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Monday, September 29, 2008

InterBike 2008 - Montague Folding Bikes

by Larry Lagarde

Note: This is one of a series of posts concerning products at InterBike 2008...

InterBike 2008 Highlights: Montague Corporation CLIX Wheel Release & Octagon Quick Adjust Handlebar Stems

There's good reason for Montague to be so well known for their Paratrooper full size folding mountain bike (it's been used by the military for years in hot spots all over the globe and is reasonably priced) but the engineers at Montague haven't been sitting on their hands. As proof, I offer the CLIX and the Octagon, 2 major improvements on bike components that have been around forever.

CLIX Bicycle Wheel Release System
Diagram of the CLIX quick release systemFor those of you that haven't bought a Montague folding bike this year, the CLIX is an innovative quick release system that makes it faster and simpler to install or remove your bike's front wheel. Even someone that has never used a quick release can use the CLIX safely (it's pre-tensioned at the factory so just click the CLIX onto the fork, close the lever & you're done).

The CLIX has made such an impression that major bike manufacturers Trek & Pacific (makers of Schwinn, GT‚ and Mongoose and other bicycle brands) have latched onto the product, offering it on the 2008 models. Still, the CLIX is new to many (including folks at many local bike shops). To change that, Montague held a competition at InterBike - whoever changed a CLIX wheel in the shortest time would win $500.

CLIX wheel change competition - InterBike 2008The competition went on for 3 days and the line of participants was sometimes quite long. Sadly, I was not the winner. That title goes to Edward Klomp of Chicago; he removed and mounted a CLIX wheel in under 5 seconds! I'm sure that working at Cycling & Fitness (a big Trek dealer in Chicago) didn't hurt Ed's performance.

Coming Soon - Octagon Quick Adjust Handlebar Stems
Montague was showing another product at InterBike 2008 - the Octagon. Though there was no contest hyping this product, it's even more of a no-brainer/why-didn't-I-think-of-that type item.

Simply put, the Octagon is an adjustable height handlebar stem that requires no tools to adjust. Yes, quick release adjustable stems are already around (the CarryMe and several other folding bikes use 'em) but here's what makes the Octagon so much better - it allows the user to adjust the height quickly and precisely.

Octagon fast and precise height adjustable handlebar stemOnce the Octagon quick release is opened, the rider pushes a button to adjust the height of the handlebars. With 120 mm of vertical travel and hash marks & digits to mark the way, cyclists can easily get the height adjusted right the first time. Plus, the stem's octagon shape prevents the stem from traveling side to side when unlocked, preventing the tedious task of realigning the stem every time it's tightened (Amen to that). Locking/unlocking the Octagon stem does not affect the headset adjustment either AND a button prevents the Octagon from adjusting beyond the important "minimum insertion" line.

The first bike to feature the Octagon will be the Montague CX (they'll be on the CX in time for Christmas and you can pre-order them here); however, I have no doubt that we'll be seeing much more of the Octagon in the cycling world - perhaps even on seat posts (that would be cool).

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At Tuesday, October 28, 2008 1:50:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edward Klomp is actually an employee at Chicago Dr. Cycling and Fitness, a Trek dealer from Grandville, MI. A common mistake, the man is a legend around here.


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