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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 07-30-05, 12:49 PM   #1
skfbird
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Best Folding Bike Shops

Where are the best folding bike shops in the USA? I'm looking for a place I can actually see and try out folding bikes not an internet dealer.
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Old 07-30-05, 04:05 PM   #2
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Exactly.

As far as I know, there is no such place. All I can offer is this: pick your favorite model, call the manufacturer and ask them who the closest distributor is who has your model in stock. When you use the dealer locator at the Dahon site, some dealers will have the coveted Dahon Stocking Dealer designation. To get that designation, the dealer only has to have one (1) bike in stock. Usually it is a Boardwalk or Piccolo. I saw a Speed Pro in a showroom once, but it was only there because a customer had ordered it and then returned it.

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Old 08-01-05, 11:40 AM   #3
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I think a specialty folding bike shop is a little in the future-perhaps someday when one actually see a folder on the street. They are still a rare sight in most places.
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Old 08-01-05, 11:41 AM   #4
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I think a specialty folding bike shop is still in the far future-perhaps someday when one actually see a folder on the street. They are still a rare sight in most places.
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Old 08-01-05, 03:16 PM   #5
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Just purchased (today) a Boardwalk 7 at Bikes At Vienna in Vienna, Va. They are a "Stocking dealer" and had a number of Folders in stock. As a matter of fact I was invited to take a test ride and not even asked for a deposit or driver's license. About 3,000 miles away from LA, unfortunately.
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Old 08-01-05, 04:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rgilmore
Just purchased (today) a Boardwalk 7 at Bikes At Vienna in Vienna, Va. They are a "Stocking dealer" and had a number of Folders in stock . . . .
Congratulations on your new bike! Ride it in good health. It's gratifying to know that there was more than one folder on the floor. Do you recall, other than your Boardwalk, what models they were?

Spalding
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Old 08-01-05, 09:43 PM   #7
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I, too, bought my folding bike (a Dahon Boardwalk) at Bikes at Vienna in Vienna, Va. They were wonderfully helpful to me there. I test rode several models. As I recall, they had the Boardwalk (of course,) a Mariner with 26 inch wheels, a Speed Pro of some sort, and a Helios I think...I paid less attention to bikes that were out of my price range.

When I was really thinking that I would get the Boardwalk, they just let me loose on a nice paved bike trail that is very near their store. I also test rode a Bike Friday New World Tourist, and some Breezer model that I can't recall. They have another folder brand too...Montague? And for the heck of it, just because I said I'd never ridden one, I tried out a couple of recumbents, too.

Their website has all their info. www.bikesatvienna.com. I recommend them highly for folding bike enthusiasts in the Washington D.C. area, and maybe even beyond if you're up to making a trip.

I've never been there, but I've heard people recommend Gaerlan in Squaw Valley, Calif. as a place to get bike parts. My guess was that they're a full-fledged bike shop, so that is another option, perhaps, for people on the west coast? They seemed nice on the phone.
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Old 08-01-05, 09:47 PM   #8
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Most bike shops only sell folding models made by the brands they carry in 'big' bikes. I think there's someone on this forum that owns a folding bike shop in Santa Fe NM, not sure of his 'handle', though; try Santa Fe something or other in the members directory.
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Old 08-02-05, 04:42 AM   #9
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Trophy Bikes in Philadelphia stocks most/many folding bike models including Xootr Swift, Bike Friday, Brompton, Dahon, etc. A large fraction of their business is folders.

http://www.trophybikes.com

-KU
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Old 08-02-05, 05:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainSpalding
Congratulations on your new bike! Ride it in good health. It's gratifying to know that there was more than one folder on the floor. Do you recall, other than your Boardwalk, what models they were?

Spalding
Thanks, I saw a 26" Mariner, and I think a Piccolo (it was a 16"). There were several others also, but I didn't make note of them other than what is mentioned above. I had wanted to buy it locally (in Baltimore) but the bike shop I went to just orders them - it was worth the 50 mile+ ride to know exactly what I was getting.
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Old 08-02-05, 07:01 AM   #11
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This place is good. http://foldingbikeswest.com/
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Old 08-02-05, 08:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folder fanatic
I think a specialty folding bike shop is still in the far future-perhaps someday when one actually see a folder on the street. They are still a rare sight in most places.
We sell only folding bikes in our Santa Fe bike shop so we have lots of folders for viewing and test riding.

