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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 12-30-16, 03:13 PM   #76
Robert C
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I will admit it, I have a cheap folding bike. As I recall, it was either 2,300元 or 2,800元, I really don't remember; but, by American standards, it was a cheap folder.

I purchased it in Xinyang, Henan PRC. I used it there; however, it got more use by a friend when she went riding with me. It's main use was on vacations. It traveled all over China in that capacity. It also went to work sites in both Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

It is now in Salt Lake, where it still sees use. The man use here is when I know I will only be riding a few miles and will also be on the Trax (local light rail). It works very well for multimodal applications.

But yes, it is a cheap folder.

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Old 12-30-16, 04:33 PM   #77
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Is that an early Jetstream with rear suspension only ?
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Old 12-30-16, 05:07 PM   #78
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It is a Dahon Dragon intended for the Chinese domestic market, of course, that same frame was probably used in many other bikes. But yes, it is rear suspension only.
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Old 12-30-16, 06:53 PM   #79
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It is a Dahon Dragon intended for the Chinese domestic market, of course, that same frame was probably used in many other bikes. But yes, it is rear suspension only.
Oh, that "cheap" bike is a keeper!!!
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Old 12-30-16, 11:13 PM   #80
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It is a Dahon Dragon intended for the Chinese domestic market, of course, that same frame was probably used in many other bikes. But yes, it is rear suspension only.
I had one like that, a Dahon Courser. The ebay seller advertised it as a Dahon Jetstream, but these 2 are not comparable so I was quite peeved about the false deal. Got my money sans shipping back.
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Old 12-31-16, 01:22 AM   #81
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Might you be thinking of TopKey, perhaps?

TOPKEY Excellence In Composites
It could have been---the facility was huge and busy.
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Old 01-02-17, 04:11 AM   #82
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I will admit it, I have a cheap folding bike. As I recall, it was either 2,300元 or 2,800元, I really don't remember; but, by American standards, it was a cheap folder.

I purchased it in Xinyang, Henan PRC. I used it there; however, it got more use by a friend when she went riding with me. It's main use was on vacations. It traveled all over China in that capacity. It also went to work sites in both Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

It is now in Salt Lake, where it still sees use. The man use here is when I know I will only be riding a few miles and will also be on the Trax (local light rail). It works very well for multimodal applications.

But yes, it is a cheap folder.

I find this response and photo heart warming, a bike that simply exists and serves its purpose without pomp or ceremony.
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Old 02-10-17, 06:09 AM   #83
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Very interesting thread. I'm in the UK and see many similar folding bikes with a huge range of pricing. I've seen bike shop bikes that are 3x the price of supermarket bikes but have the same component level.

Seems you can get a folding bike up to quite a high price with a freewheel instead of freehub/cassette which was one of the warnings given.

It can be a bit of a minefield getting value in your purchase if you are not careful.

I've seen people buy s/hand bikes recommended by people only to replace expensive parts because they were actually heavily worn or end of life.

