Booster for the traffic turnaround?
The Kwiggle folding bike test.
Kwiggle - This mini interpretation of a bicycle is made in Germany, weighs just ten kilograms and, with its extremely compact dimensions, is - at least according to the manufacturer - the smallest folding bike in the world. It disappears loosely in the luggage compartment of the train or simply under the seat and should still offer full two-wheel mobility..
October 13 2022 Martin Donat
Clearly, our Kwiggle folding bike test was also something special for us. In any case, the fact is: With bulky has the Kwiggle Bike.
nothing on the hat. The exact opposite is the case. Its characteristic values are record-breaking. 55 times 40 times 25 are the dimensions, which let the Kwiggle pass in the folded condition almost everywhere as a piece of hand luggage.
as a piece of hand luggage.
This folding bike is really small!
You have no idea how small this "feels"? Let's put it this way: a Brompton folding bike is quite a hunk by comparison. To achieve this, Kwiggle inventor Karsten Bettin had to think, tinker and try out for quite a long time. The result: pretty much everything on the standard bike is a special solution. From the frame to the 12-inch wheels to its own circuit solution: Everything was developed in-house and everything is - if it is somehow possible - manufactured in Germany..
The compactness of the Kwiggle is not the only special thing about this bike. With his invention, Karsten Bettin also wanted to achieve an extremely ergonomic ride. This is made possible by the thoroughly unusual design: a saddle that swings to the left and right - you look in vain for a fixed seat tube. The almost upright position that riders assume on the Kwiggle does the rest. On the Kwiggle you do not sit, you stand so to speak in it..
The posture on the Kwiggle is standing rather than sitting. This is to accommodate the normal posture of the person, reduce physical discomfort and increase comfort..
With various advantages for riders, as Karsten Bettin explains to us: "In contrast to the stretched posture on, for example, a road bike, the upright position on the Kwiggle relieves the lower back and can help against hip blockages and neck pain. In addition, this posture is extremely efficient. The sideways movement of the saddle always puts the leg pedaling down in the optimal position, which saves a lot of energy in the long run." To back up his words, he still briefly tells of his ride on the legendary Stelvio - with his Kwiggle, of course.
Kwiggle folding bike review: with great attention to detail.
We have already mentioned it: at this bike is very little "off the shelf". Instead, there's a lot of "out of the box" thinking: unconventional and refined. The high-quality, flexing stainless steel steering tube is a good example of this. Or the rims milled from one piece, about which Karsten Bettin tells us: "They are made from one piece, formed from a disc that is initially as thick as the spokes. This is a unique way of manufacturing bicycle rims worldwide. It requires much less material than forged rims or rims milled from the solid, and much less energy than cast rims. The wear resistance is greater than with normal aluminum rims because the material is extremely compacted and strengthened by the forming process. The running precision of the wheels is significantly better due to this manufacturing process." There is simply a lot of attention to detail here. You can see that, you notice that and we think that's really great!
Admit: In our Kwiggle folding bike test, we also had to get used to the optics a bit ...
The 12-inch wheels from the Kwiggle are made from an aluminum block.
The Kwiggle circuit is a complete in-house development.
The seat tube / top tube is hooked. At the same time, its positioning is easily adjustable by means of a screw.
When folded, the Kwiggle can be pulled over those trolley wheels.
It's always amazing how the compact package of a folding bike turns into a "real" bike that rides more or less normally. This was the case with the Bergamont Paule. so, which we have already tested. And that's exactly the case with the classic folding bike, a Brompton. With the Kwiggle it behaves no differently - well, at least not much. But there are two differences: When folded, the package is sensationally small. And unfolded, of course, it resembles the shape of a bicycle, but then it's somehow quite different.
With a little practice, folding or setting up the Kwiggle takes significantly less than a minute.
In order to assemble (and reassemble) the bike for our Kwiggle folding bike test for the first time, in our estimation, a little help from an experienced Kwiggler is almost essential. Actually, the principle is brilliantly simple and - once you've internalized it - sensationally fast. However, there are a few tricks that you should know. If you don't know them, the Kwiggle is more like a funny bicycle puzzle. So it happened to us at least in the first attempts..
In the manual (and in the video), the construction of the Kwiggles is explained perfectly. If you follow the instructions, it is actually quite simple. Then, once you've done it yourself a few times, the moves sit and you're ready to complete the process without any embarrassing moments in public. In fact, assembling and disassembling the Kwiggle is actually quite sweeping and impressive in any case. Because, as I said, the folded package is sensationally small and equally light..
Acclimation and familiarization.
Before it goes on the test rides to our Kwiggle folding bike test, the wheel must be meticulously adjusted to the body dimensions of its new rider. Karsten Bettin provides us with expert help in adjusting the bike, which - at least it seems to us - is really necessary. There is a kind of "sweet spot" where a cramped posture becomes the typical Kwiggle position that Mr. Bettin always talks about: You stand in the wheel, you do not sit..
To "hit" exactly this position is apparently really important. If someone with Kwiggle experience looks at it from the outside, the basic setting is certainly reached faster. In our case, it only takes a few minutes. Who orders the Kwiggle online, it gets, after specifying the body measurements, largely preset and must only fine-tuning operate..
Yes, it looks a bit "funny". But believe us: it works! That's what we found out in our Kwiggle folding bike test.
