If the idea of a folding bike immediately turns you off then these funky little commuter bikes from Nanoo may just change your mind.
First up a Nanoo looks really cool. If you want people to change their transport strategy, the alternatives you give them must look good and be appealing, especially if they are to work in an urban environment. The Nanoo certainly fits the bill.
NANOO bikes are aluminum folding bicycles which should help to keep the weight down – 12 Kg for the mechanical version and 16 Kg for the electric one – so whilst not lightweight they are not bad for commuters.
Once you get used to the folding action, you can fold them in 10 seconds. But the really clever bit is that once folded they are transportable on their own wheels, using one hand to steer via the bars which you can still hold at a comfortable height as you walk along the platform to your train, or down the street, or into your office, or wherever. This means that unlike other folding bikes, you don’t have to carry a Nanoo about, which is a fantastic idea. However, it’s still small enough to fit in your car boot or stand unobtrusively in a busy train carriage. It makes a Nanoo a very practical option for lots of people.
Unlike many folding bikes, the Nanoo retains the traditional diamond shape of a normal bicycle, which should endear it with the same inherent strength meaning that, in theory at least, you can do just about anything with it.
The Nanoo was designed in co-operation between Italy (Advance Mobility S.r.l) and Taiwan (the Jee Ann Bicycle Co Ltd). We have two bikes in to test. One has gone straight off to our resident Brompton afficinado, Ed Owen for a full review. The other was left with me for photos and to see what an enthusiast rider might think…
Immediate ride impressions are that it’s obviously different to riding a full sized bike. The steering, thanks to the small front wheel, is super quick giving the sensation of less stability, though of course, it’s no different to other bikes in this class. The aluminum 12” rims and wide sectioned tires are certainly comfortable.
Apparently the bike can handle people of different heights, from 140 cm to 200 cm, and carry a load of up to 110 Kg. The riding position is meant to allow a comfortable and relaxed posture presumably to avoid too much sweat.
The Nanoo is available in a range of wheel sizes and brake options, and in an electric version (which will sell for £1600) with pedal assisted technology that allow it to cover a distance of 30 Km. This will increase the appeal for many, as will a variety of colour options. There is also a sporty version with 14″ wheels, a double chainset upfront and an internal hub gear. There’s a handy range of accessories to go with the bike and increase its practicality, such as front and rear baskets. The retail prices are £599 for the FB12 and £699 for the FB14.
Apparently Nanoo bikes are really taking off with a few celebrities enjoying their flexibility. We certainly like Nanoo’s slogan -“NANOO…think a better life!” Let’s see if that’s the case. Full review coming soon…
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