Search Results for: Melon

We received the Melon Slice a few months back to test. Melon Bicycles provided us a demo unit and we were not paid to provide this review. Here’s our disclaimer.

melon slice

What: Melon Bicycles, Slice 20″ folding bike

Price: $599

Specs:
Frame 7005 aluminum-octagon shape
Fork 7005 aluminum
Folded Size 34″L x 27″H x 13″W
Folding Time 15 seconds
Weight 25.5 lbs
Suggested Rider Height 4’-8? to 6’-3?
Maximum Rider Weight 240 lbs
Crankset SRAM Truvativ Touro 52T
Chain KMC HG50 108L
Hubs Formula FB-31FQR, Formula FB-32 RQR
Spokes 14G Steel, 12mm brass CP nipples
Rims Weinmann ZAC20
Tire Kenda K909, 20?x1.75?
Shifter SRAM MRX Pro with display
Rear Derailleur Sora 8 speed
Cassette Shimano CS-HG50-8, 12-25T
Brakes Promax Alloy V brakes
Brake Levers Promax 2.5 Finger Alloy
Pedals VP folding pedal
Saddle Cionlli
Seat Post 34×550mm
Handlebar 25.4mmx500mm, swept 6 degrees
Stem 300mm folding

Riding the Melon Slice is actually pretty fun. What I liked most about this bike is the fact it is super nimble. If you recall riding a BMX bike when you were a kid, just think of the same type of agility and handling, but in a grown up way. Since the Melon Slice has a shorter wheel base than the average bike, its handling is really quick and responsive. Popping wheelies and the occasional bunny hop is pretty easy on the Slice. So why would a bike commuter be doing those tricks? Well in my commute, there are tons of obstacles such as pot holes, trash, debris and even animals. The Melon Slice was awesome when it came to last minute directional changes.

The ride experience of this bike was very pleasant. It’s a smooth riding bike and if needed it could mash. When looking at this cute little folder, you’d think its going to be a bike that your grandmother would be riding. In fact I had some people call it an “RV Bike.” Not sure if you knew this, but folders are pretty popular with RV folks since they store pretty easily in tight spaces. Anyhow, the Melon Slice is quite a sleeper. I mean just look at it, it’s cute. Nothing about it says HI PERFORMANCE. However, that all changes when you start pedaling. The 52t chainring gets this bike moving like no one’s business. Combine that with the 8speed Shimano 12-25T and this bike will fly. There really isn’t much effort needed to start reaching speeds over 20mph.

Shifting with the SRAM MRX grip shift was pretty accurate. However, towards the last week of testing, I noticed that the rear derailleur needed to be slightly tuned. The Promax brakes are pretty powerful. They can stop me without a problem, and I’m a big guy, 208lbs (all muscle).

One gripe I have would be the width of the handlebar. It measured at 20″ wide. I prefer to ride with a minimum of 25″ bars. Besides, I like the extra leverage I can get with wider bars. It makes climbing out of the saddle easier. So there are two options: you can invest in an expensive set of wider bars Pricepoint.com has one for $10, or you can get a set of bar ends to help with the leverage when climbing.

The Melon Slice is very durable frame. It’s gusseted for extra strength and it’s pretty stiff for a folder. Even though this bike is pretty strong and durable, it does have a weight limit of 240lbs. So that means no big boys or girls. The folding ability of the bike makes this thing pretty easy to store. Folding the bike only takes 15 seconds and it’s pretty self explanatory.



I know what you’re already thinking, “what about fenders and racks?” Well, you’re in luck. Melon Bicycles have already addressed that issue. They sent me a fender and rack set that they have available on their site.



The rack has a 20lbs capacity. But I noticed this thing wasn’t really meant for the large seat post since it was giving me some play when I would load it up. I really dig this rack for its storage.


There was play on the clamp. The fittings that came with it were too small.

