Guest post by Mark Sanders

Commuter, Concept, Guest 43 107

Intro from James- Mark Sanders is a name that many of you will probably recognize. I have mentioned him and his Strida design on the blog several times. In addition to the Strida, the UK based designer/ engineer has created many other interesting folding bikes. I admire his work, so I asked Mark to submit a guest post to share his thoughts about bike design. I am happy that he took the time to do so and I think you will find his post quite interesting, so without anything further from me, here is Mark’s guest post for Bicycle Design:

As a 12 year old, living in hilly Sheffield, UK, I was not in a cycling club, but I loved the personal freedom a bike gave me to explore much further (que Bob Sinclair ). My bike was like a human amplifier. By 18, girls, cars and a few years of engineering and design studies had taken over, and I didn’t really ride much until the Strida project 7 years later.

I think it was an advantage to see bikes through the eyes of an occasional cyclist, as later I realised this is the untapped market …. a vast ‘blue ocean‘ of potential cyclists, compared to the overcrowded ‘red ocean’ of enthusiasts where the bicycle industry tends to focus.

(This data is based on cycling capable population, and has similar proportions in many western countries)

I try and keep this perspective even after 20 years of designing and riding bikes. I approach bicycle design like other product design and engineering. It is one thing to make a product attractive, but the engineering needs to be worked out too – it’s all design. The best part of my job is to dream; what would really be better? Then I enjoy the inventive challenge to make that dream real. I have little interest in doing ‘me-too’s’ in reaction to marketing research – as Henry Ford reflected: “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses’.”

The Strida , originally a college project, was never intended for outright speed and racing. [Its design and development has been shown on Dezeen and Google eg this Video and pictures]. Strida was deliberately designed for urban utility use and with a riding position like upright Dutch bikes, and Copenhagen bikes it was designed to appeal to ‘Blue Ocean’ users, who also want a bike to be like any other contemporary product; fresh, easy to use and in this case ultra-portable (never carry – just wheel along).

See the classic Henry Dreyfuss picture which illustrates the contrast wonderfully…… A bent neck and back work well to reduce drag for sport, but are not so good for people who just need a utility to get from A to B, easily, in comfort with good vision and without sweating !!

There are many ‘Blue Ocean’ Strida users in the Far East – this is a gathering of Strida riders at the Taipei show this year….

In South Korea, the ‘Strida cafe‘ forum has 25,000 members – and probably due to a similar mix of men and women, has resulted in many friendships and several marriages. I think the popularity is due to the non-sporting, fun nature of both the bike and its riders. This is quite a contrast to the more serious, sport and testosterone fuelled western bike industry.

After several other, generally folding and structural products, (golf carts, medical transport chairs etc.) I got to work on the X-Bike for Sir Clive Sinclair [Uk's Steve Jobs of the '80's] …. with 2 tubes this was even simpler than the 3 tube strida !

This was a wonderful opportunity to do some fascinating, fundamental testing and bicycle research: solid urethane tyres, small wheels with and without suspension, hub centre steering, ultra short wheel bases, twisting front wheel drive transmissions, etc. Pictures HERE show some of the designs and testing – I learned that many of the so called ‘bicycling facts’ were in fact only ‘de-facto’ when used in context of cycle sport … and not necessarily appropriate for everyday utility cycling. However, the planned low cost production version of the X-bike relied on fusible cored tools and injection moulded, long fibre reinforced nylon. But risks were high and the required investment disappeared. The same concept may now work with today’s carbon frame techniques, but not for such a low target price. Instead, Sir Clive went on to develop the A-Bike with Alex Kalogroulis (who also worked on the X-bike).

Nowadays bikes are my primary daily transport – there is always something to test. I still believe folding bikes are a keystone in future urban transport plans; they make public transport ‘door to door’ to compete head on with private cars for commuting and short journeys; but why isn’t everybody using folding bikes ? Even in London, with congestion charges and tube bombings bike use has increased 3 fold, but 90%+ of bikes are full-sized, non-folding bikes. These bikes are banned on public transport at peak times and are way too big to store in the office or in a car.

