Everyone complains about the traffic jams, few do anything about it, at most swear to themselves that if there is better public transportation they will immediately leave the car at home.
So efficient public transportation we can't promise you, but there is one tool that, together with public transportation, can provide an efficient alternative to the private car. And this has to do with the public transportation tool that was inaugurated here last August, and especially to its really modern part, the first real metro section in Israel, between Petah Tikva and Jaffa: the red line of the light rail from Bat Yam to Petah Tikva.
Any passenger can take a folding bicycle to the Red Line. As is also permitted on Israel Railways during all hours of operation – unlike regular bicycles, which are permitted to be transported only outside of rush hour – and on city bus lines.
Going to the station, taking the train and continuing on/tern
A folding bike saves you the wait for a bus on the way to the light or heavy rail, takes you to your station, and takes you to your final destination. They allow anyone to ride multiple kilometers in each direction, dramatically expanding the coverage of public transport. It is possible to cover with the Red Line the employment areas in Kiryat Aryeh, Yigal Alon Street in Tel Aviv, and even Rishon LeZion, while riding from the Komemiyot station in Bat Yam. Until the light rail reaches the employment areas in Herzliya Pituach and Ramat Hachayal in Tel Aviv, the use of folding bicycles makes reaching them from the Herzliya train stations the first, and Bnei Brak and Tel Aviv University into two, a five- to ten-minute ride. No traffic jams, no parking and no waiting for the bus. Important: Folding bicycles with wheels up to 20 inches are allowed, not balloon wheels.
Electric scooters are less stable and dangerous to ride on a road that is not well paved / Keinan Cohen
Yes, you say, but this can also be done with an electric scooter. The orthopedic wards in the hospitals are full of people who thought like you. A scooter is a great urban tool, but because of its structure and small wheels, between 10 and 12 inches, and rarely 14 inches it is very unstable. Folding bikes have a lower center of gravity, and larger wheels, usually 20 inches. And you can take them with you on any public transport, just like a scooter. They can be kept folded in student apartments, or in any limited apartment instead of a building that does not have a bicycle room. And unlike a regular bike, many workplaces will allow you to put them folded into the office, so there's no more worrying about theft, or going back to a wet bike at the end of a workday.
And so, even though this is an idea that is almost 100 years old, the connection to public transportation and today's small apartments make folding bicycles one of the most interesting means of transportation for today's cities.
Make sure the weight of the bike is such that you can lift it relatively easily/dahon
How to choose?
With the help of Gal Halamish, founder of the prominent bicycle magazine website BikePanel and a bicycle examiner himself, here are some golden rules for choosing the folding bike that suits you.
What is your budget: A basic folding bike with one to three gears costs about NIS 1,000. Basic bikes with slightly upgraded components and up to 6-7 gears already cost about NIS 1,500. Quality folding bicycles cost NIS 3,000-4,000 and super-brands reach NIS 8,000. Prices for electric bicycles range from NIS 3,000 to NIS 8,000.
Regular or electric: A regular bike weighs about 10 to 12 kg, which makes it easy to lift them up stairs and to the train. E-bikes weigh 16-20 kg or more, and it is more challenging to lift them home or to the office, especially where there is no elevator.
Cramped apartment? No problem with folding bikes/dahon
How far you will ride: Those who live and work about a kilometer or two in Tel Aviv from a light or heavy train station can make do with a fairly basic pair. Those who have uphills on the road and want to ride 5 km in each direction will need a pair with 7-8 gears, and it is worth considering already electric, especially for those who want to ride 5-8 km. How to choose: You can order online, but after touching, you picked up and took the vehicle for a test ride.
Check the quality of gear and brake transmission, ease of folding and mounting, the ability to take the bike folded, whether you will have to carry it in your hands, for example, or whether you can lift only one part and roll on the wheels. It is important to have disc brakes front and rear, electric ones with batteries and a 48V controller are preferable to 36V, which will improve acceleration and range.
Don't miss out on basic accessories: a helmet, headlights and glitter front and rear, a light raincoat, sunglasses or regular ones to protect your eyes from insect collisions.
And Guy Halamish of BikePanel concludes: "Folding bicycles are an excellent transportation solution for the city and a complement to public transportation. It's worth investing in a quality pair, and electric tools allow you to ride longer distances comfortably, but it's important to remember that folding tools are less comfortable for long rides than regular bicycles, and therefore electric ones are also less suitable for distances."
Up to 1-2 km Take the basic models, more than 5-8 km - consider electric/dahon
Brompton: The Porsche and Ferrari of the foldables. The lightest, fold the easiest and fastest, and to the smallest size. They are easiest to carry when folded. The disadvantages: only 16-inch wheels that help maneuver but impair stability, and the price - about NIS 7,000-8000,20. There are also trams at five-figure prices.
Turn, Dahon: Two other manufacturers that specialize in folding bicycles. A relatively high quality bike, with smart folding solutions. 8-inch wheels, there are also 9- and 2-speed models that Jerusalemites and Haifa deserve too. Price: NIS 500,5-000,100. The Turn also has electric models for the price of a basic Chinese scooter.
Btwin Tilt 1: Decathlon's house brand, single gear, for about 000,9 NIS. An example of a basic folding pair in both price and quality. For those who travel short distances and are looking to invest as little as possible. In the world, the chain has a selection of models, with 007 gears and electric, it's a shame that they don't come to Israel. All bike chains have house brands with base models at similar prices.
Koning: One of the quality electric bike brands sold here for years. The veteran 48 model, with 7-volt and 6-speed batteries, costs about NIS 500,<>.
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