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Saturday, June 07, 2008

E-Z Pack Versus Superlite Folding Bike

by Larry Lagarde

Cyclists are always asking how one folding bike compares to another but the 2 folding bikes that I'm asked about most often are the E-Z Pack and the Superlite 1 speed. If you're considering one of these bikes, the following may help you.

In my inbox today, there was an email from B.C., a guy in New York. He wrote...
I WILL be buying one of these bikes. I live in Brooklyn now but am moving upstate. I will be commuting from upstate on the train. I need a bike that will carry me ( I'm a small guy- 5'7", 145-155lbs) from Grand Central Station to Soho (probably a mile and a half or so - 45 blocks). Both of these bikes fold so well. Both are light. Both are very reasonably priced.

Pros: I love having no cables / really like the backpedaling brakes / simplicity
Cons: I fear that it is geared too low.

_E Z Pak:
_Pros: Comes with a bag / 12" wheels reduces the size / the gearing system advertised as having the feel of a cruiser (True?)
Cons: Has more parts (Handbrakes, 3 gears, cables) / small wheels might make it hard to handle.

I don't know if folding pedals is a plus or minus.

Right now I'm leaning on the EZ Pak.

Is there anything you can add or suggest?
Following is my response.
Both the E-Z Pack and the Superlite are great folding bikes for commuting. It all depends on your riding style.

If you plan to ride slowly so as to keep from breaking a sweat and you want to be comfortable, go with the Superlite folding bike. That's what the bike was designed for - comfort seat, comfort hand grips, shock dampening magnesium frame, upright riding position, low gearing. A hand grip is built right into the frame to ease carrying (such as for getting on/off a bus, train, going up/down stairs, etc.). If the gearing is too low for you, just have the rear cog swapped out for one with fewer teeth. These are readily available at most bike shops; the cog should cost @ $15.

If you plan to ride in traffic, go with the E-Z Pack folding bike. You'll ride faster (thanks to the higher gearing resulting from the dual crank drive) and brakes on both the front & rear provide greater stopping power.You won't be riding tucked but you'll definitely be leaning forward more than on the Superlite, cutting drag a bit. The bottom bracket is located further forward and the seat is more narrow so you'll get more power from the pedal stroke and be less likely to chaff your legs from robust pedaling. The smaller wheels make steering more responsive and the bike tracks slightly better than the Superlite. Also, the bag comes in very handy as it will get you on trains and in buildings where unbagged bikes are turned away.

Hope this helps.

Larry Lagarde
One thing I forgot to answer was B.C.'s question concerning folding pedals.

Folding pedals are handy for a variety of reasons. First, when walking beside the bike, folding the pedals will prevent them from hitting your leg as you walk or hitting other things (furniture, doors, other people in a narrow hallway, etc.). Folding the pedals before inserting the bike into a bag or suitcase will prevent them from poking a hole in the carrybag or case; it also decreases the chance of the crank arm getting bent if the bike case is dropped (think tired baggage handlers). Lastly, folding the pedals makes it a bit harder for an opportunist to take off with your bike. They can't just hop on & pedal away.

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At Wednesday, June 11, 2008 5:57:00 AM CDT, Blogger jay said...

re: ez-pack
ow ow owowwww ow owie ow
I just got it yesterday and rode a few miles.
The seat is awful. Really awful. Epic Fail. I have an A-Bike which is known for a bad seat and this is worse. I plan to replace it.

At Thursday, April 30, 2009 9:26:00 AM CDT, Blogger MHC said...

So, did you replace the seat? What seat did you settle on?

At Thursday, April 30, 2009 10:04:00 AM CDT, Blogger Web said...

Glad you asked.

This led to looking for an alternative saddle for those that want something more comfortable. As a result, we now offer a Lazboy brand padded, Lycra covered gel saddle - not as comfortable as a Lazboy recliner but much better than the stock saddle. The gel saddle also has a LED tail light built in. Cost for this option: $14.99


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