Retrospec Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Commuter Bike

Last updated date: August 10, 2020

DWYM Score
8.6

Retrospec Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Commuter Bike

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Overall Take

The hand-built frame of this fixed-gear bike is durable and strong. Ready to take on the bumps along the way, it comes standard with Kenda Kwest tires designed for urban travel. In our analysis of 71 expert reviews, the Retrospec Retrospec Harper Fixed Gear Urban Commuter Bike placed 14th when we looked at the top 20 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 10, 2020:
Checkout The Best Bike for a detailed review of all the top bikes.

Expert Summarized Score
0.0
0 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.6
292 user reviews
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From The Manufacturer

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An Overview On Bikes

If sitting in traffic every day isn’t your idea of fun, consider riding a commuter bike to work instead. That way, you can avoid all of the congestion while getting some exercise along the way. Not to mention, riding a bike is far more eco-friendly than driving in a car, so you’re also helping out the planet with your commute.

“Are you looking for a way to burn calories, be more active, improve your health and get some fresh air on your way to and from work? A commuter bike may be perfect for you,” says fitness expert Stephanie Mansour. “A commuter bike is used to travel to and from your work and home.”

With so many different bikes available, it’s hard to know which bike is the best for your commute. One of the most important things to consider is the length of your commute. This will affect what kind of bike you need and what kind of comfort requirements you’ll have. Also beware of the cycling conditions in your city, with respect to road conditions and cycling lanes.

“Unlike a recreational bike, a commuter bike needs to be comfortable for everyday use and the specific terrain on which your route will take you,” says Mansour. “Are you going up and down hills, in bike lanes within traffic, or through neighborhoods? Your route to and from work needs to be considered and kept n mind when purchasing a commuter bike. Also, what’s the weather like in your area? If you are dealing with rain, snow, or colder temperatures, a skinny tired bike is not the best for you.”

If your commute is under three miles, then you can use pretty much any kind of bike. If your commute is between three and six miles, you’ll want to pay special attention to the bike seat to ensure it’s comfortable. Plus, take note of the height of the handlebars and the bike itself, as they will need to fit you perfectly to avoid any pain. If your commute is a long one, around nine miles, opt for a bike that’s designed for speed and efficiency.

Another element to consider is the kind of tires you will need. If your bike has large, skinny tires, you’ll have a quick ride but your tires won’t do well in the rain. If you live in an area with lots of precipitation, then you may need something with a better grip. If your commute takes you over train or streetcar tracks, skinny tires are more likely to get stuck in the grooves.

Be sure to take a look at what kind of brakes your bike has. Rim brakes, which are inexpensive and light, are prone to slipping on wet surfaces. If you’re riding along wet roads often, this isn’t a good choice. On the other hand, these may work if your commute is consistently dry. Disc brakes are more costly and considerably heavier. They offer heavy-duty braking force and more safety than rim brakes.

Your bike should also be adjusted to fit your body, and you should always practice good posture while riding to and from work.

“Make sure the bike is comfortable for you,” says Mansour. “When you extend your legs down fully on each pedal, you still want to keep your knee slightly bent. You never want to fully extend your knee as you pedal down because this can cause you to hyperextend at the knee joint. You also want to make sure that as you ride the commuter bike, you’re able to pull your navel in toward your spine to keep your core tight. Finally, you want to make sure that your shoulders are back and relaxed instead of hunched forward on the bike handles.”

DWYM Fun Fact

There are many benefits to riding a commuter bike to work, even beyond getting to skip all the traffic. One of the biggest advantages is that you save time while getting some exercise. When you ride to work, you no longer have to stop at the gym afterward because you’ve already gotten in a great workout.

In addition to saving time at the gym, you can also save money when riding a bike to work. The cost of owning a car can be several thousands of dollars a year, while the cost of owning a bike is only around $300 a year.

In addition to saving on transportation costs, you may also be able to save on healthcare expenses. Riding a bike to work keeps you more fit than if you were sitting in a car. As a result, you may see more health benefits thanks to your daily exercise routine.

Did you know that riding a bike to work can lead to decreased stress and anxiety? Exercise, in general, helps people release pent-up negative energy, which in turn can help you sleep better at night and be in a better mood during the day.

The Bike Buying Guide

  • When you’re in the market for a commuter bike, be sure to look at the size of the frame and the height of the wheels. Your height will determine which sizes you need, and many bike companies provide sizing charts you can review before you purchase, to ensure you’ve selected the right bike for you. The weight of the bike may be a purchasing factor for some commuters. If you live in a place where you need to store your bike indoors or have to carry it up and down stairs, you don’t want to get one that’s too heavy. Similarly, if you don’t have a bike lockup outside at work and need to carry it to another location, you’ll be thankful you got a lightweight bike. Pay attention to the frame of the bike, as you want to get one that’s durable. A steel or aluminum alloy frame is a good choice for a commuter bike because they are hardy and last a lifetime.
  • The kind of seat your commuter bike can make all the difference when it comes to comfort. After a ride to work, you don’t want to start your tasks with a sore backside. Opt for a seat that is designed with comfort in mind and has plenty of padding.
  • The height and shape of the bike’s handlebars affect your comfort level as well. If you’re consistently hunched over, you will end up with a sore back. Similarly, having to reach up to hold the handles will give you sore upper arms. Take a look at the design of the handles when selecting your commuter bike to ensure you sit in a natural and comfortable position when holding on to them.