My Strida LT

Hello all !

One more new Strida owner reporting… sorry for my somewhat ‘gallic’ turns of phrase, I’m writing from Lille, France, and my English probably needs brushing up !

Here’s the context – I recently moved offices and my new work place is much closer to the metro station now, so I decided it was time for me to quit driving the old diesel Scenic to work. Good for the planet, and for my health too… not only because at 47, I can do with a bit of exercise, but also and mostly because I’m fed up with the daily routine of driving to work, through the traffic jams, with the radio pouring its dreadful news into my ears. So, I got that recent LT (16” wheels and just one speed) a week ago for a ridiculous amount of money, an opportunity I just couldn’t miss – tanks again to Patrick if he’s present on this forum too !

I must confess that I wasn’t much of a bicycle rider so far. One positive consequence is that, having no preconceptions about how a bike should handle, I was sure I would easily adapt to pretty much anything. However, the first meters on the Strida were surprising… fightening even, but forewarned is forearmed - that’s the experience most new Strida owners describe, so I just kept going bravely and it wasn’t long, maybe 1 km, before I felt perfectly comfortable with it. It’s been a week now and I can say it’s become a real pleasure to commute this way. There’s not much riding needed, just 5 minutes from home to the metro station, then 10 minutes in the metro, then again 10 minutes riding. I chose the Strida mostly because it’s very quick to fold and unfold, even more so now that I start folding/unfolding the handlebars and pedals while I’m still on the escalator !

So what’s to like, for my very specific use? Folding/unfolding time, definitely. And also its vertical shape when folded – so convenient when trying to get into the metro at peak hours. Most of the time I have to keep standing, with the bike against me. It takes little ground space so it’s no nuisance for others, and the clean drive belt is a clear advantage too. Maybe I would be thinking differently if I were taking the train, seated all the way, with more room to leave the bike on the floor. Then maybe a Brompton style of folding would be preferable… but such is not the case.
On a more futile note, it does attract attention (especially in that flashy orange colour) and questions from other passengers, which make the trip less boring :slight_smile:

On the road – in my case, less than 3km of totally flat bicycle lanes, it’s fine. Very agile, comfortable enough as long as you avoid cobblestones and potholes – but there are hardly any on my way. The brakes behave superbly, even if one may argue that they are oversized given the average speed on this bike. That is maybe my only regret, it’s a bit too slow. I would prefer a three-speed model now, but again, I had that one for nought – say, one tenth of a basic Brompton :slight_smile:) – so I have a budget for future improvement if needed. That improvement will surely include a side stand and a rear view mirror. These options are not really necessary on my way to work, but I realize that I haven’t used my car for a week, I just prefer to combine metro and Strida now, whatever I’m doing ! So they will just make the bike a bit more versatile. Oh, and I have to check if I can mute that awful bicycle bell that keeps making noise all the time. Maybe there’s a way to tighten the bell a bit ?

I realize my report won’t bring any new information about a bike you all know better than I do, but OK, I just wanted to write some positive comments about the Strida – it’s really changed my approach to urban transportation !

Bonjour Geo,

at Stridaforum!

Very impressive report, thank you very much!
It’s indeed nice to read how this “opportunity” and you became friends in a short time :smiley:

I’d not know how to tighten the original Strida bell, perhaps simply change to better quality (?)

Have a safe ride,


Hi again, and thanks for the welcome !

In addition to the small improvements I mentioned in my previous post, I’m trying to weigh the pros and cons of switching from 16’’ plastic to 18’’ aluminium wheels.
Has anyone done that?
I understand that would mean changing for a complete set of wheels including brake disks, and also new fenders and rear mudgard. Considering the price of spare parts (new), I would only do that if it improves the ride significantly. Unfortunately I know no Strida SX owner so I can’t test ride one (actually I have never seen any other Strida rider in Lille !)

Yes of yourse, several users switched to more stable wheels.
There are exactly two things which make the LT versions cheaper than the others - the plastic bottom bracket excenter and the plastic wheels - now you know.

18" wheels are much sturdier than the wobbly plastic LT wheels,
their disadvantage is less comfort (because matching tyres are narrower) and there is not much tyre choice available in size 355.

Not mandatory as long as your brake rotors and freewheel are in good condition.
(But you need some tools and should know a few tricks to mount/unmount these parts.)

Correct; 16" and 18" fenders have different sizes.

I’d say it does anyway because all the force you’re wasting now in
deforming of the plastic rims
can be used in future to propel you forward.

Regarding test rides:
At this map there can be found a least two Strida owners within 80 kms of your location,
three more at the area of Brussels,
perhaps you should try and ask Bill:

Thanks for your quick and enlightening reply !
Well, I certainly don’t want the little force I painstakingly muster to be wasted on deforming plastic wheels :laughing:
I’ll definitely consider changing those wheels, then. Great if I can re-use some of the old parts, since most are still in “as new” condition. I’ll check the relevant posts for technical information.

Last question, if I may : has anyone tested rear-view mirrors other than the model that can be found on offical webshops ? I just need a left one, but I don’t want it to get in the way when folding the bike.

