There are many foldable bike brands in Singapore. CarryMe, Brompton and Birdy are the three popular foldable bikes that cyclists here like to ride. Good foldable bikes are designed for different purposes, besides juts cycling. It can be used for the first and last-mile commute. The foldable bike can be used to mix with public transport. So you fold the bike, roll or carry it to the MRT or board the bus. A good foldable bike must be able to fold and unfold quickly. It must be able to fold and roll into public transport. So that you don’t have to deal with carrying a bike while trying to tap into the MRT gate. And if the foldable bike can do more cycling beyond urban cycling, for eg, trail cycling and off-road cycling, then this foldable bike will be of more value to the owner.
The CarryMe Compact Foldable Bike
The compact and sturdy CarryMe foldable bike was designed by George Lin, CEO of Pacific Cycles in Taiwan in the early 2000s.
George Lin is often regarded as the Father of foldable bikes in Taiwan. The CarryMe was created with the simple idea of convenient commuting in mind. Cycle a CarryMe as a last-mile transport solution. Bike to the food centre to buy lunch or dinner. Or roll a folded bike to a shopping centre connected to a train station or bus interchange.
The CarryMe compact foldable bike is great for riders of 100 kg or less. It folds in 15 seconds and you roll it to public spaces and MRT without even having to carry it. A car boot can even fit more than three CarryMe foldable bikes for a trip to the park and beach.
CarryMe’s small footprint when folded
Many riders like the compactness of the CarryMe as it takes up a very small footprint standing in the house, train and bus. The rider will find easy to hold the folded handlebars and roll the folded CarryMe back and forth with toppling. The small wheels at the bottom of the folded CarryMe make negotiating turns at shopping centres a breeze! Shopping with your folded bike is now longer a pipe dream. Cyclists who own a good foldable bike such as the CarryMe are doing this everyday, we fold and roll our bikes into food centres and shopping malls.
The CarryMe has one speed that makes it a no brainer for those who do not like to change gears or do not know how to use gears on a bike. The CarryMe foldable bike can also be upgraded into a two-speed foldable bike, which makes it go even faster! The big crank on the CarryMe bike means the rider does not struggle with a poor bike gear ratio.
The other fun fact about CarryMe is that a lot of grown men love riding this compact and sturdy. The primary reason is that it is small, compact, portable and comes in nine fun colours. CarryMe cyclists love taking photos of their bike travels with their bikes for social media. Japan and Taiwan have the largest populations of CarryMe riders, and many post their scenic photos on Instagram for others to admire and share.
The CarryMe folding bike can also be stored into its very own travel case bring overseas and cycle in other countries. The travel case can even attach to a nifty bike trailer onto the CarryMe to trolley the travel case along!
The Brompton foldable bike was designed by Andrew Ritchie who founded Brompton Bicycles in the 1970s. He wanted a compact fold in a foldable bike that would allow the rider to commute with ease. Andrew retired from Brompton Bicycles a few years ago.
The Brompton was first introduced in Southeast Asia when Mighty Velo began selling it in Singapore about fourteen years ago. At that time, walk-in customers thought the Brompton was a colourful wheelchair. The two-tone colours that you now see on the Brompton was started by Mighty Velo about 10 years ago. Since then, Bromptons are now available in both single and two colour tones. It took many years for riders to accept two-coloured tones Brompton. Initial reactions were not favourable and customers back then found two-coloured Brompton ugly. Like other foldable bikes, the Brompton can be folded in seconds and rolled into public transport and public spaces. This is a common function of a foldable bike displayed and sold at Mighty Velo. Mighty Velo only represents good folding bike brands that can serve many purposes, besides just cycling.
B&W travel case
The Brompton foldable bike also has a travel option like the CarryMe. Get a B&W hard travel case to store the folded Brompton by removing the seat post and you can start to travel with your bike! The Brompton bike is made of steel and can take weights of up to 110 kg.
Each Brompton sold by Mighty Velo comes with a special customised Brompton head-badge. This particular Brompton head-badge design then started a series of head-badge designs from other parts of the world. Riders from different countries even exchanged head-badges with other Brompton cyclists.
The Brompton bike is available in single, two, three and six-speed models. Although, the most popular models are a single speed Brompton and the three-speed Brompton. This is because the single speed is very light compared to a Brompton with speed options. The three-speed models are affordable and have gears than a two speed and lighter than a six-speed model, hence its popularity. While it is not the fastest foldable bike around, it is sturdy and compact like the CarryMe foldable bike. The price tag is more than double of the CarryMe because of the costs of making the Brompton in the UK. The Brompton is only suitable for urban cycling, like the CarryMe foldable bike.
The Birdy Performance Folding Bike
In 1993, Markus Riese and Heiiko Muller of Germany designed a foldable bike with full suspension capability. A completely new and comfortable foldable bike called the Birdy was born, where the points of rotation of the suspension can also be used as points of rotation for folding.
The performance folding bike was christened Birdy for its bird-like properties with its full suspension riding experience.
Now riders all over the world own a Birdy bike for its smooth and sturdy ride experience. The unique features of the Birdy performance foldable bike are front and rear suspension. The Birdy provides a comfortable and sturdy ride and is perfect for heavy set riders.
Birdy’s Unique Monocoque Frame
The single monocoque frame of the Birdy is the signature look of the bike, easily recognisable all over the world. The Birdy now comes in various models and speeds options. One of the latest models is the Birdy Classic performance foldable bike. It shows off the original vintage single monocoque aluminium frame that was discontinued in 2005.
The new Classic Birdy is now equipped with a redesigned oversized main monocoque frame for better rigidity, with internal cable routing and 17-degree tilt for the handlebars for an optimum riding position. It also has Shimano Acera 8 speeds and weighs only 10.8 kg. just like a Strida foldable bike without gears!
Another new model is the new Birdy GT model which boasts of the new Birdy monocoque frame with disc brakes. Also, the full-suspension Birdy GT is best for light trails and off-road riding as it is supported by Sram 10 speeds.
All in all, the three popular foldable bikes have a long design history and are used for different purposes. The ride’s comfort level, the folding ease, price range, speeds, performance and experience all maketh a good foldable bike. And one can never have enough good foldable bikes at home!