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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 04-16-17, 11:34 AM   #1
alexvazquez
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7 speed or 20 speed folding bike

Im looking between Allen Sports Central Aluminum 7 Speed and Allen Sport XWay 20 speed. I will use it for road and some hills. Just to workout about 1 or 2 hours every day.

Im looking into both because the price difference is about 600 usd between the 7 speed and 20 speed but don't really know if thats something I should care about.

Appreciate any help.
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Old 04-16-17, 11:40 AM   #2
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You'd be better off with a Dahon Speed 7. Save yourself some money.

The 451mm wheels on the Allen make no sense on an entry level bike.

Thanks
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Old 04-16-17, 11:45 AM   #3
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You'd be better off with a Dahon Speed 7. Save yourself some money.

The 451mm wheels on the Allen make no sense on an entry level bike.

Thanks
Yan
Appreciate it, but what do you mean about "no sense on an entry level bike"? But am I going to feel any difference between 7 and 20 speed? Do you think its worth it?
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Old 04-16-17, 11:49 AM   #4
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Dealing with a single shifter might be nice, and some companies like SRAM are really pushing 1x shifting systems (1x11?)

Is there a bike you could try out?

You might look at the overall gearing range of the two bikes. One can get mighty large cassettes/freewheels to give quite a bit of range.

The other thing to consider is your top end gear. Your 20" wheel will have about 2/3 the speed of a 700c wheel, so any little boost at the top end helps.

Sometimes there are quite a few differences between a high-end and low-end bike. Whether they are significant or not might be a matter of opinion. But carefully review all the specs.
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Old 04-16-17, 11:52 AM   #5
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If you spend some time reading these threads you will find most 20" wheel folding bikes use 406mm wheels. 451 make sense on a racing style folder ( most 451mm tires are slicks ). I can not understand why Allen put 451's on entry level bikes. Additionally they advertise it as superior.... Actually it's inferior since there is a limited supply of replacement tires.

20sp is nice, but I prefer a single Chainrings on a folder. Bikefridays were known to have chain drop issues ( on multiple chairing bikes ). I would not add complexity and weight if they are not necessary....So I use single Chainrings bikes.

Thanks
Yan
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Old 04-16-17, 11:53 AM   #6
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Dealing with a single shifter might be nice, and some companies like SRAM are really pushing 1x shifting systems (1x11?)

Is there a bike you could try out?

You might look at the overall gearing range of the two bikes. One can get mighty large cassettes/freewheels to give quite a bit of range.

The other thing to consider is your top end gear. Your 20" wheel will have about 2/3 the speed of a 700c wheel, so any little boost at the top end helps.

Sometimes there are quite a few differences between a high-end and low-end bike. Whether they are significant or not might be a matter of opinion. But carefully review all the specs.
Appreciate so much your reply. Actually Im looking at a very light bike 24 pounds or less, small in size at foldable position, and confortable to ride. I dont think I will take the bike in 45 degree hills but I want a bike that is easy to ride in most common hills (road). I was looking at the Allen Sport XWay that is 1,260 usd but from other post maybe thats expending too much money because I can have the same result with a 7 or 8 speed like a Dahon Vector. Any recommendation?
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Old 04-16-17, 11:56 AM   #7
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If you spend some time reading these threads you will find most 20" wheel folding bikes use 406mm wheels. 451 make sense on a racing style folder ( most 451mm tires are slicks ). I can not understand why Allen put 451's on entry level bikes. Additionally they advertise it as superior.... Actually it's inferior since there is a limited supply of replacement tires.

20sp is nice, but I prefer a single Chainrings on a folder. Bikefridays were known to have chain drop issues ( on multiple chairing bikes ). I would not add complexity and weight if they are not necessary....So I use single Chainrings bikes.

