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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 04-11-14, 02:11 PM   #26
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It might also be interesting to see the current state of the art in folding road bikes:

Bike Friday - Custom folding and travel bicycles hand-crafted in Oregon

It comes in at 16.5 pounds. It has 20 inch wheels. Also, not entirely ugly.

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Old 04-11-14, 02:19 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
1. 700c will have the advantage in some- but not all- applications.

2. I suspect that the difference in rider height between a folder and a road bike may not be as drastic as you think. It would be interesting if anyone who has both could chime in on this to clarify any misconceptions that may exist.

Ah, Google image search found this-
You're claiming the rider height is "drastic", not me. It's just a little nicer. It's really beside the point - it's just an extra nicety.

The speed and comfort are far more important for a commuter for me. I've ridden both 26" and 29" mountain bikes back to back on the same trail - the bigger tire definitely rolls over small trail stuff much easier. It's a little faster, to.
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Old 04-11-14, 03:38 PM   #28
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Hello, My names Jack England. Im a young designer that is currently studying A Level product design. Over the last year i have been developing and designing a product that i feel that solves a gap in the market. In terms of folding bikes there are very few opinions. From these opinions they all have heavy frames, poor gear ratios and small wheel making it hard to ride them. However i have designed a folding bike based off a road bike. The design incorporates parts and features that you find on a road bike. For example
  • 700cc Road BIke Wheels,
  • Drop Down Handle Bars
  • Carbon Fibre seat post and forks,
  • Aluminium frame
  • Road bike gears

The design uses a full sized frame. The aim of the design is to make commuting easier as you as now you have the opinion to ride faster, harder and longer as you aren't limited by the low performance folding bikes that are out there.

Im posting on this forum to get your opinions on the design and your feedback. Please view the images that i have attached. I look forward to hearing your opinions

the ergonomics is messed up , 5 0f 6, the seat is ahead of the pedals , the opposite of how bicycles have settled on in design in over 100 years .
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Old 04-11-14, 03:51 PM   #29
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As a bike commuter, I would disagree.

If you need to bring it on a bus or subway, I don't have experience with that - that could be the case.

But despite what some people claim, commuters care a great deal about speed and ride comfort. 700c are faster, they put you up higher so it's a little easier to see over traffic, and they ride over crap on the road better. If your goal is to be able to fit your bike in your office or your apartment, I know I for one haven't bought a folding bike partly because I wasn't willing to compromise on wheel size. I did look around - a folding bike is also easier to throw in a trunk when meeting up for a ride after work.
I don't think 700c wheels do put you up higher. You don't sit on the wheels, you sit on the saddle. I adjust my folder so that the saddle is at the same height as on my 700c bike, so can you explain how someone is lower based on wheel size? Also, my folder actually puts me in a more upright position. That will put my head (and eyes) several inches higher. So I would say that my vision is better on the folder.
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Old 04-11-14, 04:03 PM   #30
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I'll say it;it's ugly. Considering that there are folks who refuse to ride a bike with a sloping TT,cosmetics cannot be overlooked.
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Old 04-11-14, 04:11 PM   #31
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I don't think 700c wheels do put you up higher. You don't sit on the wheels, you sit on the saddle. I adjust my folder so that the saddle is at the same height as on my 700c bike, so can you explain how someone is lower based on wheel size? Also, my folder actually puts me in a more upright position. That will put my head (and eyes) several inches higher. So I would say that my vision is better on the folder.
You know, I'm not sure. The saddle itself sits on the wheels. So your wheel could put you up higher. But on the other hand, maybe they build bikes so that your pedals are basically always the same height from the ground? So I might be wrong.

Like I said though, it was a minor point. Maybe I was wrong on it - it's Friday and I'd have to go look at bikes to be sure. But that doesn't change the other points I said were the more major ones.
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Old 04-11-14, 06:47 PM   #32
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Another small problem I see in your cad drawing is you single chainstay is on the wrong side for a derailler. I don't even think you can use an internal gear hub that way. This sure looks like you really didn't even look at any bikes much less ride any when designing this. And, the materials would make this bike so expensive, most college students wouldn't take a chance riding it around campus in fear of having it stolen.

If this was an exercise to design what students would love to have as a commuter? This was a great try. But I think you'll need to do more research with a larger selection of riders(which you are posting here) and on bike design and function if this was a true attempt at the next best folding bike.

Good luck with your endeavors!
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Old 04-11-14, 07:13 PM   #33
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You know, I'm not sure. The saddle itself sits on the wheels. So your wheel could put you up higher. But on the other hand, maybe they build bikes so that your pedals are basically always the same height from the ground? So I might be wrong.

