04. 14. 2006
Mobiky Genius folding bike
I want this Genius folding bike by French company Mobiky for my birthday. I've seen other folding bikes before, but they seemed gimmicky to me, offering nothing more than the ability to make it compact while being awkward and uncomfortable to ride. I've also wondered about how efficient it is to ride around on such small wheels (wouldn't you have to pedal really fast to get anywhere?).
The Genius caught my eye because of its beautiful, sleek design and, admittedly, my irrational love of things that fold into compact packages, but at $699, I would expect impressive functional features as well. According to Mobiky, the bike folds in three seconds (watch the folding demo on the website), and while folded, glides along next to you so you don't have to carry it. For steps, there's a carrying handle for lifting it up. Weighing 28.6 pounds and made of alloy aluminum, it holds up to 240 pounds, and anyone from 52 inches to 72 inches in height (so both children and most adults can ride it). The 3-speed internal gear hub is in the rear wheel. The feature I find most compelling is the distance it covers per turn of the pedal -- it's the same as with a standard bike with larger wheels. This addresses the primary issue with folding bikes that has kept me from buying one in the past.
Serious or macho bicyclists can scoff if they want to; it's not meant to be a sports bike. To me, the Genius seems like the perfect bike for someone who likes to ride around the neighborhood, commute to the train station without parking, or take a bike along on weekend trips to the country without having to outfit their car with a heavy duty bike carrier.
The Genius comes in colbalt (my favorite), red, green, orange, and dark blue, and is also available from Amazon.