29 April 2016

More Designers And Engineers Are Into The Fold

I have owned two folding bikes in my life.  The first, a Chiorda from the 1970's, I didn't have for very long.  But I rode the second, a Dahon Vitesse, to work for a year and a half.

As I've said in my post about the Dahon, I am not against folding bikes per se.  In fact, I see a real need for collapsible bikes that give a satisfying ride.  I just think such bikes are few and far between, although that could change one day.

That last statement is not just something I said to appease those of you who love your collapsible bikes or to prevent a flame war.  My optimism about the future of collapsible bikes is based on the fact that a number of designers and engineers are creating new and interesting ones.  Perhaps one really will be the folding bike of the future.

For some, getting a folder--or any bike--might be part of "going green".

It seems that Josef Cadek took that notion literally in designing his "Locust" folding bike.  It seems that whenever someone is creating a "modern" design, he or she seems to think it must be done in shades of white, gray or beige.  Not that I dislike those colors:  I just like variety.  (It drives me crazy that every other bike made is black, or so it seems.)

I have no idea of how the Locust rides.  One thing I will say for it, though, is that it's hard to fault for its shape or size when folded.  The same could be said about Thomas Owen's "One" which looks, well, more modern, at least in its tonal palette:

Since we live in a world in which we have to do so much in so little time, we have to "multitask."  So must our devices and gadgets.  So, since many cyclists ride with backpacks (I rarely do), Chang Ting Jen perhaps thought it was natural to come up with this:

Yes, a backpack bicycle!  Supposedly, it weighs only 12 pounds.  Of course, most people wouldn't want to carry much else if they have such a bike, as light as it is, on their backs.

You can read more about these, and some other interesting concept bikes on the Incredible Things webpage.



  1. I am afraid I must side with Bike Snob NYC on this question. It's a matter of basic pride and self respect: would you really want to caught riding one of these Rube Goldberg concoctions in public? And I would like to inquire as to the condition of somebody's hind quarters after completing a century on one of them.

    Maybe I am too hard core, a roady at heart. But I pride myself on being a serious bike rider, ride steel, and indulge in the art and science of double locking a bike so that it is simply too complicated a problem for potential thieves.

    OK: maybe for some people who never have to cover more than a few kilometers or miles a day and not even every day. But... back to my first point: that backpack bike looks like you have strapped a toilet seat to your back.


    1. Leo--I don't think I would buy, let alone any of those bikes myself. (Yes, that backpack does look like a toilet seat when it's strapped on someone's bacK!) Still, I'm glad that people are experimenting with folding bikes, and realize that a lot of them will seem like school science projects gone awry. But that's part of developing anything, I think.

      Still, I don't think any folding bike will ever be a substitute for a nice steel road bike.

  2. I just wish used Bromptons were more affordable...

    1. Steve--I agree. I'm not ready to pay as much for a folding bike, no matter how good, as for a fine road or touring bike. At the same time, if I were to buy a folding bike, of all that are currently available, I'd want a Brompton.