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Just in: Foffa Urban

Practical urban bike with a 7-speed Shimano Nexus hub

If you want a stylish and practical bicycle for getting around town, commuting to the office or popping to the shops, then the Foffa Urban could be right for you. We’ve just been sent this £499 bike in for review and here’s a first look before it gets taken out on the streets. 

The Urban is packed with all the sorts of details you’d want in a bike designed for navigation city streets. It’s an update of the previous Foffa Urban we tested a few years back. The key difference is the switch from a steel frame to a butted 6061 aluminium fork. It retains the rigid steel fork, but the bike, with the same equipment, drops a chunk of weight: down from 13.1kg to 12.6kg.

Foffa Urban - cranks.jpg

There’s space for wide tyres.  This bike comes with 28mm Kenda K193 tyres which should help deal with any potholes you might encounter. The tyres also have a puncture protection belt which should lessen the chance of getting a flat tyre. 

Foffa Urban - rear guard.jpg

- The Best Commuting Bikes and Kit

The frame has mudguard and rack bosses - this model comes pre-fitted with mudguards, which is a nice touch. The tyres are fitted to aluminium rims with a double wall construction and 25mm profile rims save a bit of rotating weight.

Foffa Urban - rear hub.jpg

Taking care of the shifting duties is a fully sealed Shimano Nexus 7-speed gear hub. It’s operated by a Revo twist shifter. Hub gears are great for cycling around towns and cities. There’s no fragile derailleur hanging off the frame and a hub requires a lot less maintenance than a conventional drivetrain. They’re ideal for coping with winter road grime, too.

Further promoting its usefulness as a round-town bike is the addition of a kickstand. That’s not something you often see on bikes, but they are immensely useful when leaning the bike against the shop window isn’t practical. Another practical addition is the chainguard - no more oily trousers.

Foffa Urban - front hub.jpg

The Urban is finished with Foffa’s own-brand saddle, which looks very comfortable, and handlebars and stitched leatherette grips, which divided opinion in the office. You get a set of flat pedals included as well, so the bike is ready to ride.

Foffa Urban - kick stand.jpg

Brakes are Tektro v-brakes, which provide decent power and the matching brake levers have an easy reach and nice shape. The bottom bracket is a sealed unit, there’s a KMC chain and a 46t chainset with 165mm crank arms. 

Full review coming soon...

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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amazon22 | 8 years ago

Radial spokes for the front wheel? Style over practicality and longevity surely?

Russell Orgazoid | 8 years ago

Do it in style, get a Pashley Guv'nor.

Dr_Lex | 8 years ago

Surprised that there's no chain guard. Dynamo light option would be a good one.

bikebot replied to Dr_Lex | 8 years ago

Dr_Lex wrote:

Surprised that there's no chain guard. Dynamo light option would be a good one.

Well unlike the last version, it's at least got mudguards as standard!

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