Not very long ago, I had a chance to ride a Brompton folding cycle (foldie) owned by my brother-in-law. I could see how easy it was to carry, and even store in a small apartment, without any compromise in the ride quality.
About a year plus later I got my eyes on PPOF – a made in India brand! My good friend Ajit developed their website and it came up when we were discussing WooCommerce. Ajit is an avid cyclist and I had no hesitation after hearing his review and endorsement for it. Aaand in a few weeks I got my own PPOF Ace Green Foldie, and the joy of cycling in the morning!
Why a folding cycle?
Few years back my wife gifted me a wonderful cycle with lots of gears, and a heavy body. It became a topic for my mom to bash me since I did not use it enough due to two big deterrents. I finally gave away the cycle to someone who is hopefully making better use of it. The cycle went away but the desire to have a new one remained.
The first deterrent was carrying the long and heavy cycle three levels up and down through a narrow stairway. I would bump it to my neighbors’ doors at 5AM and even almost trip over the pedals while carrying it. Not the best way to start the day. Yes, my old apartment building does not have an elevator. Good for fitness, but terrible with a longer cycle.
The second deterrent was to remove it from a bathroom-turned-storeroom where my father stored it to keep my kids safe. Removing the cycle from there required skills of snake-in-the-monkey-shadow ninja, and getting stuck between an erstwhile bathroom and a washing machine with heavy metal. I did not want to play gridlock puzzle when I was all set to cycle!
With just about 12Kg in weight, and more importantly – a compact form factor after folding, the foldie was the best option to help me carry it very easily through the stairs. It looks pretty in my own room and appears sleek as a background in my Zoom calls :D.
Let’s get to the main reason of owning the cycle – The ride! In spite of having slightly smaller wheels and lighter weight, the PPOF Ace was extremely stable while riding. Even on the highest gear ratio, the pedaling felt effortless. The cycle has a 7 speed Shimano Altus gear that switches with a sound not more than a click, and very smoothly. Since it was a new cycle, the brakes were a bit squeaky, I had to tune it down a bit and it was all good.
“Why an expensive bike?”
At INR 26K, the bike is priced higher as compared to other non folding bikes available. (some of them Made in China). For a cycle that has a good alloy frame (vs steel frame), and with folding components, the cycle is much cheaper than Brompton (about INR 80K ?) and a few other counterparts in the foldie spectrum. I am expecting the cycle to deliver better since it was made in India keeping in mind the wonderful Indian road conditions, which has shown great improvements since man invented the wheel. But not qualifying as on-road for most foreign designs.
To a few of my friends I jokingly said – “The cycle is far more cheaper than an iPhone”. I am grateful to PPOF for bringing an affordable cycle matching the needs of an Urban Indian and the Indian roads and writing this post to keep reminding me to regularly exercise!