KANSI 3Twenty 2010, £699, www.kansi.co.uk
One of the first things you notice about the 3Twenty is its light weight; it tips the scales at just over 11kg, a sight less than many folders. Useful when you’re bombing around city streets, it also saves backache if you’re lugging the bike up and down stairs.
Kansi only launched in 2010, offering three aluminium-framed, 20in-wheel bikes that differ only in their gearing options. As well as this three-speeder, there’s a singlespeed (£499) and a nine-speed hub-geared model (£849).
The folding mechanism is simple enough: lower the kickstand to steady the bike, drop the seat, fold the bars and then fold the chassis. All decoupling devices have safety catches, but even so it’s still only a ten-second job, creating a package that’s just 80x66x44cm, small enough for bus or tube, and there’s a sturdy bag supplied too.
On the road, the 3Twenty is a consummate performer, with SRAM gears proving effortless and Avid brakes stopping you on a sixpence. The chassis feels solid and the drivetrain's fluid, with adequate gearing for just about every London eventuality.
The brains behind Kansi have clearly done their research, launching into a busy market — though perhaps they could replace the plastic pedals with decent folding ones next year. An impressive first line-up.
PROS lightweight, good spec
CONS no folding pedals