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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 07-27-05, 10:15 PM   #1
CrimsonEclipse
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New to folding bicycles. Few questions.

Until recently, I thought that folding bikes were rickety, overpriced bikes
used for a few miles from the RV. Then I saw Bike Friday.

I'm guessing there is much more to the folding world than just Bike Friday, so
I'm asking for some suggestions, a starting point to conduct some research.
The BF's fit into a suitcase which seems really useful for flying to a destination
and touring the area.

Finally: Fixed gears have a gallery, so do touring bikes.
Wht isn't there a "Post your folding rigs here" Sticky thread?
It would help the less experienced get an idea what is available.

Thanks

CE
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Old 07-27-05, 11:15 PM   #2
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This should whet your appetite:

Some good and relatively brand-unaffiliated reference:

The Folding Society: news and reviews regarding folding bikes.
Folding Bicycle Information A broad, if not altogether up to date survey of what's available in folders.

Picture threads and galleries:

Threads on this board: 1, and to a lesser extent, 2.

Elsewhere: Dahon Gallery, Brompton gallery.

Good luck and have fun.

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Old 07-28-05, 01:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse
I'm guessing there is much more to the folding world than just Bike Friday, so
I'm asking for some suggestions, a starting point to conduct some research.
The BF's fit into a suitcase which seems really useful for flying to a destination
and touring the area.
I guess the first thing you need to figure out is your budget. No sense looking at BFs if you have a Dahon wallet.

Second, decide what sorts of features you'd like to have, which is largely dictated by what you plan to do with the bike.

If you're going to be doing a lot of commuting, for example, you'll want a bike that folds quickly, without the need to remove many (or any) parts. But if you're primarily looking for something you can take on the occassional touring vacation, then "packability" would be paramount, and the need for extensive dismantling isn't that big of a deal. Some bikes will fall into both categories, of course.

If you plan on very long rides, you'll probably want a 20-incher, or maybe even a "full-sized" folder. But if you have the proverbial RV and only need the bike to get to town, a 16" job might better fit the bill (not to mention the baggage compartment). Your own height/weight/inseam would, of course, also be a factor here.

Me? I've got a Dahon Speed P8. I like it fine.
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Old 07-28-05, 05:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse
Until recently, I thought that folding bikes were rickety, overpriced bikes
used for a few miles from the RV. Then I saw Bike Friday.

I'm guessing there is much more to the folding world than just Bike Friday, so
I'm asking for some suggestions, a starting point to conduct some research.
The BF's fit into a suitcase which seems really useful for flying to a destination
and touring the area.

Finally: Fixed gears have a gallery, so do touring bikes.
Wht isn't there a "Post your folding rigs here" Sticky thread?
It would help the less experienced get an idea what is available.

Thanks

CE
There is a post your folders thread or at least there was look around .It is probably still here.it is called <First official folding bike thread ( Name your bike ) It is not on the first page because it has not had recent activity.
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Old 07-28-05, 07:46 PM   #5
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What is the touring bikes website? I didn't know there was one.
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Old 07-28-05, 08:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James H Haury
There is a post your folders thread or at least there was look around .It is probably still here.it is called <First official folding bike thread ( Name your bike ). . .
Great minds, James. I linked to it in my first reply. (referred to as thread number 2)
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Old 07-30-05, 08:09 AM   #7
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Folder and RV? Hey, that's me... well, vegoil-powered camper van and fixie custom folder, so nearly

Like eff said, you need to balance your needs. The three variables are ride, fold and wallet. The smallest, slickest fold without being sucky to ride is still the Brompton (I recently did a century which had two Bromptoneers, so it'll do the rides too). The 20" wheeled bikes generally ride better - Dahon do some lovelies. Birdy, Airnimal, Bike Friday, new Moulton are up at the top of the ride range. Stuff like the Gecko, Frog, Handybike are very small folders, but their ride is pretty grim.
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Old 07-30-05, 08:53 AM   #8
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That's some great information. Especially the second link: http://www.nordicgroup.us/fold/. I am also looking at a folder for touring/travel/commuting. After I started reading about folders I really got interested.

I've decided on a BF New World Tourist. My converted MTB has well over 100K on it. It still rides great. However, it has become a pain in the butt to put on the Amtrak and Charter Bus. It really opens up the possiblility for travel.

This forum has become one of my favorites!
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Old 07-30-05, 09:25 AM   #9
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The thing that turns me off about Bike Friday, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that the handlebar doesn't fold, it just pulls out and dangles. While this is okay as far as packing a bike for travel is concerned, it is less than optimal for the mixed commute or the bike in the trunk. If Bike Friday had a folding stem, it would have a more universal appeal. IMHO.

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Old 07-30-05, 03:07 PM   #10
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The handlebar doesn't need to fold. For the quick fold option, it simply is not necessary to do anything with the handlebars other than turn it around. The manner in which it folds makes it irrelevant whether the handlebars should fold or not.

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Old 07-30-05, 07:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse
Until recently, I thought that folding bikes were rickety, overpriced bikes
used for a few miles from the RV. Then I saw Bike Friday.

