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-   -   Unable to learn to ride Strida and other bikes? (http://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bikes/380806-unable-learn-ride-strida-other-bikes.html)

Weakling 01-20-08 08:29 AM

Unable to learn to ride Strida and other bikes?
 
This surprised me cause I never heard anybody mention it.
Things that is unfamiliar is hard to guess until one hit upon them.

I have had a chance to test a Strida 3.2 indoors. I did it today.

Strida are very different compared to all other bikes me have tested.

I dearly hope that Carryme bike doesn't behave like the Strida does.

The problem is how to describe it's behavior.

First. I am sure it has to be very individual. Whom the rider are.
But I manage well on ordinary bikes and I ride very well on
the Microbike which are an unusual bike in many ways.

So that makes we wonder if it is all about my inability to keep balance.

It should have to do with the way they built the Strida too.

I'm surprised nobody have mention it before. Could people be too embarrassed
about their failure so they keep silent about it?

I tried for some two minutes to get balance and failed.
If I was a Police or Traffic Officer looking out for people
who look to be drunk driving or riding then me would have
spotted me instantly. I ride like a drunk on it. Horribly!

I tried desperately to keep a straight decent pace but
I failed to do it. I never fell but I was way out of course
and would have died if me was in real traffic and not
inside a building with no cars around me.

I think there are three kinds of bicycle people.

1. The ones Strida write about on their homepage.
They master the Strida within 10 to 15 seconds
and at most it takes two to three minutes for the
worst performers. They knew of none that failed.

None of these riders mention they had difficulty
learning to ride it. They don't admit this to be the case.
I wish they had did that so others could be prepared.

2. People who do learn how to master the Strida and
who tell others that they had problem at first but that
it only took them some 10 to 15 seconds to get the hang
on how to. None of these failed and they gladly tell others
that this bike behave differently compared to other bikes.
One have to learn how to ride it. It is not an ordinary bike.

3. People like me who either never learn to or have to practice
a lot to learn how to keep a straight path on it.
I tried for two minutes and my body told me that it didn't feel
confident it could learn it in 5 or 10 minutes and the
Shop owner didn't want to me ride for that long cause I could
bump into other visitors there. I wiggled around a lot and could
easily get to to crash into people on my not so straight path.

I think me have some kind of neurological deficit a kind of lagging behind.
I am slow at such things like responses and to keep balance on a Strida
one need to have very fast responses to compensate the way it wants
to go on its own.

I hope the Carryme behave like an ordinary bike.
If you have tested a Carryme please tell me how it behave.

SesameCrunch 01-20-08 09:31 AM

Sorry to hear of your difficulties in riding the Strida. I have owned a Strida 3.2 and now own a 5.0. Yes, it is a different feeling. The geometry of the bike is significantly different than most bikes. The bike has small, "twitchy" wheels, a very relaxed rake, and long handlebar stem. This combination causes some conflicting and confusing feel when riding.

From your description of the problem, I wonder if you're too tense when you were riding the bike? If you relax a bit, then you won't over-control the steering.

vik 01-20-08 01:14 PM

2 minutes isn't a long time. I can think of several activities that seemed hopeless at first that I mastered after hours or days of practice.

As an example I bought a lowracer recumbent with tiller steering. I tried it for the first time in front of my friend's house and out of 4 of us [all cyclists] nobody could keep the bike straight. We needed the whole road and a cop would have assumed we were drunk. If you had asked me after 2 minutes if I would be comfortable riding that bike at 60kph+ downhill I would have said no way. In fact I was a little worried I'd have to get rid of that bike. But, with a few hours of practice I quickly ended up being able to ride it weaving through crowds at 4kph and bombing down hills at 60kph+.

If you had a Strida and could take it someplace quiet with no time or peer pressure you might have a totally different perspective.

Weakling 01-20-08 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SesameCrunch
The bike has small, "twitchy" wheels,

Yes but they are 16" and my 10 to 15 years old Microbike have even smaller
wheels 12" also plastic and kevlar belt and short wheelbase. some 950 millimeter.
I guess most people would say Microbike is responsive or quick or twitchy too.

