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Old 07-14-17, 07:32 PM   #1
AccuNeal 
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SoloRock Spin 3 review

My SoloRock Spin 3 was delivered today and thunder was rumbling closer as the FedEx truck drove away. . Ordered on July 10th and delivered on July 14th it traveled aver 1,200 miles in 3 days, arriving in excellent condition. It was well packed, folding parts lashed together with zip ties and frame pieces covered with foam sheeting and tape. I was delighted to find that nothing was bent or distorted during shipping.

Unboxing was somewhat time consuming because of the care needed in cutting the zip ties and peeling the tape from the foam padding. Nevertheless, it was worth every pulse pounding moment revealing each part as it was released from its captive protection. My wife kept her back turned to my activities, not wanting to see it until its full glory stood before her. She had consented to the purchase as my 70th birthday gift despite the fact there are already 4 folders on the rack in the garage, albeit none were new when purchased.

After installing the kickstand and pedals, I pumped the tires to 65 psi. Turned the bike over and gave each wheel a good spin to check the brakes: no adjustment needed. Cranked the pedals and checked the shifting: no adjustment needed. I admit to being a perfectionist. Things must work right every time. I tune and tweak until I am satisfied with my bicycle mechanisms to the point it would drive a sane person over the edge. There was no adjustment needed.

Meanwhile the storm is pelting us with rain. Lightning is flashing and the accompanying thunder is rumbling loudly, and we lost electric service. Oh well, no electric needed for a bicycle. The rain begins to slow as my anxiety to pedal around the block hastens. There is a cross over point in which the rain slows and the anxiousness grows when a cyclist says to his/her cyclist-self “OK it’s about to stop, let’s go”. Not today, new tires, wet roadways, unknown braking pressures, etc. This cyclist waited impatiently for the last drop to fall before venturing out.

Often here in southwest Florida, during the rainy season, thunderstorms develop in a sequence like a train. Today was no exception. I managed to get in a quick 2 mile ride before heading back to the garage because I could see the curtain of rain swiftly approaching.

It could have been my eagerness, my anxiousness, my enthusiasm or a combination, but I found myself easily traveling at almost 2MPH faster over the very familiar neighborhood streets. Usually I pedal at 60-70 RPM and move along at 9.5 MPH. At the same pedaling cadence I easily made over 11 MPH. In fact, rounding our cul-d-sacs required some slight braking which is very unusual. I am comparing my Dahon bike and a SteelMaster bike. Gearing is identical on both bikes (13 x 52) and both have 3-speed IGH.

The frame is very rigid, delightfully so. There is no bounce when pedaling. There is a bit of side-to-side movement but that is due to the rider not yet fitting the bike. No… wait a minute… The bike is not yet fitting the rider. I don’t plan to have my anatomical seat adjusted.

After supper I raised the horn of seat and raised the seatpost a bit, off I went. 14.3 miles later I returned home exhilarated with my new bike. The SoloRock Spin3 is a pleasure to ride, an absolute pleasure. It is feather light (compared to my other bikes). The steering is not squirrely or twitchy despite the 16 x 1.5 Kenda 65 psi tires. Shifting is smooth both up and down, only use 7, 8 & 9. Nevertheless it is smooth.

The handlebar has some vertical adjustment. I have it a max height because I prefer to upright when riding. The frame geometry is right for my body type (and age). I don’t think I will need bar ends, at least not yet anyway, but that’s only after one decent ride.

The fold is accomplished by a pivot above the bottom bracket. The seatpost slides from the main tube down into the rear triangle tube to firmly hold the bike straight. There are two seatpost QR clamps. One above the main tube and one between the rear triangle and the main tube. Opening the QRs and lifting the seatpost allows the rear triangle and bottom bracket to swing around placing the back wheel along side the front wheel. A magnet and its mating receiver plate keep the parts from unwantedly swinging open. The handlebar post swings down between the two halves and is held by the same magnet.

The hubs, spokes and rims are black anodized with machined raw aluminum surface for brake pad contact. The chain is galvanized. It has that unmistakable look. It's not objectionable, but when it comes time to replace it, I’ll use nickel plated chain. I happen to like the polished silver look. The 52t crankset is alloy with a chainguard machined from the same piece of metal. The cassette has 11t through 32t and it’s 9 speeds.

The rear rack is nicely proportioned thick aluminum strut work. I don’t know it’s capacity, but I wouldn’t put more than 15 pounds on it. The fenders are attractive: glossy black plastic with a 1” wide aluminum stripe along the center. They add class to the bike.

