The 20 most bike-friendly cities in the world

Every two 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.

Check out the top 20 cities below.

The top 20 cities for biking

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.

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.

Check out more details on the rankings 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.

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.

15. Dublin, Ireland

As of 2011, 7.6% of Dublin city residents use bikes as their primary mode of transportation. The city has a solid bike share system, but hasn't made much progress in improving infrastructure over the last year.

14. Buenos Aires, Argentina

In the last three years alone, Buenos Aires added more than 87 miles of infrastructure for cyclists. Not every bike lane is perfect -- Copenhagenize points out that many bike lanes are 'narrow, bi-directional stretches along the curb.' But Buenos Aires may be on its way to becoming a member of the top 10 most bikable cities.

4. Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg has 333 miles of bike routes in its metro area, and a bike share system that offers both short and long-term rentals.

3. Utrecht, Netherlands

Utrecht is one of the top small cities for cyclists. It's currently building the largest bike parking facility in the world (capacity for 12,500 bikes). But its lengthy stretches of 'brain-rattling cobblestone' make it less than ideal for biking longer distances, according to Copenhagenize.

2. Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Netherlands has more bicycles than people, but that didn't stop Amsterdam from sliding to second place from its first place spot last year. The reason: the city is incredibly friendly to bikers and has an extensive infrastructure for them, but hasn't done much in the way of innovation this past year.

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