All in all, the Melon Slice is a pretty decent folding bike. I like how fast this thing goes and the gearing was just right for hills and flats. Its’ a very nimble bike, handling is exquisite, the wheels stayed true and the shifting stayed pretty tuned up until last week. But that’s nothing that a few turns of the adjuster barrel couldn’t fix. So for $599, this folder has all the benefits of a small commuter/folding bike, but it also has the capabilities to keep up or pass other riders with bigger bikes.

We received the Melon Bicycles, Slice to test out. Here are some of the first few pics of the Slice.

melon slice

melon slice

Folding mechanism

8 Speed SRAM

Kick Stand!

Folds at the stem.

Shimano 12-25T

Folding Pedals


Specs:

Frame 7005 aluminum-octagon shape
Fork 7005 aluminum
Folded Size 34″L x 27″H x 13″W
Folding Time 15 seconds
Weight 25.5 lbs
Suggested Rider Height 4’-8? to 6’-3?
Maximum Rider Weight 240 lbs
Crankset SRAM Truvativ Tuoro 52T
Chain KMC HG50 108L
Hubs Formula FB-31FQR, Formula FB-32 RQR
Spokes 14G Steel, 12mm brass CP nipples
Rims Weinmann ZAC20
Tire Kenda K909, 20?x1.75?
Shifter SRAM MRX Pro with display
Rear Derailleur Sora 8 speed
Cassette Shimano CS-HG50-8, 12-25T
Brakes Promax Alloy V brakes
Brake Levers Promax 2.5 Finger Alloy
Pedals VP folding pedal
Saddle Cionlli
Seat Post 34x550mm
Handlebar 25.4mmx500mm, swept 6 degrees
Stem 300mm folding

Price $599

Ok, okaaaaaaay.  So Ghost Rider the Whip has tasked me with the year-end update to all ye mighty Bike Commuters!!! For all you non-daily readers (myself included, no excuses, just the truth yo) consider this the ultimate BikeCommuters.com Cliff Notes of 2011.  Be sure to click the extra links, so many goodies embedded in this one.  And since I love LISTS as much as tweens love Ryan Gosling and puppies, here is the Top 11 Bike Commuters Highlights (and then some) from the Year of the Rabbit …  Let the countdown begin.

My expression of my love for LISTS can only be captured with this moment!

11.  Helmet on a Diet: Among many products, including the O2 Rainwear’s Calhoun Jacket, Levis 511 Commuter Jeans, and others from Chrome, Planet Bike, Velo Orange, and Ergon, we reviewed this half-weight BMX/skater style melon protector – the Pryme V2 Lite! Removable pads allow for easy cleaning, adjustment, and with 13 vents will keep you less than sweaty. RL even said this Pryme helmet on a diet was so light he forgot he was wearing it!

10. How To’s and Ghetto-rigging: Several articles this year featured DIY and easy commuter tips like how to apply Stealthy 3M Reflective Tape to your bike frame!  Check out the before and after shots in this follow up article.  We wrote about how to make a Bike Train, last minute tips for carrying groceries home, and a friendly reminder on lubing your chain!

9.  Winterize-Me! 2011, the year of the rabbit is also the year of the snow-bunny.  All-year and all-weather rider Elizabeth has cranked out some popular tips and posts on layering, waterproofing your getup, and winterizing your manos for the harshest winter climate commutes.  Two-wheeled transporting readers like yourselves named this article a top fave in our 2000th post giveaway contest!  Check out Layering as Easy as 1 2 or 3! Elizabeth makes us warm-weather writers look like sissy lalas, she’s a BAMF commuter no doubt.

8. Hear Ye, Hear Ye: From you the readers, we had a handful of commuter profiles in the Year of the Rabbit including my posts from Hawaii, Arizona, California, and Illinois.  Thanks to Willy Campbell, Karen Voyer-Caravona, Hermes Pagulayan, and Robert Guico for keeping it real.  We love to hear from the readers themselves about their best rides, funny stories, tips, and setups…

Bike Commuter Profiles Rabbit Round-up, 2011 photocrap edition!!!

