IF MODE: the sleek folding bicycle with a clever twist
March 31, 2009 In a world in which we have come to expect our gadgets to be small and compact yet deliver the benefits of the full size model, Pacific Cycles' IF Mode fold-up bike is unlikely to disappoint. The IF MODE combines a number of features to optimize fast folding into a compact footprint including a single sided fork and rear stay (on opposite sides of the frame), folding handlebars, integrated stem and front fork and even folding pedals. The clever twist - literally - is the patented, single-action, automatic folding mechanism that requires no tools or removal of parts and automatically guides the wheels together. Once folded, MODE becomes a wheelable package complete with in-built handle so that you don't have a dead weight to lug around when you swap pedalling for perambulation.
Designed and created by Mark Sanders, the IF MODE achieves the main part of its swift transformation via a quick release lever which frees a the dual hinge mechanism on the crossbar allowing the bike to fold and twist so the wheels are side by side, where they are held in place by magnets. Next you you simply fold the handlebars, the pedals, and lower the seat. What was the headstem is now a convenient handle with which to push the bike along and the clean, uncluttered lines of the design are complemented by a clean, enclosed drive system, so there's no disastrous oily stains on your best work shirt.
The folded package measures just 102cm(H) x27cm(W) x 66cm(L) and weighs 14.7kg. If you take the wheels off it will even fit in a suitcase.
In bike form, the obvious advantage of the IF Mode is the big (26") wheels, which puts it in the "far more useful on the road" category of folding bikes. The specified rubber is Kenda Kwick Roller Sport (26x1.5") and there's a mechanical disc brake w/160mm rotors on each end to provide the stopping power. One caveat - there's no suspension, so don't stray too far from the urban jungle.
The Pacific Cycles' IF (Integrated Folding) Modewon a Eurobike ‘08 Award ans is he first ever folding bicycle to win an iF Product Design GOLD Award.
The iF has not yet surfaced on the US distibutors website but we did spy it here for a pre-sale price of $2579.
Check out the video demo of the iF mode in action below.
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Thanks for the link to my order page for the IF MODE.
Since I will be the first to have the MODE in the USA, I wanted to share some additional details.
Essentially, the concept behind the MODE has been in the head of Mark Sanders (designer of the Strida folding bike) for years.
Several years after creating the Strida, Mark realized that there was a need for another type of bicycle - a full sized road bike that also folded/unfolded instantly into a compact, wheelable package. Such a bike would have the ride & feel of a standard sized road bike but would not have to be transported on a roof rack or relegated to the bike rack outside. The bike would be more useful because the cyclist can take it wherever they go (making it far less subject to vandalism or theft as well).
Initially, the MODE was conceived with a drive belt; however, prototypes experienced some problems with belt slip. Thus Pacific Cycles came up with another solution: a fully enclosed chain drive. Since it's enclosed, neither the chain nor the rider ever get dirty; yet, the chain is serviceable if need be.
Pacific Cycles produces a variety of high performance folding bikes (including bikes for brands like Birdy). For this reason, Pacific look upon the MODE as their flagship bike. As a result, Pacific is producing the MODE in very small quantities.
A couple of the MODE bikes coming in the May shipment are still available for purchase. I am accepting orders based on a 25% deposit with the balance due when the bikes have left the port of L.A. for delivery here. The deposit is refundable if the bikes have not shipped by 1 June 2009.
Respectfully, Larry Lagarde RideTHISbike.com