The credit crunch, congestion charges and eco concerns mean that two wheels are better than four for getting around town – we take a look at the best city bikes...
Electra Coaster 7
Instant Easy Rider kicks. The Coaster (right) is long and laid-back, but has seven gears, powerful V-brakes and an aluminium frame.
Despite the weight, the Coaster isn’t too slow – the gears give it hill-climbing ability. But it’s too wide to weave in between traffic, and wobblier than you’d think.
Cannondale Hooligan 1
A mutant hybrid of a BMX, a trials bike and a city bike, the phat tyres and low-slung frame are seemingly at odds with the sensible 8-speed Shimano Alfine hub gears.
If you’re under 6ft, it’s a great mix of sit-up comfort, all-weather brakes and gears set for middle-ranking speeds.
Charge Plug Freestyler
A multi-coloured slab of courier chic, the Freestyler has a flip-flop hub for singlespeed or fixed gear.
Riding without gears means you have to anticipate the road conditions ahead, and in fixed mode there’s no freewheeling, which makes slowing down tricky. Your legs will hate you initially, but the simple design needs little maintenance.
Cinelli Bootleg Hoy Hoy Rats
A road-race bike, decked out for urban commuting duties with flat handlebars, comfy grips and a bizarre integrated rear light.
Goes like a furry rodent up a drainpipe – the fastest bike over our test route. Those tempting looks could be a problem though – get a big lock, and some decent insurance.
Puma Glow Rider
This unique folding bike glows in the dark, and second and has an integral cable lock that renders the bike unrideable if cut.
It looks funky, but it’s awkward to carry and the glow only works in complete darkness. ?
The new Mezzo retains the 20-second fold of the original and brings improved brakes, a slimmer frame and faster gearing.
One of the fastest bikes on test, it’s relatively comfortable for a folder, and quick and easy to transform, but gets tiring on long straights and is a little wobbly over bumpy bits.
For more details, see the October issue of Stuff magazine