Nothing is funnier than a single-speed or fixie when it comes to urban commuting, and that’s where Retrospec triumphs. Formerly Critical Bicycles, Retrospec targets urban commuters with its long-range of single-speed and fixed-gear bikes. But are Retrospec bikes good?
Retrospec bikes are good because they are simple in design, durable, portable, comfortable, versatile, easy to fit, and pretty affordable. So, they prove to be good value and a worthy investment for urban commuters.
The only issues are that they are not performance-oriented and only have a few geared options, making them less ideal for out-of-town riding. But other than that, there’s little to grumble about the LA bike brand.
Let’s review the good and the bad that come with Retrospec to help you decide if this urban bike brand is worth a thought. But first, let’s go through the brand overview.
In a rush? Check out my most recommended Retrospec bicycles on the hotlist below!
4 Best Retrospec Bikes On The Market
- Critical Cycles Parker’s City Bike: Best Retrospec City Bike
- Retrospec Fixie Beta Series Skunk: Best Retrospec Road Bike
- Retrospec Cub Kids’ Balance Bike: Best Retrospec Balance Bike
- Retrospec Children’s-Bicycles Koda: Best Retrospec Kids’ Bike
Retrospec Brand Overview
Retrospec is a bike manufacturer and brand headquartered in Los Angeles, California. The company was founded in 2009 originally as Critical Cycles.
Retrospec specializes in single-speed and fixed-gear bikes but has a few geared options, including hybrid bikes, MTBs, beach cruisers, and e-bikes.
While the company focuses more on adults, they have a dedicated youths/kids’ line where they stock everything from balance bikes to pedal kids’ bikes.
While the company sells through retailers like Amazon, it mainly does it via the direct-to-customer model, making its bikes affordable. Most of its bikes retail under $550.
Overall, Retrospec is a good choice for those looking for a commuting, recreational, or urban fitness bike on a budget.
7 Reasons Retrospec Bikes Are Good
1. Simple in Design
Retrospec fixie bikes and single-speeds s are all about simplicity. They have a low profile, and you can tell from the manufacturer favoritisms of single-speed drivetrains. That is quite understandable given how easy a single-speed drivetrain is to maintain.
The frame, wheels, and brakes are also low profile and generally cheaper to maintain. These cycles also have a minimal cable routing design.
2. Durable in Construction
Retrospec employs strong frame materials like steel and aluminum to make its bikes. While these materials are irrefutably strong, the best part is that the manufacturer hand-builds all its cycles.
So, they pay attention to every detail in the manufacturing process to guarantee more robust and more durable bikes.
3. Portable Choices
The manufacturer targets urban commuters and recreational city riders. For that reason, they make their bikes as easy to carry and push around as possible.
For starters, these bikes are pretty lightweight, thus portable. Some like the folding options allow you to collapse their frames and carry them easily on the go.
That’s another area the manufacturer demonstrates portability.
4. Comfortable to Ride
Retrospec bicycles are not just simple in design, but they are equally comfortable to ride. Their frame geometries are rider-friendly, and you can tell from their upright riding positioning.
On the other hand, the seats come wide enough and have adequate cushioning to relieve your butt. Moreover, most of them even feature ergonomic hand grips to protect your back.
5. Versatile in Use
Provided you want to ride on urban roads, there is no place you cannot go with a Retrospec bicycle. These bikes can be your commuter bike, fitness bicycle, or just an around-town cruiser.
You can even race with most of these bikes, though not competitively.
6. Easy to Fit
Retrospec bicycles are among the easiest to fit. That is one area where Retrospec vs Public bikes are inseparable. Since most of its bikes are single-speed or fixed-gear, below is a table to use to find your match:
|Rider’s Height||Frame Size|
7. Affordable Bikes
Retrospec is generally a budget bike brand. All its bikes are reasonably priced. For example, you can get most Retrospec adult bikes for $350-$550 and kids’ options for $79.99-$200.00.
It is only Retro electric options that cost at least $1,299.99. But overall, if you are on a budget and want a low-cost bike, you cannot go wrong with Retrospec.
In the face of the numerous good things that Retrospec promises, they suffer a few drawbacks, which include:
- Fewer geared options – Sadly, Retrospec concentrates more on making single-speed and fixed gear bikes. They only make a few geared options, which is quite a shame for multi-speed fans.
- Not best for around-town riding – It’s generally hard to ride out of town with a Retrospec bike, but that is what you get most from its brand. Other than the hybrid and MTBs, which are fewer, the other bikes are uncomfortable to ride out of town.
- Not performance oriented – Overall, Retrospec is not performance-tailored. They are only casual choices, thus not best for competitions.
Retrospec Bikes Types Review
Retrospec currently stocks these bike categories:
- City bikes
- Beach cruisers
- Road bikes
- Mountain bikes
- Folding bikes
- Hybrid bikes
- Kids/youth bikes
- Electric bikes
Let’s review them!
1. Are Retrospec City Bikes Good?
City riding is fun with the most lightweight, most accessible, and most comfortable bike, and that’s what Retrospec single-speed city bikes promise. These bikes feature lightweight step-thru frames, leather saddles, and grips to promise the best riding experience.
