MONTAGUE FIT, £999, www.montaguefoldingbike.co.uk
Many readers won’t know the Montague name, but this US company has been producing full-size folders since the late 80s. The company also makes Swiss Bikes, which are rugged all-mountain folders, while the FIT heads the marque’s commuter range. Despite coming in only a fraction under the Cycle 2 Work threshold, this is still a very decent-value proposition.
The spec — despite including 27-speed Shimano Tiagra drivetrain, Suntour crank, Tektro brakes, and Kenda tyres — can’t match that of a similarly-priced hybrid, but that’s an unfair comparison. How many 700c hybrids squeeze into a cupboard in your home or sit innocuously in the corner of your office? And despite the Montague’s ability to contract to a 90x71x30cm size, it still rides like a dream. Indeed, compared with the small-wheeled folders tested here, this is a thunderbolt. The clever design keeps the unit rigid, even when hitting the gas.
The fold involves removing the front wheel, then releasing a mechanism that allows the rear wheel and drivetrain to pivot on the seat-tube. It took us longer than the other bikes, but still easily less than 30 seconds. There’s no guarantee you’ll be allowed the folded package on all public transport, so check regulations carefully. A niche product that’ll find its home.
PROS fast, comfy for long rides
CONS folded size, pricey