Retrospec Critical Cycles Barron 21 Speed Hybrid Bike Review

The Retrospec Critical Cycles Barron Hybrid Bike 21 Speed is designed for multiple pavement uses, from the city streets to urban bike paths and city hills. If you’re searching for the best hybrid bikes under 500$, this would definitely fit your budget.

So, what are the features of this hybrid bike? What’s good and bad about it? Read on to find out.

Features and Specifications

Men-Specific, Lightweight Frame

The Retrospec Critical Cycles Barron Hybrid Bike 21 Speed looks sleek and sexy in graphite finish with orange decals. But, it’s more than just a pretty bike.

The aluminum frame is designed to be light, sturdy, and ready to take on a variety of terrains. It’s available in four sizes to accommodate both short and tall riders:

  • Small (16 inches): 5’2”-5’6”
  • Medium (18 inches): 5’6”-5’10”
  • Large (20 inches): 5’10”-6’1”
  • Extra Large (22 inches): 6’1”-6’4”

The bike is also equipped with an aluminum riser 35mm bar, which allows you to stay in control and assume a comfortable upright riding position. To protect your sensitive parts, Retrospec installed an extra wide and rounded saddle with a vinyl cover and foam padding.

21-Speed Gears and Zoom Suspension for Versatility

Most of the moving parts used by Retrospec for the Barron hybrid bike is from Shimano’s Tourney Series. (The Tourney Series is a collection of entry-level but reliable groupset.)

It has a Shimano 21-speed gear system to offer a wide range of speed options to suit different road conditions and situations, whether it’s flat paved roads or steep city hills. To change gears, simply twist the REVOSHIFT shifter with your thumb and index finger.

Not all roads are even and smooth. That’s why Retrospec equipped this bike with the Zoom front suspension fork to take care of the bumps, cracks, and obstacles in the road.

Like most Retrospec bikes, like the Retrospec Mantra V2 Urban Commuter Bike, the Retrospec Critical Cycles Barron Hybrid Bike 21 Speed has linear pull brakes. This ensures you have good stopping power and a finer degree of control over braking.

Kenda Kwest Tires, 700x32c

The narrow tires have semi-slick tread with dependable grooves for water dispersion, providing good traction even in wet conditions. The 700c wheels are double walled for strength and have machine braking surfaces to keep them true (perfectly straight and round) and for smooth braking.

Technical Details

  • Bottom bracket: Sealed cartridge style
  • Brakes: Aluminum linear pull brakes
  • Chain: KMC Z50 114L
  • Dropout: Vertical
  • Handlebars: Aluminum, 580mm x 25.4mm, 35mm rise
  • Frame: 6061 Aluminum Frame
  • Pedals: 9/16” hi-impact resin pedals
  • Rims: Aluminum 700c double wall rims with machine braking surface
  • Saddle: Critical Cycles ergonomic saddle
  • Stem: Adjustable alloy quill
  • Available colors: Graphite with orange accents
  • Weight: 36 lbs
  • Maximum load capacity: 250 lbs
  • Tools included: Allen wrenches and flat multi-wrench

The Good

An Affordable Option for Daily City Riding

The Retrospec Critical Cycles Barron Hybrid Bike 21 Speed is a great 21-speed bike for the low price. The shifters and gears shift smoothly. The front suspension fork does what it’s supposed to do. And, the brakes are responsive. Overall, this will make your city commutes enjoyable, efficient, and fast.

Lets You Go Back to Exercising

Are you a beginner who wants to do cycling for fitness?

Did you suffer from an injury and are looking forward to going back to doing cardio?

If you said yes to any of these questions, the Barron is a great bike for the job. But if you’re looking for a bike that’s specifically designed for fitness and costs under $500, you have plenty of options out there, just like the Raleigh Bikes Cadent 1 Fitness Hybrid Bike.

Relatively Easy to Put Together

Depending on your mechanical skill level, you can assemble this within half an hour to an hour. All that are left to assemble to complete the bike are the front tire, saddle, and handlebars. The instructions are clear, so we don’t think you’re going to have a hard time with the assembly.

Explore your city, commute daily to work, or climb up hills with ease with the Retrospec Critical Cycles Barron Hybrid Bike 21 Speed.

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The Bad

Not for Off-Road Riding

Hybrid bikes are generally not meant for riding on rough roads. However, Retrospec marketed the Barron as a bike that’s fit for different road and weather conditions, from paved roads to bike trails. With its narrow tires, we won’t recommend riding this bike on dirt roads, a soft grassy terrain, or gravel roads.

Makes Weird Noises

The gears in particular are producing weird noises when shifting to from one gear to another. This seems to be an isolated case and may go away as you keep using the bike. If it doesn’t, a trip to your local bike shop might solve the problem.

Some Components Could be Better

The Retrospec Critical Cycles Barron Hybrid Bike 21 Speed isn’t a terrible bike. There are just a few components that you might want to replace to make it more comfortable, such as the saddle.

The pedals and grips could be too small for you. The grips are just around three inches long beyond the gear shifter.

Who Is It For?

Students could use the Barron for traveling to and from their home or dorm or enjoy a relaxing ride around their campus. Those who want to get fit could use it to perform good cardio. Need a reliable bike for your daily commutes to work? This could be a good option.

Conclusion

The Retrospec Critical Cycles Barron Hybrid Bike 21 Speed is not as cheap as the Retrospec Critical Cycles Parker City Bike, but it offers the best value for the price. All the components are functional, although some are not as comfortable as expected. Based on customer feedback, it seems to be durable and could offer years of service (with proper maintenance).

Quality components and comfortable rides—the Retrospec Critical Cycles Barron Hybrid Bike 21 Speed offers these and more.

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