Retrospec Mantra V2 Urban Commuter Hybrid Bike Review

The Retrospec Mantra V2 Urban Commuter Bike is part of Retrospec’s next generation of entry-level, fixie/single-speed bicycles. With fewer distractions and extra degree of control, you can go out there and truly enjoy your rides.

Should you give this a chance or keep searching for the best hybrid bikes for women and men? Read on to find out.

Features and Specifications

‘UrbanComfort’ Diamond Frame

The Retrospec Mantra V2 has a steel frame that’s capable of supporting up to 250 pounds of rider weight. It has TIG-welded joints, which are strong and aesthetically pleasing.

The diamond-shaped frame may not be female-friendly (difficult to lift leg over the top tube), but it’s becoming more popular with women who want to deviate from the norm. This type of frame design is suitable for urban riding. Not to mention, its sporty, retro design is eye-catching.

Equipped with an alloy riser handlebar with Kraton rubber grips, you can enjoy your rides while being seated firmly and comfortably on a classic brown saddle. This bike can also barspin, while making sure you won’t hit your foot while turning the front wheel.

Double-Sided Hubs with Freewheel and Fixed Cog

The Retrospec Mantra V2 Urban Commuter Bike has a double-sided hub, also called a flip-flop hub. In that way, you can use the bike as a fixie or a single-speed, depending on your riding style.

What’s the major difference between a single-speed bike and a fixie?

For those who don’t know, a fixie or fixed-gear bike is direct drive. Meaning, when you pedal forward, the wheels also roll forward. This eliminates the need for brakes because you can use your legs to stop or slow down the bike.

Meanwhile, a single-speed bicycle uses a rear flip-flop hub or double-sided hub, which lets you switch between fixed-gear and single-speed. A fixed gear allows riders to stop pedaling and freely coast, thus requiring brakes. (The Retrospec Mantra V2 has front and rear V-brakes from Promax.)

Kenda Commuter Tires and Super Deep-V Rims

The bike has Kenda Kwest commuter tires (700 x 25c) with deep grooves for water dispersion. Whether you’re riding on dry or wet pavement, these tires offer more traction and good grip on the road for controlled and smooth rides.

Like the Retrospec Critical Cycles Parker City Bike, this bike is fitted with double-walled rims with a deep section. The deep section provides strength and creates less drag.

Available Frame Sizes

Extra Small

  • Frame size: 43 cm
  • Standover height: 30.5 in.
  • Height range: 4’9”-5’2”

Small

  • Frame size: 49 cm
  • Standover height: 31 in.
  • Height range: 5’2”-5’6”

Medium

  • Frame size: 53 cm
  • Standover height: 32.5 in.
  • Height range: 5’6”-5’9”

Large

  • Frame size: 57 cm
  • Standover height: 33.5 in.
  • Height range: 5’9”-6’

Extra Large

  • Frame size: 60 cm
  • Standover height: 35 in.
  • Height range: 6’+

Technical Details

  • Bottom bracket: Neco sealed cartridge bearing
  • Brakes: Alloy Promax Radius Lever V-Brakes
  • Crank: Forged alloy, 3-piece 165 mm crank arms, 46T (teeth)
  • Fork: TIG-welded, 1 1/8 in, threadless fork, 45-degree rake
  • Frame: Hand-built, TIG-welded steel frame
  • Grips: Kraton rubber grips, brown
  • Handlebar: 25.4*520 mm alloy riser bar
  • Hub front: Retrospec sealed cartridge bearing
  • Hub rear: Retrospec hub with a sealed cartridge bearing flip-flop hub and 16T fixed gear and freewheel
  • Pedals: VP Components Freestyle
  • Rims: 43 mm Stars super deep-V rims with machined braking surface and stainless-steel spokes
  • Seatpost: 25.4 seatpost with alloy integrated seatpost clamp
  • Stem: Promax alloy 90 mm stem
  • Tires: Kenda Kwest Black Gumwall 700 x 25c
  • Maximum load capacity: 250 lbs
  • Weight: Approximately 30 lbs (or less)

The Good

Worth More Than Its Price

There are conflicting opinions about this. However, for most people, they seem to be satisfied with its quality and performance for the price.

The frame feels solid and has clean welds. The wheels with deep-V rims are true and strong. And, the gears are perfect for riding around cities or towns. Depending on your riding style and how you care for it, this bike could offer years of service.

Can Withstand Rough Use and Harsh Weather

It’s made of steel, which is known for its strength and ability to remain serviceable even with dents, dings, and scratches. Steel frames do rust, but with this bike, some customers say it retains its structural integrity despite being exposed to harsh weather elements, like rain.

A Low-Maintenance Bike

You probably have to lubricate or clean a few components, particularly the chain, once in a while. The chain could need a little tightening by moving the back wheel. But, overall, it’s a low maintenance bike.

Enjoy the benefits of a fixie and single-speed in one affordable bike. Check out the Retrospec Mantra V2 Urban Commuter Bike today!

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The Bad

Get a Stem Riser or Adjustable Stem

The geometry of the Retrospec Mantra V2 Urban Commuter Bike is designed for a low, aggressive riding position. If you prefer a more relaxed, upright position, you might want to buy a stem riser or an adjustable stem.

Or, you could check other Retrospec bicycles that suit your preferred riding position. The Retrospec Critical Cycles Parker Step-Thru City Bike with Coaster Brake doesn’t only allow an upright riding position, but it also makes it easy to mount and dismount.

A Few Disappointing Components

The brake pad, pedals, and rubber handlebar aren’t exactly impressive and may need to be replaced. But, other than those, this bike has good quality components that serve their purpose.

Fenders are Hard to Install

The front wheel has a fender braze-on, but the rear wheel doesn’t. You might want to bring your Mantra V2 to a professional bike mechanic. You could also save yourself the headache by buying a commuter bike that already comes with fenders, like the Retrospec Mars Hybrid City Commuter Bike.

Who Is It For?

The Retrospec Mantra V2 Urban Commuter Bike is for people who want to try riding a fixie, but don’t to spend big on a fixie with suspension fork or better components. Hobby cyclists, recreational bicycle riders, and daily commuters could also use this to cruise around areas with almost no hills.

Conclusion

Most people find the Retrospec Mantra V2 Urban Commuter Bike as a road-worthy commuter bike for a budget-friendly price. With just a few upgrades and tweaking, you’ve got a bike that could offer years of service. In general, it’s a fun and decent bike for a good price.

Looking for comfortable, smooth, and effortless bike rides? The Retrospec Mantra V2 Urban Commuter Bike might be for you. Check it out here.

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