01.Mini A Bike
Please note: this information was current as of January 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market.
At first glance, this mini aluminium folding bike seems like a great alternative to a scooter. It:
- folds cleverly into a compact package
- weighs less than 6kg
- has an eye-catching design
- comes with its own carry bag
- has inflatable tyres.
Unfortunately, that’s where its good points end. Our lab conducted a thorough assessment and identified the following problems:
- The bike’s frame wobbles and flexes when ridden, making it uncomfortable and hard to control.
- The small wheels don’t handle bumps and potholes very well.
- The tyre valves are very hard to access with a standard pump. A shock pump may be more suitable.
- The bike is too small to suit a large person (it has a maximum weight rating of 85kg).
- We also had two riders put it to the test. Both weigh less than 85kg and are experienced bike riders. They didn't enjoy riding it at all — in fact they thought it felt unsafe, and said they wouldn’t buy it at any price.
This bike appears to be a copy of the Sinclair A-bike (see www.a-bike.co.uk). The Sinclair retails in the UK for £150 (about AUD$345) and has had several positive reviews. We can only assume the Sinclair original is much better constructed than its cheaper clones.
As for this bike ... you’re better off with a good scooter — or just walking.