How fast can a folder go?

It takes one mad stuntman, a Mezzo D9, a big gear and a airfield to find out...

Rob Jarman is probably slightly unhinged. Jarman is a professional film stuntman but before he started falling off things and setting himself on fire for a living he was a top mountain biker. Soooo, it makes sense that Rob tends to do rather silly things on bicycles. For instance, last year he became the first man to ride a mountain bike across a slackline and in 2006 he thought riding his mountain bike down a bobsleigh run would be fun! Now Rob has decided to see just how quickly he can go on a small-wheeled folder - and we decided to help him.

Rob is test rider for ATB Sales who distribute Mezzo, Wilier, Marin and Whyte bikes in the UK and the company has helped set him up with a  'special' Mezzo D9. Actually it's pretty much standard other than the dirty great 80-tooth chainring...and it still folds! Rob plans to take the bike to big hill, pedal like mad and ride as fast as possible – 70mph has been mentioned. To help his prep, a couple of weeks ago we took Rob to a secret location and put him through his paces.

In a move that you definitely, definitely musn't try at home we towed Rob – remember he is a trained stuntman and we were on an empty airfield – behind our camera car. (A bit like Dave Le Grys in 1986.) Once up to a rather reasonable speed, Rob let go and pedalled like mad. And how quick did he go? Well, that'd be telling but we will be bringing you the full story in an upcoming issue of Cycling Plus!

Rob Spedding

Editor-in-Chief, Cycling Plus, Cycling Plus Magazine
Editor-in-chief Rob has been pedalling Cycling Plus since 2007. His first proper road bikes were a Raleigh Sprint in the early 1980s and then a Trek 1000 in 1999. A former competitive runner, Rob has repeatedly threatened to become a competitive cyclist in every discipline from time-trailling to hill climbing to bike polo. We're still waiting.
  • Discipline: Road. Mainly commuting but with the occasional mountainous sportive that he'll complain about/fail to complete. Enjoys cake stops. Will never, ever do another triathlon after a bad experience in open water.
  • Preferred Terrain: Gently undulated roads – he's more of a rouleur. Likes gravel.
  • Current Bikes: BMC Alpenchallenge, Viner Perfecta, BMC Granfondo GF0, anything shiny that Warren Rossiter will allow him to ride
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Specialissima, Raleigh Banana
  • Beer of Choice: Innis and Gunn Original
  • Location: Bath, UK
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