My first week with Strida 5

My fascination with the Strida started many years ago whilst I was still at school and I saw a prototype (in yellow and black) at a design show in London. I was only young but I wanted one!

Skip forward many years and I happened upon the Strida website whilst looking for a folding bike for my daily commute. I decided to treat myself and ordered a new Strida 5, which arrived last week.

So after a week of ownership, how do I feel?

As I lifted it out of the box, the quality of workmanship was obvious. This is a seriously well crafted piece of kit. Being a man I didn’t bother reading the instructions and within a few moments I was pedalling round my lounge, grinning like a child. Then I spent about 10 minutes just drinking in the design. I think it is an absolute classic.

Since arrival I have been taking it to work on the train daily. Even when the train has been busy, I simply shove the Strida up on the overhead shelves and I’m just like any other train passenger. At the other end, it deals with the cycle to the office without issue, able to hop up and down curbs with no problem. Last night I cycled back from my gym which takes me along unmade public footpaths, through some woods and up a sandy path off-road. I was amazed that it dealt with everything I could chuck at it. OK, it’s never going to do jumps but this is a seriously robust bike. Back at my flat, it takes up no room at all and can just be grabbed as I dash out to work in the morning.

Being tall

Nevertheless there has been some experimentation and an element of trial and error involved in getting to where I am today. I should probably point out that I’m 6ft 4in (193cm) and weigh about 90Kg so I’m right at the top end of the recommended size for riding a Strida. I took the liberty of ordering the bent handlebars as recommended by for taller riders. I did expect these to be fitted upon delivery and was slightly surprised to find them thrown into the box alongside the standard bike with standard bars fitted. Swapping the handlebars was simple enough… until I tried to put the brake levers back on! The standard brake cables aren’t long enough for the new handlebars and I then realised why there was an extra set of cables (which are slightly longer) in the bottom of the box. Following instructions posted on this forum ([url]replacing brake cables???]), I tried to attach the new cables to the old ones and use them to pull the new ones through the frame, but my mixture of string and tape didn’t hold all the way through, leaving me with 2 hours of fiddling and swearing to get everything sorted. Another noteworthy point is that all my other bikes have the rear brake handle on the left-hand side of the handlebars, but when I went to brake hard for the first time, I realised they are factory-fitted the other way around on the Strida and almost shot over the handlebars as the front wheel locked! I resolved this while I was replacing the brake cables.
With all of that done, I could concentrate on getting the saddle in the right position. I’ve managed to fit it high up and move it back an inch or two, but still feel it needs to go back a bit further. On tight turns my knees do knock the bars but I doubt many riders have a 36” inside leg measurement like me! Further experimentation will hopefully resolve this. I have found the standard saddle to be fairly comfortable so far.

I hope I don’t sound too negative because, as I have already said, I’m loving the Strida. If you own one, expect to be stared at and asked lots of questions by passers by. Stridas really stand out against the urban landscape! I’ll give a longer term review soon, once I’ve got a few more miles under my belt.

Thanks indeed for the report. Sounding negative?

I don’t dare to say anything about Strida cause me is
a known Weakling. I am 194 and 89.6 so we are very
close in length and weight. You a much better rider than
me cause yo umention nothing about the balance of the
Strida. :slight_smile:

Nice report, you might want to share it on the folder section of as there is quite alot of discussion about Strida there right now. … like many unusual bikes it seems to polarise opinion those who love it and those who hate it (some of whom have not even tried it !!!). I too get a buz at putting the Strida on overhead luggage racks … means even on a very crowded (normal) London train - no one is p*ssed off with you :smiley:

Have you seen the designers tips ? There is something about getting max knee room …

Do you have details (or even a picy) of these ‘bent bars’ for tall people.

LOL missed that :smiley:

(Glad you liked the ‘belt’ pun :wink: )

Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll have a look at the site.

I have looked at the designer’s tips (my understanding is he’s about 190cm tall?) and tried to copy the seat position of his well-travelled bike. I found that the higher centre of gravity did make the Strida markedly more wobbly and unbalanced, so dropped it a couple of notches. This small change seems to have made it much more stable whilst still allowing me pretty good clearance for my knees. As I mentioned, I have disproportionately long legs even for my height, so I’m a bit of an ‘extreme’. My friend who is 6’ 2" rode it last night and had no worries at all. I’m going to take some pictures over the weekend so I’ll post them up next week showing bended bars and seat position.

Quick update - I rode over to a pub last night to meet some friends. It’s a very popular place and everyone sits outside when it’s sunny. The whole place stopped when I turned up on the Strida - it was hilarious. If I’d bludgeoned a puppy to death with a bat I’d have received less stares!

LOL :smiley:

Thanks for introducing your experience, especially the humour :laughing:
If you hope much more stares, I unavoidably recommend a cousin of Strida :unamused: