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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 08-22-05, 06:18 PM   #1
chasgrips45
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16" or 20"

Hi everybody, I`m fortunate enough to live about 2miles from the beach in Florida. I`m also fortunate enough to own a 350z Nissan. I , however think I can only get a 16" bike in my tiny trunk. That`s ok with me , but do any of you have any experience with 16" over 20" wheels? I`m going to use the bike for leisurely rides & it will live in my trunk. I guess I`d rather have a 20" wheel (better selection) . Any ideas as far as wheel size rideability , real world foldup sizes ? I`m ready to buy a Dahon & thouhgt i`d get some expert advice. Thanks all, Charlie.
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Old 08-22-05, 07:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by chasgrips45
Hi everybody, I`m fortunate enough to live about 2miles from the beach in Florida. I`m also fortunate enough to own a 350z Nissan. I , however think I can only get a 16" bike in my tiny trunk. That`s ok with me , but do any of you have any experience with 16" over 20" wheels? I`m going to use the bike for leisurely rides & it will live in my trunk. I guess I`d rather have a 20" wheel (better selection) . Any ideas as far as wheel size rideability , real world foldup sizes ? I`m ready to buy a Dahon & thouhgt i`d get some expert advice. Thanks all, Charlie.
I have a 16" folder. The top gear ratio is 44 gi. While I occaisionally go 7 miles on it, that distance on a 20" would be much better. Since I have suspension the ride isn't that rough, but I do have more rolling resistance. The 20" folders are not that much bigger when folded. I'd be surprised if you couldn't get the 20" in there. I universally recommend 20" folders to persons discussing it with me.
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Old 08-22-05, 07:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by chasgrips45
Hi everybody, I`m fortunate enough to live about 2miles from the beach in Florida. I`m also fortunate enough to own a 350z Nissan. I , however think I can only get a 16" bike in my tiny trunk. That`s ok with me , but do any of you have any experience with 16" over 20" wheels? I`m going to use the bike for leisurely rides & it will live in my trunk. I guess I`d rather have a 20" wheel (better selection) . Any ideas as far as wheel size rideability , real world foldup sizes ? I`m ready to buy a Dahon & thouhgt i`d get some expert advice. Thanks all, Charlie.
I have a 16" folder. The top gear ratio is 44 gi. While I occaisionally go 7 miles on it, that distance on a 20" would be much better. Since I have suspension the ride isn't that rough, but I do have more rolling resistance. The 20" folders are not that much bigger when folded. I'd be surprised if you couldn't get the 20" in there. I universally recommend 20" folders to persons discussing it with me.
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Old 08-22-05, 08:50 PM   #4
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I have an 18" folder. It rides well. I've had no problem going 15 miles on it. I wouldn't take it on coarse gravel but it handles unpaved shoulders and dirt trails (urban shortcuts) quite well as long as they are reasonably dry. Maybe an 18" folder would fit your trunk?
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Old 08-22-05, 09:29 PM   #5
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I can fit my Dahon Speed 8 (20" wheels) into the mini-sized "backtrunk" of my friend's 350Z along with a soft sized cooler and backpack. Fits like a glove.
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Old 08-23-05, 07:07 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone, Just what I needed to hear!.. I`ll look into a nice 20" folder today . It`s a POA in this area none of the lbs have a folder . What a shame . Chas.
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Old 08-23-05, 07:08 AM   #7
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MEB,it sounds like you might have a Z- bike given your low gearing.Is your bike a derailluer equipped 3 speed? I had one and grew to dislike it.A dahon piccolo is a decent bike and a suspension seatpost can be had through Gaerlan custom bicycles for 50 dollars.Smaller wheels without suspension tend to give a harsher ride.Gaerlan also carries one type of sprung saddle.
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Old 08-23-05, 07:45 AM   #8
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A "406" (BMX size) 20" wheel is the standard on 20" wheel folders. There are VASTLY more tires available for these bikes (not to mention rims, tubes etc) than 16" and 18".
Also: 20" is a bit of a misnomer. They're closer to 16" than you might first expect. That 20" seems to include a fat tire.

The next size up is a "451" which is a real oddball. It's bigger than a 406 - significantly - but only used by a handful of production bikes. Parts will be much more scarce. (I think Bike Friday's use these)

You might consider a KHS Cappucino with it's soft-tail suspension if you're extremely strapped for space in the car. 18" wheels.

I really think you won't have a problem with a 406 wheel bike though. (I fit mine easily in the trunk of a Toyota Tercel...) You seem to have settled on that and I highly recommend 406's if for no other reason than the availability of tires.
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Old 08-23-05, 11:17 AM   #9
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The next size up is a "451" which is a real oddball. It's bigger than a 406 - significantly - but only used by a handful of production bikes. Parts will be much more scarce. (I think Bike Friday's use these)
Bike friday uses 406 on lots of their bikes. the 451's are generally used for their more performance oriented bikes. I agree that 406 is a more versatile and probably better choice. you ought to be able to fit a BF into any space that a DAhon Speed 8 can fit (I own one of each) . It's quite a bit more $ and it will also take you longer to fold/unfold the BF (it's just not as convenient), but the ride quality is much better. good luck.
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Old 09-07-05, 10:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by James H Haury
MEB,it sounds like you might have a Z- bike given your low gearing.Is your bike a derailluer equipped 3 speed? I had one and grew to dislike it.A dahon piccolo is a decent bike and a suspension seatpost can be had through Gaerlan custom bicycles for 50 dollars.Smaller wheels without suspension tend to give a harsher ride.Gaerlan also carries one type of sprung saddle.
Yes it is a Z-bike and it has a 3 speed derailluer.
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Old 09-11-05, 12:53 PM   #11
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=v= I'm never happy on 16-inch tires. It may be because I'm 6-feet tall, I dunno. I love 20-inch tires, but anything smaller is too squirrely for me.
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Old 09-11-05, 04:19 PM   #12
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=v= I'm never happy on 16-inch tires. It may be because I'm 6-feet tall, I dunno. I love 20-inch tires, but anything smaller is too squirrely for me.
When I first got my folder with 20" tires I felt it was squirrely too. I got used to it after taking it for a short spin.
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Old 09-11-05, 04:45 PM   #13
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MEB,REALLY LarGE chainrings are available through loose screws bicycle small parts make sure you know your bolt circle diameter though.Loose screws also has crank arms available as well as chainring fixing bolts and spacers.In 130 mm BCD the largest chainring they offer is 58 tooth.( combined with a 14T rear cog this would give you 66.25 gear inches.This will help if you really are attached to your Z bike and wish to improve the gearing.Have you switched out the low pressure tires on your Z for better ones? I calculated top gear on my z bike at 41 inches and it made going 10 miles to the va beach oceanfront take forever a 56 tooth front chainring would give you a theoretical top gear of 64 inches which would be much better for travel. 44 gear inches is just not very good for covering ground

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