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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 09-12-05, 09:59 AM   #1
oboeguy
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First Century on folder <insert maniacal laughter here>

I rode the Dahon SpeedPro for the NYC TA Century yesterday. I rode the event below my own century pace to ride it with my wife, so the SpeedPro comfort was truly put to the test (i.e. being in the saddle 1.5 times what I would do on my own). I still have issues with hand comfort, but for the most part I never really thought "hey I'm doing this ride on my folder": I was so happy for my wife finishing her first century that it didn't really hit me that I'd finished a century on a folding bike until long after the fact.

I can kindasortamaybe ride the SpeedPro with no hands now so I was able to give my hands a little bit of a respite from time to time (all the red lights in this century helped with that too). Also, I've apparently completely adjusted to the SDG saddle after some tweaking of the position. It used to be very uncomfortable but now I think it's a better ride than the old Selle Italia on my road bike (which, to be fair, is in need of replacement for next season). I didn't have any *cough* numbness *cough* problems with it at all (Body Glide eliminated chafing problems I've had in the past centuries with the road bike). Dare I say it? I am now considering and SDG setup for the roadbike...

But back to folding bike issues. The terrain for this century isn't bad at all. There are a couple of longish (for NYC) hills but for the most part I stayed in three gears, so I think it could easily be ridden on a simpler folder, as long as it was comfortable enough. So is the SpeedPro overkill for this ride? Maybe, but if I were to do another century on it at my own pace, I think I'd be happy with the light weight, variety of gears and fast wheels/tires.
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Old 09-12-05, 11:09 AM   #2
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I am glad there is room for a simpler folder in your observations. The Speed Pro is a rather high end performance bike and overkill for the average cyclist. Most people (perhaps even your wife?) would be glad with the few or no gears that the simple sort of bike offers as well as the depenable, reliable service it has year after year. Guess what type of folder I use (Isn't it obvious)?
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Old 09-12-05, 12:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by oboeguy
The terrain for this century isn't bad at all. There are a couple of longish (for NYC) hills but for the most part I stayed in three gears, so I think it could easily be ridden on a simpler folder, as long as it was comfortable enough. So is the SpeedPro overkill for this ride? Maybe, but if I were to do another century on it at my own pace, I think I'd be happy with the light weight, variety of gears and fast wheels/tires.
It's funny, but I took my Dahon Mariner on a 35-mile ride out at the Great Swamp this weekend, and wondered if it wasn't a bit too low-end for long and hilly rides! (It couldn't possibly be the engine, of course ) The tires are always cleaner on the neighbor's bike....
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Old 09-12-05, 12:59 PM   #4
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To quote myself:

Quote:
The terrain for this century isn't bad at all.
Plus, I was riding slowly to not drop the wife too badly. The extra gears were very handy riding up and down the hills in the Finger Lakes region the previous weekend. I'm just saying that to ride the NYC Century all the extra "road bikeness" of the SpeedPro wasn't ultimately necessary this time. If I were riding by myself, I imagine I would have used a wider variety of gears.

Anyhow, fanatic, it's funny you should say... the wife told me something along the lines of "you never know" with respect to her having a folder one day (she had just read the Sunday NY Times article on folders). One more convert, perhaps?!?
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Old 09-12-05, 07:15 PM   #5
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Oboeguy: I met a guy doing the 35 mile route on a black Dahon yesterday. Turns out he has two Dahons, one at home in Europe and one here in NYC where he travels to on business. He's planning on riding in the 5 boro next May and the 55 mile route in next year's century if he can arrange his business trips accordingly. My question is:

1) Is that like dating sisters? or
2) Is that like having two wives in two different countries?
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Old 09-13-05, 11:28 AM   #6
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Oboeguy: I met a guy doing the 35 mile route on a black Dahon yesterday. