B’Twin Elops City review

Basic and elegant

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £119.99 RRP

Our review

Straightforward, practical and graceful bargain
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Inexpensive, bolt upright and sweetly practical, the B’Twin City is a charming alternative to MAMIL-mobiles or urban hipster fixies. For just over £100 it’s stately, elegant, basic transportation – as long as you live somewhere that’s pancake flat.

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Instead of the multiple gears and suspension forks found on a lot of inexpensive bikes, B’Twin have stripped the City down to basics: a steel loop frame, one gear and cantilever brakes. Then they’ve added a few essentials: kickstand, rack, dynamo lights, chainguard and basket.

It all adds up to a sturdy and practical package that’s not going to win any sprints from the lights but does bowl along gracefully when you get it moving. And the great thing is the mudguards and chainguard mean you can jump aboard in whatever you’re wearing.

The swept-back bar is close to the saddle so that you’re placed in a position of Range Rover command, gazing down imperiously over the traffic, and the fat tyres plough cheerfully through potholes. We especially like the way it rides better with a load of stuff in the basket.

Empty, it’s a little flighty, but come back from the supermarket with a couple of pints of milk, a loaf of bread and a big lock stashed up front and the steering calms down. Every little helps, and all that. The B’Twin City’s biggest limitation is that single gear.

If you live in York or Cambridge then you’re not going to care much, and the City will feel right at home among Roman walls or collegiate quads. But it’s hard work on anything but a gentle climb and we’d really love a version with a three- or five-speed hub gear.

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The closest thing B’Twin offer is the City 5, with a five-speed derailleur, but somehow a gear dangler feels wrong on a basket-equipped bike. If your needs are flatland simple though, the City will fulfil them amply. And you’ll have plenty of cash left over to fill the basket with bread, cheese and a bottle of wine for a pootle down to Grantchester Meadows.

The b’twin city’s biggest limitation is its single gear: the b’twin city’s biggest limitation is its single gear
Paul Smith - www.smithpic.co.uk

Product Specifications

Product

Name Elops City (11)
Brand Btwin

Description Accessories: front and rear economic dynamo lights. Mudguards. Chain guard. Central stand. Pannier rack. Front basket. Wide city tyres 700x28
Available Colours Anthracite
Brakes steel V-brakes
Cranks steel single chainring
Frame Material Hi Ten steel. Unisex city geometry (lowered frame)
Handlebar steel
Rims single-wall
Seatpost steel
Stem steel
Brake Levers aluminium