Montague Allston bike preview: ‘Performance and portability in one package’

Montague Allston full-size folding bike

Montague Allston full-size folding bike;

Powered by article titled “Montague Allston bike preview: ‘Performance and portability in one package’” was written by Martin Love, for The Observer on Sunday 22nd April 2018 05.00 UTC

Montague Allston full-size folding bike
Price £1,999,
Frame Aluminium
Gears Shimano Alfine
Chain set Gates belt
Weight 13.6kg

Ready to carry: the Allston folded
Ready to carry: the Allston folded

For way too long, folding bikes – with their tiny wheels, ridiculously long seat posts and weird handlebars – have looked like something clowns should be riding in the circus. Now a bike builder in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has set about rescuing the collapsible bike’s reputation by creating this full-size folder. The Montague Allston is here to prove that good looks, great performance and portability can all exist in one tidy package.

Instead of dish-sized wheels, the Allston is equipped with full-sized road wheels that deliver a ride indistinguishable from other high-performance bikes. It doesn’t use a traditional derailleur and it doesn’t even have a chain, which can be noisy and oily. Instead there is a sealed internal gear hub for shifting and a carbon belt that requires no oil and will never rust, no matter how long this winter goes on. Wide tyres and hydraulic disc brakes mean it can master all that a pot-holed city street will throw at it.

When folded, the bike is just 36in wide, 28in high and 12in deep. It comes with its own travel case, ideal for the car boot, train or cupboard under the stairs. This means your Allston will never be stolen from outside your flat. This might just make it the ultimate city bike…

Be your own bike mechanic

Keep the wheels turning: download the Road Bike Manual app
Keep the wheels turning: download the Road Bike Manual app. Photograph: Getty Images

One of the great pleasures of being a cyclist is keeping your machine in peak working condition. Aside from cleaning and oiling, there are many servicing and maintenance jobs that you can do yourself – with the right guidance.

Now Haynes has teamed up with BikeRadar, the authority on bikes and cycling gear, to create the ultimate Road Bike Manual app. Based on Haynes’s bestselling bike manual, the app provides an authoritative and trusted voice when it comes to step-by-step maintenance. From the wheels to the cockpit, drive train, frame care and brakes, the app provides essential how-to information and advice. It’s packed with handy information and pointers, plus invaluable roadside fixes and it features instructional videos that provide advice on how to fix a bike when it all goes wrong, but the tools or parts required to fix the problem properly aren’t available. When it comes to roadside fixes, the app provides tips on how to fix chains, broken handlebars and an innovative last resort inner tube fix, plus much much more.

With over 30 years’ experience, Chaz Curry, who wrote the app’s content, said: “In producing this app, I was keen to convey the techniques and ‘trade craft’ that have taken me a lifteime to learn. Whilst most online content gives the user instructions on how to complete a project, they rarely highlight the finer points that allow you to complete the job efficiently and to a professional standard. By passing on this knowledge, I hope that the user will have the confidence to take on any of the tasks that I have covered in the app and come to enjoy fixing and maintaining their own bicycle themselves.”

Dave Clutterbuck, BikeRadar’s publishing director, added: “There is so much information available to today’s cyclist about bike repair and maintenance, but the quality and utility of this information varies massively. This makes it difficult for people to find the right advice for them. Teaming up with Haynes – a company that shares our heritage of world-class reader advice – has allowed us to create the best tool for cyclists, whatever their level of expertise.”

With new content being added every month, The Road Bike Manual App will be a continuously updated product all for one low price – meaning that never before has Haynes offered its content so inexpensively.

Available now for tablets and smartphones, The Road Bike Manual App can be downloaded for just £2.99 from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.

Cool kit

Precious cargo: the Urban Iki child’s bike seat
Precious cargo: the Urban Iki child’s bike seat

Safe, light and easy to use, these kids’ bike seats from Holland are a boon for parents. Urban Iki child cycle seat £54.99,

Email Martin at or follow him on Twitter @MartinLove166 © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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