Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Mid-Atlantic USA
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The are several varieties of folding bike:
1. Bikes small enough and clean enough when folded to be taken on public transportation and into office buildings. Meant for short rides on smooth road surfaces. Comfort and ruggedness are sacrificed for a tiny folded size and for easy carrying when folded.
2. Bikes that people ride through cities to their place of work, possibly on badly maintained streets, which fold small enough to be allowed into an office building, but not small enough to be conveniently taken onto public transportation during busy times. May have fatter tires and shock absorbers. Usually have a rack and lights and fenders/mudguards. Rider is usually sitting upright for better visibility.
3. Bikes that can readily handle rides of 20-40 kilometers on gradual hills and can also carry touring gear/racks/panniers and can fold small enough to be taken on public transport during off-peak hours or in regions where special cars of a train are devoted to bikes. Their gearing is not as extensive as #4 below. Bikes in this category try to be a jack-of-all-trades but are masters of none.
4. Bikes that can handle longer rides and any kind of terrain and possibly carry touring gear/panniers. They often do not fold very small -- just small enough to fit into a large suitcase or the trunk of a car. You bring them along with you on trips. They seek to emulate the ride characteristics of full-size bikes as much as possible.
It sounds to me as if your human-powered vehicle falls into the first category.
Last edited by timo888; 01-13-09 at 03:59 PM.