If you have been reading this blog for any length of time you know that I am a huge fan of folding bikes. In specific the Brompton Folding Bike is my favorite. What astounds me though is that in the Urban Cycling Community it is not a widely used product. Why is that?
Theft Is Largely Unnecessary
I think that the Urban Cycling Community has a thing about being able to whine. They just love to ask what should I do now that I have been ‘doored‘ while riding no-handed in the ‘sharrow‘ lane outside the office. And do not for one minute think that I am being silly when I suggest that cyclists actually do this. I have watched them with amazement (do exactly that) and wonder just what it would take to bring sanity to such an insane group.
The answer to ‘dooring‘ is of course to avoid the Door Zone. But in an effort to save money by shoe-horning cyclists onto roadways that are too narrow or would take lots of pretty green paint and far too many PVC bollards, they forego the much-needed training of the great unwashed cycling population and allow them to injure themselves doing some that is largely instigated by the state. Weird!
Theft Is Avoidable Too
Ride a folder and bring it inside with you and unless you apartment gets robbed you should have a bike each morning ready to take you into the office. Further when you get there you can fold up the bike and carry it indoors out of the elements and stow it either under your desk or in the hall closet. And unless you work with thugs, it should be there when you get ready to head home.
During one online discussion an Urban Cyclist complained that he had purchased a folder but had been keeping it locked to the bannister in his apartment building’s common area. Stupid people, do stupid things. And in large measure Urban Cyclists seem to fit that bill.
In fact in this instance the knucklehead had the railings on the bannister sawed into and the bike removed. Don’t allow that! Bring the bike inside. Duh!
Ride Quality and Such
Because the stem on the saddle is tall and acts like a lever you need to be concerned with how heavy you are as a rider. The Brompton’s have a weight limit. But they are convenient in ways you really cannot imagine.
They carry panniers, attache cases and lights, fenders and reflectors. You can get them with various gearing options and even specialized handlebars. And they are one of the few bikes which when slipped into a ‘shower cap‘ can be brought onto the commuter train or bus with you. No need to take up valuable real estate from others. It can fit between your legs or under your seat as you travel. In fact many world wide jet setters stow theirs in the overhead luggage compartment.
You can get wide tires and even a SON hub generator to provide light wherever you need it. In short these bikes are too good to be true!