REVIEW: Allen Sports Atocha Folding Bike
There are three key questions when judging the functionality of a folding bike: how much does it weight, how small does it pack down to, and is it easily ridable? Weighing in at just 29 lbs, the Atocha isn’t the most radical lightweight bike, but it’s light enough to carry slung over your shoulder if need be. The Atocha packs down to 34in x 14in x 28in, and is small enough to pack in the trunk of a car or maneuver through a busy transit station, so it’s ready for a diverse set of use cases. As for ride-ability, the couple extra pounds were put to good use. The biggest problem with folding bikes is they either are too heavy to be portable in an effort to replicate the comfort of a full size bike, or they sacrifice too much size, becoming unridable messes with tiny wheels in an effort to pack down to the size of a scooter. The Atocha has neither problem, and is large enough to feel like you’re not missing much from a full-size bike, but still packs down small enough to be relatively portable.
Design and Aesthetic ★★★★★
The Atocha is an absolutely stunning bike visually. With it’s fiery red paint and silver accented black parts, the Atocha will likely overshadow any non-folding bike you own (at least aesthetically). With 18 speed shifters and premium disk breaks, the Atocha is chock-full of high quality parts. And the folding hinges. The Atocha packs down with two main hinge points, one on the main tube just above the crankset and pedals and the other at the base of the handlebars. These hinge points are locked down by folding boxes with high quality copper pins that hold the bike rigid when it’s unfolded. Also, when the bike is folded there is a locking pin that holds everything together, so the Atocha won’t unfold when packed unless you want it to.
Alloy forks and frame make the Atocha a lightweight beast. I had no issues riding it in a mostly urban environment, but was able to handle the handful of off-road situations I threw at it. After longterm use, the folding mechanisms have also stayed strong and there is no sign that normal wear and tear will degrade this bike’s performance.
$1099 is decidedly not cheap for a folding bike, but it’s not outrageous either. Considering the quality of the parts and the durability of the folding boxes, this is a fair price, even if it’s not exactly a steal.
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