Well, THAT took a while.
We first posted about the Flatbike Century–the fold-away road bike designed for comfortable 100-mile rides–in May of 2019. I even rode an early prototype in the NY Five Boro Tour. But still, nobody could order it for the next nine months.
This recent announcement changes all that:
If you’ve been waiting impatiently for this moment, the Century is orderable right now.
If you’re still thinking about it, or maybe just came across the fold-away road bike concept, here are some great resources:
- The Flatbike Century info page.
- The Flatbike Century in action on YouTube.
- A chance to win your own Flatbike Century on Instagram or Facebook.
We’ll also have a Flatbike booth by the demo track at the 2020 Seattle Bike & Outdoor Show.
So … what took so long?
1. Form Factor.
We knew up front that delivering drop bars on something that folds but isn’t floppy or bendy–e.g., won’t flex uncontrollably on climbs and steep downhills–is really hard to do. It’s more than just doing this:
Even with the flex issue removed, the frame needs to be reliable enough to withstand any hard riding stress.
So we found a way to overcome the folding problems that everyone else had run into, by combining a ruggedness-certified Changebike fold-away frame with a THINstem folding stem.
2. Component Quality.
It’s easy to get any cheap carbon fork supplier off the Internet. But we needed someone that was serious about reliability–someone offering ISO-4210 certified rugged forks that had been through impressive testing like this…
We also were strong advocates of Shimano 105 gearing, and needed to take the time to evaluate other Shimano components and quality to become a Shimano manufacturer.
Over a two-month period, our Flatbike Century early adopters gave us super-valuable feedback about the fine-tuned aspects of this bike, from shipping configuration to cable and brake shoe selection.
Put it all together, and you’re really got something–a bicycle that looks and feels like a sporty road bike, yet folds two different ways, for convenient storage or transport.
How can we make your road biking experience better? Do you have thoughts about the Flatbike Century? Critical feedback welcomed. (We’re still listening).