Wednesday, January 7, 2009 8.00am
By Simon Withers, Cycling Plus
The D10 is the latest folding bike designed by former Marin mountain bike designer Jon Whyte. The folded package isn’t quite as small or as neat as Brompton’s but the ride is about as good as it gets for a 16in-wheeled bike. If you’re looking for a bike that you can chuck in your car boot or take on the train, then the D10 is worth taking for a test ride.
Ride & handling: Surprisingly nippy for a small-wheeler
On the road the D10 is really quite a nippy performer. As with any small wheeler there’s an element of twitchiness, certainly when you set off, but once you’re up and running the Mezzo is a neutral and conﬁdence-inspiring performer. The 32in bottom gear means you can tackle steepish hills, while the 82in top means you can reach a decent lick on the ﬂat.
Ease of folding: Takes seconds, thanks to comprehensive manual
Unlike other small-wheeled folders, the frame itself doesn’t fold – instead, everything else folds and hinges cleverly around it. While the folding mechanism doesn’t seem as natural or as intuitive as Brompton’s, once you get the hang of it you really can fold it in 20 seconds and unfold it in less than 10. Once folded, all of its parts click ﬁrmly into place.
Mezzo deserves praise for a comprehensive owner’s manual. It’s available, along with the handy instructional video of how to fold the bike, on the firm’s website.
Frame & equipment: Organic design with solid engineering
Like its predecessor the D9, the D10 comes with a 6061 aluminium main frame, but as well as gaining an extra gear and a small increase in gear range, the D10’s frame is now a more elegant – dare one say ‘organic’ – curved design.
True, its looks – with the stem effectively just above the front wheel – won’t appeal to everyone, but the engineering feels extremely solid. There’s no ﬂimsiness anywhere in the construction, and the mudguards are the toughest we’ve ever seen. Despite its sturdiness, its overall weight is still only 11kg.
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