FAQ

Why a CHANGE bike?

HOW IS THIS BIKE DIFFERENT FROM OTHER FOLDING BIKES?

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 regular riding, the weight, wobble, and effort of pedaling a bike without enough gears gets old fast.

CHANGE bike frames are a variation on the time-tested diamond frames—strong, lightweight, and optimized for riding. CHANGE bike frames are also the only folding bikes in the world with an international certification for ruggedness and reliability (EN14766).

HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER FULL-SIZE BIKES?

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 26″ wheels, brakes, gearing, and index shifting componentry are reliability certification 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.

WHY DOES IT MATTER IF MY BIKE FOLDS IN HALF?

A flexible bike opens your life to a world of new flexiblity. Rent an Über and take your bikes someplace exciting without a bike rack. Keep your bike safely in the dorm or apartment without it getting in the way. Put your bike in a friend’s trunk after work and go out for drinks with coworkers. Trade in your big carry-my-bike vehicle for something with better gas mileage. Go mountain bike riding all day and then store your mountain bike theft-free in the trunk while you’re at the hotel overnight. What would you do with more flexibility?

DID YOU INVENT THIS BIKE?

No, this invention comes from Changebike Ltd in Taiwan, where many of the world’s best components and frames are manufactured. It has been available in Asia and the UK since 2010; Flatbike Inc has been the North American retailer for CHANGE frames and accessories since 2016.

IS ANYONE ELSE SELLING FULL-SIZED FOLDING BIKES?

Full-size mountain bikes are a relatively new category that until recently was owned by Montague, which started with government contracts in the 1980’s and today offers a full range of full-size folding bikes that all weigh more than CHANGE bikes—even at the high end (3-4 pounds heavier). CHANGE bikes are also more more rugged, as proven by their EN-14766 international mountain bike certification that Montague has not yet passed.

DOES RELIABILITY CERTIFICATION REALLY MATTER?

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!

Usage

HOW HEAVY IS A CHANGE BIKE? CAN I CLIMB STEEP HILLS?

CHANGE bikes range from 23 to 29 pounds, combined with 20-27 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.)

IS THERE A WEIGHT LIMIT?

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.

The industry-standard 700c and 26″ wheels—particularly the rear wheel–have the same weight limits as any other bike in the market with these sizes of wheels: These range from 265 pounds for the 700C wheels to over 300 pounds for the mountain bike wheels.

As part of the only folding bike ruggedness certification, the patented CHANGE folding frame has been tested with the application of 270 pounds of vertical and horizontal force…50,000 times! It can handle your weight…

CAN I RIDE IT LONG DISTANCES?

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.)

CAN I JUMP A CHANGE BIKE?

The FOX Performance 32 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.)

CAN IT BE USED WITH ACCESSORIES, LIKE RACKS AND FENDERS?

Absolutely. CHANGE bike offers a full range of accessories for your model of bike, including racks, fenders, heavy-duty kickstands, and carbon bottle cages.

Folding

HOW SMALL WILL THIS BIKE FOLD, AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

CHANGE bikes fold in half in seconds, with just two cam levers. Removing the quick-release front wheel and the pop-off pedals, and the bike folds down to just 35″ x 30″ x 10″ in less than a minute.

DOES IT COME WITH A CASE?

CHANGE bikes come with a heavy-duty fabric 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 10″ heavy-duty shipping box can be reused for shipping at less than the cost of shipping a non-folding bike, and there is also a hard case of approximately the same size.

CAN I CHECK IT AS ORDINARY BAGGAGE ON AN AIRPLANE?

Oversize baggage regulations on different airlines are various and fluid, but one emerging standard is the concept of 62 linear inches (length + width + height). At 85 inches, a CHANGE bike is well over that.

In fact, two 700C wheels alone, side-by-side with no frame, would be 27 + 27 + 10 or 64 inches, demonstrating that this is an impossible challenge for a full-size folding bike. Flatbike recommends shipping as oversize baggage, or even better, using a specialized bike shipping service such as shipbikes.com or bikeflights.com, which can ship your bike coast-to-coast for under $50 and have it deliver on your arrival day.

Ordering

DO YOU HAVE A SHOWROOM WHERE I CAN SEE THESE?

We do not, but routinely travel to bike shows on both coasts.

We do have a shipping office in Washington State that keeps demos of all models in stock. 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.
12700 NE 124th Street
Kirkland, WA 98034

CAN I RIDE IT BEFORE I BUY IT?

To keep costs low, Flatbike typically sells direct to customers, without any dealers. This means that, outside of special events, CHANGE bikes aren’t routinely available for test riding. However, they ship for free, with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you read the sizing chart, order a bike and it doesn’t ride the way you expected, simply return it for a full refund.

DO I NEED TO ORDER PEDALS WITH MY BIKE?

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.

CAN I BUY JUST THE FRAME?

Yes. Flatbike carries both MTN bike and road bike frames, in all four sizes.

IS THERE A WARRANTY ON THIS?

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.

WHAT OTHER GUARANTEES ARE THERE?

Flatbike performs a 14-point quality check upon each imported bike before sending it out. And when it does go out, that’s with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If your new CHANGE bike isn’t what you expected, send it back for a full refund within 30 days after you received it.

HOW LONG AFTER ORDERING WILL MY BIKE TAKE TO GET HERE?

Bikes usually ship (for free) the day after your order, and shipping usually takes 5 business days cross-country . Any items with a backlog will be listed as such on the website, but travel dates that may affect order fulfillment are not listed. If you have a tight deadline for delivery, just contact us so we can make sure your needs are met.

DO I HAVE TO ORDER CHANGE BIKES FROM FLATBIKE?

You can order bikes either form Flatbike or the manufacturer, Changebike Ltd. Both ship worldwide. In the US and Canada, Flatbike is definitely cheaper. In Asia, shipping from Changebike Ltd is probably cheaper.

All bikes shipped form Flatbike get a 14-point quality check before shipping.

WHAT FORMS OF PAYMENT ARE ACCEPTED?

Flatbike currently accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Paypal. We will evaluate other payment methods if there is sufficient demand for them.

WHAT IS YOUR RETURN POLICY?

Occasionally, a purchase doesn’t work out. Maybe you decide you need full suspension. 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 it arrives.

If you need to return it within the 30 day window, e-mail bob.forgrave@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.

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH CUSTOMER DATA?

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