Friday, March 31, 2006

Another stolen Brompton

M3L number 214532, black and pink. Stolen at lunchtime on 23rd March from Piccadilly Place, London W1. Reward. email

Stolen Brompton

Black T6 stolen on 24 March 2006 between 1pm and 6pm outside Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge. Frame Number: 194025
Distinguishing features:
- New-looking Brookes Brompton tan leather seat
- no dynamo, instead bolted-on back LED lamp (Basta?)
Any information please email

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ride Reports from Chop

Thank you to Chop for the following email with links to recent reports on his website.

Subject: RE: Ride photos and reports

Hi Guys

Here are a few links to photos and reports on:- (Click on Link)

Bristol Ride 4th February 2006 :-

Bristol Ride 4th March 2006 :-

The Origami Ride 11th March 2006 :-

Swindon Smallwheels 18th March 2006 :-

Mark Sanders Lecture 21st March 2006 :-

Chop! The mad Welshman touring the urban jungle, somewhere between
LLanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch & Vladivostok!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Tales from East and West

VeloVision have a Taipei Show story by folding bike designer Mark Sanders.

It seems that, apart from winning the Dutch "Bike of the Year" at Fiets RAI, Dahon are using a small pitch chain on one of their bikes. Shades of Shimano's ancient 10mm pitch transmission and some of Mike Burrows' fixed wheel bikes!

Thursday, March 23, 2006


The Folding Society gets a mention on this web page devoted to last years velocipede (railbike) rally held at Hampton Loade station on the Severn Valley Railway in the UK. Looks like the velocipedes themselves also qualify since their outriggers seem to fold in.

Readers with long memories may recall that the London Underground apparently used an f-frame Moulton converted to a rail bike.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Route Planning Tool GMaps Pedometer

Use this excellent tool to plan your next ride, run or walk. There are many funtions such as distance miles / kilometer, elevation, calorie burn, discussion group,link to gpx and much more. It is a global map so you can plan your holidays. I have heard many people are now comparing how far they used to have to walk to school. Check it out here

Monday, March 20, 2006

Origami Ride March 2006

There is a short report of the Stratford ride here in the reports page. Please send your comments and photo's for inclusion to me by email

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dutch Folder History

Here is a webpage of the Oude Fiets (Netherlands historical bike club) showing a selection of folders and seperables from the mid-sixties. While my Dutch language capabilities are somewhat less than the average Dutch dog, Babelfish and the pictures allow English speakers to increase their knowledge of folding bike history.

A more modern Dutch folder design can be found at the Eerder website, the creation of former Sparta folding bike designer Vincent Van Eerd, together with some interesting improvements to Bromptons, amongst others.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

1st Brompton World Championship

The first Brompton World Championship is being held in Barcelona on Saturday 8th April, organised by Brompton's Spanish distributor. Perhaps we should change the location of the Origami Ride which is scheduled for that date so that it is in Barcelona rather than Telford! More details of the event are available via Brompton's web site -, and look at the news at the top of the page.

Mark Sanders lecture on 21st includes the new Swivel-Head

Tuesday 21st March 2006, 6:00 for 6:30
Guildhall Council Chamber, Bath,
Light refreshments will be provided

The lecture, as part of the institution's 'Tuesday Club' is open to the public and will be on a variety of structural, folding industrial and consumer product design and engineering. Event Poster is attached. It will include a pre-production Swivel-Head bike, a Strida3 and an X-Bike, as well as several other non-bicycle projects.

Rides will not be available due to lack of track facilities!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Recumbent folders - 'BentRider Online tests the new Sat-R-Day

'BentRider On line ( now has a test report on the 2006 Bike Friday Sat-R-Day recumbent folder. They seem generally impressed - take a look at their report for full details. The next issue of VeloVision, due out in the next few days, will contain a report on the Inspired Cycle Engineering Trice QNT recumbent folder - this should be a longer test than the one we carried out in January.
We would like to have more news of folding recumbents - several members own, or have owned, the earlier version of the SatRDay, but we've not heard much from them, and a report on the folding Greenspeed recumbents would be most welcome. We expect to be able to report further on the Trice QNT Real Soon Now.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

10th International Bicycle Design Competition

Our thanks to the member who sent us a link to some pictures and a rather rough translation from the Chinese regarding some folders which were in the 10th International Bicycle Design Competion in Taiwan - the link is

Friday, March 10, 2006

More Mobiky

I expect VeloVision or A to B will be doing an in-depth roadtest (measured dimensions, weights and analysis) in the future and have just presented some impressions from a few days with the Mobiky.

With everything set at the maximum limits, the position (Note: photos around 300K) approximated my elderly, short wheelbase Brompton. The distance between handlebars and saddle is virtually the same and the saddle height is slightly higher than is possible with the Brompton extended seatpost. The bottom bracket is a little further forward though. There is virtually no opportunity to adjust the saddle further forward as it would interfere with the carry handle when folded. The telescoping seattube has height stops but the seatpost can be pulled out, as with a standard bike.

