Saturday, September 15, 2007

Folding Bikes and Trikes from Di Blassi

Is space in your pad too tight for a bike? Do you need to throw a bike or 3-wheeler in the trunk instead of on a bike rack? Are you commuting on public transportation with nowhere to put a bicycle for after you arrive? A folding one might be just the ticket.

I get all kinds of wierd things showing up on my doorstep to try out for this travel gear blog, but thankfully most companies e-mail first before sending the sample. Otherwise I might have been phoning Homeland Security when this Di Blasi Folding Trike box appeared at the front door.

Within 30 seconds of me getting it out of the box, it was assembled and ready for prime time, even though it comes with fenders, five gears, two hand brakes, a bell, and a generator light on the front and back. I didn't see the directions in the box at first, but it didn't matter. Getting in folded back up was a little tougher. I got stumped a few times, first by the clip on the folding pedals, then on a fender that wouldn't cooperate. I found the directions (in six languages) though and it all worked out.

I felt like a retired geezer with no sense of balance pedaling it around my neighborhood, but it rode well after I got used to it and and felt solid. It should feel solid - the thing weighs more than my real bike. At 47 pounds (21.4 kgs), this wonder of engineering is not for the weak and dainty. Testing out how it fit in the trunk of a car worked up more of a sweat than riding it around. This was the trike though. The folding bike is about 10 kgs lighter.

These folding bikes are impressively easy to fold and unfold and it really is something to behold. The trike folds down to 28 inches x 11 inches x 25 inches--it even comes with a carrying case. None of this comes cheap, of course. The folding trike is about a grand and a half or you can get an electric one for $2,700. The 2-wheel folding bikes start at $645 list and go to $845. They're built to last though, so if you're in a situation where this fits your lifestyle, check into it and find a dealer at the Di Blasi folding bike site.

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