It wont be available for at least nine months but the Whyte folding bike nicknamed Eccles by journalist Guy Kesteven because Eccles is a small suburb of Preston! is already making waves.
Folding bike specialists Avon Valley Cyclery of Bath have the prototype on test and confirm that MK1 rides sweetly.
And this is the design goal: a top-end folding bike that rides like a quality non-folder. Eccles is dual suspension, with four-inches of travel each end, and is equipped with 24-derailleur gears rather than hub gears.
We want to be at the upper end of the market, Peter Holton of ATB Sales told Bikebiz, but need to get the price somewhere between £800 and £1000.
We dont want a me-too product. It has to have a fair bit of innovation.
The Whyte folder is certainly different. Chipps Chippendale said on 9feet.com that Eccles was a hog and one of the ugliest bikes we have ever seen.
However, looks aside, Chipps said the bike was fast and comfortable, handling like a much bigger bike...The travel is pretty advanced youd be pushed to find two Fox shocks and dual suspension on another commuting bike.
You reckon itll never sell? Thats what was said about the preying mantis Preston yet ATB Sales say theyve so far sold 500+ Prestons at £2000 a piece. Thats right: £1 million turnover on a bike that is slated by some MTB journos; loved by others.
PIC BY CHIPPS@9feet.com