Pride and Prejudice

Have too much pride to be seen riding a folding bike? Think someone will mistake you for a clown? I’ve been able to partially overcome my fear of foldies, or rather my fear of being seen riding a foldie, and the inevitable comments made by on-lookers. Folding bikes are actually a hoot to ride, and certainly practical for small spaces. But I still wouldn’t be caught dead on a recumbent. I haven’t even been willing to try one, for fear I might enjoy it. I’m also a bit leery of bikes with front and rear suspension… too soft and comfortable. And I would be afraid to get a bike with an electric assist motor, because I would be tempted to use it all the time and become an even worse wimp than I already am.

Anyway, a male Facebook friend “liked” a picture on a website that is all about scantily-clad female models posing provocatively with bicycles. And I, not exactly the target audience for this type of entertainment site, noticed the handlebar attachment bolt on the bike in the photo, and stupidly commented : “Looks like the handlebars of one of those eastern bloc folding bicycles. Too bad that model is in the way.”  That was probably not the sort of comment this Hungarian page usually gets, but they were kind enough to post a link to a website photo of the bicycle, without any well-endowed girl blocking the view. kp_018

It’s a cute little folding bicycle. Nothing special. But I noticed that the bike is made by Toxy, and a trip to their website turned up the very interesting Toxy Flite Evo.

It manages to combine everything that makes me cringe into one award-winning package. It’s a folding, recumbent, full-suspension bike with a bionx electric assist hub! And it’s cute as the dickens! Fortunately, it’s expensive and it’s in  Hungary. Otherwise, I might be tempted.


7 replies
  1. Tom Armstrong
    Tom Armstrong says:

    Afraid to try a recumbent bike, eh? Yeah, well, I’ve had them for over twenty years, and I won’t quit owning them.

    Next bike in the stable will be a recumbent to which I can add the TerraCycle Cargo Monster (Xtracycle-compatible frame extension), so that I can use it instead of my Surly Big Dummy for much of my utility riding.

    One thing about being on recumbent bikes for so long, and that gets back to your point: I’m used to folks giving me odd looks. It doesn’t bother me anymore.

    Although, I have to say I’d probably get odder looks on a folder. 😉

  2. Eli Damon
    Eli Damon says:

    I have to admit I know what you mean. A lot of those bikes look silly to me too. Not that looking silly would stop me from using one if it suited my needs. I haven’t had the opportunity to try a small wheel folding bike or a recumbent.

    I tried a suspension frame. They’re wicked heavy and don’t do much on any but the roughest of roads. For that reason, I think it’s justified to say they’re silly. They just don’t have any practical value on the road.

    I tried an electric assist bike. It makes you feel really strong when you ride it. I do feel a kind of philosophical repulsion about them, but I think there are a lot of people who would use one who would not use a bike without electric assist, especially here in hilly country. I also think that most of them would quickly build the strength they need to ride a bike without electric assist if they gave it a chance, but you can’t tell people what to do, and I’d rather they ride an electric assist bike than not ride a bike at all. Electric assist bikes also have very real advantages for heavy haulers. Even a very strong rider could pull 2-3 times as much weight with an electric assist than they could without one. But they also have the disadvantage of being too heavy to lift, which makes them very inconvenient and even unusable in many situations. They’re more like motor vehicles than like bicycles in that sense.

  3. Kevin Love
    Kevin Love says:

    Folding bicycles are very useful for multi-modal transport. They solve the “last mile” problem of getting to or from a train station and then taking the bike onto the train.

    Normally racks on the front of busses will only accomodate two bikes, so if you are person #3 then you are out of luck. Unless you have a folder! Then it is no problem taking the bike onto the bus.

  4. acline
    acline says:

    I love my Brompton 🙂 And it’s a “chick magnet” 🙂 Not that I need it for that purpose anymore. But you young, single guys? Just ride one to the local coffee shop some morning and see what happens. You can thank me later.

    • Eli Damon
      Eli Damon says:

      I have a Montague (full-size wheel) folding bike. I would get a smaller one, but I am worried that it won’t be able to carry stuff. Two heavily loaded panniers is as light as I can get when traveling. I don’t think I can go lighter.

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