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Fake and Fake again

Old 12-11-08, 02:20 PM
  #1  
EvilV
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Fake Strida



Well, I've only had it a couple of days and have put about eight measly miles on it, but my first impressions are of a delightfully relaxed and very funny looking mount. I think I'm going to love it. The general fit and finish is very good, and it works as I would expect. In the next few days, I'll write more detail of its strengths and weaknesses. So far, I'm just doing a few shakedown rides, and have moved on from my earliest reaction to its handling of, 'Oh my God, this thing rides funny,' to being entirely confident about what it is likely to do.

I must say that this thing grows on you, although I don't like the way everyone looks at it and turns around in the street to watch as you go by. I prefer to be a part of the wallpaper rather than the focus of attention.

Last edited by EvilV; 12-16-08 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 12-11-08, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
I don't like the way everyone looks at it and turns around in the street to watch as you go by. I prefer to be a part of the wallpaper rather than the focus of attention.
Says the guy who loves collecting weird looking bikes!

Hi, EvilV just introducing myself... new to the forum and loving it. I haven't got a folding bike (yet) but I just love the look and the "technicality" of small-wheeled folding bikes (or any small wheeled bike for that matter). I must say the Strida and the copy you've got, would be in my opinion one of the better designed ones.

I hope I don't catch the collecting bug for those little critters! I hope it's not contagious... is it??!?

.
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Old 12-11-08, 11:45 PM
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There is an advertiser by the name of "SN Hobbies" whose banner will appear on these pages occasionally, announcing a Strida like bike for $299.95 USD. But when you get their website, the price is actually reduced to $249.95, and includes the carry bag, and a tool set. The shipping is also included for that price. Nice! If these "Strida clones" turn out to be as good as many buyers state they really are, this and other vendors will sell them by the containers!

Enjoy your new bike. Let us know how it works for you

Edward
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Old 12-11-08, 11:58 PM
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Out of curiosity, wouldn't the sellers of knock-off bikes get into trouble? Surely the originals are covered by patents?

.
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Old 12-12-08, 12:06 AM
  #5  
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I can't believe you keep buying more fake bikes.

You should send me your fakes and in my capacity as a minister in the Universal Life Church I will grant you absolution once I assure they are all in good working order.

Your soul is in peril as you embrace these fakes as if they were really bicycles

REPENT! Send them to me and all will be forgiven..

If that is not possible than at least give them more of a test than a measly 8 miles. Gotta be 20 km at the least...
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Old 12-12-08, 12:40 AM
  #6  
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Let me tell you guys about my fake strida experience this week.

I bought one a couple weeks ago and after getting some hands-on tips from one of the posters here (thank you!) I had it tweaked (tire pressure, seat height, brake tension, belt tension) to an acceptable point where it was rideable for the short flat commute rides that I'm doing. A couple days ago I unfolded the bike, hopped on it, and the frame collapsed on the first down stroke of the pedal. I just felt the whole bike fall out from under me. Turns out that top ball joint plastic socket cracked into two pieces.

Now, having read a bit about the occasional problem of the ball coming out of the socket on the real Strida, and seeing a video on youtube on how to pop it back in, I've learned that unfolding the bike can stress the joint. I think I stressed the plastic socket by not paying attention when I was unfolding my fake strida and I cracked the plastic. I'd imagine that the real Strida is made of a better plastic that doesn't crack easily and doesn't have this particularly dangerous problem. I have no idea if all the fake stridas are made of the same low quality plastic. Maybe there are some that even go the length of using decent quality materials where the rider's safety might be at risk.

So this is a warning to you guys that the joint can break. I think mine broke from the stress of unfolding it wrong. I don't know if it could break while pedaling. It would be real bad if that happened while you were moving.
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Old 12-12-08, 05:12 AM
  #7  
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Welcome to the land of the flying triangles !!

