When I encourage people to bike for transportation and recreation, my vision is not for them to go out and buy a $1,000 bike, $200 in spandex and a racing helmet. My hope is that they buy an inexpensive, comfortable bike that fits their needs and their budget. My hope is that they realize you can get anywhere comfortably in shorts and a t-shirt in the summer, and a warm jacket, hat, gloves and long johns under the pants in the winter. Keep it simple and just ride, that’s what I live by. No need to complicate it or make it expensive, just have fun with it.
With this in mind, I would like to speak to the very casual rider for a moment. Maybe you ride your bike to the store once in a while, or maybe just for some time outside. Maybe you don’t care much about speed, you just want to meet up with friends in comfort while getting a little exercise. Maybe you just want to ramble around your city and see it rise above you without looking through a dirty windshield. If this is you, I have the bike for you and you might be surprised.
Enter the Citizen Tokyo, a folding bike with 16″ wheels. That’s right, 16″ wheels. One look at this and you might think it’s a child’s toy, but in reality, this bike is one of the most practical rides for any adult. And while folding bikes are often seen as novelty items, they could not be better investments for the casual rider.
Let’s start with the fold. In about 30 seconds, you can fold this bike down to 31″ x 22″ x 14.5″ and stick it in a small closet when not in use. Want to drive to the park and bike the trails when you get there? No need for a bike rack on your car… just throw this baby in the backseat or trunk of even the smallest vehicle. A bike that folds gives you maximum flexibility.
Hate kicking your leg over a high crossbar on a regular bike? You don’t have this problem with the incredibly low bar of the Citizen Tokyo. If you have lower body limitations, this bike might be the one for you. And with handlebars that adjust to fit your riding style, you can maximize comfort for your next ride.
A rear rack. 6 gears. Fenders. Even a bell. This bike has everything the casual rider needs to get around, have fun and get some exercise… no spandex or $500 sunglasses needed.
While the Tokyo doesn’t sport a very “high gear” and thus isn’t very fast, it’s fast enough for a summer ride to the store, a whip down the trail, a 5 mile commute or just a trip to your favorite urban destination. The small tires don’t take much away from this speed either… the “glide” is much better than you might expect.
Then there’s the $219 price tag. Very affordable and the quality is shockingly decent.
For so long, these bikes have hidden in the background as a sort of fringe-style space saver, a practical solution only for those who don’t have much room. But for even for the casual wannabe bike rider, folding bikes might be the most practical solution out there. Low price and high flexibility in a very small package… you just can’t beat it.