REVIEW: 2016 Montague URBAN 700c Folding

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Couple months ago I was riding a Crosstown around the city. Just 3 days before Ramadhan, I took another brilliant hybrid, 2016 Montague Urban during KL Car Free Morning for a test ride.

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So this review will highlight the differences between Urban and Crosstown. Obviously you can notice the different names but why Montague make them for the similar purposes?

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According to their site, the Urban is “Utility & Versatility” and the Crosstown is “Comfort & Versatility”. I felt both are comfortable but the Urban are more versatile for a variety of terrain and road surfaces due to 35mm thick tires make it ideal for commuting over rough roads and potholes.

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The Urban and the Crosstown look similar but have some different features. One of those features that make the Urban more stand out is the RackStand. The RackStand is brilliant addition to the Urban as its can function as luggage carrier, mudguard, kickstand, and work stand all in one.

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New for 2016 is the DirectConnect folding system, which removes the quick release from the top tube, provides an easier folding experience and larger clamping surface between the two halves of the frame. A flip of the quick release lever and your bike folds to a compact size.

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The Urban have wayyy more speeds, with 21-speeds drivetrain provides more than enough gearing for hilly roads and city riding.

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Overall, I personally recommended the 2016 Montague Urban for anyone who thinking about commute to anywhere, especially when KTM Komuter announced that they officially allowing bikes on train. So you can bike to work now! And yeah, there are nothing wrong if you want to buy this for leisure rides, grocery shopping, etc. This bike is very versatile!

Check out the rest of the photos here:

To learn more about Montague bikes, please visit Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

Review and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya.

First Look: Knog Oi Bike Bell Has Arrived!

IMG_9580Oi what do we have here?! I am so stoked that Knog Malaysia received a sample box of Knog Oi Bike Bell and I managed to borrow 2 for review. Knog’s Oi Bike Bell proves a massive success on their Kickstarter campaign, receiving more than 50 times its goal target!

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Noted that this is just samples and It might have few changes for their final product, soon available in September/October 2016 at Knog retailers nationwide. However, Kickstarter’s backers should get their hand on this award winning bike bell in July 2016, according to their Kickstarter’s campaign.

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It’s available in two sizes; one for up to 31.8mm (Large) and one for 22.2mm (Small) bars. There’s no need to remove your handlebar grips or brakes, thanks to the Oi’s single bolt split-clamp attachment.

Easy on. No need to remove grips or cables.
Photo from Knog

The Oi will be available in 5 different styles which are Brushed Aluminium, Black, Brass, Copper & Titanium, and built-in cable management system so your cable can look more neater.

Photo from Knog

So, how was the sound? Knog claims the sound is ‘like an angel playing a glockenspiel’ (you can hear it here). However, the large Oi bell sound louder compare to the small size and luckily I’m using a 31.8mm bar. I would definitely buy it when it comes out in September 2016.

Having a bike bell is really a great idea. Of course I can yell out loud but it is nice to have a bell when approaching pedestrians and other cyclists from behind, allowing you to alert them in a less shocking way.

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Large Oi comes with hex key, extra springs, a rubber tape and a manual.
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Small Oi comes with hex key, extra springs and a manual.

Check out more photos below:

To learn more about Knog Oi Bike Bell, head to Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

Review and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya

Latest: Baby Nutty & Little Nutcase

R0003991 (1200x795)Spend more time making memories and having fun. We know the safety of your little one is your top priority whenever they run out the door. With cool graphics and fun prints, a no-pinch magnetic buckle, and smart safety features, Nutcase are the helmets they won’t want to take off.