Nice colour ! Did it come from that chap in Wembley ?
After years of me blathering on about how underated Strida is (at least in UK), a mountain biking mate got a Strida5 fake off eBay (maybe from the same source as you?). He is another convert but now he won't stop going on about it (and how little he paid for it 128). I have gone over it (admittedly trying to find fault compaired to my proper 5 ) and I must say it's not bad at all !! (and for that price I may have to eat my words about how bad fakes are).

The only faults I could find were 2 slightly loose spokes, and the lower joints (front & rear) were a bit loose. The front 'pin' has built in movement where mine is solid, and the rear allows the pulley tube to drop too freely - both can be tightened, maybe with more washers ?

I've heard of other fake stridas with brittle ball sockets which break instead of releasing if folded badly , as poster above, but his is pretty solid (and he has enough sense not to try and fold the front bit forward).

The attention can be a problem when you are in a rush to get a train - fast fold and disapear is the best for a fast exit plan. Enjoy !
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Old 12-12-08, 05:44 AM
  #8  
EvilV
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Originally Posted by Simple Simon View Post
Welcome to the land of the flying triangles !!

Nice colour ! Did it come from that chap in Wembley ?
After years of me blathering on about how underated Strida is (at least in UK), a mountain biking mate got a Strida5 fake off eBay (maybe from the same source as you?). He is another convert but now he won't stop going on about it (and how little he paid for it 128). I have gone over it (admittedly trying to find fault compaired to my proper 5 ) and I must say it's not bad at all !! (and for that price I may have to eat my words about how bad fakes are).

The only faults I could find were 2 slightly loose spokes, and the lower joints (front & rear) were a bit loose. The front 'pin' has built in movement where mine is solid, and the rear allows the pulley tube to drop too freely - both can be tightened, maybe with more washers ?

I've heard of other fake stridas with brittle ball sockets which break instead of releasing if folded badly , as poster above, but his is pretty solid (and he has enough sense not to try and fold the front bit forward).

The attention can be a problem when you are in a rush to get a train - fast fold and disapear is the best for a fast exit plan. Enjoy !
I'm going to reply to all of you chaps soon, but I have to go out on my new StridaFake since the sun is shining and the black ice has melted, but I must just reply to this one first before I go.

Yes - it was the guy in Wembly and mine was a 110 best offer deal. It came with the bag, a wee toolset and a manual showing torque settings and methods of doing stuff on it. I could not be more pleased for the money, and yes - I am aware of not straining the top ball joint.

I have identified one or two weak spots, but they are nothing that can't be fixed for pennies. The allen screws are not that great, and I will take off examples and seek replacements. They don't seem to fit the wrench as exactly as I'd like so I am cautious about tightening the bolts too much in case the heads give out.

Looking at the thing, it would be so simple to manufacture that two things occur to me: ANY manufacturer could make one of these really cheaply and still make it well. There is nothing magical about a resilient nylon ball joint socket that a Chinese company could not have made for pennies, and the 7000 aluminium tubes don't require too much wizzardry either. It is the simplest kind of bike you could make with a minimum of welding. The second thing that occurs is that the official Strida made by Ming Cycles in Taiwan is sold here for about 450 and is VASTLY too expensive. It could be half that and still make adequate profits for a non-greedy supply chain. Dahon dealers sell bikes with more 'work' in them for prices around 250 - 280 like the 2007 Curve D3 so Strida should go for similar money.

Last night I looked into the manufacturers of these copies and there are loads of them, so it is probable that it is not wise to generalise about how good they are. As far as I can see, the one I have is sold for US$94 by the manufacturer and in lots of 20 items, which makes it easy for an enterprising ebayer to grab a few and sell them off.

Check out this page to see just some of the Fake Strida makers ->

http://strida-bike.china-direct-buy.com/
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Old 12-12-08, 07:37 AM
  #9  
EvilV
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Originally Posted by Pocko View Post
Says the guy who loves collecting weird looking bikes!

