A bicycle utopia: Bikecity 2084
What does a world look like in which we all only cycle? Let's imagine a cycling utopia and see how important the bicycle is for livable cities.
Everybody on the bike. 80% of Germans own one, but less than 20% of all journeys in German cities are made by bicycle. The bicycle has to get out of the sports niche, out of the enthusiast's corner and into everyone's everyday life. It must be used on the way to the supermarket, the post office, the university or the favorite restaurant.
If the bicycle becomes as natural a means of transport as riding the bus or taking a walk, then we all benefit. For cycling means for more livable cities, means for all of us. And it's not as if we're unaware of the benefits of bicycling: It's healthier for us, better for our environment, nicer and quieter for our city centers. Yet somehow we can't quite get it right to get on the saddle and stay on it.
Let's imagine a utopia. Bikecity 2084: A world in which every city has wide, clean, safe bike lanes connecting all neighborhoods, intersections, sights and green spaces, shopping streets and residential areas. In which traffic light phases are adjusted to the speed of cyclists and there are safe parking facilities. In which we all ride bicycles. What has happened to our cities and to us, the inhabitants?
We are healthier.
Lots of cycling and the associated exercise in the fresh air lowers our risk of cardiovascular problems or stroke. Our muscles and joints feel better, we have stronger backs and less frequent herniated discs. We sleep deeper and more soundly. Our blood flow is better, which also helps our concentration. More oxygen in the brain increases our ability to think, it is not for nothing that children who cycle to school get better grades even in our current world. This is also related to spending a lot of time in the fresh air, and it is clear and really fresh - after all, we have significantly reduced particulate matter and air pollution.
In the world where we only ride bikes, we are happier.
Because a lot of exercise is not only good for our physique, but also for our psyche. Our body produces more natural antidepressants, endorphins are released while driving and this benefits our psychological well-being and mental health. In addition, we are less stressed - because road traffic is equalized, we have to endure less noise pollution from cars thundering over asphalt, because we need fewer car parking spaces and use these gained areas for green spaces. Our cities are more relaxing and beautiful, and on a bicycle we experience this more directly and intensively than with any other means of transport. We enjoy them differently and more.
Our cities are more prosperous - which makes them even more beautiful.
And not only because we have more green spaces and quieter streets, but also because strolling through stores has never been so attractive. Our retail sector makes more sales because it is easier and less complicated to reach and we therefore prefer to shop more. After all, we also have more of our income available for personal consumption. We don't have to set aside as much for the treatment of health complaints, and our expenditure on transport is also reduced. We don't have to pay off the expensive purchase costs of a new small car, we don't have to pay for gas, and so we have more money for the nice things. So store after store, whose store windows we see from the bike and admire, we like something? We get off the bike, browse a bit, get a coffee and a bagel in the café next door and cycle to school, to university, to work. We probably enjoy this work more; it's been proven that companies with a bike-friendly culture attract more talented and creative employees who develop, contribute and implement new ideas. This enhances our industry and our ways of working.
Our cities are more social.
The bicycle does not adhere to any class boundaries, is accessible to every social class, and is thus the most democratic means of transportation. But not only mobility becomes social, the entire social infrastructure of our cities also benefits. The millions of euros that city governments save on maintenance costs for our roads, because they are so much less worn and stressed by bicycles than by 1.5 ton cars, can be invested in education, art and culture. Thus, cultural, sports and educational institutions are not only easier to reach and accessible to all social groups, but they are also better equipped and offer more and more diverse services. This gives us more opportunities for social coexistence, strengthens cohesion and innovation potential.
We spend more and more enriching time together, exchange ideas, understand each other better. We live more carefree, easier, healthier.
A world like BikeCity 2084 is utopian at first, of course. But until then, many small steps are enough. We can already take the first ones now. Or just cycle.
The city bike | buycycle
City traffic is not for the faint of heart, but we know how to get you there stress-free. Every day, crowds of people use various means of transport to move through narrow side streets and between parked cars, spending most of their time stuck in traffic jams or at red lights. This is not only particularly nerve-wracking for drivers, it also harms the environment. After all, constant stop-and-go traffic increases greenhouse gas emissions. Once you're on the bus or behind the wheel, you have little control over the time it takes to get around. Trapped in gridlocked traffic. But if you want to get from A to B independently in the city, you don't have to rely on your own car or public transport. There is an alternative that avoids all the downsides of city traffic: the good old bicycle. Traffic jams can be passed without any problems, at red lights you are usually at the front and roll on with little delay, no pollutants are emitted and one of the most time-consuming shortcomings of driving is also eliminated with the bike - the eternal search for a parking space. One type of bicycle is particularly well suited to mastering the challenges of everyday urban life: the city bike. It is designed for short distances, whether to work, the gym or shopping. At the same time, the city bike offers a luggage rack to carry everything important and rolls smoothly over any cobblestones. So if you'd rather do your city commutes in the fresh air to get to work on time more often and save on fuel at the same time, it's worth reading more about city bikes. Here you can find out everything you need to know about the city bike.
