• No products in the cart.
View Cart
Subtotal: $0.00
  • No products in the cart.
View Cart
Subtotal: $0.00

Frequently Asked Questions

CHANGE full-size folding bikes

In our customers’ own words, it’s life-changing.

Freed from a car rack, any car is “the bike car”, even a taxi or Über.
You’re also freed from the challenges of transporting a bike-sized object. Enjoy spontaneous drinks after work with your bike in a trunk.
Concerns about your bike being stolen off a bike rack in the parking lot or on a car? Not anymore. Your bike lives inside between rides.
Those cool trails you see driving past? When your bike is in the trunk, you can spontaneously stop and ride them. That’s portable adventure.

First, a CHANGE bike is “normal sized”. Other folding bikes are optimized for folding, not riding. To fold down really small, they give up normal-sized wheels and the stability of a normal-sized frame. They may be zippy at low speeds for short distances; but for any distance riding, uphill riding, or downhill riding, the flex and small wheels make for an uncomfortable ride compared to a normal-sized bike.

Second, a CHANGE bike is way safer. Folding bikes typically have the front and back connected by a single bar that’s cut in half–and then held back together with 4 possible points of failure: a weld, a latch, a hinge, and another weld. Yowza! Compare that to a CHANGE bike with a standard triangle frame, and no cut top tube, where the frame holds itself together with meshed teeth. No wonder it’s the only folding bike to bass ISO-4210 destruction testing.

The more you treat your bike like a “normal bike”, especially a mountain bike, the more certification is important. Basically, you want the frame and entire bike to be overstressed enough in testing that it can handle whatever you throw at it without cracking or failing. That stress includes these intensive tests:

  1. Falling mass: Hold a 50 lb steel weight a yard above the frame and drop it.
  2. Falling frame: Load the frame with 176 lbs of mass and tip it over. Onto an anvil.
  3. Fatigue/pedals: Apply 270 lbs of pedaling force 100,000 times.
  4. Fatigue/horizontal: Apply 270 lbs of horizontal force 50,000 times. It’s like standing on a lying-down bike (if you’re heavy enough).
  5. Fatigue/vertical: Apply 270 lbs of vertical force to the frame 50,000 times. That’s a lot of jumps!

Just glancing at a CHANGE bike, it’s indistinguishable from a full-size bike—either the commuter model or the hardtail mountain bike. 700c or 27.5″ wheels, brakes, gearing, and index shifting are on a par with mid to high-end aluminum bikes. But these bikes also include an internationally patented latch that allows the bike to fold in half in seconds whenever you need the bike to fit in a smaller space.

 

No, this frame invention comes from Changebike Ltd in Taiwan, where many of the world’s best components and frames are manufactured. At Flatbike, in Washington State, we focus on designing and building great bikes on this frame, such as the Folding Gravel Bike, Folding Adventure Bike, and Folding Off-Road MTB.

 

Usage

CHANGE bikes range from 26 to 29 pounds, combined with 11-27 speeds of index-shifted gearing. This combination routinely makes difficult hills climbable and routinely climbable hills easy. (Our company president has climbed a 22.8% hill in West Seattle…sitting down, in fourth gear.)

Most folding bikes have a weight limit because the frame tube is cut and welded, or because of the small 20″ wheels. A CHANGE bike has neither of these limitations.

This makes any weight limits the same for a CHANGE bike as for other full-size bikes . . . and that comes from the wheels. Wheel manufacturers tend to be highly conservative about their weight limits, often just 265 to 300 lbs, but we know of a number of CHANGE-riding, long-haul truck drivers who are in the 350-400 lb range.

Yes. CHANGE bike use industry-standard wheels and tires with an industry-standard frame geometry. Ride your CHANGE bike as you would any bike of the same style. (Commuter or road bikes, with their narrower, more friction-free tires, are easier to ride long distances than mountain bikes with wide, knobby tires.)

The front shocks are there for a reason! Hit the bumps and jumps with a CHANGE bike as you would with any other hardtail mountain bike. (The only difference is when you don’t need a bike rack for the ride home.)

Absolutely. Here are some suggestions:

Fenders. SKS Speedrocker removable fenders.
Racks. Axiom Streamliner Disc, or any rack that airs well with disc brakes and has a double-rod attachment at the top.
Kickstand. Any chainstay-mounted kickstand using the 40mm standard.
Suspension seat posts. Any seat post with a 31.6mm diameter.

Folding

CHANGE bikes fold in half with just two cam levers in less than a minute. Remove the quick-release front wheel and the pop-off pedals, and the bike folds down to just 37″ x 30″ x 14″.

 

CHANGE bikes come with a heavy-duty nylon carrying case that allows your bike to ride in a car’s back seat without getting the seat dirty from tires or chain. It is also useful for clean indoor storage in a dorm or apartment.

The custom 35″ x 30″ x 14″ heavy-duty shipping box can be reused for shipping at less than the cost of shipping a non-folding bike.

