Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    SF
    My Bikes
    Fuji Absolute 2.0- nothing fancy. Practical- I like it.
    Posts
    31
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Strida 5.0 First Impressions Review

    Hi all, having recently started a second job the requires a slightly longer commute here in downtown San Francisco, I decided to splurge and get myself a Strida 5.0 folding bike. While $800 is a pretty spendy sum for such a simple bike, I am quite happy with the bike itself (which is all that really matters in the end, right?).

    First off, the ride: This bike is FUN to ride. I'm 5'8 and about 160, well within the range of the bike's "one size fits most" philosophy. For me, the learning curve was mostly the steering- the small wheels and short wheelbase result in a slightly "twitchy" feel when you first get started, but I was handling like a pro in about 5 minutes. The posture is very upright and casual- you can almost "lean back" and relax while riding this bike. It reminds me of a stationary recumbant at the gym. It's also nice that the design allows you to rest your feet on the ground at any time while still being at the right height for the petals- no more straddling a high seat and having to hop off at a light as can happen on a road bike. Because the tires are thicker than an average commuter, the ride is quite smooth, even on uneven pavement. The one thing I don't like about the ride is that you cant really ever stand on the petals to give your bum a break when going over rough terrain, or to get more power, etc. The way the weight is distributed makes the bike very unstable when you try to stand- you can do it, but only for a couple seconds if you need to adjust a wedgie.

    Overall, the main word I'd use to describe the ride experience is "casual," kind of like the Nintendo Wii of bikes (although for over 3 times the price ). It might not keep up with the big boys, but it is zippy enough to be quite useful, and is certainly innovative, which brings me to, the fold:

    Yes, once you get used to it, it's that easy. I struggled with folding and unfolding the bike at first, but just like any equipment, you learn to anticipate its quirks and act more efficiently. Now it's to the point where i don't mind (and kind of enjoy) folding and unfolding the bike to show people. In it's folded state, the footprint is pretty inconspicuous and easy to stash out of the way. I took the rack off of mine, as it just seemed to take up space. You can lock the breaks (with some very low-tech nylon loops coming off the handles) which will stop the wheels from rolling and allow the bike to be leaned against a wall. Being able to roll the folded bike along is a huge asset.

    Overall, you can probably tell that I'm pretty happy with this bike. That said, do I think I paid to much for it? Absolutely. The $800 price on the Strida 5.0 makes it seem like a richman's novely item, even though it is actually quite functional and practical. Value is a subjective thing. All I'm saying here is that the design is strong, and hopefully in the future (by the time I'm ready to buy another one ), there will be a more consumer-friendly pricepoint along with whatever incremental design improvements the manufacturer deems fit to include. I still very much recommend the bike, as long as the price thing isn't an issue going into it.

    Aside: I plan on using this as my "rain" bike due to the supposedly corrosion-proof frame, non-metal "chain," front and rear fenders, and ease of storage inside at my destination. Haven't had a chance to test out wet weather performance yet (I'm a little concerned about how the small tires will handle it), but I'll post again when it happens.

  2. #2
    lube addict
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Central coast California
    My Bikes
    Specialized FSR-XC, Optima Baron, Bianchi Pista, Strida 5.0
    Posts
    515
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nice review and good choice of bike as long as you don't need to climb any of those legendary hills. I left my rack on because it seems to help stabilize the seat. I also like to fold and lay it back on the rack although I recently acquired the Strida kickstand so I don't need find something to lean it against if I'm not folding it.

    When I drive up to the City its so easy to unfold the bike and start enjoying the ride from AT&T Ballpark along the Embarcadero, the Marina and Chrissy Field over to the GG. I missed the recent SF group ride but will try to make the next one. Stay in touch here and join in.

  3. #3
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    My Bikes
    2005 Fuji Professional, 2002 Lemond Zurich, Folders - Strida, Merc, Dahon, Downtube, Recumbent folder
    Posts
    3,843
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Welcome to the group. I have a Strida5 in the portfolio also. Nice bike, but overpriced, as you say. Still, it's a blast and a sure attention-getter.

    We have a FolderFest once a Quarter or so. Hope you join us.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,128
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Solsticejk View Post
    All I'm saying here is that the design is strong, and hopefully in the future (by the time I'm ready to buy another one ), there will be a more consumer-friendly pricepoint along with whatever incremental design improvements the manufacturer deems fit to include. I
    I wouldn't count on Strida 6 to be any less expensive than Strida 5. Each new version was more expensive then the last and I expect the next version of Strida will be close to $900.00 USD!

    That bike gets more attention than a puppy!

  5. #5
    Brompton M3L, Strida 5.0
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    103
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Solsticejk, you nailed the reason I haven't tried one of these yet: it is overpriced.