What is a city bike?
There are many types of bicycles on the market. In addition to road bikes, mountain bikes and e-bikes, one model enjoys particular popularity when it comes to getting around town: the city bike. It is characterized by a high level of riding comfort over short distances and is designed precisely to meet the needs of people who like to move quickly in the hustle and bustle of the city without having to resort to the car. At the same time, the city bike differs in some respects from other common types of bikes.
Starting with the seating position: Thanks to the special frame shape and frame size of the city bike, you sit very upright. This is particularly comfortable in city traffic, because it makes it especially easy to observe the surroundings. Other types of bike, such as the road bike or the MTB, rely on a frame geometry that favors a forward-bent posture and provides for the sporty riding feeling. You don't need that with the city bike, here it's all about covering short distances comfortably and safely. This can also be seen in the saddle. Most city bikes are equipped with a gel saddle. This nestles against the buttocks and is very comfortable on short distances. Due to the upright posture on the city bike, more weight rests on the saddle than is the case with other types of bikes. A wide, soft saddle has a supporting effect here. However, the saddles of city bikes are not suitable for longer bike tours; after a while, a saddle that is too soft becomes uncomfortable. City bikes rely on wide, curved handlebars that support a comfortable posture of the arms and wrists.
Both derailleur gears and hub gears are installed on city bikes. Since city bikes stand for reliability and durability, many manufacturers rely on the tried and tested hub gears. They require little maintenance, due to the design of the hub gears is well protected from external influences such as dirt and moisture. Thanks to the mudguards, you also get ahead protected from splashing water and your clothes stay clean. A chain guard on the bike protects you from oil on your trouser legs.On the carrier can be transported purchases or work documents, alternatively, panniers can be mounted here to create more storage space or so that the backpack can be left at home. City bikes can be purchased with all common brake systems. Rim brake, disc brake or coaster brake, also called drum brake, can be selected depending on preference. A well-known drum brake is, for example, the Shimano Nexus.
On the city bike, however, the rim brake is found most often, as it is particularly easy to maintain. In general, the hydraulic disc brake is now most often installed on most types of bikes. With the city bike you also have the choice of whether you want to ride with rigid fork or suspension fork. The suspension is worthwhile especially if you ride a lot on very rough roads and cobblestones. However, the tires of the city bike swallow a lot and are usually sufficient to move comfortably in the city even without a suspension fork.
On city bikes, by the way, you can see a very clear difference between models for women and for men. Women's bikes usually have a particularly low step-in. This makes it possible to get on and off quickly in hectic situations, for example at a red light or at a blind intersection. Low-entry frames are also ideal for pensioners. Frames with this entry are also called trapezoidal frames. The entry of a men's bike is also somewhat lower than that of sportier bike types. Thus, despite the frame height can be quickly mounted. Here one speaks of diamond frames. Of course, both models can be considered unisex, and ridden by whoever feels comfortable on it. Mostly city bikes have aluminum frames. Important for the city bike are lighting system, bell, reflectors and everything else that StVZO prescribes. Only then you are ideally prepared for road traffic.
What is the difference between city bike and trekking bike?
Visually, there is hardly any difference between a city bike and a trekking bike. However, the two types are quite different in their scope of application and the details that make them. The city bike is intended to meet the city traffic by short distances, even with shopping or the like, can be transported comfortably. The upright riding position due to the frame geometry and handlebars, the soft seat due to the gel saddle and the City Bike tires are designed for exactly these needs. The City Bike is good at what it promises.
However, it's not good at taking you on long bike rides. Here, the trekking bike is the right alternative. The posture is a bit more sporty bent forward, so a different saddle is also needed. This is harder and therefore more comfortable on long tours. The tires are usually narrower, due to the smaller contact surface you are faster on the road. The trekking bike also offers the possibility of attaching wheel bags. But it is the variant for trips out of the city. Both bikes are suitable for everyday use, StVZO-compliant, require little maintenance and are comfortable. However, they have been adapted to slightly different needs.
