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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 04-04-17, 02:28 PM   #1
Hermes1
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Took My First Ride On a Folding Bike

My wife has been interested in a folding bike for a while and now we are planning to retire and fulltime travel in an RV, so the folding bike from a space standpoint has some appeal. Unlike my wife, I am a long time more serious rider, participated in triathlons, commute daily to work and log the miles on the weekend when I can, as such I have been reluctant to give up a traditional road bike.


This past weekend we went to a local bike shop that sells only folding bikes and we took some trial rides on a couple different bikes. My wife fell in love with the Tern Tour and as luck would have, it was on consignment. The bike is in like new condition and so she bought it at a considerable discount from new. She rode it over the weekend and all I can say is I could not wipe the smile from her face if I tried.


Since I am still a bit hesitant, she encouraged me to ride it to work today instead of my traditional road bike which I did and so far I have to say it was fun and seems like a real possibility. I was impressed with the ride quality, it was comfortable and the rack was capable of holding my Ortlieb Classic bags stuffed with my clothing change and a large lunch bag. It is a pretty heavy bike, so acceleration was slower for me and I am sure my average speed was reduced, but I could get use to this bike. Considering my riding style and interests though, I am interested to try one of the lighter models, before making a decision.


While it would be nice, having a second bike for myself is not in the cards. Thought I would share our story for anyone who may also be considering a folding bike.
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Old 04-04-17, 02:34 PM   #2
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Since you are a more serious roadie, you might like to consider a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket. You would probably find you like it more than the tri bike,which it could replace.
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Old 04-04-17, 03:09 PM   #3
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just sold another of the new Tern 451 tire sized bikes. I know you would love the P10 :-)
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Old 04-04-17, 04:03 PM   #4
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Thank you for the suggestions, I will check them out.
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Old 04-04-17, 04:49 PM   #5
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Glad to hear it. Foldies/small wheelers get a bad rap. Mostly from those who've never ridden them. They make a great antidote to the tired 'racing in spandex is the epitome' paradigm that regrettably still afflicts cycling.

This is your poison if you want to complement your road bike...



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Originally Posted by Hermes1 View Post
My wife has been interested in a folding bike for a while and now we are planning to retire and fulltime travel in an RV, so the folding bike from a space standpoint has some appeal. Unlike my wife, I am a long time more serious rider, participated in triathlons, commute daily to work and log the miles on the weekend when I can, as such I have been reluctant to give up a traditional road bike.


This past weekend we went to a local bike shop that sells only folding bikes and we took some trial rides on a couple different bikes. My wife fell in love with the Tern Tour and as luck would have, it was on consignment. The bike is in like new condition and so she bought it at a considerable discount from new. She rode it over the weekend and all I can say is I could not wipe the smile from her face if I tried.


Since I am still a bit hesitant, she encouraged me to ride it to work today instead of my traditional road bike which I did and so far I have to say it was fun and seems like a real possibility. I was impressed with the ride quality, it was comfortable and the rack was capable of holding my Ortlieb Classic bags stuffed with my clothing change and a large lunch bag. It is a pretty heavy bike, so acceleration was slower for me and I am sure my average speed was reduced, but I could get use to this bike. Considering my riding style and interests though, I am interested to try one of the lighter models, before making a decision.


While it would be nice, having a second bike for myself is not in the cards. Thought I would share our story for anyone who may also be considering a folding bike.
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Old 04-05-17, 08:50 AM   #6
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Small wheeled bikes are often ridiculed as "clown bikes" because of their circus association.

That stigma doesn't carry over to BMX bikes. So some people don't like the utility of folders and mini velos because they look like kids' bikes.

Completely unfair.
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Old 04-05-17, 11:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
Small wheeled bikes are often ridiculed as "clown bikes" because of their circus association.

That stigma doesn't carry over to BMX bikes. So some people don't like the utility of folders and mini velos because they look like kids' bikes.

Completely unfair.
You sound so sad :-(

Where do they still have circuses these days, and what kind of people go to them ?

