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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 09-02-17, 10:07 AM   #1
Chr0m0ly 
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Take me to school!

Hi guys,
"I'm looking for a folder" post warning notice.

I do have an idea as to what I'm looking for though, so let's get too it.

First off, I'm a Chicagoan bike commuter, and work is 8 miles away. I have a stable of 10 vintage bikes that get me their in all weather and in style to boot. My 3 favorite commuting rides are a Cannondale ST for loads and nasty weather, an oversized Miyata 710 French fit with 28mm rubber for nice days and chill rides, and most often used is a correctly sized Miya 710 set with 25mms and an Eddie type fit for beating my 34 minute record to work.

So that's me and what I'm mostly riding now.

I'm looking for a folder that will take drop bars, the wind we sometimes get here makes that a priority. I'm not any kind of racer, but an aero position is important when the air is actively fighting you.

It does NOT need to fold small. I don't have a car, I just want to take this on the El during rush hour, so it has to fold. If it folds then I'm golden, it doesn't need to be small.

I'm open to wheel sizes, but roads here are pretty torn up, so floaty tire widths would be nice.

I'd like it to be fairly rigid when opened out, I understand this is a compromise with a folding bike.

I'm looking for something vintage if there is an older bike that would work. I'm a trained motorcycle tech and I've done frame up builds before so I'm totally game for repairing and modifying a bike as needed.

So what should I keep an eye out for? Did any vintage folders come with drops as originally equipped? Are they all 3 speeds, or any 12?

I have a feeling I'll end up with a vintage Montague MYB and convert to drops, there are a couple early 90's frames on my Craigslist, but I'd love to get some more data points.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 09-02-17, 11:16 AM   #2
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If you plan to take it on the train during rush hour, there are probably size limitations in addition to the requirement that the bike folds, so you should research those limitations first.

If you want drop bars, you should look for a folder that allows the handlebar to fold to the outside, rather than nested within the folded frame, so it doesn't interfere with the fold.
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Old 09-02-17, 12:23 PM   #3
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Something like this? Depending on the rules for your train, you can just quick fold the rear under and strap it. When I ride Bart that's what I do; I don't bother to deal with the handlebars, although you can qr them and strap them along the top tube with the folding seat post. Bike Friday Folding Bike 21 Speed ( Black ) | eBay And - since there's no folding hinge in the main tube, the ride is stiff and very much like a normal bike.
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Old 09-02-17, 01:36 PM   #4
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See if you can find a Bike Friday Speeding Tkit, on the used market, ..

they would be a folding bike that could have been set up with drop bars.



the current production, potentially either their Pakit, with 349 16" ..

or the pocket rocket with 451 20" wheels..

they partially fold and are made to knock down small for compact transportation.

USA hand made they will be some where north of $2K ...


406 20" the wheels are more rugged , wider tires .. common BMX size..





...
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Old 09-02-17, 03:39 PM   #5
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The CTA guidelines simply state that a folding bicycle can be brought on the trains at all times, no size requirement is mentioned.

I'd like to spend more like two hundred, as apposed to two-grand. One of the most appealing things about the bikes I have is none of them cost more than $250.00 or so. I was hoping that being patient would yield similar results. I don't have a current pressing need, but I'd like to find something by September or so.
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Old 09-02-17, 04:59 PM   #6
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For $200 you will have to scour the classifieds for a decent bike, but a Bike Friday will never be sold that low.
Maybe a used Xootr Swift can be found for a deal and then add drop bars.
People here love them.
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Old 09-02-17, 07:21 PM   #7
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Something like this?

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/bop/d/montague-1000-bi-frame/6257438420.html

https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/d/bmw-folding-mountain-bicycle/6289592002.html

Or maybe this Dahon?

https://racine.craigslist.org/bik/d/vintage-80s-classic-dahon/6270296053.html
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Old 09-02-17, 09:52 PM   #8
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Let's see: you want a folding bike, vintage, with drop bars and wide tires, by September - which is right now - and your budget is $200. And do you want an egg in your beer?

You might luck into a Dahon Espresso or Jack you could fit drops on, but I'm not hopeful. More realistic in your budget would be a possible Dahon derailleur geared Eco or Vybe you could fit with drops (you'd have to z-fold instead of u-fold). These bikes are all from this millennium.
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Old 09-03-17, 12:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Let's see: you want a folding bike, vintage, with drop bars and wide tires, by September - which is right now - and your budget is $200. And do you want an egg in your beer?

You might luck into a Dahon Espresso or Jack you could fit drops on, but I'm not hopeful. More realistic in your budget would be a possible Dahon derailleur geared Eco or Vybe you could fit with drops (you'd have to z-fold instead of u-fold). These bikes are all from this millennium.
Ah! DEcember! Sorry, I had a brain phart moment their.

And an egg would be great, thanks!

But I know it's a lot, and I'm looking to learn what comprises I'll need to make. Wider tires are just a "nice to have" for instance. As are speeds. Most important is a rigid-ish frame and drops compatibility. 200.00 is the ballpark, if the "right" model came around for a hundred or so more, then that would be doable, I just want to know what that right model would be.

