Attention, rider swings out!
The first impression:Watch out, rider swings out - with your butt!
This is what the manufacturer says:Karsten Bettin stands in front of us and wiggles his butt. That's how the Kwiggle inventor illustrates how the folding bike teaches its riders hip mobility, casually and lightheartedly thanks to a sideways-swinging saddle mechanism.
Four years ago, the trained mechanical engineer quit his job at an energy supplier in Hanover and from then on worked on getting his unusual bicycle ready for the market. "I was concerned with finding a bicycle geometry that would allow you to ride upright, the way you move as a human being, Bettin says.""
The Kwiggle is a record-breaking compressible folding bike that stands out: You ride it standing up, supported only by a mini-saddle that moves left and right in rhythm with your pedaling. Underneath, where a normal bike has a seat tube - just air. Bettin: "It's quite strange at first, for everyone. You sit on it and think, woahaha, what's that?"
Helps against hip blockages and neck tension
Then a learning process begins in the brain. After about 3500 repetitions of the motion sequence - about 20 kilometers of travel - one has one has the movement also above intus". From that moment on, this new way of cycling feels normal. On the Kwiggle, he says, the entire body stays in gear, which can also help with hip blockages and neck tension.
Whether the bike actually delivers on such sales promises probably depends not least on the body and health of the respective driver. In any case, the difference from the rather rigid, stooped posture on a road bike is enormous. There, Bettin says, the lower back, for example, often remains tense - causing muscles to fatigue and tighten.
In addition, there is an efficiency-increasing effect: the sideways saddle movement always brings the downward pedaling leg always in an optimal position above the pedal. This allows the rider to use his weight more effectively and saves thigh strength. This is like a built-in cradle pedal, except that the rider does not have to lift his body weight again and again with every half turn of the crank. again and again with every half turn of the crank. He handles elevation gain more effortlessly than on a road bike, Bettin says.
This is what we noticed:You don't have to care about how you look in public. The duck dance you do in a swing saddle provokes unprecedented reactions. Sometimes only interest speaks from the faces, sometimes amusement, sometimes astonishment along the lines of I guess I'm not looking right"."
With our butts swinging out, we cling to the narrow handlebars for a bit of grip -. and cramp up at first. After a few hundred meters, our arms and legs are tired. Apparently our brains aren't ready for the Kwiggle yet.
We haven't ridden 20 kilometers when it clicks. Suddenly the bicycle-human machine harmonizes. Swing right, swing left, it runs. But is it really less strenuous? There is at least one indication of this: Our companion on a normal bike starts to wheeze early - unlike us.
As a substitute for a racing bike, the Kwiggle, on which Bettin has raced down a hill at 58 mph, is of course not suitable, of course not. Rather, caution is advised. The reason is the small 12-inch wheels. It's true that the aluminum rims, which are made from one piece, run free of flutter even at higher speeds. But every pothole is a trap in which the little wheels could get caught. And every higher curb becomes a wall for the 12-inchers."We have to look where we're going, Bettin concedes."
Weighing the front wheel up on the handlebars to overcome obstacles of this type is not recommended, the Kwiggle could rear up, unintentional Wheely prevented, who lifts the butt slightly during such maneuvers. Because the wheelbase is very short at 70 centimeters and you sit far back over the wheel, the front wheel does not hold much on the ground. Also, if you push too hard on the pedals on a hill, you'll quickly lift off the front.
This you need to know:On the Kwiggle, many things are smaller, and so it folds down to carry-on size. On the plane, it travels overhead in the overhead compartment. The pack size is 55 x 40 x 25 centimeters. This is smaller than, for example, the competition from Brompton or Riese + Müller, which fit 16- and 18-inch wheels. Decisive to the shrinkage contribute the removable plug-in pedals.
So the folding bike from Hanover remains within the recommendation of the International Air Transport Association IATA for hand luggage dimensions (56 x 45 x 25). But if you really want to take the Kwiggle with you, you should take a close look at the airlines: Lufthansa, for example, specifies 55 x 40 x 23 centimeters and a maximum of eight kilograms. There and with many other airlines, the Kwiggle would be a bit too big and too heavy. With Easyjet, Iberia or British Airways, on the other hand, it passes as hand luggage according to the information on the airline websites.
Fact sheet: Kwiggle
However, the larger target group is likely to be found among commuters who stay on the ground anyway. While other folding bikes have to stand in the aisle, depending on their size, the folded saddle swing fits under the seats in the S-Bahn or ICE. streetcars and buses. For Bettin, this is a contribution to solving urban traffic problems: "When I think traffic change, I need mobility to go."
The Kwiggle itself can also carry something. At an aluminum holder on the steering column, which the manufacturer calls luggage carrier, can be fixed bicycle bags from Ortlieb, Vaude or other manufacturers with suitable suspension system. Who wants to ride upright the strange external effect of the Kwiggle sharpened - that is also possible. For this purpose, Karsten Bettin has come up with an inconspicuous accessory: A 19-centimeter-long strap (11.60 euros), with which you can tow a rolling suitcase.
This is what we'll remember butt or no bum? We didn't care at some point, because the "Kwiggeln" totally loosened up - even if you are always worth a laugh for those around you.