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Old 03-23-06, 09:08 AM   #1
Chop!
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I heard about a lecture that was to be given by Mark Sanders of MAS Design (the designer of the Strida) and was lucky enough to be able to attend.
There is an account with photos ( & with details of the adventure which followed) :-

http://www.long-john.com/MarkSanders.pdf
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Old 03-23-06, 10:41 AM   #2
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Very good post.

I think Mark should focus more on the Strida instead of the X Bike. The X Bike is very limited and is served by the same market the Strida currently covers. Why would you get an X Bike with even smaller wheels when the Strida solves that problem. In fact, those small wheels are highly suseptable to getting to getting caught in a crack and tossing the rider.

The natural progression of the development of the Strida is not moving forward. It's time Mark creates one (Strida) with 20' inch wheels and a Sturmey Archer AW-3 hub. I would like to see one with 26' inch wheels and a Nexus 8! This will allow those who have longer multimode commutes (say 5 miles) the ability to climb some rolling hills if the need arises. If he still wants to keep the bike chainless, a chainfree drive system with a Nexus 7 hub would be in order.

The Strida is the only bicycle that I've seen that can safely fit in the overhead rack of a train or bus without scaring the passengers below. The Brompton or Presto are thick packages in comparison while the Strida is more like a folding baby carriage. I don't think a 20' inch Strida would be any thicker the 16' inch version currently available.
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Old 03-23-06, 12:14 PM   #3
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Mark was not developing the X-bike at the expense of the Strida, he was developing it for Sir Clive Sinclair, what the client wants, the client gets.
He's already come up with a design for a planetary gearbox in the front pulley, but they need to sell a lot more Stridas before the tooling costs can be met.
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Old 03-23-06, 03:25 PM   #4
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26 inch?! Blasphemy!
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Old 03-23-06, 04:38 PM   #5
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No, no, no! Awesome Swivelhead frame, but wrong tire size! Think about it: what is the very basic purpose of a folder? To take and stow in places that 26" bikes can't go. I've seen guys take Dahon Zero-G's and other full-size folders on the train, and even in folded state, they're still way too big and wide to be stored anywhere else but un-folded in the regular bike rack. So what's the point? Apart from taking up less space in your apartment living room, they would make a pretty tight fit in the trunk of a car, and certainly be unmanageable carrying into an office building (if they even let you in with it).

Granted that the target consumer for the Swivelhead would be one looking for a folder with 26" wheels, how many of those are there in a sea of folding enthusiasts born and bred to know that folding bike = 20" wheels? Think of the guy ready to plunk-down several thousand bucks on a Birdy, BF, or Moulton: will a 26" folder even meet his criteria, regardless of how awesome the design? Probably not. I just think that there is more money to be made tapping an already accepted and successful market where 20" folders are the hot commodity.

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Old 03-23-06, 05:31 PM   #6
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Great report, Chop!

That X-bike does look bizarre. It would definitely be a conversation starter out in public.
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Old 03-23-06, 06:11 PM   #7
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Thanks Chop.
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Old 03-23-06, 06:45 PM   #8
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My first thought was that the X bike looked like an ironing board without the top board either or my keyboard stand without the keyboard.

Regardless chop thanks for the report.
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Old 03-24-06, 02:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james_swift
No, no, no! Awesome Swivelhead frame, but wrong tire size! Think about it: what is the very basic purpose of a folder? To take and stow in places that 26" bikes can't go. I've seen guys take Dahon Zero-G's and other full-size folders on the train, and even in folded state, they're still way too big and wide to be stored anywhere else but un-folded in the regular bike rack. So what's the point? Apart from taking up less space in your apartment living room, they would make a pretty tight fit in the trunk of a car, and certainly be unmanageable carrying into an office building (if they even let you in with it).