Like I said though, it was a minor point. Maybe I was wrong on it - it's Friday and I'd have to go look at bikes to be sure. But that doesn't change the other points I said were the more major ones.
The height of the rider is determined both by how high the lower pedal is off the ground at its lowest point and how long the rider's legs are since most people adjust their seat height so their legs are almost straight at maximum extension. No reason for either of those to be different on a folding bike as compared to a non-folding one, and there is no noticeable difference in my height when seated on my Bike Friday Pocket Rocket vs. my 700c bikes. Nor is there any difference in the speed of my commute - which is usually on the Bike Friday even though I don't need the folding feature (but it's the one that normally has a rear rack already attached and is therefore more suited). Rolling resistance of smaller wheels is a bit greater but air resistance of those wheels is a bit less so it tends to balance out. Yes, on very rough terrain the bigger wheels can be an advantage, but my urban commute is not over that kind of terrain.

I don't really see the intended niche for the design on the OP. The folded bike looks too big to be taken inside crowded buses or most other urban mass transit vehicles that wouldn't allow regular bikes and the unconventional geometry would make it a poor riding choice compared to either a regular bike or many of the better folders already on the market.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:39 PM   #34
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The height of the rider is determined both by how high the lower pedal is off the ground at its lowest point and how long the rider's legs are since most people adjust their seat height so their legs are almost straight at maximum extension. No reason for either of those to be different on a folding bike as compared to a non-folding one, and there is no noticeable difference in my height when seated on my Bike Friday Pocket Rocket vs. my 700c bikes.
Ok - it was an off the cuff comment, thinking about it does sound like I was probably wrong. Like I said, it was a minor point.

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Nor is there any difference in the speed of my commute - which is usually on the Bike Friday even though I don't need the folding feature (but it's the one that normally has a rear rack already attached and is therefore more suited). Rolling resistance of smaller wheels is a bit greater but air resistance of those wheels is a bit less so it tends to balance out. Yes, on very rough terrain the bigger wheels can be an advantage, but my urban commute is not over that kind of terrain.
This sounds like it would devolve into a back and forth I'm not interested in getting into, but in general larger wheels seem to be faster. Certainly not day and night faster, but a little faster.

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I don't really see the intended niche for the design on the OP. The folded bike looks too big to be taken inside crowded buses or most other urban mass transit vehicles that wouldn't allow regular bikes and the unconventional geometry would make it a poor riding choice compared to either a regular bike or many of the better folders already on the market.
The idea he was saying was that the geometry wasn't something he had put any time into.

You assume that everyone who's bike commuting is doing so partially involving a bus or subway, and that's not true. Certainly if only 25% of my commute was actually biking, folding size would matter to me far more than small increases in efficiency with a larger wheel. But when I was looking for a commuting bike, I was considering something folding because it took up less room at home, at work, and it would be able to go into the trunk of my car a lot easier, even if it just made it 25% smaller. Didn't get anything because of the efficiency aspect, as my commute is somewhere between 0:45 and 1:15 hours, depending on route and traffic.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:59 PM   #35
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This sounds like it would devolve into a back and forth I'm not interested in getting into, but in general larger wheels seem to be faster. Certainly not day and night faster, but a little faster.
Comparing my 20" folding bike to my two 700c road bikes, it fits in between those two in terms of speed. Not that there's all that much difference between them - the folder is marginally slower than the bike designed for racing and marginally faster than the one designed for touring - all three are drop bar road bikes. I've used the folder for lots of century rides and also for multi-day camping tours and have never noticed any efficiency issue. Have you actually had any experience riding a decent performance bike with smaller wheels?
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You assume that everyone who's bike commuting is doing so partially involving a bus or subway, and that's not true. Certainly if only 25% of my commute was actually biking, folding size would matter to me far more than small increases in efficiency with a larger wheel. But when I was looking for a commuting bike, I was considering something folding because it took up less room at home, at work, and it would be able to go into the trunk of my car a lot easier, even if it just made it 25% smaller. Didn't get anything because of the efficiency aspect, as my commute is somewhere between 0:45 and 1:15 hours, depending on route and traffic.
But it doesn't look to me like this design would actually fit anywhere better than my regular bike. The unconventional drivetrain design looks like it would make it much harder to remove the rear wheel whereas that's a trivial 2-second task with my conventional road bike. Taking off the wheels lets me put that bike easily in my small car's trunk whereas my glance at this design would make it a difficult or impossible fit even when folded so it would require both folding and some disassembly - therefore more time-consuming than just using a regular bike. I fit my regular bike in my trunk all the time - total time is about 10 seconds to get it in and maybe 15 seconds to take it out and put it back together.
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Old 04-11-14, 09:50 PM   #36
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This sounds like it would devolve into a back and forth I'm not interested in getting into, but in general larger wheels seem to be faster. Certainly not day and night faster, but a little faster.
I don't see any basis for this belief. My own experience does not confirm that larger wheels are faster. Can you provide either a theoretical explanation why larger wheels are faster or empirical data that says so? Either of these would allow me to change my mind on the subject.

