Critical Cycles Review, History, And Buying Advice

Bike rides are such a great outdoor activity. You can jump on your bike and take a leisurely ride and enjoy the air and the scene around you. You can also amp up your ride and turn it into a hearty workout.

Whether you ride for fun or you use your bicycle as a means to travel to work or other activities, it’s essential to get the perfect bike for your needs. In this Critical Cycles review, the top 5 critical cycle bike options will be discussed in detail.

Additionally, you will find information that thoroughly discusses various features of Critical Cycles and will act as a guide for your buying needs.

Look no further than right here for all of the best information related to the Critical Cycles and the informative buying guide you need to get started.

Critical carries several bike models to choose from, with one of the most powerful being the Critical Cycles Dutch Style Step-Thru 1-Speed Bike. This bike comes with cream or coral color, lightweight hand-built step-thru steel frame, and front and rear fenders.

Critical Cycles History

Critical Cycles is now known as Retrospec. The company was started in 2009 by Ely Alexander. Ely’s goal was to create quality, affordable bikes using a variety of parts together to create a unique style and design.

Ely originally sold his bikes through various stores around town, leaving one bike at a time per store. He quickly reverted to his warehouse but had several shops still pick up bikes to display and sell for him.

One of the unique things about Retrospec is that it has constantly evolved alongside Ely. He set up shop to meet needs that were similar to his own, but as he has changed and grown, so has his shop. His priority remains to provide high quality at great prices.

Critical Cycles is located in Los Angeles, California. Critical Cycles sell directly to their customers, building bikes using the very best parts which they select personally for each bike.

This company designs various bikes, offering a variety of makes that are made for a multitude of tasks. Their selection of bikes includes beach cruisers, city commuting, exercise, leisure riding, and more.

The bikes ship to you and require minimal assembly upon receipt. When you get your bike, it should take less than thirty minutes for you to piece it together. The majority of the bike will already be completed. Tools are also provided for your assembly process.

Critical bikes are available to purchase online. Their bikes are built to be high-quality riding machines without breaking the bank.

Critical Cycles Review

Bike Name

Speed

Frame Material

Price

Critical Cycles Dutch Style Step-Thru 1-Speed Bike

1

Steel

Critical Cycles Beaumont-7 Seven Speed Lady's Urban City Commuter Bike

7

Steel

Critical Cycles Chatham Men's Beach Cruiser

1

Steel

Critical Cycles Diamond Frame 1-Speed Hybrid Urban Commuter Road Bicycle

1

Steel

Retrospec Critical Cycles Barron Hybrid Bike

21

Aluminum

In the following list, you will find the top 5 best-selling options, including full-disclosure informative reviews of each cycle.

1. Critical Cycles Dutch Style Step-Thru 1-Speed Bike

Critical Cycles Dutch Style Step-Thru 1-Speed Bike

The Critical Cycles Dutch Style Step-Thru bike has an old-timey feel with cream color or coral color options. The color varies depending on which size (38,44) you prefer for your bike. This bike was designed to act like a typical commuter bike for women.

A unique factor about this bike is while it was specifically designed primarily as a commuting bike; it contains hybrid factors that allow it to cross into other purposes within reason. It is structured with all-terrain tires for a smooth ride for whatever you might encounter.

This bike is a single-speed bike that brakes through a coaster foot brake method. The style of the bike gives it a retro appearance while offering premium quality for the price point. The bike even includes the bell, fenders, and luggage rack.

This bike is not built for long-distance rides. It is made for short to medium-length commuter options with primarily flat surfaces as well as small hills.

Pros

  • The lightweight steel frame with step-thru build makes this bike easy on and off and comfortable to ride for your commute.
  • Includes fun retro add-ons such as fenders, wheels to match frame color, luggage rack on the rear, and headlamp.
  • Fully-functional with hybrid tires to perform on your ever-changing commuter terrain.
  • Two sizes (38, 44) are available with a chart for size recommendation based on height.
  • The bike is designed for durability and long-term use.

Cons

  • It requires minor assembly that should be simple to complete but can be taken to a bike shop for professional assembly results.
  • Bike emits a rattling noise despite tightened nuts and bolts.
  • Some of the assembly hardware is cheaply made and not heavily reliable. May need to upgrade parts.