Granted that the target consumer for the Swivelhead would be one looking for a folder with 26" wheels, how many of those are there in a sea of folding enthusiasts born and bred to know that folding bike = 20" wheels? Think of the guy ready to plunk-down several thousand bucks on a Birdy, BF, or Moulton: will a 26" folder even meet his criteria, regardless of how awesome the design? Probably not. I just think that there is more money to be made tapping an already accepted and successful market where 20" folders are the hot commodity.
Having folded it up, then wheeled it through the Guildhall, carried it down the stairs and wheeled it out to where I'd locked my GoBike, I can tell you that there is very little difference between the folded size of the Swivelhead and that of my GoBike. There is also the fact (that I have not mentioned yet) that when the wheels are removed the frame fits a standard Samsonite type case whith the wheels in the lid. Mark showed us photos to prove it. The folded size is basically that of a 26" wheel plus a handle, I think that this will fill a gap in the market, plus it is infinitely adaptable and can take any type of wheel, fork, suspension, brakes etc. and still not need to be carried except for lifting it into trains etc.
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Old 03-24-06, 04:08 AM   #10
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Thanks Chop - good report.
So, this swivel-head is a full sized wheeled bike, that folds down to the size of a 20" folder ? ....... and like a Strida you can wheel it along ..... if thats so, AND the price is right, looks like a shopping list contender. Will Strida UK be selling it ?
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Old 03-24-06, 04:45 AM   #11
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Thanks Chop - good report.
So, this swivel-head is a full sized wheeled bike, that folds down to the size of a 20" folder ? ....... and like a Strida you can wheel it along ..... if thats so, AND the price is right, looks like a shopping list contender. Will Strida UK be selling it ?
Mark told us that he'd assigned the patent to Ming, Ming being a very big player in the folding bike World have the muscle to defend their manufacturing rights, and the ability to make the most of the adaptability of this design. As I understand it, Mark concentrates on design now and I presume he has also assigned the patent for the Strida to Strida UK. I could kick myself that I did not take a side by side photo of my GoBike & the Swivelhead, when I gave Mark & his family a folding demonstration of the GoBike and showed him the areas of weakness and my proposed solutions.
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Old 03-26-06, 11:57 AM   #12
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Strida does not have a fork, how would a nexus hub mount?
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Old 03-26-06, 12:10 PM   #13
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Being able to fold a 26" bike is usefull:
1) it becomes more compact folded, wrapped in a tarp there are many places you stick it on a train. WHeel chair area, near a door, on a seat. The compact shape gets it less attention.

2) it fits in trunks back seats easily.

You can take a regular bike remove the wheels, loosen the handlbars, wrap it all in a tarp and usually (but not always) accomplish the same thing.
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Old 03-27-06, 03:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james_swift
No, no, no! Awesome Swivelhead frame, but wrong tire size! Think about it: what is the very basic purpose of a folder? To take and stow in places that 26" bikes can't go. I've seen guys take Dahon Zero-G's and other full-size folders on the train, and even in folded state, they're still way too big and wide to be stored anywhere else but un-folded in the regular bike rack. So what's the point? Apart from taking up less space in your apartment living room, they would make a pretty tight fit in the trunk of a car, and certainly be unmanageable carrying into an office building (if they even let you in with it).
Like some other correspondents, I simply don't agree with James Swift's remarks about 26" folders. My wife and I mainly use 20" folders (Dahon Helios, Giant Halfway, Phillips Boardwalk Lite, etc.) and we ride these often wherever there are reasonably good conditions - e.g. on tarred cycleways and well surfaced paths. However 26" folders quite definitely have their place - especially on rough woodland paths and on certain canal towpaths and cycleways, where there are poor surfaces, numerous potholes, protruding stones, rutted stretches and often a large amount of loose gravel and stones. As I know from past experience, to try to ride these on a 20" folder is unpleasant at best and, at times, extremely uncomfortable with a good chance of coming off. However I also have a Dahon Espresso with 26" wheels equipped with Schwalbe Hurricane tyres which is a quite different proposition on these poor surfaces. I have just been riding parts of the West Highland Way and the Kelvin Walkway near Glasgow on the Espresso safely and with much enjoyment of the beautiful countryside. Whereas previously with the 20" folders, I simply had to get off and walk some parts of these trails such was the discomfort and potential danger. It seems to me that there are horses for courses and, for these rough conditions, the 26" wheeled folder is a more appropraite mount. So this Swivelhead bike that Chop has drawn our attention to will very definitely be of interest to part of the folding bike community.

As for his remarks about folding 26" wheeled bikes, I have not experienced any trouble about this. The Espresso folds just as easiily as our 20" folders. When folded up, it goes into the back of our small Honda Civic hatchback with the back seat folded down without any difficulty. There is plenty of room left to accommodate my wife's big dog (a standard poodle) as well! As for the local trains, they have spaces allocated for wheelchairs, prams, push-chairs, etc. in each carriage. The Espresso in its folded configuration takes up less space than many of these devices and I have found no difficulty in placing the bike in one of these allocated spaces. Nor have any difficulties arisen about using these spaces either with the train conductors or fellow passengers.

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