When most people think of a folding bicycle, they likely picture something with small wheels and a funny-looking frame. That's why several years ago, Finnish designer Ulf Laxström created the FUBi – it's a folding bike with full-size wheels and a more-or-less traditional-looking frame. Now, his son Zakarias has introduced the FUBifixie. It's even more normal in appearance, plus it offers some other advantages over the original.
As its name implies, the FUBifixie is designed primarily as a fixed-gear bike. That said, it has a flip-flop rear hub that allows it to also serve as a freewheeling singlespeed.
In its non-folded mode, it looks not unlike most other flat-bar road bikes – save for its stability-adding diagonal strut. By unlocking a quick-release mechanism adjacent to that strut on the down tube, however, it quickly folds sideways so that the front and back wheels are sitting side-by-side.
Once in that configuration, it can be wheeled along like a suitcase on one or both of those wheels, depending on whether it's been set up as a fixie or a singlespeed. A bracket on the back of the saddle allows the bike to be subsequently tipped back and parked seat-down.
Other features include a Cr-Mo 4130 frame, Shimano 105 brakes, an SRAM S100 crankset, 700 x 23c tires, and a total weight of 11 kg (24 lb). So, what makes it different than the original FUBi, besides a lack of gears?
For one thing, it stays in one piece when folded – the original requires the fork to be taken off. It also uses regular components, allowing users to replace or upgrade bits as needed. In fact, plans call for a frame-only version to be offered, so buyers can just transfer across components from an existing bike.
And yes, it looks more like a normal bike. This means that it doesn't fold down quite as compact as the FUBi, but it still gets the job done.
Zakarias tells us that he plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign in the first week of February, although an exact start date has yet to be determined. Assuming that the project is successful, the FUBifixie should ultimately be priced in the range of US$450 to $500 for the complete bike, or $200 to $250 for the frame only.
The folding mechanism is demonstrated in the video below.
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