The weird thing about most foldable bikes is that even though they’re designed to collapse, they tend to be pretty heavy. That’s because they need to be sturdy enough to handle a rider’s weight in an unconventional form factor. So most foldable bikes end up being heavier than normal bikes of the same price, even as they are supposedly more convenient to haul around.
A little silly, right? As urban populations swell and more and more people cycle to work, the need for small, portable bikes is perhaps greater than ever. Just try squeezing a cargo bike onto the subway at rush hour.
The Hummingbird Bike Company’s folding bike weighs only 14.5 pounds, about as light as most light racing bikes (and about what a watermelon weighs). According to the company, it’s nearly 7 pounds lighter than even the lightest folding bike on the market–“the world’s lightest folding bike.”
The frame is composed of carbon fiber, which is much, much, much stronger than steel or even aluminum, and absorbs more vibrations, making for a smoother ride. It is also quite expensive: the Hummingbird starts at around $1,500.
The Hummingbird also solves a second design problem. With many collapsing bikes, the chain loosens upon folding, so you have to re-adjust it when you open the bike again. The Hummingbird gets around that by having the back wheel and handlebars of the bike fold underneath the frame, so the chain stays tense throughout the fold.