Hello, and welcome again to Chicago's ULTIMATE Cyclist Gift Guide. Let's just jump right in. So, what makes folding bikes such great Christmas gifts?
1. They are unique. It is unlikely that you are going to duplicate anyone else's gift-buying effort (although you may want to team up with another giver). Consider this example:
STRIDA 3.2 ($500). Compact, umbrella-like folding, grease and rust-free belt-drive mechanism make this an excellent choice for short commutes, even for folks who must wear a suit. Bonus: the design of the Strida makes it a fabulous urban fashion accessory on the street, and an instant conversation piece in your living room.
2. They fit a wide range of riders.
This 20" wheel DAHON Speed D7 ($380) will accommodate riders from just under 5 feet to about 6'2". So you don't have to guess the size. Different household members can share the use of the same bike. This is true for most 20" wheel folding bikes across the price spectrum.
3. They are easy to ride and use. The small wheels on most folding bikes give them a low stand-over height, making it easy to get on and off the bike quickly, and maneuver through tight spots and sharp corners. Many folding bikes offer a fairly upright, head-up, riding position, which is great for stop-and-go commuting, running errands, and most other urban riding situations.
This award-winning and accessory-packed DAHON Ciao P8 ($800) is very user-friendly, with it's very low step-through frame, stylish in a European sort of way. Like many folding bikes, it comes with accessories useful to urban cyclists, such as fenders, chainguard, rack and bell (the basket, sadly, is not included, but many other extras are).
With a little practice, most folding bikes fold easily and quickly, and are engineered to stand on their own and hold their shape when folded.
Like this BROMPTON S2L Titanium (this one is, gasp!, $1820, but these English beauties start at about $1000).
Not only that, several models, like the Brompton, Strida, and Tikit, can be wheeled along while walking. Watch the ease of folding and transporting the Tikit:
This BIKE FRIDAY Tikit, the current sensation of the folding bike world, is available for $1195.
4. Folding bikes come in a wide range prices, from about $350 to $2000, to suit most budgets. That makes them comparable with many other popular gift items, such as, say, cameras. Yet, you get personal mobility, affordable transportation, fitness machine, recreational vehicle, and tons of fun rolled into one neat package. And, oh, BTW, it is a package that...
5. ...fits under the Christmas tree!
And here is a coupon you can use with folding bikes:
(You know the drill: click, print and redeem at Rapid Transit Cycleshop.)