Urban Velo

Torker InterUrban First Impressions

When most bike companies develop their line of commuter bikes, they assume that most people want a singlespeed or an upright bike with an internally geared hub. And while that may not be entirely untrue, there’s a significant portion of the community that appreciate a traditional road bike. I’m talking about an affordable, steel-framed bike with drop bars and gears.

Enter the Torker InterUrban. At just $569 retail, the InterUrban is one of the most affordable road bikes on the market. And unlike a bike purchased from an online retailer, a Torker bought from a brick and mortar bike shop comes with an added level of service and security.

First and foremost, the InterUrban has a 4130 double-butted chromoly steel frame. This is essentially the same frame as my Redline 925, with the addition of vertical drop outs and cable guides. I’ve beaten the 925 like a rented mule, and it’s absolutely no worse for wear. As you would expect, the InterUrban’s got fender and rack mounts, and appears able to hold up to 35mm tires. The InterUrban does have a high tensile steel fork, which is strong, but a little bit heavier than a chromoly fork.

Appearance wise, the frame is attractive yet subdued. The graphics are simple and tasteful and the one-color metallic blue paint job is rather elegant. The welds are reasonably clean and the straight blade fork makes the bike look sleek and contemporary.

I have to admit, I’ve never had a geared bike with truly entry-level components like the Shimano 2300 and Sora shifters and derailleurs, but I’m pleasantly impressed with how well they work. I’m sure they won’t last as long as Shimano’s more expensive components, but a 105 drivetrain would cost more than this entire bike. That said, the frame is certainly worthy of upgrading with better parts when the original equipment eventually wears out.

I’m also pleasantly surprised at the quality of the rest of the components—Tektro dual-pivot brakes, Alex rims, Kenda tires, FSA cranks and house brand stem, bar, seatpost, saddle and hubs. Everything on the bike is perfectly functional, and in the case of the saddle, especially nice for the price. I did find it interesting that the rims are drilled for Schrader valves, an obvious nod to the notion that the target market may be riders who don’t carry tools and a pump.

One thing that may throw some people for a loop is Torker’s geometry. Essentially, their bikes are long and low, meaning you’ll ride a much smaller frame than normal. For example, the 44cm frame I’m riding has a 527mm top tube, which is comparable to a 48 or 50. In fact, I ended up swapping the stock stem for a stubby 70mm. Personally, I like the geometry, especially the generous standover height.

So, how does it ride? Like a bike. Thank you and good night…

Seriously, though, it’s really kind of unremarkable. But in a good way. The steering isn’t twitchy like a racing bike, and it’s not overly flexible like a lightweight steel bike. The 28mm tires smooth out rough pavement nicely, and the steel frame, cushy cork bar tape and perfectly padded saddle take care of the rest. The bike isn’t a featherweight, but it doesn’t feel heavy on the climbs, or carrying it up and down the stairs.

Visit www.torkerusa.com for more info.

About Urban Jeff

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13 Comments

  1. nicholoasFebruary 22, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Anyone out there know of a frame like this (steel, same price range, fender/rack compatibility, etc.) that has canti studs?

  2. BMarkFebruary 22, 2011 at 10:38 am

    To clarify one point… cro-moly steel is stronger than hi-ten, and weighs less than hi-ten. That’s why it costs more.

  3. curtFebruary 22, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    What was the weight on the test bike?

  4. JammyFebruary 22, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    I’m glad they moved to the dual pivot Tektro’s. The single pivots on the U-District are rather sad.

    I don’t like that the steer tubes come cut so short and they come with low rise stems. For an entry level bike or a comfort commuter like the 925, they need to make it easier to get the bars up.

  5. MarcoticoFebruary 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Whatever happened to the Interurban-E? It was the only electric bike with drop bars. It was on their product pages for a month then disappeared.

  6. igoFebruary 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Looks like a nice no frills road bike. Perfect for commuting and locking up outside.

    I would rather see presta valves and a chromoly fork but, that’s it.

  7. EricMarch 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    @BMark–Cro-mo is stronger, but is not any lighter. Any weight savings associated with it are due to the fact that you can use less of it (since it’s stronger). The weight penalty is likely something on the order of 50-100g (about 2-4 ounces). For a bike at this price point that’s not enough weight to worry about, IMO. Interestingly, the specific stiffness of hi-ten and Cro-mo are the same, so the thicker hi-ten fork will probably be stiffer. Again, this difference will be small and maybe even not noticable.

  8. eva beeMarch 5, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    after doing tons of research and looking at numerous amounts of used/new bikes, i ended up buying the torker interurban new for my commuting needs (~12 miles per day). the lower price really helped make this decision. i’ve only had it a little while, so i won’t comment on durability (yet), but so far it has been perfect for me. really nice handling and super comfy feel, but still sporty and light enough to haul ass. love the drop-down handlebars and “brifters” (brake-shifters). would love for frame color options but it’s nice that it’s not too flashy (less chance of it getting stolen?). this is a great, fast, (seemingly) durable commuting bike.

  9. JoshApril 9, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Ok I’m sold. Where the hell can you buy one of these? I can’t find a list of dealers

  10. Torker Interurban 24 » CycleliciousApril 16, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    [...] is meant to be a miniaturized version of Torker’s Interuban road bike for adults. The $569 adult Interurban is a CroMo steel 16 speed drop bar road-style bicycle designed for city commuter use. Torker [...]

  11. KCMApril 28, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    http://www.torkerusa.com/support
    you can find a dealer here

  12. SteveNovember 20, 2011 at 8:48 am

    I picked up an interurban at my LBS, got a rack, fenders and panniers and it’s my commuter bike now. My commute is about 11 miles each way and I love this bike. It’s not as light as my carbon road bike, nor as comfy as my full suspension mtn bike but it makes my commute a joy. It’s really comfortable, climbs well enough and can handle the pot holes, patches, gravel and short dirt trails I take to get across the city.

  13. David ROctober 17, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    I’ve had my Interurban for about 2 years and primarily ridden it in town. Maybe not bunny hoppin’ or jumpin’ curbs, but found it to be a well put together machine. Never an issue with derailleur or brakes or wheels. Also put some real road tests to it, I mean serious up and down. 2,000 miles or so. I admit I wish it had a granny gear upfront, but in truth I would have only used it a couple times.
    Point is it’s still in great shape and I’ve promoted it to my full-time true road bike and purchasing something less expensive (DB) for the inner city burden.
    Pretty solid bike at a decent price. Happy with it’s response and reliability.

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