Montague Paratrooper Pro—A Rough and Ready Folding Mountain Bike
Whether you are attacking the terrain of the Swiss Alps or the urban street scene of San Diego, this bike is on your side. It combines the features of a mountain bike and a folding bike into one tough package. With a full stealth look and some nice components, you can take to the air just like a paratrooper.
As this extended test came together, I made big plans to make sure this post included some shots of me flying through the air on this folding bike. That hasn’t happened yet, but I am still working on it. I have jumped a bunch of curbs and steps, but no big air yet. NYCeWheels sent me this bike to wring out and report on, and as you might know, they are big on folding and electric bikes. My time as a jumper in the 82nd Airborne might be part of their reason they picked this bike for me to test.
It came to me in a small box, tuned-up and ready to ride. The fold is quick and easy, but there is one detail I feel they left out. If you’ve seen the video review they (NYCeWheels) posted, you may have noticed Peter setting the front chain ring on his shoe during the fold. A strong chain ring guard or support loop under the bottom bracket would protect the sprocket better when folded. Other than that, this bike seems to have it all.
It folds right in half, then the front wheel comes off and is secured to the bike with a Velcro strap that waits on the handle bars. It is not the smallest package, but with its light overall weight, it is easy to move and stow. The front half of the bike pivots on a seat tube bushing and it has a strong quick-release lever and pin that holds it all solid during the ride. The rear wheel has a quick-release skewer too, but removing it doesn‘t really make the folded bike much smaller.
Riding the bike, it is impossible to tell it’s a folder. Even though I’m no racer, I have put some hard miles on it since I got it. I can feel no flex or drawbacks with this set-up. I am sure it has a little more heft due to the folding mechanism and the design needed for the fold, but it seems light and agile to me. It has the typical cockpit of a mountain bike and feels the part as you pedal. Every time I climb aboard the Paratrooper Pro, I start feeling pretty racy.
Montague offers other full-sized folding bikes too. Street and touring models are on the list in addition to their mountain bike selection. From the photos, they all share a similar folding mechanisms. The spec sheet on this bike is pretty impressive. You can see it on their website (and NYCeWheels’ too), so I won’t go into all the details here. But, let’s have a look at some of the pieces included.
Out front is a long travel fork. It has a preload adjustment and a travel lockout. It’s good at soaking up the bumpy stuff and I found the correct settings for my riding style right away. It feels very secure and flex-free. It turns on the frame with an ahead system. The handlebars have a slight rearward sweep and mount to a stem with a shallow rise.
Promax discs and calipers are bolted up front and rear. These are mechanical calipers that use standard brake cables to actuate them. They work well with a good feel. It takes a little more hand power then some when you first start braking, but they really slow the bike down quick when you want them to. Tucked up next to the brake levers are some thumb and finger operated trigger shifters.
I counted 27 speeds on the Montague. Everyone knows you can’t really use them all, but they are there. I found the shifting to be very good. It has your typical mountain bike overall gearing—very low. Even still, the street riding I’ve done never left me wanting for any extra gearing. Everything here is Shimano, so you would expect it to work well and it does.
It seems sealed bearings are the norm on this bike. I am not fully convinced these are the best way to go, but many bikes use them and most people are good with that. It will keep them clean as you bike through the muck and mud, so I can see why they are on so many bikes. The higher quality sealed bearing sets do last a long time and the lack of needed maintenance during their life-cycle is another big plus.
The rims and tires match the Paratrooper Pro just right. The Kenda tires are not the most aggressive knobbys you might see, but they do offer a good ride on the street or trail. It is common for serious off-roaders to swap out to their favorite tires before the first ride, but I do think these are worth leaving on. The double-walled alloy rims look strong and, of course, are stealthy black like the rest of the bike.
The Montague Paratrooper Pro comes in two frame sizes. It weighs in at about 29 lbs. It will fold-down to a fairly small size so popping it into your trunk is easy. There are a lot of people who love their folding bikes for just this one reason. Easy to store, transport and secure—that is the way of any folding bike. This one just happens to open into a full-sized bike that rides great.
Well, I will get those shots of me getting air on the Paratrooper Pro soon. I will also look for a link to the video I saw where the skydiver and the bike free-fall together. That is part of what this Montague is designed for. After a rough landing, a quick un-fold, and it is good to go. And who doesn’t want that?
Hit the sheets, Turbo Bob.
“It’s funny. Die-hard dirtheads believe that everyone should get a mountain bike, yet they bum out over the fact that just about anyone can. Because if everyone has one, how do you tell who the true mountain bikers are?”—Rob Story.
You can find them at NYCeWheels
NYCeWheels review video link
The skydiving Montague Paratrooper Pro video