This lead me to dream of a new full-sized folding bike. Fast and easy folding into a small, wheel-able package, with all the mass between wheels and handle as HERE , and HERE This aims to appeal across the range of non-cyclists to cycling enthusiasts, and using standard gears, wheels etc. to leverage the fruits of 100years of bicycle component R&D. Now, after a few false starts, Pacific-Cycles have added their own considerable skills to this dream, and now own and are producing the IF (integrated folding) range of bikes. These are based around a 3 dimensional, 4 bar link which auto-tensions the frame and guides the wheels together in one folding action. Best seen in Video

Working at the Pacific factory is like being in heaven; as well as George and Michael Lin’s expert team and their fantastic bike building facilities (CAD, CNC, precision welding, heat treatment etc etc.), it is a great place to meet bike designers eg Ryan Carroll, Marcus Riese, Steve Domahidy, Jay MacNeil, Chris Canfield, to name just a few.

IF Mode: was the 1st to be conceived with monoforks and a moncoque frame. It still remains close to the dream. Production versions have all enclosed chain drive with gears.

This is George Lin, Pacific’s legendary Chairman [called the father of the Taiwanese bike industry] on an early IF Mode.

IF Cross: Adding IF technology to a conventional frame, using 700c wheels, all the benefits of Fast fold, wheel-able when folded and small folded size are retained with a wide choice of standard gears, wheels and other components. Video of 1st prototype

IF Reach: adds IF technology to Pacific’s race winning, full suspension Reach.

The future of folding bikes – I see mechanisms getting much more like the automatic umbrellas we all now take for granted, but hidden in beautiful, clean and seamless monocoque frames. Having just turned 2 classic manual Can and Jar openers into fully automatic products, I dream of doing something similar with folding bikes.

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43 Comments

  1. Ron June 30, 2008 at 4:51 pm -  Reply

    I was looking at the Strida and was seriously considering it for my commuting purposes.

  2. jimmythefly June 30, 2008 at 4:56 pm -  Reply

    Fascinating, great post! I think the recent automatic transmissions on bicycles are also aiming at the blue ocean “people on bikes” (cyclists?).

    It seems like there is a distinction that must be made between reducing the complexity of a bicycle vs. reducing the complexity of the user experience. Your thoughts?

  3. teague June 30, 2008 at 10:32 pm -  Reply

    I’ve been fascinated with folders lately…making the rounds of the few shops in the DC area that stock them, it’s cool to see how many different ways designers have approached the problem (basic Dahon-type, Brompton, Bike Friday Tikit…haven’t been able to find a Strida yet). Made me think that there’s a lot of progress still to be made, and your post confirms that, Mark. The IF Reach looks promising…

  4. Human Amp July 1, 2008 at 6:28 am -  Reply

    Hi Jimmythefly – good point – complexity of product vs compexity of user experience (applies to many products and especially bikes).

    I used to think that simplifying a product to its bear essentials would always give the user the best experience – as they would understand the product and if done well, relate to the simple clean ‘bauhaus’ style.

    But now I realise that hidden internal well engineered compexity is OK (as long as it does not add too much to costs) – because user experience is THE most important thing.

    An example to show this at its best are the new vogue in folding metal car roofs eg SLK (sorry maybe a bad choice in the bike world :-) … these are wickedly complex, but give the user a most excellent experience: no brainer automatic, performance that soft tops just cant match, fun kinematic sculpture and they are a beautifully integral part of the car’s shape and image.
    (To me, these are a huge inspiration for future folding bikes).

    The wider direction is that products are getting more like nature – perfectly honed to be visually attractive externally, and yet containing intricate ‘mechanisms’ that make them also perfectly adapted to their environments (ultimate usability and desirability ?).

    Back to the design world – I believe to get towards this aim, there needs to be seamless integration betweens a products engineering and its aesthetics – its all design. …. Mark

  5. Carlos July 1, 2008 at 11:47 am -  Reply

    As a new Strida owner I have to ask: Why the new IF bikes from Pacific-Cycles do not use shaft drives (like Beixo bikes)?

    Or at least kevlar belt drives (like Strida and Bernds bikes)?

    And what do you think about Stridas with 18″ wheels?

  6. Human Amp July 1, 2008 at 12:51 pm -  Reply

    Good Q’s ..
    Shafts are great BUT they add at least an extra 1Kg (2.2lbs). All enclosed chain gives same advantages (No oil on clothes) with less weight slightly better efficiency and more standard part availability (eg gears etc.)

    Belts are great as they are THE lightest option, and again no oil – but they usually need bigger pulleys than a chain – so are less compact – plus adding gears needs more engineering.

