Folding Bikes | Places To Ride | Reviews | Sitemap

Cycling news & info with a special focus on notable bike tours, bike trails, bikeways, lanes and bicycle routes as well as innovative bicycling products like space saving & easy to transport folding bikes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Video Interview: Bigfish folding bike CEO Sandi Cesko

by Larry Lagarde

On February 2nd, 2010, I had the honor of interviewing Sandi Cesko, the Bigfish behind the Bigfish folding bike. The interview covers how this folding bicycle came to be, explains some of the unique benefits the Bigfish offers as well as Sandi's hopes for the bike's future.

To watch the video, click on the image below.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Video - Vegas Folding Bike Frolic

by Larry Lagarde

One of the highlights of Interbike is the folding bike frolic, an early morning group ride of folding bikes through the streets of Las Vegas. This is my video of that ride (which took place about a month ago).

Notable bikes in the video include 3 Bigfish, a black Strida LT (the $495 Strida debuting in 2010) and several folders from Pacific Cycles that are just coming onto the marketplace (IF Mode full size slim folder, IF Reach, IF Reach DC folding electric bike, IF Urban 700c). The IF Reach DC in the video is the first production model (all black, silent/surge free electric assist, Swivel-head folding mechanism).

IF Urban 700c folding bikeI filmed the video from the saddle of the very cool IF Urban, a 700c folding bike with an internally geared hub and disc brakes for quick stops and ultra low maintenance. Ideal for commuters, the Urban is a fast and comfortable machine but my favorite is still the IF Reach DC folding electric bicycle.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bigfish Folding Bike On Amtrak

by Larry Lagarde

Bigfish on bus in Los AngelesThis weekend, I took a brand new, European made Bigfish folding bike aboard Amtrak's Southwest Chief from Los Angeles to Albuquerque to catch the famous Balloon Fiesta. Photo right: Bigfish (unfolded) on a bus at Amtrak's Union Station in L.A.

The Bigfish folds so small that the train conductor allowed me to carry it on board. In fact, no one had a clue that a bicycle was inside the soft sided carry bag slung over my shoulder (one of the train's attendants thought it was a musical instrument).

Amtrak logo

During the journey, I upgraded from a coach seat to a roomette in the sleeper (see details & photos right). The sleeper was 4 rail cars back so I hauled my gear from the coach car to the sleeper to keep everything together. To move the bike, I unzipped the carry bag enough to allow the rear wheel to roll. Holding the bike by the front stem, I levered it 90 degrees, then wheeled it through the moving train on the back wheel like a unicycle.

The Bigfish folds so narrow (about 8") that rolling the bike folded through the moving train was a breeze. Even navigating the nimble Bigfish folder between rail cars and through the zig zag maze of double and single recliners on the Cafe Car's upper deck was easy and safe. I'd compare it to rolling a folded umbrella stroller.

As the train came into Albuquerque, I unfolded the Bigfish in the sleeper car's lower vestibule, installed a seat post rack, panniers and strapped on my rolling suitcase. When the train stopped, I removed the folding bicycle from the sleeper car and pedaled through the city on my carbon neutral transportation, taking in the sights and sounds of Old Town before checking in at my lodging accommodations. Wanna see? Here's a 3 minute video from that bike ride. Enjoy.

By the way, more videos from this trip will be posted soon.


Labels: , ,

Monday, September 07, 2009

BigFish Beatles Tribute

Bigfish folding bikes on Abbey Roadby Larry Lagarde

In a tribute to the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' Abbey Road album, London's Sunday Times did a special 64 page spread of the Beatles this weekend. To promote the special edition, the Times conducted a photo shoot at Abbey Road, made a video collage of the photos, which was uploaded to YouTube as a video. Part of that collage included the photo you see here featuring 2 Bigfish folding bikes.

Mimicking the cover photo of the Beatles walking across Abbey Road, the Times photographed a variety of people in the famed Abbey Road crosswalk. If you're a Beatles fan, the video is fun to watch and worth playing. Here it is below...


Friday, July 10, 2009

BigFish Folding Bike FAQ

by Larry Lagarde

With the North American launch of the BigFish folding bike taking place in about a week, interest in this new, European folding bicycle is growing. To help answer these questions, I've posted the following FAQ. As I receive additional questions concerning the Bigfish bike, I'll post them here.

Q: What colors does the BigFish come in?
A: Black, Orange, Gold & Pink.

Q: Are the pedals plastic or simply painted black?
A: Black resin with rubber grips on pedal surface.

