Fri Sep 23rd 2011 15:54:56: Mezzo D10 User Review

About 9 months ago I decided it was time to get a folding bike to take on the train on my daily commute (3.5 miles each way). After doing my research I decided my choice was between a Brompton and a Mezzo. The Brompton folded smaller however the Mezzo seemed superior in every other way! In the end I decided I could live with the bike not fitting between the seats on the train, so went for the Mezzo.

The ride on the Mezzo is great - much less twitchy than the Brompton, very comfortable and fast! With the huge chain ring on the front and the 10 speed cassette it's easy to keep up with someone on a road bike whilst being able to get up hills with ease. Now I am practiced the fold is easy and quick (I think the unfold is quicker than the Brompton as there are no wing nuts to do up) and generally I would highly recommend it.

My top tips for owning a Mezzo are:

  • Before you fold you have to be in the right gear or else the derrailure gets in the way or the chain misses it's guide. I find the best gear is when the red gear marker is 1/3 from top gear.
  • If the chain keeps falling off the front ring, then it might be because the chain alignment is wrong. For a while the chain kept falling off outwards. I returned it to the bike shop and they fitted a slightly wider bottom bracket which solved the problem.
  • Make sure you carry an 8mm socket with you as you need one to get the front wheel out. Otherwise fixing punctures is a right pain.
  • There is a rubberised bit on the front of the luggage rack which wears through very quickly. I've now put some plastic spiral wrap around it held in place with electrical tape. This gradually wears through but can be replaced.
  • You should have a play with the clip that holds the front wheel in place whilst folded. it can be tightened or loosened with two small allen key screws. Mine started way too tight and then I made it too loose. Now I've got it just right.
  • When the frame starts creaking try greasing the sprung clip behind the seat post that holds the frame together when unfolded. It took me a while to work out where the noise was coming from, however it was so much nicer when I solved it!
  • If you want more space on the handle bars for lights, cycle computer etc then you can replace the standard bars with 25.4mm flat bars. I got a set of MTB bars from Halford (of all places) and they fit quite nicely. They are wider than the standard ones, however this has not been a problem. They also end up a bit lower (obviously as they are flat) however the first thing I did when I got the bike was lower the standard bars anyway. It turns out I'm not the only one to do this - I saw someone on the train with a D9 and he'd put flat bars on as well. The other benefit of flat bars is that the cables don't get in the way of a light and you have more freedom to rotate the brake levers down to a comfortable position.
  • Always do up the quick release on the front wheel. If you don't the front wheel pops out and you go flying over the handle bars. You then need to replace the front mudguard (£50) and try and realign everything. Oh, and it hurts :(
  • Be careful how you carry the Mezzo. I swapped the folding pedals for SPDs. This was fine, except it meant you had to hold it further away from your body (and it's quite heavy). After 6 months of doing this I developed a tennis elbow and now tend to carry the bike in two hands. I'm still waiting for the tennis elbow to go away.

In general, I'm very happy with the D10. All the components are still going strong and I'm glad I got it rather than the Brompton. I'm now working on a folding trailer to go with my folding bike so I can get large deliveries home from work :)


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