But I had no problem at all to ride that bike. So there must be something very
specific that are different about Strida that creates this problem.

Quote:

From your description of the problem, I wonder if you're too tense
when you were riding the bike? If you relax a bit, then you won't over-control
the steering.
Sorry but all my experience say that this was not the case. Had I relaxed then
I had ended up on the floor or crashed into somebody in the shop.

the more likely explanation is that I am too slow in my brain. I'm slow when it
comes to dancing and when it I try to play music instruments. Most likely I
have some kind of neurological problem or such that present itself this way.

Vik, thanks for sharing your story how difficult " a lowracer recumbent
with tiller steering" could be. I have tested recumbents too and failed
keep balance on them too.

So it took that long time. Maybe me spoiled but I would never buy
a Strida under these circumstances.

So now I will concentrate on the Carryme bike. Is it something in it's
geometry that indicate it would behave like a Strida?

http://www.abikecentral.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=472

Chop! 01-20-08 02:24 PM

Hi Weakling

I have loaned my Stridas to dozens of different people, all are initially surprised at the quickness of the steering & the ability to do a U-turn in a normally impossibly small space, but after a few minutes you realise that this bike is very nimble in busy situations.
The same could be said for my Long-john, people are surprised when they try what is essentially riding a tandem from the back!

(a) You need to take it outside
Then
(b) Give it more than a few minutes to get used to it

It was, after all, designed not to be a long distance folder but as an alternative to walking in urban commutes, while keeping the rider grease & oil-free and allowing you to roll the folded bike without having to carry it.
Despite having a greater choice of folders than most people, I almost always choose the Strida 5 for inner city riding, and even for some quite long rides (where hill climbs are minimal!)

Weakling 01-20-08 02:31 PM

But why did so many owner keep silent about how much effort
one have to put into learning it?

There was no such steep learning curve for the Microbike
I bought some 10 years ago.

That one is very nimble too if that is a could word for
how it behave. But no problem keeping balance on it at all.
So there must be something else that get me into trouble.

Could it be the angle of the steering stem? What else?

makeinu 01-20-08 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weakling (Post 6015594)
I hope the Carryme behave like an ordinary bike.
If you have tested a Carryme please tell me how it behave.

Malay news reports on a 60 year old Carryme rider who walks with a cane. Amazingly, he doesn't seem to have any problems riding even though he needs to lean on the folded Carryme when walking! See the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dY7tQeMyUU

Quote:

Originally Posted by translation from stridasingapore.com forum
When sixty year old, Uncle Syed and his wife, Aunty Norhanah and their son-in-law first stepped into our shop, Uncle Syed was aided with a walking stick. During our conversation, we learnt that earlier in the year, he had suffered a stroke, had acute kidney failure and was in a coma for many days. Now he is a recovering stroke patient, nicely on the mend!

Uncle Syed looked at the yellow Carry Me and beamed. He wanted to buy one to cycle, he said.

We were surprised because we were not sure if he was going to be able to ride the CM.

He didn't want to test ride the CM. He just wanted to purchase it and then ride it around his HDB estate.

Uncle Syed looked very determined to get a bit of exercise with his very own Carry Me. We didn't doubt his determination. What we didn't expect was his sheer determination to master handling the Carry Me all by himself, and without his walking stick or wheelchair!

Suria Channel Malay News interviewed Uncle Syed and Aunty Norhanah last Thursday and their interview was aired last Thursday on Suria at 8 pm (Malay News).

I visited Uncle Syed's home and saw for myself how he gave his walking stick to his wife as he leaned on his CM for support and then rolled it as a walker down the stairs and then took the lift (with no other walking aid!)

I teared a bit as I saw how determined Uncle Syed was to be independent of his wheelchair and walking aid. Aunty Norhanah explained that the Carry Me has brightened his days, as Uncle Syed now cycles every day. Uncle Syed says, "Now, if I don't get to cycle one day because of the rain, I will feel lethargic".

Uncle Syed and his family live in Simei and he has bravely ventured in Tampines all by himself!!!!