This commuter bike is an ideal commuter bike with a reasonable price point. As we have seen with several of the Critical Cycles explanations, it appears that some of the assembly parts are not high quality, but this is an inexpensive fix if you’re willing to upgrade those parts.

2. Critical Cycles Beaumont-7 Seven Speed Lady's Urban City Commuter Bike

Critical Cycles Beaumont-7 Seven Speed Lady's Urban City Commuter Bike

The Critical Cycles Beaumont 7-Speed Commuter bike is one of the ideal commuter bikes with an ideal price tag attached. The Critical Cycles Beaumont review revealed that this bike might be the winner if you’re looking for the primary commuting option.

The frame of this bike is midnight green in color, and it is a 38cm bike. The frame is made of durable steel that places the bike in an upright design perfect for enjoyable riding, commuting, or exercise purposes.

This bike is designed with a 7-speed drivetrain that has twisting shifts in the handlebars for simple control over your shifting needs.

Again, this bike has multiple retro aspects that make it fun and comfortable. Additionally, because it is a 7-speed, it incorporates hand brakes and the shifter capacities into the handlebars.

Pros

  • Brakes are front and rear linear capacity to allow precision and control over your ride.
  • The tires perform with ultimate grip for smooth riding.
  • The frame is lightweight with a step-thru style design to make mounting and riding leisurely and comfortable.
  • Includes a thick and sturdy rear rack for transporting your work supplies as necessary.
  • Great overall look and feel with an affordable price tag attached.

Cons

  • As seems to be common across the board, some of the assembly parts are not premium quality.
  • The wheels seem to wear out much too quickly for commuter riding.
  • Frame and primary parts of the bike are inconsistent.

This bike is certain to catch your attention with the commuter title and the Critical Cycles Beaumont information. Unfortunately, it seems like this might be a scenario where “you get what you pay for.”

This bike looks great with a fun retro style, but the parts are subpar in comparison to other Critical Cycles bikes on the market. If you are looking for a commuter bike, we recommend the Dutch style for a higher-quality alternative.

3. Critical Cycles Chatham Men's Beach Cruiser

Critical Cycles Chatham Men's Beach Cruiser

The Critical Cycles Chatham Men’s Beach Cruiser is our top pick. This cycle is ideally designed to be used for cruising style, hence the title “beach cruiser.” The frame and tires of this bike include an orange and matte graphite color scheme that is appealing to the eye.

This cycle is built with classic steel pieces, wide tires, and a wide seat to offer a comfortable and easy riding experience. This is a budget-friendly steal. Unfortunately, the hardware included for assembly appears to have inconstant quality.

The design of the Chatham beach cruiser includes 26-inch wheels that are wide, providing a smooth and easy ride great for leisure riding.

This cycle is a 1-speed that includes a foot brake and kickstand. The Chatham Men’s cycle is also available in silver and matte black in a 7-speed option. The size of this beach cruiser is versatile for many individuals, both short and tall.

Pros

  • Equipped with a steel frame to provide ultimate shock absorption.
  • The handles have soft foam grips for comfortable riding.
  • Built with quality materials intended to provide many years of enjoyable cruising.
  • Simple to use with foot brakes, single-speed, and a convenient kickstand.
  • Handlebars are positioned for ultimate comfort while riding.

Cons

  • Some of the hardware is inconsistent in quality, leading to broken or stripped pieces.
  • Only one size is available. The size is versatile for many heights but could limit who might be able to ride comfortably.
  • The handgrips do not always fit tightly on the handlebars, causing them to slide at times while in use.

Overall, this bike offers the best bang for the buck if you want a simple cruiser option. It has a sleek look with a high-quality build. While some of the assembly products were not consistent, these are a simple and easy replacement if needed.

4. Critical Cycles Diamond Frame 1-Speed Hybrid Urban Commuter Road Bicycle

Critical Cycles Diamond Frame 1-Speed Hybrid Urban Commuter Road Bicycle

The Critical Cycles Diamond Frame Hybrid bike is another great commuter option. This hybrid commuter has all of the comfort and grace for a commuter with the hybrid tires to provide ease through your commuter terrains.

This bike has a green racing color and some of the retro-style features that are enjoyable on a commuter bike, such as tire fenders, a rack, and a bell. This Critical Cycles fixie review your affordable commuter with quality products.

