The 20 most bike-friendly cities in the world

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In cities that are clogged with cars, the humble bicycle offers an easy way to get around.

That's true, at least, in cities that also have an extensive bike infrastructure. These are the places that will thrive in the future, as the percentage of the world's population that lives in urban areas quickly climbs.

Every few years, the Copenhagenize Design Company puts out a ranking of the world's 20 most bike-friendly cities, using factors like bicycle culture, infrastructure, perception of safety, politics, and social acceptance to make its decision.

For 2015, Copenhagenize evaluated 122 cities — every city with a regional population of more than 600,000 people — and winnowed them down to the top 20. Europe takes up many of the top spots on the list, as it has in the past, while the U.S. is mostly absent, with the exception of Minnesota. South America has one city at the top (Buenos Aires, Argentina), and Asia has slipped out of the top 20 altogether, where it once held down two spots.

More details on the rankings are available here.

20. Montreal, Canada

North America gets a spot in the top 20 with Montreal, which has a respectable bike infrastructure that's heavily used by cyclists, as well as a top bike share system. But the city has lots of work to do, including better winter maintenance, and creating a broad vision for the future of cycling in the city, according to Copenhagenize.


19. Hamburg, Germany

A significant number of people in Hamburg use biking as their primary form of transportation, but Copenhagenize rips on the city for its "status quo of weird infrastructure that alternates between road and sidewalk without any logic." By 2030, the city hopes to have bikes make up 25% of all transportation used.


18. Minneapolis, USA

A U.S. city actually made the list — and one with wintery weather that is far from hospitable to cyclists, no less. Minneapolis has a decent bike share system and 118 miles of on-street bikeways. It might not be the only U.S. city on the Copenhagenize list for long; San Francisco, New York City, and others are all creeping up to the top 20.


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The 20 most bike-friendly cities in the world
In this Nov. 8, 2014 photo, Cristobal Cabello poses for a picture with the “Yerka Project,” a prototype for an “unstealable bike” at a bicycle trail in Santiago, Chile. The design by Cabello and two other Chilean engineers allows the rider to connect the seat post with the lower beam of the frame so the bike can’t be stolen without breaking it. (AP Photo/Luis Andres Henao)
In this Nov. 8, 2014 photo, a rider pedals on a bike trail next to the “Yerka Project,” a prototype design for an “unstealable bike” in Santiago, Chile. Commuters in Latin America and elsewhere have been taking advantage of the construction of designated cycling lanes, storage racks and bike share programs to ditch cars for bikes, which are cheaper and environmentally friendly. The big setback is that they’re easy to steal. Now, three young Chilean engineers have set out to put a brake on that with a design that allows the rider to connect the tube seat with the lower pole so the bike can’t be stolen without breaking it. (AP Photo/Luis Andres Henao)
Bike messenger Jen O'Brien, of Boston, center, chats with colleges in Boston's Post Office Square, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2004, while her Kryptonite bicycle lock rests on the frame of her bicycle, foreground. A low-tech flaw in the design of some Kryptonite locks, as well as similar models from other companies, has revealed that the locks can be picked quickly and easily using a ballpoint pen. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 11: A cyclist rides along San Francisco's waterfront on June 11, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Bicycle thefts in San Francisco are on the rise with an average of one bike being stolen every three hours. In an attempt to curb the surge in thefts, the San Francisco police department has implemented a 'bait bike' program that puts expensive bikes equipped with GPS on the streets with weak locks so they can be tracked when stolen. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Single bicycle wheel secured to lamp post
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 11: A bike is locked to a pole with a combination lock on June 11, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Bicycle thefts in San Francisco are on the rise with an average of one bike being stolen every three hours. In an attempt to curb the surge in thefts, the San Francisco police department has implemented a 'bait bike' program that puts expensive bikes equipped with GPS on the streets with weak locks so they can be tracked when stolen. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 11: Bikes are seen locked to a bike rack on June 11, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Bicycle thefts in San Francisco are on the rise with an average of one bike being stolen every three hours. In an attempt to curb the surge in thefts, the San Francisco police department has implemented a 'bait bike' program that puts expensive bikes equipped with GPS on the streets with weak locks so they can be tracked when stolen. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 11: Bike frames that are stripped of parts sit locked to a pole on June 11, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Bicycle thefts in San Francisco are on the rise with an average of one bike being stolen every three hours. In an attempt to curb the surge in thefts, the San Francisco police department has implemented a 'bait bike' program that puts expensive bikes equipped with GPS on the streets with weak locks so they can be tracked when stolen. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 11: A pedestrian walks by a row of bikes locked to bike racks on June 11, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Bicycle thefts in San Francisco are on the rise with an average of one bike being stolen every three hours. In an attempt to curb the surge in thefts, the San Francisco police department has implemented a 'bait bike' program that puts expensive bikes equipped with GPS on the streets with weak locks so they can be tracked when stolen. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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