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One year ago, I took my love for cycling, photography, and video and interviewed for a job at ZiZZO bicycles. I personally had never tried a folding bike and in fact had almost no knowledge of the world of so called, “commuter bikes” and the people who love them. My world had revolved around traditional “big bikes” whether it was a road bike from my racing days or my get-out-and-play-in-the-dirt mountain bike.
I don’t want to say I was a little bit snobby after seeing a picture of a bike with 20-inch wheels... but I did have my own thoughts. It reminded me of growing up as a kid, riding my BMX bike and going off some “sweet” jumps.
“How can riding one of these bikes even be fun for an adult?” I thought to myself.
I wasn’t there to judge the bikes, but since I would be riding them in my videos for the job, I knew I would be getting first-hand experience. So, it was going to be important that I get used to them and truly see what they could do.
I remember looking at the price points on ZiZZO’s website and my first thoughts being, “These bikes are not going to be very good. They might do O.K. riding around the block but that’s about it. Would parts be falling off? Will the brakes go out of adjustment easily? Is this thing going to unfold on me as I ride it?” I had a lot of bad preconceived notions.
After getting hired on my first day at work I grabbed an Urbano and headed out on some local dirt trails close to ZiZZO HQ. After fumbling around because I was still learning to get it together and make sure the ZiZZO was adjusted to my personal preferences, I was on my way.
Now here is the part where I could just say, “It was the greatest bike ever,” since I am employed here at ZiZZO. You are probably thinking, “Here comes the sales pitch.” I will let you be the judge, but this is my honest recollection: as I made my way through the gears on this dirt trail, I found myself smiling and having fun. That’s it! Having FUN!
The gears ran smoothly as I encountered some hills, and the grip of the tire felt solid. Coming down a few hills- I tested out the brakes and I felt very confident. The bike handled way better than I expected and it was light and responsive.
A few minutes of riding passed, and I still wasn’t sure about the whole stem situation... so I was kind of cautious. Steering seemed awkward because I was so used to a traditional frame. As I gained confidence I pushed harder on the pedals and started to “get after it” a little. I came away from that ride thinking “Wow, that was cool! Let’s see what else we can do on these bikes.”
That was a year ago this week. Since then, I have used all of the ZiZZO bike models on long rides, short rides, country dirt, big city streets, national park trails, sandy beaches, and back roads in the desert. I have called up friends to ask them to do some photo shoots riding different models, and they ended up buying a few after spending a few hours on them.
I have performed legitimate power meter tests comparing three (3) other traditional bikes to a Liberte and saw how close the results were firsthand. Outside of a few minor adjustments here and there, like any bike, I really am amazed at the quality of the frame and how the bike rides at this price point.
I have not had a flat or any major incident with any parts after a year of pushing each ZIZZO model to limits that I don’t think some people would believe. When people see the video of my recent road trip, they respond to me, “You rode a ZIZZO in Sedona Arizona on those trails?”
I sure did and there is red dirt still in my car to prove it! Just last week we did a big test as well experimenting with a loaded down ZiZZO Forte for a bike packing excursion. It was not a problem! Every test along the way I had small inhibitions, waiting for something negative to happen.
The only thing that happened was I had FUN! I think I have turned the corner and feel converted in some way. Maybe I’m just preaching to the choir and you already knew this way before I came around. Happy Pedaling!