Folding bicycle test


As Butch Cassidy discards the latest invention to hit the Wild West he yells:’The future’s all yours, yer lousey bicycle,’but the outlaw, played by actor Paul Newman,in the film Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid might have felt differently if he’d had a folding version. It would certainly have been easier to negotiate a Mobiky Genius than a horse over the Missouri Breaks.

This nifty little bikette carried me through the dockside streets of London: a bit of a bone-shaker over cobbles; a trifle heavy to lift up the stone steps of London Bridge, but a great commuter dodger. As briefcase whirling gents tried to swat me as I illegally, weaved along the pavement, I buzzed like an infuriating mosquito towards Fenchurch Street and an earlier train than my normally pedestrianised journey delivered.

I sat in the last carriage in the last seat so that I could lean the folded bike against the bulkhead between the back seats. But – had their been room among the folded commuter coats – the machine could have been stored in an overhead rack.

Deposited on the sea wall in Essex 45 minutes later, I cycled with the freshening south-west wind at my back, halfway up the hill to my home but dismounted after tiring of trying to pedal tiny wheels.

The Mobiky would fit into the hanging locker of any boat. It has clever lever-activated Jubilee-style clips which fasten the handle-bar and seat tubes at the correct height – no spanners required. The cycle chain is in two parts to allow for the machine to be ‘broken’ in half but this also makes for easy Sturmey Archer gear change: no oily chains jumping off and jamming tween cogged wheel and frame. The handle-bars fold in half , the pedals fold flush, the bike frame folds into the size of a brief case.

I’m tempted to say: ‘The future’s all yours yer lousey Oxfords.’