Foffa Urban 7 review£500.00

Singlespeed styling, hub-gear versatility

BikeRadar score4/5

If you love the aesthetics and functional simplicity of a singlespeed bike but you just can’t live without gears, then you will love the new Urban 7 from Foffa. It pairs the clean styling of Foffa's singlespeed bikes to a Shimano Nexus 7-speed hub and Revo rotary shifter, neither of which intrudes on the looks.

Complementing the added versatility of the gearing, the Urban 7 has bosses for mudguards, a bottle cage and a rear rack, so it has the potential to be a very useful and adaptable bike.

Seven-speed nexus gearing is low-maintenance and accurate, though adds a little heft: seven-speed nexus gearing is low-maintenance and accurate, though adds a little heft
Seven-speed nexus gearing is low-maintenance and accurate, though adds a little heft: seven-speed nexus gearing is low-maintenance and accurate, though adds a little heft

Seven-speed Nexus gearing is low-maintenance and accurate, though adds a little heft

The frame itself is made of 4130 chromoly steel. It has a low front end for a distinctly sporty riding position and the steering is rapid. That it doesn’t seem to have quite as much life to it as other bikes in this metal is more down to the build. The Nexus hub is heavy and it’s built into wheels that prioritise robustness over performance so the Urban 7 doesn’t leap forward with every firm pedal stroke. Retained is the compliance associated with 4130 – it’s no hovercraft but it doesn’t thump over bumps as harshly as anything made from high-tensile steel.

At 28mm, the tough and grippy tyres have large enough chambers to add to the comfort while still being skinny enough to roll quickly.

This is a good-looking and likeable bike: this is a good-looking and likeable bike
This is a good-looking and likeable bike: this is a good-looking and likeable bike

This is a good-looking and likeable bike

The highlight is that Nexus hub. It gives a range of 244 percent or, in real terms, a comfortable cadence at speeds of around 7-20mph. Bottom gear isn’t a winch for really steep grades but it will get you up most hills. Best of all is the shifting – it’s crisp and precise, much more so than Shimano’s more expensive Alfine hub gear so long as you back off the pedal pressure as you shift.

We only have a couple of niggles and the brakes, merely adequate, barely qualify. The main complaint is the saddle – disliked by all who rode it and badly matched to the grips. Fit a Charge Spoon and this is an easy bike to like.

Jamie Wilkins

Deputy Editor, Procycling / Editor, Urban Cyclist, Procycling Magazine
Rides fast everywhere, all the time. Jamie started riding age 12, first on mountain bikes, progressing through cross-country and downhill racing (followed by motorcycle road racing and a dark time as a runner). A dedicated roadie since 2007, Jamie has dabbled in road racing, crits and time trials, but has the most fun simply riding hard with a couple of friends, chasing daft average speeds. Needless to say, Jamie values pure performance above all else and loves aero kit. Fiercely honest in his reviews. Has a chain-cleaning fetish.
  • Age: 37
  • Height: 185cm / 6'1"
  • Weight: 71kg / 156lb
  • Waist: 79cm / 31in
  • Chest: 96cm / 38in
  • Discipline: Road
  • Preferred Terrain: Mountains, rolling stuff, flat and windy, hacking through the city…
  • Current Bikes: Ridley Noah SL 20, Scappa Purosangue, Canyon Speedmax 9.0 SL
  • Dream Bike: Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 LTD, in red, please. And a Pashley Guv'nor.
  • Beer of Choice: Recovering teetotaller, still working this one out
  • Location: Bath, UK

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