At long last I have got around to buying a Strida (Mk 3.2) and regret not having invested in one sooner, I love it!
The Strida to cycling is like the Autogiro is to aviation, a quirky, responsive little gem.
I first saw what I believe was an early prototype of the Strida around 1990 in the Cotswolds and was most impressed with the logical and elegant simplicity of the design and have been meaning to procure one ever since then.
I particularly like the Mk3.2 since it irons out the flaws in the Mk1 and Mk2 and avoids the worry of breaking spokes with spoked wheels on the later models. The drum brakes too seem very effective and work well in wet conditions. For the price of 2 Mars bars the addition of a short web strap and 2 Jubilee clips also prevent the top 2 tubes from splaying out too far and straining the ball joint. Especially reassuring should friends or relatives want to have a go…
The 56" gear appears to be a good compromise for a single speed bike as it makes the bike quite responsive and makes gentle hills possible (especially with the “snubber” on the 3.2 to prevent the belt from slipping). The dual 40 odd 60 odd gearng of the MAS edition sounds like it might make the bike considerably more versatile and able to tackle steeper gradients and higher cruising speeds, time to start saving up!..
I’m very pleasantly surprised to find the ride and handling are more comfortable than I’d imagined from reports I’d read. It is true that the bulk of the rider’s weight is borne by the saddle (partly due to the pedals offering little resistance on the flat due to the low gear ratio) and this makes the bike more suitable for short journeys.
It’s a shame these wonderful bikes are so dear in the UK and not more widely available (I’ve only spotted one other Strida in Nottingham and virtually none anywhere since the one I saw in 1990)…