Borrowing a tagline from a very successful Volkswagen Beetle campaign, we invite you to “think small.” It’s a motto that we live by here at PortaPedal Bike, ditching the thought that bigger is better. In fact, we exclusively specialize in small-wheeled folding and travel bikes. Despite the smaller size, these bikes are very comparable machines and can keep up, if not surpass their large wheel brethren. Here are a few reasons why we prefer to “think small.”
One of the most frequently asked questions we get here at the shop is about the 16″, 17”, and 20” wheels on our bikes, and if the compact size make the bikes go slower. Actually, small wheels offer superior and fast acceleration. They also lose less speed due to wind resistance. When fitted with high pressure tires, the actual rolling resistance is similar to that of large wheels. The smaller you are, the less the wind will slow you down! When you’re riding in an urban setting for example and need to stop frequently, you will appreciate fast acceleration. Because smaller wheels weigh less, they create a lower moment of inertia. As a result, they get up to speed quicker and climb better.
Small wheels create a more maneuverable bike. They have more responsive steering and give more tire compliance with the road surface because of their compact size, due to higher pressure per square inch on the ground. This superior maneuverability is especially helpful in tight turns and also on wet surfaces, perfect for riding around in a big city setting. A small-wheeled bike can turn sharper, stop faster, and handle better than a standard bike. The more responsive steering may take some getting used to at first, but then it becomes just plain fun to ride. Al says it’s the difference between driving your dad’s big Buick compared to driving a Mini Cooper. It’s a thrilling, sporty ride.
The small wheels on the bikes we sell make them easily storable and portable, and provide the most compact fold possible; you’ll want to take it with you everywhere! But don’t let their foldability fool you into thinking that these are just novelty bikes. Our customers have traveled all over the world with their bikes, and have ridden hundreds of miles per trip on them with no mechanical complications. They make for the perfect traveling companion, and you will find yourself wanting to integrate cycling into your everyday life.
Just like the Volkswagen Beetle, small wheel bikes are fast, fun, durable, athletic, light, and portable. They perform just as adequately as standard wheel bikes, are more easy to handle and store. You’ll literally want to take it with you everywhere. We believe that the compact, simplistic styling of this type of bike is ideal for this fast-paced modern world. It’s an opportunity to downsize and streamline your life without sacrificing quality.