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Little Nutcase

Features:

  • No pinch Fidlock® magnetic buckle for one-handed operation
  • Certified safety for cycling , scooting, and skating standards by CPSC and ASTM F1492
  • Adjustable and removable spin dial gives a snug, comfortable fit
  • Detachable visor shades them from sun and rain
  • Deluxe soft chin pad for extra comfort
  • Durable ABS shell
  • Protective EPS inner foam lining
  • Crumple zones in external EPS to help disperse energy in the event of a crash
  • Front, top, and back venting Extra sets of foam pads to give them the perfect fit
  • 360 degree reflectivity
  • Eye-catching designs for safety and style

R0003994 (1200x795)Even babies wanna bike. From their first two-wheeled glide to their first bitty tumble, from the seat of the balance bike to the box of the cargo bike, Baby Nutty is the best in helmet comfort, style and safety. Introducing Baby Nutty, the newest in little noggin protection from Nutcase.

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Baby Nutcase

Features:

  • Finally, the baby helmet you’ll both love: No pinch, no tears Fidlock® magnetic buckle
  • Easy-on fit system grows with your toddler
  • Ergo-design for optimal bike seat posture
  • Lightweight in-mold shell for growing bobble heads
  • Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) protective foam for high-impact protection
  • Front, top, and back venting
  • Integrated smile and compliment generator
  • Engineered, tested, and CPSC certified for 1 year and older

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Check out the rest of the photos:

To learn more about Nutcase products, please visit Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

First Look: Knog Blinder Mini

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I received a box of upcoming Knog lights sample from Knog Malaysia contains 8 new Knog Blinder Mini. The previous Mini series has only 1 LED but the new Blinder Mini range from 1 LED, 9 LEDs and COB (Chips on Board) LEDs with different beam angles. This stuff is so small yet powerful for your cycling routines.

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Introducing new mini family; the DOT, the NINER and the CHIPPY. Knog really know how to named their products well!

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Specifications:
Battery: LiPo / USB Rechargeable
Peaks Lumens: 20 (front) / 11 (rear)
Weight: 15g
Run Time: 2 Hours (steady mode) / 11 Hours (eco-flash)
Beam: 20° (DOT) / 90° (NINER) / 120° (CHIPPY)
LED: 1 (DOT) / 9 (NINER) / COB (CHIPPY)

The interface included Low Battery Indicator, Power/Mode switch and Recharge Indicator. Long press will turn the light on/off. Short press for mode conversion.

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The Blinder Mini comes with a clasp and 2 straps for the front and 3 straps for the rear. I really dig these lights because of its size. Perfect for those who want to save weight on bike lights and looks minimal on your bike.

Check out the rest of the photos here:

To learn more about Knog products, please visit Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya

REVIEW: Bike to Work with a Brompton

Bike to work is not a popular choice among urbanites. No denying that, there are several barriers that make it less popular, such as hot weather and safety. Find out how to break these barriers at the end of this article.

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I was loaned a 3-speeds Brompton by Van’s Urban Bicyce Co. and use this opportunity to bike to work on Global Bike to Work Day (May 10th), from Ampang to my office in Brickfield. Cycling from my house to Ampang LRT station takes less than 10 minutes. I use my Touch ‘n Go card so I can go out at any stations. However, make sure your card balance at least RM10 before traveling because not all stations have topup services for Touch ‘n Go.

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Ampang LRT station is the first station, so it was not crowded. Unfortunately LRT only allows foldable bicycle and not during peak hours which is 7am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm. So far there are no difficulties for me to ride the LRT with my bike even during peak hours. Just make sure your bike is properly folded before entering the train.

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There will be more and more people are coming in, so be sure that your bike does not disturbing any passengers. It’s fun watch them observing me and my bike especially because I wanted to show them that it’s possible. Most of them asked me about the bike price. Brompton is not a cheap option but there are many affordable folding bike, ranging from RM500 to RM2,000.

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In order to get to Brickfield, I chose to stop at Masjid Kamek LRT station and cycle to Brickfield. The fee is RM3.20. Please note that Masjid Jamek LRT station is known as one of the busiest station, so you might having a difficulty getting out of the train with a bike and I advise you to take your time getting out of the station due to a lot of people.

