Retrospec Critical Cycles Parker City Hybrid Bike Review

The Retrospec Critical Cycles Parker City Bike is one of your best examples of a no-frills bicycle, with only one gear ratio and no shifters or derailleurs to worry about. Riding this will quickly remind you why it’s fun to commute and explore your city.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the important features, the good sides, and the bad sides of this hybrid bike brand.

Features and Specifications

Retrospec Parker conveys simplicity in its construction. It’s stripped of cables and wires to give that clean, calming look. The classic and minimalist look of this bike will surely catch everyone’s attention.

Steel Track Bike Frame

The track frame of the Retrospec Critical Cycles Parker City Bike is set-up for aggressive urban riding. The upright angle of the frame allows better maneuvering and precise cornering. In addition, the mustache handlebars (backsweep) lets you put your hands in a more comfortable position for standing up and sprinting.

You do need a longer stem for this bike. You can easily buy a replacement, or if you prefer, you can pick other Retrospec bikes with better stem length and handlebar height, like the Retrospec Mars Hybrid City Commuter Bike.

Foot-Braking Power

With the KT coaster brake in place, you’ll have to rely on the power of your legs for precise and quick stopping. Just like the Retrospec Critical Cycles Parker Step-Thru City Bike with Coaster Brake, this bike has no brake levers and messy cables and wires.

A coaster brake hub has two main functions: stop the bike by pedaling backwards and rolling the bike without forcing its pedals to rotate.

If you want to swap the coaster brake with hand brakes, you can do that. You can keep the wheel with the coaster brake hub and place a front brake. You can also put other types of wheels.

Shimano Single-Speed Drivetrain

Your rides are easier and more enjoyable when things are kept as simple as possible. That’s exactly what you’ll experience when riding the Retrospec Critical Cycles Parker City Bike.

The Shimano single-speed drivetrain with 44 or 16 teeth works great on even paved roads and, with the right techniques, light hills. Combined with the Kenda Kwest commuter tires (700x32c), rides feel fast and comfortable.

Deep-V, Double Wall Wheels

Retrospec made sure the Parker hybrid bike are strong enough to support 220 pounds of weight and provide aerodynamic efficiency, thanks to its deep and double-walled rims. If you’re looking for a bike with a jack-of-all-trades rims, this is it.

Frame Size Options

Extra Small (XS)

  • Frame size: 43cm
  • Rider height: Below 4’10”

Small (S)

  • Frame size: 49cm
  • Rider height: 5’2”-5’6”

Medium (M)

  • Frame size: 53cm
  • Rider height: 5’3”-5’6”

Large (L)

  • Frame size: 57cm
  • Rider height: 5’9”-6”

Extra Large (XL)

  • Frame size: 61cm
  • Rider height: 6’3”-6’6”

Technical Details

  • Frame: Lightweight, hand-built, diamond-shaped, steel frame
  • Bottom bracket: Neco cartridge bottom bracket
  • Brakes: Rear coaster
  • Crankset: 48T alloy chainring
  • Handlebars: Promax Mustache
  • Headset: Neco 1/18-inch threadless headset
  • Pedals: 9/16-inch high-impact resin pedals
  • Saddle: Vegan leather saddle
  • Spokes: 32 spokes, front and rear wheels
  • Stem: Promax alloy
  • Rims: Alloy, deep-V, double wall rims, with 30mm depth
  • Tires: Kenda Kwest commuter tires, 700x32c
  • Colors available: Black and Ice Blue
  • Maximum load capacity: 220lbs

The Good

Easy Operation and Maintenance

It’s a single-speed bike, so it’s expected to be low maintenance, easy to use, lightweight, and affordable. You don’t have to worry about tricky gear combinations or moving parts that need regular maintenance. Although the old fashioned coaster brake and uniquely shaped handlebars might need some time to get to used to.

A Solid Bike for the Price

The welds of the steel frame has a good solid feel to it. The bike itself is able to hold up 220 pounds of rider weight (as advertised). The cranks, handlebar stem, seat post, and rims are also good.

The Gear Ratio is Just Right

A single-speed bike has its limitations, but if you’re only going to use it on a flat ground, you can’t go wrong with it. It can’t climb up steep hills, but it can handle slight inclines.

If you need more gears for the type of riding you do, you might want to upgrade to a seven-speed bike like the Retrospec Beaumont-7 Seven Speed Men’s Urban City Bike or a Retrospec bike with more gears.

Make your rides simple but enjoyable with the Retrospec Critical Cycles Parker City Bike.

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The Bad

A Bit on the Heavy Side

There’s no surprise here. Being heavy isn’t totally a deal breaker; but when a single-bike bike has more weight, it’s harder to control and requires more energy to pedal. It’s also less snappy.

Frame without Mounting Screws for Rack

The Retrospec Critical Cycles Parker City Bike lacks a rear rack. What’s more, it doesn’t come with attachment points that you normally find in some bikes. So, you might want to forget about this if your purpose of buying it is for hauling stuff, like your groceries.

Comfort and Quality Issues

There’s no question that this bike has a charming appeal. However, in rare instances, you might encounter a few issues with its components.

For instance, the saddle and handlebar grips can be more comfortable. The pedals are also a little flimsy. You might also need to tighten or grease a few components.

Who Is It For?

The Retrospec Critical Cycles Parker City Bike is for people who don’t mind riding a bike with a single gear because they’re only going ride on areas with mostly even and smooth roads, with occasional slight inclines (or no hills at all). If you want a bike that’s affordable, low maintenance, and easy to operate, this is for you.

Conclusion

The simple look of the bike is calming and appealing, especially for those into minimalist design. Most of the components are built well and function properly. For the low price, the Retrospec Critical Cycles Parker City Bike is a real bargain.

Brave the streets with the charming and reliable Retrospec Critical Cycles Parker City Bike. Check it out today!

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