Custom carbon builder Lios Bikes has one of the most trick folders out there these days with their little Nano. There are a lot of high-end small-wheeled commuters out there, but we don’t know of many carbon folding bike options. The Lios Nano though, combines a simple compact folding carbon fiber frame with some high performance components to deliver a quick ride to zip around the city, and at the same time a low weight making it easy to transport as well…


all images courtesy of LIOS

The Nano uses a single sized monocoque carbon frame with internal rear brake and shift cable routing that works with the mid frame clamp. The bike is disc brake only and gets Shimano SLX hydro brakes as standard equipment for solid, predictable braking.

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The bike is meant as a city run-about, but Lios was really looking to offer something more sporty than your run-of-the-mill Brompton, even though they recognize them as great bikes and a source of inspiration. Lios even partnered with the GB Olympic cycling team to send a some Nanos with the Brits over to tool around Rio, and also used it as a chance to work on a prototype of their travel bag

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It is also designed to work with Gates belt drive set ups for light weight, dependability, and clean running whether in single speed or gear hub builds. Tension is handled through an eccentric BB, and there is also a derailleur hanger and rear derailleur routing for those looking to build up with more gearing range (including with a Di2 option.)

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Beyond the carbon frame the Nano also gets a tapered-steerer carbon fork, a long carbon seatpost, carbon bars, full carbon saddle, and carbon wheels, all to keep the weight in check. All of the bike builds get 60mm deep carbon clincher rims for a light, aero, high-performance setup with the tiny 18″ wheels. While weight is saved in a lot of places, the Nano sticks to a tried-and-true alloy folding stem and extended bar post, plus some pretty basic folding plastic platform pedals.


The Nano is available direct from Lios via their webshop, or through a couple of retail partners, now just in London. The most simple complete bike is also one of the lightest; in its singlespeed guise the Nano Superlight will set you back £3250, with a weight of just 8.2kg. If you add in an 8 speed internally geared Alfine hub, the weight climbs a kilo with the added versatility, and the price tag up to £3500.


But an even more exclusive Monaco version is also available for a cool £5000 with XTR brakes, a Rotor 3D crank, and DT 180 ceramic hubs, which shaves a few hundred grams off the singlespeed build. Lios also says they can build a custom bike all the way down to 7kg, presumably if the component spec budget is limitless.


  1. John on

    Very nice bicycle. It is surprising how heavy many folding bicycles are considering that every time you lift it you are reminded of the weight. The asking price is a bit steep though.

    My custom folding bicycle weighs just under 10 kilos with a bare aluminum frame, 25 mm tires on 20″ wheels with a carbon seatpost and lightweight plastic saddle and rear mudguard. It does have 1×9 gears with a short cage derailleur.

    • Person on

      Exactly. I built a JAVA for a customer just a few months ago. Deep dish carbon rims, XTR Di2, King rear hub, all the bells and whistles. It weighed in around 19 Lbs. but the bike rides horribly; and the internal routing is just bad all around for folding. He’s happy, and that’s what matters. I’ll stick by my Brompton though.

      • Matt on

        Please can you be more specific when you say “rides horribly”? Any more horribly than other fold ups for example? Not stiff enough? Doesn’t absorb bumps? Unstable at speed? Prone to endos?

        • Person on

          Way too stiff. Rattles your hands over bumps. Also the hinge design is pretty poor, unless creaking sounds are what you desire. It’s a fast bike, but race bike punishment isn’t really a great characteristic for a folder IMO.

  2. Marc on

    ultra deep wheels are too much on a fixie, and even worst in a folder. Plus not having chainstays is an insult to light/strength compromise (even if you want a belt, just have a junction). Lightest bike fridays are 6.8kg/15lbs. The hummingbird claims 6.5kg. A $500€ Dahon Mu Uno is 22lb/9.9kg


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