Thanks
Yan
Appreciate it Yan, so what folding bike do you recommend me, i want something light 24 pound or less, easy to ride or street hills and confortable for a 1 or 2 hour ride. And I want it to be small in foldable position. But from your suggestion it seems that spending 1,250 usd in a foldable bike 20sp is too much, do you think I can get same result with a 7 or 8 speed? What bike do you recommend me?
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Old 04-16-17, 11:59 AM   #8
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Dahon Speed 8 is a really nice bike, but I think it is over 24lbs.

Stay away from Tern, and Allen ( unless you get a deal on the carbon frame ).

Thanks
Yan
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Old 04-16-17, 12:01 PM   #9
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I've a 7 speed Bike Friday. I very rarely wish I had a double. You can improve your climbing gears by going to a smaller chainring if you find you need it and can give up a higher gear. If I had 20 speeds I wouldn't use more than half of them; I ride 90% in the same two gears. I'm in the Bay area and there are hills here, nothing huge, but some good grades.
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Old 04-16-17, 12:03 PM   #10
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Dahon Speed 8 is a really nice bike, but I think it is over 24lbs.

Stay away from Tern, and Allen ( unless you get a deal on the carbon frame ).

Thanks
Yan
I found this Dahon Speed 8 that seems its 24lbs in Amazon: Dahon Mu P8 Folding Cloud White Folding Bike

What do you think?
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Old 04-16-17, 12:07 PM   #11
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If it's 24lbs it will satisfy all of your requirements. That's probably your best bet.

Thanks
Yan
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Old 04-16-17, 12:10 PM   #12
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If it's 24lbs it will satisfy all of your requirements. That's probably your best bet.

Thanks
Yan
Why does Dahon also have a lot of bikes using 451 wheel? Is that not meaning that repalcements parts are easy to find?
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Old 04-16-17, 12:15 PM   #13
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451mm makes sense on racing folders/mini velo. It makes no sense on entry level bicycles.


Thanks
Yan
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Old 04-16-17, 12:22 PM   #14
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Thorusa is a big Dahon seller, you should contact him. I believe he sets up all bikes before shipping.

Thanks
Yan
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Old 04-16-17, 12:34 PM   #15
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Thorusa is a big Dahon seller, you should contact him. I believe he sets up all bikes before shipping.

Thanks
Yan
What do you think about VECTOR P20 bike? its 1,299.00 do you think it worth or better the Speed 8 because of functionality vs price? Appreciate again and sorry to ask so much.
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Old 04-16-17, 12:37 PM   #16
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I'm simple, I like simple bikes. The Speed 8 is actually my favorite Dahon. The Vector maybe better for you.... Can anyone share objective advise?

Thanks
Yan
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Old 04-16-17, 03:18 PM   #17
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road use 1-2 h sounds like more than the average commuter. if not in shape already you will soon get there, and enjoy gears in the 70-100 range. for steep hills san francisco style you could need gears less than 30, but for 'normal' hills 45 gets you up most without problems. multi gears should preferably be close-ratio on top, and can have more spread at the bottom.

thats the theory. in practice i get around most of the time, and pass almost all other commuters with my 2-speed brompton. spd cleats and healthy knees helps in hills. but in generally hilly areas i prefer to use a bike with more gears.

for my legs in flatland a top gear under 80 is joyless.. you know your legs better than we do

you must also make the decision if you can live with a folder that does not fold the chain inside itself, if not the exposed chain on the folded package soon creates a gooiy mess on your clothes, in the bike bag, in the wardrobe or in the car booth. if the fold is in the 'wrong' direction a good alternative is belt drive, ergo hub gear.
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Old 04-16-17, 04:26 PM   #18
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road use 1-2 h sounds like more than the average commuter. if not in shape already you will soon get there, and enjoy gears in the 70-100 range. for steep hills san francisco style you could need gears less than 30, but for 'normal' hills 45 gets you up most without problems. multi gears should preferably be close-ratio on top, and can have more spread at the bottom.

thats the theory. in practice i get around most of the time, and pass almost all other commuters with my 2-speed brompton. spd cleats and healthy knees helps in hills. but in generally hilly areas i prefer to use a bike with more gears.

for my legs in flatland a top gear under 80 is joyless.. you know your legs better than we do

you must also make the decision if you can live with a folder that does not fold the chain inside itself, if not the exposed chain on the folded package soon creates a gooiy mess on your clothes, in the bike bag, in the wardrobe or in the car booth. if the fold is in the 'wrong' direction a good alternative is belt drive, ergo hub gear.