Folding is quick with my only problem being folding the handlebars. The handlebars occasionally stuck in the riding position and I tended to tangle the various cables with brake levers and quick releases. I suspect that would change with some lubrication and a little more familiarity. The handlebar stem has a keyway, ensuring the handlebars line up with the front wheel (can be a pain with Dahon and Birdy adjustable stems). The folded width is reasonably narrow and the carry handle is close at hand for lifting. The Mobiky is a little heavier than my T5 Brompton but can easily be rolled on its wheels when folded, without stooping. The stand is a little untrustworthy and the folded bike has a small 'footprint'. Best to lean the folded package in a corner, certainly when using public transport.

Riding the Mobiky is reminiscent of the Airframe with a fair amount of flex felt through the front end, though not in the Bickerton range. The rear end feels quite solid and I didn't notice too much extra drag from the two-stage drive. The fat low-pressure tyres give a comfortable ride. Clothes are fairly well protected with a chainring protector on the cranks and a decent chainguard on the final drive but the mudguards are not very effective. There is no provision for luggage or a water bottle and lights would be restricted to miniscule LEDs. You could probably fit bar-ends without increasing the folded size significantly.

The tiny front disc brake is powerful. There is minor grabbing felt through the lever (probably a slightly warped disc) and occasionally some brake squeal. The rear band brake must be there just for legal requirements as it doesn't contribute to stopping.

The Sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub works as well as ever, controlled by a twist-grip. The overall gearing is fairly low with top gear for flat ground and middle for hill climbing. I didn't find a use for bottom gear but then I didn't hunt for steep hills. It looks quite difficult to increase the gear size, something to keep in mind if you like to pedal with tailwinds or downhills.

Overall, I would be happy to use this bike for short-distance, multi-mode commuting. Our thanks to the importer Gemini Bicycles and Epic Cycles for the opportunity to roadtest the Mobiky.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Observing Folding Bike Fashions

The Observer recently got Boris Johnson MP to review five folding bikes ranging from £99 to over £800. It is a little uncertain whether he actually rode any of them but the comments are reasonably entertaining.

A new folding tricycle

There have been several folding trikes in the news recently. Both Trice and Greenspeed are producing folding recumbent tricycles but a folding upright trike is a rare beast with only Di Blasi's compact model springing to mind.

The Taiwan News reports that Frenchman Yves Plattard has won first prize at the 10th International Bicycle Design Competition with his folding, load-carrying, upright tricycle. The French have not generally been known for folding bikes (Le Petit Bi, assorted U-frames and the recent Mobiky excepted) but being based in London possibly influenced the designer.

A couple of new folding bike designs are also mentioned.

Dahon's 2007 range at Taipei

Bikebiz reports that Dahons's range of bikes for 2007 is on display at the Taipei Trade Show - the 2006 models scarcely seem to have made it into the market yet, at least here in the UK! The report - which you can read at, and look for the item on 8th March - is not very detailed, but still an interesting read.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Birdy Developments at R&M

Wheel Development at R&M
Thank you Christian Zickermann for the following development news.

Riese & Müller plans auxiliary wheel for Birdy
Some days ago I posted this picture (showing the very end of my Birdy´s rear carrier) to the German Birdy mailing list. I asked for the purpose of the small threaded hole. Result: some wild guesses but no reliable answer.

Today one guy from manufacturer Riese & Müller made an interesting post: R&M plans to offer an auxiliary wheel (sic! Not wheelS!) to be mounted at the expedition carrier. They already prepared the new carriers with a threaded hole for the additonal gear (the hole is only on the left side of the rack). The auxiliary wheel will be available somewhen in 2006, the exact date is not yet specified.

Original R&M post (in German)

Translation via Alta-Vista Bable Fish
Birdy friends, hello Christian, as some already assumed in these Mailgroup, it has a special Bewandtnis(drilled hole?) with the small thread indeed. We integrated this thread at the new porters(rack?) starting from 2006, because in the future the mounting of a small role(roller?) is intended there. This makes it possible to ago pull the Birdy in the folded condition in a certain angle behind itself. Functioned correctly well, but we would like to betray more details here yet. This role is offered for all expedition porters starting from 2006 optionally for re-tooling. Unfortunately we can still no date of delivery admit to give, since the project is not yet final with us in the house.
Yours sincerely from Darmstadt
Peter Horsch

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Recumbents and folders

It seems that, in Australia at least, recumbents and folders go together. Not only is Greenspeed bringing the Brompton into the country, fellow recumbent trike maker Logo Trikes imports the Passport. It appears very similar to the Oyama Space Genie. The Space Genie is reportedly better suited to smaller riders.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Love Folding Bikes?

This week is Bike Week, at least around Brisbane. Bicycle Queensland has a series of events including rides, a film night and something a little unusual. This Tuesday evening is "10-speed dating", a social ride for single cyclists. The newspaper publicity includes a photo of a Birdy-riding lady, complete with bunch of flowers (Note: 314k picture). A bit of a change from the stereotype of folder riders being grey-haired gentlemen!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Are You a Couch Cyclist?

