Keep Strida Original - say NO to Fakes!

Hey Ringo are you able to tell me where you got your copy Strida from. From the looks of the pics you posted and your comments I’d like to get me one, can’t afford the extortionate authentic Strida prices though.

My email address is jenparky08@fmail.co.uk.

Thanks

I have a Strida5 which is excellent. I just went to see a fake Strida5 listed on craig’s here in California. The plan was to get a low cost version for my son to use. At first appearance it looked just like mine, but when I tried to ride it I realised it was TOTALLY different - the whole bike was so floppy - I did not ride it more than 6 feet !! … on closer inspection there were lots of mostly dangerous faults !;

The steering pin was loose both on the frame and into the bearings. The steering bearings were stiff and ‘gravelly’ making the steering feel awful- I later noticed the ball at the top was painted, mine is polished metal. The belt appeared loose, but in fact it did not ‘mesh’ properly with the front ‘chainwheel’, the brakes rubbed and appeared to be loose. The front wheel was really loose - like 1/2" movement at the rim, I am not sure where this came from bad spokes, bad bearings or bad axle. All the plastic seemed to be either rubbery, or brittle looking. The brake levers looked the same as mine, but felt really flexible - they were visual copies of my alloy levers, but made of plastic !

The people making it obviously just did a visual copy, without any aim of making it safe or even rideable ! maybe they think people (suckers ?) over hear just hang them on the wall. The guy selling it was quite shady - I dont even think he lived at the address we met at. He said he had had lots of calls, and knew it would sell. I went thinking I could use a fake strida, now I think it really sux.

Hi

As promised, here is a running report since I bought my SLO (Strida like object).

Firstly, I am still alive! The bike still feels really good, everything has bedded in nicely and the SLO rides really well. I can definitely ride faster with the solid BB - I can put much more force into the cranks.

The only thing I have had to look at is the spoke tensions (which needed looking at after the first couple of journeys). A few minutes with a spoke key and all is well again.

Ringo

It seems that the quality of the fakes is improving and getting closer and closer to (some of them maybe even better than) the genuines’. Ming has to find a way to compete wth them.

Here are some photos of a 14" wheels fake Strida from a Hong Kong bike forum.
Interestingly, instead of a pair of loops on the ends of the handle bars, the wheels can be locked by the lever of the QR handle bars when the bike is folded.

I have a bike just like the one Ringo writes about. I bought mine on Ebay from a chap in Wembly. It had one or two tiny adjustment issues, but having ridden it about 18 miles in the last couple of days, it seems pretty good for £110. It looks exactly like the one in the pictures here.

One thing to note about these copies is that you can not generalise about their quality. A quick search on Google brought evidence of at least eight factories in China producing Strida 5 copies. The one I and Ringo have seems to be on sale to importers for US$94 per item with a minimum order of 20 bikes.
http://strida-bike.china-direct-buy.com/

Mine is stiff, handles predictably and feels pretty safe once you accustom yourself to the quirky handling engendered by its geometry.

Here is Mark Sanders’ comments about fake Stridas

Great post! I hope that Ming can at least do something about that domain that evilv mentions in his/her post. They didn’t even have the decency to slightly change the name to “strda” or something similar!

You absolutely do get what you pay for. I realize not everyone can afford to pay for a Strida, but they should not be deluding themselves (or others) that a knock-off at a knock-off price is just as good. Yes, they are good enough that they’re probably not going to go kaput immediately, but then I would also expect a cheap bike that I buy from my local hardware store to be rideable for at least a year or so. If you can be realistic and honest with yourself about that, and if that’s good enough for you, then fine.

You do and you don’t get what you pay for StridaD.

http://www.ethicalsuperstore.com/products/strida/

My local outlet is selling the strida5 in white at £390 and in colours at £429. With the best will in the world you are just NOT getting what you pay for at those prices. This is a mass produced bike made in the far east and it ain’t no bargain buddy. Three tubes, two small wheels, some plastic transmission parts… how does that come out at £429 if you get what you pay for? I am certain it will be better than mine, but three times as good? Naaa not a chance. Not in a million years. It may be twenty percent better at best.

Please don’t be offended. I have no wish to upset people, but only mean to let you know how I get on with this cheapy knock off and to say what I honestly think about it.

:slight_smile:

Hi all

I think there is a way to settle this… I agree with evilv that there is not that much difference component wise and that genuine Strida’s are overly expensive for what they are…

As for the longevity of the copies, I am happy to report how mine goes. If the pro Strida guys are right, mine will be dead in a year. I will regularly (monthly ish) post with any probs or deterioration that I see. My commute is a fairly standard one, 2 miles per day, rain, wind or shine. There are plenty of big stops for traffic lights and a few kerb drop offs to deal with.

My bet is that in 12 months, I see no problems. I promise to report as I find and not bias my reports towards the SLO. Perhaps a genuine Strida owner would offer to do the same for comparison purposes?

I’ll post on this thread, early in January.

