The ladies' town bike is a particular type of bicycle for women. Town bikes differ from other bikes as they are purely intended for short-hop town riding as opposed to technical mountain bike riding, or more strenuous long distance rides. As such the brakes and gears tend to be simple and enclosed as part of the design. Many varieties of ladies' town bikes can be easily found and bought on eBay.
Ladies ' town bikes are characterised by a relaxed riding position with dramatically lowered centre bars for easy mount and dismount in a dress or skirt. They often come pre-fitted with a rack on the rear wheel and a basket on the front combine function and style with convenience.
Newer town bikes are sometimes also known as hybrids, whilst the vintage models which have an upright frame are often also referred to as 'Dutch Style' town bikes.
Classic town bikes were made from steel with diamond frames, rod-actuated brakes, and upright handlebars. They had a single gear ratio or 3-speed hub gears, a chain case, steel mudguards, and often a 'Sturmey-Archer' hub dynamo. Town bikes were also known as ''Roadsters '' and were built for durability as opposed to speed; they were used prolifically by policemen and postmen. European and Dutch Style models tended to have a higher handlebar position for a more upright riding posture.
The ladies' version of the design had a step-through frame rather than the diamond frame of the gentlemen's model, so that ladies could easily mount and ride their bicycles in dresses and skirts. They commonly came with a skirt guard to prevent clothing from becoming entangled in the rear wheel and spokes of the bike. The benefit of a ladies' town bike is that the stronger frames, wider tyres and big wheels can tackle all the obstacles of cycling in town - namely drains, kerbs and the inevitable potholes. The bikes are designed to provide a comfortable ride for women too.
The traditional models are now becoming popular again in countries throughout the world, largely due to the resurgence of the bicycle as a viable local city transport solution. This suits the roadster model due to its upright riding position and ability to carry shopping. In the United Kingdom, a number of bicycle manufacturers have produced updated versions of the classic design (such as Pashley Cycles). Many more are imported from the continent such as those from Dutch manufacturers like Royal Dutch Gazelle. The vintage models are popular in cities such as Oxford and Cambridge as inner city and student transport for flat terrains and, more increasingly, London.
When choosing a bike it is important to decide whether the choice is for a new town bike, second hand or even vintage model. These factors will depend greatly on budget, whether or not there is a strong desire to look for something that has been pre-loved, or whether vintage style is the aim. Second hand and vintage bikes can be bought inexpensively and restored back to life. There are also many restored vintage bicycles available on eBay which will be perfectly strong and durable enough for light commuting and may suit personal aesthetic preferences.
Bicycle frames tend to be made of either steel or aluminium.
Steel frames are less expensive in general than the aluminium frames but tend to be noticeably heavier.
Most vintage bicycles have steel frames.
Some mass produced bicycles are made of steel frames.
Aluminium frames are a great deal lighter than steel frames.
Most newer bicycles have aluminium frames.
The weight of the bike is important to bear in mind, particularly if it may have to be lifted over steps during a commute.
Be aware when searching on eBay for a ladies' town bike of the variables in adjusting the bike for comfort.
* Look for seat posts that can be raised or lowered.
* Consider adjustable handlebars.
* Be aware of the distance between the seat and handlebars.
* If the rider may be wearing everyday clothes on a bike, it may be sensible to look for a model that has the chain fully enclosed so that the grease and dirt do not stain clothing.
* Similarly, a mudguard may be required over the wheels to prevent mud and grit from bouncing onto clothes during a ride.
Most modern bicycles incorporate gearing in their design. Single speed, or fixed gear bicycles are available but are generally not best for the commuting purposes which most ladies' town bicycles are purchased for.
When considering the best gearing for a ladies' town bicycle, think about the loads which may be carried on the bike and how hilly frequently used routes may be. As a rule of thumb, the more hills that are needed to climb, or if a heavier load is frequently carried, a larger number of gears is advisable. Usually at least five gears are a standard number for ladies' town bikes.
Modern town bikes tend to have ''hub'' gears which are clean, tidy and simple to use. All the machinery is enclosed in a type of gearbox in the rear hub which keeps the whole component clean and reliable. These tend to be available in 3,4,5,7,8 and sometimes 14 gears, operated by one control.
Whichever type of bicycle is chosen, it is possible to customise functions to suit the rider better. Many newer bikes come with what are known as ''braze-ons'' as standard. These are small fixing points on the bicycle which enable extras such as a luggage rack or basket to be quickly and easily affixed to the frame. It is usually possible to find a way to fix extras onto a bicycle model without these, but buying a bicycle with them already on may allow a greater degree of flexibility later on.
Things to look out for on a ladies' town bike are:
* A kickstand, for balancing the bike while it is standing.
* A working bell or the ability to replace one.
* A pump.
* Perhaps dynamo lighting which provides light when the bike is in use.
* Whether the bike has braze-ons to enable customisation?
When choosing a bike on eBay, make sure the seat can be set to a height that will allow the legs to extend until they are almost totally straight when sitting on the seat. With a foot on the pedal there should be only a slight bend to the knee, to ensure an efficient cycling position to minimise fatigue.
A common mistake is for riders to think that they should be able to sit on their seat and still plant their feet firmly on the ground but this can result in a seating position that is too low.
Look for areas of wear and tear that may need to be rectified on a pre-owned bicycle. Be mindful of working components such as brakes and gears and check their ability to operate as they should. Also look out for areas of rust, poorly welded joints on frames, and general wear and tear.
* Spin the wheels and check for any obstructions.
* Check the tyres for puncture.
* Check the bolts at the front and back to ensure that they aren't loose.
* Check the brakes by pulling the lever to see if they are loose.
* Check all the brake pads for signs of wear and tear.
* Check the cables to ensure the gears are shifting correctly, and whether there is any wear and tear to the cables.
Both classic Dutch style bikes and modern town bikes tend to have lever operated hub brakes which are low maintenance and rarely need to be replaced. These may also be called V-brakes, or rim brakes, which are very cost effective and will be what most modern town bikes are equipped with.
Rim brakes are attached to the wheel rims and work like a clamp on the wheel when the brake levers are pulled by a cable, thus attaching a hold onto the wheel rim. This type of brake is easy to release, but the downside is that they often need adjusting.
Disc brakes are usually fitted on road bikes or mountain bikes when stopping quickly and efficiently from high speed is required, but will not generally be found on a ladies' town bike.
Perhaps one of the most important elements, equal to all the practical considerations, is an aesthetic preference and style choice for a bicycle which is a very individual choice. Since a ladies' town bike is for short rides and not long commutes, the greatest enjoyment comes from enjoying the ride and ownership of it.
eBay offers many different types of ladies' town bikes with a huge variety of designs, sizes and budgets. eBay sellers are well known for their competitive pricing and wide range of products, alongside the flexible payment options available by buying on eBay.
Alternatively, type in specific search terms into the search box provided on every page. Type in specific searches such as ''Ladies ' vintage town bike'', '' hybrid ladies town bike '' or other terms required; using the search feature helps the right item to be located.
When searching through listings, carefully review all the data. Make sure the item matches personal requirements. Look over the photographs feel free to ask the Seller aa question if needed for further clarification. When ready to buy, either place a Bid, Buy it Now, or put down a Best Offer. Buying with PayPal will ensure the transaction will go smoothly. eBay users are protected by the Buyer Protection Program..
Ladies' Town bikes come in a range of styles, designs, sizes and price ranges. Being clear on what style of bike is required, and asking the right questions when buying will help to locate the ideal bike for from the marketplace on eBay.