Hi, EvilV just introducing myself... new to the forum and loving it. I haven't got a folding bike (yet) but I just love the look and the "technicality" of small-wheeled folding bikes (or any small wheeled bike for that matter). I must say the Strida and the copy you've got, would be in my opinion one of the better designed ones.

I hope I don't catch the collecting bug for those little critters! I hope it's not contagious... is it??!?

.
Hi Pocko,

There are several really ingenius ways of making a bike besides the usual arrangement.

Yes, I love the technicalities and feel envy at the hand and machine skills of some of the people here who mess about with their folders. Bolt on mods like the six gear conversion I made on the Merc are easy, but people here do some very interesting things.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showpost.p...5&postcount=17

By the way Pocko, the desire to buy more and more of these bikes is contagious. I have found the banner adds from Ebay running alongside this forum difficult to resist. That's how I bought two bikes in the last month, one, a 39 year old R20 in need of a lot of tidying up, but all working, and also this Strida Fake. Both appeared at unrealistically low prices and with minutes to go..... Just too tempting. I might have to put the Ebay url into my hosts file and prevent it coming up so I can kick this habit.

Originally Posted by regfman View Post
So this is a warning to you guys that the joint can break. I think mine broke from the stress of unfolding it wrong. I don't know if it could break while pedaling. It would be real bad if that happened while you were moving.
Thanks for the warning regfman. I will take care of that issue when unfolding. I almost let mine go the same way when I first unfolded it. Maybe that joint should be made of some kind of nylon rather than a more brittle plastic. Mine is grey, and I won't strain it, I promise.

Did you find a replacement plastic part available. I expect you can get a genuine Strida part. I doubt the fakes are well supported with spares. If you had an engineer friend, he could easily knock you one up out of nylon as long as you still have all the parts. I bet I could even make one with a file, a hack saw, and a dremel tool. I'd certainly have a try rather than scrap the bike.
Originally Posted by Pine Cone View Post
I can't believe you keep buying more fake bikes.

You should send me your fakes and in my capacity as a minister in the Universal Life Church I will grant you absolution once I assure they are all in good working order.

Your soul is in peril as you embrace these fakes as if they were really bicycles

REPENT! Send them to me and all will be forgiven..

If that is not possible than at least give them more of a test than a measly 8 miles. Gotta be 20 km at the least...
LOL - in your dreams you may receive a fedex carton from me containing all my repented fake purchases, but I wouldn't count on it.

Last edited by EvilV; 12-12-08 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 12-12-08, 08:15 PM
  #10  
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EvilV:

Congrats on your latest acquisition. We have eerily similar bike choices....

One other caution worth bringing up. On my fakeStrida, the bottom bracket body is made out of a cheap plastic also. This caused a problem when I tried to tighten the drive belt tension bolt - the threads stripped. Not on the bolt (which was metal), but on the BB body. I replaced the BB with an original. Now, it rides very nicely. But, beware and be careful. I hope your fakeStrida is from a different mfg than mine.
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Old 12-13-08, 06:14 AM
  #11  
EvilV
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Thanks SesameCrunch - I have already messed about with the belt tension. It was far too tight and after about six miles of riding in wet weather, the belt started making a clicking noise. I loosened it up and the noise disappeared (although it is still too tight according to the strida hints and tips manual that I found here: http://www.strida.us/Tips-from-Mark.pdf ). How tight to you have your belt in terms of mid run belt deflection under light finger pressure?

Also, the bottom bracket squeaked under heavy pedalling pressure until I lightly oiled the plastic shell with WD40.

The wheels need minor truing attention which is an almost universal fault in cheap bikes, but is very easily dealt with. A quick look suggests that a couple of loose spokes being tweaked a bit will sort that one out.

I'm not sure how high to take the seat. At the moment I am a bit feet forward, which is not a natural position for me, and I need to go far back on the saddle on hills to exert power. I think I'll raise the seat another inch and see how that feels.

Yesterday I rode it about ten and a half miles. After about six, my backside was feeling the strain of the arse heavy riding position. It may require a better seat because unlike my other folder, there is no way you can take much of your weight on the feet.

