Folding bikes have moved up a gear with the introduction of the brand new carbon fibre Nano from Lios which boasts all the bells and whistles: hydraulic disc brakes, deep carbon rims and internal cable routing being just a couple of the highlights.
Folding bikes are an ideal companion for commuters who want to combine a ride with a train journey – but ex-Royal Marines Major Steve McCulley has developed a folder that’s just as performance minded as it is concerned with convenience.
The developers had early advice from Andrew Ritchie – the man behind the market leaders Brompton. The bike far exceeds other offerings on the market in terms of spec and is available in two models – a singlespeed at £3,250 and a geared version powered by an 8 speed internal geared hub at £3,500.
McCulley formed the company – LIOS – which offers full sizes road and time trial bikes as well as the new folder, after he was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device during battle in Afghanistan back in 2011.
After spending time in intensive care, and a full three years going through rehabilitation, he decided to turn the passion he had had for cycling before the accident into a business – saying: “I have always been a keen cyclist, including competing for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at national level; however, it was clear my injuries were going to mean an end to my military and cycling career so I decided to turn my passion for cycling into a business."
He explained: “During the breaks in my rehab and with significant support from Help For Heroes, the Royal Marines Trust and Heropreneurs, I created LIOS which is named after my children Lily and Oscar. The LIOS Nano is a new and totally different product and alongside my business partner Wayland Austin, we have created something special which we think is going to completely change people’s perceptions of a folding bike."
The singlespeed weighs 8.2kg and geared bike comes in at 9.2kg. Most of the weight savings come from the use of carbon for the frame, forks, handlebars, seat post and carbon rim wheels – 60mm on the 18" wheels of the singlespeed and 38mm on the 20" geared version. The disc brakes on both bikes are Shimano hydraulic and both feature a carbon Gates belt drive which ensures that oil isn’t transferred to clothing.
The Nano aims to prove that folding bikes don’t have to be a compromise on ride quality, but it is worth remembering that you might want to treat it a bit more delicately than your average commuter bike!
As well as creating a range of bikes, LIOS are able to offer fitting services thanks to McCulley’s Cytech Level 3 Bike Technician and Retül 3D motion analysis bike fitting qualifications.
Bryn Parry OBE is the Co-Founder and CEO of Help for Heroes and said: “Our mission is to inspire, enable and support wounded, injured and sick service personnel and that is exactly what we did with Steve when we worked with him during his rehabilitation programme. When we first met Steve in 2012 his passion for cycling shone through and as a charity we were delighted to be able to support him with gaining qualifications and accreditation, as well as providing a grant towards some of his start-up costs. What Steve has achieved is a testament to us all in terms of battling back from adversity and we are absolutely thrilled to see LIOS going from strength to strength and to have played our part in this journey."
The Nano is available for purchase now, either direct from LIOS or from Bespoke Cycling and Cyclefit in London.
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