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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 03-01-07, 09:02 PM   #1
mrkott3r
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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!
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Old 03-01-07, 09:20 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 03-01-07, 09:22 PM   #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.
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Old 03-02-07, 07:42 AM   #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.
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Old 03-02-07, 11:05 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 03-02-07, 01:41 PM   #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.
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Old 03-02-07, 03:24 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 03-02-07, 03:58 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 03-02-07, 04:08 PM   #9
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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...
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Old 03-02-07, 04:35 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 03-03-07, 07:56 AM   #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!
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Old 03-03-07, 11:32 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by passonby
you can't go with a folder!
He meant you can't go wrong
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Old 03-03-07, 07:42 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 03-03-07, 09:13 PM   #14
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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)?
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Old 03-25-07, 03:36 PM   #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.
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Old 03-25-07, 06:16 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 03-25-07, 10:11 PM   #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.
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Old 03-26-07, 03:17 AM   #18
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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.
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Old 03-26-07, 10:07 AM   #19
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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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