    Adding 18″ rims and narrow high pressure tyres has been done by Strida enthusiasts in Japan and S. Korea – they fit a standard Strida5 fine without mudguards. It is not a mod for everyone as it increases the gear ratio from 54″ to 61″, and being ligher the front wheel has less gyroscopic stability. But if you’d like a faster single speed (or even fixie) its an option… I loved it

  7. Carlos July 2, 2008 at 11:18 am -  Reply

    Thanks for the answers, I can understand the need for a compact design on a Strida but not with the bigger IF series.

    Besides, if we’re talking about more engineering… well, the IF bikes don’t seem to be coming exactly cheap. (You can get a german Bernds with belt drive and 8-speed Shimano hub gear for 1600 EUR.)

    Don’t take it bad, but I think that we’re missing that Blue Ocean that you posted about.

    In fact I’m getting my wife to use the Strida, but there’s no way that she could pay more than 1000 EUR for a bike with chain drive, hell, she won’t even use it to avoid the dirt.

    So, what about a cheaper 20″ bike for that Blue Ocean that thinks that a Strida is too weird? ;-)

  8. bikesgonewild July 2, 2008 at 11:41 am -  Reply

    …thank you, james, for the opportunity to get a better understanding of mark sanders integrated thinking process regarding the use of practical cycling w/ in society…as jimmythefly sez “fascinating, great post!”

    …& mark sanders…your holistic approach towards a burgeoning problem is to be congratulated…thanks for taking the time…

  9. andrew July 2, 2008 at 1:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi BD and Mark!

    Great posting and I am flattered to see that you recognized your fans in Asia and how much they covet your bike. There is another blog that comments on the geometric differences between cyclists in Asia (for utility) and the ones in the Western world (for fun, sports, enthusiast).

    Mark, if you have the time, we welcome you to bikeforums.net, we had a discussion upon building a better Strida, and I have fully modified my own, however I am looking for something to add speed, from a duomatic rear hub, or adapting a Schlumph Speed drive, but could use some help – could you point me in the right direction?

    Please enjoy the pics:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showpost.php?p=6821504&postcount=502

    your friend in canada,
    Andrew
    trueno92@gmail.com

  10. andrew July 2, 2008 at 1:08 pm -  Reply

    human amp, i was wondering instead of 18″ rims, what about 406 rims instead, finding tires and rubber would be far more common and found at any place that stocks brompton components.

    is the 18″ combo any faster?

  11. Human Amp July 2, 2008 at 5:28 pm -  Reply

    Good points about prices – Carlos. My aim is always to design products to be as affordable as possible. Unfortunately no matter how well it is simplified, New technology always costs. Eccononics of scale, new tooling, duties, distribution etc. always come into play. Luckily there are some fine 20″ folders out there at good prices. They are not necessarily the latest technology, but do get more ‘into the fold’.

    Belts are always an vaiable option, and have just been adopted on Orange mountain bikes. I am not sure what Pacific have planned on their use. I dont think it matters too much what the transmission is as long as it meets criteria (eg Light, avoids oil on clothes – for a folder, efficient and where appropriate with gearing).

    Andrew – yes I read bikeforums – a great place for us ‘enthusiasts’. Gears for Strida – there IS now a super system perfect for Strida(I am sure you can guess which one is most appropriate for monoblade wheel mountings). I designed an all plastic large diameter front gear system – prototypes work well – but tooling, development and productionising costs were too high.

  12. andrew July 2, 2008 at 7:37 pm -  Reply

    I had taken a look at the schlumph, but adapting it to fit the bottom bracket of the Strida5 looks tricky and there are a few things to play with, like width, chamfering the sides etc. All this is undocumented and with such a large current install-base (current strida owners) I would think a multi-gear retro-fit option would be a great opportunity for any tooling company. This would also lend the strida closer consideration to many more potential strida owners.

    so the monoblade fork cannot accomodate a hub gear, no? When you say, “super system for Strida” do you mean, riding and the other gear being, walking?

    I thought a kick-back duomatic hub would be perfect for the rear wheel, but I cannot figure how to install it… and there is nothing off-the-shelf that wouldn’t require further modification to work, no?

  13. Anonymous July 3, 2008 at 12:49 am -  Reply

    the 3rd picture was taken on March 15th at Taipei Cycling trade show,Taiwan .

    there is lots of Strida user in Taiwan as well.

    we all enjoy riding this unique bike.