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I am thankful for KL’s first dedicated bicycle path but I must say, it was not well-maintained. Currently at some section (Jalan Tun Sambathan) have been closed for some construction but no other alternatives for cyclists or pedestrians.

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At the office, I put the bike beside me and do my works as I can easily access my stuff in the Brompton’s Mini O-Bag by Ortlieb.

My verdict.
Finally, I have done it. It’s possible and cheaper! I don’t have to spend money for parking and petrol, and was also able to pay more for my meals! Yes, I’m sweating but not much. You can still control your sweating level by cycling at chill pace and choose the right weather if possible. Thanks to LRT/KTM for allowing bikes (foldable) on train. Hopefully we will have a special coach for cyclists in the future.

One way to avoid hot weather or rain, by cycle at the right time. Getting weather update from your smart phone is good way to plan your trip. For inexperienced commuters, they will concern more on safety when riding a bicycle on the road with motor vehicles. So I would say that the more you ride, the more confident you will be. You can start practicing by joining a weekly group ride around KL.

The bike.
I’ve long had an interest in getting a test review of a Brompton. There is great pride and loyalty amongst Brompton owners and I can understand why. I’m all enthusiasm for foldable bikes at the moment, but riding on 16” wheels is still a shock (and syiok!). It may feel small, but it also feels solid and responsive on the road. I felt instantly at ease riding through the city. Brompton are slower than a standard bike, but once adapted to the riding style it felt reasonably fast with only 3 gears on my model.

But will I buy a Brompton? If a folding bike was my main commute, I would want the best. I am willing to save money for this bike, just like I did for my other bikes.

Check out the rest of the Brompton photos:

To learn more about Brompton bikes, please visit Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya

REVIEW: Selle Royal Scientia

Last Friday morning I did a recce ride for Nottingham University in Semenyih together with my colleagues from Public Bike Share. Since I was loaned a Brompton demo bike, I took this opportunity to test the Selle Royal Scientia saddle.

Selle Royal, together with the Sport University of Cologne, has developed the first range of saddles for the ergonomic market based on quantified laboratory studies at the university level. The result is SCIENTIA. A full spectrum of 9 ergonomic saddles scientifically engineered to precisely and comprehensively fit each rider with Athletic (45 degrees), Moderate (60 degrees) and Relaxed (90 degrees) riding position.

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I chose M>2 which is fits right with my sit bone width. Van’s Urban Bicycle Co. have a special gel measuring pad where the rider can sit and apply downward pressure. Finding the centers of the two impressions made on the pad and the sit bone distance can be measured. The M-Series (moderate) of Scientia saddles is created for fitness-minded cyclists, and comes in three widths (1: less than 11cm, 2: 11-13cm, 3: over 13cm) to accommodate all variations in sit bone width.

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The Curva Suspension takes pressure off of body contact points and provides an extra touch of comfort with its curved leaf spring design.

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The 20 kilometers ride won’t do justice to this saddle. I felt the typical mild saddle sores, maybe I have been spoiled with my Brooks and I’m not wearing a padded cycling pant either. However, I don’t felt numbness that usually caused by a new saddle, thanks to the 3D Skin Gel that offers the perfect combination of comfort and support, providing both at critical points in the saddle.

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If you generally ride in semi-relaxed position but still want a sporty look yet comfy then the Selle Royal Scientia Moderate Saddle might be the saddle for you.

Check out the rest of the photos here:

To learn more about Selle Royal saddles, please visit Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya

REVIEW: Montague Crosstown 700c Folding Bike

The Crosstown is a brilliant hybrid between a road bike and a folding bike with all the perks of a road bike; speed, that is perfect for practical commuting. It’s an easy to use folding bike offering 7-speeds, 700c tires, and the CLIX™ Wheel Release System.

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It is essential to state that the Crosstown is one of the Montague entry-level folding bicycles. However, this does not mean that the bike doesn’t perform as well as the more expensive models. My initial thoughts were that the silver and black paint stood out for me.

