Tööstuse 43, Tallinn, Estonia
Store: +372 508 3309
Workshop: +372 5301 8568
Tähesaju tee 31, Tallinn Estonia
Store: +372 5885 7752
Workshop: +372 5301 6938
Info: +372 508 3309
A free person is one who depends as little as possible on external factors. So get on your bike and free yourself from the clutches of public transport and rush-hour congestion! The recommendation is sound but the choice of bikes is wide. The question arises – which bike is best suited to my route and needs for commuting to work or school?
Each bike has its own intended use, depending on the terrain, how long you ride it, etc. The title of the post may tell you what kind of bike to ride and where, but there is still a wide range of bikes suitable for urban cycling. A big city is home to many people with different lifestyles, so here are the most common types of bikes for urban cycling.
While any bike can do the job, it’s the right ride for you that makes the experience enjoyable and not necessarily a sporty endeavour that gets your pulse racing and sweating. When going to work, hardly anyone wants to tire themselves out. In the city, cycling should be thought of first and foremost as a means of transport. From this angle, the bike’s characteristics become quite different.
Some of the conditions for what urban cycling should be:
You will see a lot of good-looking, classic-style bicycles in the urban landscape, which are usually referred to as city bikes. They have an upright riding position, which is comfortable and allows you to ride in peace, enjoy the surroundings and look around. The frame and saddle part is low, but the handlebar is high. These bikes come with a range of accessories such as nice baskets and bags, which make them a very practical and eye-catching vehicle. With this type of bike, you need to pay attention to the saddle so that it is soft. This is because the upright riding position directs all shocks to the lower back, which causes back pain on long journeys. In a lower, forward-leaning driving position, the entire impact force is not transmitted to the lower back, but is distributed evenly over the body and arms.
In addition to the classic urban bike, there are even more stylish retro and vintage bikes for those who want to add a little extravagance to their daily routine, such as the 3-speed 1948 from Romet or the Vintage D Mixte from Excelsior.
HYBRID BIKE – A REAL CHAMELEON
The hybrid bike is the most versatile and versatile bike. The best choice for those who want to travel comfortably and quickly over long distances. It was originally designed to have the characteristics of both a mountain bike and a road bike – the lightweight frame and narrower tyres of a road bike and the comfortable upright riding position and traditional straight handlebars of a mountain bike. A hybrid bike has the best features of all the different types. Many hybrid bikes also have a front mudguard, plus the option to add mudguards, pannier racks, pannier bags and other equipment. It’s very easy to carve them just the way you need them or how the mood takes you. The hybrids can handle bumpy and bumpy roads and are fast on smooth asphalt, let alone gravel.
Foldable bikes are ideal for those who come from the outskirts of the city and often use public transport (bus, train) or who simply don’t have much space to store a bike. Fits neatly under the desk in the office or in the front cabinet. It’s also easy to carry up and down stairs, as the wheel is small and even smaller and easier to lift when folded.
The weak point of the folding wheels is the folding point, which can give way most quickly in terms of reliability. The little wheels will ride through any bump, and anyone with a rear wheel will feel it very well. On the other hand, manoeuvrability is very good because of the small wheels. It also looks great. Small but tenacious.
ELECTRIC BICYCLES – REAL BEASTS OF BURDEN
Electric bicycles have only started to become more widespread in the last few years and the growth is accelerating. Very handy for covering long distances or when the road is hilly up and down, but the physical shape is not exactly that of a triathlete. The speed and range of the ride do not depend so much on the rider’s good form, so everyone can enjoy the ride. However, it should be noted that these bikes are quite heavy, not suitable for carrying up and down stairs. They also come at a pretty hefty price, starting at around €1000. There are also electric bikes in every category – city bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, folding bikes.
Most interesting compared to the previous ones, and less common nowadays, but still glimpsed here and there, are the fascinating bikes like the cargorat. It’s for those who need to carry more belongings but still don’t want to give up the joys of cycling. Cargobikes are real beasts of burden – they can be used to shop in food and furniture stores, take children and pets. As a joke – a kargorat is for people who don’t want to buy a car but still want to carry as much.
All of the above recommendations for urban cycles also apply, of course, to children’s cycles, although they don’t need the full equipment of front tyres, for example. With today’s sedentary lifestyles, it’s also very useful for children to get on their bikes and ride to school instead of trams, buses or cars.
In order to promote health and sport among Tallinn’s children, the Tallinn City Government has created a “Bike to School” grant, which provides up to €100 to buy a bicycle for children aged 10-15 with a cycling licence. Velomarket, for its part, is offering an additional -10% discount on bicycles and -20% discount on accessories (lights, watches, locks, helmets, bike bags, etc.).