When Suria interviewed Uncle Syed, he was nervous as the filim props were set up and the harsh lights shone on him. But when asked about his Carry Me, he immediately beamed and smiled softly as he described how he doesn't have to use the wheelchair anymore and that he is able to depend on his cute Carry Me to go to nearby places for coffee, makan and shopping.

Uncle Syed explains, " Before I bought my Carry Me, I used to stay at home and watched TV whole day. Now I must cycle everyday to have some fresh air!" Grin

The Malay News interview with Uncle Syed will be posted on Youtube soon.


Weakling 01-20-08 03:55 PM

Quote:

Uncle Syed looked very determined to get a bit of exercise
with his very own Carry Me. We didn't doubt his determination.
What we didn't expect was his sheer determination to master handling
the Carry Me all by himself, and without his walking stick or wheelchair!
One have to have that attitude then. Determined is the word. To go for it as we say. :)

I thought me had that attitude testing the Strida 3 but it was much harder than I ever feared.

I feel for buying a Carryme nevertheless. But maybe safer bet for me would be to buy a Carryall.
The Trike that George Lin has came up with at Pacific Cycles TW. But I guess that one cost much more.

Chop! 01-21-08 03:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weakling (Post 6017225)
But why did so many owner keep silent about how much effort
one have to put into learning it?

There was no such steep learning curve for the Microbike
I bought some 10 years ago.

That one is very nimble too if that is a could word for
how it behave. But no problem keeping balance on it at all.
So there must be something else that get me into trouble.

Could it be the angle of the steering stem? What else?

Maybe seat wobble or are you a 7 foot tall Viking type?

Maybe your knees are hitting the handlebars!

Otherwise I'm baffled, the other owners don't admit to it taking a long time to learn to ride a Strida because I don't know anyone else that has found it as difficult, maybe it's a badly prepared Strida.

Come with us in my Sleeper Bus to the German Spezi Cycle Show in April (with Velovision Magazine)
We will have a great selection of folders travelling with us & plenty of time to get used to them.

geo8rge 01-21-08 05:40 AM

Strida, like many folders, sacrifices stability for a compact and elegant fold. It is usually not a big deal as Strida was not meant to be used at high speed on a rough surface, and Strida riders are usually less aggresive types, atleast when they are on the Strida.

Some of the issues are discussed here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_fork

Speedub.Nate 01-21-08 06:06 AM

I dunno... Suzi didn't think to make mention of it. I wonder about her cycling background.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=kVVgsQt1DK4

I demoed a 5.0 for a few miles and although it felt different than any other bike I've ridden, that initial impression was quickly left behind as I pedaled away. I'd suggest you give it another shot.

Weakling 01-21-08 06:55 AM

Quote:

For touring bicycles and other designs, the frame's head angle and
wheel size must be taken into account when determining offset, and there is
a narrow range of acceptable offsets to give good handling characteristics.

The general rule is that a slacker head angle requires a fork with more offset,
and small wheels require less offset than large wheels.

Fork offset influences geometric trail, which affects a bicycle's handling characteristics.

Increasing offset results in decreased trail, while decreasing offset results in increased trail.
is that the most relevant text then from the wiki text you linked to?

Steedman when he bought the right to Strida took experts to help him make
some changes to the geometry so the Strida III is more easy to handle and
are easier to learn to ride compared to the first Strida.

I tested this. I fell everytime I tried the Strida I and could ride the Strida III
but with great difficulty and too dangerous to be allowed to be riding it in
traffic situations. Mark Sanders wrote that it was very difficult to get
reliable reporting on which change was to the better. They had to find
persons totally new to the bike. Those who had already riding it for a short
time had adjusted to it so they could not report on what is better cause
they already accepted the first they learned.

I seem to be different than most people in that it take very long time for me
to get used to these differences and how it feels.

Why I think me are different is my experiences from trying to learn to dance
and trying to learn to play music instruments and to play Computer Games.

