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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-17-07, 11:03 AM   #1
werewolf
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Folding bikes for clydes?

What nice LIGHTWEIGHT folders would be suitable for us big strong fellers standing on the pedals and pounding away? Actually I'm just 225-235, pretty little compared to a lot of you fellers. ;-) There's probably stuff on this posted already, but I can't get the search feature to work, and I did a ctrl+F for "fold" on the last few pages and came up with nothing...

I wuz looking at Dahon Speed and Xootr Swift on the internet, but there's no place to see a Swift in Arizona. Maybe I can find a Dahon to try out someplace around Phoenix.
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Old 04-17-07, 12:40 PM   #2
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Downtube. There's a huge thread in the folding forum but I've been riding one for over 6 months and love it. The weight's not too bad though I did have to reinforce the seatpost with a steel pipe since I bent the first one. Check my sig for links.
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Old 04-17-07, 01:46 PM   #3
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Good, the resident expert on Folders checked in! Thanks, Air, I was going to refer him to your expertise anyway!
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Old 04-17-07, 01:50 PM   #4
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Old 04-17-07, 01:52 PM   #5
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I should also say that Dahons felt very, very bendy to me. I'm 270 now (damn winter) but the Downtube is put together much better and has a double locking feature (instead of a plastic clip like Dahon). Montagues also felt bendy.

You can find a Downtube on ebay (he sells them direct sometimes) for between $250 and $350 shipped to your door if you're in the US.
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Old 04-18-07, 10:27 AM   #6
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What about the gears on the Downtube? I saw someone on that thread complaining that the gears slip when pounding on the pedals.

Anybody have any experience with the Xootr Swift and how it compares with Downtube? It seems to get very good reviews.
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Old 04-18-07, 07:36 PM   #7
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Here's a good link on folder test reports I came accross. The Downtube got a good review. They tested it with an optional derailleur gear (the slipping gear problem someone mentioned was with the hub gear).

http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/
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Old 04-18-07, 10:05 PM   #8
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What's the general opinion on Montagues? Aren't they suited for higher weights?
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Old 04-18-07, 10:42 PM   #9
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weight limits

A Bike Friday or steel Swift can be made to allow for heavier riders. Most others have weight limits at 230 pounds or below. I have heard that some steel Dahons can be ridden by heavier riders but they do post a limit on their bikes that makes me concerned. I'd say its the overly long seatposts that are the weak point, rather than the frame or wheels. The Friday and Swift solve this dilema and would be my choice at 260 pounds.
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Old 04-18-07, 11:39 PM   #10
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"A Bike Friday or steel Swift can be made to allow for heavier riders. Most others have weight limits at 230..."


I haven't come accross Bike Friday so far in my extensive research program

;-)

I keep seeing good stuff on the Swifts though. Too bad they don't have many dealers. They do have a 30 day return policy. Not sure about the fine print on that, if any.

And I'd easily be over 230 with clothes so that lets out a lot of them i guess.

Here's a bigger folding Dahon with 26" tires. They claim it folds in only five seconds - but still the long seat tube problem again - max size frame 20".

Review: http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/Mike/jack.html

$450 http://www.dahon.com/us/jack.htm


It's got my favorite setup, too - single chainwheel.
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Old 04-19-07, 03:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edx74
What's the general opinion on Montagues? Aren't they suited for higher weights?
Yes...but they felt really bendy to me. When I sprinted the bike bent under the torque I was giving it - didn't make me feel good. Dahon's the same thing and everyone I know who has one has trouble with keeping the headset on.

Most of the folders are rated for 230ish...but I've loaded up the Downtube and it was fine. Granted, I try not to sit on the seat with all my weight going over bumps and whatnot but it's been solid thus far.

The bigger folding bikes are pretty clumsy folded - if you think about a mtb tire and add another foot to one side it's a three foot long rectangular piece of metal you have to carry.
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Old 04-19-07, 03:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles vail
[FONT="Century Gothic"]I'd say its the overly long seatposts that are the weak point, rather than the frame or wheels.
True that - especially if you're taller like me! That's why I epoxied a steel pipe on the inside - works great though does add a little weight....
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Old 04-19-07, 02:02 PM   #13
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I've owned two Dahons. While the stem on my Boardwalk D7 felt pretty bendy, I don't feel any flex at all with my Speed TR. (And I'm at 240, with at least another ten pounds of stuff thrown in my bag.)

(Which isn't to say that the Downtubes aren't great bikes -- but I've had mostly good luck with the Dahons so far).
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Old 04-19-07, 07:25 PM   #14
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I'll fourth or fifth or whatever we're up to now the Downtube motion. I originally looked a Dahon, but the local dealer didn't think it would work with my size (6'4", 250 at the time, down to 230 now). He didn't have one to test-ride, but I was outside the parameters on the order form. On my own, I found Downtube and ordered a full-suspension nine-speed (I wanted the rigid bike with Sturmey Archer hub, but after I e-mailed Yan he convinced me that it was iffy for my height). I've ridden it 100 or so miles in about a month (I have three other bikes, so the folder gets only occasional use), and the only complaint I have is that the height range is slightly exaggerated. I'd like another inch in the seatpost, but it's certainly rideable as it is, though I did put on a longer stem to increase the reach to the bars. I've done a couple of my shorter regular training rides (15-22 miles) on it, and the time isn't far off what I do on my Atlantis or Rambouillet.
One caveat: You can order direct from Downtube for list price, but the company also sells on ebay and they're often cheaper there. Same source, same shipping, same warranty, but I've seen them go for $75 less than I paid.
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Old 04-19-07, 11:14 PM   #15
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no kidding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Air
True that - especially if you're taller like me! That's why I epoxied a steel pipe on the inside - works great though does add a little weight....

Awsome idea......and inexpensive too! That may just convince be to buy a Dahon and do just that. The added weight is of no consequence to me since I weigh 260.
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