All that being said, it's a funny, quirky little bike with no vices. The brakes feel a bit spongy, but they work, and I am sure if I tinker with the adjustment, they will improve. I happen to have about ten pads for another disk brake bike I used to have.... I wonder if they will fit this brake design. I bet they will, but that's just the unnatural optimism of a guy who buys 110 fakes and expects them to be good. So far, this one hasn't disappointed me yet. At the worst, I lost very little, and more likely, I'll have a good bit of riding fun for the price of a good night out.

The weather is foul just now, but next time I get the chance to take it out, I'll take some close up photos of parts like the BB and see if they match up with yours. I don't know if you got to look at that link to Strida Fake makers, but there are at least eight different factories there registered with one particular China export portal. I bet there are twice as many churning them out.

Last edited by EvilV; 12-13-08 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 12-14-08, 08:35 PM
  #12  
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Here is Mark Sanders' opinion about fake Stridas
Originally Posted by Mark Sanders
Hi Amuro,

Good question. I was amazed at how many factories are listed producing fake stridas. I call them SLO's (Strida Looking Objects) this is because many of them may LOOK like Stridas, but they do not have all the details that real Stridas have. Here is a list of things that are not imeadiately obvious by looking at a fake.

1. Heat treatment of frame after welding ( means a drastic reduction in fatigue life of frame )

2. Correct tough nylon for important joints.

3. Use of strong heat-treated steel for parts like axles, ball joint. (this is obvious by their use of low quality steel for important screws holding seat, steering pin, axles, wheels and brakes.

4. The joints are all much looser than real stridas - meaning they are harder work to pedal, will wear quickly and make the normally stiff framed Strida feel 'floppy'.

5. Some SLO's use 4 screws to hold the steering pin. At 1st glance this may seem stronger than Strida's 2 screws. BUT Strida screws are special & strong - to avoid fatigue/fretting wear. The 4 screws on SLO's allow the whole steering pin to rock - this not only makes the frame feel floppy, it also will quickly wear and become even more loose - and will soon cut though the soft, non-heat treated aluminium mountings. That's if the soft screws don't break 1st.

6. Wheels tyres and hubs are really low quality- as all components used. They are not machined from Ali. But crudely welded together from steel then plated.

Buyers MUST realize that they are getting what they pay for - NOT a bargain priced Strida, but a crude VISUAL fake.
Just like fake baby milk looks just like real milk. I am apalled by the cheap money grabbing antics of these fakers. But I guess the chinese government has bigger worries (like feeding 1.3b people) than upholding foreign owned IP. It is a complete MYTH that strida has no patent and Ip protection. There are several patents still in force - and Ming are suing many SELLERS of fake stridas, but the Chinese gov. Is v slow to act on factories.

I hope this answers your Q's
Please keep up the excellent work you do on the forums with help and information.

Best
Mark

On 13 Dec 2008, at 23:28, Amuro Lee wrote:
> Hi Mark,
>
> There're some articles on bikeforums.net and stridaforum.com talking
> about the quality
> of fake Stridas.
> What do you think about this?
> http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=493693
> http://www.stridaforum.com/forum/vie...5&p=3214#p3214
> http://www.stridaforum.com/forum/vie...3&p=3215#p3215
>
> Regards,
>
> Amuro

Last edited by Amuro Lee; 12-17-08 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 12-14-08, 09:40 PM
  #13  
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I want to say something positive about the Strida (the real ones I'm pertaining to). First time I saw them was in Taipei Bike Show back in 2006. Although folding bikes didn't interest me at the time, I did appreciate the engineering aspects of all the various foldies on display. But I must say at first glance, the Straida would've been my last choice if I were to consider getting a foldie at the time.

