Many people in London have been affected by the disruption at Waterloo which has rippled around the whole South West trains network. The entire Chessington branch line is currently closed so there aren’t actually any trains running to my office at the moment!
This is where trying to commute to work by bike is a much more appealing option than a tram, then a train and finally a bus on traffic congested roads. If you have a long-ish commute then it might not be possible to ride the whole way, but a folding bike enables you to cycle a few miles and then still be allowed to hop on public transport during peak hours with your bike.
My parents have had Brompton folding bikes for about ten years, and I’ve always thought I would love one too but quite honestly, they are ridiculously expensive! Maybe one day, but right now I can’t justify that kind of outlay so the Decathlon B’Twin Tilt 500 was the perfect choice for me.
In actual fact over the last few months, I’ve fallen in love with ‘Fernando the Foldie’…
I’ve written about Decathlon products before – their running clothing, and the amazing number of sports they stock kit for all under one roof – but I’ve never tried their bikes. I suppose I was slightly sceptical to start with, with my other bikes being expensive Trek and Liv models, but the Tilt 500 is such a great bargain!
At £250 it has 7-gears, mudguards, a kickstand, and folds up into a pretty small package in about 30 seconds. It takes a little practice to perfect the fold/unfold process but after a few goes you’ll have it down, and will be able to speed into the station and onto that train in no time! Folding up so small means that it stores away in my flat really easily too, and while I’ve only ridden it in daylight (summer) so far, the bike actually comes with lights – white on the front and red on the back which I was really impressed with.
All of the accessories that are already included really do make it the perfect package just to hop on and cycle, and while the Tilt 500 might have small wheels, it’s surprisingly nippy! Some evenings I’ve been jumping on it to whizz the two miles over to my gym as it’s so handy to grab and go, and it gives me a little warm up too.
The only problem I’ve found so far is that it doesn’t fold up as small as a Brompton, and is a little unstable once folded. If you compare the two side-by-side the Brompton has a flat base when folded, and the Tilt 500 has a tendency to fall over so you have to make sure you have something to lean it against! It is also quite heavy (12.75kg), so if you had a long way to walk I would suggest wheeling it unfolded until the very last moment.
That being said, at a quarter of the cost of the leading folding bike brand I would 100% recommend my B’Twin!
Have you ever ridden a folding bike? Would you cycle commute to work?
NB: I was sent the B’Twin Tilt 500 to review but as always all opinions are my own.