If you’ve never seen a Softride, or bikes that look like it, you might be wondering what’s going on here. No, this isn’t a folding bike. Rather, it belongs to a class of bikes known as beam bikes.
Beam bikes place the seat on a beam that attaches to the frame near the head tube and suspends the rider over the rear wheel without a seat tube or other support.
There actually are a few different manufactures of this frame design, many of them competitive. They had a growing following in the 1990’s among the time trial and triathlon crowd, up until the UCI got involved. In 1999, the UCI banned beam bikes – or more specifically, any bike without a seat tube – from competitive events, declaring them an unfair advantage.