The orange paint is very glossy. The decals are not brazenly large or offensive. The rear triangle is black, again, very high gloss. There are QR skewers on front and back hubs. The edge of the toggles is not just a rounded flapper that has been around for years. Instead, the ends of the toggles are slightly pointed and remind me of a bird’s beak. Nice touch.

The headpiece has a braze on with three screw holes for attaching front luggage carriers. The water bottle braze ons are present on top of the main tube. The rear rack bungie is multi stranded and ends in large plastic flanges that snap into matching indentations in the sides of the rack.

The saddle… it’s pretty doggone good! I have a basket full of saddles of all shapes and sizes. After tonight's 14 miler, I don’t see a need to change from the OEM seat. I may feel differently if I can’t get the perfect positioning before a long ride tomorrow if the storms allow.

How and why did I chose SoloRock over the others on my short list. The fold. That’s what did it. At the bottom of this page are links to two YouTube videos. That’s what captured my interest. https://solorock.us/products/spin-3-...ke-super-light

Thanks for reading all this verbiage. Us old guys... Get us talking about our grandkids or our bikes… we can go on and on...

I will be delighted to answer any questions
--
Neal

Last edited by AccuNeal; 07-15-17 at 05:53 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-14-17, 10:46 PM   #2
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Great review! This is the Solorock I've been eyeing since last year. Had decided not to buy...so reading your posts could get dangerous...

Is there enough room to go larger than 1.5 for the tires? Have you weighed the bike? Is it as advertised?
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Old 07-15-17, 12:19 AM   #3
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Excellent review.

Interesting fold this bike has. I'm not sure it exists on any other bike before in that form. There are similar ones but not like that exactly, correct me if I'm wrong.

For them installed componentry the price looks gopd too.
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Old 07-15-17, 04:42 AM   #4
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The closest I know of in the fold is Montague bikes.
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Old 07-15-17, 06:35 AM   #5
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A lot of the Solorock bikes match up with the fuji-ta bikes but this one doesn't look very close to any of them at least with regard the fold. If it is also a fuji-ta it looks like it was heavily customised for Solorock. My one concern is the derailleur clearance which looks minimal and may prevent using faster lower profile tyres. I'd never heard of Solorock bikes before but they look interesting. Fuji-ta are the biggest bike manufacturer in the world by volume and the real manufacturer behind many brands sold in the US and Europe.

BICYCLE DISPLAY - Tianjin Fuji-ta Bicycle Co.,Ltd.
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Old 07-15-17, 07:23 AM   #6
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There is another company selling solid maintube folders: fsirbikes.com. However they only have 20" folders and the handlepost is on the outside of the fold if I recall correctly. I am a 16" rider so I didn't pay much attention to the 20". In fact, I have two Dahon Boardwalk 20 inchers that will be going on craigslist because I no longer ride them.
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Old 07-15-17, 07:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdonline View Post
Great review! This is the Solorock I've been eyeing since last year. Had decided not to buy...so reading your posts could get dangerous...

Is there enough room to go larger than 1.5 for the tires? Have you weighed the bike? Is it as advertised?
Yes, there is room to go up in tire width, 47x305 easily with fenders, perhaps more with fenders removed.

The bike as shown in the photo weighs just under 26 pounds with orange saddle cover, helmet, gloves, flashlight in mount, computer, water bottle cage, air pump, full tool pouch including spare tube, two red blinkies on seatpost and one white blinky on the handlepost.
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File Type: jpg solorock-small - Edited.jpg (98.4 KB, 235 views)
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Old 07-15-17, 01:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by AccuNeal View Post
Yes, there is room to go up in tire width, 47x305 easily with fenders, perhaps more with fenders removed.

The bike as shown in the photo weighs just under 26 pounds with orange saddle cover, helmet, gloves, flashlight in mount, computer, water bottle cage, air pump, full tool pouch including spare tube, two red blinkies on seatpost and one white blinky on the handlepost.
You're adding like, what, 4ish pounds to the bike? Online the orange seems a bit light and yellowish. Is that the case in real life?

Do let us know if you ever pack the bike for travel. The 31in length whilst folded was one reason I didn't buy. That's longer than almost all airline-standard size suitcases that I know of.