Ringo

Also, it’s worth noting, my previous steed a genuine Strida 3 lasted 5 years on the same commute. It cost £350. Faults during this time were -

seized rear drum brake.

worn rear sprocket

twice the pop rivets on the headstock required renewing

two new rear tyres

On that basis, if I get two relatively troublefree years out of the SLO - I’m in front!

OK, so if those 6 points that Mark Sanders lists in his reply to Amuro have no significant effect on the reliability and/or life expectancy of the bike (we shall see when we receive your reports!), then their inclusion on the bike – presumably at additional cost in terms of R&D and manufacturing – was a poor decision. Ming should have taken the same, cheaper route on all of those parts in order to keep costs down. Why did they make this poor business decision, I wonder? (<-- rhetorical question :stuck_out_tongue: )

As for your test, that’s a very interesting and cool idea. However, you would need to make sure that your riding style and conditions are as similar as possible to those of whoever is riding the Real Strida ™. The bikes would also need to have about the same number of km’s on them to start with, of course!

From the list above, probably the most important difference between an SLO and the real thing will be the weight limit. The real thing takes about 100Kg, and although the fakes have simply copied and pasted the specs (including weight limits), if they have non-heat treated frame, axles etc. this safe limit will actually be MUCH lower.

So apart from riding style, I would be VERY worried if I were a heavy (60Kg+) SLO rider, and paranoid if my journey involved bumps, curbs and, come to think of it, severe braking :smiley: So you guys who are running them, if its not a rude question, how much do you weigh ?

Ringo - I’ve got a Strida3 which is about the same age as yours, and a mileage approaching 4,000 miles and its still going great. Strida spares are very reasonably priced - my rear pulley also wore out at over 3000 miles but a complete new rear wheel (including pulley) cost 9 uk pounds, and even a complete set of both front and rear brakes also cost 9 uk pounds. It will be interesting to see if the sellers of SLO’s also keep reasonably priced spares. Conversely I guess fakes can easily be brought up to original quality by buying genuine Strida spares (except frames) - but this may defeat the object of getting a ‘bargain’, add in all the time spent and it must be pretty close.

Human Amp.

I weigh 75 KG.

This test is going to take a LONG time to carry out. I covered a bit more than 3600 miles in two years on my Merc (£330 Taiwanese Brompton knock off which is as good as the day I bought it having gone through one tyre, two chains and five rear spokes). It’ll take me a while to do 3000 miles on the SLO, although I did manage 12 yesterday and am up to 45 so far.

I really don’t think that anybody is saying that the £110 SLO will last as long as the genuine object. And certainly it is obvious from owner reports that some of them are bad, and that most including mine have bits that are not of the highest quality. Let’s not miss the point. Only a tiny fraction of these SLOs will ever come west. Asia is the land of the bicycle and hundreds of millions of people are riding bikes day in and day out all over China and the far east. They have been making them for eighty years as the mainstay of personal transport. Chinese cities is where the SLOs will find their niche. No one there is going to pay $600 for something they can buy a local version of for $120.

On the point about spares - of course there are none available through the ebay channel. I emailed my seller and asked him about specialised consumables like brake pads. He sent me the Strida.com URL. :stuck_out_tongue:

Riding an SLO is with a minor reservation no more dangerous than riding any other bicycle. The biggest danger of all bike riding on roads is of being run over by an inattentive driver. This outweighs by a factor of at least ten the risk of the thing collapsing under you. Then there is the problem common to all bicycles, of coming off the thing because of road conditions. I fell off my merc very suddenly about ten days ago on black ice. I have had many a minor slip on wet leaves edges of wet, raised manhole covers and mud since then. Any one of them might have made me fall off the bike had I not made exactly the right correction.

But of course, bikes do break - expensive bikes break too. I haunt one or two forums and on the folder forum (cycling forums) there are regular reports of all kinds of maintream manufacturers products cracking and even suffering catastrophic fracture - occasionally Dahons with handleposts that simply break off while riding.

The strida design has an obvious MEGA danger area - the ball joint. That really is a worrying feature. If it fails, the rider falls onto the road among a tangle of tubes and gets run over by the following vehicle. You can be sure that I will be checking that particular part before and during every ride.

Human Amp

I am 6ft tall and am 90 Kg’s of prime Yorkshireman (calm down ladies!!). I disagree with the point that Strida must have made a bad business decision if a SLO proves reliable - it will merely prove that SLO’s are not as shoddy as some people like to point out… For the record, the SLO has covered 60 miles to date.

EvelV, I agree the balljoint is a “mustcheck” on any preride checks!!

Ringo

This talk about the ball-joint is starting to scare me … what should I be looking for?? :confused:

Calm down StridaD - :smiley: I expect it will be fine as long as you avoid the mistake of allowing the front wheel to run away forward when you have the bottom tube disengaged. This opening out of the angle between the two top tubes, strains the ball-joint badly. In genuine stridas, it can make the metal ball pop out of its nylon socket in the front tube, and in the SLOs, which seem to use a different and less robust plastic, it can break the plastic socket and have the same kind of effect - the two top tubes part company. Just DON’T strain the joint when you are folding or unfolding the joint.

