Let’s be honest. CHANGE bikes with 27.5″ wheels have been a long time coming. I personally know of at least three Flatbike customers who have already made the upgrade themselves, swapping out 26″ wheels for 27.5″ on frames that were designed for the smaller size.
So why couldn’t we offer that to everyone standard? Because it’s a really tight fit. No room for fenders. And the change in frame size is also an opportunity to upgrade other aspects of the bike, making it better than ever…
Upgrading the CHANGE foldable mountain bike.
CHANGE 612 in 26″, make way for the CHANGE 812 in 27.5″.
At first glance, this is the same popular MTB model, available in two colors that aren’t black: Pine Green shown above, and Arctic Blue, as shown in the frame below. This bike is so new that no known photos of the 812 exist yet in Arctic Blue, but it’s an option.
The new MTB frames also underwent extensive testing, and are the first folding bikes in the world to pass the ISO 4210 standard for MTB safety.
The manufacturer also heard your request to move from a triple to a double crank.
Why is this a consideration with mountain bikes? Because when you’re on a serious technical trail with a triple crank, you may find yourself having to change both derailleurs simultaneously to stay in the optimum chain line for efficient riding. You can perfect that skill or…just drop a chain ring so you spend less time double-shifting.
Here’s the gearing difference. The CHANGE 612 pairs a 42/32/24 triple crank with a an 11-36 sprocket range. The new CHANGE 812 pairs a 38/24 double crank with an 11-42 sprocket range. So while you’ll no longer have a gear ratio of nearly 4:1 (4 wheel revolutions per crank revolution) at the high end, your lowest gear ratio just improved from a 0.67 to a beastly 0.57, getting you up even the steepest grades. After all, this is a mountain bike, right?
Finally, Flatbike has requested that all bikes be shipped to our shop with no pedals, so we can add the 2nd-generation pop-off pedals ourselves for the best possible experience.
Some quick notes about the CHANGE 811 rugged hybrid.
The CHANGE 811 has undergone less change from the 611, still available in black with a triple crank.
But the increase in wheel size has made it an even smoother ride on rough roads, and a slight increase in lower sprocket size makes hills even easier, without giving up any speed on the flats and downhills. Plus, internal routing leaves less cable exposed to the elements. And, of course, you get the Flatbike-added 2nd-generation pop-off pedals.
Consequences of a 27.5″ wheel.
The intent with a 27.5″ wheel is to smooth out the bounces on a rough trail, for a more efficient ride. And replacement tires and tubes in 27.5″ are easier to find than 26″ the US and getting more popular worldwide.
That said, 27.5″ is obviously 1.5″ wider in diameter than a 26″ wheel. A frame to accommodate the larger diameter is also larger. How much larger? We can’t say for certain until we’ve got one in the shop. The manufacturer says that the frame weighs only 3.5 ounces more, but we’ll be collecting our own weight and size measurements. We don’t expect the folded width and height to increase by more than an inch over the 26″-wheel bikes.
Finally…and you just know it’s going to happen…someone is going to ask if these new 27.5″-capable frames can be upgraded with a 29″ wheel. Your chances are better than with the old frame, but we have no clue until the new bikes are in.
So…when can I get one?
The new bikes are entering production now. Changebike estimates delivery in late May.
We’ve already built out the Flatbike ordering pages for these bikes, with additional details on the Changebike website:
We’ve requested 40 of the new bikes in all sizes and colors, but with just five bikes of each combo, the initial order could go fast. If you already have an interest in one of these two models, then let us know ASAP, while we can still bump up the order before it ships.
Happy riding…on 27.5″ wheels!
Biking made easier.