The bike is the ultimate adventure transport in our opinion… It’s versatile, and with a little bit of imagination most bikes will suit most circumstances most of the time, if you’re a little bit flexible in your expectations that is.
There are times though, when you want to be more specific. Times when you want to ride somewhere particular, but maybe don’t have the time to cycle all the way there, ride the route you want to and then cycle all the way back. There are lots of other similar circumstances, but you get the idea right?
So, do you take the train? Drive your bike there on a car? Fly there? Well, off course you can do all of those as needed, but to make it truly an easy option no matter what mode of transport you select you may wonder about a folding bike. It’s convenient, easy to pack away and carry as needed, mostly unobtrusive to others or easily hidden in the boot (trunk) of a car. At this point, you probably also chastised yourself for being ridiculous, knowing for absolute certain that a folding bike simply wouldn’t stand up to or cope with what you had in mind.
For years, the words ‘folding bike’ have probably evoked the same mental images in most cyclists. We think of small wheeled, variously equipped commuter bikes probably. Ideal for the country dwellers to take into the city to get to work and reap the benefits of cycling vs crowded public transport for the proverbial ‘last mile’ of their journey. Manufacturers like Brompton, Tern, Dahon and Moulton are great examples of companies that produce very high quality bikes in this category. This idea of small wheeled bikes being the dominant design of folding bikes could be about to change however.
Over the years, there have been several attempts to bring a larger, maybe even full sized bike into the folding world. An example being Airnimal for instance. None have managed to hit the mark of being either a great folder or a great bike in their own right. It’s always felt like a bit of a compromise. Enter Change Bike, a UK company who may have actually managed to do the seemingly impossible and create a range of full sized folders that are suited to different tasks (an MTB & Hybrid for now), all of which are well equipped and convenient to fold and use. Their latest version, the DF-602, is a top of the range, XT & Fox equipped, good looking bike. Perhaps now it actually will be possible to jump on a train with your unobtrusive folding bike and then go ride without having to settle for shortcomings that you’d rather not settle for…
Well, we’re going to find out, because we’re planning to do just that by packing some overnight camping stuff and bundling it, the bike and us on board a train to one end of the South Downs Way and then riding the 100 off-road miles to the other end, before getting the train back to HQ again. We think this’ll be a good test of the kinds of things that you’d probably expect from a bike of this kind.
Look out for the test in the next few weeks, and let us know in the comments if you have any specific questions about the bike that you’d like us to try and address while we have it..
For now, check out a video of the bike in action here.