luggage racks.

We particularly like the ladies version in rose. It may look outlandish on screen, but all Batavus Quip paint jobs are in mat. Even in bright sunlight, the bikes look appropriately subdued, urban and business like – a welcome evolution of a classic urban design.