Folding Bikes in Fashion

august3.jpg Unsure if folding bikes will supplant fixies as “urban and fashionable,” but they sure are selling and attracting attention. Dahon reported record sales, the ridiculously-small A-Bike launched, and I heard that during a recent catalog photoshoot the Fly By was the “shiznit.” (Photo Credit: “The Folding Bike Fairy ,” Frank Jackson)

I think the new popularity is driven by necessity, as people look for better transportation options and that’s not limited to leaving the car at home, as the New York Daily News reported

“There’s no need for a bike rack when taking it in the car with you out of town, either − just toss it in the trunk … Best of all, I took it with me into stores with nary a squawk from guards, who had no idea what it was, even at the post office − I told ‘em it was a time machine.”

Folding bikes make it more convenient for any type of cycling, as Dahon says, it’s “Personal Mobility.” Next week when Seattle expects the “worst traffic ever” Pam is going to ride the Breezer to the Water Taxi, across Elliott Bay, and onto work. When I travel to Taipei, London, San Fran, and Vegas later this year, I’ll take a folder with me and ride all over the place, just like Beijing. And as Todd told me, when Brompton owners fly, they check their bikes right at the gate.

For longer trips, where I want to get out of the city on vacation, I’ll ride the Modal, a bike that folds with S&S, but is full size.

Do you agree folding bikes are the ultimate in urban mobility?



5 Comments

That video made my knees hurt.

I’ve adapted my riding style to “cruising” v. spinning or “rolling” on the folding bike and not riding very long, but I think what Dahon is doing is showing that it’s easy to sit down on v. step up on, but I did think the same thing in the video and had the aching knees in Beijing.

Those of us with multimodal commutes see folders are getting much more popular. Bike racks on buses and on trains are often at capacity now, and some public transportation entities now promote the use of folders to help with capacity issues.

Fritz,

Absolutely and why the Breezer and Fly By versions are accessorized with the travel bag.

What I realized, considering how much of a pain kids bikes are to store and travel with, folders are even good for the kids.

I like the folding bike fairy. She is kind of like the urban bike equivalent of the Specialized Angel.

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