It is obvious that I am different. I am much slower in responses in all these
areas and many more. To catch a ball thrown at me shows how much
slower in bodily movement I am compared to most other persons. Maybe
I'm born that way. Or me have not eaten enough fish or green veggies and
such which maybe change how fast we respond to things.

I was like this when 18 years doing military service too. I was the last one
every time we took the personal weapon apart and put it back in order
again. I was last at dressing for combat and so on from sleeping and the
alarm waked us up and we should as fast as possible and to stand in line
with full armament and cloth is good order. I was always the last arriving.

So it is known from more than 40 years back that IO am slow at bodily
movements. And to ride is to do bodily movements indeed. Bikes are build
for normal persons and not for such slow persons like me. But there are
bikes and there are Stridas.

Strida are different and I want to know what exactly makes it hard
to get it in balance.


And which other bike has same kind of construction making them too more
difficult to ride?

Me wanting to buy the Carryme from Pacific Cycles in Taiwan wonder if that
one has that geometry that would make it hard to learn too or is that one
a very easy to learn bike?

If one know what to look for such things would be rather easy to see in the
pictures?

rhm 01-21-08 07:11 AM

Weakling, I never had any trouble with my Strida either; at first it felt a little unusual, but well within a minute I was perfectly comfortable on it. Since then I have lent it to several people, none of whom ever had any trouble riding it. I wonder if there's something wrong with yours? If not, I am sure you will get used to with a little more effort.

geo8rge 01-21-08 08:13 AM

You run the danger of convincing yourself you cannot ride the Strida. IMO, the Strida is different than my other bikes in that I have to control the handle bars more, because the design is not self correcting (front wheel does not pull toward the center line of the frame) as with a MTB for example. I cannot ride the Strida no hands. My guess is that you would have no problem rolling down a hill, and possibly riding once you got up to speed.

Weakling 01-21-08 09:34 AM

I don't know if I would if I used it for many hours of
training. I doubt it.

Here is something else me would want to master
but feel very unsure of if I could be good at.
OOups. I seems to be bad at searching.

There is already a long thread about it. I try to give
link soon. * look at end of post.

that thread only make fun of the MagicWheel
while I wanted a serious discussion of it.

and their homepage is here
http://www.magicwheel.co.uk/

The Magic Wheel.

Look so fun and cool. I would love to
be able to use that one. Such an inventive
thing to do.

I mean wheels have been around since ...
and none has come up with this idea before?

Why did it took so long time. I feel embarrassed
me didn't invent it. Such an elegant solution to
have something small and still a big 26" wheel.

Dahon.Steve 01-21-08 06:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by makeinu (Post 6017280)
Malay news reports on a 60 year old Carryme rider who walks with a cane. Amazingly, he doesn't seem to have any problems riding even though he needs to lean on the folded Carryme when walking! See the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dY7tQeMyUU

This is a good story.

I still like the Strida better than the CarryMe because it's just solid, faster and more comfortable. The Strida is easier to carry for long distances as it rolls better however, the CarryMe has one feature that's better and it's more stable and the front wheel is not as nervous. I wonder if the 60 year old man could have rode a Strida? The CarryMe is more flexible for smaller riders as it allows you to lower the saddle far below the handlebar.

I wonder how many men like this 60 year are in the same situation? Bikes like the CarryMe can really be liberating from life in a wheelchair. It's unfortunate there are no televison programs promoting folding bikes for the disabled.

makeinu 01-21-08 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve (Post 6024535)
I still like the Strida better than the CarryMe because it's just solid, faster and more comfortable. The Strida is easier to carry for long distances as it rolls better however, the CarryMe has one feature that's better and it's more stable and the front wheel is not as nervous. I wonder if the 60 year old man could have rode a Strida? The CarryMe is more flexible for smaller riders as it allows you to lower the saddle far below the handlebar.

Interesting, Steve. Sounds like you've gotten around to riding a Carryme, have you? If so I'd be delighted to read a full comparison between the Strida, the Carryme, and the A-bike.

