Make mine a mixte
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Western Maryland, USA
Bikes: Artifice recumbent trike, Brompton S14L (yes), a Gitane tandem, 2 Nishiki mixtes & a Shogun 500 mixte.
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The hubs and I looked at the FlyBy when REI had a 20% off sale before Christmas. I had been hankering for an IGH folding bike and, after pricing Bromptons, this seemed like a pretty good deal. We had read about the original Dahon sourced Novara Buzz FlyBy that had been recalled because of a stem defect and had read about this new Tern sourced version, too, and were prepared to be impressed. Unfortunately, I have to say my first impression was not very favorable. For one thing, the red rims look cheesey and make the bike look like a toy or a kid's bike. When I asked the sales associate to demonstrate the fold, it took him 20 minutes and he still could not do it, even after consulting the manual. Compared to the compact fold of a Brompton, the partly folded FlyBy looked like a heap of cheap bike parts. What a disappointment!
For some reason, with the current member sale, my husband and I decided to take another look at the FlyBy. Different store, different sales associate who showed us the FlyBy he had recently purchased and uses on his multi-modal commute on the DC Metro. He demonstrated the fold (maybe 30 seconds), told us about his commute (hills, city traffic, etc.), and showed us how to roll the bike while it's folded. His enthusiasm completely sold us on the bike.
I used my member discount and brought home a FlyBy. The following weekend, my husband used his member discount and got a Flyby of his own. Both bikes together cost less than half of the Brompton I had spec'd. Of course, the FlyBy is no Brompton! Still, it's a comfortable and convenient folding bike with an IGH. I'm 5'2" with beginner's level biking skills, while my husband is 6'2" and a very experienced cyclist. We both love being able to dial-in the fit of the FlyBy. I love the easy step-through frame and ultra-simple gearing. My husband finds it fun to handle - ultra-maneuverable - the closest to a "trick bike" that he's ever had.
Our Flybys will mostly be used for impromptu rides and when we travel with our tiny vintage trailer. My husband plans on keeping his in the back of his car for running errands while on his lunch break.
We still think the red wheels look cheesey. We have plans to replace the front wheel on both bikes with a dynamo hub equipped wheel. I'll probably keep the red rimmed rear wheel as is because I don't want to paint the rims or spend money to change it out, but will add fenders and a rack. To me, this is a fun, low-stress, unfussy folding bike. It won't be everyone's cup of tea. If you are considering one, I highly recommend trying it out in person first.