Brompton and Dahon may be synonymous with the folding bike, but Mezzo deserves to be included the same origami-loving group. Its D-9, designed by ex-Marin mountain bike guru and Formula 1 engineer Jon Whyte, hits a perfect sweetspot of weight, price, gearing, folding size and simplicity.
Dahon’s 26in wheel models are great for using standard components and for their handling, but they don’t fold small. Bromptons, meanwhile, fold quicker than the Mezzo, but cost much more for anywhere near the same specification.
The Mezzo sits pretty in the middle. It doesn’t fold the centre of the frame, making for a reassuringly solid ride, particularly for the smaller wheel size. But it still manages to fold quickly – in 20 seconds or less with practice – to a small size.
It’s also light, rollable on flat surfaces and very adjustable. Better still, it uses a standard rear derailleur for nine gears. This makes it way more appealing if you face any hills using this around town, particularly as, like other small-wheeled folders, standing out of the saddle invariably results in you wobbling around like a Weeble on a booze bender.
Upping the ante
The only cloud on the D-9’s horizon? Mezzo have announced a D-20 will be coming “soonish” with 20 gears. What you’d do with another 11 gears on a small-wheeled folder is anyone’s guess. And the D-20 is set to be quite a bit more money.
So for now, if you’ve got a quick commute through town but a car or train journey first, or need a bike that only takes up a tiny amount of space, the D-9 is the bike for you.