Frequently asked questions
WHO IS WHIPPET BICYCLE FOR?
For both bicycle enthusiasts and design enthusiasts - for people who love cycling, whether young or old, male or female.
WHAT IS IT DESIGNED FOR?
Whippet Bicycle is designed for fine riding on the roads. Its slim compact fold ensures that it can be easily stored when not in use, making it ideal for urban dwellers or anyone for whom space and security is a priority.
Why Slim ?
Our focus wasn't on achieving the most compact fold - for us it was always about having a really nice bicycle to ride, as well as providing an alternative slim storage solution for compact urban living (being only 190mm wide and at least 30% smaller in volume when folded). Our focus was therefore to give equal consideration to the design of both bicycle and slim storage modes.
IS IT EASY TO FOLD?
There are three key stages to the fold - we call them 'the Tilt', 'the Tuck' and 'the Tidy'. No tools are required and the in-line nature of the design means that the folding process can be quickly understood and learned. Folding and unfolding takes about a minute. Sure, it's not the fastest folder... but hey what's the rush really?
HOW EASY IS IT TO MOVE WHEN FOLDED?
Very! Lifting is hard work, so Whippet Bicycle was designed to be rolled along on its rear wheel when folded, using a unique wheel-along handle integrated at just the right balance point. We think rolling is always preferable to lifting and carrying. Being slim and almost symmetrical (from above) it's easy to wheel along in an upright mode - meaning it doesn't want to try and swing open and bash your shins when you carry it. Of course you can also lift it over obstacles, or up and down steps if you need to, using the folded down steerer tube as a handle.
HAS IT BEEN TESTED?
Our prototypes have been ridden for over 1500 miles to date - on short and long rides and in all weather conditions - with no major problems. From the very beginning Whippet Bicycle was designed with key bicycle industry standards very much in mind and our production models will be fully tested to ensure they comply and conform.
WHAT ABOUT RAIN AND MUD?
We have designed a custom clip-on front mudguard that bridges the whole of the down tube's gap, channeling water and dirt from the front wheel down and away from the rider. A matching rear guard will follow too.
CAN IT ACCOMMODATE LUGGAGE AND/OR FRAME RACKS?
There's no reason why not, and there are built-in fixing points and 'eyes' already waiting, so it's definitely something we'll be looking into soon.
IS IT ADJUSTABLE FOR DIFFERENT SIZED RIDERS?
Yes, both the saddle and the handlebar adjust in height. The saddle height adjusts between 900 and 1060mm while the handlebar height adjusts between 900 and 1050mm. The recommended rider height range is from 152 to 193cm (5' to 6' 4"), and with a low step over height of just 560mm it's really easy to get on or off the bicycle.
what about rider reach?
The reach (measured between the saddle and the handlebars) can also be significantly adjusted to suit each rider's preference, by using the wide range of standard seatpost and handlebar stem components already on the market.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN SIZE BETWEEN THE BICYCLE AND THE FOLDED BICYCLE?
The bicycle measures: height: 900-1060mm, length: 1540mm, width: 500mm. The folded bicycle measures: height: 885mm, length: 950mm, width: 190mm. In developing Whippet Bicycle we focused on slimness, with its effective volume reducing to under 30% of its original size.
WHAT IS THE FRAME MADE FROM?
For this launch model, custom Columbus oval 25CrMo4 tubing was commissioned, along with a selection of Reynolds 631 tubing for the chain stays and seat stays. Fillet brazing is by the renowned and respected UK framebuilder Lee Cooper.
HOW MUCH DOES IT WEIGH?
The CrMo steel version weighs 11.5kg.
WHAT TYRE SIZES CAN THE DESIGN ACCEPT?
Whippet Bicycle uses standard 406mm (20") tyres, of which there are a wide variety available to suit different riding preferences and weather conditions. The front wheel accommodates tyre sizes 406 x 23, 28 or 35mm widths, whilst the rear tyre can be wider if desired.
WHAT OTHER PARTS CAN BE FITTED?
Aside from a few key custom frame parts, Whippet Bicycle has been designed with typical industry standard sizes in mind, to accept a wide range of standard bicycle components (for example, wheels, chainset, gears, saddle, stem, handlebar, brakes etc).
IS THIS DESIGN NEW THEN?
The patent pending design is based on its unique approach to folding - which is based on in-line retraction (rather than traditional hinged folding principles).
PRICING & AVAILABILITY
How much will it cost?
Prices are to be confirmed, with a range of bicycles to suit various preferences and specifications (e.g. single speed, urban and premium versions). We anticipate a high quality mid-range model will be around £3000.
When will it be available?
We'll be taking pre-orders later this year, so sign up to our mailing list below to keep abreast of developments, and also if you want to be one of the first to order a Whippet Bicycle.