Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike Review

What is a hybrid bike? Hybrid bikes combine the key characteristics of mountain bikes and road bikes, which results in a general-purpose, “hybrid” bike.

Retrospec bikes are designed and tested in California, USA. They’re known for their bicycles with vintage-inspired designs. One of which is the Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike.

If you’re a female rider who’s looking for a no-frills and affordable commuter bike, read on to find out more about the Retrospec Venus. It might be just what you need.

Features and Specifications

UrbanComfort Step-Over Frame

The frame of the Venus-1 features a curved top tube that’s angled downwards to create a lower standover height. This means you can comfortably get on or off the bike, regardless of what you’re wearing.

The hand-built frame is TIG-welded for extra strength at the joints. Like most Retrospec bikes, it’s made of high-tensile steel for dependability, shock absorption, and durability through time.

Together with the cruiser handlebars, the shape of the frame encourages an upright riding position. This type of body position on the bike reduces discomfort in your lower back, shoulders, and wrists.

Freewheel Drivetrain

A single-speed bike like the Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike has no problems going fast on flat, paved roads. Since it has a freewheel mechanism on it—meaning, it can coast—you can stop pedaling and give your legs a rest. And, if you know how to use its coasting ability right, going up or down light hills could be a little easier, faster, and overall safer.

If you want to go fixed-gear and freewheel riding using the same bike, the Venus-1 is not for you. But, the Retrospec Mantra V2 Urban Commuter Bike might just be what you’re looking for.

Dual Caliper Brakes

Like the Retrospec Critical Cycles Barron 21 Speed Lady’s Hybrid Bike, the Venus-1 has caliper brakes on both the front and rear wheels. With two brakes in place, you’ll have better control over your speed and stopping power. And, more control means improved safety.

Kenda Kwest Gumwall Tires

The Kenda Kwest commuter tires on this bike are 700 (around 29 inches) x 32c. These tires feature a unique treat pattern that allows water to flow through the grooves. This results in better grip on the ground. Plus, there’s an added material under the tread that offers extra puncture resistance.

Accessories

The Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike comes with the following accessories:

  • Chainguard
  • Center-mount kickstand
  • Mid-century bell
  • Vintage bullet-head headlight (chromed plastic)
  • Metal fenders
  • Rear rack
  • Tools for assembling the bike

Available Sizes

Small/Medium

  • Frame size: 38 cm
  • Standover height: 27 in.
  • Height range: 5’4” and under

Medium/Large

  • Frame size: 44 cm
  • Standover height: 29.5 in.
  • Height range: 5’5” and above

Technical Details

  • Brake and lever: Alloy front and rear caliper brakes and alloy four-finger lever
  • Frame: Hand-built, step-over, high-tensile strength steel frame with fender braze-ons
  • Fork: Hand-built, classic urban fork
  • Handlebar and grips: Alloy riser city bars (620 mm, 60 mm rise, 15-degree sweep, 25.4 center) and brown rubber grips
  • Pedals: Urban alloy pedals, 9/16-inch
  • Rims: 700c Stars double-wall, alloy rims with 30 mm eyelets, 32H (holes), and machined sidewall
  • Saddle: Classic brown saddle covered in synthetic leather
  • Seatpost: Alloy, adjustable seatpost, 25.4 x 300 mm
  • Seat clamp: Alloy, 28.6 mm
  • Stem: Alloy, 1-inch quill stem, 30-degree rise, 25.5 clamp
  • Tires: Kenda Kwest Black Gumwall tires, 700 x 32c
  • Maximum load capacity: 220-250 lbs

The Good

Less Exhausting Rides

A freewheel bike like the Venus-1 isn’t the best choice for a fitness bike. (You’d want a fixed-gear bike if you’re looking for a great workout.)

However, if you want to have the opportunity to stop pedaling, coast, and have more energy for those longer rides, this would work perfectly for you. You could use this to get to work, parties, or other occasions that you don’t want to be a sweaty mess.

Great Style and Rides Well

It’s simply beautiful. The style of this bike is reminiscent of 1950s or 1960s step-over bikes, which are truly charming.

The single-speed version of the Retrospec Venus is available in three colors (black, cream, and coral) to match your outfits and unique personal taste.

Not a High-Maintenance Bike

This bike doesn’t have a lot of moving parts that you need to regularly lube or adjust compared to multiple-geared bikes, like the Retrospec Critical Cycles Barron Hybrid Bike 21 Speed. Although you might need to clean and polish it to prevent rust from forming. But the good thing about steel frames is they’re known for their longevity and reliability.

Jet to work or cruise around the city with the Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike. Click here to know more.

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The Bad

Needs a Professional to Assemble It

The Venus-1 doesn’t come with assembly instructions. If you have knowledge of basic bike repairs, you can put this together relatively easy. However, Retrospec and other customers strongly recommend to have a professional assemble it.

Note: This bike is 85% assembled.

Heavy and Cumbersome

The Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike is quite heavy, but not too heavy that you can’t easily carry it with both your hands. The tires are also large, which makes the bike heavier and a bit difficult to fit into a regular bike rack.

For some customers, they really don’t care about its weight. They’re still happy with this bike because it feels great to ride and looks really good.

Needs a Better Seat

This is generally a comfortable bike, but it’s not fit for a long, serious bike riding. The seat is just too uncomfortable. (This isn’t really a surprised. The seat that comes with the bike is usually the first thing people replace because it’s not the most comfortable.)

Who Is It For?

Elderly people, women, people with mobility issues, or even men could benefit from the step-over frame of the Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike. New riders could start with a single-speed freewheel bike, like the Venus-1, before upgrading to a fixed-gear bike.

Conclusion

We don’t think this is the type of bike that’s going to give years of service. If you’re looking for that type of step-through bike, be prepared to spend more on a higher end model.

Overall, the Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike is a good budget bike, but with a few minor issues. It’s well-built, comfortable (for short-distance trips), stylish, easy to use and maintain, and gives great rides around the city or town with paved surfaces.

Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike—it’s definitely a bike built for enjoying the ride in style. Click here to know more.

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