An unfolding bike saga

Source: treehugger.com

My urban commuter folding bicycle made its 2.85 mile maiden voyage to work this morning. Was it a blast! I should have bought one of these years ago. Fun, maneuverable, speedy, and comfortable for the short-medium haul ride, it is a joy to ride.

The saga began a month or so ago as I decided to shop around for an urban commuter folding bike. Much to my surprise (and dismay) there is a much larger selection than I ever dreamed and prices are all over the map. Since this was going to be my first one and locally there is no place to try one out, I decided to be conservative on my spending and not go over $400.

bayareabikes.com

accessport.org.uk

sfbike.org

citizenbike

So…the quest began. I checked out Dahon, Brompton, Bike Friday, Citizen, and several others. Eventually, due to price I zeroed in on Citizen, which is out of Southeast Florida, though the bike was made in China.  Did not want to spend a wad and find out I didn’t like the bike.

My Citizen “Miami”

After reviewing a plethora of brands and models, I ordered a “Miami” by Citizen for $199, plus $30 for a case and $30 for shipping. It has a six speed Shimano index gear system with RevoShift. The bicycle is largely assembled when it arrives. My task was to remove the packing and protective materials, connect the handlebars and seat, and unfold and lock it into position. This was a snap (other than the ceremonial first scratch while cutting through one of the zip ties). Ugh!

The ride is so much more enjoyable, at least for the short-haul, than my Diamondback cross-country bike. As a result, I will be pedaling away on my Citizen “Miami” as much as possible until the weather turns sour.

Urban commuter folding bikes are a hot commodity these days and I can see why. Ease of storage, ease of assembly, ease of transport, and flexibility make them great for commuting and traveling. Gone for me are the days of latching the bike onto the back of the car, unless it is for off-road riding. Yay! My only recommendation – retail bicycle stores need to start carrying these things. Otherwise, they risk being left in the dust of a new riding revolution.

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2 Responses to An unfolding bike saga

  1. Frank says:

    Congrats on your purchase of the folding bike. I’ve been curious about these bikes for awhile now, they seem to be a great tool for commuting. I’ve especially been interested in the Citizen line and was also thinking of getting the Miami. I don’t want to spend a whole lot on a bike. Haven’t biked since I was a kid and don’t see the need for a $500 bike right off the bat. A few questions, was the general setup of the bike simple? How are the stock tires holding up, would I have to change them out for new ones? Have you used the bike in conjunction with public transit? This seems to be what they are designed for, I would greatly appreciate any feedback you could give. Didn’t mean to pepper you with questions, it’s just that there is not much info on this particular bike and even less on how it handles in the real world. Congrats again!

  2. Pingback: A year as a folding bike commuter | Panethos

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