Sorry - I found all the necessary answers and links by using the search field :wink:

Most likely were all relevant infos regarding wheel exchange already posted…crisscross at he forum…so it’s sometimes not that easy to find the desired - questions are always welcome :smiley:

There are a few traps to watch on the way to new wheels, to name a few:

  • The front rotor has to be centered manually while the wheel is laying flat.
  • Freewheels are generally hard to umount, even if new, and there is a special (cheap) tool required.
  • Highly recommended is a hook key to release/adjust belt tension.
  • There’s a high risk to overtighten the rear wheel bolt.
  • Brake pads must be checked/adjusted after wheel change.

Regarding mirror;
Safety is there any…mirrors
nothing to add here from my side unfortunately,
except this system from which I’ve heard recently in private from another Strida fellow :smiley:

MORE useful information, cheers :smiley:

No helmet for me - only when there’s some sort of engine involved… however old

Hi Geo,
So you are interested in 18" wheels? Chris emailed me because he helped me when I wanted smaller 16" wheels on my Strida. I already sent you private message but wanted to tell you also here that I could sell complete set wheels including Innova tires, tubes and fenders, all in good condition. I look forward to hear from you.

Original 18" wheels:

Updated 16" wheels:


Hi Markku,
many thanks for reacting :slight_smile:

Hi Geo,
I thought this is a funny coincidence :slight_smile:

What the hell is that???
(I thought to have an old motorcyle myself, but mine is just 33 years old - that is half of yours or what?)

Hi Markku,
Thanks for your messages, and great to see that the Strida community knows no border :slight_smile: Many thanks to Chris (again!!) for letting you know about my quest.
Well yes, I’m interested in a pair of 18" wheels and possibly fenders as well. I’ll send you a proper reply and pictures of the 16" wheels tomorrow. I left the office at 19h, rode the Strida straight back home, now it’s time for me to join the gang of old timer freaks and enjoy the pleasures of lazy Europe :wink:))
Have a nice eve and talk to you soon!

That’s a Terrot 350cc , side valves engine, from 1930. Giving me some hard times these days, but it will run perfectly soon!


That is a hardtail, it has hand-shifting and likely the clutch at the left foot I guess…never I’d be able to ride this - but what a wonderful piece of antique technics!

Thanks for her, even old ladies like compliments!
Left foot heel is actually for back brake (well, in theory) Clutch is left hand, and so are the manual advance timing lever and the exhaust valve lift lever (decompressor)
Right hand is kept busy with three levers : front break (just as theoretical as the back one), gas, and air. No rotating handle!
Right foot is useless, apart from its occasional use on the kick start pedal and… emergency braking :slight_smile: which just requires strong soles on both sides.
I’m lucky, this one’s got automatic oil feed… Which is best checked and adjusted with a rotating button on the oil pump… at toe level, right hand side :slight_smile:
Now back to my Friday eve pint :wink:

Many thanks for telling, that bike must be much more complicated to ride than I could ever imagine, wow.

May I ask; what do you do in need of replacement parts?
Guess there are small chances to find any and one has to improvise?

We’re slightly off topics, but since you ask :wink:
I made riding the thing sound worse than it is. You wouldn’t drive it like a young timer. Its max speed is 80 and I rarely get to reach that speed anyway.
As for levers, etc… once you’ve ridden it for a while it’s not that complicated. Our ancestors only had one brain, 4 limbs and 10 fingers, just like most of us do :slight_smile:
I came to that gradually, I first learnt on post war 2 stroke bikes such as this one :

Finding parts is getting increasingly difficult, especially pre—war, so it’s better to find a complete one that needs work instead of a partly restored one with missing bits (oil pumps for instance…)
Having said that, my 1930 Hst was the most popular model in a time when Terrot was the biggest manufacturer in Europe, so there are still many on the road.
Also, it’s all metal so almost every part can be rebuilt or recharged or fixed. It’s just a question of budget, hence the advantage of finding a complete one to start with.
And, as there’s a small market for those, some maintenance parts are rebuilt and sold new. Just not at you local dealer of course :wink:
Actually, unless you miss some key parts, I’d say it’s almost always possible to restore or maintain.
Unlike some Japanese bikes of the 70’s with very specific electronic or plastic parts which cannot be rebuilt.
You just need the right contacts for advise and know how. In that area of expertise too, discussion boards are so useful

Thanks very much for this excursion :smiley:

For other interested readers I’d recommend these image series; many of above mentioned details can be seen here:

One very nice HST, the other one is a bit of a mixed bag :smiley:

Anyway, back to the Strida. I had a nice email conversation with Markku and he was kind enough to send the pair of complete wheels and accessories in a record-breaking time. I can’t wait to test ride the 18" wheels version !
While I’m waiting for the delivery, I’ll have a look at how disassembly should be done now, I understand I might need to find some special tools.

Thanks again for your putting me in contact with Markku !

Thank you, great to read that you both could cooperate :smiley:

Well…regarding wheel exchange…there is in fact a document by MIng cyle existent…
it would help (me) if you refer to that first (and I’ll tell you what’s wrong later :imp: ):

Make yourself familiar with belt tension adjustment and the most important tool is a 60 mm Ø hook key for my meaning.
Please read page 21 “belt tension” of the manual and find the failure :smiling_imp:

You’re making it just too easy :wink:
Unless I’m mistaken, the eccentric mechanism is what tightens the belt. So the procedure just forgets to mention the special tool needed to rotate that eccentric mechanism after unlocking the little screw at the bottom. … is that what you mean?