Changebike vs. Montague Folding Bikes: A Comprehensive Comparison

In the world of folding bikes, two brands stand out for offering full-size options with unique folding mechanisms: Changebike and Montague. These companies have developed a variety of models, including mountain bikes, hybrids, and pavement bikes, all designed with safety in mind by avoiding cutting the top tube in half (Flatbike). For cyclists seeking a versatile and portable solution, understanding the differences between Changebike and Montague folding bikes is essential.

While both brands aim to provide high-quality, foldable bikes, they each have their distinctive features and advantages. A key difference between Changebike and Montague is their respective gearing systems. Montague has a higher top gear, while Changebike offers a lower low gear, making it advantageous for strong climbing—an essential feature for mountain bikes (BikeHow). Moreover, the folding mechanism and additional features such as water bottle mounts also impact the overall usability and appeal of each bike (Bike Forums).

As consumers weigh the pros and cons of Changebike vs. Montague folding bikes, it’s important to consider factors like personal preferences, intended use, and budget. Heeding these factors, riders can make a well-informed decision when choosing between these innovative and efficient folding bike options.

Changebike Overview

Change-812

Changebike is a brand specializing in folding bikes that focus on providing full-size models without compromising the integrity of the frame. Known for their innovative designs, Changebike offers a range of bikes, including mountain bikes, hybrids, and road bikes. Their folding mechanism allows for easy storage and transportation without sacrificing the performance and durability of the bike.

The Changebike DF-702 is a notable model, widely regarded as the lightest full-sized 700c folding bike with an aluminum frame in the market (source). One key advantage of Changebike over Montague lies in its gear range. The Changebike has a lower low gear (26/42 = 0.6), which is advantageous for climbing, compared to Montague bikes (24/32 = 0.75) (source).

In addition to the gear range, Changebike also offers models at competitive prices, with some low-end models available near or below $1000 (source). This makes Changebike an accessible option for those looking for a quality full-sized folding bike without breaking the bank.

Montague Overview

Montague

Montague is a well-established brand specializing in the production of high-quality, full-size folding bikes for various terrains, including road and mountain biking. Known for their performance-oriented approach, Montague focuses on ride quality and versatility in their bike designs, ensuring that their folding bikes offer the same level of stability as non-folding bicycles (Montague Bikes).

One of Montague’s flagship products is the Paratrooper, which is designed as a versatile folding mountain bike perfect for off-road adventures and airborne missions. The Paratrooper series features several models, such as the Paratrooper Pro, Paratrooper Highline, and Paratrooper Elite which cater to different budgets and needs (BikeRide). Despite the folding mechanism, Montague’s frame strength and rigidity are not compromised, ensuring a reliable and sturdy ride (Montague Bikes FAQ).

Montague’s range of folding bikes also includes urban and commuter models, such as the Boston, Crosstown, Navigator, FIT, and Allston, which are designed for full-size wheels and built to provide a comfortable yet effective cycling experience for daily commuters (Montague Bikes).

In terms of gear configurations, Montague bikes tend to have a higher top gear ratio compared to Changebike, which can be advantageous for speed enthusiasts. However, a lower low gear ratio might be preferred for strong hill climbing, which is where Changebike has an edge (BikeHow).

Folding Mechanism

Changebike

The folding mechanism of the Changebike, specifically the CHANGE 812 model, combines a standard MTB top tube and down tube configuration with an integrated latch on the seat tube. (source)

One significant advantage of the Changebike folding mechanism is its simplicity, which helps make the bike light and easy to fold. According to one review, the Change Bike DF-702 is the lightest full-sized 700c folding bike with an aluminum frame in the market. Its fuss-free folding design allows for quick and effortless folding and unfolding.

Another important feature of the Changebike folding mechanism is that it allows the bike to be wheeled while folded. This can make transportation and storage more convenient, particularly in crowded urban environments or when using public transit. (source)

Montague

The Montague Paratrooper Elite folding mountain bike utilises an uncut top tube with a weld-mounted latch underneath it. (source)

One of the main advantages of the Montague folding mechanism is its handling and responsiveness. According to bikeride.com, the Paratrooper is a full-size bike that riders found to be responsive, stiff, and smooth. This makes the Montague Paratrooper suitable not only for urban environments but also for off-road trails.

In comparison to other folding bikes, Montague uses a smaller triangle connected to the top tube to maintain its frame strength. This design choice may provide superior performance for seated pedaling compared to some other folding bikes. (source)

Technical Specifications

Changebike

The Changebike offers a unique folding mechanism that provides a compact and efficient design. Some of its key features include:

  • A lower low gear (26/42 = 0.6) compared to Montague (24/32 = 0.75) which potentially provides better climbing capabilities (source).
  • Two water bottle mounts, providing ample hydration storage options (source).
  • A dropout on the seatstay for the front wheel’s QR skewer to secure it rigidly, unlike Montague’s use of a single Velcro strap (source).

Montague

Montague offers various folding bike models, including the popular Paratrooper series. Here are some noteworthy technical attributes of Montague folding bikes:

  • A higher top gear ratio (42/11 = 3.8) compared to Changebike (36/11 = 3.3) which enables it to achieve faster speeds on flat surfaces (source).
  • A smaller triangle connected to the top tube in its folding mechanism, which provides a more traditional front triangle design seen in non-folding bikes (source).
  • One water bottle mount, as opposed to Changebike’s two mounts (source).

Riding Experience

Changebike

Changebikes are known for their strong climbing capabilities, which stems from their lower low gear ratio (26/42 = 0.6) compared to Montague bikes(Flatbike). This feature is essential for mountain biking, as it enables the rider to ascend steep inclines with greater ease. Moreover, Changebikes utilize a standard front triangle in their frame design, leading to less displacement and a smoother ride(Flatbike).

