When purchasing a bicycle, one consideration to keep in mind is how much it weighs. The weight of a bicycle helps determine how fast you can accelerate, how easy it is to ride uphill, and how the bike handles. But weight is especially pertinent when buying a folding bike, as almost any Montague owner can tell you, because in addition to riding the bike, you might also find yourself carrying it. So if part of your commute includes walking up the bus steps with your folded bike, you need to make sure the bike is light enough for you to lift.
Fortunately for all you Montague riders out there, it’s pretty easy to get around with one of our bikes. Montague folding bikes weigh between 24-30 lbs, depending on the model, and in terms of weight, they’re comparable to other non-folding bikes of a similar price point. But when it comes to carrying, Montague bikes have a major advantage: they fold.
Why does this matter? I think we’ve all seen someone struggling to carry something and asked, “Is that heavy?”, only to have them respond, “Oh, it’s not heavy, it’s just awkward.” That’s what it can be like to carry a 25-30 pound non-folding bike. It’s not so heavy, but it’s difficult to move around, since there’s so much bike sticking out on either side of you. But because Montague bikes fold, the overall package is more compact, which makes the weight easier to manage.
Is Lighter Always Better?
In a word, no.
The ideal bike weight depends on you and what kind of riding you’re doing. If you’re into downhill mountain biking, for instance, the more the bike weighs, the faster it will go (downhill, at least). So a heavy bike, in this case, is an advantage.
If you ride a lot of uphill though, the lighter the bike is, the easier it will be for you. The less the bike weighs, the less force it takes to move; you don’t have to put as much energy into moving a lighter bike up a hill as you would a heavier one. So basically, a lighter bike is more efficient for riding uphill. Granted, even with a lighter bike, the difference isn’t huge – other things being equal, on a 7% grade, it’s something like 6 seconds/mile faster for every pound less that the bike weighs, and this advantage diminishes as the terrain flattens out. So if you ride in an area that’s mostly flat, you won’t really notice if your bike’s a little heavier.
How do Montague Folding Bikes Compare?
While you might not notice how much your bike weighs when you’re riding, you will definitely notice when you’re carrying it. To that end, you might be wondering how Montague folding bikes, with full-size frames and full-size wheels, stack up against some of their small-wheeled competitors. Montague folding bikes are in the same weight range as small-wheeled folders; they’re the same, or even lighter than some small-wheeled models, and are just marginally heavier (we’re talking a pound or two) than others. And when you look at other folding bikes with full-size wheels, there’s no question that Montague has the lightest, easiest-to-fold folding bikes out there.
But even the lightest folding bikes are only about 5 pounds lighter than a Montague. And you get a lot of rideability for those extra 5 pounds (a lot more than a 30-second/mile speed advantage, if we go off the calculation in the earlier paragraph, at least). Some folding bikes that come in around 22 pounds look more like a triangle on wheels than a bicycle. If you’re looking to roll around, no doubt these folding bikes will do the trick, but if you want to feel like you’re riding a bicycle, if you want a folding bike that’s going to handle like you expect, if you ride on any kind of regular basis or have any appreciable distance to cover, pound for pound, no one has a better performance-to-weight ratio than Montague.
In addition, because all Montague bikes use industry standard parts, they could be easily replaced with the lightest parts on the market. We’ve seen the Boston get below 20 pounds with just a few part upgrades!
Do You want to Weigh In on Montague Folding Bikes?
How do you get around with your Montague folding bike? Was weight a consideration in your purchase? Have you upgraded any components to make yours even lighter? How do you think it compares weight-wise to other bikes (both folding and non-folding)?