Improving mobility in large cities is everyone’s business, and the more we bet, both institutions and citizens, on public transport or alternative means of transport, the more we will be improving the quality of life in cities.
Cycling has been the fastest growing alternative means of transport in recent years: in fact, according to a report by Eco-Counter, Spain was the country with the highest growth in bicycle use between 2014 and 2015 (8%), and after experiencing this enormous growth it has remained stable over the last year.
If you are thinking of leaving your car parked when making short journeys in the city and want to know other alternatives to move, Decathlon presented a few days ago its new solutions for urban mobility: bicycles, electric bicycles and scooters. We talked to you about the characteristics of each one of them.
Mountain bikes and touring bikes: the most traditional option
The most traditional option we had until now when looking for means of transport or mobility solutions alternative to the car, and perhaps the only option we had valued until recently, was the mountain bike or the city bike. Depending on the consumer’s needs, we could choose one or the other.
Mountain biking: designed for athletes
It is clear that, if we are sportsmen and want to use the bike for something other than going to work or to move around the city, the most important option to consider is the mountain bike.
Mountain bikes are not as comfortable as touring bikes in terms of the position of the cyclist, who needs to have his back less upright, but they are usually lighter (the frame is usually made of materials such as aluminium, which ensure the robustness of the bike with a low weight) and also have different chainrings and sprockets that, regulating the gears correctly, will help us get the most out of our bike with the minimum effort.
We must not forget that trekking or mountain bikes are designed for sports use, which is their main function, although we can also use them as a means of transport in the city. The model presented by Decathlon is its new Riverside 500 (249.99 euros) in three sizes, with nine speeds and front suspension fork.
The city bike: ideal for city cyclists
Another of the mobility solutions that we can use if we want to pedal around the city is the city bike. In this case we find very ergonomic bicycles in which the cyclist keeps his back upright, so they are usually much more comfortable than mountain bikes or trekking.
The bicycles of stroll, especially those of Dutch style, that are the most typical, tend to be more robust and a little more heavy due to the materials used in the manufacture of their frame (generally steel) and have less speeds than a mountain bicycle, something that makes them ideal for routes in which there are not very steep slopes.
They also usually have some integrated elements that are very useful for city cyclists, such as the front or rear luggage rack, dynamo lighting and the chain guard.
Decathlon presented the models Elops 500 (169.99 euros) and Elops 520 (229.99 euros), both in two sizes, with ergonomic handlebars and incorporating the model 520 an anti-rotation spring in the handlebars that facilitates its handling in the city.
Electric bicycle: innovation for big cities
Mixed bicycles, which have the option of assistance by means of an electric motor, have been the bet of many large cities when it comes to offering bicycle rental services. Thus, BiciMad in Madrid or Sevici in Seville have opted for this type of hybrid bicycles to make them available to their subscribers. Bicing in Barcelona has also expanded its bicycle offer by adding mixed bicycles to the existing circuit.
What does an electric bicycle bring to our journeys in the city? Electric bicycles provide us with extra help, either at specific moments of our urban journeys, or during the entire journey of the same, at the consumer’s choice. This type of bicycle allows us to move assisted by an electric motor that makes the pedalling infinitely simpler and more pleasant and that allows us to reach higher speeds with less effort.
Decathlon presented its new model of electric and folding bicycle Hoptown 500 (599.99 euros), with three modes of assistance (sport, normal and eco) and a range of up to 25 kilometers in eco mode (the one that uses less battery of the three). It is a lightweight bike, very easy to fold, with six speeds and rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
During the product presentation I was able to try this new electric bicycle, and the truth is that I was very surprised both its comfort and the remarkable assistance offered by the engine during pedaling, even using the eco mode, which offers the least help. Circulating between the cars I could go practically without pedaling and, climbing slopes (we climbed the hill of Moyano, next to the park of the Retiro) made the work infinitely easier. Without a doubt it is a very good option to take into account in cities where the slopes are the order of the day, such as Madrid.
To move on two wheels in an original way with a scooter
In addition to bicycles, another urban mobility solution within our reach is the skateboard. It is not as popular in big cities as the bicycle and its use has been linked mainly to leisure time, but it is another of the options we have to move quickly through the city.
The scooters intended more for urban mobility than for leisure time are incorporating some features that make their use much more comfortable for the person carrying them: the possibility of adjusting the height of the handlebars, an ergonomic handlebars, quick and easy folding to carry it comfortably and even suspension systems on both wheels for a more comfortable ride.
Decathlon presented different models of urban scooters including the Town 9 EF (139.99 euros), with a second brake on the handlebars that greatly facilitates driving.