These Urban Cyclists Know When to Fold 'Em

Courtesy of the NY Times:

NEW JERSEY TRANSIT doesn’t let riders wheel their bicycles onto trains during peak travel hours. But that’s not a problem for Stacey Bhaerman, who on most weekday mornings catches a train to Manhattan from New Brunswick, N.J.

She just folds her red bicycle into a compact bundle the size of a small rolling suitcase and places it at her side. Then, at Pennsylvania Station, she flips the bike open for a quick spin downtown to Canal Street, where she works as a researcher for a labor union. “It’s a beautiful ride,” she said. “Sometimes I’ll go around the block a few times when I get there because I don’t want to get off.”

Ms. Bhaerman, who bought her folding bicycle earlier this year, has joined a growing fan club. These ever-lighter, more sophisticated bikes are increasingly visible on bike paths and city streets.

The model that she owns, a Brompton made in Britain, collapses in seconds and stows neatly on a seat or luggage rack. Curious strangers along her commute ask her about the bike so often that she is considering carrying a sign with answers to the most popular questions: “Costs $1,000. Weighs 26 pounds. Folds up in no time.”

David Lam, a who sells Bromptons and other brands at Bfold, his Manhattan shop on East 13th Street, between Second and Third Avenues, says customers can choose from at least 300 versions, at prices ranging in general from about $650 to $2,100 for the bike and $100 to $300 for accessories like panniers, or baskets.

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Swift 1

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Swift trunk

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