Best cycling cities | Different locations ranked on crime, safety and even the weather

The Coya Cities Index evaluates the cycling climate of 90 cities worldwide

German insurance provider Coya recently released its 2019 Cities Index, evaluating the cities making the most improvements to their cycling infrastructure and highlighting where some are excelling and others are lacking.

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Coming out on top is Utrecht in the Netherlands. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since the Netherlands is renowned for being a cycling haven.

While the study doesn’t list the best and worst cycling cities, it does give an insight into the cities around the world that are working towards a brighter cycling future and those that are lagging behind.

How the cities were ranked

90 cities were chosen, including those who are more traditionally associated with cycling (such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam), as well as lesser-known locations that are striving to make improvements.

Each received a score based on 12 different criteria, covering everything from crime, safety, investment and infrastructure, to the weather, rental availability and cycling-related events. The scores are marked out of 100, where 1 represents the worst and 100 the best, so the higher the score, the better.

Other factors, such as fatalities and accidents per 100,000 cyclists are representative of an actual number in that sample, so the lower the score here, the higher the safety.

Finally, the cycling uptake for each city is represented by a percentage.

Coya provides more detailed information on its methodology on its website.

Big Ride Utrecht 2015
Utrecht came out on top overall in the Coya 2019 cycling Cities Index
Joby Sessions / Cycling Plus Magazine

Highest ranking cities

Some cities shine in certain areas, while others excel elsewhere. These are the cities that scored the highest for each category:

  • Best weather: Los Angeles, US (89.82/100)
  • Highest bicycle usage: Utrecht, Netherlands (51%)
  • Least fatalities per 100,000 cyclists: Munster, Germany (0.03)
  • Least accidents per 100,000 cyclists: Dortmund, Germany (147.85)
  • Lowest bicycle theft: Singapore, Singapore (100/100)
  • Best overall safety: Stuttgart, Germany (97.63/100)
  • Highest number of bicycle shops per 100,000 cyclists: Johannesburg, South Africa (146.84)
  • Best specialised roads and road quality: Nantes, France (71.72/100)
  • Best investment and infrastructure quality: Tokyo, Japan (100/100)
  • Best overall infrastructure: Geneva, Switzerland (66.49/100)
  • Highest number of bicycle sharing and rental stations per 100,000 cyclists: Bordeaux, France (100)
  • Highest number of shared bicycles per 100,000 cyclists: Antwerp, Belgium (100)
  • Best overall for bike sharing: Antwerp, Belgium (89.44/100)
  • Highest scoring Critical Mass: Hamburg, Germany (100/100)
  • Highest scoring events: Krakow, Poland (88.66/100)

Lowest ranking cities

These are the cities that have the most improvements to make in these areas (with the exception of the weather, which can’t be helped!).

  • Worst weather: Bangkok, Thailand (23.62/100)
  • Lowest bicycle usage: Tbilisi, Georgia (0.03%)
  • Most fatalities per 100,000 cyclists: Johannesburg, South Africa (7.43)
  • Most accidents per 100,000 cyclists: Boston, US (3459.77)
  • Most bicycle theft score: Johannesburg, South Africa (1/100)
  • Least overall safety score: Johannesburg, South Africa (31.57/100)
  • Lowest number of bicycle shops per 100,000 cyclists: Beijing, China (0.20)
  • Worst specialised roads and road quality: Lagos, Nigeria (1/100)
  • Worst investment and infrastructure quality: Lagos, Nigeria (1/100)
  • Worst overall infrastructure: Lagos, Nigeria (1.43/100)
  • Lowest number of bicycle sharing and rental stations per 100,000 cyclists: Bogotá, Colombia (1)
  • Lowest number of shared bicycles per 100,000 cyclists: Bogotá, Colombia (1)
  • Worst overall for bike sharing: Bogotá, Colombia (1/100)
  • Lowest scoring Critical Mass: Shanghai, China (1.13/100)
  • Lowest scoring events: Shanghai, China (1.06/100)
Cycling: 13rd Tour of Britain 2016 / Stage 7b
Cycling events were one criteria that cities were judged on, such as the Tour of Britain passing through Bristol’s iconic suspension bridge
Tim De WaeleKT/Tim De Waele/Corbis via Getty Images

Top 3 cities in the UK

  1. Bristol

  2. Edinburgh

  3. London

Top 3 cities in the US

  1. San Francisco, CA

  2. Portland, OR

  3. Seattle, WA

Top 3 cities in Europe

  1. Utrecht, Netherlands

  2. Munster, Germany

  3. Antwerp, Belgium

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Top 3 cities in Australasia

  1. Auckland, New Zealand

  2. Melbourne, Australia

  3. Sydney, Australia