If you haven’t heard of the Dreamslide yet, I’m not surprised. There are only around eight of them in the United States right now. (Update: The Dreamslide is no longer in production so don’t try to find it… you won’t.)
I contacted Dreamslide directly to ask them some questions and see if they’d be willing to ship one to me. After numerous emails back and forth, my Dreamslide was on its way. The small box arrived yesterday at my office and I picked it up with ease (very light) and took it back to my desk. Later that afternoon, I tore into the box and started assembling my new toy. The bike is packed and wrapped very well to protect it during shipping and the quality of the construction is apparent even as it comes out of the box. It was easy to unpack and to assemble. Basically, I attached the handlebars and the foot pedals, aired up the tires, and was ready to go.
The folks over at Dreamslide had warned me that this was going to be a very different experience and to expect an hour or so to get familiar with the way this bike rides. When I stepped on and started to pedal, there was no doubt that this was as advertised…very different. However the estimated hour of getting familiar with it was a little hefty. Within a few minutes, I had adjusted to the motion and was easily traveling up and down the street. I think it would have been a little more difficult if I wasn’t already familiar with the pedal motion of other stand up bikes. One of my daughters jumped on and rode for a few minutes too. She agreed that it felt very different but had no trouble operating it. I rode through the neighborhood for about 15 minutes before putting it up for the night.
This morning, I took it out for a quick ride. This route has been a good little loop to test out my Stand Up Rides and gather GPS data on their performance. It was unfair to take the Dreamslide out and gather data since I haven’t had it long enough to get proficient on it. For all practical purposes, this was my first ride. This loop has some mild uphill and downhill with one short climb that is probably about 6 to 7 percent. The Dreamslide finished the course faster than the Streetstrider but not quite as fast as some of the other stand up bikes.
The most surprising thing I noticed on my first ride was the minimal effort I had to put into riding the Dreamslide and it’s Adaptive Pedaling System (APS). The claim is that their APS design speaks specifically to riding in the standing position providing a more efficient pedal stroke with less fatigue. Call it what you want, all I know is that I was noticeably less winded while still maintaining comparable speeds on the same section of road, and I was riding a single speed compared to an eight.
The downhill was fun. I didn’t push too hard since it was my first time out but did get up to about 20mph coasting downhill. At that speed, I felt stable and in control. The bike is small and almost seems to move as if it were part of your body. You don’t have to drive it, you just flow with it. The slight uphill grades were no problem. When I reached the steep section, I did not have the legs for it so I quickly walked it up the hill then jumped back on and continued to ride. We’ll see how I handle that section when I get more accustomed to riding it.
Even when you get on and off of the bike, it’s minimal effort and a new experience. The APS allows both pedals to be low to the ground at the same time when you’re not cranking, so when you step off, both of your feet are only a few inches off the ground. The handles of the bike are another unique feature and roll in your hands as the bike oscillates side to side under you allowing for a no friction experience for your hands. Finally the bike folds down to about the size of a large briefcase. A magnet holds the handlebars in place so you can easily pick up the 25 pound package and carry it or utilize the built in handle on the front and roll it around.
Every time I get on a new Stand Up Ride I find that each one was designed to accomplish something specific and each one has its place in the market. The Dreamslide is no different. Even though I just started riding it, I think I can say with some confidence that this is not the bike I will take to the next event that requires 4,000 vertical feet of climbing. However, with its compact size, light weight and impressive performance, there are a hundred other places I would take it. I am looking forward to getting more time and miles on this machine. The Dreamslide has come out of the blocks strong and fast.