Summary

The gearing of most bikes involves two or three chainrings to give a decent spread of ratios, but on a city bike, one ring may be all you need. We try out a Charge and an Orbea, with two different approaches to going solo in style

Products

Charge Grater 3, Cycling Active hybrids test

Charge Grater 3 £849.99

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

We test the single chain-ringed Charge Grater 3

£849.99

Score

Orbea Carpe, Cycling Active hybrids test

Orbea Carpe H20 £850

We test the single-chainringed Orbea Carpe H20

£850.00

Score

Verdict

It's really heartening to see that bike manufacturers are subdividing the crowded hybrid category and catering to the discerning city bike buyer by not offering them a load of clunky, heavy over-gearing, just to make the spec sheet sound impressive. Both of these bikes are stylish, high-end options, but recognise that one ring on the chainset is really all you need for most urban riding.

But is a derailleur or a hub gear a better partner to that one ring? Well, the truth is, both these bikes rode fast and lively on city roads and both looked pretty good doing it. The derailleur-equipped Orbea has a slightly wider gear range and closer-spaced ratio, but the hub-geared Charge is lower maintenance and superb value.

In fact, it's the value factor that lets the Charge Grater 3 win this test by a nose ? a quality, purpose-built frame, gorgeous paintwork, very low maintenance drivetrain and a decent set of fenders that can't be ignored. The Orbea Carpe H20 possibly outshone it by just a touch on ride quality, plus we loved the quality and the general styling of the bike, meaning both are superb options for the urban commute.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1