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of Montague Folding
Meredith, 9-26-01 | As posted to the austin-bikes email
- I've been riding a Montague off
and on since 1993. The are pretty useful for
specific situations, but getting David Montague to make
any changes to the design to make the bike more useful
just hasn't happened.
- I have the folding mountain bike model. When I
ordered it from his biggest distributor in Seattle I
specified the gearing I wanted (28/38/48 in front and a
13/30 cogset). I also got it with a rear rack and later
put a front fork on it that had bosses for lowrider
touring racks on the front. I also installed aerobars
with a bar bag.
- Because of the strange seat geometry I had to put a
"triathlete" adaptor on the seat post to get the saddle
further forward and in the proper position for efficient
- Montague desiged the bike for pilots and RV owners as
quick transportation from airport to nearest hotel or
from RV park to store, etc. He didn't care if it was too
heavy for real riding, or not the proper geometry for
long distance riding.
- When I had finished modifying mine, I put it in the
shoulder bag. (You don't want to be toting this bike in
the bag very far. A few blocks will do it for most.)
- BUT, the bike in its bag gets on the Amtrak as
luggage and not baggage, an important distinction when
you want to get off at a stop where they don't get into
the baggage car.
- With all my gear either stuffed into the bike bag
with the bike or packed in my panniers, I boarded Amtrak
in Austin and got off in Phoenix, then took an Amtrak bus
- In Flagstaff, at 6:30 in the morning, I unpacked and
unfolded the bike in the Amtrak station there and donning
my cycing clothes pedaled off for Kingman and then
Laughlin (about 135 miles) where I spent the night in a
casino hotel. (Walking a bike through a casino is an
interesting experience.) The next morning I rode over the
mountain pass to catch the quiet highway to Las Vegas
(avoiding the truck infested narrow roads up to and
across the dam). That day was about 105 miles.
- The Montague weighed about 34 pounds with racks and
aerobars and no panniers. That's a bit heavy for this
kind of riding. I did have Avocet Cross road tires so it
wasn't quite like riding a mountain bike that far. The
aerobars gave me a low (and restful) position not usually
available on mountain bikes.
- David Montague DID give me the bag for the bike and
wished me luck. Local Camelbak rep Tom Delaney sponsored
me to the tune of giving me a new Camelbak for my ride in
the desert and some Camelbak stickers for the bike
(making the sponsorship official I guess).
- I didn't ride the bike back, but it was handy in Las
Vegas during the Interbike trade show as that town is
clogged with cars most of the time. The Amtrak station
was in the basement of a hotel on Fremont street and I
rode the train to LA and then from there to San Antonio
- That, in my opinion, is what the Montague is good
for. It's a good, sturdy alternate touring bike that can
be transported easier than a conventional bike. I have
taken my Montague to Ireland for extensive riding and to
Ecuador where it was not the best bike for climbing the
Andes, but when the road turned to cobblestone or even
dirt, it was sure better (with the wider tires) than a
conventional touring bike.
- Oh, I've also ridden my Montague on many Critical
Mass rides back in '94 or so. Not for its foldability,
but for its stability at slow speeds which is what you
get when a couple of hundred people with 30-50 cops show
up for the CM ride.
- Sorry, I got carried away, but that's my take on the
Montague. I haven't ridden the newer funky frame
Montague, just the pretty conventional looking one.
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