Strida 5.0 folding bike review by Joshua Cook

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The Strida 5.0 folding bike is fun to look at. To be honest I worried my good experiences with the bicycle might end there, but I’m happy I gave the interesting little folder a second chance.

Strida folding bike

Strida folding bike

For starters, this folding bike gets lots of attention. Its wide, triangle design and tiny wheels look a bit out of this world compared to most other bikes in the street, folding or otherwise. It’s the street, however, that offers the Strida 5.0 its greatest challenges. While those small wheels give it some immediate acceleration, the bike’s top speed remains relatively slow, especially on the one speed version I took out for a spin from NYCeWheels. That super responsive handling seemed a bit too responsive at that speed and coupled with the extra-upright sitting position made for an awkward ride over to New York’s Central Park. There was no way I felt comfortable competing with yellow cabs and delivery trucks during midday traffic and ended up pushing the bike part of the way to the park.

This is when things got interesting, though. All those negatives for the Strida 5.0 folding bike turned into positives along the less crowded and infinitely less pressured bike lanes. That one gear that left me pulling aside for every single car to pass was more than enough to maintain a comfortable cruising speed in the park. I admit I had my doubts when approaching the first hill, but that single speed also offered plenty of power to climb without any of the strain. On top of that, the extra-upright sitting position (more similar to how you might ride a unicycle) may have left me feeling unstable crossing Lexington Avenue, but actually made for an exceptionally fun ride along an open bike path. If I’d had a tweed suit and bowler hat I would have felt like a 1920′s dandy cruising along the boardwalk on a Sunday afternoon. This is really the joy of the Strida 5.0.

One quick note on dimensions, though. I’m 6′ tall and because of the nature of how the seat is mounted onto the bike’s frame, my knees nearly hit the handlebars as I pedaled. That’s the main reason I felt a bit unsteady riding through the streets. Strida doesn’t have it out for tall riders though. They offer a model with seat and handlebar extensions and I know of at least one man pushing 6’5” who rides his Strida 5.0 every day with pride.

It really is a FUN little bike. I may not take it on an all day trek through the city, but it’s perfect for a relaxing afternoon ride. It’s also one of the best bike’s I’ve ridden when it comes to stowing away or hauling around the city.

Strida folded up

Strida folded up

It folds into a completely upright position that may look a little tall for some, but the Strida 5.0 folding bike actually gets narrow enough to store in any closet and even behind most any door in your apartment. It can also roll comfortably on both wheels when folded, making it one of the easiest folding bikes to haul around the subway or through an office corridor.

That alone is nearly worth the price of admission. Add to that some spectacular disk brakes and a sub 20-pound frame and you really do have to give the bike a second glance.

I have done a review on a Dahon MUP8 recently, if you are looking for a more traditional folding bike.