Cycle ’08: Bikes go urban

Flat bar bikes for inner-city speed

In our latest roundup from the Cycle Show 08, we take a good look at urban and commuting bikes. These flat-barred machines are purpose built for getting you to where you need to go in relative comfort, without sacrificing too much speed or manoeuvrability.


We scoured the stands to see what’ll be hitting your local bike shop in the coming months, and found a healthy range to choose from. Our highlights include Cannondale’s concept Stealth bike, as well as flat bar bikes from Focus, Raleigh, Fuji and Scott.

If you haven’t seen our short video on the folding bikes at the Show, have a look on last week’s video of the week.


This is Cannondale’s concept Stealth bike, which won’t make it into production but is interesting nonetheless. Inspired by stealth fighter jets and the Lamborghini Reventón super car, the design bods at Cannondale came up with the Stealth after they saw a lack of innovation in the urban bike market.

cannon stealth main: cannon stealth main

Cannondale Stealth

It’s got a single-sided fork, integrated disc brakes, integrated stem/handlebars, internal cable routing and an integrated seat collar – some features which we expect to creep into future production models of city bikes from Cannondale and other companies.

The frame is one monocoque carbon part, with the front triangle and chainstays made in the same mold. It also uses the world’s first full carbon fibre rigid Lefty fork for a road bike including disc brakes. It weighs in at 8.8kg.

Although there’s a need for a disc brake on a Lefty fork, we’re not sure whether discs are of much use on city bikes. With most road tyres, you usually don’t have enough tyre traction to cope with the stopping power of a disc brake. What’s wrong with the v-brake?

cannon stealth stem: cannon stealth stem

Integrated stem/handlebars

badboy full bike: badboy full bike

Cannondale Bad Boy

Cannondale’s Bad Boy comes in various guises – here it’s sporting a white paint finish, Lefty fork and an Alfine hub.


Specialized’s 09 commuting/urban/road range looks impressive, and there’s something for every rider in the shape of their Globe and Tricross models.

spesh globevienna: spesh globevienna

Specialized Globe Vienna

This city commuter is set up for miles of maintenance free riding with it’s internal 8-speed Nexus rear hub. Other neat features include Body Geometry comfort grips with an integrated bell, fittings for mudguards and racks, and a comfy Body Geometry Sonoma saddle.

spesh tricross: spesh tricross

Specialized Tricross

Ideal for the long haul to and from work, this gloss brown Tricross is set for the tarmac and the dirt with a slacker head angle and longer wheel base than traditional road bikes. Mudguard and rack fittings should help to carry office garb and to keep the crud well away, and the carbon fork should take the buzz out of the roughest roads too.