Also some of the cheap bikes have very strong frames with little consideration for weight. Years ago when talking to a operative at a recycling centre who was into cycling he stated that frame failure was more common on the more expensive brands who I guess were competing to become the lightest bike in its class based on the fact that he would try to get decent bikes that were thrown out for himself and they often had damaged frames so it was more of a component strip. He also said he was amazed at the strength of some of the old vintage steel cycles that were thrown out and still had strong usable frames. Lastly he said there was a tendency for cheap bikes to be thrown out fully working except for the tires needing replacing and light corrosion. Again without knowing the ratio of bikes sold and other details you can't extract much from that but there is nothing on face value I disagree with. Aluminium does suffer from fatigue so personally I don't think its that surprising that its more likely to have a shorter life and lead to frame failure and higher end bikes are more likely to use that material. Most aluminium bikes still have steel forks because of the flexing of those forks. It seems to be a decision made more about long term reliability rather than comfort I think.
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Old 02-10-17, 11:01 AM   #84
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Also some of the cheap bikes have very strong frames with little consideration for weight. Years ago when talking to a operative at a recycling centre who was into cycling he stated that frame failure was more common on the more expensive brands who I guess were competing to become the lightest bike in its class based on the fact that he would try to get decent bikes that were thrown out for himself and they often had damaged frames so it was more of a component strip. He also said he was amazed at the strength of some of the old vintage steel cycles that were thrown out and still had strong usable frames. Lastly he said there was a tendency for cheap bikes to be thrown out fully working except for the tires needing replacing and light corrosion. Again without knowing the ratio of bikes sold and other details you can't extract much from that but there is nothing on face value I disagree with. Aluminium does suffer from fatigue so personally I don't think its that surprising that its more likely to have a shorter life and lead to frame failure and higher end bikes are more likely to use that material. Most aluminium bikes still have steel forks because of the flexing of those forks. It seems to be a decision made more about long term reliability rather than comfort I think.
I read this and I think its mostly normal road bikes (i.e. non folding). I would assume that most of the problems for foldies will be at/(or near) where it folds (handlebars as well).
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Old 02-10-17, 07:13 PM   #85
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After pedaling for nearly 3 decades, I don't assume the reasons my friends get into cycling; if they want to get a $100 bike for their cycling, that's what they want; as long as they are out riding.

When friends come to me for cycling advice, I always try to ask them questions about their goals in cycling and their priorities.
Blanket statement that all cheap bikes should be avoided is not exactly helping those in need of guidance.

Yes, most of my personal bicycles cost more than the car I own, but my daily commuter is a second hand Citizen folding bike that I picked up for less than $200. Suits my daily commute just fine.

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Old 02-10-17, 10:11 PM   #86
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Years ago when talking to a operative at a recycling centre who was into cycling he stated that frame failure was more common on the more expensive brands
Two things wrong with this. No1, there are more out there to fail and No2, you will remember names you know and forgot ones you don't so it's quite likely that brand name frame failures are being counted when no name failures are just forgotten.

Anecdotes are stories, not data.
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Old 02-11-17, 02:00 AM   #87
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Two things wrong with this. No1, there are more out there to fail and No2, you will remember names you know and forgot ones you don't so it's quite likely that brand name frame failures are being counted when no name failures are just forgotten.

Anecdotes are stories, not data.
Yes you can't extrapolate much from one person's experience but I viewed it more as mountain bikes actually being used off road and getting real abuse which is more likely to be decent brands and road racing bikes which tend to have low user weight limits which you often see exceeded. Here in the uk much to local bike shops annoyance I think low cost outlets for bikes like supermarkets have a large marketshare. Chidren's bikes seem to be very unlikely to be decent brands purchased from local bike shops. None of this related to folding bikes anyway or at least I don't remember them being mentioned. It was just a general view of bikes that come in. He had an interest in vintage bikes though that was clear.
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Old 07-02-17, 11:22 PM   #88
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"In European cities you see such bikes everywhere, I suspect you see them in even larger numbers in Asia."[/QUOTE]

Have you ever been to NYC? we are the capital of the folding bike! I Asia I saw just 2 in 15 months I lived there.
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Old 07-03-17, 04:20 AM   #89
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Have you ever been to NYC? we are the capital of the folding bike! I Asia I saw just 2 in 15 months I lived there.
Must not have been in Japan then... Out of the few thousand bikes you will see per day at least 100 will be folding. Most of them just cheap junk displaying whatever brand wants to tarnish their reputation, usually car brands though almost never the Japanese brands, they seem to care about their reputation.

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Old 07-03-17, 11:02 AM   #90
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I not only let a friend buy a cheap folder, I encouraged her to. Several years ago, I started commuting to work on a Brompton. This piqued a coworker's interest, and she asked me about it. I knew a Brompton was out of her budget, so, based on some stuff I read on these forums, I pointed her to an Origami, which she bought for $300. She still rides that bike to work to this day. She has also gotten a couple of other (relatively cheap) bikes, and a (not so cheap) longtail to transport her kids. If I had been a snob, and insisted that cheap bikes weren't worth buying, she might not be on a bike at all, and that cheap bike has served her perfectly well for years.