But it does sound like a fun bike.
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Old 07-16-17, 12:27 AM   #9
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Do let us know if you ever pack the bike for travel. The 31in length whilst folded was one reason I didn't buy. That's longer than almost all airline-standard size suitcases that I know of.
..this bike was born for flight travel. If you loosen the screw under the folding joint you can seperate the frame into two handy halves. I took my (smaller) Spin 2.0 frequently on flight journeys, a few times in cabin baggage (fork to be removed but clean matter since the bearings are fully capsuled).
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Old 07-16-17, 08:35 AM   #10
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I took my (smaller) Spin 2.0 frequently on flight journeys, a few times in cabin baggage (fork to be removed but clean matter since the bearings are fully capsuled).
Greetz
Wow, that's pretty impressive.

Accuneal, dust off that large suitcase...
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Old 07-16-17, 08:41 AM   #11
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Accuneal, another question...are the wheels quick release?
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Old 07-16-17, 09:37 AM   #12
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The wheel quick releases can be seen in the photos.
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Old 07-16-17, 09:50 AM   #13
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Would love to know seat level distance from seat post to middle of handle bar.
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Old 07-16-17, 10:19 AM   #14
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@tdonline - Yes, the wheels are quick release with nicely appointed toggles, shaped like a bird's beak with a small SoloRock in white on the black toggle. And another yes, the orange is light, perhaps one could say a yellow tint to the orange color. The color name is "pearl orange" maybe that explains the lighter tint?
@BikeLite - I measured 23" from the center of the seatpost to the center of the handlebar and my riding level. Because the seatpost is tilted rearward, the higher you raise the seat the further the top of the seatpost from the handlebar although not greatly. My seat has a hollow valley and it's easy to see down into the top of the seat tube.

By the way, the saddle adjustment is done with a pair of allen screws. They work concurrently: loosen the front and tighten the rear screw to raise the saddle horn or vice-versa.

Last edited by AccuNeal; 07-16-17 at 10:20 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-16-17, 03:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AccuNeal View Post
There is another company selling solid maintube folders: fsirbikes.com. However they only have 20" folders and the handlepost is on the outside of the fold if I recall correctly. I am a 16" rider so I didn't pay much attention to the 20". In fact, I have two Dahon Boardwalk 20 inchers that will be going on craigslist because I no longer ride them.
A few notes are in order:
* Solorocks are FSIRs sold under a different name in North America.
* FSIR does indeed have 16" folders with the same innovative, unique fold and joint. How do I know? I saw and rode one, the FSIR 3.1, in Bangkok a few months back.

It sells for under $400, if memory serves. I regret not picking one up then.

I own an FSIR 5.0 (406er with rim brakes) which I stripped of the stock components to make way for custom rebuild (work in progress).



There's also a über-rare Titanium FSIR 3.0 (16"), but it's as common as the Tasmanian Tiger. For my money, I think the FSIRs/Solorocks are a fantastic value, and a top recommendation for budget foldies.

If your taste is 16"ers, you should check out the FnHon Gust chromoly frames:



Last edited by Abu Mahendra; 07-16-17 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 07-16-17, 03:31 PM   #16
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@Abu Mahendra - Thank you for the information and the confirmation of my long search for a decent folder that was within my "bike fund" allotment. I have seen postings of FSIR 16" folders and they are out there via Google, but their website only lists 20"ers. So I kept searching. Eventually finding SoloRock of whom I had never heard, but felt it was worth a chance. Since there is no where to test ride one and the dimensions are not listed on their site. It was a gamble to make the purchase sight-unseen and ride-uncertain. I thought the fold was clever, the bike weight was ideal, the rider weight was 35 pounds above my own and the price was about what I wanted to spend for a "last me 5 years" bike. Who knows what the heck my physical condition will be when I'm 75 years old. I'm very glad I made the purchase, and a follow-up review is being written.

by the way... Sorry to report that the images on your posting are broken links.
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Old 07-16-17, 03:46 PM   #17
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The careful, methodical packing that you described sounds exactly like the packing of my FSIR.