Appreciate so much your feedback. What other bike do you recommend me? Was very interesting all the things you said and make sense.,
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Old 04-16-17, 07:39 PM   #19
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Going to a hub gear with a belt drive is great. However the internal hubs add weight, hence they will not fullfil the the 24lb requirement.

It seems the requirements are changing....

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Old 04-16-17, 08:04 PM   #20
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you must also make the decision if you can live with a folder that does not fold the chain inside itself, if not the exposed chain on the folded package soon creates a gooiy mess on your clothes, in the bike bag, in the wardrobe or in the car booth. if the fold is in the 'wrong' direction a good alternative is belt drive, ergo hub gear.
Hmmm....I use ProGold Prolink lube and let it dry. Then I wipe the chain links until there's nothing on the cloth. I never get anything on my clothes or car bed, in fact hardly any grease at all on my hand even if I have to refit the chain. Try using a less messy lube or less of it and wiping the chain after it dries, maybe?
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Old 04-17-17, 02:01 AM   #21
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have always envied the guys that manage to keep their chains that clean. have tried progold and others, never had a lasting success. soon enough the chain was dirty again. the 'cleaner' stuff is in my experience also harder to get off once dirty.

have returned again and again to synthetic motor oil. it sure is messy, but acceptable if you like linberl clean the chain off with a cloth after applying it. and is easy to clean.

bonus is an effortless sensation also at high chain speeds, use for example 69t chainwheel on one of my bromptons; or having the drivetrain work well also in swedish winter.

another question is why you should support a bike producer that got it all backwards. the chain has nothing good to do exposed to the outside of the folded package. please producers make the bike fold in the other direction. as a bonus the drivetrain gets better protection.

how hard can it be?
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Old 04-17-17, 02:56 AM   #22
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Old 04-17-17, 03:46 AM   #23
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Old scool is always best

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...our+bike+chain
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Old 04-17-17, 07:32 AM   #24
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DO NOT BUY A 7 speed....

8 speed and above will have an 11 tooth high gear in the rear vs a 13 tooth high gear for a freewheel bike (7 speed). I have a MU D10 and it works great as a workout bike. I also have a Xootr Swift and it works great as a workout bike. I also have an older REI Dahon internal hub 7 or 8 speed and it does not have a high enough high gear ---I spin out on it all the time---I never ride it, just loan it.

The 13 tooth vs the 11 tooth is about a 15% difference. For tooling around town----not working out----a 7 speed may be fine---as a workout platform---no way. My high gear is a 52 (53) x 11 with 20" (406) wheels. I would not want a lower high gear.

I like my Dahon for the smaller fold than the Xootr but my Swift is a little stiffer platform. The swift is marginally a folder as it is very clumsy when folded.
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Old 04-17-17, 07:47 AM   #25
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20" 451 wheel vs 20"406 wheel.

The most common wheel size for kids bikes, bmx, freestyle, is the 20" 406 wheel. Tires and tubes are available in virtually every bicycle shop in the World for the 406.

451 wheels are used on some high end folding bikes, some recumbent bikes and high end BMX race bikes for kids under 80 pounds. I would wager in the United states less than 20% of the shops carry tires or tubes for this size. 451 wheels are very rare. Tire selection is pathetic compared to the 406 wheel which has thousands of different tires available.

I owned and managed a family, BMX race, Mountain bike Race shop for 30+ years.
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