By Diane L. Freeman
It is hard to believe, that a month has passed since my custom made, pakiT arrive. Yep I picked Pink and White, because I could and because I love how vibrant the colour is. I have never “named” one of my bikes before, but I really can’t help myself with this one… she is “Polly” pakiT 🙂
Over this past month I have put Polly to the test including flying her to Ottawa on Air Canada. The performance of this bike is both amazing and unexpected. I really knew very little about folding bikes but in just one month of riding I have learned a ton!
- Dresses Work: Because of the low frame the bike is perfect for cycle commuting in a dress.
- Travel Time: Was essentially the same as riding my hybrid.
- Performance: The bike provides a very solid, steady and comfortable ride. One Facebook friend asked if it was “wobbly” as it looked like it would be. The answer was a very clear no. It does not feel wobbly at all.
- The Fold: My work colleagues could not help but comment on how small the bike was folded. They are accustomed to seeing my other bikes and were very surprised at the small footprint of the pakiT.
- Air Travel: That is a story for another Blog. Suffice to say it worked, it worked better than I could have hoped and I was so happy to have my pakiT with me during a conference in Ottawa, Ontario Canada.
- Travel Commuting with Non-Cyclists: The pakiT is the bike of choice when I know I am meeting people and then traveling together by car. No special bike rack is needed, the pakiT folds and fits in the trunk.
The bike was made, just for me, by “the Green Bike” company in Eugene Oregon. They are marketed under the brand of Bike Friday.
I would like to expand a bit on the travel time. The following is from the Bike Friday website and describes the travel distance very well as “Better Gearing”. The website goes on to say “Small wheels don’t equate to slower speeds, or having to pedal more. What gives you speed when you pedal is the distance that the wheel travels for every full revolution of the pedals, this is called gear inches. It’s understandable to assume that a smaller wheel would have fewer gear inches than a conventional bike, because with the exact same gearing it does. But folding bikes compensate for this by using higher gear ratios. Take for instance a folding road bike like the Pocket Rocket, which uses a 53 tooth chain wheel and 9 tooth cassette cog to achieve 116 gear inches. That’s nearly 10 feet of travel for every full rotation of the pedals, which is just as good, if not better, than any standard full-sized road bike.”
The Bike Friday website also addresses the “wobbly” question as follows “Another feature that makes small wheeled bicycles great for touring or transporting kids is the low center of gravity, which is the balance point of the bicycle. With small wheels, the balance point is naturally lower to the ground, and the lower it is to the ground the more stable it is.”
It was one thing to read the above on the website and quite another to test drive it personally. I was expecting wobbly, I was expecting that my ride would be slow, I was expecting that this bike would be my travel bike and in between trips be used less…I was wrong on all accounts. Polly pakiT is so pretty; she is hard to leave behind for any reason!
Check out Diane’s latest adventure: Cycling Canada’s National Capital with “Polly” pakIT