Overall, no bike illustrates that better than the Critical Cycles Parker’s City Bike.
Its step-thru frame allows you to easily access it as its simple pedals make the pedaling seamless. The bike has a minimal cabling design for easy maintenance.
2. Are Retrospec Beach Cruisers Good?
Retrospec cruiser bicycles are the ultimate choice for riding around the neighborhood. These bikes come with an upright handlebar that keeps your head high when cycling, thus making them very comfortable.
Their large balloon tires roll smoothly on paved roads and beach surfaces, while their single-speed drivetrain promises smooth pedaling. That is the case with the Retrospec Chatham Beach Cruiser.
This classic-style beach cruiser offers you lots of customization and comfort to promise a funnier and more comfortable around-town adventure.
3. Are Retrospec Road Bikes Good?
Retrospec makes a lot of single-speed road bikes, which is relatively uncommon. The bikes are not the speediest, but they offer more comfort.
They come with comfortable frames, seats, and grips, which is uncharacteristic of road bikes, making them good commuters.
One perfect example is the Retrospec Fixie Beta Series Skunk. This fixed-gear Retrospec road bike comes with rubber grips, toe-cage pedals, and dual-suspension, making it more comfortable than most fixies and road bikes.
4. Are Retrospec Mountain Bikes Good?
Retrospec is not a bigger hitter in the mountain bike sector, but that doesn’t mean its MTBs are low quality. No! they are pretty decent.
The bikes may not be performance-oriented, but they are fantastic for those who want casual, all-terrain rides. One bike that promises that is the Ascent 27.5″ Mountain Bike.
This Retrospec mountain bike comes trail-ready. You can tell from its ground-gripping tires, responsive mechanical disc brakes, 21-speed Shimano drivetrain, and shock-soaking suspension.
5. Are Retrospec Folding Bikes Good?
Retrospec folding bicycles make commuting seamless and comfortable. These readily-portable engines collapse in seconds and enjoy a lightweight frame for easy carrying on the go.
They accommodate a variety of riders, including kids, and can fit in tighter spaces. One fantastic choice is the Retrospec Bicycles Speck Folding Bicycle.
Its single-speed drivetrain and coaster brakes make it easy to ride on-road, while its foldable lightweight frame makes it readily portable.
The bike suits riders under 240lbs and about 4’8″ – 6’6″ tall.
6. Are Retrospec Hybrid Bikes Good?
Retrospec hybrid bicycles perfectly combine the good attributes of Retrospec MTBs and road bikes. So, they promise the best of both worlds, including all-terrain cycling, fast-riding, comfort, and smooth shifting.
There is no better reference point than the Critical Cycles Barron Hybrid Bike. Its 700c wheels make it fast on-road, while its semi-slick Kenda tires allow you to take on varying terrains.
You can count on its robust suspension fork for better handling and comfort, and the same goes for its upright handlebars and comfort saddles.
7. Are Retrospec Kids Bikes Good?
Retrospec kids’ bikes are good for kids at any age. Toddlers and young kids below five years can go for the fantastic bikes, where an option like Retrospec Cub Kids’ Balance Bike sets the bar.
It’s a fantastic beginner bike for timid kids who want to transition from Retrospec balance bikes to pedal kids’ bikes. And while speaking of pedal kids’ bikes.
There cannot be a better reference than the Retrospec Children’s-Bicycles Koda. It’s available in 12-inch, 16-inch, and 20-inch wheels to suit a variety of kids.
8. Are Retrospec Electric Bikes Good?
Retrospec makes a variety of electric bikes such as the city e-bike, fat tire, cruiser e-bikes, and folding e-bikes. So, if you want to go faster on a city bike, fat bike, cruiser bike, or folding bike, the secret is to get its motorized option, and Retrospec has so much to offer.
The best part is that they are comfortable to ride, reliable, and vital to prove value for money.
People Also Ask
1. Is Retrospec Good Brand?
Retrospec proves that low price doesn’t always imply low quality. Its budget single-speed and fixed-gear urban bike are durable, comfortable, easy to ride, versatile, and cheaper to maintain, making it a good brand.
2. Where Are Retrospec Bikes Made?
Retrospec makes most of its bikes in China. The company, however, designs them at their Los Angeles headquarters.
3. Who Owns Retrospec?
Retrospec Bicycles, the company behind Retrospec bikes, is owned by its founder and present CEO, Ely Khaksouri.
4. Is Retrospec Mantra a Good Bike?
Retrospec Mantra is among Retrospec’s most famous urban bikes. It’s affordable, fun to ride, durable, and easy to maintain. Moreover, it’s versatile as you can use it for commuting, fitness cycling, and around-town cruising. So, yes, Retrospec Mantra is a good bike.
Are Retrospec Bikes Good? Closing Thought:
Retrospec bikes may be budget bikes, but there is nothing low quality about them. They are firm and comfortable to ride, versatile on the streets, durable in build, and simple, thus easier to maintain. So, for what you pay, these bikes are pretty good.