Don’t act like a moldy oldie when you can be boldie on a foldie!




That single word sums up what it is like to ride a small folding bicycle (or a foldie). I have owned my Citizen “Miami” with its 20-inch wheels for nearly two years now. It’s easily the most fun on two wheels since my 1960s Schwinn Sting-Ray with the banana seat. This silly thing is a blast! Many other small folding bicycles look like they would be just as much of a joy to ride too, whether they are a Bike Friday, Tern, Dahon, Brompton, Schwinn, or another brand.

You may ask why small foldies are so much fun? I guess it has to do with the fact that the rider is closer to the ground, which gives one the illusion of derring-do and increased speed, as well as enhanced maneuverability. While certainly quite nimble, my foldie is not meant to be a trick bike. But is just as stable as any other two-wheeler, if not more so, as my foldie is quite stable in snow due to its lower center of gravity. While being a stable ride, I still find ways to test my foldie (and myself) that do not fall into a traditional riding guidelines. These include gliding with both legs hanging over the left side when approaching the bike parking racks at work or taking some turns at a sharper angle than necessary just for the thrill of it.

Speed on my foldie is more of a mirage related to one’s proximity to the ground. You are unlikely to keep up speed with you friends pedaling standard street bikes for very long riding a foldie with its smaller wheels.

Over time, our riding abilities and/or needs morph based on many factors, including health, age, income, climate, geography, etc. Beside my Citizen foldie, the newest resident in my bicycle stable is a Trek Allant. With 26-inch wheels, this particular bike model is more comfortable for riding longer distances at a quicker pace and without the additional pedaling needed with 20 inch wheels. It also has curved handlebars that are designed for the rider to sit up versus lean over like many road and most racing bikes, which is a welcome relief for my lower back. Regardless, for work commutes and shorter trips and errands, my foldie is the odds on steed of choice for me, as it evokes so many joyous summer days of enthusiastic bicycle riding when I was a kid growing up in suburban Indianapolis.

This entry was posted in Active transportation, Advocacy, Alternative transportation, Bicycle Commuting, Bicycle Planning, Bicycles, Bicycling, Bike Commuting, Biking, branding, civics, Commuting, culture, Cycling, fitness, Folding Bikes, fun, health, history, product design, recreation, sustainability, transportation, Travel, Velo and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Don’t act like a moldy oldie when you can be boldie on a foldie!

  1. Brompton is fast! My friends pedaling standard street bikes have a hard time keeping up. Only disadvantage of small wheels: cracks in the road or cobble stones


  2. biker2012 says:

    Rick I think you will find the “closer to the ground” is an illusion. My Bike Friday cockpit is actually higher by 1″ then my road bike. However – the “circus bike / clown bike” fun factor from the maneuverability of the small wheels definitely imparts a quick and agile feeling to riding.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s