Hello Strida Forum-ers!
I’ve had a mind to getting a folder for some time, and I’d looked at a number of models, including the Stridas, various Dahons, and the (spendy but neat) Bike Friday tikit, but the Groupon offering the Strida LT at $399 cinched it for me, just about impossible to pass up that deal! I spent a lot of time combing through the boards here and over at bikeforums.net looking at what kinds of gear would go with my unusual bike. So a thank you to everyone who has posted advice here, it really informed my decisions!
Two weeks later I was a proud owner/rider!
First impressions (unpacking/set up):
The unboxing was easy; everything arrives securely padded and spaced in the box and 95% put together.
The manual that came with my LT is the 5.0 manual (spokes and all). Confusing. Most of the instructions are visual, like an Ikea catalog, and not in a sensible order. For example, “install folding handlebars” comes before “install and adjust seat” even though the handlebars came pre-attached and the seat did not.
I first had to remove the saddle that was already bolted on the plastic seat mount to get the plastic parts to go around the aluminum frame, which made no sense to me. Easier if they’d just put the saddle in the box separately.
Also, getting the height and seat position sorted out is time-consuming due to the necessity of removing three screws for each minor raising or lowering of the seat mount.
The magnet that holds the wheels together is strong! Surprisingly so. I didn’t get the gist of getting the wheels apart twisting the handlebar as leverage (it’s in the manual only as a graphic) for a couple of days, but really it makes all the difference - it takes a few tries to learn to twist the handlebar just the right way.
Folding, on the other hand, could hardly be simpler. Just watch that you don’t knock the front post against the pedal! The rest is easy.
First Ride (3 miles):
Fun to ride! Initial impression is somewhat like being on a circus bike, it’s slightly surreal, but overall it’s quiet and comfortable. After a minute riding, I nearly forgot it was a differently-shaped bike altogether.
Visibility: Riding high up (I’m 5’ 10") on the bike I could see over most SUV’s, visibility is good. Draws attention - some pointing and chatter from kids on the street, to be sure! I chose a white bike for improved visibility (& neon green just isn’t in my palette…)
Steering: very sensitive. I didn’t worry too much about hitting anything, because the turning radius is quite tight (Being able to do 6’ diameter ‘doughnuts’ is pretty sweet!), but pulling out of sharp turns I found that I overcompensated a bit. This gives the impression that the bike handling is “shaky” or “erratic”, but I think it smoothed out as I got used to it.
Comfort: Bumps and road irregularities transmit right through the stock bike frame and seat; I understand now why so many Strida owners upgrade the tires and seat. Actually, for my short ride (and not a terrible road) it wasn’t a problem, keeping upgrades in mind for later on. Sitting upright has so far been comfortable for me, but I have moved the seat back a bit further to give me a bit more leg extension next time.
Satisfaction: I really am enjoying my new Strida LT!
I’ve ordered some new lights, the Cateye HL-EL135N for the front, and Cateye TL-LD560-BR5R Reflex Rear LED Light to replace the back reflector.
I’m considering getting a TwoFish QuickCage to mount a bottle right on the stem between the handlebars - there’s so few good mount-points on a folder; it’s a fun little brain twister in itself, not being able to mount anything in the triangle! Anyone have another suggestion for carrying a bottle?
Looking forward to many years with this beauty!
one possibility is the seat tube near the rear break. I am using a KlixFix QR Bottle Holder. However you have to get off the bike to get a drink.
Hello Triangle Man,
to our forum!
Thank you for posting this detailed first report, I am sure it will be very interesting for newcomers to read about starting problems.
Great that you’ve found your LT at Groupon for a really good price.
You’re right saying that the manual is Ikea-like (and a bit outdated).
As I don’t know which version of the manual was delivered with your LT, here is the link for the gently revised actual version:
to be found here:
Like you, I am also not fully satisfied with the saddle mount (not even with the Quick release mount), already posted here:
Quick Release Seat Molding ST-QRS-001
The wheel magnet is indeed very strong, hopefully you noticed that it can be adjusted via the little hex headless screw in the counterpart plate of the magnet (manual page 20).
Upgrades for seat: Please note that, due to the strange molded seat mount, some saddles will not fit.
Recommendable is here to investigate (at the forums) before buying a suitable saddle.
Or, maybe the better choice, to try the new saddle in reality at your local bikestore.
Upgrades for tyres: For comfortable, wide balloon tyres, i. e. Schwalbe Big Apple, is a little modification (elongated wheel bolt, distance washer) needed to obtain proper wheel magnet function, principle found here:
Make wheels further apart when folded (redux)
Furthermore it might be necessary to detach the mudguards (depending on tyre type).
Strida suitable tyres are here:
Torn rear hub
As you can see above on the post title, they are often misleading.
Thanks to our members, nearly all informations about Strida are here at the forum, but to find exactly that what you’re searching for could be difficult. Please do not hesitate to ask!
Another example for a bottle cage holder is here:
Dynamo lighting system on a Strida
The Topeak cage holder of GeoffreyChang from Hong Kong Strida Club:
Minoura cage holder of rayloch (HKSC):
Saddle cage holder of ON@5.0 (HKSC):
Have fun and a safe ride
Well, I have had a very satisfying first year with my Strida LT. I thought it was high-time to chime in with an update:
I fitted out the LT pretty much as I described in the first post, lights, bottle holder, mini-pump, seat bag. I cannot recommend the Cat Eye Reflex light highly enough - it’s first strobe mode is the one I normally use (day and night) because it’s so bright and flashy I don’t think drivers can ignore it; and it fits just about perfectly in place of the rear reflector.
Trickier challenge was carrying my U-lock. With the seat placed high (I’m 5’ 10"), I discovered that a standard size U-lock can ‘lay’ with the lock’s flat bar across the lower rack support with the “U” hanging down inside the frame triangle (basically cross-wise); to minimize any rattle or swinging, I use a hook-loop strap to cinch it in place. The bike folds just fine, it just flexes the belt a bit where they touch, and the lock doesn’t interfere with using the rack as a stand. Of course, I have to unlock the U-lock if I need it and remove it from the rack before folding up the bike when I need a lock, but otherwise it’s very tidy.
Last month, I finally decided I’d had enough of the stock saddle. So I’ve now got a Brooks Flyer (thanks to everyone that suggested it) and have ridden about 40 miles so far on it. It’s not even broken in yet; even so, I’ve already noticed I’m not as road sore after longer rides, the springs make all the difference!
I’ve mostly ridden for recreation, short trips, errands. The longest ride (for recreation) was probably around 25 or so miles on dicey city streets. I’ve ridden the last 3 CicLAvia rides here in LA. I’m not sure how many miles total I’ve racked up (several hundreds), I’m still on the original tires (not a good sign), but have been riding more this year than last.
It’s been a great conversation starter too!
All the best,