Don't think of it as unfair, it really doesn't matter what the ignorant and uninformed think.
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Old 04-05-17, 02:38 PM   #8
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It is really fun to hang with a group of 700c bike riders with a 406 wheeled folding bike. My current Swift is 25+ pounds. I am working harder than they are but that isn't all bad.
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Old 04-05-17, 02:39 PM   #9
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What Stigma? I thrive on being different...
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Old 04-05-17, 02:51 PM   #10
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Yeah, I don't understand the stigma comment. I've been riding folders and minis for a decade, and the only comments I've ever received are positive ones from people curious about the fold and how the small wheels ride. If you're riding around people who laugh at your "circus bike", you're riding around some strange people.
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Old 04-05-17, 03:35 PM   #11
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There's a huge stigma with folding bikes - the clown-bike thing is #1 with the macho types (bicyclists are mostly male), and the perceived speed/comfort/efficiency loss seems to turn off the rest. Of my quiver of bicycles and cycling needs, a folder is easily my best: tourer, commuter, utility, LCF bicycle and by a good margin (fail as an MTB though). Yet if you go over and scan through 'Let's see your ____ bike' threads on the same sub-forums on BF, and folders will represent <1%.

I have to admit that on my first mini-tour, it felt like I was losing 10-20% speed/efficiency/range vs my 700x32 gravel bike, but some TTs indicated it was half that, and a simple aero handlebar mod cut that gap in half yet again. I can tune comfort between them just with air pressure. Still, it'll never be a road racer.

Touring outside of urban areas, however... WOW rock star material, never had so many strangers approach to talk about it, take pictures, etc. I have to stop with the demo folds, or I'll prematurely wear it out. Sadly not that many young pretty things seem interested (not macho enough for them) but I'm going see if it might help my ugly self catch some rides hitchhiking some day.

BTW, I'm an RV'er (class B) and one or two folders are permanent resident under my bed/rear seat.

Last edited by reppans; 04-05-17 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 04-05-17, 09:09 PM   #12
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Same here—People comment on how small the wheels on my Brompton, not in a negative way, they just find it strange. Second, they'll ask me to unfold/fold it, amazement on their eyes. Third, the price—it's too much for most folks.
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Old 04-16-17, 11:25 AM   #13
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I had some lycra guy ask me today if I left my bike in the dryer too long, lolz. I raised the seat and let him take a ride (held on to his bike for security) and when he gave me back my Bike Friday, he had a lot of questions about price, components, etc. One convert at a time =). My response to these kind of comments is "you gotta try it and then you'll buy it".
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Old 04-22-17, 06:50 PM   #14
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I have a decent road bike (about 17 lbs) and it is amazing, it's more like a fancy exotic sports car. I am scared to leave it anywhere, and it only goes out on nice dry days. My Brompton is the real world bike I can take anywhere without worry. If I can't leave it out, I can strap it onto my shoulder in a tote bag. It's tough as nails, and is amazing fun to ride around the city because it steers so easily. It's a way more useful bike.
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Old 04-29-17, 03:39 AM   #15
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No stigma zone

I downsized much of my life...smaller house, smaller car, etc. I turned to a smaller (a folding) bike, so I could fit it in my Fiat 500 and for my multi-modal commute. I get the stares from the spandex crowd, but surprise when I keep up with them. When I first started My multimodal bike commute, those stares turned to envy when I folded my bike and hopped on the crowded trolley and they had to wait for an empty car. As a side benefit, the teenagers really like my folders, especially my 14" bike. I got it for me and my kid darn near sleeps with it.

So, no stigma, just a good time.
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Old 04-29-17, 09:37 AM   #16
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While it is true one might get some attitude from "big" bike riders, I find it interesting that pedestrians seem to be so much more comfortable around smaller folding bikes. I was biking around a crowded event that I came upon unexpectedly, and I was able to nimbly ride through and got lots of smiles from folks walking. The "big" bike riders ahead of me got yelled at and told to walk their bikes =). Folders are not as threatening to pedestrians, in fact, they mostly just seemed intrigued.
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Old 04-29-17, 11:25 AM   #17
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Still exploring the limits of where a folder can go.... (incl. carting full touring/camping gear):

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