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Old 04-11-14, 04:31 AM   #1
jbutj
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New Folding Road Bike Concept For Commuting

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

Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1.jpg (48.6 KB, 77 views)
File Type: jpg fold without hold.jpg (80.4 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg gear.jpg (61.1 KB, 59 views)
File Type: jpg hoo.jpg (83.2 KB, 51 views)
File Type: jpg left side.jpg (50.3 KB, 68 views)
File Type: jpg saddle.jpg (40.1 KB, 35 views)
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Old 04-11-14, 05:39 AM   #2
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Folded, it's still big enough I probably wouldn't be able to take it on a bus if there was no space on the rack in front.
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Old 04-11-14, 05:50 AM   #3
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Thank you for your feedback. The bike uses full sized road bike wheels and other parts so there's a limit to how small it will go. It folds to half the size of it's original size so around 450mm long folded. The cad model that is shown doesn't show the folded size very effectively. Thankyou for my feedback
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Old 04-11-14, 06:52 AM   #4
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So where are the fenders and the rack? How wide of a tire will it take? Where does one put the bottle cage(s) for those longer rides? What is the maximum load rating (rider, rider + gear)?
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Old 04-11-14, 07:11 AM   #5
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Thankyou for your reply. From the research that i carried out most people used a bag to carry their things therefore i felt that i didnt need a rack furthermore its a road bike which don't have racks. The bike is designed to take the standard 700cc road bike tires. I have not thought about a bottle cage on this design however i will add a place for one now. The bike can take (in theory) the exact same as standard road bike so Rider weight limit of 275lb. Thanks for the feedback
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Old 04-11-14, 07:18 AM   #6
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It looks like the pedals are behind the saddle, that would be uncomfortable for even the most fit athlete.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:28 AM   #7
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Thankyou for the feedback. I think thats just the CAD design. IF this was made for real this wont be the case
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Old 04-11-14, 07:31 AM   #8
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My concern is the weight. The current bike shape (2 triangles) is strong, this design of yours could be made as strong but would seem to require (I'm not an engineer so I'm not doing much more than guessing) much more material. Weight may not be as much of a concern amongst commuters as it is for racers but there is a limit, especially when commuters have to also accommodate the weight of what they're carrying (tools, work clothes, rain gear, lunch, computer).
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Old 04-11-14, 07:39 AM   #9
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I'm looking at the top tube. How wide is that? My current steel bike is only about 1" diameter. If I put a beam rack on my seatpost, my legs hit the quick release. I would think that if there were a several inch wide top-tube, I'd constantly be rubbing against it in an uncomfortable way.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:39 AM   #10
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Frame rigidity could be a problem.

M.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:46 AM   #11
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I'm seeing a design that I suspect would cause problems with riders having their thighs rub against the wide segment with is normally a narrow top tube.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:47 AM   #12
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Thankyou for your feedback. the bike will be made from carbon fibre and aluminium by using cad software and calculations i bike should weight around 10kg which is the standard bike weight. In regards to storage i believe that most people use a bag as this is what my research showed
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Old 04-11-14, 07:49 AM   #13
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Thankyou for your feedback, i will look into these problems further
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Old 04-11-14, 07:49 AM   #14
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Thankyou for your feedback, i will look into these problems further
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Old 04-11-14, 08:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
I'm looking at the top tube. How wide is that? My current steel bike is only about 1" diameter. If I put a beam rack on my seatpost, my legs hit the quick release. I would think that if there were a several inch wide top-tube, I'd constantly be rubbing against it in an uncomfortable way.
Probably one of the reasons why folding bikes tend to have 20" wheels and longer seat and steerer tubes.
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Old 04-11-14, 08:29 AM   #16
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Perhaps first explain what you feel are an issue with the current folding bikes available, as many people already use folding bikes and praise them.
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Old 04-11-14, 08:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmilleronaire View Post
Perhaps first explain what you feel are an issue with the current folding bikes available, as many people already use folding bikes and praise them.
He covered that in the OP "...they all have heavy frames, poor gear ratios and small wheel making it hard to ride them..." and
"
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. "

I get the impression that the OP isn't a commuter himself, has no or limited experience with a bad example of a folder, and quite probably doesn't even own a bicycle of any kind.
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Old 04-11-14, 08:53 AM   #18
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Great project! It takes some courage to come here and invite criticism at an early stage of developing a product. I wish you the best of luck with this and would love to see the final product.

