Monday, January 09, 2006

Folders, now a bike worth buying in Oz?

Bicycling Australia is a magazine that generally caters to the mainstream road and off-road market. In addition to their regular issues, they publish an annual Buyers Guide. The current Buyers Guide is the first one to include folding bikes and recumbents as seperate categories and a summary of the options follows.

Various models of Airnimal's Joey and Chameleon 24" wheeled bikes and the Rhino off-road bikes are available via recumbent specialist Flying Furniture.

Birdy has a range of bikes with minor variations to the standard European models.

All current flavours of Brompton seem to be available from Greenspeed, although the website still refers to the superceded C, M and T types. Incidentally they are listed in the Buyers Guide as Greenspeed bicycles rather than as Bromptons. Of course, Greenspeed's five types of folding recumbent trikes are listed in the recumbent section. Not listed on the website, but reported in a recent AtoB magazine, is Greenspeed's hub modification allowing a front drum brake to be installed to a standard Brompton fork.

Eleven varieties of 20" wheeled Dahons are available, together with a lone 26" model, via wholesaler Advance Traders and your local bike shop, although not all are listed on the website.

Ezyfold distributes a range of 14", 16", 20" and 26" wheeled bikes, similar to Oyama's offerings, for sale by your local bike shop.

The Giant Halfway is available through Giant dealers.

Giatex produces a 16" and three 20" 'stretching bikes'. Australian Cyclist's review of an earlier model is here (Note: wholesaler has changed).

The French-designed Mobiky is an interesting new option brought in by the Mongoose and Gemini wholesaler.

Four models of 26" wheeled Montague are brought in to Australia but the wholesaler's website appears to be non-functional currently.

The importer of Shogun bicycles brings in a basic Pacific 20" folding bike but it seems that no website actually shows it.

On a vaguely related note, I noted that two types of folding bikes and two types of folding electric bikes were advertised in the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia journal, The Wanderer. Perhaps folding bikes are finally becoming a significant section of the bicycle market in Australia.