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There are only 7-speeds, but these are perfectly adapted for most road conditions and urban commuting.

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The Velcro straps is to bind the front tire when folded.

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The 700c wheels are alloy, with Formula hubs and a CLIX™ skewer for quick release of the wheels. The bike comes with CST semi-slick tires, 28mm in width.

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It also features a new invention called the Octagon, a stem that is height-adjustable with just a simple click of a button. This allows the rider to have the handlebars at whatever height feels comfortable.

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Using Montague’s CLIX™ Wheel Release System, the Crosstown is a 700c bike that folds with a couple of easy clicks. Combining a lightweight aluminum frame, 7 speeds, and performance gel saddle this urban folding bike provides the ride experience of a full size bike with the convenience of a folding bike.

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Performance Gel comfort saddle provides a great and comfortable riding experience.

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This bike folds over 50% of the actual size, and the front tire goes away which is attached towards the bike using a Velcro straps.

Overall, the Montague Crosstown is pretty excellent and well designed bike. The parts are reliable; the speed is great; while being very comfortable and weigh about 12 kilograms. If you’ve never tried using foldable bikes, then this one will really change your perception of foldable bikes. There’s a reason the US Army Rangers use Montague.

Check out the rest of the photos here:

To learn more about Montague bikes, please visit Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya


 

 

 


 

REVIEW: Knog Blinder ROAD 440 & 250

Available in black, pewter, ruby and silver, the latest Knog Blinder ROAD lights provides a better option to light the way, packing 440 and 250 lumens into its small and lightweight frame for over 1200 meters of visibility that mounts neatly onto the bars and even your helmet.

R0003669 (1200x795)The Blinder ROAD 400 is Knog’s second brightest light, behind the Blinder ARC 640, and attempts to bridge the gap between a light with which to be seen and a light to see by. Despite it’s relatively small size, the Blinder ROAD’s output boosts out plenty of light and it does so via two LUMILEDS LEDs.

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The Blinder ROAD is powered by a rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery with run times ranging from one hour on dual beam high mode to nine hours in eco flashing mode.

Blinder ROAD 250 – 1 hour on High Mode, 6 hours on Eco Flash
Blinder ROAD 400 – 1 hour on High Mode, 9 hours on Eco Flash

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The lighting functionality is delivered thanks to two LUMILEDS LEDs that offer a narrow or wide beam angle respectively and can be used independently or together, with high, medium and low brightness settings.

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The light is controlled by two buttons at the top of the light: the right to control brightness, the left to skip through modes. There are also two flashing settings, which makes for 11 modes in total.

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When you’ve exceeded the light’s run time, an integrated, weather-resistant USB plug handles recharge duties.

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Blinder ROAD 400 – 105 grams
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Blinder ROAD 250 – 75 grams

Both Knog Blinder Road lights comes complete with a helmet mount kit, two removable silicone straps for 22-28mm bars and 29-35mm bars and a USB extension cord.

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ROAD 400 on High Mode
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ROAD 250 on High Mode

Looks similar but I assure you that ROAD 400 is much more brighter.

If you’re looking for a simple, good-looking light to stick on your bike, the new Blinder ROAD is certainly one to consider. It’s well-constructed, versatile light for riders who generally ride within city limits. So far, the Blinder ROAD is my favorite front light as it has both focus and wide beam angles, and ROAD 250 in black is definitely will be my personal choice and within my budget.

To learn more about Knog products, please visit Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya

REVIEW: Knog Blinder ARC 640 & 220

As with most Knog products, the Blinder ARC series are creatively named, coupled with a fully waterproof casing, USB charge port and a great design aesthetic.

