There are plenty of folding bikes on the market these days, most of which can be collapsed into a small package thanks to a hinge somewhere between the head and seat tubes.
Bigfish take a different approach, with a one-piece front triangle and the fold achieved via a patented hinged fork and rear triangle, similar to those on Mezzo's folders. (Watch the video below to see this in action.)
Quick-release fastenings are used throughout, so no tools are needed, and Bigfish say the bike can be folded in just 10 seconds. Once collapsed, it can be wheeled along as well as lifted.
The folded package may not be quite as small as some others on the market, but the rigid front triangle and more conventional geometry of the Bigfish mean that many of the components are standard-sized, rather than made-to-fit, so upgrading or replacing kit should be simple.
The design has further benefits, according to Bigfish's marketing manager Robert Logie. "There's no hinge in the front, so no weak point or break [in the tubing], and this gives you a more sturdy ride," he told BikeRadar. "I've heard of some folders that have collapsed while the owner's been cycling; this is a more rugged system.
"It's really fun to ride, and the fold is very quick and easy to do," he added. "And the Bigfish has quite unusual, almost retro, looks!" The bikes are designed in Slovenia and made in Italy, and were introduced in the UK and US last year.
They're available in five colours – black, orange, pink and gold – from www.bigfishbike.com or Shedborn Bikes in Essex. RRP is £549/US$599. Plans are in the pipeline for a new, cheaper model with a slightly different design, which should be available later this year.