Pacific IF Mode—Art on Two Wheels.
Art can be many things to many people. Sometimes it is an inanimate object confined to a wall, shelf or outdoor setting. Often it is an outlet to allow people to explore and expose their inner feelings. Viewed as cash on the barrel head is the narrow-minded opinion of a hardened few. When that art is functional, it takes on a whole new meaning. Such is the art form of the Pacific IF Mode folding bike. Every bicycle is its own art object, yet I think we can all agree the Mode takes it to a never before seen level.
When I first saw this folding bike on the NYCeWheels Facebook page I was instantly drawn to it. As I ride it I find others have the same instinct. Some of this comes from the mag wheels, the disc brakes and the enclosed drive train. Those are technical features, yet the real allure is the whole package. From stem to stern each piece has a magical flow and a sculptured look that has never been drawn before. If you want the look of excitement and beauty when you ride, then this bike is a must have for your stable.
Like most all the bikes I get from NYCeWheels, it was fully assembled, tuned and ready to ride. Of course I checked the security of each fastener, aired the tires, and set the saddle and bars to my liking. From the first turn of the pedals I was smitten by the modern details and the ultra modern looks. I will be the first to admit this is no feather-weight low-down race bike, yet it really is so much more than that. It is a city bike with no equal in many respects. A quick fold, easy storage, full sized ride, clean and easy transportation, and knock-out looks start the list of what it is and does.
You may have already noticed it appears to be a single-speed. Yet looks are deceiving because of the fully enclosed drive train (no greasy pants, in fact no greasy anything). In the bottom bracket is the Schlumpf two-speed actuated with a sliding motion from your heels. For some riding conditions a third speed would have been nice, but two does the trick on this folder. These two things keep the bike clean and sleek.
Then check out the single sided chassis and fork. Not just for appearance, they let the wheels come fully together when folded. That makes wheeling the folded IF Mode much like pushing a narrow cart. Another big benefit here is easy flat repairs if ever needed. Wheel removal isn’t necessary, the tires and tubes come off in a jiff. Once again, art and function collide in the best of ways.
IF stands for intergraded folding. The bike frame folds completely in half in one fluid motion. As the two wheels come to kiss each other, a strong magnet on the wheel hubs lock them together solidly. The bar ends fold down, and the pedals do too. Lowering the seat post completes the job for a narrow and reasonably small package. One lever locks and un-locks the frame in place. Part of the art that is the Pacific IF Mode is in the fold.
The rear frame is the drive train housing. Once again mixing art with a bike necessity. I do feel that the strength and thickness of the aluminum frame here (and the aluminum mags) is part of why the bike is heavier than it appears. At just over 32 lbs, it is more than you would expect or want, but during the ride you don’t really notice it. Because it is easy to roll when folded, that heft isn’t an issue, yet a little umpf is needed when you lift it to the trunk or roll it up the stairs.
As I let people try it out, their first concern often had to do with the unusual front end and its affect on the ride. By all means it sure does look un-centered and out of whack. The truth is it all lines up straight as an arrow, same way the bike steers. Looking down at it during the ride can bring that thought back, yet it rides as well as any bike or folding bike you will mount. The art factor here is kind of catawampus, but this Pacific IF Mode is all bike when it comes to proper geometry.
At the bars are a pair of brake levers connected to the mechanical disc brakes. You get a bell too, but not much else to throw off the simplicity factor. The leather like grips match the saddle, both adding to the white, black, tan, silver color contrasts. The Mode also comes in black, but from my first look I was determined white makes this bike. You may feel different, so feel free to pick the way your bike art should look.
I’ve had this on many rides. It glides smooth and rides very simply. After a while you get used to the shifting without looking down at your feet, but be prepared to do that for a while. You may also have to get used to the many questions about the bike. The main one seems to be “What is that bike?” It is an eye-catcher no matter where you are riding and people want to know more. I usually let them ride it too.
The other question is “How much?” As you check it out on the NYCeWheels website you probably won’t be surprised. With all this technology and coolness, you would expect to pay a few bucks more than an everyday bicycle. This bike isn’t designed with everyday people in mind, but for the few that can appreciate how special it is. Great art is pricey, and the Pacific IF Mode is great art.
Missing from the Mode are a kickstand, fenders and rack. You just may have to get used to the fact that there aren’t any, or a place to mount them either. You will notice that I have the 20” wheeled Pacific IF Move right now too. It shares some features, but not all of the ones on the Mode. Watch for a full write-up on that.
Thanks for the riding art, NYCeWheels—and Pacific, Turbo Bob.
“The fastest I’ve ever fallen in love is 17 miles per hour. But I was safe, because I was wearing a bicycle helmet at the time.”—Jarod Kintz, 99 Cents For Some Nonsense.
NYCeWheels on the web and Facebook. You can find all the specs on the Pacific IF Mode on their site.
Here are a couple videos of the Mode I shot