From Birdy to Strida, what Bike should you Choose?
From classic brands with long histories to emerging startups with innovative new ideas, today we're taking a look at a wide variety of bike manufacturers and the choices they have for all kinds of cyclists.
Raleigh is a world-renowned bike maker based in the United Kingdom. With more than 125 years of history in the trade, Raleigh bikes are synonymous with all types of cycling. By comparison, Hummingbird is a brand new start up that has launched on Kickstarter and is revolutionising the sport by crafting what might be the world's lightest folding bike in 2017.
Let's take a look at both brands plus a few others, like Tern Bikes, Birdy Bike and even the unique Strida Bike. We'll also investigate an essential accessory.
The New Classic British Ride
Raleigh makes a vast range of bikes for all cyclists, including mountain, road, hybrid, folding, electric and child sized models. With proven quality and innovation, Raleigh is the only bike company on the UK Superbrands list.
No Raleigh bikes review would be complete without taking a look at some of their latest models, such as the Strada Electric. A super fast city cycle, it's built to take you buzzing through traffic on your commute, using the Shimano Steps e-bike system to assist with shifting. The light yet sturdy alloy frame, carbon fork and Shimano on-board computer make for nimble, responsive riding.
The Strida. Picture from www.blessthisstuff.com.
It's apparent that Strida was designed by a British engineer, as it combines innovative engineering techniques with quality construction that make for a light, compact bike. Its incredibly simple and portable nature makes it ideal for those who commute, city dwellers who need something small and adaptable to get around on and anyone with limited space to store a bike.
The Hummingbird is another highly advanced marvel of engineering and as well as the lightest, it just might be the smallest folding bike in the world. Launched on Kickstarter, the Hummingbird sensation is now taking over the world.
Hummingbirds weigh just 14 pounds and are made of carbon fibre. Single speed and made without a chain tensioner, their smart construction includes a unique folding system and pivot for the rear triangle around the bottom bracket shell.
Cheap Deals on Compact Bikes
For those not looking to make a large investment in a folding bike at the moment, fear not. There are many choices available at great introductory prices for those who don't want to or can't afford to spend much. These are especially good for those not yet certain whether foldable bikes are for them, or how much use they'll get.
For example, sites like Amazon offer some of the cheapest folding bikes, like the Matex B'fold for around €180 and the Raleigh Stowaway 7 for around €350. Other major retailers sell models such as the Challenge 26" folding trekking bike for around €128.
The Most Important Accessory
Those investing in a compact, foldable cycle may notice that one thing still gets in their way – the bulky helmet! Of course, this helmets should be considered essential, not mere accessories, but what can be done about making them as compact as the bikes?
Morpher helmet technology makes a brilliant folding helmet that packs flat to be incredibly portable. It surpasses all relevant safety standards making it just as wise a choice as traditional helmets and is suitable for all kinds of cycling.
Morpher helmets are especially cool in that they're completely recyclable, so if yours ever does get worn out you can replace it and know the other won't be sitting in a landfill forever.
Carerra is a similar brand available through many major retailers. Designed with urban cyclists in mind, it has a flexible yet sturdy frame. It's also incredibly comfortable and can adapt to your head shape.
A third option is the Overade Plixi, which is designed to reduce excuses about not being able to wear and carry around a helmet! When it comes off, it folds down for easy storage, yet is incredibly comfortable and safe in use.
Whatever bike or helmet you choose now is a great time to get out riding. From buzzing to the shops to cruising between the train station and the office, there are bikes and helmets out there for every rider and budget.
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