This year Heather’s mom got a folding bike! Fun!
Mom didn’t want to spend more than a few hundred dollars on a new bike, so that put Brompton out of the running. She also wanted a folding bike with bigger than 16” wheels. So Heather steered her toward a Zizzo, mainly based on i bike unfolded’s review of the Zizzo Liberte. Zizzo is an American bike company that makes affordable folding bikes with aluminum frames and 20” wheels. It’s exactly what Mom wanted and she’s happy with it. But how does a $400 Zizzo compare to a $2000 Brompton? Is the Brompton worth the extra money?
We’ll answer that question in more detail below, but first, a fun video of Heather and her mom biking their folding bikes, and Heather trying to fold the Zizzo…
CHART: Comparing the Brompton & Zizzo
|Brompton S6R||Zizzo Via|
|Price||$2,290.00 CAN||$479.66 CAN|
|Gears||6-speed internal hub + derailleur||7-speed derailleur|
|Weight||27 lbs||27 lbs|
No doubt about it, the Brompton is much more expensive. Considering that the other specs (weight, gears, tires) are similar, why does the Brompton cost more? And why would anyone pay for a Brompton when they could get a Zizzo for a quarter of the price?
Recreational Cyclists vs Commuter/Travel Cyclists
It comes down to who the target buyers are and what they plan to do with a folding bike.
My mom is the exact target buyer for Zizzo. She just wants is a half-decent bike to pedal around town and the campground. She’s only going to fold it up a few times a year to put it in a motor vehicle. That’s it. She won’t ride it hard or take it on 100km/day trips. She’s a recreational cyclist.
We, on the other hand, wanted bikes to take traveling that could easily be carried on trains, planes, buses and automobiles. The fold had to be small and preferably quick and easy. We also needed bikes that could be ridden a LOT since cycling is our main form of transportation. We are not solely recreational cyclists. We’re urban commuters and bike packers.
For us, the Bromptons were absolutely worth the money.
|Recreational Cyclist||Commuter/Travel Cyclist|
|Fold||Fine with the Zizzo’s slow, big fold because they don’t fold it often and only for transport in a personal vehicle.||Values the Brompton’s fast, small fold when hopping on and off transit or flying on planes.|
|Durability||If not riding too far or frequently, the Zizzo with its cheaper components should hold up okay.||Riding for a daily commute and/or traveling long distances over unknown terrain calls for the sturdy toughness of a Brompton.|
|Parts||Standard parts that can be found at any bike store make it easy to fix a Zizzo.||Proprietary parts mean you either need to live near a Brompton dealer or have the patience to mail order parts and be savvy enough to fix the bike yourself.|
So, for my mom, who hardly ever folds her folding bike, doesn’t ride the bike far, and doesn’t live near a Brompton dealer, the Zizzo is perfect. But for us, the Brompton’s quick and tiny fold and overall sturdiness are well worth the money. If you ride often and far, get a Brompton. If not, the Zizzo will do the job.