18 April 2017

Does Nobike Fit All?

So why do you have six bikes?

If you have more than one bike, you have heard some variant of this question--from a spouse, lover, other family member, co-worker or friend who doesn't share your enthusiasm for cycling.  That person might see that one of your bikes has drop bars and the other has uprights or flats.  Or he or she might notice that one bike has fatter or skinnier tires, or has only one gear or multiple gears.  On the other hand, that person might see only that your bikes are different colors or have different names on them.

The reason nearly all of us give--if we actually ride the bikes we own (I do) is that they have different ride characteristics.  One bike might be better for long distances, another for speed and yet another for "rough stuff".  One of our steeds might carry our groceries, books r even furniture, while another can and should be ridden only in its most stripped-down form.

Now, if you've gotten this far in answering your incredulous friend or lover, he or she might ask whether there's one bike that can "do it all".  Some bikes are billed, by their makers or marketers, as Swiss Army knives on wheels, if you will.  Swiss Army knives are great (I have a couple.) and they can perform a number of different tasks in a pinch.  But, for most of those tasks, if you had to do them every day, you probably wouldn't want to rely on your Swiss Army knife.

Still, it seems that there's always someone trying to create a bike that can give a satisfying ride in all conditions.  Likewise, it seems that there's always someone or another who's trying to design a bike that will fit everyone.  Nearly every folding bike I've ever seen is touted as a machine that will fit everyone from about 150 to 215 cm (a little less than five feet to a little more than seven feet) tall.

When you've been riding for as long as I've been riding, you become skeptical about either endeavor.  So, it might seem doubly dubious when you hear that someone has designed a bike that not only can be adjusted to a wide range of sizes, but can also be altered to suit different riding styles and conditions.

Well, Dynalab has just designed such a machine. The frame is made from four triangular slabs of aluminum slotted together by three joints with cylinder spacers.

According to the folks at Dynalab, the frame has 80 cm (about 31.5 inches) of vertical adjustability, making it "suitable for men, women adolescents and adults alike".  The aluminum slabs can also be moved horizontally and the angles varied to change the frame's geometry.

The bike actually sounds interesting and I wouldn't mind trying one, if only out of curiosity.  If it works, I could see using it as a travel bike, as it looks as if it could be disassembled rather easily and carried in a relatively small piece of luggage.  And it could be made into whatever kind of bike would suit the conditions you might encounter upon arrival.  

Even if the ride and fit qualities are as good as Dynalab claims, I have to wonder how sturdy those slotted joints are. Just how much assembling, disassembling and moving around could the withstand?  And how much shock and abuse.

Still, even if it is what it's claimed to be, I might have a hard time shelling out my money for something called Nobike.  


  1. As kids, my brothers and I built all kinds of cool stuff out of our Erector sets. I remember we bolted together a robot that rolled on batter power, and perhaps a crane as well. With a few tweaks, we might have been able to build a bike like this one.

  2. Dialogue that has actually occurred three times:

    "Ah... I see that you have... ah, EIGHT bicycles...?

    "Yes, I don't think anybody really needs a dozen bikes, so I have limited myself..."

    As for the Erector Set bike (thanks MT), it looks like some piece of equipment that a professional bike fitter would use. Does BSNYC know about this?


  3. MT--You're right. (I must say, though: I wonder what kind of message they were sending us when they gave us "Erector" sets!)

    Leo--You're right about the fitter. And I love your response to the person who wonders why you need eight bikes. Next time someone asks why I have six, I'll tell them I didn't really think I needed eight...