But having some time to think about it, I can't help but appreciate the design innovation and clever minimalist engineering that went into that bike. The only concern I would have is market-acceptance because in all honesty from a designers view point, I felt it was too far ahead of its time. But judging from all the copies that are now being sold and bought, it would seem that this is not going to be the main problem for the company. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, (although I'm sure Straida's accountants would have another word for it).

Great design is a great design... this one could very well be timeless because it is so distinct. The Straida design has me standing and applauding. I'm thinking of getting one... but first things first, I'm sorting out a new mini-velo prototype...


.

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Old 12-14-08, 10:19 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
EvilV:

Congrats on your latest acquisition. We have eerily similar bike choices....

One other caution worth bringing up. On my fakeStrida, the bottom bracket body is made out of a cheap plastic also. This caused a problem when I tried to tighten the drive belt tension bolt - the threads stripped. Not on the bolt (which was metal), but on the BB body. I replaced the BB with an original. Now, it rides very nicely. But, beware and be careful. I hope your fakeStrida is from a different mfg than mine.
Hi SesameCrunch,
I want to expand on your warning about over-tightening the drive belt tension bolt and give people the tip that you gave to me when you helped me with my bike. You suggested to me to put something in the front section of the slot; your thinking being that with something bracing the position of the screw against the rearward pressure on the bolt you don't have to tighten the bolt as hard and that way you don't end up stripping the plastic threads of the Base Bracket.

I used your idea and it worked well. I cut off ~1/4" of the tapered end of a disposable wooden chopstick and stuck it in the slot and got it positioned so that it doesn't fall out. It is being squeezed forward to back so it's not going to pop out, especially with some of it blocked by the width of the washer. After a a few miles of riding on the new bike the belt was stretched and it got a bit looser so I replaced it with another piece a little longer and the belt tension was good; all this without having to crank down too hard on the belt tension bolt.



Of course the real Strida is designed and built with better quality materials so it doesn't have that problem.
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Old 12-15-08, 03:36 AM
  #15  
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Hey EvilV, thank you for your post. The clone looks very interesting at this price, but I have a couple of question about it.

Is the seat stuck to the plastic seat mount? Or does is it attached to the saddle's rails and can be replaced with every other saddle?
Do you happend to have the L x W x D measurement of the box that the bike was in?
What's the real weight of this clone?

I know it might not be as good as the real strida, but at this price it's even cheaper than the xootr step.
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Old 12-15-08, 04:39 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by regfman View Post
Good tip. Thanks. I have made adjustments to the belt. Mine seemed too tight and it began making a noise after a few miles of wet riding - a sort of rapid clicking noise. I loosened it and it is now silent.

Next time I need to attend to belt tension, I will use the method you show here.

Cheers.

Last edited by EvilV; 12-15-08 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 12-15-08, 05:25 AM
  #17  
EvilV
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Originally Posted by pokkuhlag View Post
Hey EvilV, thank you for your post. The clone looks very interesting at this price, but I have a couple of question about it.

Is the seat stuck to the plastic seat mount? Or does is it attached to the saddle's rails and can be replaced with every other saddle?
Do you happend to have the L x W x D measurement of the box that the bike was in?
What's the real weight of this clone?

I know it might not be as good as the real strida, but at this price it's even cheaper than the xootr step.
Hi.

The seat is mounted with a normal seat clamp on to the plastic tube that clamps onto the rear frame member. It looks conventional. The seat itself is acceptable, but the other day I rode it ten miles and by six miles, I felt the need of a softer cushion. Part of this was that I had the seat too low and was somewhat feet forward. I raised it about two inches and that made a big difference to comfort and power delivery. I'm pretty short with a 29" inside leg, but I habitually ride with a high seat position and my toes on the pedals. I'm much happier with the stock seat now that I am further forward, but the seat is a cheapy for sure.

The shipping carton measures 115 x 27.5 x 56 cm, and the marked net weight on the carton is 11KG which I take to be the weight of the bike. Weighing the bike and myself on a bathroom scale it looks like it comes out at 10KG. This is not a great way to weigh it, but I did three measurements, putting it down in between to see that the scale returned to the same place.

