Anyone who’s had to endure EDSA during rush hour knows that traffic really sucks in the metro. I always dread taking public transportation because it involves either: a) waiting in line and getting crushed like a human sardine in the MRT, b) multiple transfers on tricycles, jeeps or standing in the aisle for most of the trip in buses, or c) overpriced cabs. Biking is really one of the most sustainable forms of transportation and sometimes the fastest way to get to your destination.
The Nyfti folding bicycle was born out of the necessity of living in the metro and frustration over traffic. What’s great is that these folding bikes are proudly made in the Philippines! Nyfti is the brainchild of Pinoy bike enthusiasts and entrepreneurs Carl Mamawal, Isidro Marfori and Miguel Marfori, who designed and built their prototype bike through funding from Philippine-based incubator IdeaSpace Foundation Inc. While some parts and components are imported from all over the world, the team behind Nyfti assures that the final product is made and assembled here. (Read more about how Nyfti started here)
Outside Slacker, who first encountered the Nyfti Folding Bike when it was introduced during the 1st Philippine Bike Expo, and I got invited to test out one of the units. Here’s a quick look at the bike’s features.
1) Compact Fold Volume
The Nyfti is a handmade, patent-pending 3-fold bicycle that has the geometry of a full-size bike, yet has the smallest fold volume in its class. Even though it is a folding bicycle, its wheel base is not compromised. When folded up it easily fits in the trunk of the car and can be carried inside other public transport vehicles if needed.
2) Quality components ensure optimum performance
The bike is pretty tough since it’s made of standard high-tensile steel (which can be upgraded to chromoly frame). It has 8-speed gears, reliable brakes and 16-inch wheels which provide a safe and easy ride. Unlike smaller folding bikes I’ve tried (ex. the Carry Me), the movements don’t feel jerky. Just like its name, it’s quite nifty.
3) Portable yet fashionable
The bike looks pretty damn cool. While riding around UP Diliman and Bonifacio Global City, I got compliments from other riders and strangers on how cool the bike looked. It’s casual enough for neighborhood rides and didn’t look out of place in urban areas like BGC. I also got a few inquiries about the bike when I posted initial photos of it on Facebook and Instagram.
I like the overall look of the Nyfti. It kind of resembles a Brompton, a high-end folding bike produced in London, with its slightly retro vibe. Compared to some other folding bikes I’ve seen, it looks practical and tough, but still sleek and elegant. The Nyfti currently comes in 8 Colors including: Stealth Black, Artic White, Nyfti Red, Turtle Green, Cruiser Grey, Patriot Blue, Loki Green, Aviation Blue.
The Nyfti team envisions the bike to be highly customizable to fit the profile of the rider who can show their personality while pedaling or carrying it around. You can actually have the finish of the bicycle customized and make it single tone, two tone, raw lacquer or copper. Different colors can be applied to the Headtube, Top tube, bottom tube, Mid frame, rear swing arm and fork. The Nyfti team can also consider special request such as themed designs.
FIELD TEST NOTES:
- Unlike full-sized bicycles, foldable bikes like the Nyfti are convenient for urban commuters because you can take them on other forms of private or public transport including your car, the bus, train, or cabs if needed.
- The bike’s size is ideal for city living since it’s more portable. It fit in our condo’s elevator with room to spare and could be easily brought inside smaller apartments and offices.
- Riding the Nyfti feels like riding a traditional bicycle. It was easy enough to drive and didn’t take much getting used to.
- The seat is adjustable so the bike can fit people of varying heights.
- Shifting gears was pretty smooth.
- The 16-inch wheels ensures a sturdier and more nimble ride than other smaller wheels. However, the derailleur is a bit low and can get caught in sidewalks. You have to dismount if there are no ramps.
- The bike weighs about 11-12.5 kgs (24-27 pounds). Most guys probably won’t have a problem with this, but it felt a little heavy for me to carry when folded.
- The brake placement seems to have been made for someone with longer hands as it was placed very low on the handlebars, but I guess this can be adjusted.
- The bike has small trainer wheels in the back that allows you to roll the bike around like a cart when folded and can be used to let the bike stand upright on its own.
- Complete NYFTI: Standard High Tensile Steel approx. 12.5 kg – Php 35,000.00
- Frame Set: Frame, Fork, Folding Stem, and Rear Rollers are included – Php 25,000.00
- Chromoly Frame: Upgrade to a stiffer material. For frame set and complete bike purchase – Php 12,000.00
The Nyfti bike is ideal for urban professionals who already own a mountain bike or a road bike and want a more compact, portable bike for city riding. You can use it for leisure rides around the neighborhood, bring in during trips locally or abroad, or use it for your daily commute to work. Overall, it’s a good bicycle for urban commuters.
Admittedly, it’s not the cheapest folding bike in the market. But the fact that it’s a world-class brand handmade in the Philippines by a team of local engineers, designers and fabricators is commendable. It’s kind of like craft beer versus tasteless mass-produced beer. You can always drink cheap beer, or you can invest more for something that’s better quality and taste/feel the difference.
WHERE TO BUY IT:
The Nyfti Bikes are available for pre-order online. There’s a lead time of 2 months needed to produce the bike. A down payment of Php 20,000 is required, with full payment upon delivery. Shipping fee outside Metro Manila will be shouldered by customer. You can pay via PayPal or major credit cards.
- Address: 1341 Leon Guinto St., Ermia, 1000 Manila, Philippines
- Website: http://nyftibicycles.strikingly.com/
- Facebook: Nyfti Bicycles
- Email: email@example.com
- Material: Chromoly, Hi-Ten Steel
- Construction: Lugged type, brazed
- Speed: 8 speed rear
- Wheel size: 16 inches
- Weight: approx. 11 kgs – 12.5 kgs
- Brakes: V Brakes
- Fold volume:
- Length: 545mm
- Width: 325mm
- Height: 645mm
- Wheelbase: 1,050mm (full size)
- Max weight rider: 250 lbs
- Fold time: less than 20 seconds
RELATED POST: For a location list and map of public art murals in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), read: Art in the City: Murals in BGC