Saturday, March 22, 2008

An unusual sighting

The Itera of the 1980's was an attempt to produce a bicycle largely made from plastic. It was not a great success, and I can't recall ever seeing one on the road here in the UK at the time, so it was a considerable surprise to see one parked outside Marks & Spencer in the centre of Wolverhapton yesterday. The Itera was certainly not a folder, so this posting is really just for the curiosity value! the bike seemed fully operational and apparently in regular use.

Taipei Show

Strida designer Mark Sanders has sent us a report on his recent visit to the Taipei Show. However, Peter Eland of Velo Vision was quicker off the mark (no pun intended) than I was and has already published the report. As might be expected, Mark's report concentrates on the Strida (made by Ming Cycles) and on Pacific Cycles, who have taken over Mark's new design concept from Ming. The pictures in the report show examples of that concept applied not only to a conventional large-wheeled folder, but also to a derivative of the Pacific Reach (which uses 20 inch wheels), which should serve to make it significantly more portable than before. By the way, he name 'Swivel-head' has not been dropped in favour of 'IF' (Integrated Folding). Don't miss the report on the Velo Vision web site.

The Dahon Ciao P8

With its exceptionally low step-over height, the Dahon Ciao is a most unusual design. William Reid has sent us a brief report on his experience with the Ciao, and you can read it HERE.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Mike Ives Goes Grand Touring

Cycling Weekly reports that Mike Ives this year will be raising money for the SPARKS charity, by riding the routes of the three Grand Tours (Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana) in fewer days than the professionals. Ives has previously won 5 UCI world championships and 62 British championships and ridden the route of the 2005 Tour de France one day faster than the professionals. He is pictured on his Airnimal folder.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

A S Bikes Explorer

Most of our test reports cover higher specification and performance folders, so it was interesting to have the opportunity to try a more basic machine from the low-price end of the market. The A S Bikes Explorer is aimed at the leisure user rather than the serious cyclist, and might typically be used for short shopping trips, towpath rides, and use in conjunction with caravanning, motorhoming or canal boating. The bike acquitted itself quite well for these sorts of application - you can read the full report HERE.