Is there a general folding bike review site I could check out?
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Old 09-03-17, 01:13 PM   #10
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Hands On Bike: Dahon Vitesse 2x10

https://no.search.yahoo.com/search?f...dahon+upgrades
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Old 09-03-17, 02:33 PM   #11
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https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik...291425563.html Won't last long. Can probably convert it to drops. folds and rolls quickly.
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Old 09-03-17, 02:51 PM   #12
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There are tons of good non folding bikes. There are tons of good used non folding bikes cheap as you have found out---a bit of patience and you can find a good bike cheap.

There are very few good quality folding bikes sold. $800+ when new. The folding market is really focused on Cheap bikes. That is why there aren't many good folding bikes on the market used. There are a few brands that are very sought after---Brompton, Bike Friday, but they never seem to be for sale for less than $500 and that is if they are beat up.---The Craigs ad above for the bike friday at $350 is really rare.

I have a swift and a fairly nice Dahon Mu D10. I added my favorite bar ends to both of these bikes. It is very easy to adjust the handlebar height of both of these bikes while on a ride---It takes an allen wrench on the Swift but 15 seconds and I can have the bars at a different height. Most of the more expensive Dahon's have adjustable height bars with a QR adjustment.

Good luck in your search---I believe you are in a tougher shopping market than you are used to in the non folding bike market which is overflowing with bikes people want to get rid of.

Last edited by Rick Imby; 09-03-17 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 09-04-17, 09:48 AM   #13
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And....the $350 Tikit lasted less than 24 hours, lol. I knew it was going to fast. There was a nice one for $750 a few weeks ago which also was gone in less than a day.
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Old 09-04-17, 01:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
And....the $350 Tikit lasted less than 24 hours, lol. I knew it was going to fast. There was a nice one for $750 a few weeks ago which also was gone in less than a day.
I clicked that link about 4 hours after you posted and it was gone. It's good to get to know what the good prices look like, and how fast they go. Seems like the Bike Friday is the gold standard?
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Old 09-04-17, 01:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Imby View Post
There are tons of good non folding bikes. There are tons of good used non folding bikes cheap as you have found out---a bit of patience and you can find a good bike cheap.

There are very few good quality folding bikes sold. $800+ when new. The folding market is really focused on Cheap bikes. That is why there aren't many good folding bikes on the market used. There are a few brands that are very sought after---Brompton, Bike Friday, but they never seem to be for sale for less than $500 and that is if they are beat up.---The Craigs ad above for the bike friday at $350 is really rare.

I have a swift and a fairly nice Dahon Mu D10. I added my favorite bar ends to both of these bikes. It is very easy to adjust the handlebar height of both of these bikes while on a ride---It takes an allen wrench on the Swift but 15 seconds and I can have the bars at a different height. Most of the more expensive Dahon's have adjustable height bars with a QR adjustment.

Good luck in your search---I believe you are in a tougher shopping market than you are used to in the non folding bike market which is overflowing with bikes people want to get rid of.
This is good feedback, thank you. I've picked up a 3.0 Cannondale ST600, a Black Lightning, a Miyata 912, all around the 2 bill mark, if I need to adjust my expectations, that's good to know.
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Old 09-04-17, 05:32 PM   #16
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And if you see something good, snap it up asap - the good ones don't last long at all. You're not the only one looking, lol.
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Old 09-04-17, 08:10 PM   #17
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What's the scoop on Montague BiFrames? I've seen that Schwinn sold them, and they weighed 32 pounds.

I know they don't fold very small, and are heavy, but I wonder how much of that weight was cheap components?

They look like they could fit the bill. I could do a drops conversion, they just have to fold to get on the El, so the folded size isn't critical. They might be heavy but with an actual top tube probably ride like a non-folder.

If I put a QR on the front, and find/make a bag for it...

Put lighter components...

Would a BiFrame be a worthy starting point?
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Old 09-04-17, 08:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post

Would a BiFrame be a worthy starting point?

yes. can't believe these weren't already mentioned:

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwi/b...266198316.html



https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/b...289592002.html

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Old 09-04-17, 09:07 PM   #19
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Ok! So the BMW is a Montague, and there are two frames for sale for a hundred a pop in the bike parts section.

That Fuji is different though. Is it stiffer? Heavier? Pretty much the same? Which is a better starting point?

Seems like the Beemer is the better deal, I'd probably keep enough parts to warrant the extra $50.00 over the naked Montague 1000 frames.
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Old 09-04-17, 10:15 PM   #20
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Ok! So the BMW is a Montague, and there are two frames for sale for a hundred a pop in the bike parts section.

That Fuji is different though. Is it stiffer? Heavier? Pretty much the same? Which is a better starting point?

Seems like the Beemer is the better deal, I'd probably keep enough parts to warrant the extra $50.00 over the naked Montague 1000 frames.
forum member, bargainguy has a lot of experience with these. send him a pm. this is one of his builds:

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Old 09-06-17, 04:10 AM   #21
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fuji

I have ridden one one of these.
They fold much smaller than most large wheeled folding bikes.
And ride Ok.
Like a normal bike with same specs.
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