This poster on bikeforums broke his slo and the bike collapsed.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showpost.php?p=8007815&postcount=6

I’ve looked at, poked and pulled at my plastic socket and it is fine. In normal use my feeling is that the joint is under compression and should last pretty well. Most of the rider weight goes down to the back wheel and braking forces from the front wheel are mostly carried by the steering pin joint at front and bottom tube junction which is a toughly made component. I can’t tell you in a definitive way that your ball joint won’t fail, but it should be long lasting as long as you don’t open the angle between those top tubes to an excessive degree and smash the plastic socket.

The proper Strida joint is available as a spare part from the Strida supply chain, and it could be substituted, always assuming the SLO makers have stuck to the original dimensions when they made the metal ball component of the joint that attaches to the seat tube. Personally, I will check mine by pulling it and shaking it when I set off on a ride, but I’d never think of replacing it unless I had a good idea that I had subjected it to destructive forces and that it had failed.

Fare comments guys - do please keep us up to date with reports.

If there are 6+ factories then the output will be several times more than Ming themselves - making it a very popular folding bike. I think Ming make approx 17,000 to 20,000 a year, so I am sure that Mark Sanders would at least have some satisfaction of seeing many thousand SLO riders in China and Asia … that would make it one of THE most popular folding bikes.

As promised below is a report on the SLO!

Unfortunately the bike hasn’t done much since I last posted! Just before Christmas, I broke a couple of spokes on the back wheel. When you look closely at the rear hub (on my copy anyway) you can see it is a real cheap and nasty part. Basically the sharp edges on the hub were effectively chopping off the spoke heads. This combined with my weight (92 Kg’s) was knackering the wheel.

I looked on Strida’s website and they quoted £35 for a complete rear wheel (excluding tyre, tube, freewheel & brake disc). I thought this was an excellent price until the P&P went on - Strida wanted an additional £25quid.

I decided this was a bit steep and went to Reeds Garage (a bike shop in Kent who are an authorised Strida dealer). They were very helpful and said they could get a wheel for £35 and they would post it at cost (£5). The wheel arrive last Tuesday. IF YOU NEED STRIDA PARTS - USE THEM THEY WERE EXCELLENT. The phone number is on the store locator bit of the Strida site

I fitted it today, nice easy job apart from one of the bearings off the old wheel stayed firmly attached to the axle… I think it may of got some of the loctite that holds the axle into the frame tube. Anyway, I carefully made 4 cuts in it with a dremel (after removing most of the bearing race) and finally broke it off with my mole wrench. After that, the bike was back together in 10 mins!

Whilst I was doing this it gave me time to assess how mechanically sound the SLO is. The axle is not sub quality. It must be tempered steel as I gave it a bit of hammer to get the bearing off and there wasn’t a mark on it after. The fact that the bearing had become loctited on shows that the SLO assemblers use Loctite! Interestingly, the bearings on the fake wheel where identical to Strida’s, same make, same everything.

Although this episode is disappointing to report and I’ve had to stump up 40 quid to sort the problem, I am still hopeful the SLO will prove a wise investment. I must admit that I cannot understand how a replacement rear wheel (from Strida) can be so reasonable and a bike from Strida is so expensive…

If I’m feeling flush, I might do the front wheel to… although this doesn’t get the hammer that the rear gets.

Anyway, I’ll be glad to get back on it on Monday - the 20 minute walk to work was really starting to hack me off! I’ll report again end of Feb!

Cheers

Ringo

Interesting points there Ringo. Thanks.

I discovered yesterday that I have broken five rear spokes in about 170 miles. I haven’t checked them for a week or two, so I don’t know when they all went. Mine have gone just like yours, broken at the shoulder. I’m sort of hoping that the issue was a lack of tension. When I went around the wheel with the rim tape off, most were pretty slack - all of them just about, and since a very great part of the weight is right on that rear wheel, this might easily break them. I ordered some spokes of the right size from one of the LBS that are prepared to cut and thread spokes to size. I’ll pick them up on Monday and re-tension the wheel, but properly this time.

I note your points about the construction of the hub and the source of spares too. That is good information. Maybe some kind of simple puller would have budged the bearing race - you know better than me on that though. They are often easily fabricated out of a slotted and plain plate and a couple of nuts and bolts to pull the bearing from behind against the axle. Depends how tight they are of course. Even in spite of minor niggles (I replaced the pedals and seat pretty quickly) I really like the bike and delight in riding it.

PS - Did you mean ‘Dean’s Garage’ in Kent? I can’t find a Reeds Garage on the website. Thanks.

EvilV

Sorry, I did mean Deans - don’t know where I got Reeds from.

Your right about the puller - I just didn’t have the gear. I thought about going to my old mans he has every tool known to man, but we got there in the end.

Bad news about the spokes - you might be better biting the bullet and getting a nice machined hub strida wheel…

Ringo