Ori AR9 Test Ride
I test rode the Ori 9 speed with aluminium frame
Bikerepublic in central London do very unusual bikes and have chosen to stock Ori with the AR9 9 speed with Tiagra group set. It is essentially the same fold as the Mezzo with evolution in the frame to incorporate 20" wheels. Just wanted to say what a helpful bike shop they were and no pressure at all was put on me.
Here is a summary:
1) A reasonably light bike at 10.7kg with pedals
2) A lovely rigid frame with compact fold. It was also a quick fold/unfold. One of the best I've seen apart from the Brompton & Pacific IF Reach. The most compact & tightest 20" fold I've seen to date. It stays together and is easy to carry.
3) I've always been sceptical of the Mezzo handlebars and the Ori 20" is the same. An unfounded fear as it has very little flex in the design.
4) The bike looks really nice and is very well built. A real feeling of quality.
5) The ride: I took it for a 15 minute ride through central London. It has a very upright ride and is quite a fast bike. It would be a better value bike if it had an 18 speed groupset and I'm not a huge Shimano Tiagra fan. Perhaps that is just me as I put a lot of torque on a bike in a stop-start city environment. The frame is very stiff and has an efficient ride. It is a fast & responsive bike but it is unforgiving on some of the uneven parts of central London. Of course I'm somewhat prejudiced as I'm comparing this to a recent test ride on a Moulton TSR30 which was arguably a slightly faster bike but also very comfortable.
6) An extra £120 to convert it to a 18 speed. Not bad I guess.
Overall an excellent bike that needs a further ride. I'm looking for a bike to pack into a case for overseas trips including the US/Europe and this is a contender. The Moulton TSR leads so far but this is a mighty fine bike with one of the best compact folds I've seen and it latches together superbly.