We are dealers for most major brands of folders sold in the USA.
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Old 08-02-05, 09:14 AM   #13
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IME, NYC shops won't stock too many models. That's what they all told me. Apparently they don't fly off the shelves, even though I've seen many folding bikes in the City (on average maybe one per day, though as many as 4-5 some days).
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Old 08-04-05, 08:13 PM   #14
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Greetings... we're Trophy Bikes in Philadelphia, and we might have one of the best selections of folder bikes in the US. (--haven't been everywhere yet!)

As of 8/3, we have in stock for sale:
4) Brompton L3s, 2 Brompton L6s. (this is always changing...)
2) Swift Folders
Numerous Dahons: Vitesse 5, Boardwalk 7, Helios, Speed 8, Helios XL, Sweet Pea, PrestoLite, etc.
(various other Dahons come and go as available or ordered by customers)

Demos include: Bike Friday Pocket Rocket and New World Tourist, Brompton T6, L3, and new Ti models-- SL2-X and P6-XDL, Strida, Birdy Yellow, Xootr Swift Folder, Giatext 20" StretchingBike and others. We hope to add a Moulton to the flock; we recently sold off our demo and are looking for another.

We try to keep a good selection of tires/tubes/parts for 14, 16, 18, and 20 inch wheel bikes. We stock a good selection of accessories/spares for the Brompton line and our mechanics are not afraid of folding bikes.

Our shop hosts the ROUND UP USA small wheel and folder bike fest each summer. This year's was the 3rd annual; guests have included Peter Reich (inventor of the Swift Folder), Doug Milliken and Jim Glover (designer and rider respectively of the land speed record setting Moulton Streamliner), Lynette Chiang and Hans Scholz (Bike Friday), Grahame Herbert (inventor of the Airframe), Karl Ulrich (inventor of the Xootr Urban Scooter) and others.

Do check our website www.trophybikes.com or visit us in person at 3131 Walnut Street in central Philadelphia. We're usually open 7 days a week, 10am to 6pm EST. Tel is 215.222.2020; we are a busy shop though, so sometimes email is better for questions... (mcget@aol.com) ... put folder ? in the subject line.

Come to Philly if you can; there's lots of good biking here -- it's a fun city and not too expensive to visit!

thanks and cheers
--Michael McGettigan/trophy bikes

PS -- besides folders, we sell a lot of city bikes from Breezer, Jamis and Fuji, road bikes from Gunnar, Waterford and IF, and cyclocross and touring bikes from Surly.
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Old 08-05-05, 03:15 PM   #15
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Most LBSs carry two or three main brands, and if there is a folder made by any of those companies, they might carry one. Few shops have more than one. Try calling shops in the vicinity of large universities, they are usually used to catering to students and faculty who have a taste for more exotic machines. In my area (D.C. metro) College Park Cycles and Mt. Airy Bicycles occasionally carry upper-end Dahons. I don't think anyone carries any stock Bike Friday bicycles, mostly because those bicycles
are custom-built to customer order (the same is true for the USA-made Swift Folders). Bromptons, Birdys and other European-made bikes are pretty rare. Maybe the odd specialty shop on the eastern seaboard--DC/BAltimore-Philadelphia-NYC-Boston--would have these around for their multi-modal commuter customers.

Look at one of the online lists of links to folding bicycle makers. Make contact and ask whether there are dealers in the distribution network that have store stock. You should still expect to do most of your
research online, though. Some custom builders have a network of owners that will show their bikes to interested cyclists; I think Bike Friday will do this and so will PBW (at least they once did).
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Old 08-05-05, 07:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by skfbird
Where are the best folding bike shops in the USA? I'm looking for a place I can actually see and try out folding bikes not an internet dealer.
Why not contact the bike companies you're interested in and find out where they deal in your state (or hopefully, city)? It's nice to mention shops in Vienna, VA and Philly and all, but if you're located in Indianapolis, IN, there's no use in heading out so far when there's a place closer to you that's less hassle.

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Old 08-05-05, 09:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
Why not contact the bike companies you're interested in and find out where they deal in your state (or hopefully, city)? It's nice to mention shops in Vienna, VA and Philly and all, but if you're located in Indianapolis, IN, there's no use in heading out so far when there's a place closer to you that's less hassle.

Koffee
The problem with buying a folding bike in the USA is that there are many choices yet few dealers who know much of anything about folders. There are only handful of stores in the USA like Trophy Bikes where you can actually see, compare, test ride, and expect good advice.
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Old 08-05-05, 10:01 PM   #18
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Perhaps. But it's just not worth it to even discuss where he can go (or she) if we don't know where he lives. There might be a bike shop in the next state, but we're expecting him to drive or fly 1500 miles to a bike shop recommended here?

It's not a lot to ask what state he lives in so we can at least narrow things down a bit for him.

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