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2009 Christmas Gadget Countdown - 8. Folding bicycles
As a child you always wanted a bike for Christmas, so why change the habit of a lifetime? These days there are all sorts of tax breaks from employees and employers when staff are encouraged to cycle to work. But on what?
Your usual road or mountain bike might be all right for weekend use, but where do you put it on the train or at work? Answer – get yourself a modern folding bike. By far the most popular supplier of small wheel folding bikes is Brompton (www.brompton.co.uk), whose lightweight two-gear S-type models start at £630. You'll see plenty of these around London mainline stations during the rush hour.
If you want something a bit more like a normal bike, have a look at Montague's Swissbike (http://swissbike.co.uk/catalog/) where they have models like the £799 LX which looks like a proper mountain bike that folds in half, complete with 24 gears and front suspension.
Websites such as www.foldingbikes.co.uk/ will give you a good idea of the rage of folding bikes now on the market, from familiar names such as Moulton to the more innovative Gocycle, featuring an electric motor that should save you some energy on the cycle to work, but still qualify you for the tax-free employer-provided cyclists breakfast when you get to the office!