I'm guessing there is much more to the folding world than just Bike Friday, so
I'm asking for some suggestions, a starting point to conduct some research.
The BF's fit into a suitcase which seems really useful for flying to a destination
and touring the area.

Finally: Fixed gears have a gallery, so do touring bikes.
Wht isn't there a "Post your folding rigs here" Sticky thread?
It would help the less experienced get an idea what is available.

Thanks

CE

I did a "buying experience" article here: http://www.halffg.pwp.blueyonder.co....oc/canada.html
Give it a read - you're where I was 6 months ago.

That whole website is awesome. http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/
Look under buying guides and test reports.

Decide what you're going to do with your bike. You can get a full-size, 26" wheel folding MTB from Dahon or others. Dahon has the distinction of being the largest folding bike manufacturer and they make folders for many others. (Trek comes to mind) They also market under different names. Avenir in Canada, Ridgeback in the UK. All that said, there are MANY excellent manufacturers besides Dahon.

BTW, there IS a folding bike picture thread here: First Official Folding Bike Thread!! :) Name Your Bike!
MODERATOR: make that one a sticky please!

Start with the above links but if you want more info, here are a few more:
http://tinyurl.com/7e52x
http://www.kinetics.org.uk/html/folding_bikes.shtml
http://www.bikesandtrailers.com/folding-bikes/
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Old 07-30-05, 07:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by af895
I did a "buying experience" article here: http://www.halffg.pwp.blueyonder.co....oc/canada.html
Give it a read - you're where I was 6 months ago.

That whole website is awesome. http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/
Look under buying guides and test reports.

Decide what you're going to do with your bike. You can get a full-size, 26" wheel folding MTB from Dahon or others. Dahon has the distinction of being the largest folding bike manufacturer and they make folders for many others. (Trek comes to mind) They also market under different names. Avenir in Canada, Ridgeback in the UK. All that said, there are MANY excellent manufacturers besides Dahon.

BTW, there IS a folding bike picture thread here: First Official Folding Bike Thread!! :) Name Your Bike!
MODERATOR: make that one a sticky please!

Start with the above links but if you want more info, here are a few more:
http://tinyurl.com/7e52x
http://www.kinetics.org.uk/html/folding_bikes.shtml
http://www.bikesandtrailers.com/folding-bikes/
Where did you get that water bottle seat attachment? My Bike Friday seatpost is too thick in diameter for the Profile Design water bottle seat holder. I'm looking for something a little more sufficient.

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Old 07-30-05, 08:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
Where did you get that water bottle seat attachment? My Bike Friday seatpost is too thick in diameter for the Profile Design water bottle seat holder. I'm looking for something a little more sufficient.

Koffee

Minoura brand. It's Duralumin, lightweight but extremely strong. Probably $15 from any LBS. Well... I say that but only one LBS of the 10 I checked locally had it...

EDIT: I should also point out, with the Minoura, you get all the hardware you need but add your own bottle cages. Nice to have the choice of whatever material, style and colour you want. The dual Profile adaptor seemed overpriced to me. ($45 locally)

Last edited by af895; 07-30-05 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 08-01-05, 06:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse
Excellent info everyone.

One other advantage occured to me. Not needing to lock up the bike at the destination.
It must really be a liberating feeling to travel with your favorite bike locally or internationally.

CE

Bingo.

I'm paranoid about stuff getting stolen or vandalized. Of course, it's not really paranoia - it happens.

The ONLY foolproof solution is to not give thieves a chance. Heck, in New York it's generally accepted if you leave a bike out it WILL get stolen - no matter what bike, beater or high end, and no matter what lock, even a $100 Krytonite NY Lock - all it takes is time for the crack heads to nip it. Nothing's safe.

Personally, I can't afford another bike. With a folder, it's always coming with me.
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Old 08-01-05, 06:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
Where did you get that water bottle seat attachment? My Bike Friday seatpost is too thick in diameter for the Profile Design water bottle seat holder.
What is the diametre of your seatpost ?

I have rigged something like that on my tandem. With a round file, I filed away some metal inside the holder and installed a longer #10 bolt and nut to clamp it on my seatpost.

BTW, my seatpost is 29.8 mm diametre and that's about as large as it will go. It won't work if you have a 31 or 32-mm diametre seatpost.
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Old 08-01-05, 06:59 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon
What is the diametre of your seatpost ?

I have rigged something like that on my tandem. With a round file, I filed away some metal inside the holder and installed a longer #10 bolt and nut to clamp it on my seatpost.

BTW, my seatpost is 29.8 mm diametre and that's about as large as it will go. It won't work if you have a 31 or 32-mm diametre seatpost.

Two other options I only thought of while reading this thread:
1) smaller diameter seat post with a shim installed at the top of the seat tube; pretty common practice and you can get a carbon seat post that's very light and has a precise, double bolt micro-adjust head

2) seat post bag with bottle holder(s); Rivendell, Carradice, Berthoud etc. may have to be adapted to carry a bottle but it has the advantage of also replacing a seatpost bag

I'm actually leaning toward #2 to replace the Minoura - only because I carry a lot of gear.
http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/baggage_racks/
http://www.wallbike.com/Berthoud/berthoudbags.htm
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