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The Frame is the Heart of ZiZZO’s Integrity

A bicycle’s frame is everything. It determines the performance and safety of the bike. A lot of engineering and material science go into designing a frame that is strong, rigid and lightweight. These are contrary engineering objectives: a rigid frame can be brittle and easily crack, a steel frame can be strong, but heavy. Typically, as the strength to weight ratio of a frame increases, the cost increases exponentially. Rigidity or stiffness of the frame determines the efficiency in transferring a rider’s energy in pedaling into propelling the bike forward : otherwise the force applied to pedaling will be wasted by flexing the frame from side to side. The more rigid the frame, the more responsive and faster the bike since the energy of pedaling will transfer power directly to turning the wheel.

ZiZZO is an engineering feat. When the frame unfolds and locks together it becomes more rigid than most traditional bikes, compared to expensive mountain and road bikes costing thousands of dollars. ZiZZO’s aluminum alloy frame offers riders the best strength to weight ratio at an affordable cost every time. That means every ZiZZO is strong, rigid, light and both fast and easy to ride. We’re not building folding bikes at ZiZZO. We’re making all-round performance bikes that just happen to fold.

How a 20-inch wheel bike RIDES BIG

It’s all about gearing. Gears and “gear inches” are the great equalizers in cycling. They can turn a small 20-inch wheel bike into a world record speed machine. Case in point: the Bluenose, a small wheel bike that clocked 83.13 mph in 2013 to set the world speed record for a bike. It all boils down to designing front and rear gear sizes that provide correct gear inches (or the distance you move per revolution of the crank arm). Typical mountain bikes gear inches range from 25” in the lowest gear to 87” in the high gear (Trek 820). An average road bike, ranges from 28” in low to 120” in the highest gear (Diamondback Century). For ZiZZO, designed for an “all around” ride, we chose a range from 30” in the lowest gear to 87” in the highest gear. What does that mean? Quite simply ZiZZO is designed to ride as easily up a hill as a typical road bike and as fast as an average mountain bike.


Acceleration. 20-inch wheels are lighter with less mass meaning less moment or inertia. In stop and go riding, smaller wheels mean faster acceleration which translates to a more efficient ride.

More agile: Like BMX bikes, 20-inch small wheels are more maneuverable and wider tires improve comfort. They’re more responsive too to steering plus the larger contact area on the ground creates better traction, particularly in tight turns and wet conditions.

Strength: 20” wheels are inherently stronger than standard 26-29” wheels on traditional bikes as shorter spokes make the rim structurally stronger and more resistant to impact.

Fit: Larger wheels require larger bike frame geometry overall, making 26”, 27.5” and 29” wheel equipped bikes more suitable for bigger or taller riders. ZiZZO’s 20-inch wheels can fit male and female riders from 4’8” to 6’3."

Stack, Reach and Angles

Stack, reach, and the two angles (between the headtube and seat tube) are the main ways that a traditional bike is measured. It’s these measurements that determine how comfortable and agile a bike will ride. ZiZZO bikes get around problems with sizing frames by making the seat post adjustable (changing the stack height) and designing the stem to be adjustable (changing the reach). These two simple adjustments allow riders of differing heights to ride the same bike without changing frame angles or sacrificing ride comfort.

Just how comfortable can a ZiZZO be?

Comfort comes from three things: a rigid frame to absorb impact and vibration and the right handlebar and seat configuration for every rider. A rigid frame however will fatigue a rider as it transfers the shocks from bumps in the road directly to a rider's arms and back. To solve the problem every ZiZZO is designed to flex at the seat post and handlebar stem, creating better rider comfort. Adjustable seat and stem posts also mean every rider can adjust to the perfect riding position.


ZiZZO bikes were rigorously tested for strength and stiffness using three standardized tests: Lateral Bending Stiffness, Tire Contact Lateral Bending Stiffness, and Front Triangle Stiffness. Independent testing experts, Bike Testing, Inc. in the USA has given ZiZZO an overall stiffness rating comparable to traditional bikes costing thousands of dollars.


The frame is positioned horizontally on the test-bed and the head tube is clamped securely and rigidly to the head tube test-bed fixture. The bottom bracket shell rests firmly on the test bed and is simply supported at a height, which positions the frame in the horizontal plane. A solid dummy rear axle is clamped into the rear fork-ends (in the case of adjustable type rear fork ends the dummy rear axle is positioned such as to make the wheelbase as short as possible). Deflection measurements are taken from the top of the dummy rear axle with a 0.001-inch dial indicator. Weights are hung from the bottom of the dummy rear axle and measurements are taken with four different pre-loads, each time measuring the deflection caused by adding a 3.0-pound weight.


The frame is positioned horizontally and clamped at the head tube bearings. The bearings are held rigidly so that the frame can rotate about the bearings. A bar is installed into the BB which clamps onto the BB shell and positions the BB 1 1/2" from a stand which the bar rests on. The bar has a rounded end on it to allow the BB to rotate on the stand. Oil is placed on the stand at the contact point to further allow movement. An axle is bolted into the rear dropouts which have a bar attached to it 90 degrees from the plane of the axle. The axle/ bar represent the rear wheel. The bar extending from the axle is placed into position so that the bar intersects the point at which the wheel makes contact with the ground. Weights are placed onto the contact point and deflection is measured to determine stiffness.


The frame is positioned horizontally on the test-bed and the head tube is clamped securely and rigidly to the head tube test-bed fixture. The torsion-testing lever is bolted rigidly into the bottom bracket shell and projects horizontally in the opposite direction of the seat tube. While the bottom bracket shell rests firmly on the elevated portion of the test bed it is otherwise unrestrained. During the measurement the frame has no additional equipment mounted on it nor is it restrained in any other way. Deflection measurements are made by applying torque to the bottom bracket shell by means of the torsion-testing lever (which is pre-marked at 30.5 inches from the center of the bottom bracket shell). The angular deflection of the bottom bracket shell is measured by measuring the total angular deflection of the torsion-testing lever and subtracting the deflection that occurs in the torsion-testing lever itself. The resultant bottom bracket torsion rigidity is calculated as torque expressed in ft-lbs, divided by the angular deflection in degrees.

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