The concept of a folding bicycle has become very popular these days. Cycling itself has increased in popularity with people becoming more environmentally conscious. The folding bicycle add to the convenience of an ordinary bike because it can be folded and then carried. In March of this year, American start-up Tuck Bikes unveiled their folding bicycle – one with full size wheels.
A folding bicycle typically has small wheels so that they can fold. These wheels increase the ease of riding in tight city areas because they make the bike more agile. However, the smaller the wheels, the harder it is to ride at speed. These wheels also make it difficult to cover long distances. As a result, folding bikes so far have been primarily for city use and short distances. Cyclists need larger wheels if they are looking to ride long distances, but such wheels mean the bike cannot be folded. Tuck Bikes’ creation has the first foldable full size wheels. This means their bike is the size of a standard bicycle.
Based in Oakland, California, Tuck Bikes was founded by British mechanical engineer Alex Animashaun. He commented on the bike –“The north star has always been to create a bike that matches or exceeds the handling, feel and speed of your full-sized bike. It’s meant to be a full-sized bike that also folds, not a folding bike. The feedback from riders is that we’ve achieved just that. Our research shows that the biggest turn-off with existing folding bikes is their small frame and wheels. Tuck Bike is the modern answer to urban commuters, as the foldable bike you’ll be proud to be seen riding.”
The Construction of the Folding Bicycle
The Tuck Bike weighs only 14 kg. This makes it light as ordinary bicycles go. It also folds down to 61 x 83 x 37 cm. This makes it easy to carry around, because in folded form it is no larger than a weekend bag. It can also stand on its own when folded, adding to the convenience. As well as being able to stand on its own, it has small wheels on its frame. Therefore, it can be rolled along, instead of being carried. The tyres are made of foam and airless, and so don’t need pumping. They also are puncture proof. Its spokes are made from lightweight and durable carbon fibre. The entire bike can be folded or unfolded in two minutes at the most.
Tuck bikes plan to launch their folding bicycle on Kickstarter by September of this year. Once on Kickstarter, potential buyers can pay to back the product, and eventually buy it. It is currently in prototype form. This folding bicycle could be a major revolution, and further popularise this genre of bikes. We look forward to its launch eagerly.
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