Typical folding bikes are a bit of a challenge: the compact bikes are undoubtedly practical, for example, if you have to travel part of the way by train or regularly transport the bike in the car. But folding bikes also have their very own look and ride characteristics, which usually have little in common with sporty urban bikes. This is exactly where the Fiiz from Kruschhausen Cycles comes in and tries to combine high utility with an attractive design. Whether this succeeds is shown here in the test.
In part, the question posed at the beginning can be answered at first glance: an attractive appearance can be attested to the bike directly, it looks first like a “regular” and sporty bike with a classic diamond frame! Only at second glance you can then see some special features that distinguish the Fiiz: so the wheels with a size of 26 “are somewhat more compact than usual and the central separation brace on the frame reveals that this can be split. Especially the model in two-tone paint further emphasizes this feature, giving the Fiiz a look all its own. Those who like it more discreet can also get the bike in a single color.
Also discreet are the numerous special parts that are installed on the bike: Stem, pedals and connecting parts on the frame are inconspicuously integrated, which also contributes to the clean look of the bike. At most, the long brake cable and the somewhat coarse bipod stand seem somewhat annoying — but both are owed to the function: the brake cable must be this long for the folded state and the stand not only provides the necessary grip when converting the bike.
No question, the choice of components was also influenced by the concept of the split frame. Thus, the Fiiz is braked at the front wheel quite usually by disc brake, but a second brake lever is not found on the handlebars. Instead, a classic coaster brake is used at the rear — after all, no brake line is necessary for this and thus does not interfere with the splitting of the frame.
The same applies to the gearshift in the rear hub. A model from Sturmey Archer called S2 Duomatic Kick Shift is installed here, which offers two gears. Shifting between the two gears is done by a short kick to the rear. And instead of a conventional bicycle chain, the Fiiz uses a Gates Carbon Drive belt to transmit power. Good decision, because when handling a folding bike you benefit even more from such a clean belt, which gets along without oil and grease.
The Continental Sport Contact tires in 26″ as well as the saddle and handlebar grips from Kruschhausen Cycles complete the “regular” equipment – which brings us to the special parts of the Fiiz: First and foremost, of course, the 7005 aluminum frame with its intricately milled connection mechanism inside. In addition, there is an equally milled bracket centrally on the handlebars, which can be folded out if necessary. The pedals can also be folded up narrowly, and the handlebars can also be positioned lengthwise to the frame to save space during transport thanks to a rotatable stem from by.Schulz.
Let’s first address the reduction of the Fiiz for transport: To disassemble the bike from the ready-to-ride state, the following actions are necessary: Thus, first the bracket must be folded out centrally on the handlebars, then turn the handlebars 90° to the side. Now the pedals are folded and the massive clamping lever on the top tube of the frame is opened, after which you can separate both frame halves. At the end, both parts are reconnected side by side, for which there are two precisely fitting brackets on the frame.
What may sound a bit complicated in written form here at first, turns out to be quite simple after a few practical tests — especially since the parts are precisely manufactured and can be connected effortlessly and without any tools at all thanks to quick-release fasteners.
Reduced to such a compact size, the Fiiz measures just around 101 x 75 cm with a depth of 35 cm. This means it can fit in a small car trunk or in the luggage compartment of a train. What’s more, the bike can be conveniently pushed next to it, for example, to get on the train. And thanks to the sturdy bipod stand, it can also be parked stably when folded.
To get on the bike and start riding, the steps just mentioned must be carried out in reverse order. Once this is done, you can start right away. It is astonishing that the Fiiz feels like a normal bike for the first few meters: The seating position is familiar, and the frame’s torsional stiffness is also high. If you didn’t know any better, you wouldn’t necessarily get the idea that this bike has a two-piece frame!
Thus, the Fiiz then rides pleasantly agile, which is also due to the compact 26″ wheels and the manageable weight. The 42 mm wide tires also absorb some road bumps and the bike weighs 12.5 kg ready to ride — not ultra-light, but a decent value due to the numerous special parts. And speaking of “special parts”: there is basically nothing to complain about on these, only on the pedals you have to accept compromises. Since they are made of quite soft plastic, they tend to twist slightly when you pedal with increased force.
However, the hub gears installed on the Fiiz are a positive feature in this context. Although it only has two gears, it ensures that you can start with less effort and master slight inclines. On the flat, however, the second gear helps to maintain an acceptable cadence even at higher speeds. The shifting process itself is triggered by a light kick to the rear. The emphasis here is actually on “light”, because too strong a movement activates the coaster brake. So, a short familiarization period is required here as well, after which the gear change succeeds without any problems. The same applies to finding out in which gear you are currently riding. There is no display for this — but with good ears you can hear that the second gear is slightly louder. Overall, the entire drive is very quiet, which is also due to the belt drive.
By the way, the Fiiz’s braking system is adequately dimensioned — so no one has to worry about the coaster brake. Although this technology may be somewhat antiquated, it works quite reliably. And besides, there is a well-dosed hydraulic disc brake at the front wheel anyway.
The answer to whether the Fiiz masters the combination of high utility with an attractive look can definitely be answered in the affirmative after this test! With the Fiiz, Kruschhausen Cycles delivers a sporty urban bike that rides exactly like that — namely direct, agile and tight. And yet it is also a folding bike that can be reduced to a compact transport size. The mechanics behind this system seem complex, but are — at least after a short practice — quite easy to use, and the workmanship is also very good.
With this hybrid of folding bike and regular urban bike, the Fiiz occupies a pretty special niche, which is of course also known at Kruschhausen — so the Fiiz is limited to a small series of 50 pieces. The price is 2,440 euros with a completely black frame, the two-tone version costs 50 euros more. In addition, the bike can also be customized: in addition to mudguards and racks, as well as custom-made transport bag and lighting, there is then even the option of installing an additional bottom bracket gear from Schlumpf with two additional gears.
For more info on the Fiiz, check out the Kruschhausen Cycles website.