Tuck folding bike from a former Jaguar Land Rover engineer folds up small but looks like a real bicycle

Tuck Bike quite literally reinvents the wheel, so it can fold to a very compact size yet looks just like a normal bike

Tuck Bike
(Image credit: Tuck Bike)

Although the picture above may look like a bicycle that has been severely vandalised, it is actually a revolutionary new folding bike. Tuck Bike, which is funding on Kickstarter now, doesn't just have a frame that folds, it actually has wheels that fold too. The big, big benefit of this is that the bike can have full-size, 28-inch wheels and, as a result, looks like a normal bike. Even Bromptons, as good as they are, can't really claim to look 'normal', and some current folders look even more eccentric. 

For a lot of people, the ability to fold is an essential part of the makeup of the best bikes for them – and, come to that, the best electric bikes. Given the option of folding and not having people point at them and laugh as they cycle to work, a lot of commuters are likely to be attracted to the Tuck Bike, I fancy.

The very amusing promotional video for the Tuck bike – see below – features some arch shade throwing, with an absolutely tiny bike being ridden by a clown used as an example of a standard folding bike. That's a bit naughty but here's a true story story: I once test-rode a folding bike. At one point, I rolled off a kerb into the road, having picked up some shopping. The front wheel of the bike landed on the grate of a drain cover… and was small enough to fall straight through it! The result: considerable discomfort for me and a completely wrecked front wheel. 

Okay, so that was an unlucky, 1,000/1-shot incident that may never have happened to anyone else in the history of cycling. But even so, it's made me very wary of folding bikes with small wheels. 

The Tuck Bike, as the eagle-eyed will have spotted, has front and rear wheels that have three little clips on. Once these are undone – no tools required – the three section of the wheel somehow telescope inside each other, giving the 'wheel that's been attacked with an angle grinder' look that you can see in the pics. Again, this is in the video, and really has to be seen to be believed. 

To make this work requires sturdy rim and hub locks, in wheels that are formed from carbon fibre tubes. The tyres are airless, obviously, filled with foam. Once fully folded, the Tuck is just 26x16x34 inches (65x40x86cm) – that's as good as a lot of small-wheeled folders.

How do you push the bike along when the wheels have been folded away? Simple: there are little casters – very Brompton-esque – that take over rolling duties.

Tuck Bike

(Image credit: Tuck Bike)

That's not the end of the cleverness, though. It's not necessary to do a 'full Monty' fold every time. You have the option of just folding the handlebars down and the pedals up, to lean your Tuck Bike in a corridor.

Tuck Bike

(Image credit: Tuck Bike)

Then there's the 'quickie' fold that makes it possible to take on public transport, in a matter of seconds. 

Of course, the idea of folding wheels is a little alarming. In fact I admit that my first thought was, 'disaster waiting to happen'. However Tuck assures us that, 'In the past year, the wheel passed the ISO fatigue safety test (4210-7:2014), pounding into 750,000 bumps at 15mph while overloaded.' 

The rubber foam tires, developed by Gecko Rubber Ltd of the UK, are said to 'last for 4,000+ miles'. They're also completely puncture proof, of course. There are no gears, but you do get a very substantial kick stand, which makes it easier to fold the Tuck Bike.

You also get a hydroformed aluminium frame, disc brakes and a 'high-end WTB Comfort saddle'. The frame is available in two sizes, with small/medium for people  5’2” to 5”8 tall, and a large one for those 5”8 to 6’2”+.

Tuck Bike promo video: see for yourself

Tuck Bike

(Image credit: Tuck Bike)

The Tuck Bike is the brain child of Alex Animashaun – pictured here – a Londoner now resident in Oakland, California. Alex is a former Jaguar Land Rover engineer who worked on the hybrid Range Rover and the Jaguar C-X75 supercar featured in the James Bond film Spectre. His CV also includes, 'speeding up production in one of Britain’s largest cake factories' and leading the design team at a Kenyan car startup. Okay. 

“I couldn’t see myself riding on a small wheeled folder and this is a great bike to ride whether you fold it or not," says Alex. 

So, I haven't tried this bike out yet, and I had a great deal of scepticism about it when I first saw the photos. However, this video and the details of its testing have got me quite excited. After all, it's not every day that a product comes along that quite literally reinvents the wheel. Have a look for yourself and see what you think!  

Tuck Bike: price and availability

Tuck Bike is $1,795 on Kickstarter. When it comes to 'proper' retail it'll be $1,995. There were some available at an early bird price of $1,695 but some lucky Tuckers have already snapped all those up. Sorry. 

The retail price equates to £1,500 or AU$2,700. However the Tuck Bike will initially be available for delivery in the US and Canada only. Boo. 

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."