In addition to their climbing capabilities, Changebikes also boast a quick and easy folding mechanism. This makes them a practical choice for riders who need to collapse their bikes for storage, transportation, or navigating in tight spaces.

Montague

Montague bikes, on the other hand, possess a higher top gear ratio (42/11 = 3.8) than Changebikes(Flatbike). As a result, these bikes can achieve faster speeds on flat surfaces and downhill segments, making them more suitable for riders who prioritize speed over climbing ability.

Similar to Changebikes, Montague bikes also use a triangular frame design that connects to the top tube(Flatbike). This design choice contributes to a sturdy and stable riding experience. However, it is important to note that Montague bikes may not offer the same level of ruggedness as Changebikes, which are the only folding bikes with a ruggedness certification(Flatbike).

When considering the folding aspect, Montague bikes may require more effort and time to fold compared to Changebikes, as they use a different folding system. This could be a relevant factor for prospective buyers to keep in mind when deciding between the two brands.

Portability and Storage

One of the key benefits of both Changebike and Montague folding bikes is their ability to offer portability and easy storage options. When comparing the two, it’s important to examine their folding mechanisms, folded size, and convenience for transportation and storage.

Changebike models feature a smaller folded size when compared to Montague bikes (Flatbike). This could make them a more convenient option for individuals who need to fit their bikes into tight spaces or often take them on public transportation. Montague folding bikes, on the other hand, are known for their stability and full-size features (BikeRide).

Both Changebike and Montague folding bikes can be folded quickly and easily without the use of tools (Bicycling). This ease of folding is essential for those who need to fold their bikes often or want to avoid the hassle of disassembling a bike with tools.

When it comes to storage, the ability to fold both brands of bikes offers a significant advantage. A folding bike can be stored in a home or apartment without occupying much space (Montague Bikes). This can be especially useful for individuals who live in urban areas where space is a premium.

In summary, both Changebike and Montague folding bikes provide excellent portability and storage solutions due to their convenient and easy-to-use folding mechanisms. While Changebike may have a slight edge in terms of folded size, Montague offers stability as a full-size folding bike. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on the user’s specific needs and preferences when it comes to portability and storage.

Price Comparison

When comparing the prices of Changebike and Montague folding bikes, it’s essential to consider the different models each brand offers. For instance, Changebike’s CHANGE 812 model is sold for $1,880 with free shipping to the US and Canada, and it includes a carry bag (Flatbike). On the other hand, Montague offers their popular Paratrooper Elite model for $2,599, plus shipping, with a carrying case adding an extra $100 to the price (Flatbike).

Other models from Montague, such as the Paratrooper, may have different price points. For a fair comparison, it’s crucial to consider the specifications and features offered by each bike, along with the associated costs. The overall value of a folding bike isn’t solely determined by its price, but it’s a vital factor to weigh when making a decision.

Below is a summarized comparison of Changebike’s CHANGE 812 and Montague’s Paratrooper Elite:

Brand Model Price Shipping Carry Bag
Changebike CHANGE 812 $1,880 Free (US & Canada) Included
Montague Paratrooper Elite $2,599 Additional cost $100 extra

Please note that prices may vary depending on promotions, discounts, and other factors. It’s always a good idea to check with official sources for the most up-to-date pricing information.

Pros and Cons

Changebike

Changebike folding bikes offer some advantageous features for mountain biking. One such feature is their lower low gear (26/42 = 0.6) as compared to Montague bikes, which allows for strong climbing capabilities, something that is crucial for a quality mountain bike experience (Flatbike).

However, Changebikes do have a lower top gear (36/11 = 3.3) compared to Montague bikes, which could limit their performance during downhill rides or on flat terrain (Flatbike).

Montague

Montague folding bikes, on the other hand, boast a higher top gear (42/11 = 3.8) compared to Changebikes, giving them an edge when it comes to speed during downhill rides and on flat terrain (Flatbike). This advantage could make Montague bikes more suitable for riders who prioritize speed and performance in various riding conditions.

However, Montague bikes have a higher low gear (24/32 = 0.75) than Changebikes, which may make them slightly less effective for climbing steep inclines or during challenging trail rides (Flatbike).

Conclusion

When comparing Changebike and Montague folding bikes, each brand has its strengths and distinct features. Both companies have made strides in addressing the unique challenges of designing sturdy and efficient folding bikes, catering to customers who seek convenience and performance in their bicycles.

Changebike offers a lower low gear for strong climbing, a core function of mountain bikes. This advantage has been recognized in head-to-head comparisons, making it a popular choice for those who prioritize climbing abilities. On the other hand, Montague boasts a higher top gear for better speed capabilities. The Montague Paratrooper, in particular, has gained recognition for its remarkable frame stability and ruggedness, making it a desirable choice for off-road enthusiasts and commuters alike.

Another noteworthy difference is the frame design. Changebike’s standard front triangle leads to less displacement and a better ride overall. This contributes to its status as the only ruggedness-certified folding bike in the world. In contrast, Montague uses a smaller triangle connected to the top tube, which, while not as strong as Changebike’s design, still provides decent frame strength.

Ultimately, the choice between Changebike and Montague folding bikes comes down to individual preferences and riding needs. Both brands have their advantages, and each can cater to different cyclists’ requirements effectively. When making a decision, it is essential to weigh the importance of climbing strength, top speed, frame design, and other factors to determine the folding bike that best suits one’s lifestyle and cycling preferences.

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