Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Folding Military Bike is Born !

In 2009 when I came home for Chinese New year from Timor Leste i was seated beside a SAF Major who was on UN duties in Timor Leste. This guy competes in marathons and triathlons so when the subject of bicycle came up I told him I use a folding bike in Timor Leste. He told me there is a folding bike that is specifically designed for the US forces...the Montague paratrooper. I did  alot of googling and after three long years I finally saved enough money to buy a Montague Paratrooper frame through the Internet.. they sell the complete bike in Malaysia but I wanted BETTER components as I wanted to take this bike for touring. On top of that I have a friend Mr Ong in Kemaman who owns a bicycle shop and he will get the items that I need at no extra charge. i took this opportunity to ask him to guide me through the entire assembly process so that I can do repairs on my own when I am in Timbaktu later on!
We started with the fork. the original fork has a suspension system but for the time being I do not need a suspension so a straight fork will do. That saves me more than a kilo in weight.The brand chosen for me is Azonic and it is quite light. The spacer rings are fitted into the fork. that requires a bit of hammering through a pipe.

Mr Ong here having a careful examination of the frame

The fork is then fitted into the frame and bearings are then fitted both on top and bottom. a generous amount of grease is applied.

The shop has all types of components so it was an easy job..... just pick the best that is within my budget

Then the transmission is fitted. this is a very critical component and I selected the Shimano Acera 27 speed mountain bike gear set. it cost me a bomb!

The rear gear set is next fitted.

For this bike I have decided to use hydraulic disc brakes and had selected the Trek hydraulic brake set

The bike is almost ready after two hours . I had left Mr ong and his men to fine tune the bike

No problem on folding the bike . It goes into my campervan quite easily

To unfold it takes less than a minute!

I took the bike out for a normal circuit (38 km) and found it was a joy to ride (of course...with all the shinning gears!). The bike now stays in my stable of bikes at the back of the house.

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