The images I posted are all visible on my device. Anyone else see them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AccuNeal View Post
@Abu Mahendra - Thank you for the information and the confirmation of my long search for a decent folder that was within my "bike fund" allotment. I have seen postings of FSIR 16" folders and they are out there via Google, but their website only lists 20"ers. So I kept searching. Eventually finding SoloRock of whom I had never heard, but felt it was worth a chance. Since there is no where to test ride one and the dimensions are not listed on their site. It was a gamble to make the purchase sight-unseen and ride-uncertain. I thought the fold was clever, the bike weight was ideal, the rider weight was 35 pounds above my own and the price was about what I wanted to spend for a "last me 5 years" bike. Who knows what the heck my physical condition will be when I'm 75 years old. I'm very glad I made the purchase, and a follow-up review is being written.

by the way... Sorry to report that the images on your posting are broken links.
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Old 07-16-17, 04:01 PM   #18
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Yes, I am seeing the images. Nice looking frames.
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Old 07-16-17, 04:05 PM   #19
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Post #15 of Abu's shows one image. I noticed the same image in a previous FSIR thread. Thanks for the info Neal.
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Old 07-16-17, 04:24 PM   #20
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SoloRock Spin 3 review added thoughts

I've had the bike for 2 days. My odometer shows 58.3 miles, also my bike computer temp shows 102.4F.

Just back from a 20 mile ride. The only reason it was not longer was that I ran out of water and felt dehydrated.

The bike is absolutely amazing. After 20 miles I did not feel the muscle exhaustion nor the knee aggravation that I would have felt on my other 16" folders. Pushing a 21 pound bike into a 6 MPH headwind is not as difficult as pushing a 40 pound bike of the same size into the same wind.

I had planned to ride 25 miles or more, but as I said, ran out of water. Yeah, water... The air above the roadways here in southwest Florida gets pretty doggone warm in the afternoons with the sun mercilessly producing its thermonuclear energy and casting it upon us. Usually a liter of water is sufficient for my rides, but, today there were very few passing clouds to shade the relentless sunshine. I would ride more in the mornings, but my wife's health is the driving force behind my (our) schedule. I need to be close by if she needs me so all too often my rides are multiple repeats of the nearby streets so I can respond quickly. 'nuff said...

Anyway... Here's the deal... If someone is looking for a classy, unique, very light weight, folding bike that will carry a load of 225 pounds (rider and gear/cargo); then, the SoloRock spin 3 should be on your short list.

After 58 miles there are only two things that I can say need improvement:
1. The handlepost should be longer by 3" or 7.5 cm. An option for a high rise handlebar might be an acceptable alternative.
2. The kickstand as it exists is apparently an afterthought. I do not like the way it mounts on the rear axle skewer. Flipping the kickstand down/up causes the skewer to move slightly. That could be interpreted by some riders as being unsafe.

That's all for now and it's time to make supper. My wife will wake from her afternoon nap soon, besides, I am hungry!
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Old 07-16-17, 05:10 PM   #21
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Another thing to recommend the FSIR/Solorocks are their relatively light weight, and 9-speed drivetrain.
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Old 08-11-17, 12:09 AM   #22
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Since I've just learnt to use the Sheldon Brown gear calculator, I'm plugging in every bike I come across. It's slightly addictive.

Plugging in the Spin 3 and guessitimating crank measurement at 165mm (doesn't seem to make a huge difference whatever you use), I get 21-63 inches (rounding up). Isn't that quite a limited range? The top end doesn't seem enough to prevent spinning out at the slightest decline. Can someone run the numbers? Maybe I'm doing something wrong?

Cassette: Sunrise 9SP 11-32T
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Old 08-11-17, 12:40 AM   #23
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I get about 26-75GI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdonline View Post
Since I've just learnt to use the Sheldon Brown gear calculator, I'm plugging in every bike I come across. It's slightly addictive.

Plugging in the Spin 3 and guessitimating crank measurement at 165mm (doesn't seem to make a huge difference whatever you use), I get 21-63 inches (rounding up). Isn't that quite a limited range? The top end doesn't seem enough to prevent spinning out at the slightest decline. Can someone run the numbers? Maybe I'm doing something wrong?

Cassette: Sunrise 9SP 11-32T
Crank Set: Cold-Forged Aluminum Cranks, Anodized BK, Chain Guard as same pcs of 52T Sprocket with 7075 Aluminum
Tires: 16” x 1.5” Kenda BK
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Old 08-11-17, 04:32 AM   #24
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Quote:
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I get about 26-75GI.
I used the calculator a few weeks back because this bike seems really cool if I move down to a 16 incher.

I plugged in a 60t, with an 11-28, but my top speed was only around 18-19mph.

Is that about normal for 16 inch wheels? The trade off being top range? I like the idea of no break down for flights.
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Old 08-11-17, 08:23 AM   #25
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... I plugged in a 60t, with an 11-28, but my top speed was only around 18-19mph.

Is that about normal for 16 inch wheels? The trade off being top range?...
Increase your cadence from 90rpm to 120rpm and you'll be able to hit ~26 mph. Sounds reasonable.
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