Q: Why does the BigFish weigh more than some other small wheel folders?
A: Ride geometry is one of the primary features that sets the Bigfish apart from most other folding bikes with 16" or 20" wheels. The Bigfish rides like a normal sized bike because the wheelbase, distance to the handlebars, etc. is the same as on a full size bike. Since most other folding bikes have shorter frames, they can feel cramped or less steady - not the Bigfish. Also, the Bigfish uses a drivetrain with the gears inside the rear wheel hub. Internal gear hubs are a little heavier than a gear system with exposed gears and a derailleur BUT internally geared hubs require far less maintenance and last much longer. Thus, a more comfortable ride, better longevity and less maintenance are worth the small weight gain.

Q: Is a rear rack available?
A: At the moment, Bigfish does not offer a rear carry rack. If you would like to have a rear rack for carrying light luggage, an aftermarket seat post rack like the Topeak Beam Rack MTX can work well. It attaches to the seat post via a quick release and is easy to remove when you need to. Please be careful using one, and keep in mind that the bike's maximum carry capacity (including luggage) is 242lbs. A heavier load may lead to accident and injury of the user or damage the bike.

Q: Is there a carry or storage case to put the bike in?
A: Not from Bigfish; however, I offer a custom carry case that works for the Bigfish. Made from cordura nylon, the soft carry case has an inner padded pocket to store the seatpost/saddle and a padded shoulder strap. When not in use, the carry case folds into an outer side pocket and attaches to the handlebars or the back of the saddle: Price: $39.

Klickfix Mini Shopper bagQ: Is there a shopping bag for the bike?a carrying case available?
A: Yes. It's called the Klickfix Mini Shopper bag but Bigfish isn't stocking them yet in the USA. The bag and attachment adapter are @ 57 Euros (currently @ $80 USD) and shipping is additional. You'll need to email BigFish to order this. An alternative would be to mount an aftermarket basket to the handlebars or handlebar stem.

Q: Are the front brakes necessary or is the coaster break sufficient; if so, can the front brakes be removed?
A: Coaster brakes provides ample stopping power & could do the job alone (many beach cruiser bikes only have coaster brakes). Naturally, if you wanted to remove the front brakes, this is easy enough. Unbolt the front brake lever from the handlebars, unscrew the cable from the front caliper assembly and remove the caliper assembly from the front fork.

Q: Would you characterize the BigFish as expensive?
A: Not by a long shot. In fact, for a bike made in Europe, the price is surprisingly reasonable. There are cheaper folding bikes but these are made in mainland China and none fold as narrowly as the BigFish or roll easily when folded.

Q: What's the warranty?
A: 2 years. The warranty covers problems in the material, the workmanship of frame and all mounted parts not subjected to wear-and-tear.

Q: Is the BigFish a brand new bike or is there a quality track record for the bike?
A: BigFish launched in 2008. Management team is small but dedicated. Bike is produced under contract by large Italian bike company. Design is fairly simple so there's little to go wrong.

Q: How long will the bike be available at the promotional $549 price?
A: That's up to BigFish. Chances are the promotion will end once Bigfish begins receiving mainstream press coverage in the USA. Given my experiences riding the test bike 7 months and the support I've received from BigFish, I doubt that will take very long. It's a good product.

Q: How does the BigFish ride?
A: Very stable. See the video I shot riding the BigFish on the Mississippi River levee; the entire time, I was holding the camera in one hand and steering with the other... http://ridethisbike.com/2009/05/bigfish-on-levee.html

In comparison to other folding bikes, the BigFish cruises slower than a CarryMe DS, DownTube Mini, Strida SX or Zootr but faster than a CarryAll, Dahon 1 spd, Kent trike and a variety of 6 speeds (like the Kent Compact). I'd rate the ride as similar to a Giatex and more comfortable than an unsuspended Mobiky or run of the mill Dahon. Unlike other small wheel folders with long, adjustable height handlebar stems (some Dahon, DownTube Mini, Mobiky), there is no handlebar flex. Turning radius is wider than a CarryMe, E-Z Pack or Mobiky but equal to other bikes w/16" wheels. The full alloy fenders are great if you're caught in the rain. Folded, the BigFish touches the ground at 4 points, making it the least likely to fall over & get scratched of any other bike (be it folding or non) out there.

Q: What's the folding/unfolding process like?
A: Initially, folding/unfolding the BigFish can be confusing so it's best to watch a video (like this one) first. Once a rider gets the folding sequence down (about the 2nd to 3rd time trying), it becomes easy to fold/unfold the bike in less than 10 seconds (translation: folding process deters opportunistic bike thieves & amazes bystanders).


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bike News - BigFish Coming; Strida SX Going

by Larry Lagarde

BigFish Available In North America Within Weeks
I received confirmation today that the BigFish folding bike will be in stock in the USA by mid to late July. MSRP will be $799 but the bike will be launched initially at the promotional price of $549.

