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.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Times Up Folding Bike Fest Video
Since I mentioned Time's Up! the other day in my post regarding the effect of the silly, recent NYPD parade permit regulations on cyclists, it seemed appropriate to follow up with the video below. Shot at the 2006 Time's Up! Folding Bike Festival, the video shows riders demonstating how different types of folding bikes fold and unfold. The first bike that is demonstrated is the $699 Mobiky Genius (which I offer with free shipping).
The Folding Bike Festival is an annual event and will be held this year on Saturday, May 12th at 2pm in New York City. The ride will cover 10 miles in Manhattan, beginning at West 23rd Street on the Hudson River Greenway and ending at Stuyvesant Cove Park, East 23rd Street at the East River. Anyone can participate including riders of non-folding bikes.
Video - How to Fold A SwissBike LX Full Size Folding Mountain Bike
Here's a video I shot this afternoon of the $699 SwissBike LX full size folding mountain bike. Designed to take the punishment of menacing city streets or rough single track, the SwissBike LX has a suspended front fork and a folding bike frame, making it convenient to take in the car when driving to your favorite bike trail (no more bike racks) as well as to store in tight places. Besides the great looks of the SwissBike LX and the high quality of its components, two innovative features place these folding bikes in a league of their own: the X Frame folding frame system and the ingenious CLIX quick release wheel levers.
The X Frame is a unique folding frame design whereby the mono horizontal tube that connects the front and rear wheels swings 180 degrees from hinges below the seatpost, allowing the bike to fold upon itself. The folding mechanism is actuated by opening a quick release, spinning the release loose, pushing down on the release (as if pushing a button) and swinging the frame. Even if the quick release somehow came open while riding, the frame is designed to remain unfolded.
The LX is one of the first bikes outfitted with the latest in quick release skewers - the patented CLIX quick wheel releases. Even if the CLIX is open, a cam on the skewer just next to the release lever retains pressure on the frame, keeping the wheel fixed to the frame. Another benefit of the CLIX system is that no spinning of the quick release is needed for tightening. In other words, no more over or under tightened quick releases!
Though my wife is not a big bicycling fan, even she thinks this bike is cool. I think her exact words were "wow, that really IS nice."
Lots of YouTube videos tend to be grainy and unprofessional; however, here is a great one from Britain (scroll below the video for more text).
The video is from "The Gadget Show, a television series in the UK that profiles various types of gadgets. The subject for this segment is a comparison between two highly unconventional folding bikes - Sir Clive Sinclair's infamous A-Bike and the Strida. With a telescopic frame, 9" wheels and weighing in at just 12 lbs, the A-Bike wins in the portability test; however, the Strida beats the A-Bike on riding comfort and speed. Have a look.
Ever since I first read about the A-Bike sometime ago, I have been skeptical about the practicality of this folding bike. After watching a YouTube video today showing the A-Bike in action, I can see where some users would benefit by having a bike this light (just 12 lbs) and quick to fold, especially if they commute partly by bike and partly by mass transit bus or subway train.
What concerns me most about the A-Bike are its teeny tiny wheels (hitting a pothole, road debris or crossing a drainage grate could lead to a dangerous spill). Without a doubt, this bike was designed for cycling on smooth pavement but that can be hard to find in many congested, urban areas. With a max load capacity of 187 lbs, many Americans would be too heavy to ride it. Also, the bike is designed to cruise at a max of about 15 mph so I'd be leery of riding this single speed bike in traffic in Manhattan or downtown Chicago; tooling around Central Park on it would be fun though.
Regardless, the A-Bike was conceived by the famous inventor Sir Clive Sinclair and someone thought enough of this bike to provide the financial backing needed to mass produce it so I'll withhold my verdict on the smallest of folding bikes until I get to ride one. In the meantime, here's the video I saw as well as a promo video from Sinclair Research. Watch them and judge for yourself. I'd love to read what you think too.
Note: If all you see is an empty box where the movies should be, you probably don't have Flash on your computer. Flash is free and can be downloaded from Adobe.com.