THE ACCESSORIES JUNGLE
There is a wide range of accessories for bikes to suit all tastes and needs. Not all bikes come with any accessories. Some people want all the main accessories already on the bike they are buying, while others know exactly what they need and what they should be.
Perhaps most important of all are the pore tables. Sports clothes always get dirty after every workout, but there’s no way I’d want to get proper menswear dirty. Another important determinant is how much you need to take with you? It depends on what kind of packing frames and baskets you need. If you need to go through the grocery store often, you can’t do without packing frames or baskets.
Most common luggage frames are mounted on the rear wheel, but there are also front wheel mounted frames. They are ideal when you need extra space to put your things, for example. There are also different styles of luggage frames, for example a retro style front luggage frame is perfect for vintage wheels. Some also have straps to hold them securely in place.
There are also baskets for both the lens and the pack frame, permanently attached and removable to take with you. The removable baskets also have a buckle, which makes carrying things very convenient. Very well suited for women’s urban cats.
In addition to baskets, there are also bike bags, which are in some ways even better, as they are usually made of waterproof fabric – so there is no risk of items that are afraid of water getting soaked in the rain. For those who have a lot of belongings to carry, a double-sided waterproof packing bag with a good capacity would be suitable. All the bike bags are not big, clumsy and black. There are also very elegant ladies’ handbags that attach to the bike and don’t resemble a bulky bike bag. However – not everyone is a handbag carrier. Backpacks that attach to the bike are also designed and available for them.
There is no getting around bicycle lights. In a city, it is also very important to make yourself visible to all other road users. Lights should be on the bike all year round, as even the southern summer evenings are dark enough. In the case of battery-operated lights, you should carry spare batteries just in case, as they have a tendency to run out just when you need them most (i.e. anytime). Battery rechargeable lights do not pose this risk, as long as they are regularly recharged before they run out. Many rechargeable lights also have a low battery indicator that gives a timely warning. A dyno light does not need batteries or a rechargeable battery, it works as long as you drive.
The range of lights is also quite wide, so everyone will find what they need and like. Retro style bicycle headlight is perfect for vintage style bikes. Small lights are usually enough for urban driving, but those who need a more powerful headlamp won’t go without.
You also need to think about where to keep the bike. It’s impossible to get around in a big city without a bicycle nowadays. It is often recommended to use as many as two locks, one stronger and one weaker, as an extra lock. Velomarket offers locks, chain locks, frame locks, rope locks and more. Read more about locks in our blog post. “I bought the lock, why was my bike stolen?” .
If the bike is parked securely, it could also be protected from changing weather. There are waterproof saddle covers as well as ones that can be pulled over the whole bike. That way, rain, dust and even snow can’t get at your bike. There is also a skirt protector for female rats, which attaches to the rear wheel. This prevents the skirt tails from getting dirty and, heaven forbid, stuck between the skirt legs. You can always change the saddle if necessary. Some want sporty and stiff, others want big and soft. Bicycle watches are a great way to signal your presence to other road users. There’s also a wide range of watches – from small, minimalist ones to larger ones that will adorn your bike.
TIPS FOR DRIVING IN THE CITY.
Once you have the right bike and the right equipment, after a lot of research and analysis, it’s just a matter of jumping on and getting going. But now the real adventure begins. Driving in the city has its dangers and it is useful to know a few tips beforehand.
When travelling in the city, the shortest route is not always the quickest. Often this is not the safest route either. Be sure to take the safest route, as the ride will be smooth and steady, and the time saved may be even greater.
However, there are times when you have to drive on the road. Manoeuvres on the motorway are indicated by hand signals/flags. It’s important to make your intentions clear to others, including by creating a visual link, because then you’ll know if they’ve noticed you and are considering you. If eye contact has not been established, always consider the possibility that you have not been noticed and act accordingly.
Once others have understood your intentions and given you the go-ahead, it’s always good manners to say thank you, either with a small wave of the hand or a nod. There can never be too many of them. If a confrontational moment arises with someone, the best thing to do is to stay calm and let it go. There’s no need to get into a pointless argument with someone who doesn’t want to listen to you anyway. Don’t ruin your mood and your day even more.
When you are driving on the road, take care not to get into blind spots where you will go unnoticed by the driver. It’s very easy to get caught where you can’t see with your mirror, especially near big cars – lorries, buses, etc. – and since there’s usually no one on the road in these places, not every driver can always expect the unexpected. It’s at junctions and junctions where you’re most likely to find yourself. If you can, keep to the driver’s side – that’s the best way for the driver to see you. One more thing to watch out for on the roadside and with parked cars – someone might open the car door unexpectedly. It’s best to keep away from such places, or drive really slowly to minimise damage to everyone in the event of a collision.
The Velomarket team wishes you a nice end of the summer and if you spot other regular cyclists on your way home or to work, you can also greet them politely with a little head nod. Riders still stick together!