We bumped into the chaps at Bigfish when we were at Eurobike, and they talked us through their novel folding bike. We say 'folding' but it doesn't really fold as such, it more kind of scrunches into a smaller space. Well, the handlebars fold.
The idea of the bike is that it's quick and simple to pack down whilst at the same time offering a full-sized geometry. There's no hinge in the mainframe; instead the rear triangle unlocks from the seat tube junction and hinges forward. The fork unclips and hinges in too, and the handlebars fold down from the stem. Tucking in the pedals completes the fold, which is impressively quick, at least when one of the chaps that designed it is doing the folding: he managed it in about 10 seconds. The hinges are all quick-release and click into place firmly and audibly when you unfold the bike.
The folded package isn't as compact as, say, a Brompton, but it does have the benefit of being very narrow when folded which is good news if you need to stash it against a wall, or squeeze it into a narrow bike compartment on a train. You can also wheel it around when folded, though Bigfish are also working on carrying bags, as well as luggage.
The bike runs on 16-inch wheels and sports a Nexus three-speed hub with a coaster brake. The frame is all Aluminium and the complete bike weighs in at a stated 12.5kg which is comparable with the competition. Price-wise it's going to sell at around £500 in the UK; you can buy direct from the Bigfish website at www.bigfishbike.com at the moment but Bigfish are also looking for UK shops and distributors. One of the places that'll be selling the bike is Bath-based www.foldingbikes.co.uk, and since that's based just down the road we'll try and nab one for testing in the near future.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.