NB. I have removed the rear rack which was made out of pretty naff plastic. I was demonstrating the fold to a friend outside on a frosty day and while the bike was in my hand, I let go the rear half and it struck the pavement hard and shattered the luggage rack. I've had that kind of problem before with some hard plastics - low temperature and they become extra brittle.

I have also swapped out the pedals. They were the usual really naff low end ones like my Merc came with - different, but just as bad.

I have now ridden it about thirty miles. It is getting hard to keep track now without a speedo, but it is at least 27 and probably 30. The pedals were clicky, the luggage rack was weak, but the frame, wheels and transmission components seem serviceable. The wheels needed minor truing right out of the box, the belt was too tight, the BB was creaky until I oiled it lightly. I think I will probably replace the allen bolts over time with new ones as they are not of the best, except the seat ones which are well made and tough. The ones around the crank spider and the one that secures the eccentric BB tensioning position don't seem well enough machined for my liking. The fit with the allen key is indifferent and the heads may end up destroyed by the key slipping.

Other than that it is pretty good deal for 110 which is what I got it for on a best offer ebay deal. The real strida 5 is available from an outlet near here at 390 in white or 429 in one of a couple of colours. No doubt it will have had more finesse employed in its production and the selection of parts. However, the 'Zhejiang Yongkang permanent rhyme fitness instrument factory' product which I believe I have here, http://cnhengyun.diytrade.com/sdp/55...d/4213101.html is pleasant to ride, handles in a tight fashion with a stiff frame and a surprisingly plush reaction to quite severe bumps, even with the tyres overpumped.

The question I ask myself is this, 'Would I have shelled out 430 on a genuine coloured Strida?' and the answer is NO. 'Is the price of the real Strida any sort of a bargain, given that we are talking about buying three tubes, a plastic transmission system, a crank spider and two small wheels?' The answer in my opinion is NO. By any standards, in a global market, the Strida is far too expensive. It is a mass produced minimalist, tiny bicycle made in the far east. How can it possibly cost over 400 unless there is a lot of gouging going on? It should be obvious when you overprice a simple product that has large appeal that the Chinese are going to grab the idea with both hands and sell them three for the price of one. This bike is sold to western importers at US$ 94 a pop. I bet Ming are selling the real thing at less than $200 and doing very nicely. How does that then translate to 429 or $642 (dealer in NE England linked from Strida website). If Ming didn't sign up a continent wide sole importer deal with strida.nl and instead sold the bike to any outfit that ordered a container load, it would be 33% cheaper to the customer and there would be no fakes, because the price incentive would not be enough to persuade people to buy a copy version with the risk that involves.

Is the Zhejiang counterfeit as well made as a real Strida? NO.

Is it a functional copy that with a minimum of swapped components will make a pleasant enough ride? Probably yes - but I do say 'probably'. Time will tell. One thing for sure though, I would never have made the move of buying a real Strida on a whim like I did with this one, and who knows, after riding it a few thousand miles, maybe I'll get a real one. My experience with the now venerable Brompton knock off I have ridden for 3600 miles has convinced me that when it gives out, I'll get a real Brompton. Maybe this will be the same.

I know that Mr Saunders is not involved in marketing the Strida 5, so he can't be blamed for its ridiculous price, and nor can he be blamed for being cheesed off at people copying what he designed. I already knew the risks and checked the thing out with care, but I take his points about quality seriously so I ride the copy with caution, after all, like any piece of mass produced cycle hardware, it could break - just as we all know the real Stridas have done in the past. When I ride my bikes, I check them out with care on a regular maintenance schedule. I go over the Merc frame components with a lense every three hundred miles and check every centimetre of its frame and forks. If I hear a new noise from my machines, I stop and check them out. I long ago learned with motorcycles, kit cars, bikes and mainstream cars NEVER to ignore a new and unnatural sound or feel. That's why I'm still alive.

