City vs. Country Cycling: What's the Difference?
City and country cycling is different in so many ways. Some bikers find city biking more comfortable, while others prefer getting their bikes out when in the countryside.
Bikers need to know the major differences between city and country cycling. This way, if you're a city cyclist, you wouldn't be caught off guard should your friends decide to go on a long bike ride in the countryside and vice versa. Simple cycling knowledge like these can determine your safety on the road.
City vs. Country Cycling: Bikes
Commuter bikes tend to have skinny built–they have upright, thin frames and skinny tires. This form is optimal for city cycling as the bikers are expected to pass through vehicles, small alleys, and other tight spaces within the city.
Aside from this, commuter bikes also have flat pedals and minimal gearing. Unlike in the countryside, city bikers don't need to switch from one gear to another for higher cadence as they usually deal with flat roads.
On the other hand, cross-country bikes tend to have a heavier build as they're made to deal with terrains, trails, and uneven tracks. Luckily, country bikes made of carbon fiber have lightweight designs without sacrificing the bike's suspension, but they're still heavier than commuter bikes.
Most mountain bikes have 7 to 28 gears. However, some customized country bikes can be modified by up to 40 gears. Gears are one of the top differences between city and country bikes. These gears are essential for country riding as they maximize the amount of energy placed on the pedals, which are specifically important when riding through terrains.
City vs. Country Cycling: Essential Items
Bike lights are essential in city and country cycling–but with different specifications.
If you're a city biker, you usually ride through well-lit roads. This means having a bike light with high lumens might be futile. City bikers only need a maximum of 200 lumens for front lights and 60 lumens for rear lights.
This range is far from what is needed by country bikers. If you're planning to ride in the countryside, you should have at least 1000 lumens for your front lights and 90 lumens for your rear light.
There's also a higher need for brake lights when riding through the city than in the countryside. Cycling through the city means riding with pedestrians, larger vehicles, and almost all forms of road users. You'd want to notify them about your direction to ensure your safety.
City vs. Country Cycling: Safety
Both city and country cycling have their dangers. However, city bikers are more prone to road crashes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there has been an 8.9% increase in biker-related accidents in the city from 2019 to 2020, 2% of which are biker fatalities.
While there are various reasons for these accidents, some researchers suggest that biker-related accidents in the city are usually caused by a lack of essential biking accessories such as helmets and bike lights.
Aside from this, research suggests that city bikers are more likely to experience bike theft than country bikers. This is why it's essential to have an anti-theft device instead of just going with the traditional chain and lock combination.
Fortunately, some bike lights already come with advanced anti-theft technology. Instead of an alarm going off, the bike light will send a notification to your smartphone once your bike is moved. This device is powered by the motion sensor present on the bike light.
According to our research, anti-theft devices with smartphone connectivity can reduce bicycle theft by up to 68%. This means you can go to your favorite cafe or local grocery store and leave your bicycle without worrying about your bike.
These are the differences between city and country cycling. It's best to take note of these so you can ride through cities and the countryside without any hassle.