When one thinks about what they want out of a mountain bike, toughness and durability is always one of the first -- or at least it should be. Folding mountain bikes have received some valid criticism in years past for not exactly being able to hold up to the rigors of true trail riding.
The slights are certainly understandable. Technology has improved substantially since the early folding mountain bikes, making them a much more feasible option.
If you’re going to go with a folding version of a mountain bike, you’d probably want one that was developed for military personnel jumping out of helicopters, right?
That’s exactly what the Montague Paratrooper is, and now civilians can enjoy its strategic design, quality components, and yes, its rigid toughness.
INTRODUCING THE MONTAGUE PARATROOPER FOLDING BIKE
The Montague Paratrooper is military technology in the form of a full size folding mountain bike. The bike retains all of the core characteristics of a true folding bike, and couples that with plenty of innovation, quality craftsmanship, and rock solid materials that can take a beating in stride.
This bike was designed to survive hard falls out of an airplane, set up quickly, and offer a fast and efficient riding performance, and that’s evident from the moment you get on. The Paratrooper is a serious mountain bike for serious riders, and all for a great price.
The aluminum frame is heavily reinforced and very thick, giving the bike a strong, sturdy feel. This does take the weight up some, somewhere around 32 pounds when fully equipped. This is only a few pounds over where they bike would ideally be, so it’s not really an issue.
Shock absorption is provided by a SR Suntour XCT fork with 80mm of suspension travel. The shocks are adjustable, so you can quickly make them more rigid for rides on flatter terrain.
The saddle is made by Aero Mountain, and is your standard run-of-the-mill mountain bike saddle. Not overly plush, but also not uncomfortable. Alloy handlebar help keep the weight down some, while offering precision steering ability.
The folding mechanism on the Paratrooper is located under the frame tube, very near to the seat post. The quick release latch detaches the rear chain stay, and allows it to pivot around to bring the rear wheel and front fork together. The front wheel is quickly removed using a release latch.
From there, the proprietary Montague Rack Stand can then be pivoted upside down, serving as a sort of stand to the bike when sitting on the ground. The whole process takes about 30 seconds once you get it down.
The drivetrain on the Paratrooper is very impressive. Shimano components are used throughout, creating a cohesive and efficient pedaling experience that makes the bike feel very nimble. Shimano RapidFire trigger shifters allow you to quickly change the bike’s 24 total gears with a click of the lever.
As you may imagine, the Paratrooper doesn’t want to mess with caliper brakes. Mechanical disc brakes are used on both the front and back instead.
The Paratrooper’s wheelset is just as rugged as the frame. 26-inch alloy rims with 32 holes help ensure durability and protect against bending, and are paired with Kenda Kinetics tires that have an aggressive, understated tread design that digs into off-road terrain with ease.
Montague was sure to include fenders as well, keeping you dry and as clean as possible when riding through wet conditions, mud puddles, streams, and whatever else may end up in your path.
All of this in a folding bike format, for less than $900 total. For all the features and quality parts you are getting, that is an unbeatable deal.
We’ll start with the obvious. We love that this is a bike that was initially made for military use, because you know that you are actually getting something that’s been put through numerous tests, and ended up eventually passing all of them.
In terms of product testing, we’re not sure what beats a military field test. (Hint: nothing.)
Another great aspect to this bike is its overall design. It looks great, and also very serious. The flat beam frame hints at the bike’s durability, and the dark green color is perfect.
It’s sort of futile to really single anything out, because all of the components and design were meant to compliment each other. You have more than enough gears, responsive braking, a plush front fork, quick shifting, and a high sense of maneuverability.
Everything works together to create a superior riding performance that can withstand lots of punishment, and then break down to a smaller size in half a minute afterwards.
The one thing we wish was just a little better is the weight of the bike. 32 pounds is certainly doable, but if this bike ever made it down to the mid 20s, it would elevate it to an untouchable level. We’ll hold out hope for future models in the meantime.
This is a full size bike, so make sure that you are getting the correct frame size, as the Paratrooper is available in multiple sizes.
Also, when ordered online, the bike does come half assembled, so if you are not as proficient as you’d like to be in bike mechanics, you can either set some money aside for a professional assembly at your local bike shop, or use the assembly option on amazon for an extra fee.
The Montague Paratrooper is simply everything you want a hardtail mountain bike to be.
It’s relatively light, responsive, comfortable, and handles tough trails with ease. The Paratrooper’s durability and longevity s apparent immediately, so you know you’re going to have it for years.
Oh, and the folding part is pretty great as well. This bike would already be nearly flawless without folding capabilities, but the quick folding design places the Paratrooper on a superior level. If you want a hardtail folding mountain bike, this one is it.
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