What are the alternatives to the city bike?
On the bike market and in the bike online store you will find a wide range of different types of bikes. Here you can find out which ones are similar to the city bike and which ones are not suitable for the city. Ultimately, it remains a matter of taste with which bike you want to move around the city.
City bike and road bike differ in just about everything. The road bike favors an extremely sporty stance, it weighs as little as possible, wants to be ridden fast and has particularly narrow tires for this. A road bike is only conditionally suitable for the city. No things can be transported on a luggage carrier. The body posture makes it difficult to get a panoramic view in order to assess the traffic situation. The particularly thin tires bring many risks: cobblestones and streetcar networks quickly make road cyclists dismount involuntarily. In addition, the road bike has no suspension and does not compensate for shocks caused by uneven ground.
The mountain bike also differs from the city bike in its seating position. You sit bent forward in a sporty way. However, thanks to the suspension elements and the wide tires, it can absorb the uneven city streets well. Unfortunately, there is no storage space for shopping on the MTB, and mudguards, bike racks and StVZO-compliant equipment are not necessarily a given on the mountain bike. So before you ride your sports equipment through the city, you should check it for its suitability.
Fixie or singlespeed bicycle
The Fixie is minimalist: it has no gears. Even otherwise, this bike does without everything that is not absolutely necessary to get from A to B. The advantage in the city is that fewer components can be screwed off the bike and stolen. The fixie is a popular means of transportation in cities because of its simplicity. After you can only ride in a single gear, the ride becomes exhausting when many meters of altitude must be covered. Those who value technical novelties and special equipment are at the wrong address with the Fixie due to its puristic design.
Who is looking for city bikes, usually quickly comes across so-called Holland bikes. The Holland bike is made of steel, so very heavy. In addition, Holland bikes usually only have three-speed gears. So they are best suited for flat terrain. In general, city bikes and Holland bikes are very similar, the Holland bike becomes an eye-catcher especially due to its incomparable look.
Urban bikes are trekking bikes that have a special look. For those for whom a cool look is important, the urban bike suitable for everyday use can be a real alternative to the city bike.
Folding or folding bike
Folding and folding bikes are characterized by the fact that they can be folded, i.e. reduced in size, by means of certain mechanisms. This is particularly convenient for people who travel to the city by train to go to work, for example. This bike is rather unsuitable for weekly shopping.
City bikes are also available with a battery and motor. This makes it even easier to bring the groceries home, cover long distances to work quickly and conquer hills within the city quickly. A city e-bike is worthwhile for people who want this support.
How much does a city bike weigh?
The city bike should be particularly reliable, low-maintenance, durable and comfortable. But it's not about speed or aerodynamics. This is also noticeable in the construction of the city bike. Often, tried-and-tested technology is installed that is not up to date and thus adds quite a bit of weight. The frames are made of steel or aluminum, which is not the lightest material. City bikes are therefore rather heavy, but that does not matter as long as they do not have to be carried down a steep basement staircase. You can expect a weight between 10 and 20 kg. As with any bike, it depends on what features are important to you, how much you're willing to pay, and whether or not it's an e-bike.
How much does a city bike cost?
City bikes have the most necessary equipment to participate safely in road traffic. Otherwise, however, they are kept simple. A coaster brake or few gears are not uncommon. This is reflected in the price, there are already good models from 250 €. Upward is of course always air, but you notice a clear difference compared to other types of bikes such as the MTB or road bike. The city bike is a favorable variant with a good price-performance ratio.
Why should I get a city bike?
A city bike is the perfect companion in everyday city life. Thanks to mudguards, luggage rack and stand, it is perfect for shopping, or simply to get from A to B. The car becomes superfluous. The car thus becomes superfluous. Short distances, whether to work, to the gym or to acquaintances, are ideal to manage with the city bike. However, if you like to cover long distances or place particular value on equipment and technology, you should look for a different type of bike. What makes city bikes so interesting for the city is that they are not as susceptible to theft as more expensive types of bikes.
Since city bikes have little equipment and rarely have expensive components installed, a simple lock is usually enough to protect it. The beloved sports equipment such as the modern Fully or streamlined road bike can be safely stored in the basement, while you still do not have to miss cycling in the city. If you're looking for your dream bike, take a look around buycycle.com. Here you'll find a great selection of quality used bikes.