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Old 07-03-17, 02:35 PM   #91
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Buying cheap is a minefield of compromised bikes though often poorly assembled too but also paying more doesn't guarantee a decent bike either sometimes. You really have to look at the product and see what components are fitted and how well made the frame is. Paying more from a reputable dealer pretty much guarantee's you'll take a bike out of the showroom fit for the road to get that with a cheap bike you may have to put some work in checking and adjusting the bike yourself. I've seen some terrible bikes with so called good brands on where they have tried to compete on price and heavily compromised the bike often competing with the one step up models from cheap brands which fit better components at that price point so you end up with the deluxe bike from a cheap brand being better than the entry level model of a so called decent brand. That's why its more important to concentrate on the actual product than the brand itself.
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Old 07-12-17, 05:38 PM   #92
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This thread got a good run. I still cringe when I see steel cranks without removeable chainrings and freewheels instead of freehubs. Back in the early 1980s a lot of people were riding across the country on bicycles. Bikecentenial (from 1976) had put the idea into many people's minds that it would be fun to ride all the way across the US. It was amazing how many people back then did it on $69.95 Kmart or Sears bikes made by Huffy.

I am sure I offended some with this thread but it was meant in good fun. Ride on...
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Old 07-13-17, 02:31 AM   #93
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Here in the UK you can pay up to £700 for a Dahon folding bike which is fitted with a freewheel although you may not know it by looking at their website because they describe freewheels as cassettes which I personally think is disgusting. As far as I can tell all their 6 and 7 speed derailleur bikes have basic tourney gearing with a freewheel. So price doesn't always reflect quality. The cheapest folding bike I know of with cassette based gearing is the Carrera Intercity which is £350 but Halfords regularly have promotions to get it to £280 (20% off) and if you go via a cashback site you might get another £10 off so potentially £270. There is also the muddy fox nexus 7 hub geared folding bike at £265. Both great options for quality folding bikes at a low entry price. Even if you don't recognise the parts by sight you only have to spin the rear wheel of a Dahon to see the freewheel wobble same as many cheap bikes. I'm sure there are many other so called quality brand folding bikes that fit low end components and charge big money for them but Dahon is just the most common one that you see everywhere so it makes a good example. I'm just making the point you can spend serious money and still get a low quality bike with low end components. You can't just buy a Dahon bike by brand and expect to get a good bike you have to judge the bike on its components and price.
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Old 07-13-17, 11:32 AM   #94
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Here in the UK you can pay up to £700 for a Dahon folding bike which is fitted with a freewheel although you may not know it by looking at their website because they describe freewheels as cassettes which I personally think is disgusting...
I agree and most of the time the excuse is that it comes down to semantics and English not being the primary language of the person writing the specs. I've just become numb to it all and don't believe anything I read about things being sold. The market is flooded with stuff like "wool gloves" that aren't necessarily made of wool, they just are stylistically the same... "leather" doesn't mean real animal hide... "fleece" or "shearling" doesn't necessarily mean it's a tanned hide with the wool left on. I can't wait for "diamond ring" to be used to describe a diamond-like cut piece of glass in a setting.

/rant off
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Old 07-13-17, 11:50 AM   #95
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Here in the UK you can pay up to £700 for a Dahon folding bike which is fitted with a freewheel although you may not know it by looking at their website because they describe freewheels as cassettes which I personally think is disgusting. As far as I can tell all their 6 and 7 speed derailleur bikes have basic tourney gearing with a freewheel. So price doesn't always reflect quality. The cheapest folding bike I know of with cassette based gearing is the Carrera Intercity which is £350 but Halfords regularly have promotions to get it to £280 (20% off) and if you go via a cashback site you might get another £10 off so potentially £270. There is also the muddy fox nexus 7 hub geared folding bike at £265. Both great options for quality folding bikes at a low entry price. Even if you don't recognise the parts by sight you only have to spin the rear wheel of a Dahon to see the freewheel wobble same as many cheap bikes. I'm sure there are many other so called quality brand folding bikes that fit low end components and charge big money for them but Dahon is just the most common one that you see everywhere so it makes a good example. I'm just making the point you can spend serious money and still get a low quality bike with low end components. You can't just buy a Dahon bike by brand and expect to get a good bike you have to judge the bike on its components and price.
As yet you can be certain an 8, 9, 10 or 11 speed Dahon will have a cassette. Pretty much true across all bikes.---I don't have as much issue with the performance of a freewheel vs a cassette only the gearing option getting down to a 11 tooth cog.

