Gear On The Go

July 26, 2009|By Josh Noel | Josh Noel,Tribune Newspapers

Name: : Swiss Bike TX Commuter

What it is: : A folding bicycle

How it works: : It's a full-size folding bike that pivots at the seat. It's made by Cambridge, Mass.-based Montague Co., a company that produces folding bicycles exclusively. After years of making mountain bikes, this is Montague's first stab at a road bike, released at the end of 2008.

The good: : Unlike many folding bikes that look decidedly anemic, this is the full-size vehicle, and it folds! That makes it perfect for travel. I threw it in the trunk of my car recently for a long road trip. It fit easily and left room for a few smaller bags. I took it riding through the downtown area of a city along the way, through city parks and in wooded areas outside of town. I had to do some curb-jumping and small bits of off-roading, but the TX, a road bike with slick tires, handled whatever I threw at it. The disc brakes were hyper-responsive.

The bad: : The biggest difficulty was putting it together. The first few times I did it, it took eight minutes to assemble, and it felt as if I were wrestling the bike. But the more you do it, the easier it is. Also, the bike is a bit weighty (30 pounds).

Retail cost: : $699.

Availability: : For a list of dealers, call Montague at 800-736-5348. More information at swissbike.com.

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