Sale Results at Auction
In 2006 I looked at getting a new bicycle for my daughter Yasmin then aged 10. I wanted a bicycle that she could ride now and still ride when an adult and not to be discarded because she had out grown it or moved onto something more flash.
Adult bicycles are expensive and few allow some under 135cm and over 170cm to ride comfortably. Not only that there is a style and fit in choosing an adult full size bicycle. The solution to this was a folding bicycle.
A folding bicycle already has so many compromises that they will never give the same kind of ride as a full sized bicycle with large (26-27") wheels. As bicycles can not be carried on most trains and certainly not at peak time a number of the different folding bicycles can (mostly). A folding bicycle can also be carried in the boot of most cars, carried around shops (being as small as a folded push chair) and even stored under many office desks. So they don't have to be left out in insecure places hoping that the lock will protect it from determined thieves.
The choice today is huge and even discontinued models can be found in nearly new condition. Some designs are both light and pack into a small space. The 5.5Kg £200 A-Bike of Sir Clive Sinclair and the 10Kg Strider are certainly that.
|fold size||67 x 30 x 16cm||114 x 51 x 23cm||81.3x30.5x63.5cm||58.5 x 56.5 x 27cm|
|rider height||163-193cm||132-182cm||inside leg 68-91cm||inside leg 68-91cm|
A Moulton, particularly the bespoke versions from Alex Moulton ride more like a full size bicycle. They have 20 inch wheels and a range of gears and brakes. However it is not a folding bicycle, splitting into two parts and then no easy way to convey in this state. The Brompton wheels along with the small wheels fitted to the carrier which converts to stand and wheelie. The A-Bike, Strida and Mobiky fold so that the front and rear wheels become the means to roll the bicycle along.
The A-Bike folds the smallest but is still too large for current restrictions on domestic and international flights. The maximum size for an item of hand baggage as 56cm x 45cm x 25cm, including wheels, handles and external pockets. However, some airlines may only allow smaller bags,
On many trains the luggage space is not wide enough to take any of these bicycles. The racks at the end of some compartments are fine, but not if someone else wants to stack a couple of large suit cases. The Mobiky will slide behind the seats in some compartments.
The Mobiky has in addition a carry handle, few folders include one. Although the heaviest of the bicycles considered it seems the better compromise for the requirements set out and even more so when the price is taken into account.
• Folds in 3 seconds
• Rolls when folded
• One size fits most cyclists
• Pedals like a standard bike
• Aluminium alloy - will not rust
• Integrated soft foam carry handle
• Fenders & enclosed chain keep you clean
• Quick releases adjust handlebar & seat post heights fast
• Includes carry bag, kickstand, folding pedals & bike bell
• Fits within baggage meeting airline specs by removing the front wheel.
• Alloy 12" wheels. Rim Material:Aluminum Alloy 6061-12
• Weighs under 30 lbs. 13.6Kg
• Fast folding pedals (resin)
• Disk brake front/roller brake rear, Brake System:Shimano roller break
• Rust free plastic fenders/mudguards
• Aluminium alloy frame & components , Frame Material: Aluminium Alloy 6061
• 3 speed Sturmey Archer internal gear hub, Front Gear Box:Shimano BR-IM31, Rear Gear Box:Shimano Nexus 3 speed
• Suede comfort saddle and soft foam grips, Saddle Height:102.5cm
• "Ding, Ding" bike bell & reflectors for safety
• 2 year warranty on frame/1 yr on all other parts
• Supports riders up to 6' tall and load of 240 pounds
• Handlebar ends fold separately, easing rolling when folded, Handlebar Height:98cm
• Internal hub & self lubricating chains for reduced maintenance
• Folded or unfolded, bike stays upright via multi-position kickstand
• Dual chain drive provides pedalling rpm and speed of traditional bicycles
• Revolutionary, patented, award winning, accordion-type "folding" design
• Nylon carry bag included; optional padded/quilted carry bag available
• Folds to 63.5cm x 77cm x 30.5cm (25”x32”x12”) so you can store it just about anywhere
• Unfolding Size: 127cm x 45cm x102.5cm
• Weight Load:110kg
Mobiky is focusing on production of folding bikes based on this design; however, the new bikes are outfitted with 16" wheels rather than 12" wheels. The new Mobiky models (such as the Mobiky 16 Louis 2 speed & 16 Steve 8 speed) offer faster cruising speed and better stability; yet, they still can be folded/unfolded just as quickly and roll/manuever even more easily when folded. All Mobiky bikes are now built by hand in their factory in Sant Lo, France.