I ride a 20" folder and it is plenty light and fast for my commute. I've commuted 17 mi each way to downtown Chicago on both the folder and my full-size drop bar bike. I can tell you that in real-world terms, there's not that much difference in overall speed. The most limiting factors are
1) the motor (me)
2) traffic
and possibly 3) wind direction

I can see the appeal of a full size folder (which does exist by the way) but I don't think your target market is commuters, because they are more utilitarian riders and I would be willing to bet that the advantages of a smaller bike for multimodal commuting far outweigh the advantages of bigger wheels for most (they certainly do for me). Certainly there will be some who think differently, but there are already solutions for people who want that, e.g., this 26.5 lb 700c folder: Montague FIT Folding Bike - 30 Speed 700c - Commuter Bike Store.

Also, the bike looks cool but I think you will want to work on the aesthetics. Here's a 26" folder that you would be competing with on looks.



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Old 04-11-14, 09:12 AM   #19
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1. Rear Brake.

2. Cable routing for rear derailleur and rear brake, going to be more of a hassle than you might think at this point.

3. In this forum there is a thread called commuter bike pics, about 10 minutes perusing that may change your mind about rack mounts. College students on inexpensive bikes carry back packs. More mature commuters are more likely to be able to afford carbon frame folders and they are more prone to panniers and racks. However I could see the addition of a large frame bag as being one possible compromise.

Good luck with your endeavors.
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Old 04-11-14, 12:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbutj View Post
Thankyou for your reply. From the research that i carried out most people used a bag to carry their things therefore i felt that i didnt need a rack furthermore its a road bike which don't have racks. The bike is designed to take the standard 700cc road bike tires. I have not thought about a bottle cage on this design however i will add a place for one now. The bike can take (in theory) the exact same as standard road bike so Rider weight limit of 275lb. Thanks for the feedback
I think you should question your research - almost all recommendations on how to carry things here are to get a rack and bag. This is even more true of road bikes than it is of upright style mountain bikes, as carrying a bag on a road bike where you're bent over the bars is more likely to cause problems on your back. Carrying stuff on a rack is generally more comfortable and doesn't leave you with your back sweating through your shirt like a bag will in the summer.

For something you're marketing as a "commuter", you definitely need a rack (it's not that hard either).

As another poster pointed out, having a wide top tube is a huge problem for the legs, vertically tall wouldn't be such a problem, but wide is.
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Old 04-11-14, 12:49 PM   #21
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That design has some interesting features - from an engineering perspective, I'm very skeptical of the joints at both ends of the top tube.

I think your thesis that current folders are hard to ride is off base. There's room for improvement on current designs, or entirely new thinking; but it looks to me like the 700c wheel criteria isn't that important.
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Old 04-11-14, 01:06 PM   #22
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That design has some interesting features - from an engineering perspective, I'm very skeptical of the joints at both ends of the top tube.

I think your thesis that current folders are hard to ride is off base. There's room for improvement on current designs, or entirely new thinking; but it looks to me like the 700c wheel criteria isn't that important.
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.
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Old 04-11-14, 01:25 PM   #23
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It folds to half the size of it's original size so around 450mm long folded.
I don't understand which dimension this is referring to. 700c wheels are wider than that.

Final folded size is critical for a folding bike. In your image of the folded bike, the two wheels are essentially side-by-side so that would be over four feet. That's a deal breaker for a folding bike. Some people might be willing to tolerate a design that folded down to the width of one wheel plus some vertical extension about. Even that is pretty big for a folding bike.

The images seem to indicate that you haven't started to consider the bike's geometry yet. That also going to be very important.
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Old 04-11-14, 01:39 PM   #24
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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.
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-
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Old 04-11-14, 01:40 PM   #25
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The geo on that bike looks whacked. Understand it's only a concept at this point, but make sure you look at rake/trail, saddle/pedal positioning before building a prototype. Rack and fenders would be nice.
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