  14. George July 9, 2008 at 10:22 pm -  Reply

    I’m not convinced that more design is the solution to that vast blue ocean of non-riders. They think cycling and associate it with Armstrong and sweating. Rather, cycling needs to come to the people and emphasise a reasonable speed, style, comfort (starting with an upright posture). Currently the biggest obstacle to a biking population is possibly the industry itself.

    It may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but the industry should embrace the “slow bicycle movement”.

    Those mini bikes simply don’t have the rotational inertia for casual cyclists, especially those with enough difficulty staying stable at low speeds on a normal bike.

  15. Anonymous July 10, 2008 at 3:57 pm -  Reply

    George – EXCELLENT points I totally agree.

  16. Anonymous July 10, 2008 at 4:17 pm -  Reply

    But everything is there BY DESIGN, even the choice of rebuilding old racers fixies is ‘by design’ .. it just depends on how wide or narrow you define design. I agree users, and especially new users MUST be able to relate to a new design, but if there are benefits a new design would not put people off. Blue ocean theory often uses new disruptive technologies as examples of ways into the untapped markets – often a TOTALLY different approach.

    Segway tries.

  17. Anonymous July 17, 2008 at 12:07 pm -  Reply

    The US armed forces have used folding bikes with paratroopers in Afghanistan & Iraq. The pts as soon as they land unfold their bikes and are off; even if the enemy sees them in the air and calculates where they are going to land, by the time they get there, the pts are off and away. No worries about fuel, either.

  18. Anonymous July 24, 2008 at 11:48 pm -  Reply

    How long have Stridas been on the market? I heard one creaking across the street today before I saw it.

    The X bike looks dangerous. Small wheels get caught in bad pavement, and the rear wheel is too far forward relative to the cyclist’s weight to save him from smashing his tailbone when he’s falling back.

    Neat concepts, but perfect the designs please.

  19. Human Amp July 25, 2008 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    Fair questions – the lastest Strida5 has been in US for approx 6 months, ROW about 1 year. Strida1 (which you may have seen creaking away :) ) dates back 20 years.

    Like all bikes from all bike companies there has been alot of progress in those 20 years – although Strida5 is still a triangle, thats about all it shares with Strida1.

    X-bike rode OK there were no CofG issues (checkout video: http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/MAS.DPL/XBikePix/photo#5222077320810454354 )

    I tend to agree that larger wheel diameter is generally better – hence IF bikes. But some small wheeled bikes like the excellent Carry-Me perform amazingly well – and help fill a gapping gap in the market between walking and scootering and regular bike use.

    I am not saying that I know what is needed to help the vast ‘blue ocean’ get into bikes but, along with others, I hope we can make progress.

    And yes new concepts do progress with development -and like most designers and engineers I wish i could jump directly from Model-T to Audi R8 in one. But in the meantime sales figures suggest that even these relatively new concepts are welcomed into a world of me-toos.

  20. Carlos July 27, 2008 at 4:33 pm -  Reply

    Yes, I agree with George, the upright posture also seems to be missing on the new IF bikes (?).w

  21. Anonymous September 9, 2008 at 5:10 am -  Reply

    Carlos – I guess Pacific have historically concentrated on the ‘enthusiast market’ so new bikes’ geometry will tend to follow this. But they are also moving into ‘blue ocean’ areas – check out their carry-me, looks left-field but rides brilliantly.

  22. Jus September 10, 2008 at 10:36 am -  Reply

    just read the entire blog and all comments. interesting reading for a bike mechanic who should have been a mechanical engineer, but didn’t go to uni cos he spent all his time dreaming about bikes instead of listening in class…

    just solved a few obvious problems folding bikes seem to have in ten minutes on the back of an envelope. granted, i dont expect to be the first person to have solved these problems in the way that i have, but i cant see what is so difficult in giving the people what they want? i know i sound like a havent a clue and possibly have no place to be making comments of whizz bang designers efforts of breaking the seal on the plug of the ocean, but often, if you speak to the guy on the production line, he can tell you how they could do it faster and better because he’s got time to think about it all day long. It’s what he does all day every day! not just when a contract comes up! no offence, but wood for trees… you know?

    also, some other things that i have an opinion on that aren’t patentable (get in touch if you’ve got money and want to see the envelope!) that i’d like to give my £10 worth on…

    knowing comsumers in the bike industry from the very young to the very old, i know that we have more than our fair share of anal, moaning, tight fisted know-it-all’s. if we bring all those ‘qualities’ together into one non-cycling consumer, we have the ultimate anti-cyclist. so what do we do to get them on a bike?

