By Brian Laffoley
One of the bikes which doesn't get much of a mention in the folding community is the Bickerton. For people on a budget (like me) then the Bickerton may be their first introduction to folding bikes.
I was looking for a solution for my commuting problems - 20 to 25 minute walks at either end of a short train journey. I wasn't sure if I would like a folding bikes and I didn't have a lot of spare cash - so the only option seemed to be a Bickerton. A Bickerton was advertised in the A to B small adds for 50 pounds. It was in a sorry state as it had left in a garden shed for a long time. However, being made of Aluminum there wasn't much rust!!
So the 'Bick' came home and I think that I must have tighten every nut and bolt on the bike. I started to commute on the bike. The 20-25min walks turned into 6 and 10 minute rides. So if you compare the Bickerton to walking then it is much quicker. However it is quite a different ride to a normal bike. If you pull on the handle bars then they will come back towards you - according to the manual this is how you are meant to ride the bike up hills ... mmmm. I think hill climbing must be the Bickertons worse feature. My advice? don't even think about tacking anything steeper than a one in ten!!
About year after I got my Bickerton, a friend at work that commutes in on the same train splashed out and bought a L3 Brompton. Comparing the Bickerton to the Brompton:
The reliability of the Bickerton was quite good. In a year's cycling the problems were, a few punctures, a loose crank and various rattles. The back tyre lasted about a year and the front is still going strong.
Most spares Parts are easy to come by via E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (web page http://www.broadstone.freeserve.co.uk)
After the Christmas break this year the 3 speed hub started playing up and wouldn't go into any gear. For a 50 pound bike I think that this is a terminal problem and so I have bought a second hand Dahon Speed 6 to replace the Bickerton.
The long term future for the Bickerton? - well does anyone want it? or I might convert it to a single speed bike and try putting a Dahon handlebar set on the front of it!! ...or convert it to a recumbent....or it'll end its days in the back of my shed!!
If you have a cycle for which we don't have a test report, please contact us with your views on it, so that we can include it in this section. We would of course also like to hear additional comments on equipment which has already been tested.
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Copyright (C)2002 Brian Laffoley
Last updated: 21 March 2002