New vintage Strida owner

Hi,

I’m Axel from Zurich, Switzerland, and I just joined the forum.

I must admit that when I first saw a Strida a few years ago, I thought that it’s an A-Bike by Sir Clive Sinclair—until I learned that the A-Bike looks less symmetric, less like a capital A and has way smaller wheels. :slight_smile:

Recently, while actually looking for some other cycles on a local classified site, I stumbled upon a Strida with not much information except that it has been serviced recently.

I looked through some forum posts here and based on the pictures in the classified ad, I quickly found out that it’s clearly a Mk1. I also learned about which parts are most often broken with a Mk1, especially the ball joint, the lower steering joint and the coaster brakes. And yes, I also learned that the Mk1 is not recommended for beginners. :sunglasses: Then again, I do have a soft spot for non-standard cycles from previous millennium: I already have two recumbents from the '90s and one from the early 2000s. And I’m a regular at the SPEZI fair. Call me a collector if you want, although I do ride most of my cycles at least occasionally.

So I went there and had a look. All the aforementioned parts looked good. It though was a rather wobbly ride, especially the bottom bracket (or probably the whole bottom tube) is weeping when pedalling. (Is that normal? Maybe a worn out bottom steering joint?)

The previous owner said that his mechanic replaced all brake Bowden wires as well as the brake levers. The levers are now from some Shimano Deore series (no idea which subseries, though) and they indeed look rather unused—no scratches at all. The coaster brakes work, albeit I wouldn’t do a downhill race with them. I also suspect that the saddle is not original, as it looks rather new, too. It has a Selle Royal logo on it. Hence another question: Did the Mk1 come with Selle Royal saddles?

I also noticed that its serial number is 23758, so I knew it’s probably one of those Strida Mk1 which were manufactured in Portugal. (Like my 1989 2CV—even at about the same time. :slight_smile:)

So in the end I bought it nevertheless for a bit less than offered online and just a bit more than what the previous owner said that he paid the mechanic for the last big service. I posted some pictures of it in the Fediverse.

At home I tried going up a slight incline and it started doing cracking noises from below. Not sure where, though. Is that normal? And is that weeping bottom bracket normal, too?

Back home I noticed a loose Allen screw in the rear axle on the bottom tube side. I tried to fasten it, but it seems to run over even when tightening with not too much force. So I hope it’s just the screw, not the thread. :grimacing: But the weeping bottom bracket didn’t go away with that screw slightly fastened. According to the Strida Mk1 Manual, page 39, it’s the screw attaching the bottom tube to the rear assembly. Also the bottom tube immediately falls down if I don’t hold it. According to the manual this should have more friction. So this all points somehow to that screw. Am I right with this analysis?

I also noticed that even the chainring is made from plastic. So I wonder if that one made the noises when going uphill. (… beside the less frightening noises coming from the plastic saddle mount.) Then again, the chainring looks undamaged, though, actually even rather good. So maybe the cracking noises under load come from the freewheeling inside the bottom bracket?

Another question that came to my mind: Does someone known in which year the switch from Acton Engineering in Nottingham to Casa Hipolito in Portugal happened? It was mentioned in the posting “Old stuff about the past generations of Strida” in this forum.

Asking, because I wonder which year of construction my Strida actually has, given hat it has the serial of 23,758. (I assume that’s clearly above 20,000 and no more counts as “to about 20,000” and hence suspect that it’s rather early '90s than late '80s model.)

(Disclaimer: My daily driver is a 2015 Brompton and I also still have and use my old 2007 Brompton as a winter bike and backup daily driver. I bought the Strida mostly out of the curiosity to try out (and admittedly also to own) a more exotic folding bicycle. I do not plan to replace my two Bromptons, at least not yet. I’m though curious to compare my wobbly Mk1 with how a modern Strida rides. I’m currently just not willing to pay a four-digit number for that. Perhaps next SPEZI I’ll again see a Strida and can ask the owner for a test ride. Maybe I’ll then invest a bit more money, who knows. :innocent:)

1 Like

Grüezi Axel,

welcome at Stridaforum :smiley:

Many thanks for your interesting and congenial message!

In advance, I’d like to tell you that I do not own Strida bikes older than the 5.0 version - that means all the following is not first hand experience and there will be also some speculation in it.

Unfortunately I’m not familiar with the old bottom steering joint, but I do not think that’s normal. I guess this part will be worn out, but I mean you could check that later.
Here’s the replacement btw: grabcad/strida-mk1-front-joint-bush-1

I really do not think so.

This is in my opinion the typical sign of a rear hinge issue!
(The more load on the pedals - the more crackling sound.)

That should be fixed as soon as possible, of course you’re right.
Could you please upload a close-up of that bolt?

Yes, that is also possible. But it is a very challenging task to replace that freewheel.

I think we will be able to verify that, a bit patience please.

You lucky one…nowadays you have just about 50 km to reach the Spezi…for me it is an about 750 km travel…
Last weekend I was in Friedrichshafen to meet an old friend from the Netherlands…primary target was to meet again after years - but the secondary target was his wish to ride my efneo Strida…

Kind regards,

Chris

1 Like