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Old 03-19-06, 09:11 AM   #1
2old2befast
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Strida - problems?

Hi all. I'm looking for a London train-friendly bike to get me around town. Nothing fancy. Gears would be nice but I'm not sure it's absolutely necessary.

First and foremost requirement is the ability for the bike to be carried as on-train (London Underground and national rail) luggage in the rush hour regardless of the weather. It needs to fold clean, i.e. without getting myself dirty or have dirty parts exposed above knee level.

I'm intrigued by the Strida as a very simple and price-competitive bike. I'd like to know from owners what problems you've had and what expectations were not realised. If anyone can also make other better recommendations (with reasons why, in the above context) I would be grateful. Thanks.
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Old 03-19-06, 11:04 AM   #2
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Hi 2Old (you are never ;-) ) I run a strida3 and a Brompton L3 on the london rush hour commute. I dont use the tube (unless its raining), as I prefer to ride, but when i do both bikes are fine.

The Strida (and the brompton, to be fair) has been 100% problem free. I had heard alot of negative stuff about them but I think that applied to the earlier models (which have been around for years). I think you'l find on this forum Strida polarises opinion some seem to love it, others hate it !

The things I notice are: seat clamps have to be very tight or you get a wobbly feeling !, belt tension is important - too loose and you get a nasty sounding crack as it jumps a tooth, and too tight and it feels like its sapping power. I think newer models have an extra bearing to improve this. Mine has the plastic wheels which are OK, although I had a blow out at 70psi so now stick to 60 max, there are now regular spoked wheels available which can take 100psi. The extended rear mudflap is also essential in the wet. I often dont bother folding the handle bars as they have little buttons which are fiddly to use, but with them down its party piece is to fit into the overhead luggage rack on the train (perfectly safe as the pedal hooks into the rail). This is great when there is no luggage space (usually people sit there at rush hour - yes London is that busy !!). The Brompton usually gets parked near the doors, I've seen upto 4 Bromptons parked here - I worry someone will pick one up on the way out.

Although generally Bromptons rule London, I usually take the Strida - Its a close thing, but the strida is just less hassle - no gears to worry about, cleaner and lighter - and its wheelable so you never have to carry it. The 2 things a miss about the brompton when using the Strida are the higher top gear for downhill - strida just peaks at whatever spinning speed your legs will stand. The other is the folded shape - strida is like a bag of golf clubs and the brompton is like a medium suitcase. Strida also attacts most attention - I am regularly stopped and asked about it, which now never happens on the brompton.... you might find this a negative ;-)
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Old 03-19-06, 12:54 PM   #3
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Thanks. I must admit the Bromptons bore me. And as old and (these days) round as I am, there is an image issue. Trundling along on a Brompton isn't quite the funky designer/tech-guy thing. The Birdys were going to be my "ah what the heck, it looks OK and I can bore people senseless about the anti-dive suspension linkage design" choice when I spotted the Strida.

The next question to anyone who responded was going to be about the plastic wheels. Pressure-wise I understand, how about general durability?
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Old 03-19-06, 01:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 2old2befast
The next question to anyone who responded was going to be about the plastic wheels. Pressure-wise I understand, how about general durability?
I'd say apart from pressure they are better than the metal spoked wheels as they are easier to clean and lighter - but not quite as bling !
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Old 03-19-06, 02:08 PM   #5
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Many thanks. I'll have one last think and I'll make the decision later on in the week. Any other comments from anyone else appreciated.
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Old 03-19-06, 09:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 2old2befast
And as old and (these days) round as I am...
If you're a beefier guy, my one last concern would be about weight limits on the Strida. I like the funky little design of them too, but at slightly over 200lbs I'd be nervous as to whether it could hold me and a backpack safely.

Can any Strida owners comment on this?
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Old 03-20-06, 02:03 AM   #7
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hmm, so desing is important. go the birdy i say. i think a better bike for the buck. better components and durabilty and rides more like a normal bike
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Old 03-20-06, 03:32 AM   #8
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I would say birdy too... I like their new designs.
plus, I always felt like I was riding a ladder on the Strida...
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Old 03-20-06, 03:59 AM   #9
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Hi I own or have owned all the bikes mentioned

The belt on a new Strida won't jump due to a new roller which keeps the belt in contact with the rear pully (no need to 'over' tension the belt any more

The new Strida III(a) has the option of metal wheels (very pretty) and much higher tyre pressures

The Strida is the only bike you can easily wheel along for long distances (folded)

Make sure you get the upgrade kit with the folding bars, pedals etc

Order it online, it usually arrives next day, start to enjoy!

Steering may seem a tad skittish for first few hundred yards

Strida operate a 60 day money back guarantee, so if it isn't suitable you can change it.

How tall are you?
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Old 03-20-06, 10:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Simon
. Mine has the plastic wheels which are OK, although I had a blow out at 70psi so now stick to 60 max, there are now regular spoked wheels available which can take 100psi. The extended rear mudflap is also essential in the wet. I often dont bother folding the handle bars as they have little ;-)
Since the Strida now comes with regular spoked wheels, I'm wondering if they are going to upgrade to a Sturmey Archer AW-3 speed because I would buy one for the first grear only. I think it would be an excellant addition and just get rid of the belt drive for those who want a multi-geared bicycle.
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Old 03-20-06, 11:24 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
Since the Strida now comes with regular spoked wheels, I'm wondering if they are going to upgrade to a Sturmey Archer AW-3 speed because I would buy one for the first grear only. I think it would be an excellant addition and just get rid of the belt drive for those who want a multi-geared bicycle.
That would defeat the object of this particular bike i.e. grease-free

The freewheel is on the front pulley, Strida NL in Amsterdam told me that they're considering the development of a two speed bottom bracket

I have had the wire wheels retro-fitted to my older Strida III, I believe it would be possible to upgrade earlier models too
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Old 03-20-06, 02:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookishboy
If you're a beefier guy, my one last concern would be about weight limits on the Strida. I like the funky little design of them too, but at slightly over 200lbs I'd be nervous as to whether it could hold me and a backpack safely.

Can any Strida owners comment on this?
I have to admit to also being slightly over 200lbs and the bike takes my bulk and a fat backpack - no probs.
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