Given a choice between the Diamond Frame Hybrid Commuter bike and the Dutch Style Hybrid commuter bike, we found that the Dutch are the preferred commuter bike option. It has a more leisurely build to it. However, both bikes are of comparable quality.

This bike is called the Diamond because of the Diamond steel that is used on the frame. This gives the frame an upright design and the ability to remain light and simple to operate.

Pros

  • Built with Kenda Kwest hybrid tires for easy commuting even through rough or uneven terrain.
  • Designed for simple use with a single-speed drivetrain and coaster brake that make your commute a leisurely ride.
  • Enhanced with retro-style add-ons like the headlamp, tire fenders, bell, and rear rack.
  • Ideal for commuting, leisure riding, or even exercise with a durable and lightweight frame.
  • Available in small/medium or medium/large frame size based on a chart recommendation that is specified by height.

Cons

  • The bike requires simple final assembly steps, but for best results, you might want to have it assembled at a bike shop.
  • The frame is highly susceptible to scratching, which may take away from your overall look.
  • Some of the assembly pieces, such as the nuts and bolts, are of poor quality and should be replaced with higher quality parts.

This commuter bike appears to be a great affordable option for your everyday commute. It has a retro style that makes the bike enjoyable. We recommend that you consider spending a few extra dollars to purchase premium assembly parts as the ones provided seem to be inconsistent.

5. Retrospec Critical Cycles Barron Hybrid Bike

Retrospec Critical Cycles Barron Hybrid Bike

The Retrospec Critical Cycles Barron Hybrid bike is one of the more expensive models listed in the Critical Cycles review but is still a great buy for your all-terrain style cycle needs. This bike was designed with all sorts of riding in mind.

This Barron hybrid bike was built with an aluminum frame that is lightweight but will hold up against various terrain types. The tires are Kenda Kwest and chosen for their ability to perform in all weather types and rough terrains, but also to work well on your everyday commute if needed.

There is no need to worry about a bumpy ride when you’re off in the rough terrain, the zoom suspension included in this model was chosen specifically to provide comfort and control no matter where you are riding.

The initial build of the bike is fairly basic to keep it to a reasonable price point. You may need to add upgrades to fit your personal preferences, but you can do so in your own timing and at your budget.

Pros

  • It is Built with 6061 aluminum to provide a durable and lightweight frame.
  • The tires are designed with semi-slick tread and water grooves for ultimate riding experiences on various terrains.
  • The gear shift components are Shimano Tourney 21-speed and are easy to shift and manage.
  • Upright handlebar design for comfortable riding.
  • Equipped with ergonomically designed brake levers to make all aspects of the ride simple and comfortable.

Cons

  • Many of the small parts (nuts and bolts) are not superior quality and therefore, may need to be upgraded.
  • Requires assembly which is simple, but for the best assembly using a local bike shop is recommended.
  • The seat is covered with a vinyl material that is not high-quality. It tends to rip much too easily. Changing the seat might be a viable option with the purchase of this bike.

This bike offers a lot of great aspects to the price point. At the same time, consider that if you are looking for this bike to equal your $600 all-terrain bikes, you may be disappointed. This bike is superior quality for its price point, and you can upgrade as you see fit.

Top Features of Critical Cycles

As you peruse your Critical cycles information, it’s essential to be aware of some of the top features that Critical Cycles has to offer and just what of these features is important.

Critical Cycles Features

Frame

The frame is one of the most critical components of the bike. This is what ultimately holds the bike together and provides support for your ride. You want your frame to be durable and strong while also being lightweight. 

Critical Cycles understands that the frame must be exceptional, and they choose the material of the frame very carefully.

Size

Bikes are not typically one size fits all. There are certain sizes recommended for certain heights, and this can vary based on the bike design. Critical Cycles shares relevant height and size information with each bike on their site.

Some of their bikes are considered “one size fits most,” which will work for the average population. Others have differentiating factors and size charts. Pay attention to the bike size and look for a size chart to confirm you’re getting the right size of bike.

Brakes

Brakes are set up in two primary ways. Many cruisers and commuters bikes are equipped with foot coaster brakes that you peddle backward to activate.

Additionally, there are hand brakes that are attached to the handlebars, and you pull the lever to activate. Hand brakes can also be set up in various ways.