    I've owned a Brompton for 1.5 years and have 2K miles on it, and I do like it, but I use it almost entirely for commuting, and the simpler nature of the Strida (along with the roll-while-folded) is calling me.

    I'm kinda hoping that once September rolls around and bike season is over for most people (though for me, any season is bike season), the price will drop somewhere.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    2,013
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    How did it handle on hills? Did standing on the pedals help?
    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.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    SF
    My Bikes
    Fuji Absolute 2.0- nothing fancy. Practical- I like it.
    Posts
    31
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the welcome so far. As for hills, I mentioned that getting extra power by standing on the petals isn't really an option on this bike. You just have to muscle through it, but its a pretty low gear, so I haven't found anything under 10% grade to be too much of a problem. I do miss the ability to stand though, mainly when unable to avoid a pothole!

  8. #8
    Life in Mono
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    London
    My Bikes
    5 bikes, all the usual types
    Posts
    493
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Welcome Solstice and a fine review ... keep them coming. I 100% agree about a Strida being FUN - and its hard to describe this to people who dont use them.
    I rarely miss gears on the Strida, as someone else said its an almost 'zen-like' ride you just pedal away without worring about what gear its in. Going up hills is most surprising, where I would use low gear and spin on a regular bike, on the strida I just strain away and it just slowly climbs. The stiff bars seem to make all the difference - you can really pull on them without any flex - this seems to make up for not being able to stand up, which does seem all wrong on this bike.

    As for price, in the UK the strida5 now costs 380 ($ 700+ usd)... But not bad for all the technology (frame, belt drive, discs etc.). In the UK few quality folders cost less than this and most are much more ie $1000 ++ usd, you guys in the USA get some great deals. Strida is a bit like an iphone, you seem to have to pay more to get fewer buttons, pixels, features and stuff

  9. #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,296
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by makingmark View Post
    Solsticejk, you nailed the reason I haven't tried one of these yet: it is overpriced.

    I've owned a Brompton for 1.5 years and have 2K miles on it, and I do like it, but I use it almost entirely for commuting, and the simpler nature of the Strida (along with the roll-while-folded) is calling me.

    I'm kinda hoping that once September rolls around and bike season is over for most people (though for me, any season is bike season), the price will drop somewhere.
    I recommend checking fashion retailers.

    For example, fredflare sells nothing but crap and, thus, on occasion has 25%+ discount codes. They were selling the Strida 5 earlier this year, but are now sold out. If they decide to restock then you might be able to score for $600 come January.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    SF
    My Bikes
    Fuji Absolute 2.0- nothing fancy. Practical- I like it.
    Posts
    31
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Simple Simon View Post
    Welcome Solstice and a fine review ... keep them coming. I 100% agree about a Strida being FUN - and its hard to describe this to people who dont use them.
    I rarely miss gears on the Strida, as someone else said its an almost 'zen-like' ride you just pedal away without worring about what gear its in. Going up hills is most surprising, where I would use low gear and spin on a regular bike, on the strida I just strain away and it just slowly climbs. The stiff bars seem to make all the difference - you can really pull on them without any flex - this seems to make up for not being able to stand up, which does seem all wrong on this bike.

    As for price, in the UK the strida5 now costs 380 ($ 700+ usd)... But not bad for all the technology (frame, belt drive, discs etc.). In the UK few quality folders cost less than this and most are much more ie $1000 ++ usd, you guys in the USA get some great deals. Strida is a bit like an iphone, you seem to have to pay more to get fewer buttons, pixels, features and stuff
    Thanks for the welcome and I totally agree with your sentiments. For whatever reason, I seem to enjoy myself on the Strida more than on my regular bike! For regular stop and go city riding, I am able to keep up, and in some cases actually go faster than many folks on conventional bikes. I find that in leu of standing on the petals, the riding position does enable you to generate the necessary power without standing up on hills, imho, more easily than on a road bike. The only area where the bike doesn't go as fast in on downslopes, but in keeping with the relaxed, casual spirit of the bike, I enjoy the fact that all there is to do is coast down these anyway. You really feel in touch with the terrain when all there is to do is ride and not worry about gears and chains. I absolutely love the disk brakes, btw. Although it was initially hard to swallow how much I paid for the bike, I do feel like I got my money's worth and am sold enough on the design that I would consider upgrading to the next version Strida comes out with should that be necessary in a few years.