Last edited by EvilV; 12-15-08 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 12-15-08, 08:48 AM
  #18  
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"... But I guess the chinese government has bigger worries (like feeding 1.3b people) than upholding foreign owned IP. It is a complete MYTH that strida has no patent and Ip protection. There are several patents still in force - and Ming are suing many SELLERS of fake stridas, but the Chinese gov. Is v slow to act on factories. ..." --from the Mark Saunders email above.

I didn't know this. This changes things a bit from my POV. I thought I read somewhere else, him saying that the fakes were OK because his design was out from under patent protection and in the public domain. I wonder when this changed...?

I remember a woodworking instructor once saying that ideas are notoriously hard to defend even with patent protection, and especially if you're a little guy, expensive to the point of ruination. His advice, if you come up with something very salable, was to get into it and start manufacturing, keep it up and get ahead of any competitor who might want to grab some of your market.
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Old 12-15-08, 09:18 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Amuro Lee View Post
Here is Mark Sanders' opinion about fake Stridas
Interesting. Unfortunately, Strida can join the long list of companies with patent and copyright infringement cases in China. Although my understanding is the the central government doesn't have an iron grip on local governments which have their own motivation. Consequently, enforcement is a complex and difficult problem.
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Old 12-15-08, 10:21 AM
  #20  
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Thanks Evil. Great review.

Is is possible to swap out the hub for a multispeed one? I would bite at that price, but I would require more gears b/c of the hills here.
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Old 12-15-08, 10:33 AM
  #21  
EvilV
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Originally Posted by ShinyBiker View Post
Thanks Evil. Great review.

Is is possible to swap out the hub for a multispeed one? I would bite at that price, but I would require more gears b/c of the hills here.
No - it is definitely a single gear bike. The cantilever design would make it quite hard to accomodate a hub gear and derailier would be out with a belt.

The gear is 56 inches which is surprisingly adequate for my use around town, and I have a steep valley to deal with in some of my daily activities. I just get off and wheel it up the steep bits, but they are very steep. Ordinary inclines are not a problem.

It is important to remember the environment that the design was meant for - urban mixed mode commuting. There is an account somewhere of a guy who rode a Strida the length of New Zealand (both islands??? I don't know) but that is not what it was intended to do.

Be WARY - as I have said there are many factories turning these out. I have only seen one and ridden it now 35 miles. Also, you will be on your own if it drops apart. SesameCrunch has replaced the plastic shelled eccentric BB with an original Strida5 item and someone swapped out a front disk brake for another one, so I have no reason to suppose I'll not be able to get genuine Strida bits if I want them. To be honest though, if it had to go into the junk in a year's time, I wouldn't be desolate at this price and then I might buy a real one if I still like the idea.

Not wanting to insult REAL strida riders at all, or Mr Saunders, but let's not forget when we are going on about quality that some of the early stridas were far from durable according to easily found accounts on the web. My father bought one of the very first ones and it was awful. He returned it within days. They had all kinds of plastic parts and some of these were only recently superseded with the Strida 5. (BB shell for example). Now I realise that it takes a massive amount of skill to develop a thing like this bike and that I don't have what it takes in the least - hat off to the inventor and his partners, but to look at some of the comments on the other S forum, you'd really think the knockoff was a monstrous sacrilege, and an insult to a perfect device.

Last edited by EvilV; 12-15-08 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 12-15-08, 11:32 AM
  #22  
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I have another question about the fake Stridas:

I weight 185lbs and I find (I should be using the past tense as my fake Strida has a broken ball joint that needs to be repaired so I'm not riding it) that when I pedal the seat wiggles side to side a lot. It is not firm. It's not really the seat that is flexing - I've changed out the cheap kids seat that it comes with for a regular rail mount seat I had around from another old bike. It's the large plastic bracket that attaches to the frame with the bands that is doing the flexing.



Do other people have this problem on their fake Stridas? It's been mentioned that there are multiple makers of these fakes, I assume using multiple versions of the parts. Is it possible to swap out a better/less flexy, firmer plastic version of the seat bracket part?

