If you require a bike that can fold but are seeking something with real performance then there are already a few options out there. Brompton, for example, has a lightweight part-titanium version of its classic folder. Then there’s Taiwanese brand Tern with its Verge X18 folder with its drop handlebar and deep-dish aero rims. Still, none of these bikes come close to what we have here – the Lios Nano.
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Designed and developed in the UK, all versions of the Nano get a carbon frame and fork with disc braking and a belt drive transmissions as standard. The lightest of three available specifications even comes in at sub 8kg (17.6lb). As you probably suspected, entry to the Nano range is for those with deep pockets only as pricing starts at £3,250 (international pricing TBC).
A quick-release central folding point at the frame plus a separating steering column mean that the Lios Nano folds down to a fraction of its size in only a few seconds. In folded form the Lios isn’t quite as compact as a Brompton but easily matches most other competition.
Shimano SLX hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors take up an almost comical amount of space at the centre of each small wheel to provide all-weather stopping power that’s exceptional in this segment. Nano frames are available in one size only and with each version getting an identical carbon handlebar and seatpost.
The Lios is offered in two main spec choices plus a spendy limited edition model. The lowest priced is the £3,250 Nano Superlite, which gets a singlespeed transmission and rolls on deep section 18in carbon aero hoops. It comes in at a claimed 8.2kg(18.1lbs).
Next up there’s the Nano Performance, which gets larger 20in carbon wheels and an Alfine Di2 8-speed electronic hub gear. At 9.2kg (20.2lbs) it's a kilogram heavier than the singlespeed version.
Lastly there’s the £5,000 limited edition Nano ‘Monaco’ edition, which can be considered a no-expense spared version of the Nano Superlite. Among other upgrades, a switch to Rotor’s 3D crankset, Shimano’s top-end XTR brakes and carbon DT Swiss hubs takes the all-black folder down to just 7.9kg (17.4lbs).
The Lios Nano is definitely targeting a tight niche but for those who want a genuinely fast folder then it could be the best choice out there.