Saturday, October 27, 2007

Strida Folding Bike - Pedal, Coast

[See 6/08 update, scroll way dooown.]
With former V.P. Al Gore winning the Nobel Prize for work relating to Global Warming awareness, it only seemed appropriate to post a little info about a product squarely in the "Green Transportation" class: the Bicycle. One of my favorite bikes is the Strida Rida []. Invented [at least] some 22 years ago by British inventor/designer Mark Sanders, the Strida Folding Bike is a great little transportation device that hasn't received enough attention here in the States. [Click on the photo left, to open animation in a new window showing how the bike folds.]

The Strida sports an aluminum frame, so it's very light and portable at 19.4 lbs [9kg]-- unlike MOST steel folding bikes. Not only that, but the Strida goes from compact to full working size in literally seconds unlike its cumbersome (and over priced) competitors. (It really is the easiest bike to fold and unfold without the need for special tools or anything.)

The light weight and quick assembly make the Strida easy to ride to the local commuter train/bus station, then fold up the bike and board the train/bus for the trip to work or out of town. (See the photo in the folded position, below.) The Strida folds down to the size of a large tennis racquet sports bag. It's also light enough to throw into the back seat or trunk of the car, so you can unload the bike and take a nice ride along Lake Michigan or your other favorite waterway path.

For apartment dwellers, the compact size makes it easy to store in a closet (instead of a remote common locker room where it might get stolen. You can buy a duffle-sized bag from Strida for storing & toting your bike. )
My Strida has no greasy chain (it's some kind of space age Kevlar or something), so handling the bike doesn't get you (or your clothes or car) exceptionally dirty.

The center of gravity on the Strida is a bit different than a traditional bike. But after an hour or two of riding, you adjust as you would to any new bicycle.

The latest version of Strida has two price levels: Strida 3.2 (starting at $499 USD) and Strida 5.0 (starting at $799). The Strida comes in 12 different colors / finishes -- depending on model. I "tricked-out" my Strida with a saddle bag, some lights & a bell which makes it safer for city riding.

I bought my Strida about 4 years ago and it's still working fine (although I admit I don't ride it as much as I'd like to.) See the web site for videos on its folding action and for more specs and photos...

The Strida comes in basically one size. (So very tall or short persons might not find the Strida comfortable to ride. Strida is not a bike for smaller children. ) It works best for persons over 5 feet tall and under 6'-3", less than 230 lbs.

But, if you live in an urban area & don't want to lose your parking space because you need to run out to get a newspaper, or you just need a quick ( green) way to get to the train/bus station, consider getting a Strida. They're a lot of fun and it beats paying $3.40/gallon for gas.
[UPDATE: gas in Chicago is now $4.80/gal for super a mere 8 months later. Read how I cut my gasoline cost by over 32% at practically NO COST, without buying a new car & without driving less. I just changed my driving habits. Read my upcoming post on how I did it. ]

© 2007