Are you looking for a nice, cheap fold-up bike? Something you can take on rides into town and throw in the back of your trunk when you're done? If so, the Retrospec Speck SS Folding Bike could be perfect for you. It's a light and affordable bicycle made for casual rides and commuting.
Whether you like the Spec SS or not, is likely to come down to what you're planning to use it for. To be honest, I'd really only recommend this bike for riding on relatively flat roads, you'll want to avoid steep hills (and definitely stay away from mountains) this is because the SS is a single speed bike, which means you can't change gear. So going up hills is a lot more challenging on this bike than on multi-speed bikes where you can just switch to an easier gear.
The Speck is a very stripped down bike. What I mean by this is that it comes without a lot of the add-ons that most people expect modern bikes to have. So it's single speed, doesn't have a chain guard, and lacks fenders too.
One advantage of the Spec being very stripped down, is that it makes it lighter. This, and the Retrospec's aluminium frame mean that it weighs just 22lbs. This is pretty light, and makes storing and carrying it easy.
Obviously it's a matter of taste, but I really like how the Spec SS looks as well! It's got a casual kind of style, very different from classic mountain and road bikes, and looks perfectly designed for taking a lazy commute into town, or riding around a park looking for a place to have a picnic.
According to all the info that came with the bike, you should be able to completely fold it up in 15 seconds. I timed myself, and it took me a little longer than that, but I could definitely have it completely folded in 25 seconds, and it's very simple to do, so folding it shouldn't confuse you.
There have been some complaints about the aluminium frame on this model arriving damaged. I have to say that for me, this wasn't an issue. The frame was fine on the bike I got. Having said that it's obviously concerning that a significant minority of buyers appear to have an issue with the frame, even though you can get it fixed on the warranty, I would definitely take a look at the frame and make sure it looks in good order when yours arrives.
Riding the Retrospec is great. It's smooth and the seat is very comfortable too. So it'd be great if you're planning some leisurely rides into town, and good for commuting as long as your route is flat too.
We all thought this bike was great, but if you live somewhere with a lot of hills, go for a model which isn't single speed instead. Your legs will thank you.
- Extremely comfortable due to the soft seat and ergonomic grips.
- Lightweight and folds up well
- The handlebar and seat are fully adjustable, this means that even if you're tiny (or super tall) you'll fit this bike fine
- Single speed takes a while to get used to. But its simplicity means there's much less to go wrong, meaning the bike will last longer than more complicated models
- It has a cool looking 'casual' style
- It has no front brakes, so it might take a while to get used to the coaster brake
- Some users have reported issues with build quality. This isn't something I've experienced but it's worth looking out for.
- You'll probably only want to ride this on flat (or close to flat) roads, anything else will be a bit much