Car free since 1995
Join Date: Sep 2006
Bikes: Birdy Yellow, Birdy Monocoque
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This is an unusual folding bike. It is a crank forward bike, meaning the pedals are positioned a little bit in front of the rider than below the rider. This allows for a much lower profile, a quicker fold, and much better handling characteristics. (That is, once you get used to the bike.) The crank forward also has the advantage of allowing for a larger seat. On a normal bike, the seat will chafe your inner thighs. But on this bike, your thighs are in a more forward position. Finally, with the improved center of gravity, it is possible to build a triangulated frame with a very short wheelbase that rides like a bigger bike. There is no frame hinge. The seat folds and the handlebars fold. The wheelbase is so short that it is overall about the same size package as the bikes that fold in half, but much stronger, more stable, and more reliable. It is a very cool bike.
It is super fun to ride. But despite the crank forward aero advantage (very slight at any rate) and relatively low weight, it is no speed demon. It is vastly undergeared, for starters. I spin out at about 15MPH. The positioning is also very upright and the Kenda tires roll like lead on a hot day. The most cost-effective remedy would be a Big Apple tire on the back, but that wouldn't give you much--maybe an additional MPH in gearing and lower rolling resistance. Anyone who wanted a faster bike would need new tires, 11 teeth on the rear cog, and possibly a larger chainring on the front. Tire options in 305 are very limited, and the 12" on the front? Don't know of anything fast there. What does Pacific use for its tiny wheels? The aero problem can be remedied with adjustments to the existing bars and stem, but bullhorns would help a lot.
Here is more information
about the bike.
With the rack, you can drape grocery panniers over the back and use it for shopping. It is possible to roll the bike and make it into one of those mini whole foods shopping carts.