Men's Town Bike Buying Guide

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Men's Town Bike Buying Guide

A men's town bike is a particular type of bicycle for male riders. Men's 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 men's town bikes can be easily found and bought on eBay.

Men's town bikes are characterised by slender wheels and are measured by frame size. They do not tend to have suspension built into the design, and they often come pre-fitted with a rack on the rear wheel, and combine function and style with convenience and affordability.

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. Roadsters were often the of 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 design fell out of fashion in England as the 20th century progressed, although it remained popular in the Netherlands, hence why the traditional style is often called Dutch style.

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.

Choosing a New or Old Men's Town Bike

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 that will be perfectly strong and durable enough for light commuting and may suit personal aesthetic preferences.

Frame Types

Bicycle frames tend to be made of either steel or aluminium.

Steel Frames

Steel frames are less expensive in general than the aluminium frames but are heavier in weight.

Most vintage bicycles have steel frames, and some mass produced bicycles have 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.

Adjusting for Comfort

Be aware when searching on eBay for a men's town bike of the variables in adjusting the bike for comfort.

* Look for seat posts that can be raised or lowered.

* Consider adjustable handlebars for comfort.

* 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 that most men's town bicycles are purchased for.

When considering the best gearing for a men's 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 may be advisable. Usually at least five gears are a standard number for town bikes.

Modern town bikes tend to have "hub" gears that are 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.

Customisation of a Men's Town Bike

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, which are small fixing points on a bicycle. The fixing points enable extras such as a luggage rack or basket to be 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 men's town bike might be:

* A kickstand, for balancing the bike when standing.

* A working bell.

* A pump.

* Dynamo lighting to generate light whilst the bike is being ridden.

* Panniers.

Choosing the Correct Size of Men's Town Bike

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.


Look for areas of wear and tear that may need to be rectified on a pre-owned bicycle and pay attention to working components such as brakes and gears. Where possible check that they operate as they should. Also, make sure that before buying any areas of rust have been identified.

6 Points To Check a Bike For Roadworthiness:

* Spin the wheels and check for any obstructions.

* Check the tyres for punctures.

* Check the bolts at the front and back to ensure that they aren't loose.

* Check the brakes by pulling the lever.

* 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

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, 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

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 men's town bike is for short rides and not long commutes the greatest enjoyment must come from enjoying the ride and ownership of it.

Buying a Men's Town Bike on eBay

eBay offers many different types of men's 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.

To search for men's town bikes, visit the Sport & Leisure portal category on the home page. From there, navigate to Sporting Goods and select the Cycling section.

Alternatively, type in specific search terms into the search box provided on every page. Type in specific searches such as "Men's vintage town bike", "hybrid men's 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 a 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.


Men's 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.

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