Folding bikes have an offbeat geeky coolness to them. One minute you’re happily riding one, and the next minute your ride is neatly tucked away in a small corner barely taking up any space. A folding bike could fit in the trunk of your car, or a small closet, and you can even carry them with you on the train or bus.
But folding bikes are not for everybody. Their eccentric looks may attract people who like offbeat and weirdly cool stuff, but their quirky designs don’t really appeal to a larger audience. They represent the engineer’s function over the designer’s form. Most folding bike enthusiasts I know will agree with me on this and say beauty is relative.
However, sometimes something comes up which wonderfully messes up the order of things. Earlier this month, Glorious Ride Bike Shop lent me a foldie whose appeal went beyond its geeky ability to morph. The IFmove bike from Pacific cycles is not just a great folding bike; it is a sleek bicycle that attracts curious and envious eyeballs from bikers and non-bikers alike. This thing is a fine looking machine. If most folding bikes were Androids, the IFmove stands out like an iPhone. Makinis. Maangas.
Lest I be mistaken for hating on Android, let me clarify that I use an Android smartphone. It’s a Starmobile Knight that’s become indispensable on my trips because of its monster 18MP rear camera and very selfie-friendly 8MP front camera. Its front cam is better than the rear cam of most phones out there.
I love my Knight. But in terms of sheer elegance of design, it’s still no iPhone. I work as a writer/segment producer for the tech show Future Perfect on ANC, and despite the emergence of some very cool Android phones out there from HTC, LG, Samsung, and Asus, they were all still playing catch up with Apple’s design prowess.
Which brings me to this bike. It is an incontrovertible truth that beauty lies in the eyes of the beer-holder, but I’m sure thousands of sober folks will still agree with me when I say that this is a damn stunner of a bike.
Just look at it. Sleek lines. A single bladed fork. A single bladed frame. And it folds in 3 seconds. Only a balisong folds faster. In a recent review, NYCEwheels of New York even called this bike super-gorgeous and likened it to a movable sculpture. Folded up, the bike still looks like a work of art. And unlike other folding bikes that require a bag so you could carry it, the IFmove can be rolled along like a trolley.
I really liked the SRAM X7 Gripshifters and the 9-speed drive train. The disc brakes were also a welcome touch on a bike like this. And how about those internally routed cables? You only see that kid of attention to detail on very high end road bikes and mountain bikes!
This is also a bike you can take on long distances and up steep hills. I wouldn’t advise challenging The Wall or Shotgun on this rig, but the IFmove can definitely take on Sierra Madre.
But it’s in urban rides where the IFmove really stands out. We took it for several spins around Diliman, and I even rode this bike to work. It’s an excellent urban commuter, that looks fantastic and rides really well.
It took me a few minutes to get used to the handling as the single bladed fork requires you to reorient your balance. As a guy who rides a 29er, it also took me a while to get used to the 20-inch wheels. But once I got rolling, the IFmove was a joy to ride. The hubs also emit that distinctive tunog mayaman rattle that mountain bikers with Hope hubs have come to love.
I wish I could have kept the IFmove a little longer. But sadly, I couldn’t spare the cash to keep her. Excuse me while I make my way to the nearest Lotto station.
The IFmove is available at Glorious Ride Bike Shop at 88 Anonas St. Bgry East Kamias, QC.