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Friday, October 19, 2007

Lightweight Folding Bikes - Top 5

Alessandro Belli riding his high tech plastic lightweight folding bikeby Larry Lagarde

Weight is frequently an issue with bicycles. Bike racers want low weight to win races; folding bike owners want a lightweight folding bike for practicality. The lighter the folding bike, the easier it is to tote onto a bus, up a flight of steps or into an RV, car trunk, closet, boat, plane, office, etc.

As folding bike sales increase, so does the pressure on bike companies to position their models ahead of the competition. This has led some makers to list the weight for their bikes without components that many folding bike consumers consider important (pedals, kickstand, fenders, carry rack, etc.).

In fairness, some folding bikes were designed without a provision for certain components (don't even think about placing a carry rack on an A-bike) so an apple to apple comparison on specs is tough to do. Regardless, questions about lightweight folding bikes come up all the time. For this reason, I've assembled the following Top 5 list denoting the lightest weight folding bikes now in production. I've included a photo and some key facts about each bike.A-bike folding bike

Lightweight Folding Bikes - Top 5

1. A-Bike
Wt: 13 lbs.
Carry Capacity: 185 lbs.
# of Speeds: 1
Frame: Aluminum & plastic.
Misc: No carry rack; practical only on smooth surfaces.
Price: $340Carry Me Folding Bike

2. CarryMe
Wt: 18 lbs.
Carry Capacity: 190 lbs.
# of Speeds: 1
Frame: Aluminum.
Misc: No fenders. Tiny carry rack. Rolls when folded.
Price: $490
Hasa Minimax
3. Hasa Minimax
Wt: 19 lbs.
Carry Capacity: 250 lbs.
# of Speeds: 9
Frame: Carbon fiber & alloy.
Misc: No fenders or carry rack.
Price: $2600

Strida 5 Folding Bike4. Strida 5
Wt: 19 lbs.
Carry Capacity: 200 lbs.
# of Speeds: 1
Frame: Aluminum.
Misc: No kickstand. Folds roughly to the size of a golf bag. Rolls when folded.
Price: $800

5. Kent Superlite 1
Wt: 22 lbs.
Carry Capacity: 200 lbs.
Kent Ultralite 1 Speed folding bike# of Speeds: 1
Frame: Magnesium/aluminum alloy.
Misc: Carry handle built into frame.
Price: $169

Do you know of a folding bike weighing less than 23 lbs (including pedals, kickstand, fenders & carry rack)? To be sure, there are plenty of other lightweight folding bikes out there.

belli lightweight folding bikeIf you feel I missed one, speak up by clicking on the comment button below. By the way, bikes that are not yet on the market don't count but deserve honorable mention. Two I can think of include Alessandro Belli's 9 lb. thermoplastic suspension folding bike (VERY COOL; see photo at right) and the 19 lb. Strida 5 that is to be released sometime next year.

Note: Although not shown in the photo, the Kent Nexus folding bike now comes with fenders.



At Wednesday, November 7, 2007 3:36:00 PM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pacific Cycle's Carryme is lighter than all of those except the A-bike.

At Sunday, December 9, 2007 3:00:00 PM CST, Blogger Web said...

Without a carry rack, fenders or kickstand, Dahon's MU SL weighs 19 lbs. To compare fairly with the others, figure another 3-4 lbs for a rear rack, kickstand & fenders.

At Friday, March 7, 2008 3:44:00 PM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dahon may claim some ultra light bikes, but they are a litle ecconomical with the truth :-) eg they often leave out the weight of pedals, any accessories (including stuff like saddles, fenders, and even sometimes tyres !!!)

At Wednesday, May 13, 2009 8:05:00 AM CDT, Blogger Rickr said...

what are the bikes with the red wheels? the ones in the pictures with the guy at the top and the girl at the bottom?

At Wednesday, May 13, 2009 9:55:00 AM CDT, Anonymous RideTHISbike.com said...

The little silver bike shown at the very top and the very bottom is Alessandro Belli's 9 lb. thermoplastic suspension folding bike - very cool but unfortunately not in production.

Although talk of thermoplastic bikes has been bantered around for years, the major bike manufacturers are afraid of them breaking. It's too bad they have that attitude because Alessandro has been successfully road testing his bike for several years now...


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