How to Set Up a Serious Folding Commuter Bike

Recently one of my former students asked my advice on how to set up a folding commuter bike for daily, year-round use in Philadelphia. I had been inspired by a recent trip to Copenhagen to think about the ideal commuter bike, and so jumped at the chance to help her set it up. Here is the resulting rig. The modifications from a stock Xootr Swift folding commuter bike are as follows: Schwalbe Marathon tires. These tires have a Kevlar layer for puncture protection and a reflective side … [Continue reading...]

How did Copenhagen create a bicycling culture?

Karl taking part in the bicycle culture in Copenhagen

This month, I dropped my son off for a fall semester of study abroad in Copenhagen. One of the most striking features of the city is the bike culture. About half of Copenhagen's residents use a bicycle on any given day. This is remarkable because although Copenhagen is flat, is cold in winter, gets a lot of rain, has nasty winds, and is full of narrow streets. One might assume that the city has a very long history of bicycle use, going back to say the 1900s when bicycles first became widely … [Continue reading...]

Your Teen Might Envy You. We Built This Kick Scooter for Adults

Kick Scooter for Adults

When you think of kick scooters, what may very well come to mind is something that is geared more toward kids than adults - but that definitely isn’t the case this day and age. A kick can be used by someone of any age as a great means of transportation that not only provides a quicker way to get around town, but also allows for exercise in the process. Do you have a desire to get to and from in a more creative, fun, and unique way? A kick scooter for adults is sure to accomplish just … [Continue reading...]

Work in the City? Use a Commuter Folding Bike!

Work in the City?  Use a Commuter Folding Bike!

We all know that commuting to work can be a bit of a hassle, sitting in traffic day in and day out with nothing but red brake lights ahead of you. What could be more frustrating when merely trying to start (and end) your work day? By using a folding bike that’s well-suited to commuting as your main means of transportation to and from work, you’ll be eliminating the stress that driving your vehicle causes (and will also save your brakes and mileage!) Or, if you don’t have or utilize your car on a … [Continue reading...]

How to Fix a Folding Bike Chain

Polished Xootr Swift

First, let me note that there is actually nothing special about fixing a folding bike chain. It's the same as fixing a chain on any bike. As far as I know, there are few if any folding bicycles with special chains. Folding bike chain philosophy My philosophy is that you should replace your chain once per year. If you do that, it is highly unlikely you'll ever wear one out, or be left stranded on the side of the road with a broken chain. I like to change mine at the transition to daylight … [Continue reading...]

How Many Calories Are Burned Riding A Scooter?

How Many Calories Are Burned Riding A Scooter?

A calorie is a unit of energy. One calorie is the amount of energy (heat) required to raise the temperature of one cubic centimeter of water by one degree Celsius. Calories can also refer to the energy required to perform a certain amount of work. One calorie corresponds to the work required to lift a 1 kilogram mass a height of about half a meter (on planet earth). So will riding scooters burn calories? Note that a "food" calorie is actually a kilocalorie, a thousand calories. That's right: a … [Continue reading...]

It’s Daylight Savings Time. Did You Replace Your Chain?

You know that glorious feeling the first evening of Daylight Savings Time when you head home from the office on your bike? If you’re lucky there’s a little sun on your face and the temperature is well above freezing. That’s your cue to replace your chain (and your smoke detector batteries). On the Xootr Swift Folder bike, we recommend the KMC Z72. It’s totally bulletproof, easy to install, and very inexpensive. Note that you do need to match the chain type with the number of cogs in your rear … [Continue reading...]

Is Commuting By Kick Scooter Green Transportation?

Is Commuting By Kick Scooter Green Transportation?

On the face of it this seems like a stupid question. If you drag your butt out of a car and ride a kick scooter to work, you are most likely preventing the incremental use of fossil fuel to power your car. (Of course it's possible that you drive an electric vehicle that is charged by a solar panel. If that's your situation, then the analysis is not so obvious. But, I'm betting there aren't too many readers in that category.) Are kick scooters green transportation? To make the analysis … [Continue reading...]