Ex-Talking Heads front man, David Byrne, is an ardent advocate of the folding bike as a means of truly experiencing the world through which one travels. David’s favored foldie is the Brompton, but there’s other options available to the high-flying tourist. S&S Couplers are a popular method of retrofitting a regular bicycle to fit inside a bike bag, but Rob English, winner of the 2013 NAHBS Best In Show award, has developed what could be the ultimate foldie.
Sean Fine is an Oscar-winning director who is also a passionate cyclist. Rob had already built Sean one of his ‘Folding Road Concept’ frames when Sean’s cameraman, Pablo, decided he wanted one as well. Both Pablo and Sean are involved with the Cycle It Away charity and needed bikes that could handle light touring on dirt roads in Africa. The crux of the FRC is that the rear triangle can fold flat underneath the frame, allowing it to be packed into an airline check-able case.
Both bikes can be fitted with cyclocross tires, considerably wider than the 23C rubber seen here, although Schwalbe’s Durano S rubber doesn’t look out of place. Neither does the SRAM Force group set, for that matter, so as well as being able to be packed into a bag half it’s size, the FRC rides like a highly pedigreed filly. An ENVE carbon cyclocross disc fork takes the front load. It’s a real looker too: painted by Eric at Color Works in Eugene, Oregon, who worked his magic on the paint.
Rob is also a Eugene local. If you’re a high-flying tourist that needs an ultimate foldie, a Great Divide rider or an award-winning TT bike, drop him a line via the English Cycles website. Special thanks to Tina Buescher for the photos.