Last edited by regfman; 12-15-08 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 12-15-08, 11:38 AM
  #23  
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I weighed about 165 pounds last time I dared weigh myself naked, and my seat is rock solid on its frame tube which is also solid. When I smashed the rack by dropping the bike and took it off, I didn't replace the lowest bolt and the seat arrangement is still rock solid. I will work out something with a shorter bolt but that's the current situation. I suggest that you look at why that seat tube is not secure. Maybe it is wrongly assembled. I hope it isn't just the wrong size for the frame tube.

Strida. com sell new ball joint kits quite cheaply. You can probably take a chance on ordering one and fitting it yourself. I would chance the price and order one in the hope that my copy will have the same dimensions. As for swapping out - success depends on whether the dimensional error is in the frame tube or the plastic seat bracket, if indeed the problem is dimensional error rather than simple misassembly.

The balljoint in the UK costs 9 I think. The seat moulding is even cheaper. I don't know where you are located, but there will be a distribution channel nearby for original parts. If the copy uses the same size frame tubes you will likely get away with replacements. .... All guesswork, and probably not a lot of help.

http://www.strida.nl/en/store/parts.php

Last edited by EvilV; 12-15-08 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 12-15-08, 01:46 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by regfman View Post
Let me tell you guys about my fake strida experience this week.

I bought one a couple weeks ago and after getting some hands-on tips from one of the posters here (thank you!) I had it tweaked (tire pressure, seat height, brake tension, belt tension) to an acceptable point where it was rideable for the short flat commute rides that I'm doing. A couple days ago I unfolded the bike, hopped on it, and the frame collapsed on the first down stroke of the pedal. I just felt the whole bike fall out from under me. Turns out that top ball joint plastic socket cracked into two pieces.

Now, having read a bit about the occasional problem of the ball coming out of the socket on the real Strida, and seeing a video on youtube on how to pop it back in, I've learned that unfolding the bike can stress the joint. I think I stressed the plastic socket by not paying attention when I was unfolding my fake strida and I cracked the plastic. I'd imagine that the real Strida is made of a better plastic that doesn't crack easily and doesn't have this particularly dangerous problem. I have no idea if all the fake stridas are made of the same low quality plastic. Maybe there are some that even go the length of using decent quality materials where the rider's safety might be at risk.

So this is a warning to you guys that the joint can break. I think mine broke from the stress of unfolding it wrong. I don't know if it could break while pedaling. It would be real bad if that happened while you were moving.
really sorry to hear that.

definately do not fold out the bike so that the front and rear tubes become one straight line, they like to be pretty tight overall.

if you are stuck, you CAN get the real strida part and swap it in. if you are in the united states, call areaware.com and they can help you. the part is like $12 or something. pm me, I have email contacts for anything strida related.
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Old 12-15-08, 03:24 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
Not wanting to insult REAL strida riders at all, or Mr Saunders, but let's not forget when we are going on about quality that some of the early stridas were far from durable according to easily found accounts on the web. My father bought one of the very first ones and it was awful. He returned it within days. They had all kinds of plastic parts and some of these were only recently superseded with the Strida 5. (BB shell for example). Now I realise that it takes a massive amount of skill to develop a thing like this bike and that I don't have what it takes in the least - hat off to the inventor and his partners, but to look at some of the comments on the other S forum, you'd really think the knockoff was a monstrous sacrilege, and an insult to a perfect device.
Now that you mention it, I do remember reading about the early Strida's quality issues on the net. The newer models are surely a big improvement over those first generation iterations. However, looking at the basic design of the Strida, and it's knockoffs, I believe that these bikes are not meant for heavy use. They seem too delicate, and I am more than certain that even an authentic 5.0, wouldn't hold up month after month on the type of streets I commute on.

All that said, both the original, and the imitation versions are ingenious devices to say the least

Regards,
Edward
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