7. Travels & Adventuretimes: Jetsetting, touring, and leap-frogging through time and space, the BikeCommuters staff writers adventured far and wide including visits to Bike Shares in France, Interbike 2011 in Vegas, vacation commuting in Chicago, and historical Bike Museums in Ohio!  I guess we could say we’re bunny-hopping through time and space.  We hope to have more Bike Commuters staff travels and adventures next year; maybe we can meet up with you local readers for events or rides!

6. Five-O, Five-O! RL roped his friend, “Officer Ben” into chatting about the DOs and DON’Ts of bikes in the city.  For more bike list-lust and Five-O insight, try this article titled “My Conversation witha  Cop about Bike Traffic and Safety Tips.”  As always with officers, remember your attitude makes a difference!

5. Commuter All-in-One Review –We Reviewed some non-commuter specific bikes this year (like the Xootr Swift and the Redline Urbis) but Jack pulled the lucky straw and got his heine on this Breezer Uptown 8 back in Spring (full-on Wabbit Season)!  The Uptown 8 came fully-loaded with all kinds of commuter goodies: rear rack, chaincase, dyno-powered lights, full fenders, internal shifting, bell, high spoke count wheels, water bottle cage, and a kickstand!  And all for $999.00 MSRP, a low maintenance sturdy steed for city riding requires only one stop at the LBS.  Jack gave this all in one commuter a HIGH FIVE of awesomeness.

4.  Planet Bike Superflashy-flash TURBO! Hoo-hoo, you caught me!  My soft spot for all things blinky lights and hi-viz leads me to this post by Vince.  The Planet Bike Superflash Turbo has 1-Watt a licious power of red LEDs and a attention-grabbing flashy pattern that earned an “A” from Bike Commuters!  Read the full article here.

3.  Nice Paint Job, oh and Nice Bike Too – RL reviewed some single speed and fixed gear rides this year like the Torker KB2 and the 2011 Redline 925.  The KB2 is a fixie with a 2-speed kick back hub and a pearly green paint job.  The Redline 925 is a single speed city slammer, excellent stopping power in the breaks, a smooth ride, clean lines, and commuter staples like fenders, chain guard, toe clips, and rack mounts!  For those of you in the market for a single speed or fixie ride, put these mamas on your bike lust list and ride these velos non-stop like bunnies in springtime.  Now for some bike p0rn with the Redline 925 in “Pearl Dark Brown”:
and in the KB2 Torker in “sparkly green”!

2. Ok, So Interbike is Kinda a Big Deal –  So we can’t pass up the year of the rabbit without highlights from Interbike 2011!! RL was all over this event sorting through the good, ze germans, and the goofy to make us feel like we were all there too!  He even bumped into some other traveling bike bloggers!  There’s a lil som’n som’n for everyone at Interbike…What about Urbana Bikes commuter with belt drive?  And for us nighttime commuters LED by Light’s got light kits with turn signals?  How ’bout you been broke phi broke all year and wanna haul a lotta stuff with an affordable Dutch Cargo bike?  Sign us up!
1. 2000th Post Giveaway! The countdown ends with a big-timey milestone, the 2000th post hit us in December 2011.  Thanks to all our staff writers this year and in years past that made it possible!  We celebrated with a giveaway of awesome stuff as readers posted their favorite articles on facebook and in the comments. It was really cool to dig up older articles and see feedback from readers who don’t usually post (without enticement of free bike goodies).  Hopefully, our winnder John Leddy from Burlington, VT is enjoying his Banjo Brothers backpack, Planet Bike lights and accessories, a Bikecommuters.com tshirt and sticker pack and a Chainspirations zipper pull.
Special thanks go to Banjo Brothers and Planet Bike for helping sponsor our prize giveaway.  So here’s the part where we say goodbye to the Rabbit and hello to the dragon!  Thanks for sticking with us Bike Commuters readers, Ride ALOHA!

Photocredit to Papajka on Flickr! Take that you toasty rabbit!

The other day I finally rode my bike with a pannier. The one in question is the Banjo Brothers Market Pannier. I’ve had this bag for over 2 years and the extent that of its use was to grab groceries or to carry heavy objects like a case of beer and melons.