Dahon.Steve 01-21-08 11:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by makeinu (Post 6025410)
Interesting, Steve. Sounds like you've gotten around to riding a Carryme, have you? If so I'd be delighted to read a full comparison between the Strida, the Carryme, and the A-bike.

A-Bike --- Wheels too small for night time riding. Very poor free wheeling. Cramp cockpit position and I'm not tall (5'7) but it barely fit me and that was raising the seatpost at the maximum height. I constantly had to pedal like crazy because the bike just does not freewheel very well.

CarryMe --- Much better bike. I can recommend this one over the A-Bike easily. Much better free wheeling and faster than the A-Bike. Problem with the bike was it had too much flex. It just felt flimsy and weak for the type of money you're spending. I still might buy one if the Strida doesn't go down in price in the next few months. Bigger than the A-Bike and smaller than the Strida.

I felt the CarryMe strength was in it's front and rear carrier. In addition, the steering was more stable than the Strida and not as squirly. The 60 year old man (On U-Tube) could ride this bike but I wonder if he could have done the same with the Strida. The amount of effort I had to put into the crank was less than the A-Bike but more than the Strida. This is the perfect bike if you have a 4 mile commute that involves a crowded bus where the bike must go in an overhead rack or between your legs. I don't know how this bike would work with a tall person.

Strida -- I've only tested the 5.0 but it's one of the most comfortable folders I've ridden. It's faster than and easier to pedal than the CarryMe. It has a squirly handlebar but it's not that bad at all. I'm wondering if it can fit between your legs on a bus because that would be a huge issue. Maybe someone on this forum who did this can share their experience. You can roll the Strida (on it's two wheels) but it's not the type you want to roll for blocks and blocks because it starts to get heavy after a while. The bike's frame is solid with no flex at all. It's quality all around and that's obvious once you look at it in comparison with the CarryMe.

Basically, I'm looking for a bus/train commuter. I want a bike that I can take on a bus/lightrail, place between my legs and allow me to sit anywhere without have to go to the back. The CarryMe can do this easily but the Strida is a question mark. If you don't have to board a tight bus or tain than any folder can do.

If you have the money, the Strida is the best performer.

Weakling 01-22-08 05:36 AM

Thanks for your reviews of these three bikes.

I guess a Carryme is too small and fail to carry my weight.
6'4" or 1940mm 194cm and 95kg which is ten over the limit
for Carryme.

Maybe George Lin the designer of CM thought about that when
he made the Carryall Trike. Having two wheel under the driver
and one in front should allow a bit more weight but I have to
wait until they publish spec on the small trike.

I still would worry about my knee hitting the handle bar and
disturb the steering.

I've tested two versions of Strida. Strida I and III. The III is
much better. Steedman's demand that they put energy into
finding thebest compromise payed out but the bike is still
to "squirly" for me. Urban dic suggests
Quote:

suspicious;not being straight up;beating around the bush;
being up to no good;sneaky;sly;manipulat ive;untruthful
To others it is not that bad but for people with slow attention or
impaird? attention like me it would make me too un-reliable in traffic

makeinu 01-22-08 07:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve (Post 6026205)
A-Bike --- Wheels too small for night time riding. Very poor free wheeling. Cramp cockpit position and I'm not tall (5'7) but it barely fit me and that was raising the seatpost at the maximum height. I constantly had to pedal like crazy because the bike just does not freewheel very well.

CarryMe --- Much better bike. I can recommend this one over the A-Bike easily. Much better free wheeling and faster than the A-Bike. Problem with the bike was it had too much flex. It just felt flimsy and weak for the type of money you're spending. I still might buy one if the Strida doesn't go down in price in the next few months. Bigger than the A-Bike and smaller than the Strida.

I felt the CarryMe strength was in it's front and rear carrier. In addition, the steering was more stable than the Strida and not as squirly. The 60 year old man (On U-Tube) could ride this bike but I wonder if he could have done the same with the Strida. The amount of effort I had to put into the crank was less than the A-Bike but more than the Strida. This is the perfect bike if you have a 4 mile commute that involves a crowded bus where the bike must go in an overhead rack or between your legs. I don't know how this bike would work with a tall person.

