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  1. #1
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    A-Bike Users - how do you find it?

    Hello,

    I am wondering if there are any A-bikers out there and if so, how do you find it?

    I currently use a Strida myself for the 3 mile journey to work and back (I live in London). I'm very happy with it on the whole, and the compactness and low-maintenance suits me just fine.

    The issue is that being a regular cinema-goer, I often want to go to see something straight after work but despite being able to get on and off tubes easily, I wouldn't be able to take it into a cinema with me. I don't want to lock it up anywhere either - one of the reasons I bought a Strida was so I could stick it behind my desk at work and not worry about the local chavs kicking the wheels in.

    So instead of having to cycle home, drop off my bike and then catch a tube, I'm wondering if an A-Bike might be a solution. My daily route is pretty flat and is mostly cycle lanes, which is a bonus - however I am 6 feet tall and weigh about 11 stone (I think). Am I too big?

    Any opinions or feedback from A-Bike users would be much appreciated.

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    willzz
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    i test rode the A bike.. from a local CL post

    Quote Originally Posted by Starthistle View Post
    Hello,

    I am wondering if there are any A-bikers out there and if so, how do you find it?

    I currently use a Strida myself for the 3 mile journey to work and back (I live in London). I'm very happy with it on the whole, and the compactness and low-maintenance suits me just fine.

    The issue is that being a regular cinema-goer, I often want to go to see something straight after work but despite being able to get on and off tubes easily, I wouldn't be able to take it into a cinema with me. I don't want to lock it up anywhere either - one of the reasons I bought a Strida was so I could stick it behind my desk at work and not worry about the local chavs kicking the wheels in.

    So instead of having to cycle home, drop off my bike and then catch a tube, I'm wondering if an A-Bike might be a solution. My daily route is pretty flat and is mostly cycle lanes, which is a bonus - however I am 6 feet tall and weigh about 11 stone (I think). Am I too big?

    Any opinions or feedback from A-Bike users would be much appreciated.

    Cheers!
    i'm also 6' tall and it felt too small for me....the 6" wheels did'nt roll well on sidewalk cracks..etc..
    only on smooth pavement.. also it felt too flexie for me due to all the plastic joints for the alum frame tubing..
    plus the gearing is for very slow speeds.. just a bit faster than walking..
    so i'd passed on the deal.. he bought it from a dealer in shanghai for approx $50 us..
    but the shipping to cailf was $$ .. so he wanted $150 to cover his cost..
    so i'm sticking to 20" folders for now..

  3. #3
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    I take my much larger folder to the movies. I just either take a side aisle seat, or put it under the screen where you can see if someone snatches it (kind of), and then take a better seat. Requires getting there early and covering it.

  4. #4
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    I have not ridden the A Bike (perhaps I should before voicing an opinion) but I think that Clive Sinclair has made a mistake with this machine. Whilst realising the need for a compact fold, a 6" wheeled folder is not competing with other folding bikes - it is competing with walking!
    Surely you can walk faster, further, safer and cheaper than you could on such a machine.
    Walking is free and no-one can steal your feet!
    I predict that the A Bike will go the same way as the Sinclair C5 (i.e nowhere!).

  5. #5
    Small wheels ARE better! OldiesONfoldies's Avatar
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    I own a Strida and had a chance to ride a clone version of the A-Bike recently. I have to agree with Wilzz - the A bike is very slow. More of walking aid than a bicycle. No comparision at all in terms of ride performance.

    Have you considered the Pacific Carry Me? This one rides surprisingly well and is slightly larger than a skate scooter. I think it is the best compromise.

    http://www.pacific-cycles.com/

  6. #6
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by simsles View Post
    I have not ridden the A Bike (perhaps I should before voicing an opinion) but I think that Clive Sinclair has made a mistake with this machine. Whilst realising the need for a compac fold, a 6" wheeled folder is not competing with other folding bikes - it is competing with walking!
    Surely you can walk faster, further, safer and cheaper than you could on such a machine.
    Walking is free and no-one can steal your feet!
    I predict that the A Bike will go the same way as the Sinclair C5 (i.e nowhere!).
    In the sixties and seventies, Sinclair created some spectaular successes with early calculators, tiny personal radios and small home computers. Since then, he has spent about twenty five years creating ludicrous and laughable transport solutions all of which have suffered from the same identical and hideous flaws; tiny wheels, far too much use of plastic, patheticly poor grasp of the engineering needs of a reliable transport solution.

    As far as I am concerned, something blike the Brompton, the Tickit or something looking similar, are the best, most reliable and longlasting personal transport solution for multi mode journeys and city riding. Whoever funds Sinclairs abortive transport solutions should have his head examined; he might as well toss millions of pounds out of the window.


    The guy seems incapable of learning a lesson. Castors are for the corners of moveable furniture, not bikes.
    Last edited by EvilV; 08-04-07 at 03:05 AM.

  7. #7
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    I take my Brompton with me to the movies all the time.

  8. #8
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R View Post
    I take my Brompton with me to the movies all the time.
    And what is a Brompton's ideal date movie?
    Last edited by LittlePixel; 08-04-07 at 05:57 AM.

  9. #9
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    "he has spent about twenty five years creating ludicrous and laughable transport solutions"

    A-bike might have relevance to someone who is not ready for a wheel chair. A few years ago I was vacationing in Venice, Italy. After disembarking in Mestre I saw a guy get on one of those 'mini' or 'micro' bikes and ride up hill to his car. Seemed to work for him. Mobiky might be another bike in that category, except it weighs too much. A month ago I saw an 'old lady' on a girl's 20" bike.

    I have seen a couple of inventions by elderly people for elderly people. For example a Japanese human washer modeled after a dish washer.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  10. #10
    Life in Mono
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    Whilst I tend to agree with comments above (ie that a-bike has too small wheels and is abit slow) ... it does have a place. I find we ultra cycnical lot in the UK love to knock our own.... ie if Clive Sinclair was an American he would be a hero like say Dene kremen (?) the Segway guy, or Steve Jobs ... both of whom have had hits and misses - but inspite of making calulators and computors affordable, the UK media (and sheep-like public) love to knock him and only remember comercial failures like C5 electric trike and electric bikes.

    Now with that off my chest .... Having a bike that small (folds into 1/2 size of the brompton) and that light (5 Kg / 12 lb) and the price is OK (150 here in UK) ... has some interest. eg it would fit as carry-on on airlines, or inside a back pack, or work bag - these open up new opportunities. Any route of say up to 2 miles that is smooth, would be fine (some airports and factories are that big !!). There is a fairly lively A-bike forum which seems to have quite a few enthusiastic users.

    I know its similar to a scooter, but I prefer spinning pedals than scooting. I wonder if with say 8-10" wheels, same weight and size it may be more useful. Its the wheel size that seems to be the killer.
    I wonder if it could be converted to larger wheels ? or whether having heard these comments a Mk2 would be made with bigger wheels.

    'Carry me' is an alternative, but that seems more long and thin when folded - and, not so light and not so cheap - more an alternative to a Strida. Personally there is one snag with both A-bike and Carryme for me, I'm over their 85Kg weight limit, and probably too tall.

  11. #11
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simple Simon View Post
    Whilst I tend to agree with comments above (ie that a-bike has too small wheels and is abit slow) ... it does have a place. I find we ultra cycnical lot in the UK love to knock our own.... ie if Clive Sinclair was an American he would be a hero like say Dene kremen (?) the Segway guy, or Steve Jobs ... both of whom have had hits and misses - but inspite of making calulators and computors affordable, the UK media (and sheep-like public) love to knock him and only remember comercial failures like C5 electric trike and electric bikes.

    Now with that off my chest .... Having a bike that small (folds into 1/2 size of the brompton) and that light (5 Kg / 12 lb) and the price is OK (150 here in UK) ... has some interest. eg it would fit as carry-on on airlines, or inside a back pack, or work bag - these open up new opportunities. Any route of say up to 2 miles that is smooth, would be fine (some airports and factories are that big !!). There is a fairly lively A-bike forum which seems to have quite a few enthusiastic users.

    I know its similar to a scooter, but I prefer spinning pedals than scooting. I wonder if with say 8-10" wheels, same weight and size it may be more useful. Its the wheel size that seems to be the killer.
    I wonder if it could be converted to larger wheels ? or whether having heard these comments a Mk2 would be made with bigger wheels.

    'Carry me' is an alternative, but that seems more long and thin when folded - and, not so light and not so cheap - more an alternative to a Strida. Personally there is one snag with both A-bike and Carryme for me, I'm over their 85Kg weight limit, and probably too tall.
    This isn't about 'knocking our own'. If his mobility inventions worked and sold well, why would I knock them?

    His calculators, radios and computers did work. They were triumphant successes and I celebrate them. The C5, the zike, the electric power pack for bikes that he sold and I think maybe a couple of weeny teeny bikes are frankly all ridiculous. Just my opinion, so discount it if you think otherwise.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittlePixel View Post
    And what is a Brompton's ideal date movie?
    Brommie and Clyde?

  13. #13
    Life in Mono
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    The C5, the zike, the electric power pack for bikes that he sold and I think maybe a couple of weeny teeny bikes are frankly all ridiculous.
    .

    I'd be a tad more generous and just say they were ahead of their time. For example electric bikes and electric powerpacks are now common place. I'm not trying to say his ideas are perfect, but with a few tweaks (ok maybe decent engineering too ) they could be ground breaking. Meantion that an aeodynamic, very low cost, recumbent, with electric assist is available in the 'bent world and they'd be salavating - but say C5 and they'd laugh !

    Whatever, the facts are the A-bike does have a strong following - A-bike forum - probaly has almost has many contributors as this forum !