I had to reverse the clamp for the saddle and can't put the rear light on the stem as I did with the one shown above. Thus, saddle lowered, my daughter could ride it. The gears are good for flat roads and gentle slopes but up hill it becomes a chore. The ride is comfortable; the saddle being very good. There is a lot of flex in the handle bar column and you ride very much bolt upright. It is slower and harder to ride than my EG Bates Touring bicycle. The double chain, that is essential to achieve the neat folding, reduces efficiently, uses non standard parts and is more complex. It is also a heavier bicycle and lacks any provision for bags (see below).
The lights are supplied with the bicycle, as is a large carry bag to hide the bicycle in. The bag unfortunately does not fold up easily and can't be carried with you. Both front and rear lights are quick release so can be taken off and carried around with you.
Having got the Mobiky for my daughter she struggled to keep up with me on my effortless racing bicycle. I then got a Mobiky for myself to use. The gearing and short wheel base, with a very upright seated posture, make riding harder than a touring bicycle with drop handlebars. It is also difficult (unstable) to cycle out of the saddle when up hill riding and the long seat pillar and handlebar stem increase the flex in normal riding. On the plus side you get more of a work out than you would on a light weight touring bicycle.
In rain the short mudguards result in a trail of splashes up your back. I fitted two different types of mudguard extensions, both of which seem to to the trick and do not interfere with rolling the bike around when folded.
On the second outing to the country park my daughter got a puncher. It happens. The disc brakes and 3 speed STURMEY ARCHER hub make taking the wheel off harder than with a racing bike. I am also concerned that getting inner tubes may be a problem in 10 and 20 years time.
It is great for park and ride and the two bicycles fit in the boot without trouble. In town you can jump off and fold on the move. It is a crowd puller and very easy to start to chat to people and show off its folding trick. I have rolled it around shops and the lifting handle doubles as a nice loop and anchor point for a heavy bicycle chain.
The handle bars fold down and the pedals fold back, if needed. The provided front lights should be unclipped as in the folded position are easy to knock off.
Besides the mudguards being too short, the Mobiky lacks
provision for a bag. A handle bar bag would be nice. I would like to see a quick
release accessory to enable me to use my Click! handle bar bag. Carrying
shopping hung from the handle bars is more of a problem than with my racing
bicycle and more unbalancing. Although perfect as a commuter bicycle that is
only true if don't have to carry anything or use a small back pack. I wouldn't
want to carry the weight of text books that I had in my panniers at college and
Some two years after I got the two Mobikies Klickfix made a quick release arm that fits to the handlebar column and extends far enough away from the cables and folding handle bars to take a handlebar bag. Mobily also provide a 24 litre shopping bag; although I would not want to have 24Kg of shopping hanging off the handle bars. It is possible to fit a bag to the seat column but the quick release attachment would need to be removed before folding the seat pillar down.
The section of the frame that folds is painted. This chipped within a few days. I applied white enamel, see last two photographs of each bicycle below. This may be an issue with any metal work that gets banged together during assembly and as the frame is not steel it will not rust.
There is a suit case that will fit the Mobiky, if you take the front wheel off. This is like a flight suit case with small wheels and a telescopic handle. Although the Mobiky will fit into over head storage on a plane and assuming you can lift the 13.5Kg above your head I doubt that you would be allowed to do so. The flight bag is certainly far too large to be allowed as hand luggage but there are flight luggage that will accommodate the Mobiky, if you take off the front wheel.
If I commuted daily on the trains I would be inclined to have an over large soft cloth bag to slip over the Mobiky, with pull in strings or elastics, so that the cables didn't get damaged in a crowded train. It also makes it less like a bicycle, but would require me to reset the seat and handlebar height. These adjustments are fractions of a second to fold down but not so easy to get back to that perfect riding position when unfolding.
Bike 1 - set for a 174cm adult
Bike 2 - set for a 130cm child.
Sale Results at auction
Last updated 29th January 2014