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Blinder ARC 640 in Red color
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Blinder ARC 220 in Pewter color

The Blinder ARC 220 generates 220 lumens while Blinder ARC 640 generates 640 lumens for about 1200+ meters of visibility. It has 4 light mode (high, medium, low and flash) and Blinder ARC 220 has runtimes about 1.3 hours for high mode and 11 hours for eco flash mode, and Blinder ARC 640 has runtimes about 1.7 hours for high mode and 15 hours for eco flash mode. The ARC series is made to see-by light, as well as safety light.

R0003666 (1200x795)Similar to all Blinder series, the 100% waterproof Blinder ARC has USB tab to allows for a cable-free charge and an extended cable is included for those tough to reach USB ports.

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Found some reviews on the net about ARC 640 that the mount isn’t secure enough to keep it pointing in the right direction, which is major flaw for me. So I tested them and ended with zero problems. Maybe they’re using the wrong strap as you will get 2 size of straps for different bar width. You can still use foam tape (included) for bars less than 25mm of diameters.

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ARC 640 – High Mode
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ARC 220 – High Mode

My only issue with the Blinder ARC series is the runtime is quite short for the high mode which is 80 minutes for ARC 220 and 100 minutes for ARC 640. But even low mode is good enough to lights up your path and be seen my others road users. So I have to use these lights wisely.

R0003661 (1200x795)The Blinder ARC 220 comes with 4 colors of your choice (black, pewter, ruby and silver) which is the same as Blinder ARC 640, and weigh about 100 grams for ARC 220 and 150 grams for ARC 640. The new Blinder ARC series is highly recommended for commuting and trail riding.

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Blinder ARC 640 with 2 sizes removable mount straps, USB extension cord, helmet mount kit and foam tape.
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Blinder ARC 220 with foam tape for bars less than 25mm diameters.

So which one to choose? I guess its depend on your budget and environment at your area. The Blinder ARC 640 surely the highest range of all models but its definitely not cheap. I suggest ARC 640 for trail riding and ARC 220 for road riding.

To learn more about Knog products, please visit Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya

REVIEW: Tyrell FSX, Performance Foldable Mini-Velo

R0003583 (1200x795)When talk about folding bike, I imagined foldable frame, small wheels and limited components upgrade options. But not this bad boy right here, where it can run full road bike setup!!

R0003585 (1200x795)I am riding Tyrell FSX, an award winning Japanese mini-velo and folding bike brand, loaned by Van’s Urban Bicycle Co. The FSX is upgraded version of the FX model, which with high-end groupset and full carbon folding fork. This is definitely a great bike for someone looking for faster and lighter that could also fold.

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The FSX is equipped with a full SRAM Force, which is a great road groupset with the unique SRAM’s DoubleTap shifter mechanism. It’s also available with Shimano Ultegra road groupset if you prefer Shimano.

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The FSX will comes with Tyrell AM10 wheelset but it’s been upgraded with Control Tech carbon/alloy wheels, which gives more lower rolling resistance and smooth turning of the wheels.

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It comes with a Tyrell’s full carbon monocoque foldable front fork for increased steering precision and stability.

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Tyrell bikes are painted by Kadowaki Coating in Japan.

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The FSX is constructed with #7005 double butted aluminum which is lightweight, stiff frame weighing 8.6kg.

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The “X” top tube is a signature of the FSX thus result to the characteristic stiffness of Tyrell bikes.

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The FSX has internal cable routing for a cleaner look without messy cables running along the frame, which further showcases the beautiful frame.

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Its 11-speed rear cassette with SRAM’s Exact Actuation system gives you a good gear ratio to tackle all roads, slopes and hills.

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Similar to the FX, the FSX is just simply folding the front and rear wheels, with locking mechanism. But you have to find the right gear first for easier fold (I always use inner chainring and middle gear) to avoid damaging the chain.

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The FSX is great for road riding and suitable for people who like speed and fast hill climbing bike that could also fold. This bike belongs on the road where the it lives up to its full potential. If there ever would be a bike that makes you love hill climbing, this would be one of them.

To learn more about Tyrell products, please visit Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.

Tested, words and photos by Shidi of Pedal Malaya