  11. #11
    lube addict
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Central coast California
    My Bikes
    Specialized FSR-XC, Optima Baron, Bianchi Pista, Strida 5.0
    Posts
    515
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You may find some interesting information at Stridaforum.com Many of the members seem to be on the other side of the Pacific - Singapore, Korea and Hong Kong in particular. They have access to many accessories and parts hard to find here in the U.S. and a member or two digs up tantilizing tidbits on future Strida developments. A Schlumpf-like Speed Drive, for example, may be available next year in a new model. It appears to use the same BB housing as the 5.0 so there is speculation it may be offered as a retro-fit (I don't know enough about Speed Drives to say whether that could even be the case). It would be handy to have a higher gear with just a tap of the foot on the crank arm.
    Here is a picture of it:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    SF
    My Bikes
    Fuji Absolute 2.0- nothing fancy. Practical- I like it.
    Posts
    31
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just thought I'd bump this thread with an update now that I've had the Strida for about a month and have been using it virtually every day.

    Suffice it to say, I love this bike! I could go on and on about its many virtues. That said much of that has been covered, so I'll just mention some nigling concerns that should in no way dissuade a prospective buyer, but might be useful to hear from a user-perspective nonetheless.

    One minor problem I've had is that the nut that controlles the pressure clamp that keeps the handlebars rigid tends to come loose on its own. At first I didn't know what the problem was, but the handlebars would get all jangly and even come out of the sockets if i wasn't careful- I kind of forced them back in (foolishly not realising that nut contolled the overall tension) and hopefully didn't cause any major damage to the inside of the frame (even when tightened with the pressure clamp, the handlebars do feel rather loose when folded- its not a problem when engaged for riding, its just a little annoying when they flop around in the sockets). As long as the nut is tightened enough (but not too much as to make engaging the clamp too hard), the clamp does its job and the handlebars stay nice and rigid, and the bars stay in their homes when folded.

    Another minor annoyance is that engaging the magnets into the folded position can be a bit of a pain. Obviously, unless you get the angle just right, magnets like to repel rather than attract. Sometimes, the edges attract and the wheels don't line up exactly right, which, when you start to roll the folded bike along, will more often than not cause them to pop out pretty soon and force you to refold the bike. Also, on uneven surfaces, the wheels will sometimes pop out even if the magnets are engaged properly. It's not such a big deal, but it can be a pain if you are in a hurry and need to run to catch a bus or something. I'd almost prefer having a latch rather than the magnets as seen on the early Strida prototypes which would probably weigh about the same and take the same amount of time to engage but would lock the wheels together more securely.

    Lastly, I will reiterate what some folks have said about this bike getting attention! This is neither a pro nor con for me, but for the shy, I could see it being an issue as you WILL get stares and probably comments/questions. I personally don't mind talking to people and demoing the fold, etc. for strangers, but I'm pretty used to chatting with random people (I'm a waiter).

    Overall, I'm very happy I brought this clever piece of equipment into my life, and it has actually changed my daily routine for the better, allowing more versatility in my decisions and freedom of movement. Heck- it even fits in a standard full-size gym locker! While I hope to get several great years out of this bike, I will definately be watching to see what improvements Strida makes on an already excellent design in the future.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    My Bikes
    Strida 3
    Posts
    109
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Check out the new models:

    strida news for 2009 press info inside

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,128
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Simple Simon View Post

    As for price, in the UK the strida5 now costs 380 ($ 700+ usd)... But not bad for all the technology (frame, belt drive, discs etc.). In the UK few quality folders cost less than this and most are much more ie $1000 ++ usd, you guys in the USA get some great deals.
    I wish the Strida 5 was $380.00 USD! LOL. I belive that's the price it should be worth. How many people in the UK would be riding the strida if it cost 700 BPS?

    I too think the Strida is the one of the few bikes you can take on a crowded bus and not have worry about finding an empty space to put the bike. It's a bike where you don't have to always head to the back of the bus and hope no one complains because it fits between your legs. You don't have to drop the bike in the middle of the isle or end up taking two seats! Many overhead racks in a bus are not tall or wide enough for a Dahon or even a Bromton, however a thin but long bike fits just perfect. A huge plus.
    Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 09-27-08 at 08:37 AM.

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    16
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I wanted Strida 5.0 too but the $800 price tag scared me off. I settled for the next best thing (CarryMe) instead. I sure get a lot of stare when I'm peddling my bike.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    SF
    My Bikes
    Fuji Absolute 2.0- nothing fancy. Practical- I like it.
    Posts
    31
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The Carryme looks good, but I challenge it to comfort/speed. Folding bikes are an interesting compromise: The designer has to minimize the folded burden, while maximizing the ride usability. I personally think Strida has found a golden ratio, hence the slightly absurd pricing. If you can get over the price and actually ride one of these, I think you might be sold; just through my daily commute I've had many a skeptic singing a different tune once I've given them a demo and a test ride. I should look into selling these...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •