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Updated- SplitBike Swaps Couplers for Quick Releases with Full Size, Belt Drive Travel Bike

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Splitbike S1 Terrain, front view

I’ll admit, until writing for Bikerumor I never realized how many companies made folding bikes, and how many different designs have been created from all over the globe. The Splitbike certainly takes an interesting approach, with a double-diamond frame that separates at the top and down tubes using quick releases.

Despite their urban practicality most folding bikes aren’t suitable for riding rougher terrain, and let’s face it, they still look pretty goofy most of the time. The Splitbike provides relatively compact storage from a full-sized frame with full-sized wheels, built around normal bike components. If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit more space, you can travel with a bike that feels familiar and can be easily customized with non-proprietary parts…

Splitbike S1 City, rear view

The Splitbike comes in two models, one intended for urban riding called the S1 City and one for off-road action dubbed the S1 Terrain. Both ride on double heat treated, hand-made aluminum frames that the company says are designed to take a beating. Cleverly spec’d with durability and low maintenance requirements in mind, the bikes feature carbon belt drive systems and the option of either single-speed drivetrains or Rohloff 14-speed internal rear hubs.

Splitbike top tube junction Splitbike down tube junction

For transportation the frame splits at the top and down tubes by using two quick-release clamps, thus no tools are required to take apart or reassemble the bike. The top tube quick release looks just like a seat clamp, and the rear half of the top tube protrudes into the front section inside the clamp. On the down tube, the Splitbike uses their unique CNC machined coupling which they call LOCtube technology.

Splitbike with Rohloff rear hub Splitbike with Gates carbon belt drive

With the exception of the Wellgo quick release pedals, all of the Splitbike’s components are normal bike parts that would be easy to replace, service or swap out for customization. The frames are built with tapered head tubes, and accommodate the now-standard 27.5” wheels. The Splitbikes have a solid component build with some reputable parts including Easton Haven 35mm handlebars and stems, Race Face SIXc CINCH carbon cranks, Magura MT8 hydraulic brakes, and Schwalbe Rapid Rob tires.

Really the only difference between the City and Terrain model is the fork. The City uses a Split full carbon rigid fork, and the Terrain rides on Magura’s 120mm travel TS8 DL02 with a 15mm thru-axle. Although they look like a decent multi-surface tread, it’s somewhat odd that the company chose to equip the two bikes with exactly the same tires. They’ve also put a higher rise handlebar on the MTB model versus the commuter bike, which seems a bit backwards.

Splitbike in travel bag

These bikes clearly won’t fold down as small as a more typical folder from Brompton or Dahon. In travel mode it measures 47″ long, 31.5″ tall and 16″ wide. I can’t quite see it being carried on a subway car to and from work, although the company suggests it could. However, for world travellers who want a solid ride on a bike that looks and feels normal and uses common components, a Splitbike could be an ideal choice. A custom designed, multi-layered travel bag will be included with the bike, but will appear different from the one pictured above.

Splitbike frame geometry

The S1 City sells for $3295.00 USD, and comes in small and medium frame sizes. Color options include charcoal or chrome, and the complete bike weighs 21.4lbs (with single speed gearing). The S1 Terrain sells for $3595.00, comes in the same sizes and colors, and weighs in at 29.8lbs (with the Rohloff rear hub). Splitbike offers a five year limited warranty on the frames covering any defect of the materials or manufacturing. Splitbikes are only available online, and free worldwide shipping is included.

splitbikes.com

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anonymous
anonymous
7 years ago

It’s called a demountable, and its not any more of a folding bike than a bike with S&S couplers.

offrhodes
offrhodes
7 years ago

Very GTesque frame design.

Gunnstein
Gunnstein
7 years ago

“for world travellers” – it’s rather early for world travellers to start using 27.5″. Tubes and tires will be hard to find many places, but perhaps 26″ tubes will fit. Experienced tourers still tend to recommend 26″, steel frames, and rim brakes, so that you can get things fixed pretty much anywhere. If you don’t ride around the world but stay in 1st world countries, then it might be a good choice.

anonymous
anonymous
7 years ago

Other tourers have found that even if there are 26″ tires available, they’re often times not tires you would want to use anyways, and they are cheap and weak, and would rather just pack extra tires.

anonymous
anonymous
7 years ago

Also, this is clearly a travel bike, not a touring bike.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

That looks like a pretty normal bike bag to me. Couldn’t they depict it in a smaller bag/box to prove how small/easy it is to travel with? You may as well just use your regular bike

Derek
Derek
7 years ago

@Veganpotter: Exactly. It’s not even close to getting under oversize baggage restrictions. I’m not sure what this gets you really.

Ryan
Ryan
7 years ago

This would fit in my wagon on family road trips, so it can still be a beneficial “traveling” bike. I can’t get my bike in the car on trips because I can’t break it down enough.

Ron Bingham
Ron Bingham
7 years ago

Gunn– 650b was allegedly a very common tyre size in Europe at the start of the 650b mountain bike craze, or at least that’s what the ad and media copy all said. Seems like it’d be no big deal.

Droid
Droid
7 years ago

Oversize bags for airlines and bus (like greyhound) are when they exceed 62 linear inches (length, width, and height added together). It’s very difficult to get it that small with full sized wheels, but may be possible with lots of disassembly. Much easier with small wheels.

Bill
Bill
7 years ago

Hmm, I usually avoid arm-chair engineering comments.. but in my years of riding off road, landing drops badly, or heck, even riding on road.. I’m not sure a QR mechanism is something I want to trust my main triangle to.

Even with wheels the industry seems to be trending away from them.

Rich
Rich
7 years ago

It’d be interesting to see how stiff the frame is. I hope there is a follow up to this.

I have a small Cotic Bfe which i often travel with. The main bulk is due to the wheels and not the frame. If i was really limited on space, i’d take something like a BMX.

What?
What?
7 years ago

“Really the only difference is the fork” – That must be one light carbon fork to be 8lbs lighter then the Magura fork.

Oso Negro
Oso Negro
7 years ago

I built my own travel mountain bike in 2006. I found a 2000 Litespeed Toccoa online and had it shipped to Bilenkey Cycle Works where they retrofit titanium S & S couplers on the frame. Parts were upgraded in 2008 and 2009 (SID fork, XT drivetrain,…). I work overseas, so this bike has been on 4 continents so far, including in the subways of Hong Kong. Travel bikes are cool!

MIKE B
MIKE B
7 years ago

If the bike doesn’t break down small enough to fit into a box that doesn’t cost extra to check, I don’t see the point.

I travel with an Ibis Tranny. Doesn’t cost a penny to check. Weighs in at about 20.5 lbs…and it rides great. It did cost a bit more than these bikes though (about $750).

Eric
Eric
7 years ago

Ditto on the ibis tranny. I’ve got the 29r version that I can put in the Ritchey travel case.

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