My friend Maribeth recently picked up a Mobiky Genius folding bike and she let me try it out. The Mobiky Genius is a cute folding bicycle with tiny 12 inch tires that folds up very quickly and fairly compactly. Mobiky seems to market primarily to the general aviation and yachting crowd, who like folding bikes because they fit into the limited space available to their craft, but it has a number of sensible commuter features as well: it folds (obviously) for the multimodal commute and limited office space storage; the chainguard and fenders keep your trousers clean; a kickstand holds the bike up; and the bike and components are all sturdy and low maintenance materials and construction. Unlike the Strida, you can even wear a skirt or kilt on this bike with its ultra low frame.
The three second claim seems a little optimistic for a complete fold, but pushing the seatpost in then pulling up on the middle handle results in an very quick fold on the run, which can be handy when you’re running for the bus or train. You can then fumble with pushing the handlebar and saddle in on the telescoping posts and folding the pedals in after you’re on board. The handle works very well to tote the 13.5kg/30 lb weight of this bike. The kickstand is especially handy because it works to stand the bike in both folded and non-folding configurations!
The Mobiky Genius rides about like you’d expect a bike with 12″ wheels and short wheelbase to ride. The ride isn’t that good, but for short commutes the Mobiky does the job. The wide tires do a good job of absorbing bumps, and I can barely ride no-handed on the Genius but it takes some effort. Front and rear disc brakes adequately stop the bike. The bike chain is a little noisy — I don’t know if it’s the unique double-chain configuration that adds noise or something else. It’s not really annoying, just noticeable and I’m sure it you get used to it with time. It’s geared fairly low — on the flat area I rode in I was in the highest gear and wished I had something higher — but 3 speeds give you the options you need to ride on hilly terrain.
Mobiky is apparently changing some components — the US distributor’s website lists a Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub, but Maribeth’s bike came with SRAM’s 3 speed hub. The frame feels solid, and Mobiky claims riders up to 230 lbs can ride this bike. The handlebars and seatpost have a wide adjustment range to accommodate cyclists from 52 inches to 72 inches tall.
A 16″ wheel version is also supposed to be available Real Soon Now. I saw it at Interbike but didn’t get a chance to try that one out.
Overall, the Mobiky Genius is a reasonable folding bike with good components that folds quickly and compactly.
Larry at RideThisBike.com reviews the Mobiky Genius, and also makes the Mobiky Genius available for purchase from his online store for $699, which includes a carrying bag. Some of the above photos are from folding bike fan Ana Banana in Portugal. Click on the photos for more info and captions.