Oversize baggage regulations on different airlines are various and fluid, but a common standard is the limit of 62 linear inches (length + width + height). For reference, a 27.5″ rear MTB wheel by itself would measure at 27.5″ + 27.5″ + 8″ = 63 inches, or oversized, with no bike.

At 85 inches, a CHANGE bike box is about the total size of the smallest bike shipping box, but with a lot less re-assembly.

Flatbike recommends choosing airlines carefully. On Alaska Airlines, for example, a CHANGE bike can travel oversize for just $40.

Ordering

Most of the models that Flatbike sells—the CHANGE Folding Adventure Bike, CHANGE Folding Gravel Bike, and CHANGE Folding Off-Road MTB—are unique Flatbike builds on the CHAGNE frame, available only form Flatbike.

The CHANGE 809 folding street MTB, designed and built by Changebike in Taiwan, is available either from Flatbike or directly from Changebike. All other Changebike builds are available only from Changebike.

 

 

Flatbike sells some standard Changebike-built models as well as other models designed and built by Flatbike. Changebike models are available from sources other than Flatbike, but without the Flatbike 16-point quality check. Flatbike-designed models are only from Flatbike.

Flatbike is located in Kirkland, Washington, where we build and ship all our bikes. We also have a few demo models on hand. If you are local and interested in riding one of these demo models, just contact us and arrange a no-obligation visit:

425-985-6219
bob.forgrave@flatbike.com

Flatbike, Inc.
11626 Slater Ave NE #9
Kirkland, WA 98034

Occasionally, a purchase doesn’t work out. Maybe you decided on a different model. Or the sizing isn’t quite right. Whatever the reason, you’re entitled to a risk-free, 30-day, money-back guarantee from the day your bike arrives.

If you need to return it within the 30 day window, e-mail customer_care@flatbike.com so we can send you a pre-paid return shipping label. We ask only two things:

  1. Know the date and place you intend to ship from.
  2. Package the bike for its return trip with the same care it was sent to you.

When the bike arrives back at Flatbike and we have checked it for damage, we will refund your credit card on the same day.

For the US, Flatbike offers free shipping, including Alaska and Hawaii and APO/FPO/DPO addresses. Following US internet tax guidelines, there is no tax outside of Washington State.

For Canada, we offer the same level of service as the US, but cannot add additional freebies. This means that we will ship even longer distances for free, but Customs and VAT will be additional charges that we do not control.

Over the years, Flatbike has shipped to five continents, including bikes from Abu Dhabi to the Marshall Islands.

Even so, international shipping can still be challenging. We ship to Canada for free, but can’t pay customs and VAT. And in other countries outside the US & Canada, the shipping is not free, plus there are customs and taxes as well.

To blunt the impact of this challenge, we often offer custom coupons to blunt the impact of international shipping. Just email customer_care@flatbike.com to ask for a quote for shipping costs to a specific country and postal code. If we can cut the rate with a coupon, we will.

At any time, we are likely to have 1-4 bikes in the queue. Some may be pre-built bikes that just need the Flatbike 16-point quality check. Others may be complete builds from the frame up.

We might start building your bike the next day, or we may start building in two weeks. If you have an urgent need, let us know at time of ordering, so we can juggle the queue accordingly.

The moment your bike ships, you will get an automatic notification.

All orders automatically get free notifications and tracking. You will get a confirmation of your order, then a confirmation of shipping with a tracking number.

Components typically ship USPS. Bikes typically ship FedEx. If any service is a particular problem in your area, please note that in the comments section of your order. And please . . . check your email address in your order, so these notifications get to you!

CHANGE bike offers a 1-year warranty on all components, and a 3-year warranty on the frame. Flatbike extends this frame warranty into a lifetime warranty.

 

No. We offer pop-off pedals separately for use with any bike, but pop-off pedals come standard with every CHANGE bike order.

NOTE: If you want the separate pedals also–maybe an additional set to allow SPD swapouts–then let us know with your order.

Yes. Flatbike carries The MTB frame, in all three sizes and three colors.

 

Flatbike currently accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Venmo, PayPal, PayPal Pay Later, and Afterpay. We will evaluate other payment methods if there is sufficient demand for them.

 

In short, we safeguard it against misuse. We’ve outlined exactly what this means in our Flatbike privacy policy.

Our goal is to provide an exceptional biking experience, from first order to daily riding and repeat orders. We can’t accomplish that by being difficult to work with.

If you need to cancel your order, just email customer_care@flatbike.com. If your order hasn’t gone out yet, it’s super-simple, and your refund is instantaneous. If your order is already enroute, then it’s more complicated and becomes a free-return situation with some mailing timelines involved.

Similarly, if your product has not arrived yet and you think it should have, email customer_care@flatbike.com, so we can either track down the shipment, or send a replacement, or cancel the order. (The worst resolution approach would be to simply cancel payment with the bank, introducing third-party timelines into the process.)

Scroll to top