At the moment, the A-Bike designed by Sir Clive Sinclair is the lightest and smallest folding bicycle in the world. Weighing 12.6 lbs (5.6kg) and claiming to fold down in under 10 seconds, the A-Bike bike could be a great bike for certain people.
The celebrated British entrepreneur, Sir Clive is an accomplished inventor who has been interested in electronics and miniaturization since an early age. Breaking out of the electronics field, Sinclair Research has now produced the A-Bike folding bicycle.
With only one pedaling gear and 6 inch diameter pneumatic tires, the A-Bike is not designed for long or hilly travels. In fact, riding this bike on anything but perfectly flat ground is extremely difficult. The small wheels make the bike feel extremely "twitchy", making it difficult to pedal in a straight line. The length of the cranks is around 135mm, whereas most bikes are between 170-175mm (25-30% longer). In addition, the center of revolution of the crank arms is nearly directly below the saddle. Conventional bikes have this center position in front of the saddle. The combination of short cranks and position make it difficult to pedal with high force (what is needed to climb any sort of hill). It feels a lot like you are riding a small childs bicycle. The brakes seem quite spongey but adequate to bring you to a stop, on level ground, from any speed. The brake levers are setup reverse to most USA bikes. The left lever controls the rear brake and the right controls the front. Made from Aluminum and a reinforced plastic, the bike feels surprisingly sturdy for the 187 lbs (85 kgs) weight limit.
The greatest feature of this bike is the speed of folding and unfolding. Sir Clive claims that the bike can be folded and unfolded in under 10 seconds. After some practice, I can consistently fold the bike down in 30 seconds. It takes an additional 20-30 seconds to unfold. For a commuter getting off a bus or a train, you can be off and riding in under a minute. It is just as easy to fold and stuff the bike in a small closet or bag for storage. The bike does come with a bag to hold the folded bike, but it's kind of ugly and I would only use it for storing in a closet. For out and about use, I would just carry it up in its folded state.
Overall, this is a very interesting product but has very limited use. If the distance between your local store, subway, or bus stop is very flat and only 1-2 miles, then I think this bike could work for you.
Weight: 12.6 lbs (5.6 kg)
Folded Size: 26" x 12" x 6" (67cm x 30cm x 16cm)
Unfolded Size: 39" x 28" x 17" (100cm x 70cm x 43cm)
Frame Materials: Aluminum and Plastic
Tire Size: 6" diameter x 1.25", Shraeder valve up to 90 psi
Rider Weight Limit: 187 lbs (85 kgs)