A Guide to Folding Bikes - How Do They Work?
Folding bikes are a form of transport that are mostly used for commuting to work. Whilst folding bikes are a frequent occurrence in the cycling community, the folding mechanism throughout can be different. These three most commonly used folding bikes show off different mechanisms that transforms a basic bicycle design into your office desk’s under the table best-friend.
Brompton bikes offer a unique way of packaging up your bicycle into a small box-like form. With the chains placed in a center design, these folding bikes work through the use of three key pieces placed together. The front wheel, the middle with chain & pedal and the back wheel. Allowing the back wheel to collapse into itself from the bottom and the front wheel to fold to the right/left, you can then slide the seat down in on itself. You’ve got a bike that keeps your clothing away from the chain whilst fitting snug.
The crosshead uses ‘Z-fold technology’ whereby the handlebars fold uniquely and separately to the front wheel. This design can seem slightly more complicated than others, but it compacts down into a smaller size than most. The design uses a quick release to drop the handle bars down, hinge clasps to fold the front tyre towards the center and then a hinge clasp to fold down the back. The Crosshead makes use of quick release mechanisms and clasps to fold the bike down into a compact size that’s easy to carry onto trains and buses.
The Montague is a brand of folding bikes that focuses on the ones that are larger and life. With big wheels and frame, these bikes are slightly more bulky to fold, but Montague’s tackled the problem perfectly. Working similarly to a Brompton, the Montague folds into a triangular frame with quick release mechanisms. However the Montague doesn’t rotate around and and underneath the frame, instead it folds in laterally. This is similar in appearance to a traditional bike.
When folding the Montague, first the front wheel unclamps then the clamp underneath the seat and perpendicular to the back wheel unclamps. This allows the bikes handles and front axis to fold into itself. The front wheel can then sit alongside.