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  1. #1
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    vintage build vs. folding bike?

    so there have been a recent string of bike thefts, and i don't want to ride my expensive road bike to commute and possibly have it stolen. i have a u-lock and all, but thieves can still cut through it and i kind of want a cool commuter bike

    so im between just getting a random old road frame off of CL and repainting, buying parts, building etc. probably go with the vintage look, leather brooks saddle, leather grips, rear rack, fenders, etc.

    or should i get a folding bike? only thing is folding bikes are hard to come by in my price range, besides the random stuff on ebay. but im not too sure of the quality. especially with the multi speed folding bikes.

    want something that can take me to school and back, take me to places to eat, hang out with some buddies of mine, etc. just the regular commute. but i just dont want to constantly worry about my bike checking back every 30 minutes to make sure it's still there.

    im also a pretty big guy about 220 lbs and 5' 4'' so would it be weird for me to be riding a little folding bike?

    max price im willing to is 250. that way if i does get stolen, its not too harsh on the wallet. thanks in advance for any replies
    Last edited by dooodstevenn; 08-21-10 at 02:52 AM.

  2. #2
    This town needs an enema.
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    Between the two options you are going to get a heck of a lot more for your money getting an older bike off CL. Around here (OC, California) people like to charge a premium for used bikes but for $200 you can get a great bike that would serve well as a commuter. That extra $50 left over will get you half a Brooks saddle or some nice upgrades for the bike. A nicely built/restored vintage bike might not be as high on the potential thief's priority list (but still higher than the rattle can/stickers/plastic bag over the brooks/tassels/streamers/looking like it belongs to a crazy person bike).

    If your max price is 250 you probably aren't going to get a very good folding bike in that price range(if buying new). The only two that come to mind are the Dahon S1 and the Schwinn "Hinge". I can't really speak for the Schwinn, but I owned the Dahon and it was only good for riding about a mile or so. Anything beyond that and it was just a hassle to get around on. It is heavy, the construction of the rack/wheels/clamps is poor to downright dangerous. This is also one of the few bikes I have ever owned that actually went in the dumpster since it had absoluely no qualities worth holding on to.
    ^this may or may not be useful information <--this not so much.

  3. #3
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    There's lots of great info in the Folding forum.
    I bought a Downtube from a member of BF and used
    it for thousands of miles. Its a blast to ride and is almost
    as fast as a big bike. What makes it fun is that it can squirt
    like a little waterflea in and out of traffic. It is not without its
    issues though, as lower rung Folder. Again, lots of stuff in the
    Folder forum. Ive also gotten great bikes from Craigslist. You
    just have to be careful when / where you look at stuff

    Good luck !

  4. #4
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    I commute on a folding bike, and would generally recommend one. Your size shouldn't be a problem (yes, I said shouldn't. Worth the paper it's written on. At 6'0 and 165 lbs my size shoudn't be a problem either, and it is). Nor would I have a problem with one of the really cheap folders you can get (Citizen, or various things on ebay). But with any folder I find it necessary to make significant customizations, and this is all the more so with cheap ones. In particular, most folding bikes have a maddeningly high handlebar, and if you're used to something like a road bike, you will probably hate the high handlebar of a folding bike -- especially if you are relatively small and so have the seat relatively low. You can lower the seat on these things, but not the handlebar; go figure.

    I think you're better off finding a Raleigh Sports or similar 3-speed with fenders, which will set you back somewhere between $25 and $200 depending on luck; swap the 18T cog out for a 22T, and get better brake shoes on it... and you're good to go. If you get really lucky, it'll already have the brooks saddle you want.

  5. #5
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    You could have both, buy yourself an old Raleigh Twenty and rebuild it with modern parts.

    A budget of 250 is a little low, a good chunk of it will be eaten up just by the brooks.

  6. #6
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
    You could have both, buy yourself an old Raleigh Twenty and rebuild it with modern parts.

    A budget of 250 is a little low, a good chunk of it will be eaten up just by the brooks.
    Just bought another Raleigh Twenty for 100.00 Cdn.... a very nice 451 equipped British model that just needed some air in the tyres before it could be ridden away.

    My other 20's have cost me no more than $40.00 and were perfectly ride-able.

  7. #7
    Pedaling fool ShinyBiker's Avatar
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    At your weight, your coming close to the limit of most folding bike manufacturers. With any regular commuting stuff (bag, coat, regular clothes, maybe laptop) you're probably exceeding it. Better to stick with a full sized bike for now.

  8. #8
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    A Raleigh Twenty with 406 rims can handle a great deal of weight... the 451 models use 28 spoke wheels that are a little less heavy duty.

    If you rebuilt the 36 spoke 406 size wheels with double walled rims and good spokes you would have some insanely tough wheels.

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