    Each to their own, live and let live, no offense taken or meant.

  14. #14
    Life in Mono
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittlePixel View Post
    And what is a Brompton's ideal date movie?
    Transformers of course

  15. #15
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simple Simon View Post
    .

    I'd be a tad more generous and just say they were ahead of their time. For example electric bikes and electric powerpacks are now common place. I'm not trying to say his ideas are perfect, but with a few tweaks (ok maybe decent engineering too ) they could be ground breaking. Meantion that an aeodynamic, very low cost, recumbent, with electric assist is available in the 'bent world and they'd be salavating - but say C5 and they'd laugh !

    Whatever, the facts are the A-bike does have a strong following - A-bike forum - probaly has almost has many contributors as this forum !

    Each to their own, live and let live, no offense taken or meant.
    LOL - certainly no offence intended or taken Simon.

    The ideas in outline are not the issue. An effective electric-assist bent might be a fine thing, as is a neat and well engineered folding bike. I love those kinds of ideas, but Sinclair's insistence on tiny wheels, rather than somewhat larger ones that could cope with a crease in the tarmac, and his insistence of the use of manky plastic rather than better materials have rendered all the forward thinking redundant through hopeless execution.

    http://www.abikecentral.com/abikehistory.html





    Anyway - we needn't keep on with this bantering and I'll go and look at that forum you linked me to.

    Thanks for your perspective.
    Last edited by EvilV; 08-04-07 at 03:56 PM.

  16. #16
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simple Simon View Post
    Transformers of course
    Funny, because I went to see Transformers on my first date with this new girl I am seeing. I had my bike with me and on my way out someone said "The bike trick worked this time, uh?".

    No idea if it was someone that actually see me going to the movies with guy friends (or sometimes even by myself) or just a random joke, but it was really funny.

  17. #17
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    On a side note, I KNOW my Brompton becomes a robot when I am not looking, but regardless of my requests, she refuses to transform in front of me. I've been BEGGING but there must be some sort of code, I don't know.

  18. #18
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R View Post
    On a side note, I KNOW my Brompton becomes a robot when I am not looking, but regardless of my requests, she refuses to transform in front of me. I've been BEGGING but there must be some sort of code, I don't know.
    Unless you obtained the aftermarket clip, she will transform if you pick her up, by willfully tucking under her tail, whether you want her to or not. It seems wierd to me that Brompton don't supply the cheapy little spring clip like Merc does. What would it cost - five pennies?

  19. #19
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    Unless you obtained the aftermarket clip, she will transform if you pick her up, by willfully tucking under her tail, whether you want her to or not. It seems wierd to me that Brompton don't supply the cheapy little spring clip like Merc does. What would it cost - five pennies?
    Probably less. Mine is tammed though, I got one from Merc.

  20. #20
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    I'd be a tad more generous and just say they were ahead of their time.
    Absolutely - the guys a national treasure
    If our cities had perfect cycle lanes & the c5 had been done with todays technology, it might still not have sold by the million, but would've looked far more credible an idea. The main reason for its image over here is surely the marketing hype that surrounded its launch

    His persistance with the electric bikes seems to have had a positive effect in the UK - the things are fairly easy to buy now over here.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starthistle View Post
    Hello,

    I am wondering if there are any A-bikers out there and if so, how do you find it?

    I currently use a Strida myself for the 3 mile journey to work and back (I live in London). I'm very happy with it on the whole, and the compactness and low-maintenance suits me just fine.

    The issue is that being a regular cinema-goer, I often want to go to see something straight after work but despite being able to get on and off tubes easily, I wouldn't be able to take it into a cinema with me. I don't want to lock it up anywhere either - one of the reasons I bought a Strida was so I could stick it behind my desk at work and not worry about the local chavs kicking the wheels in.

    So instead of having to cycle home, drop off my bike and then catch a tube, I'm wondering if an A-Bike might be a solution. My daily route is pretty flat and is mostly cycle lanes, which is a bonus - however I am 6 feet tall and weigh about 11 stone (I think). Am I too big?

    Any opinions or feedback from A-Bike users would be much appreciated.

    Cheers!
    I don't know why you can't bring a Strida into the cinema? It rolls and shouldn't take up too much room but then again, things can get cramp.

    I have the A-Bike and you're too big for this bike. In fact, I'm 5'7 and barely fit it. I feel too cramp and the bike doesn't freewheel very well. If you can get the bike up to speed, it's faster than walking and will cut a 20-25 minute walk to 12 minutes. That said, it serves the purpose which is multimode commuting with the bus/train and not have to worry about where to put the bike in a crowded car. I can ALWAYS get a seat because the bike easily fits between my legs and this something I can't really do with my Dahon Presto or any 16 inch wheel folder.

    On the down side, it's really only ment for 10 or 15 city blocks (or less) of travel and NO hills.

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