Take a look at this very interesting European Site Le Vélo Couché or also known by others as - Recumbent Cyclists. I know many folder enthusiast are interested in this relaxed and comfortable way to ride. Look out for a picture of a Brompton amongst the many different styles COUCH.

CTC Review Changes to UK Highway Code

"3000 of you say ‘no’ to new Highway Code
Last week we brought you the worrying news that a seemingly innocuous addition to the new Highway Code, which tells cyclists to ‘use cycle facilities…where provided’, is likely to be used by insurance companies as an excuse to reduce the amount of compensation that they pay if a motorist hits a cyclist that has chosen to use a road rather than a nearby cycle facility. Since then, over 3000 of you have joined our campaign to have the wording amended. If you took part, then huge thanks. If you would like to join our online campaign, or encourage your fellow cyclists to add their support, then it’s not too late. Simply go to this webpage - it takes less than 60seconds to get involved. Finally, apologies to those of you in who have experienced difficulties signing up – we are working hard to remedy this problem. For more information, contact"

Source: CTC newsnet - 3.3.06

May Origami ride

The starting point for the May Origami ride has been changed to the next station in towards Birmingham so that we can meet in a cafe. Details are here

Experiences with a 2006 Birdy

Folder enthusiast Christian Zickermann has one of the 2006 Birdys (with the new frame design, amongst other changes), and has put an illustrated report about on the web at Although the report is in German, there are lots of good photos, and Christian says that an English translation may follow.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Chop's list of folders

Another email received today was from folder enthusiast Chop Rossiter. As we have mentioned before in these pages, Chop his compiling a very good reference source on folders on the web, and he is asking for help from some of our members:
"I've read mentions of people's older folders which don't appear in my A to Z yet; if anyone has old or classic folders, could they send me some pics, badges, stickers, fold-mech, gears, folded & unfolded, then I'll make up a PDF and add them to my list. I get quite a few requests for help finding what original parts were fitted to some of these older models."

You can contact Chop at 'chop AT' (we reproduce it this way to reduce the risks of spam - replace the AT and surrounding spaces by the usual @), and you can see his list in its current form at

London to Brighton by Brompton in June 2006

We received an email from Brompton today, in which it mentions that:
"We are entering a team in the London-Brighton Bike Ride on 18 June, in support of the British Heart Foundation. We already have a dozen people from the factory signed up, as well as some of our longer-standing supporters and customers, and if you are interested in taking part you would be more than welcome. Details about the London-Brighton Bike Ride 2006, and an entry form, can be found on the BHF website (link below); every rider needs to register personally, and there is a £24 charge, though of course that fee, and all sponsorship raised, goes to a very worthy cause. Please register soon as the event is booking up fast:
On the entry form, tick the "Club challenge team" box
Name of team leader: Emerson Roberts
Team name: Team Brompton
Start time: 9am
Having sent off your form, you may wish to send me an email so that I can keep you abreast of our plans in the run up to the event. We are planning to host some kind of reception for those who make it to the coast and it should be a really fun day out, not least as Bromptons are the only bikes allowed on Southern Trains on the day of the ride!
Emerson Roberts"

London to Brighton is rather too far away from where I live for me to enter, but I hope that lots of Bromptoneers will take part and have a good day. Emerson also mentions in his email that they hope to revamp their web site later this year.

First Impression of the Mobiky

There will be a longer report in a few days with some photos but we can give you a first impression of riding the French-designed Mobiky.

Riding it is interesting. The gearing is a little on the low side, I haven't used low gear of the Sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub yet. The steering has less self-centering than my aging Brompton T5, with glances over my shoulder requiring a little more care. There is some flex in the front end and some minor creaking when pedalling hard. The fat 12" tyres soak up road imperfections better than you might expect.

There are a few more steps to folding than I'm used to but a reasonably compact 'first fold' is super quick. Getting to the smallest possible package is taking under 30 seconds, despite a lack of practice. It is roughly as long as a folded Brompton, slightly narrower and noticeably taller. The bike will stand upright and can be rolled when folded. The carry handle falls nicely to hand aiding lifting.

Our thanks to the Gemini importer and Epic Cycles for the chance to testride the Mobiky.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Dahon's Photography Competition

It feels a bit like waiting for a bus here (you wait for a long time, then three come at the same time) - most of the news seems to be about Dahon at the moment! Dahon are launching their inaugural 2006 Photography Competition. To quote from the notification of the event : "With its long history of working with numerous talented and creative photographers, this competition provides an opportunity for amateurs and professionals alike to win some great prizes and have their work used in Dahon marketing campaigns". Details are available at

Dahon D7 report update

Eric Reed has provided an update on his report on the Dahon Speed D7 which originally appeared in September 2005, based on his experience with the bike since. He remains as enthusiastic as before about the machine. The full report, with the new observations at the end, is available on our web pages HERE.

Dahon 2006 models

The Dahon web site in the USA now has more details of the 2006 models, accessories etc - The information has not yet found its way onto the UK site.