Hybrid bikes are still the new kids on the block in some respects, as many are still just now realizing their versatility and capability across varying riding conditions and terrains. These bikes represent a compromise of sorts, combining the core aspects of road and mountain bikes together.
Hybrids are meant to be go-mostly-anywhere bikes that aren't restricted to just pavement or dirt. This makes them useful for a wide range of people who need the added versatility hybrids provide, which often involves commuting, exercising, and leisure.
However, just like mountain and road bikes, hybrids aren't exactly the most transportable, as they are plagued by the same awkward shape and size that affects other standard full size bikes.
The Montague Allston answers that problem by incorporating folding bike technology into an already high-level hybrid bike that would still be superior in many ways even without.
INTRODUCING THE ALLSTON FOLDING HYBRID BIKE
BREAKSET: Shimano Deore Hydraulic break set
SHIFTERS: Shimano Alfine 11-speed internal gear hub
MEASUREMENTS: 36 x 28 x 12 inches
WEIGHT: 30 pounds
EXTRA FEATURES: Rear wheel rack
The Montague Allston continues the effective approach the company employs with its other bikes: Focus on the bike's core features first, and then worry about the folding mechanism. This results in a bike that showcases a great attention to detail, emphasizing the performance above all else.
That's not to say that the folding aspect gets overlooked; quite the opposite exactly. Montague prefers a pivot-style folding mechanism located under the top tube, allowing the bike to easily fold into itself with the flip of a quick release lever. The front wheel uses the same lever, letting compact the bike all the way down in under 30 seconds.
The Allston's frame is made from aluminum, resulting in a low overall weight that comes in around 30 pounds when assembled. The weight is right where it should be for a hybrid, giving it a quick feel that is also stable, and easier to carry when it's folded.
Comfort is at a premium with the Allston as well. A gel saddle gives you a soft riding surface to sit on that won't leave you feeling sore the next day.
The riser-style handlebar keeps you in a more upright position that ensures better steering, while also being easier on your back.
Shimano components comprise the Allston's 11 speed drivetrain, which is an ideal amount for hybrid-style riding across varying terrains. Inclines, flat portions, and fast starts are all accommodated by the versatile gear ratios.
Shifting is provided by Shimano's Alfine Rapid Fire Shifters, and a carbon belt drive is used instead of a chain, giving the Allston a smooth ride that won't get you dirty like an oiled chain would. The belt drive uses an internal gear hub that protects the whole assembly from dirt and moisture.
Shimano Deore series hydraulic brakes on both the front and back wheels give the Allston powerful stopping capabilities that are easy to control as well. The wheelset consists of light, 32 hole black alloy rims, along with Vee rubber trekking tires that perform well on the road and off.
Montague's renown RackStand is located at the rear of the frame. It can function as a cargo rack primarily, but also as a kickstand, workstand, and folded bike stand. And if that's not enough, fenders at the front and back protect you from splashing water and mud, keeping you clean and dry.
The Allston is as versatile as it is smooth, and always provides a high level of performance that makes it suitable for numerous riding styles and environments. Not one component was overlooked during development, and it shows.
WHAT WE LIKE
Hybrid bikes can be a little tricky at times, and may end up favoring one style over the other. The Allston is perfectly balanced; it’s as suited for urban use as it is light off-road riding. This is not a bike you have to baby, and it’s no slouch on the pavement either.
The wheelset is a great match for the bike’s frame and design, and the drivetrain has just enough variance to give you the needed range to get around quickly regardless of where you are. Just coasting around instead? It can handle that too.
The total silence of the belt drive is more than appreciated, as is the lack of a mess in case you end up touching it. More bikes need to use belt drives, in our opinion.
We are already fans of the standard Montague folding mechanism, which goes without saying. These are among the easiest bikes to break down in a hurry. And of course, the RackStand is awesome, and very useful.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
The included pedals on the Allston are a little bit lacking, and would be much better if they were a not only bigger, but fully alloy. Ergonomic grips on the handlebars would be a welcome improvement as well, especially on a bike in this price range. These are only minor complaints, however.
If you're someone that isn't as proficient in bike mechanics as you'd like to be, it'd be wise to opt for Amazon's full assembly option before shipping. You'd likely have to pay your local bike shop to put it all together anyway, so why not take care of it before it even arrives?
The Montague Allston is a high-level hybrid bike in every way. Every components works cohesively to ensure a smooth, quiet, comfortable, and fast ride that eagerly takes on whatever is thrown your way.
The folding capability pushes this bike into the top level of the hybrid bike category, backing up flawless performance, versatility, and pedal efficiency with the world of convenience that accompanies a full size bike that can be broken down to a fraction of its size.
If you’re looking for the best of the best in the hybrid world, this is it.