You can already tell: it's not complicated, but it does require you to get to grips with the Kwiggle a bit. In other words: If you're looking for a bike where you can just quickly adjust the saddle height and get going right away, you're very likely to be a little overwhelmed with the Kwiggle.
There's more: now come the first driving tests. These will probably look a bit wobbly and awkward - at least that's how it was for us. But do not worry: You get used to it very quickly and will be amazed at how safe a mini-bike with swinging saddle and 12-inch wheels rides..
Kwiggle Folding Bike Test: Commuting with Style
Commuting - or rather mobility in the city in general - is the Kwiggle's parade discipline! A Kwiggle is your almost invisible mobility guarantee. If you have it with you, it disappears into almost every crack. Under the seat in the bus, for example. In the trunk of your colleague's small car. On the loading area of a cargo bike like the GLEAM Escape.Or even under your desk at the office. Once it's unfolded, it's your wonder weapon in city traffic. You are just as fast on the road with it as with a normal bike.
So a Kwiggle is great as a second vehicle on the cargo bed of a cargo bike. On such a large, the GLEAM Escape, would fit easily 4 Kwiggles ....
The bike is totally maneuverable, comfortable and it feels safe - once you get used to the fact that the small wheels do not forgive everything. The combination of Kwiggle and public transport opens up completely new possibilities. Even in the countryside, where normally only buses run, it makes you completely mobile: take the Kwiggle to the bus stop, take the bus to the big city, and then take the Kwiggle again for the last mile. This kind of mobility has so many advantages: You move more, you get fresh air, you save a bunch of money, a lot of time and you never have to look for a parking space again.
Because the Kwiggle is so light and compact, it's really easy to take it anywhere. And if you don't want to carry it that far, you can pull it behind you like a roller bag via the trolley wheels..
All the disadvantages of commuting with a normal bike are gone - that's what our Kwiggle folding bike test showed. You don't have to lug a bulky bike around the station, you don't have to worry about the bike compartment being full again, and you don't have to plug anything in at your destination - you just take your bike inside. Actually, it's hard to believe that you can get such an ingenious tool for as little as 1,369 euros. For the money, some others buy a food processor!
Well, yes, but "special" is a special feature of the Kwiggle. The look of the bike alone is absolutely special. You shouldn't have any problems with that. As small as it is, the Kwiggle attracts attention. During our Kwiggle folding bike test, by the way, the reactions were consistently positive, at least those that we overheard. "Boa is that small" was the most common reaction we overheard at the station. But the fact is also: It looks a bit funny, the Kwigglen. Since you just have to stand over it.
Secondly, a Kwiggle drives itself just a bit special. Not in an unpleasant sense, but special. First, because you stand rather than sit. Then, because the saddle swings. And last but not least, because the small wheels simply do not forgive everything. In a nutshell, that means you just have to look a bit where you're riding from. Mini potholes are no problem. But bigger ones can be. Because the 12-inch wheels simply don't provide the stability that a large wheel has to offer. You should therefore be on the road with open eyes and avoid potholes, but also, for example, curbs or drive with caution..
Once used to it, the bike quickly establishes itself as an extremely practical everyday tool in our Kwiggle folding bike test.
What you should not, or rather only with caution: "Tear" the front wheel over an obstacle with momentum as usual. With the kwiggle you will then probably descend to the rear. Due to the short wheelbase and the upright position on the wheel you bring extremely little weight on the front wheel. This comes up in the result very easily in front. If you want to relieve it, you have to do it carefully. A minimal warm-up movement is enough. Best, you practice this a bit before you rush into the traffic.
Bottom line, these peculiarities ensure that you simply have to get involved with this bike. In contrast to all the advantages, these little peculiarities are not an issue at all. But as mentioned above, if you don't feel like adjusting to your bike, the Kwiggle is not the right ride for you. To be honest, it also has to be said that the bike is not right for unrouted, unsure or clumsy riders*. If you instead see the advantages and do not shy away from a change of habit, you will love the Kwiggle..
Kwiggle folding bike test: Is that also with luggage?
Karsten Bettin goes one better when he explains the Kwiggle's luggage options to us. First, it offers the option of hooking a bike bag to the front of the bar on the "head tube." And then there's the option, with the help of a small auxiliary strap, to hang a wheeled suitcase on the Kwiggle. You have not misread! The whole thing works perfectly, we have tried it ourselves. While it does make you look a little more special, it does open up the possibility of going on a trip even with slightly larger luggage. This strap is in any case a fun idea, which - thought quite pragmatically - proves: it does not always have to be mega complicated..
That's pretty awesome, isn't it? In our Kwiggle folding bike test, we also tried the luggage option.
By the way, it's also great that you can pull the Kwiggle behind you like a trolley if you pull out the handlebars a little. This means that even longer distances can be covered on foot in a relaxed manner. At large stations like Cologne or Munich or even on the shopping tour in the mall can be quite pleasant.
Kwiggle folding bike test - our conclusion.
Always leaving aside the ergonomic arguments provided by the manufacturer, in our opinion the Kwiggle is a minor sensation on another level: it is a true agent of change that invalidates any disadvantages of car-free urban transport. It's super lightweight, disappears into every crevice, takes up no space to lock up, and at the same time is still virtually a full-fledged bike. It's the perfect last mile solution when you combine it with public transportation. But it also works on its own, giving you unprecedented flexibility. The Kwiggle is certainly not for everyone. For many who want to seriously tackle the problems of the world itself, but it is in the field of mobility an ingenious tool..