    for a start, make it stable. 20″ wheels only though. 26″ is too big to not be a nucience on public transport or in the office. tubes and tyres are readily available for this standard size so distribution of the fastest wearing parts on the bike is taken care of.

    it must have non adjustable mudguards. this way they can’t start rubbing on the tyre when a positioning bolt comes loose and/or falls out. which they always do. this way its either got them or it hasn’t. no badly adjusted, scary, in-between rubbish thats going to annoy those amongst us who happen to be handy with a spanner and find it hard to believe most people in the world have trouble looking confident holding a screwdriver!

    make it single speed. the amount of wives of cycling husbands i’ve had to show how to use the rear shifter on a mountain bike after telling them to leave the front shifter on ‘number two’ to avoid confusion is unreal. non-cyclists dont understand gears and dont want to. they are affraid of them, they are affraid of them breaking, they are affraid THEY will break THEM! also, a well thought out single gear will stop people from going too fast, something that puts some people off cycling. only having one gear that you cant go fast with, will deter anyone from bothering to spin like crazy or power away, as they know they wont get anywhere with such efforts. would this stop people sweating as much? i’d say they should only be putting in as much effort as they would when walking. otherwise the sweat factor will put people off. how much more efficient than walking is cycling? could they halve their walking time to work by cycling, for the same effort? that would swing the maybe’s im sure.

    dont market it as cycling! dont even mention cycling! it’s just quicker than walking, thats all. “and available in all the ipod colours madam…”

    remember, you aren’t making a bike for those that cycle. you are inventing a new way to travel for those that don’t.

  23. Human Amp September 11, 2008 at 5:53 am -  Reply

    Brilliant Comments Jus !!

    A great insight – THANKS – worth a lot … I will try and take what you say on board in future designs. Now how do we get these comments into the heads of the bike industry ?

    There is a feature in september’s BikeBiZ magazine which concurs with this – ‘Blue Ocean in Motion’ will be online at some stage.

  24. jus September 12, 2008 at 7:15 pm -  Reply

    If one person liked what i wrote it was worth the effort and potential verbal slapping from other users. I only wish I was employed as an ideas guy at a bike company somewhere, rather than having to try to start up my own company with less than no funds to do so. progress to date can be found in issue 1 of WideOpen at http://www.wideopenmag.co.uk if anyone is interested…

    cheers

  25. Jus September 12, 2008 at 7:53 pm -  Reply

    further, i just read the blue ocean/red ocean/is it all bs link from the blog and although as i sit here typing this my mind is flicking between two opinions, i think i’ll stick with my first answer – that i dont think the answer to transportation issues in cities lies within cycling. although opinion two was, if endorsed and backed by an almost communist government scheme to get inner city workers on bikes, there will be a sizable chunk of money in it for someone, somewhere. Just not all of it thats all. as the song goes, “dont congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. your choices are half chance, so are everybody elses”.

  26. Human Amp September 22, 2008 at 2:06 pm -  Reply

    I disagree that red ocean / Blue ocean theory is BS :-) .. I think its a great metaphor to describe a very crowded market area ie the current bike industry .. where every one is focusing on the ‘enthusiast’ and ‘sport’ markets …. ie a swirling sea full of sharks (bike companies) trying to eat each others share of this limited market – making the the sea red with blood.

    When there is a whole massive (ie 161 Million in USA alone !) … vast Blue ocean (ie fish free to swim without being eaten :-)), of non-enthusiast non-sport but potential cycle buyers where said bike companies are not marketing their products.

    I am not sure if its fear of leaving the ‘comfort zone’ of the existing bicycle market, or they are run by ‘enthusiasts’ for ‘enthusiasts’ or what, but the ‘blue ocean’ has a huge potential for growth and new business.

  27. jus September 23, 2008 at 11:34 am -  Reply

    hey, i dont think blue ocean theory is bs, thats just what the link talked about as i remember. i agree that the theory makes sense and is a great picture conjurer for getting a point across. now, where’s my plug spanner…?

