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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 07-26-17, 05:49 AM   #1
jonmanjiro
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Folding bike for tall person

Hello all! This is my first post here. As the title says, I'm looking for a folding bike that would be suitable for me at 184cm tall and weighing in at 80kg. I'm somewhat long legged for my height so that is probably a consideration as well.

I'm a foreigner living in Yokohama, Japan, and being much taller than the average I expect the local bike shops won't have much that would be suitably sized for me, so I'm most likely going to have to order a bike specifically for me or find another tall foreigner who is looking to sell their bike.

The type of riding I'm planning on doing is trips around my apartment and also taking the bike by train in the folded (and covered) state out of the city to ride in semi rural areas. Japan tends to be very mountainous in rural areas so gears would be a must I suppose.

My budget is a maximum of 100,000 yen (approx. US$900) if possible, and my preference would be for a stable and comfortable bike that also folds easily. My knowledge of the options is basically zero, so I'm all ears and eager to learn what you'd recommend and why.

Thanks!

Jon
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Old 07-26-17, 06:02 AM   #2
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Considering you're 6' tall, almost any 20" folder will work for you. I'm 5'11", and I have 2 Dahon Speed's, a TernJoeP24 (26"), and I've had a Xootr Swift, and a melon slice. There's really not too many bikes that DON'T work for you.
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Old 07-26-17, 06:13 AM   #3
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1.84 is not tall where I live, that is even below average.

The things to look for are seatpost length -- and with a 58 cm - 60 cm length you ought to be good, unless you are.a real storch -- and reach. Most folding bikes are too cramped for me, as I am 1.88, and I do not like to ride too upride, but rather ride a bit more bend forwards.

That is why I had to upgrade my folders with new handlebars and stems,

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Old 07-26-17, 01:16 PM   #4
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The Origami Mantis will accommodate riders up to 6'5" and has a maximum seat-to-pedal of 38"
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Old 07-30-17, 05:58 AM   #5
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Hi Jon,

Tokyo here. I've found that the Tern Eclipse has been ok for me, I'm 6'5. They also have 26" wheel models. If you want to choose your own style of drivetrain, maybe internal hub, etc. They have a sale on Amazon at the moment for the Tern Eclipse Uno (Same one I have). I had paid 115,000 yen for mine last year but they are now going for 85,000 yen here.

That would leave you with 20,000 yen'ish to sort out a drivetrain you would like. Or, the also seem to have the Eclipse D16 on sale also for about 113,000 yen here.

You are welcome to come up and try mine out if you like. I'm about 20 mins out from Ueno.

Cheers,
Ray.

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Old 08-01-17, 07:23 PM   #6
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I'm 6'3" with a couple of Dahon Mu frames and a Swift. Both fit fine however the best thing I did for both of them was add some really comfortable bar ends. Enlarging the cockpit and putting me a little further forward cured my cramped feeling on both bikes.

Good luck

I am not a fan of buying a bike and then changing the drive train---can be way more problems than I want to deal with. I have said this many times in this forum

Buy an 8, 9, 10, or 11 speed ---do not buy a 7 speed which will have a freewheel. The minimum top gear ratio you will need is about 90 gear inches.---
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Old 08-01-17, 09:07 PM   #7
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Thanks for the comments and suggestions everyone! I've done a little more homework since my initial post and am now leaning toward getting a Dahon Mu SP9. Yodobashi Camera has just reduced their price down to 89,790 yen including 10% of that in points which can be spent on other items which makes the effective price a very attractive 80,811 yen (approx. US$730).

RayB, thank you for the very generous offer to try your bikes and links. Much appreciated. I've decided to stick with 20 inch wheels and at least 8 gears as suggested by Rick, though, so the Dahon Mu SP9 looks pretty much ideal.
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Old 08-02-17, 10:10 AM   #8
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Brompton H bar is higher, + their telescoping 2 section seat post..

or a Bike Friday It's Built For You.. they make the bike for the customer as it comes up in the order queue.

both are more money than Dahon. but both are available shipped into Japan.







...
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Old 08-02-17, 01:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayB View Post
Hi Jon,

Tokyo here. I've found that the Tern Eclipse has been ok for me, I'm 6'5. They also have 26" wheel models.
I've been eyeballing the tern 24' also. I'm only 6'1 but my limbs just go everywhere. As such most folders cause neck, back and leg cramps. The old stiff body just can't stretch. I bought a coupled bike 15 years ago but they are a pita to collapse down.

Note: Bromptons were -really- close to fitting.

As one bikeshop guy said to me as I hopped on a traditional straight top tube 25 in frame. "I thought that bike was too big for you and then I saw you unfold."
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Old 08-06-17, 06:47 PM   #10
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Update: not a test ride as I haven't found a shop where I can do that, but I did try sitting on a Dahon Mu SP9 at a local shop, and the cockpit felt quite cramped unfortunately. I felt like I needed the handlebar a little further away and higher. So now I'm eyeing off a Dahon Speed D8. Its handlepost is angled at 12 vs 8 on most of the other Dahons available in Japan including the Mu SP9 and Dahon Speed Falco which shares the same frame. Seems like it would be just enough to put the bars where I want them. I tried sitting on one and it did feel a bit better, but would that 4 make much difference in actual use? Guess there's only one way to find out...

On a different note, it took me a while to figure out there's two different lines of Dahon bikes available in Japan: one from Dahon International and one from Dahon Japan. And on top of that, the available models differ from models available outside Japan

Last edited by jonmanjiro; 08-06-17 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 08-07-17, 12:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
... but would that 4 make much difference in actual use? Guess there's only one way to find out...
That alone tells you nothing becouse the angle of the head tube also matters. A bike with a 4 could have the handlebar at the exact same distance from the saddle as a bike with a 12 or a 8. Find a page that have pictures of several different folders, take a close look and compare: Dahon Radius -V Comfort Handlepost Lower 11/8" 09 - On Black - C H WHITE & SON

Also it is possible to put a stem with a different angle than the one the bike came with for example on a MU and thereby get what you want. You need to find a shop that knows what they are doing.
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Old 08-07-17, 11:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Update: not a test ride as I haven't found a shop where I can do that, but I did try sitting on a Dahon Mu SP9 at a local shop, and the cockpit felt quite cramped unfortunately. I felt like I needed the handlebar a little further away and higher. So now I'm eyeing off a Dahon Speed D8. Its handlepost is angled at 12 vs 8 on most of the other Dahons available in Japan including the Mu SP9 and Dahon Speed Falco which shares the same frame. Seems like it would be just enough to put the bars where I want them. I tried sitting on one and it did feel a bit better, but would that 4 make much difference in actual use? Guess there's only one way to find out...

On a different note, it took me a while to figure out there's two different lines of Dahon bikes available in Japan: one from Dahon International and one from Dahon Japan. And on top of that, the available models differ from models available outside Japan
I am going to restate my point.---I was not comfortable at all until I installed bar ends. The narrow bars are part of it and the distance from the seat.

You will be amazed at the difference in the feel of your bike with bar ends....

You can also play with the seat location you can slide it forward or back to significantly change your position.
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