Bob Forgrave is a bike enthusiast and entrepreneur who creates everyday bikes that are easily transported in cars, RVs, and truck cabs. His company, Flatbike Inc, focuses on portable adventure and has recently started building its own full-size gravel bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrid bikes on the CHANGE folding frame.

For years, Flatbike has been the North American distributor for the CHANGE line of bikes manufactured by Changebike, Ltd in Taiwan. While this relationship has resulted in an enthusiastic community built around the portability of these bikes, the recent change to US-based assembly in the Seattle area means that Flatbike can now more closely tune the component selection to the needs of the US and Canadian markets.

Flatbike Flatbike

While the benefits and disadvantages of tiny folding bikes are well known, the concept of a normal-sized folding bike – a full-sized bike that folds in half – is new to many people, and has significant advantages in convenience, safety, security, and cost savings. For example, when a bike folds in half in under a minute to fit in any car trunk, there is no need for a car rack and any car can be "the bike car," even a taxi or public ride-share car.

Flatbike Founder and President Bob Forgrave explains that the simple ability to place a bike in a car trunk is lifestyle-changing. "Urban commuters can save all their monthly parking expenses by parking in a free area and then cycling in. Suburban riders can take their bikes easily to better places to ride, with safe cycling instructure, like bike paths or parks. And anyone who enjoys adventure can keep a mountain bike securely in a sedan car trunk for spontaneous exploration."

CHANGE Folding Adventure Bike, before and after folding

It is important for long-distance travelers to note that these folding bikes will not fold small enough to fit in a suitcase or luggage. Instead, these are ruggedness-certified everyday bikes with full-size wheels, folding down to half the size of a typical mountain, hybrid or gravel bike. They handle like full-size bikes. The value on a trip is at the other end of the flight, when a bike can go safely up to a hotel room in a carry bag, and go between cities by bus or taxi.

According to Forgrave, having a bike fold also helps with security and safety. "If your bike has ever been stolen, you know that locking your bike to a bike rack doesn't exactly guarantee security. Any lock can be cut, but a CHANGE bike is compact when folded, so you can leave it inside your car when you want to grab a quick bite after a ride. You can also bring it into your apartment or condo at night, so it's not only less likely to get stolen, but also sheltered from the rain and condensation for a longer life with less maintenance."

One audience that has had a strong interest in combining rugged, full-size bikes and travel has been long-haul truck drivers. Having a clean, low-maintenance bike readily accessible inside the truck cab means that drivers have access to convenient secondary transportation, important exercise, and the ability to explore wherever their jobs take them.

Speaking on his company's objectives and unique selling propositions, Forgrave says that Flatbikes focuses on portable adventure. "What makes us different from competitors is the fact that we make full-size but folding bikes that seamlessly fit into users' lifestyles, whether they're urban commuters, off-road adventure lovers, or even something in-between. We are CHANGE bike riders ourselves, and have the right bikes for customers of all riding abilities. Even if you love your existing bike, we have components to make it take up less space."

Forgrave also revealed that Flatbike is launching their newest model of folding bike, focused on adventure biking. These bikes will be sold online and delivered across multiple locations around the world, with free deliveries to locations in the US and Canada. Going forward, he hopes to saturate the global market with his folding bikes and provide comfortable biking solutions to bike lovers and enthusiasts around the world.