  28. Jay Coleman October 6, 2008 at 10:56 am -  Reply

    Mark, don’t know if you’ll see this as it is so late in the year but,,,The blue ocean metaphor is good. What I used to say to enthusiasts was, if your idea was really good, all of these people not riding bikes – would be. As women outnumber men and are generally lower on the economic ladder, I used to approach them and ask them about what they were looking for in a form of transportation – not a bike. Too many times I saw a struggling co-ed or woman walking their bikes uphill because 1) they didn’t know to operate the shifting mechanism, 2) were afraid to operate the mechanism 3) the mechanism had long ago frozen up through nonmaintenance – again, an issue of ignorance and fear. Plainly, they weren’t interested in gears, dirt, grease, weather(rain, snow, sleet) but they were interested in getting from one place to the other cheaply and efficiently while exercising. If they could accomplish this while being “out” of the weather, this would be a plus. If they could just “push” this one way for “fast”, and “pull” back for “slow”, they could do that. Beyond that, they didn’t wish to know about this or that thing-a-magiggy. “And make it work all of the time!”
    Your “blue ocean” people don’t wish to be impeded by the weather too much but they still expect a level of safety and comfort. They want the vehicle to last years. They are not “technological” people towards mechanical mindsets. They are “technological” people inside of human systems of commerce, trade, entertainment and family. Their most important considerations center around the human experience of family and friends and in those interactions. If they had the choice, generally, they would live out in the country or a semblance of this, with all of the amenities of livng in a city close by. For instance, when given the chance, where do the city dwellers “escape” to? Not “Disney World” or any of the other similar experiences. What I’m trying to say is this – these people want technology to give them something but not to the point where they have to conform past a certain level to attain the use of it. Other things are more IMPORTANT TO THEM. It was noted by the futurists back in the eighties and nineties that the more technology people had in their lives, for instance in their work lives, the less they would want it in the rest of their lives.

  29. Anonymous October 23, 2008 at 1:42 am -  Reply

    The bike manufacturers and brands need to get together and lobby the government in local cities to introduce bike lanes. By working together they can create a massive new market. Look at what’s happening in Taiwan right now. Biking is becoming the no.1 leisure industry, they are converting kms of old unused tunnels and rail tracks to bike lanes. Bike lanes are being built in every city and lots of small towns. I can tell you for the average cyclist going down those old railines thru the countryside in safety is an awesome feeling.

    There’s nothing terribly wrong with the bike designs out there. There’s loads of choices for all types of cyclists already, the bike needs to be within their budget. Folding bikes are very useful for commuters as you can put them in car or subway. For leisure renting is often a better option. Many people would be like me, I have a giant but I also rent a bike when I go to any ‘biking’ destinations in Taiwan (the take off of biking for leisure among regular people in Taiwan is absolutely a phenomonemon that nobody could have predicted even 3 YEARS AGO). What made it possible was the boss of Giant lobbying the government and city mayors to build bike lanes. When they did it the population-singles, families, old and young took to it in droves. People like nice bikes too, most popular are folding bikes, it’s trendy.

    Finally if offices has showers that would also make a big difference.

  30. RideTHISbike.com November 13, 2008 at 11:19 am -  Reply

    I’d very much like to see a welded, magnesium-aluminum alloy IF-Mode folding bike scaled to take 20″ wheels with the Schlumpf SpeedDrive 2 speed crank, a hub motor and hub mounted battery pack. Mate that with a bike cargo trailer like Tony Hoar’s Grocery Getter and you’d have a machine that could accommodate much of the Blue Ocean. I don’t think the Blue Ocean would be willing to spend more than $499 USD though. For such a radical reduction in price, the bike would need to be produced in massive quantities and no bike company would be willing to take that gamble without massive governmental subsidies. How ’bout it Obama?

  31. Human_Amplifier November 19, 2008 at 7:32 am -  Reply

    Hey Larry, never say never ! I think the IF Mode will have a long road map in front of it. All sorts of options, including those, are feasible .. As for the $499 that may take a bit longer.

  32. Chris Sherwood November 10, 2009 at 5:54 am -  Reply

    Where can I buy an IF Mode bike in the UK, are thee any importers, or dealers?

    Thanks
    Chris Sherwood

    • Human_Amplifier March 8, 2010 at 6:44 am -  Reply

      http://www.pacific-cycles.com (IF owners and manufacturers) are in discussions with UK distributors (early 2010). However they also sell direct from Taiwan, for the same retail prices (the Postage costs are approx same as distributor costs). Should it be needed, Pacific also offer support direct from Taiwan. As with other products they make (eg Birdy, and many race-winning Mountain bikes), Pacific bikes are very strong and reliable. …. Mark

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