A Mountain Bike That Folds

a-mountain-bike-that-folds

The Paratrooper is a tough folding mountain bike from Montague which was designed for the military but is now available for anyone to purchase. It quickly folds tool-free and once this is done, what remains is a package compact enough to stow away in a small car’s trunk.

This full-sized, 24-speed model features a very robust aluminum frame and a lockable front suspension with 80mm of travel. It also has a built-in compass, steel double-cage pedals, and a frame which readily folds after the quick release of a single lever. The model is marketed as a proper mountain bike which just happens to be foldable, built to military standards but using commercially-available parts.

A Mountain Bike That Folds

Benefits

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  • Regular-sized mountain bike frame that folds when needed for better portability.
  • Stealthy rolling characteristics in keeping with that walking troops
  • Can serve as a wheeled carrier for transporting marching loads, lessening resupply needs
  • Daily 75-mile range with little adjustment needed.
  • The frame folds to 36x30 x12-inch dimensions in less than half a minute with no need of any tool.
  • Easy to stow for transport anywhere a bike can operate, the model is jump-rated.
  • Relatively low cost given its portability and low maintenance requirements.
  • Disk brakes all-around for robust braking in all conditions.
  • Industry-standard Shimano and Suntour derailleur and suspension parts which can be serviced most anywhere.

Design

  • Montague’s F-I-T seat tube technology retains the integrity and sturdiness of conventional frame structures without the need for hinged parts or sectioned tubes.
  • Deploying the bike is a tool-free procedure which can be done in half a minute. Only a single lever on the topmost tube needs to be released to fold the frame, while the front wheelset can be removed for a more compact, collapsed configuration.
  • The quick-release mechanism features a recessed drop which keeps the frame from inadvertently swinging out even if the lever is not fully tight.
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First Impression. Anyone trying out the Paratrooper for the first time will get the impression that it’s built to be tough before they even get to ride it. The idea was to actually deliver the capabilities of a standard mountain bike in a design that could be reconfigured into a more compact package suitable for stowing in tight spaces on regular vehicles.

With its front suspension and robust frame, the design lends itself to the kinds of trail riding which regular mountain bikes are good for. In this review, we look at the suitability of this model for regular urban situations such as riding to and within a transit station, being stowed on a train, getting deployed in the vicinity of a crowded station or venue.

Fold action. This mountain bike is built to be constantly packed and deployed over the course of its lifespan. Other foldable cycles can be collapsed into a smaller package or made to stand and to be wheeled around. But though these other designs tend to be smaller when packed, due to their smaller frames they don’t ride as comfortably or handle as well as this design. If you have a bit more storage and also want bring along the experience offered by a full-size mountain bike, then this model was designed for your needs in mind.

Frame and ride characteristics. Buyers will note that the frame is quite robust and well-built. It is designed to run stably when its pedals are cranked hard. It will track predictably along both flat ground and down steep slopes in urban areas and many types of wild terrain. The disc brakes are appropriately sized with a large operating margin to let the rider quickly yet predictably slow or stop on most surfaces and in many weather conditions. Although discs are standard fare on higher-end trail bikes, not all systems come specified to meet the performance level this bike is routinely capable of.

The big reason for the bike’s dynamic stability in most situations is its design’s emphasis on retaining a very rigid frame using solid materials and construction. Most folded designs employ hinges emplaced on the main tube, whereas this bike swings its rear wheel and frame segments about the seat tube. This works to distribute the running load through the main structural members of the bike’s frame. Flexes in the frame’s members are kept to a minimum when the rider is cranking really hard, which has the effect of wasting less energy. More pedaling power is transmitted through conventional drivetrains mounted on very rigid frames such as here.

Compact Configuration. Once in its fully collapsed form, the bike will fit into more car trunks and compartments than other full-sized alternatives. The reconfigured bike will slide into a car’s trunk or open backseat unlike normal models which are normally mounted and transported using bicycle racks. Once in compact form, it can be stored in vehicles with the storage space to fit large check-in luggage such an RV, a boat, or a passenger jet.

Thoughts

To be sure, Montague’s Paratrooper has a decent set of specs and offers the best ride of any easy-to-fold mountain bike. It may not reconfigure into the smallest package, but once folded it’s only half the dimensions of a regular commercial model, which is more than convenient enough for stowing and transporting it around.

For those who prioritize the riding qualities of a foldable bike over ultimate portability, this model should be on their shortlist.

About the author

Lisa

Hey there, I'm Lisa, founder and editor in chief here at Recreation Space. We found fitness through recreational activities. And we want to share it with you. We believe in empowering people with knowledge to make smarter, healthier choices in their lives.

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