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You assume that everyone who's bike commuting is doing so partially involving a bus or subway, and that's not true. Certainly if only 25% of my commute was actually biking, folding size would matter to me far more than small increases in efficiency with a larger wheel. But when I was looking for a commuting bike, I was considering something folding because it took up less room at home, at work, and it would be able to go into the trunk of my car a lot easier, even if it just made it 25% smaller. Didn't get anything because of the efficiency aspect, as my commute is somewhere between 0:45 and 1:15 hours, depending on route and traffic.
What you say is true. However, what you are describing seems like a much smaller target market of commuters who want a folding bike over a non-folder, but who don't want a 20"-26" folding bike, and are not happy with any existing options for a 700c folder. The OP suggested that he was trying to create something with a bit more potential than a niche product, so I think the criticism is valid and an important factor for what the OP wants to accomplish with his new design.
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Old 04-11-14, 10:20 PM   #37
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Hey there. I am also a product design student, and this isn't a market gap at all. There are many "full-sized" foldable bike concepts.
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Old 04-11-14, 11:15 PM   #38
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Looks nice - You might be able to cut down the size of the rear wheel and save yourself a few centimetres...
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Old 04-11-14, 11:34 PM   #39
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jbutj - interesting concept. Unfortunately, when a thread hits a certainly hyperbole limit, you won't get any more useful info out of it. It's this weird thing that people start to believe that if they can convince you of things that are clearly not true, somehow that will make them true. It's very, very odd.

There were some good thoughts on the first page - good luck!
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Old 04-12-14, 01:13 AM   #40
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Besides what I said about this not really being a market gap, I do have some honest suggestions if you are already committed to the project.


The folding mech needs a proof of concept. The problem is it's rigidity as this is a pursuit of a performance folding bike.


Ergonomics should be reevaluated in the design of the bars. As one of the major contact points the utility is more important than form language. The drops should be rounded and the top bar should be slimmed down.

That top tube is also far too wide. To be honest you need to start over. The mechanics won't work. Pretty things have to be functional.


Careful with the extrusion on that rear support arm. You need another proof of concept to make sure there is clearance for the crank arm/rider foot


The pedals are placed far too behind the seat as well. Geometry is everything, so research some other brands as their geometries are readily available. Doing a mock up will be very easy.

Also, you have no place to mount a rear derailleur. That will be quite an engineering problem.

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Old 04-12-14, 02:34 AM   #41
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jbutj - interesting concept. Unfortunately, when a thread hits a certainly hyperbole limit, you won't get any more useful info out of it. It's this weird thing that people start to believe that if they can convince you of things that are clearly not true, somehow that will make them true. It's very, very odd.

There were some good thoughts on the first page - good luck!
Come on mate, don't be so hard on yourself
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Old 04-12-14, 11:12 PM   #42
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Hey there. I am also a product design student, and this isn't a market gap at all. There are many "full-sized" foldable bike concepts.
+1

Dahon and Montague are the leading full size folding bike manufacturers. It's not likely the OP or anyone is going to make a lot of money on a full size folding bike. However, this is probably a school project and not ment to go into production.
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Old 04-16-14, 11:41 AM   #43
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I think the main problem with this concept is steering geometry. Your rake angle appears to be 0 degrees. While there is trail, it's all coming from fork offset. I have a feeling this bike would be very nervous in turns if not outright unrideable.
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Old 04-16-14, 12:16 PM   #44
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Not so sure whats up with cranksets on left AND right side. It's almost a tri bike in geometry, with a wide top tube. Why is the black triangle removed in some pictures? Why is it removable at all? I'll be honest, this looks like someone who doesn't bike trying to design a new style bike.
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Old 04-16-14, 12:26 PM   #45
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Not a fan of racing position, prefer upright. Could seat be lowered, or perhaps an alternate upright model?

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Old 04-16-14, 02:03 PM   #46
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I would like if it came in different colors. Could you at least make it in red?
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Old 04-16-14, 02:26 PM   #47
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I apologize if this has been said (I only scrolled through the thread), but big wheel folding bikes aren't a new concept. Montague has been making them for decades, and currently offers a spectrum of models including some with high performance features. More recently other players in the field are offering better features and an assortment of wheel sizes.

The basic limiter in folding bikes is the wheel diameter, so those who don't need minimum folded size have a number of options, while those who need the smallest possible folded size, are limited to smaller wheels.
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Old 04-16-14, 02:32 PM   #48
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That will be unusable for many cyclists because the fat top tube does not clear their thighs.

Top-tube rigidity will be a problem especially at that joint - it needs to be stiffest up and down not side-to-side.

Many cyclists would want to use standard rear wheels as well (I have three spare rear wheels with standard 130mm OLD axles in my shed).

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Old 04-16-14, 08:41 PM   #49
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If you took the top tube and flipped it to make an I shape you could put 2-4 parallel pins that lock into place to take the bending forces off the joint itself. Then you'd also have the leg clearance.

hope that helps!

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Old 04-16-14, 08:48 PM   #50
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Your design is crap, lots of folding bikes with more practicality already on the market. Leave designing folding bikes to people who actually ride folding bikes.
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