Folding recumbent bikes like the AZUB Origami are rare. Reasonably so, since demand is still small. The Origami is purpose-built for practical transportation. Rigidity for tough climbs is good, and it has modest cargo capacity built in. Plus, the frame folds small enough that, with its seat, it stows in a canvas bag to lug onto transit. Alas, this kind of user does not represent most of our customers. But this kind of user is pretty cool, and if that is you then look closely at this bike.
The Origami is the folding version of a bike AZUB called the Eco. AZUB doesn’t make the Eco now, and they only sold it in the European market. It targeted the practical cyclist, with good city manners for stopping, starting, and maneuverability. People with appreciation for this riding will like the Origami even without folding it. Our sales manager Micah fell in love with the Origami and added so much stuff that it doesn’t fold any more. But bikes are serious transportation for Micah. He also has this juvenile habit of passing people on racing bikes, and the Origami has worked out satisfactorily for him. Indeed, he’ll talk your ear off about it. Beware.
Our Price: Varies greatly by spec, but most from about $3100 to $3800, with some in the $4800 area. Note that AZUB’s website does not include shipping in their price and we must factor that in.
A recumbent like AZUB Origami will be very hard to find anywhere in the world. The long wheelbase and tuned geometry of the frame give it excellent riding properties both in slow pedalling through a city and in fast descents. You will also be pleased with the array of smart solutions there are, such as the possibility to secure the bike after folding, the integrated rack or the space under the seat to fit a specially designed triangular bag. Not to mention the folding system that turns the Origami into a small bag easily transported by car, train or even plane.
In short, the Origami is just right for small spaces and it does not really matter whether you come across them while weaving through a city or looking into the boot of your car.
In 2008, we attempted to make a cheap recumbent. We wanted to offer the pleasure of the riding comfort of recumbents to be experienced by people in countries where incomes are not so high. That is, in our country, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania or Hungary. We devoted a lot of effort, time and money to this project and managed to create some interesting prototypes, including a steel recumbent without suspension with a 20” front wheel and 26” rear wheel. Eventually, our favourite aluminium and the “dual 20” model won.
AZUB ECO 20 was an excellent stable bike which was also very easy to handle thanks to its compact dimensions. It was also exceptional due to its interesting features, such as the beautiful adjustable aluminium seat. We also made several models with 16” wheels for children or for small people. Although not much interest came from Eastern Europe, there was some from France or Japan. Nevertheless, we have never wanted to spend our time thinking where to cut corners in order to reduce the cost, so soon we began to improve it instead. The last step was adding a folding mechanism, thus turning the AZUB ECO 20 into AZUB Origami. A recumbent small in size yet large in riding properties.
Boring technical specs from AZUB follow, along with our interesting comments.
For a discussion of parts specs, see our AZUB article on our shopping help page
Frame & Geometry
Who fits on it, where it fits.
- STEERING: above seat steering
The traditional, compact, praying hamster position
- FRAME: Aluminum
- REAR FORK: rigid
No rear suspension option available
- FRONT FORK: rigid
You can put on a suspension fork, but you will lose the ability to lock the frame in the folded position
- WELD: TIG method
Complicated way of saying this isn’t cheap crap.
- SEAT: composite or carbon-kevlar, size M, L and XL
Available in a variety of sizes based on your torso length.
- SEATPAD: standard 50 mm
Open cell foam that is more comfortable than it looks.
- SEAT ANGLE: (to road) 20-50°
This is an impressively wide range. It will not go truly bolt-upright, but shell seats don’t do well sitting too upright.
- SEAT ADJUSTING RANGE: length 180 mm, angle 30°
So about 7″ of ex-seam range, with seat recline adjustment widening that range somewhat
- FRAME ADJUSTING RANGE: length 200 mm
The frame will telescope out about 8 inches. The adjustable frame coupled with the adjustable seat let you optimize both arm reach to the bars and leg reach to the pedals. Your AZUB will be optimized for your ex-seam, whatever it is. See our ex-seam guide here. Very short people would not be able to reach the ground on this model, but beyond that if you tell them your ex-seam AZUB will build it to fit.
- WHEELS: 20″/20“
Compact size with very little compromise in tire choices
- WHEELBASE: 122 cm
This is how far apart the hub axle are from each other. Less means more maneuverability.
- TOTAL HEIGHT: min 110 cm
Assuming the seat is fully reclined
- SEAT BOTTOM HEIGHT: min 54 cm
Moderately low for easier starts and stops
- BOTTOM BRACKET HEIGHT: min 69 cm
This is not a low BB cruiser, but styled after faster short wheelbase recumbents
- BARS WIDE: 40 cm
The handlebars on the Origami are less adjustable than other AZUB bikes. There is only OSS steering available, not USS or open-cockpit.
- BARS ADJUSTING: different lengths and angles
Typical OSS adjustment of riser tilt to affect reach and handlebar height to clear your knees
- WEIGHT: 29.3 pounds
This is a minimum, prior to your larding the bike with suspension upgrades, cargo racks, and modern gizmos
- COLORS: orange-yellow RAL 2004, blue RAL 5012, red RAL 3002, green RAl 6018, olive green RAL 7002, beige RAL 1001, black RAL 9005, white RAL 9016
- MAX. LOAD: 220 pounds