A micro folder, the BigFish has 16" wheels; yet, the ride geometry is equal to that of a full size bike. The BigFish rolls when folded and folds narrow like a CarryMe, Mobiky or Strida. The big difference is that the BigFish folds without folding the frame (the wheels swivel into and nest within the frame), resulting in a bike that folds shorter than a CarryMe or Strida. This combination of features should make the BigFish a formidable competitor to other brands.

Strida SX Soon Sold Out Until Fall
Sales of the Strida SX folding bike have been stronger than anticipated, leaving the American distributor (Areaware) almost out of stock before the end of June (which is distressing because I only have a few left). According to Areaware, they can't get more of the SX until the Fall.

If you are a tall guy (over 6' 2") in search of a micro folder, the SX is about the only game in town (and they definitely cruise faster than the Strida 5.0) so act soon before they're gone.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bigfish On The Levee

by Larry Lagarde

Two days ago, I took the BigFish out for an evening bicycle ride on the Mississippi River levee trail in Waggaman, LA (just outside New Orleans). I brought my camera with me and shot video as I rode. The video you see below is the result of that ride. Hope you enjoy it. If you're not a fan of French punk rock, you may want to turn down the volume a smidge...

If the video has you interested in the BigFish folding bike, I'm excited to announce that the BigFish will be available for purchase very soon in North America. Priced in the Mobiky/Strida range, the BigFish will appeal to city commuters and urbanites. It has a great ride, rolls when folded and 3 speeds (with rear coaster brake).



Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Folding Unfolding BigFish Foldup Bike

by Larry Lagarde

Here are 2 videos that show the right way to fold or unfold the BigFish folding bike.

Shortly after I first received the BigFish and pulled it from the shipping carton, I filmed the video I've been displaying online since December 2nd. The video shows me using a velcro strap to keep the front tire and handlebar ends from moving freely when the bike is folded. What I didn't realize until AFTER I uploaded the video was that the front wheel will remain fully stowed when it's inflated. Thus, the velcro isn't needed to keep the front wheel in place but it does come in handy for keeping the folded handlebar ends from swinging or moving when the bike is being carried.

I've done several rides now with the BigFish and am very pleased with the bike. The ride quality is quite good, the design is well thought out and the components are of a high standard. I will certainly recommend this bike when it becomes available in the USA.

By the way, I have shot several videos of the BigFish in action; however, my camera work leaves a lot to be desired. Hopefully, I'll be able to shoot some better quality video soon. Once I do, I'll post that with additional input on this fine folding bike.

My thanks to BigFish for giving me permission to post these videos.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

BigFish Folding Bike How To Video

by Larry Lagarde

The BigFish folding bike finally arrived late yesterday afternoon. I pulled it from the box today and shot the following video. The video is short but it shows how to fold and unfold the bike.

Within the next few days, I hope to post video footage of the BigFish in action on the streets of New Orleans. Of course, I'll need to shoot the footage first...


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

BigFish Folding Bike Coming

BigFish folding bicycle - unfoldedby Larry Lagarde

I just received word that a BigFish folding bike will be on its way here in a few weeks for me to review.

BigFish is the new aluminum folding bike on the block. Hailing from Slovenia (the Central European nation on the Adriatic Sea just east of Italy), the BigFish has the geometry of a standard sized bike; yet, it has 20" wheels.

Interesting Folding Design
BigFish folding bike at InterBike2008The bike folds down to 41" x 25" x 12" in 10 seconds via a unique process that keeps the main frame rigid, folding the front fork and rear sub frame instead. According to BigFish, this gives their folder the feel of a full size, non-folding bike and improves pedaling efficiency.

From what I saw at InterBike 2008, I believe the BigFish will live up to its claims but we'll have to wait until I have the opportunity to take it on the streets of New Orleans. If you want specs on the BigFish, here's all that I have for now:

Frame: Aluminum, unfoldable
Gearing Mechanism: Shimano Nexus 3 speed internal geared hub
Lights: front and rear battery light
Brakes: front V-brake, rear pedal brake
Folded Dimensions: 64 x 104 x 31,5 cm
Weight: 28 lbs (12,5 kg)
Wheel size: 16"
Colors: Black, Orange or Gold

By the way, the BigFish is not yet for sale in the USA. In Europe, the bike sells for 599 Euros (about $770).


Folding Bikes | Places To Ride | Reviews | Sitemap

Cycling for fun, fitness & practicality.

PO Box 9025, Bridge City, LA. 70094
Ph: 504-324-2492
Email Us

© 2005-2010 Areafocus.com. All rights reserved. Website Terms & Conditions