The summer after my junior year in college, I biked from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco. Last summer, in France, I took a bike up Mount Ventoux, climbing mountain passes so steep that I’d almost rather forget. You could say I know from bikes. But I’ve never found the right ride for the city. I wish I were hard-core enough for the track bikes messengers ride (often without gearshifts or brakes), and rusty clunkers are far too heavy to cart up and down stairs every day. For the past few weeks, I’ve been testing Puma’s collapsible eight-gear Urban Mobility Biomega bike. Though its sneaker-brand provenance and Transformers gimmick hurt its curb cred, the bike won me over. At 35 pounds, it’s light, and it breaks down small enough to go on the LIRR without a permit. It’s the only collapsible bike I’ve ever seen with tires that are nearly full-size, which means the bike rides smooth and fast and doesn’t look like a toy. Its disc brakes work great, and the bike has a built-in cable lock, making it, Puma claims, unstealable: Cut the cable, and you critically disable the bike. Sure enough, I left it out overnight many times without incident. But if I owned the thing—it’s not cheap—I’d probably carry a Kryptonite chain.
Tested: Urban Mobility Biomega Bike by Puma
$1,600 at the Puma Store
521 Broadway, nr. Spring St.; 212-334-7861