Old School Folding Bike

After seeing this 70s folding bike with integrated rack, taking some photos, and chatting with the owner, I googled italian folding bike and found several versions of the same bike with different names. There’s the Cinzia, Hyda Bike, Barbarellas, Safari, and sometimes Bianchi. Fascinating. Anyone know the history of these bikes?

folding_italian.jpg



11 Comments

I saw a Betty on the way to work…

excellent—was it stoked?

I’ve looked at many websites trying to find the history of these bikes, but there isn’t much out there.  From what I can gather, they were manufactured only in the early to mid 70’s and were even used in some promotions (see this photo). 

I think they were Italy’s answer to the Raleigh Twenty, but were probably phased out since the Twenty had taken over the market. 

I’m restoring the same Bianchi model, so please add another post if you find anything.  Thanks!

I have this bike but it is missing the front fender and the chain guard.  Does anyone have any idea where i might be able to find replacements?  Mine is this exact bike (same color too) but the brand is Pierce Arrow.

I have the same bike just in an orange shade,I have a promblem with it
It just woun’t spin it locks up…
anyone know how I can fix it?

those bikes were very common all over the middle of europe from the 70ies till BMX came to Germany.

They could easyly be used for children, as well as they could be transported. In my opinion, most of them were never folded. They were just used as lowtech cheap bikes. Your bianchi marks the top of the line i think.
Born in 1975 I broke some of them in my pre-bmx-time. They did not last very long, bearing jumps and so on.
Another advantage: Untill the 90ies loads of them were thrown away, so spare-parts were cheap and easy to find at the “garbage-collection”(?).

These are called U-frames, apparently.  They were made by a lot of companies in Europe.  I just bought one- a Phillips Folda, dated ‘82 on the hub.  I suspect it’s pretty much the same bike that parent company Raleigh introduced as the Safari in ‘84 to replace the Stowaway, but I cannot find any mention of it online anywhere.  I’ve also seen pics of several produced by French firms, notably Peugeot.

The poster above is correct.  The Peugeot P20 (1986 catalog) is a folding bike with the U frame much like this.  You can find them all over the place.  I was lucky enough to get one off Craigslist a few days ago.  If you search by name and model number, people don’t seem to recognize it, just search for folding vintage bike and they’re easy to come by.

Wow, I have this exact same bike except in red. I got it for free at this “garage sale” (without the sale, so you could just take whatever you wanted). It had a “dynamo” lighting system on the front fendersIt says Barabellas on it and made in Italy, I dont know the brand for sure, but I can show you some pictures of it. (Mines really rusted though, but Im looking forward to turn it into a Stingray-like bike with a siss bar and banana seat, but Im gonnna keep that handlebars. :)

iìm italian and i can answer to the quetion. The first and original folding bike was Graziella. The other ones are clones. Some of them like benelli are at last very good clones

Hello! To Bike Member.
I’m have been sold 4 of those; 1 Lygies orange, 1 Pro-Cycle blue, the two others unknown, because those have been repainted.

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