We take a look at the best urban and hybid bikes that have surprised and delighted our testers.
From that stylish street urchin, the Whyte Portobello, through Boardman's impressive hybrid steeds, to Rossin's retro-looking fixie, there's something here for every cyclist looking for a multi-purpose ride. While the prices and specifications of these five bikes vary considerably, they all have one thing in common - a top rating.
Whyte Portobello urban bike
"Impressively surefooted and still enthusiastically fast"
- Weight: 10.72 kg
- Frame: 6061 Hydro Formed T6 Aluminium, Custom Drawn, Multi Butted with Custom Whyte Dropouts
- Fork: Bladed 6061 Alloy T6 Front Fork, with Double Eyelets and Low Rider Bosses
- Groupset: FSA Tempo / Shimano Sora/R440
- Wheels: Alex Race 28, Deep Section Road
The people behind UK mountain bike brand Whyte have never been afraid to think a little differently, and this stylish street urchin is an instantly likeable artful dodger.
As well as inspiring conﬁdence on the descents, the stable handling and disc brakes potentially make it a useful contemporary styled touring/cargo bike – an idea backed up by the rear rack, front low rider, twin bottle cage and full mudguard ﬁxing point bosses.
Identiti Persona urban bike
"Great value, ultra-tough street machine"
- Weight: frame - 2300 g
- Frame: Cro-mo
- Fork: Identiti FFX
- Groupset: Genetic
- Wheels: Halo Aerotrack
The Persona has been designed with input from Identiti-sponsored rider Chris Delia, and as he cycles at the more extreme end of the singlespeed/ﬁxed scene, the frame is full of touches to cope with being thrown off drops, down stairs, over benches…
Rossin Marathon urban bike
"Purposeful ﬁxie offers a taste of La Dolce Vita "
- Weight: 22.05 lb
- Frame: Rossin Cr-Mo Duble Butted
- Fork: Rossin Cr-Mo Duble Butted
- Groupset: FSA Gimondi
- Wheels: Rossin Track-Fixed Gear
Built with Rossin's special double-butted chromoly tubing, the traditional looking frame features clean TIG welds, chunky track dropouts and elegant seatstay and chainstay bridges. Despite its 1in head tube and retro frame styling harking back to classic ’80s steel mountain bikes, the ride characteristics and handling are thoroughly up to date.
Boardman Hybrid Team
"The benchmark mid-range hybrid for more athletic riding"
- Weight: 9.39 kg
- Frame: Smooth TIG-welded aluminium, forged dropouts, replaceable hanger
- Fork: Carbon blades, crown and differential steerer, forged alloy dropouts
- Groupset: FSA Gossamer / SRAM Apex / Micro Shift
- Wheels: Ritchey OCR rim
Boardman Hybrid Pro
"Offers some top-notch kit and a great balance of speed and comfort"
- Weight: 9.47
- Frame: Superlight alloy triple butted, tapered steerer, BB30, full smooth welding
- Fork: Ultralight full carbon, tapered steerer, disc compatible
- Groupset: FSA / SRAM Rival / Microshift
- Wheels: Ritchey Pro Disc
Boardman bikes are always good value, with spec levels that can make rivals look ordinary by comparison. That’s because they’re sold solely through UK motoring and leisure chain Halfords, which relieves the pressure of dealer margins and means more money in the budget for, say, a groupset one tier higher.
Boardman Urban MTB Team
"We loved it, once we’d ﬁtted MTB tyres, but consider the suspension- forked Team before you commit"
- Weight: 10.6 kg
- Frame: Triple butted aluminium
- Fork: Carbon SL
- Groupset: SRAM X7
- Wheels: Mavic X317 rim, no-name hub
Weighing 10.6kg (23.5lb), this is one of the best equipped, and lightest, mountain bikes we’ve tested for under £1,000. Its ‘Urban’ tag comes from its skinny slick tyres and ﬁxed blade fork but it’s otherwise the same as Boardman’s identically priced Team model with a RockShox Recon fork