In selecting your brakes, take into consideration your riding purpose. If you are riding on all-terrain, you want to consider hand brakes. If you are commuting or riding for leisure, you can go with either type, but the foot coaster brakes are most common.

Speed

How fast do you want to go? Critical Cycles offers a variety of bikes with a variety of gears and speeds. It is common for commuter bikes to be single-speed design. However, they can have speed control.

The Beaumont listed in the buying guide is a good example of this. It is a 7-speed commuter bike.

Wheelset

Wheels are also not created equal. Specific purposes require specific wheels. You will notice that the Dutch and Diamond bikes are hybrid commuters. They have all-terrain tires but are designed to be commuter bikes.

All-terrain bikes that are made for extensive riding require special tires to handle the terrain effectively. You will notice that the Chatham Beach Cruiser has wide, smooth tires. This allows for a smooth cruise that does not expect rough terrain in the ride.

Seat

The seat of the bike is perhaps one of the most important pieces of the bike. Since you use the seat to support yourself throughout your ride, you want something comfortable and durable.

The seat could boil down to a matter of opinion. Seats are relatively simple to change, so if you don’t prefer the seat that comes with your bike, you can always upgrade or choose the one you like instead.

Price

Price is an important factor for most people. Not every bike rider can afford to go out and buy a bike that costs several hundred or even thousand dollars.

That is one of the best aspects of Critical Cycle bikes. They strive to provide high-quality bike options at a fraction of the cost to other bike competitors.

Which Factors are Important in Picking a Bike?

Ultimately, you want to select the best bike for your individual needs. There are various factors that are important to consider when it comes to picking out a bike. Here is a list of a few of the most important things you should be aware of.

  • What do you plan to use the bike for?
  • Size of bike
  • Frame material and durability
  • Price range
  • Type of wheels
  • Add-on features

There are several other factors that you may want to consider, such as type of brakes and the speeds available. Some of these factors may be narrowed down based on how you answer the first question in this list.

If you are looking for a commuter bike, consider that you may want hybrid tires that are capable of handling whatever terrain you may cross. However, you may feel as though that is not necessary and be able to save a little money in that regard.

A bike can get very pricy very quickly. Determine which features are most important to you and what your primary purpose for the bike is so that you can make an educated decision that will best suit your biking needs.

Every bike is made to be unique, and they typically cater to various needs. The most common bike is the commuter bike, as it can be used for leisure riding and exercise as well. However, it is not uncommon to seek out alternatives for beach cruisers and all-terrain type needs.

Single Speed Vs. Fixie: Which Is Better for You?

You might think that fixie bikes and single-speed bikes are the same, but they really are not. They are quite similar, but they do have some differences.

Fixie bikes have fixed rear wheels where the cog is attached to the hub. This means that the cog and the wheel directly affect each other.

A single-speed bike has what is considered freewheel. The rear cog does not attach to the hub, and therefore when you stop pedaling, the rear wheel continues to move.

The primary difference is that you can coast better on a single-speed bike than you can a fixie. If you were to try to coast and not peddle on the fixie bike, it could essentially lead to braking.

Tips: How to Increase Your Bike Durability

When we invest in a bike, we want it to be durable and last us a long time. Let’s face it bikes are not a cheap investment.

What steps can one take to increase the durability of their bike? The best way to increase the durability of your bike is to ensure it has the proper parts and accessories for your uses.

The wheels are an important factor in durability. You want quality wheels designed for your riding purposes.

Additionally, you want a bike with a strong and sturdy frame to ensure it can hold up against whatever your riding may bring you to.

Conclusion

This Critical Cycles review and buying guide are designed to provide you with pertinent information as well as a selection of the top Critical Cycle bikes available.

A common recommendation within the reviews was that you might need to consider purchasing better assembly pieces than what is provided. Many of those pieces broke much too easily. This is a simple and inexpensive fix.

As you may have determined, the style of bike and the features of the bike may vary based on your overall needs. It is also important to remember that you can upgrade various features of the bike as you discover things that you like in certain ways.

Robert Hallman
 

Robert is a sports enthusiast, writer, blogger & chief editor at Sportsly.NET. He hailed from Big Lake, Texas. He also loves to play all types of exotic games, test different kinds of sports gear.

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