Town bikes should be simple to ride, comfortable, and low maintenance. An upright riding posture is a bonus, as is the ability to carry a load. Lights, a lock, and fenders round out a perfect town bike.
Forget comfort and hybrid bikes. Good town bikes are comfortable and useful without gimmicks like suspension, gel, disc brakes, flat proof tires, and plastic pants guards. Brooklyn Bicycles makes our favorite super affordable town bikes. They’re the only bike we like enough to stock and sell right outta the box. All Brooklyns are steel, and the models we stock come with fenders, swept back bars, wide saddles, rust resistant chains, strong wheels and metal pants guards. They’re comfortable because the riding position is ergonomic, not because they started with a mountain bike and added heavy squishy stuff to force comfort onto a package that is usually anything comfortable. They’re light because they don’t need squish and suspension to achieve comfort.
Brooklyn makes six bikes that we stock. If we don’t have the color you want in stock, we’ll order it.
The Franklin Single is a step thru single speed bike. It has front and rear hand brakes, no coaster brake, so it’s safe in traffic or on trails. It and the Bedford Single, are the lowest maintenance town bikes you can ride. Yeah fixed gear bikes are even simpler, but try carrying a commuter load on a fixed gear, in the rain. It can be done, but it’s better with brakes and a freewheel.
The Franklin 7 is a seven speed derailleur version of the Franklin Single. It’s a step thru frame.
The Bedford Single and Bedford 7 are basically the same bike, a traditional double diamond frame with one or 7 speeds. Go single if you are on a budget, or live somewhere flat, or don’t mind walking up big hills. Go 7 if you want to use the bike for Canal camping trips, don’t like to break a sweat on gentle hills, or just like the idea of gears.
The Willow 3 and the Driggs 3 are the most deluxe Brooklyns we stock. They use internally geared 3 speed hubs, rather than external derailleurs like the Franklin and Bedford 7’s. Internally geared hubs don’t mind bad weather, need very little attention, and keep a clean look to the bike. These models also come stock with an upgraded saddle, grips, and a stock rear rack.
We can also special order the Willow 7 and Driggs 7 upon request.
If you are looking for something beyond the Brooklyn’s, Rivendell’s Sam Hillborne, Hunquapillar, Atlantis or A. Homer Hilsen would make lovely town bikes. We’re also happy to spec bikes from Surly (Long Haul Trucker), All City (Space Horse), Velo Orange (Campeur), Soma (Double Cross, Saga) or New Albion (Privateer). These bikes are all custom builds, and we pay careful attention to your town bike needs through an interview process that’s followed up by an in depth email quote.
Our shop is crammed full of good town bike accessories from Brooks England, Lezyne, Axiom, Nitto, Sackville, Frost River, SKS, MKS and more. We’ll help ya personalize and accessorize the bike to get the most of out of it.