Montague Paratrooper Folding Mountain Bike Review
Since 1987, Montague has used dedication and innovation to provide full-size folding bikes. For riders who want the convenience of a folding bike, but aren’t ready to sacrifice the rugged durability of a traditional mountain bike, the Montague Paratrooper is a perfect solution. As the name pays homage to, the origin of the Montague Paratrooper stems from a close partnership with the United States Marines.
Back in 1997, Montague was awarded a grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The aim was to use folding bike technology to develop a portable, tactical folding bike for Marines to use overseas. New technology was implemented to decrease folding time and increase weight bearing capabilities while exiting aircraft, and the Montague Paratrooper was born.
Specifications and Features:
There are a few key specifications and features that come along with the Montague Paratrooper folding mountain bike. First and foremost, it is a full-size folding bike, meaning that the only real difference between the Paratrooper and a conventional mountain bike lies not in its rugged durability, but in its ability to transform into a compact size.
Montague’s Folding Integrated Technology preserves structural integrity, meaning that the frame of the bike won’t be damaged or compromised by folding. Montague has also incorporated their DirectConnect™ folding system, which integrates a quick release lever to improve folding time.
The wheels are 26”, allowing for sturdy, rugged tires. The total time to fold takes only 20 seconds, making it a great option for those looking for convenience and efficiency when using a folding mountain bike. Once folded, the total dimensions of the Paratrooper come to 36”x28”x12”, allowing it to easily fit in a trunk or a back seat.
Front suspension and shocks allow for cushion and support while traversing through bumpy or uneven terrain. Additionally, the 24-speed EZ Fire Plus shifters provide quick and efficient transition throughout changes in incline. The braking system is solid, using mechanical disc brakes to ensure efficient, reliable stopping power.
The Paratrooper also features Montague’s RackStand, a component which has a versatile range of applications. Located on the rear wheel, the RackStand can be used to carry bags, shield against mud, or operate as a kickstand for the bike. An attached quick release button will rotate the RackStand underneath the wheel to become either a kickstand or a work stand. This is a great feature, as it makes storing the bike in an upright position into an easy and convenient process.
There are certainly some significant advantages that stick out when considering the Montague Paratrooper folding mountain bike. The following features certainly contribute to “the good” aspects of this bike:
Sturdy, stable frame
- The aluminum frame is not only durable, but it is also incredibly sturdy. For those looking to invest in a foldable bike, a sturdy frame is critical. This comes not only from the frame itself but also from the design. Rather than place folding hinges along the central tube, the Paratrooper folds by swiveling around the seat post. The result is a larger distribution of weight and pedaling force, decreasing the flexibility of the frame and increasing durability.
Superior ride quality
- As a full-size folding mountain bike, the Paratrooper has larger wheels than other folding bikes. Rather than sacrifice stability for more compact wheels, the 26” wheels stay true to traditional mountain bikes. This allows for a superior, ultra-smooth ride and greater control. For those using the Paratrooper on mountain trails, these are game-changing features.
- With a total fold time of 20 seconds, the Montague Paratrooper has one of the quickest folding times. Additionally, folding doesn’t require any tools, which is ideal for bikers on the go. Not only is folding fast, but it is also efficient. With the combination of Folding Integrated Technology and the DirectConnect™ folding system, the process of folding is easier, more compact, and preserves overall strength of the bike.
No review is complete without an honest analysis of “the bad.” Even the best folding mountain bikes have their downfalls, and the Montague Paratrooper is no exception. The following characteristics contribute to “the bad”:
Non-adjustable handlebar stem
- Some riders may find that the handlebar stem is a little low for their tastes. Low handlebar stems force weight towards the front of the bike, which can feel uncomfortable and even decrease overall speed.
- While the handlebar stem is not adjustable, it is possible to install a stem raiser to resolve any issues with height. Still, this does contribute as a negative mark, as riders who want to adjust the handlebar height cannot easily do so.
Tires are best used off-road
- Plenty of bikers use the Montague Paratrooper for urban and off-road treks—in fact, one of its best qualities is that it is perfectly suited to withstand environmental changes. Those who are looking to primarily ride in urban environments, however, will benefit by purchasing new tires.
- The tires that come with the Paratrooper are designed for off-road travel, meaning they are thick, durable, and have deep treads. These characteristics can make traveling on roads or pavements a little bit difficult, as they aren’t as streamlined as road tires.
Difficulty standing upright
- Although the RackStand is meant to provide the ability to stand for easy storage, this may not be the case. Most reviewers point out that the Paratrooper is hard to stand while folded up. For those who value convenient storage, this can certainly be a downfall.
All things considered, the Montague Paratrooper excels in its durable, rugged design. Since it was originally designed for soldiers dropping out of planes, this durability is not particularly surprising. The frame is incredibly solid, making it a top choice for those looking to put their folding mountain bike through hard use.
Combined with superior ride quality, these features make the Montague Paratrooper an exceptional choice for bikers looking for an efficient, sturdy folding mountain bike. Although it comes at a somewhat steeper price than other foldable mountain bikes, the inherent value of this bike is certainly high enough to offset the cost.