Here at NYCeWheels we love our Brompton, Dahon and Tern folding bikes. Their small wheels and multiple-hinge approach to folding make them super compact and handy for taking on subways, trains and even airplanes. But for many, a small-wheeled folder will never match the smooth ride and sturdy feel of a good full-sized conventional bike.
A Boston-based manufacturer of full-sized bicycles in a variety of styles, from around-town hybrids to full-on mountain bikes, Montague takes pains to thoughtfully design their offerings in the folding bike arena. Yes, despite being full sized bikes, and without losing any of the abilities and advantages thereof, Montague bikes are convincingly useful folders. Perhaps best of all, these bikes aren't priced particularly differently from comparable non-folding bikes. The result is a selection of extremely desirable and affordable full size bikes that happen to fold easily.
The Crosstown is Montague's entry level city bike, and it performs impressively well as the workhorse of the line. Built around the company's trademark double top tube design, the Crosstown sports gracefully sloping lines and an attractive silver and black paint job. High quality aluminum tubing keeps the bike light but strong, while SRAM and Shimano equipment makes shifting and braking smooth and easy.
One of the most attractive attributes of the Montague Crosstown is its Octagon adjustable height stem. Using a solidly constructed quick-release system, you can change the height of the Crosstown's handlebars on the fly. The Octagon system features pretty fine increments, which allows the rider to dial in the exact riding posture they want, from nearly completely upright cruiser-style to a low-riding messenger bike kind of feel. This also makes the Crosstown an ideal family bike, as the bike can be adjusted to comfortably fit riders at a variety of different heights.
The ride quality of the Crosstown folding bike is superb given its entry level price and folding ability. Dodging through traffic and cruising down riverside bike paths feels no different than it might on your favorite hybrid Trek or Cannondale. In contrast to most other folding bike designs, the folding aspect of the Crosstown tends to just fade from consciousness until it is needed. At that point, popping off the front wheel at the flick of a quick release lever, and compressing the mechanism on the top tube to release the hinge in the center of the frame is simple and easy. In fact, the folding mechanism on Montague bikes is probably the most straightforward in the shop.
When folded, a Velcro dongle keeps the frame and wheels in an easily toted bundle. Alternatively, one can transport the front wheel and the rest of the bike separately, allowing for a plethora of storage options. In its compacted state, the bike takes up perhaps half the space that it would when unfolded. So while perhaps not ideal for breaking down to hop a quick subway ride, the Crosstown's fold is more than adequate for storing in closets, chucking in the trunk of a small sedan (thus avoiding the need for an external, bulky bike rack), or even inter-state train rides. Because of the layout of the Crosstown frame's geometry, folding the bike down can make it easier to safely lock in a variety of contexts. By lining up both wheels and the small frame triangle, it is even possible to secure all the parts using a single medium sized chain lock!
The Crosstown is the epitome of a versatile city bike. Aesthetically pleasing without being ostentatious or thief-enticing, with plenty of rack attachment points and a strong enough build to haul everything from your weekly groceries to a full picnic for two, or even a change of clothes and a tent for an overnight getaway, almost anyone will find the Crosstown quickly and easily filling the folding bike-shaped hole in their lives. Check out the Montague Crosstown today and discover the last folding bike you'll ever need.