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  1. #1
    Senior Member mrkott3r's Avatar
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    How many of you commute folding?

    Sadly my beat up commuting bike that I use to get round some bad neighborhoods died today. Of course I knew it was coming months back and yet I did nothing to prepare for it.

    So I'm sitting here thinking what can I use as my new bad-neighborhood commuting bike. Then it hit me how about a folding bike? Now not knowing anyone that owns one or ever using one I'm wondering how many of you use one for commuting? What's it like? I take it it's not great over long distance? How long does it take to fold yours up? What models should I be looking at?

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Senior Member oilfreeandhappy's Avatar
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    I just got a folding bike yesterday - a used Dahon Piccolo. I'm on business in St. Louis, and I had this shipped here, so I could ride in combination with the Mass Transit. Yesterday, I took it on the bus and the Metrolink, and rode it a few miles (it was late at night). I really enjoyed it. Already, I'm folding it, and putting the cover on it in less than a minute. The website says 20 seconds, but the cover is a tight fit, probably because of the rack on the back, and that makes it take a little longer. Many of the transit companies require the cover. I can carry it with one hand, but I had to stop and switch hands on a long ramp to the Metrolink. It was too narrow, and there were pedestrians present, so I couldn't ride.
    Jim
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  3. #3
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    20 yrs ago I used a cheap imitation of the Raleigh 20 folder as my winter commuter. It was 3 speed but the small wheel gave a top gear of about 70 gear inches - very good spinning training. It only took a couple of minutes to fold and unfold, but I hardly ever folded it. It weighed a ton so hills were not too much fun, but the short wheelbase made it incredibly manoeuvrable in traffic. My commute was 5 miles each way. I also took it to NYC when I was sent there for 10 weeks and rode it all over the city and Long Island.

  4. #4
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    I just received my Downtube IXNS to use on an Amtrak + 4 mile each way commute, perhaps 3 days per week. I was only 50% successful on my first commute; I was denied boarding Amtrak on the return trip home (I was able to take SEPTA as a slower alternate). I'll provide more details when it is all worked out, as I'm currently working my way up the management chain to solve the issue.

  5. #5
    Tornado of Teeth
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    I commute on a downtube IX Front Suspension and love it. No way would I leave my bike outside in NYC and my school will only allow bikes inside if they can go in a bag.

  6. #6
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    I bought my first folder out of the Sears Roebuck Catalog in 1968. It was made by Astro-Daimler/Puch and I wish I still had it because it was a great bike. I've owned several since that time. My current folder is a used Da Hon Helios that I've ridden on my usual commute for a few weeks when my chain, cassette and front sprocket were worn out and I had no time to fix them. I almost never went back to my other bike. It moved along fast and handled well (I'm 6'3" 185 lbs.).

    I just can't carry as much with it and can't quite abuse it the way I do my regular commuter. I've used it for train and bus commutes to other cities and rode all over Rome and Lisbon with it last summer. I think they're great to have in a bike "arsenal". As my only bike, hmmmm... that I would think about for a while.

  7. #7
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    My wife and I have ridden our folders in centuries so I'd distance is no big deal. However, the Dahon SpeedPro is a hot bike so I wouldn't hang around too long on it in bad 'hood. Anyway, that's my commuter bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
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  8. #8
    Senior Member mrkott3r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman
    I think they're great to have in a bike "arsenal". As my only bike, hmmmm... that I would think about for a while.

    Oh no I have other bikes. But they aren't really suited to commuting.

  9. #9
    Senior Member oilfreeandhappy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oboeguy
    My wife and I have ridden our folders in centuries so I'd distance is no big deal. However, the Dahon SpeedPro is a hot bike so I wouldn't hang around too long on it in bad 'hood. Anyway, that's my commuter bike.
    Wow a century on a folder! And your wife did it too? That's impressive. I saw the Speedpro on their website. How many gears does it have? Looks like a nice one. Maybe I'll upgrade sometime at a later date...
    Jim
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  10. #10
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrkott3r
    Oh no I have other bikes. But they aren't really suited to commuting.
    oh, then as your regular commuter... I can see a lot of plusses. It's not quite for me though because I also use my commuter for things like grocery shopping and, as I say, it takes a bit more abuse (like winter riding with studded snows) than I would want to put on my folder.

  11. #11
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    you can't go with a folder! i've had my downtube for a month now and commute 30 miles every other day. pretty good considering it has no suspension and a folder. my friend was skeptical when i first showed him my bike but now he has respect after test driving it=)

    it takes me at least a minute to fold my bike up. the bus doesn't allow me to carry it inside so i usually pack my bike in a bag (they can't tell!).

    good luck to ya!

  12. #12
    Tornado of Teeth
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    Quote Originally Posted by passonby
    you can't go with a folder!
    He meant you can't go wrong

  13. #13
    Senior Member oilfreeandhappy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigMacFU
    He meant you can't go wrong
    A classic example of how one simple word can totally change the meaning and intent of a statement.
    Jim
    Make a BOLD Statement While Cycling!

  14. #14
    M_S
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    All Mod Cons M_S's Avatar
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    The intent isn't changed at all, but the meaning certainly was. Hoo-ray for nitpicking.

    I'm curious about speed. Obviously the "engine" make a difference, but how efficient does pedaling feel(question directed at anyone who knows)?

  15. #15
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    Dahon Speed TR

    I've the Dahon Speed TR ---touring bike folder and it is the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden.

  16. #16
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    I have a Dahon Boardwalk and love it. Recently got me a Brooks B17, but aside from that there's nothing fancy about it (used to be 7 speed, but made it SS because I never shifted). I've done a nigh-on metric century (95 km) on it with no complaints from the bike. I also do a daily commute of 3-10 miles RT, depending on the route, and keep it under my desk while at work. Perfect for my needs. Of course, I still plan on getting another bike at some point, but this will probably remain my daily commuter.

  17. #17
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    A few days ago I got passed by a chick on a Bike Friday. Up until that moment I never gave any thought to a folding bike. Now I'm not sure. I have to do some regular travel, and was thinking of stashing an old bike in each location. But setting up 4 or 5 bbikes is turning out to be a real hassel. I've put everything on hold while I look more into this folding thing. If I could arrange I test ride and it rides comfortably... I just might get one tomorrow.

  18. #18
    Neat - w/ ice on the side dalmore's Avatar
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    I have two Dahon folders. I use both for commuting at times.

    One is Speed TR that I use for bad weather and when I'm hauling loads. Great bike if a tad heavy when you have to carry it around folded up. (I love the changes they made to it for this year with a dynamo hub, lights, fenders and rear and front racks. Thumbs up.)

    My second folder is a Mu SL. It's a blast to ride - quick and maneuverable. It lacks top end gearing though so it's not a racer. I've done two centuries on it. It's much much easier to deal with when folded since it's so light.
    Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more. Bark less.

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  19. #19
    *****es love tarck kemmer's Avatar
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    My folder is still in my parents garage. I bought it in October for a trip to Hawaii because buying a used folder was cheaper than renting a bike and easier than packing one of my bikes. I couldn't find one locally, but the day before the trip I found one in Denver where my parents (who went with us) live. My Mom agreed to pick it up and throw it in a box and bring it with her on the plane. She couldn't find a decent box in time and it didn't make the flight. Having blown my bike rental money on the folder, I spent the week in HI without a bike. Somehow all the surfing made up for it.

    I will be using it to carpool/bike commute a couple days a week when my company moves about 4 miles from where my next door neighbor works.

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