If you’re supposed to travel with a bike, it only makes sense that it should be both compact and lightweight. Bike Friday is a family-owned manufacturer from Eugene, Oregon who’s been making folding travel bikes for 24 years, and they’re recently released the pakiT. With a single-speed model that comes in at just 14.9 lbs, they say it’s the lightest folding bike ever.
The pakiT not only offers a quick-fold mode, it also further folds up into a backpack that can be purchased with the bike, or into a standard sized suitcase for airline travel. The bikes come in single, 3 or 11 speed options all driven by grease-free Gates belts, and six different frame sizes are available to accommodate a wide range of riders.
The company has already well exceeded their Kickstarter campaign funding goal, and while the early bird deals are gone there’s still time to buy in…
The pakiT city bike offers both ‘quick fold’ and ‘compact fold’ modes. The quick fold brings the bike down to dimensions of 38”x24”x10” in 20 seconds and with five steps. Adding just two more steps, the compact fold further condenses the bike to 28”x17”x8” to fit inside Bike Friday’s accompanying backpack. The fully folded pakiT also conveniently happens to fit into a standard suitcase for airline travel.
In order to shrink itself down, the pakiT’s frame folds in and tucks the rear wheel up next to the front triangle. The frame’s release/lock is a simple push-button mechanism on the seat stay. The quick-release handlebar/steer tube assembly pops off and pins itself to the frame, the seat tube slips out, and the pedals fold in. No doubt the bike’s 16” wheels contribute to its compact folded dimensions.
The standard pakiT’s frame is made from a combination of chromoly and high-tensile steel, and the Elite models are 100% chromoly. As the frame doesn’t have standard mounts the creators intend to develop a special rear rack for the pakiT, but there are no plans for front racks- They say the bike is designed to be a lightweight city cruiser rather than a touring packhorse. Plans are also in the works to create fenders for the pakiT bikes.
Between the single, 3 and 11 speed options the various models of the pakiT weigh between 14.9-22 lbs. The bikes use standard industry components for easy maintenance or customization. The 3-speed models use a Sturmey Archer rear hub, the 11-speed pakiTs run Shimano Alfine internal hubs, and dual-pivot caliper brakes take care of stopping duties.
The pakiT comes in six frame sizes, which should fit riders between 54”-76”. While the basic models carry a maximum rider weight of 220 lbs the Elite models have a lighter frame, and a lesser limit of 190 lbs. Frames come in six color options and carry a lifetime warranty.
Currently buyers can still choose from a few different versions of the pakiT Elite for $1900 USD, or select a bike and backpack combo. The first finished bikes are slated to ship out in January 2017. Check out the Kickstarter campaign here.