When I was planning my commute the night before, rather than packing my backpack full of stuff, I grabbed the Market Pannier instead. The following morning I mounted the pannier on the rear rack and off I went. I arrived at my office sweat-free (my back)! Typically when I ride, I’ll bring a back pack, but that always guarantees me a sweaty back and at times aching shoulders. Personally I never liked the whole pannier look, I’ve always thought it was kinda “old” looking.

But after my ride with the pannier, I may have to eat my words…

Last week, I was able to travel with my family to the great city of Minneapolis for a family obligation. I hadn’t been there since 1982, and since then a LOT of things have changed — including Minneapolis’s growing reputation as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the United States.

That reputation is well-earned…there are bicycles EVERYWHERE. Heck, I even saw bicycle parking at the airport! Cyclists of all shapes, sizes and disciplines were present pretty much everywhere I went around the city — from sleek fixies and hip young riders to kids to hardcore commuters, roadies and everyone in between. Ah, what a refreshing change from my own city, where I mostly see “guys on bikes” and myself.

Anyhow, we shot a bunch of pictures and stopped at some of the hotbeds of the Minneapolis bike “scene”…concentrating on the vibrant neighborhoods in the Lyn Lake/Uptown area.

First off, this is a typical street scene in south Minneapolis: bikes locked up everywhere. There were bikes on racks, bikes on poles, bikes on porch railings, in yards and every other conceivable location. My friend and tour guide Laura insists that “it’s like this all year-round”, not just when the weather is nice!

street scene

We stopped by Cars R Coffins Coffee Bar/Cykel Garage to see if we could meet Hurl Everstone, who had promised the Bikecommuters.com crew a few months back that he’d submit a commuter profile for us. No luck…he had the day off. Still, we checked the place out and got a cup of badass hot chocolate, too!

my crew

The tiny CRC Coffee Bar is packed to the gills with bike culture — bikes and parts for sale crammed everywhere they’d fit. One thing that caught my eye in particular were a pair of beautiful vintage cruisers hanging from the rafters:

cruise

Walking further down Lyndale Avenue and after eating a spectacular breakfast at The Egg & I, we spotted this bike rack…one of dozens we spotted peppering the community. It just so happened that this day was the day Minneapolis celebrated Bike to Work Day and was early enough that a lot of folks were still riding to work, so the racks weren’t full. But, they were everywhere — no worries about finding a suitable lockup point in this area!

lockup

My wife spotted this cute fixie locked up on the street — a springtimey slice of delicious watermelon:

watermelon

Strangely enough, I’m coveting some pink rims for a bike now!

Later on in the week, we stopped in at The Alt , a legendary bike shop and a great place to hang out. I told the employees that I wished they were MY local shop, and I meant it — friendly folks who are really passionate about bikes. The Alt was STUFFED with bikes, snowboards and goodies galore, and also serves as one of the primary dealers for the new Handsome Cycles brand. I wasn’t able to check out any Handsome Devils in person, though, because they were being featured in a display at another great Minneapolis shop called One on One Bicycle Studio. Next time I’m in town, I’ll make it down to the Warehouse District to check out One on One.

the alt

More bikes on the street, and the Minneapolis Re Cycle. I didn’t get a chance to go inside, but I heard good things about the place.

re cycle

And a parting shot of some fixed-gear riders heading down Nicollet Avenue in front of excellent German restaurant Black Forest Inn.

nicollet

We only got to spend a few days in the city, but what we saw blew us away — bike-friendly infrastructure galore and more importantly, people taking advantage of it. I spoke to many bike commuters while walking the streets Uptown, and they raved about the city’s efforts to encourage transportational cyclists.

Although I didn’t get a picture of it, it seemed like the must-have bicycle accessory in Minneapolis is a milk crate strapped on. I saw dozens of bikes rockin’ milk-crates (after all, America’s Dairyland is right next door)…so, if you want to channel some of the Minneapolis bike spirit, get your own and wear it proudly!

I’m looking forward already to my next visit — the Mini Apple is a fantastic place…diverse, friendly and very cosmopolitan. And they love bikes up there — can it get any better?!?