Folding bike manufacturers Kansi were showing some 2014 prototypes at this year's Fisher Expo, with upgrades to their current range and a new crop of bigger-wheeled folding bikes.
The 2014 folders will have upgrades to the gearing system, with 2-, 3- and 8-speed options all on offer. The 2-speed version will use SRAM’s Automatix hub, which automatically selects the more appropriate of two gears based on the speed you’re travelling at. Meanwhile, the 8-speed bike will use the internal SRAM G8 hub.
Kansi have also been working on a better, more ergonomic hinge mechanism to ensure a stiffer and more comfortable experience on the bikes. Inter-locking positive/negative engagement plates should improve stiffness, while new levers are designed to fit hands better.
Kansi’s research suggests that the handlebar lever is most often undone with the left hand, so will be incorporating this finding into their designs. It’s this attention to detail that usually makes the company’s bikes work so well.
Other upgrades to the frames include stiffer forks, new rack mounts and kickstands, a range of stem lengths and a forged brace with better ergonomics to aid carrying. Kansi are also introducing interchangeable dropouts to enable users to swap between track ends and vertical dropouts.
The new forged brace (foreground)
Big-wheelers for 2014
Kansi will also be adding three new folding bikes to their collection in 2014, with big-wheeled folding bikes making an entrance. The range includes two 26in-wheeled bikes, one a ‘leisure’ MTB and the other a slick-tyred model with discs, and a rather rapid-looking, disc brake-equipped flat bar machine with 700c hoops.
An intricate folding mechanism based around the seat tube is designed to enable the bikes to fold down a lot smaller, making them ideal for urban living and train transport.
The innovative interlocking joint on one of the big-wheeled prototypes
Neat features are included, such as a double helix clip mechanism around the bottom bracket area. The idea of this is to keep your hand further away from the chainrings.