Strida -- I've only tested the 5.0 but it's one of the most comfortable folders I've ridden. It's faster than and easier to pedal than the CarryMe. It has a squirly handlebar but it's not that bad at all. I'm wondering if it can fit between your legs on a bus because that would be a huge issue. Maybe someone on this forum who did this can share their experience. You can roll the Strida (on it's two wheels) but it's not the type you want to roll for blocks and blocks because it starts to get heavy after a while. The bike's frame is solid with no flex at all. It's quality all around and that's obvious once you look at it in comparison with the CarryMe.

Basically, I'm looking for a bus/train commuter. I want a bike that I can take on a bus/lightrail, place between my legs and allow me to sit anywhere without have to go to the back. The CarryMe can do this easily but the Strida is a question mark. If you don't have to board a tight bus or tain than any folder can do.

If you have the money, the Strida is the best performer.

Thanks Steve. It always amazes me that if you ask 10 different people to compare a few bikes then you get 10 different opinions.

I'm surprised to hear you say you think the Carryme is flexy. Although I haven't ridden a Strida, I think the Carryme is easily much stiffer than my Downtube VIIIH (although not quite as stiff as the Mu SL I test rode). To be completely honest, for the money, I was very impressed by the quality of the Carryme and, dollar for dollar, I've yet to find another folder to match it. In any case, I'm actually very glad to see you make this criticism because I've been shopping around for a light, stiff nonfolder, but have found discouraging comments about almost every lightweight prospect being too flexy. The fact that you think my favorite bike is flexy could mean that some of the other bikes I'm considering could be good for me too. If you don't mind me asking, how much do you weigh?

It's also interesting to hear you say the Strida is faster than the Carryme. Alvin previously posted a different opinion:
Quote:

Originally Posted by oldiesonfoldies
All in, cycled the 40km on the Carry Me quite comfortably. Cruises 20kmh easily and maxed out at 31kmh on a flat road. My Topeak Trunk bag fitted snugly on the rear rack. I will say its slightly faster and more nimble than the stylish Strida. The CM's ability to carry luggage also makes it quite a capable light tourer.

Of course, he was talking about the Strida 3, but I haven't heard of any drastic performance gaps between the Strida 3 and the Strida 5.

Fear&Trembling 01-22-08 08:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by makeinu (Post 6026909)
Thanks Steve. It always amazes me that if you ask 10 different people to compare a few bikes then you get 10 different opinions.

It amazes me that you don't get 30 different opinions from asking 10 people...

SesameCrunch 01-22-08 08:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fear&Trembling (Post 6027095)
It amazes me that you don't get 30 different opinions from asking 10 people...

:roflmao::roflmao::roflmao:

Amuro Lee 01-22-08 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by makeinu (Post 6026909)
It's also interesting to hear you say the Strida is faster than the Carryme.

CarryMe DS is actually faster than Strida because it has a speed-drive on it.
For the single speed version of CarryMe, it's still a bit slower than Strida.

Amuro Lee 01-22-08 11:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve (Post 6026205)
A-Bike --- Wheels too small for night time riding. Very poor free wheeling. Cramp cockpit position and I'm not tall (5'7) but it barely fit me and that was raising the seatpost at the maximum height. I constantly had to pedal like crazy because the bike just does not freewheel very well.

Tyre pressure does affect the freewheel performance of A-bike very much.
Make sure you've inflated both of the tyres of an A-bike to 90psi before you ride it.

cyclistjohn 01-22-08 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weakling (Post 6026744)
..........
To others it is not that bad........

For the first time in over a week, today the wind speed here dropped to less than 30 kph, so my wife went out on her Strida 3.2 for a 34 miles ride. Her previous longest was 29 miles on a folder group ride here in the UK.

I've tried to get her to ride a couple of different bikes but she much prefers her Strida. It's a good fit for her at 5' 7", & when she has to take a right turn in traffic (UK) she can crawl the bike along almost stationary, waiting for the right moment to ride on. I suppose it's down to the individual how well (s)he can cope with the steering.


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