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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 07-01-17, 01:43 PM   #1
eekatlarge
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Best Folder for Kids?

Introductory note: thank you in advance for any wisdom the experts here are willing to offer this total newbie! Apologies if I'm asking an already-answered question; I looked and didn't find anything recent on this subject, but may have missed something.

Looking for an entry-level-ish folder bike that would work now and a bit later as well for a 5-year-old beginner, and potentially also be usable by the beginner's 8-year-old sibling. We live in a tiny shoebox with zero storage space, so folders seem like the way to go.

A cursory search brought me to the Dahon Kids Uno (I'm too new to post a link, sorry!) which, except for its primary color scheme, looks kind of perfect (love the way it goes from balance bike to training wheels to 2-wheeler), but it appears to be unavailable in the US (anyone know why?).

Is there something comparable out there on the lower end of the price spectrum? Anything to be especially avoided?

Thanks so much for any help and guidance!
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Old 07-01-17, 03:25 PM   #2
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I used 16" wheel mini's for my kids when they turned 5. Overall I think any 16" wheel or smaller folder should work. I would encourage you to get a light bike so your child will be able to control it better.

You may need to buy a backup seatpost. My son was very short. His saddle was set super low so his seatpost ended up hitting every curb. The bottom of the post got pretty scuffed up.

Make sure to get rise bars and rotate them towards your child to minimize the virtual top tube length.

Thanks
Yan
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Old 07-01-17, 04:58 PM   #3
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Dahon has a Sweet Pea model that's targeted at young women & kids. Eekatlarge, I don't know if this model is available outside the UK:

Folding Bicycles and Folding Bicycle Accessories by Dahon

I remember reading in UK's A to B magazine that the editor, David Henshaw, had modified a Brompton for his son Andrew to grow up with. Some interesting mods on that Brommie, most notably a seatpost that put the saddle several inches forward of the stock position. I don't know if any of those articles are available online, as my subscription lapsed long ago; perhaps someone else here will know.
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Old 07-01-17, 08:29 PM   #4
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Take a look at the Citizen Tokyo: TOKYO Citizen Bike 16" 6-speed Folding Bike with Ultra-Portable Frame

Add their airless Muffin Tires, and it's a KILLER folder for a kid.
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Old 07-02-17, 12:49 AM   #5
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While you're at the balance bike size, I wonder how much space a folder will really save you.
Maybe pick one where its easy to rotate the bar flat for storage instead.
And if the kid has gotten good at the balance bike, don't bother with training wheels.
Training wheel bikes gets ridden as big trikes, not training anything important.
Kids generally end up leaning on the training wheels the whole time.
OTOH kids that manage balance bikes usually transition really easy into pedalling.
20 minutes and they're off.
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Old 07-02-17, 03:58 AM   #6
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My kid's 16" wheel bike takes up less space than any of my folders, and fits into more spaces more easily. Is there a specific dimension you're trying to work inside of that a normal kid's bike won't work for?
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Old 07-02-17, 01:57 PM   #7
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A 5 year old is way beyond balance bikes.

My kids bikes are bigger than my folders. Hence the OP is correct in his assessment on the best way to proceed.

Thanks
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Old 07-03-17, 12:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eekatlarge View Post
Looking for an entry-level-ish folder bike that would work now and a bit later as well for a 5-year-old beginner, and potentially also be usable by the beginner's 8-year-old sibling. We live in a tiny shoebox with zero storage space, so folders seem like the way to go.
Kids bikes are already tiny. A folder will make very little difference. I don't see a need for a folder unless you have a super special situation.

Good luck.
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Old 07-03-17, 12:27 PM   #9
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Kids bikes take up much more volume than a 16" wheel folder.
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Old 07-04-17, 12:46 AM   #10
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The kids bikes seem much larger to me
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Old 07-05-17, 12:15 PM   #11
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I'm sure that the percentage change is large. But is it meaningful?

I think no. Especially when I think about storage when it's pretty easy to take off the front wheel. So whatever space you save is going to be really expensive on a $$/volume metric.
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Old 07-05-17, 07:08 PM   #12
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I'm sure that the percentage change is large. But is it meaningful?

I think no. Especially when I think about storage when it's pretty easy to take off the front wheel. So whatever space you save is going to be really expensive on a $$/volume metric.
Add to that practical things like q-factor, bike weight, geometry, brake lever reach and pull force, etc...
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Old 07-05-17, 07:15 PM   #13
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You know most kids bikes weigh a ton. Geometry is an issue but my kids moved to 16" wheel folders at the age of 5 ( for RV trips ).

Thanks
Yan
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Old 07-08-17, 03:48 PM   #14
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I use Citizen Tokeos for my two kids.
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