I have put thousands of miles on wobbly freewheels without issues. It might actually make the bike shift better---grin--- The stronger design with a cassette which virtually eliminates bent rear axles is another plus.
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Old 07-13-17, 12:24 PM   #96
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As yet you can be certain an 8, 9, 10 or 11 speed Dahon will have a cassette. Pretty much true across all bikes.---I don't have as much issue with the performance of a freewheel vs a cassette only the gearing option getting down to a 11 tooth cog.

I have put thousands of miles on wobbly freewheels without issues. It might actually make the bike shift better---grin--- The stronger design with a cassette which virtually eliminates bent rear axles is another plus.
I'm not saying freewheels are unusable and have bikes myself with freewheels it just irritates me immensely when you see them on an expensive bike. It's understandable and excusable on a cheap bike. Some people aren't as interested in bikes as others and do buy by brand only because its a simple method of in theory protecting yourself from buying a bad bike even if you have to pay more for it and for that bike then to be fitted with rubbish components that bikes half that price improve upon well it does seem like exploitation to a degree.

Also in the UK I can buy a mountain bike or road bike easily under £300 with cassette gearing, I probably have at least half a dozen models to choose from at least but folding bikes nothing, closest is £350 with the Carrera Intercity and I don't know of any others. If anything with the derailleur close to the ground and pavement edge because of the small wheels its more likely to get knocked or drenched in dirt and water. The sort of environment a stronger derailleur would be beneficial.

Downtube bikes pretty much have all cassette based gearing I think except for the entry level model. It's a shame they don't also feature it even on their entry level model and feature it as their main selling point (freewheel free folding bikes) as well as sort out the frame colour schemes which are very drab in my opinion. Again there are mountain bike brands and road bike brands that would never feature freewheels on their bikes except maybe children's bikes.
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Old 07-13-17, 12:26 PM   #97
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I still cringe when I see steel cranks without removeable chainrings and freewheels instead of freehubs.
Nothing wrong with freewheel. I ride my 5-spd mtb on single-track for a full season, slaming into roots and rocks. No problem.
If the axle does bend in the future, I'll just replace it with one from BMX super strong chromoly...takes 10 minutes.

Another great thing about freewheels is that they're easier to convert to single-speed.
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Old 07-13-17, 12:44 PM   #98
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Nothing wrong with freewheel. I ride my 5-spd mtb on single-track for a full season, slaming into roots and rocks. No problem.
If the axle does bend in the future, I'll just replace it with one from BMX super strong chromoly...takes 10 minutes.

Another great thing about freewheels is that they're easier to convert to single-speed.
But BMX axles have different threads and cones from quick release axles----Grin---
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Old 07-13-17, 12:47 PM   #99
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I replaced hundreds of solid and quick release axles on freewheel bikes before the cassette system which is a lot stronger because of where the axle bearing sits. I owned a mainly mountain bike shop... We quit selling road bikes in 89 and went MTn bike BMX only.
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Old 07-13-17, 02:26 PM   #100
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I replaced hundreds of solid and quick release axles on freewheel bikes before the cassette system which is a lot stronger because of where the axle bearing sits. I owned a mainly mountain bike shop... We quit selling road bikes in 89 and went MTn bike BMX only.
I stay away from jumps and keep the psi up...maybe that's why I don't have problems.
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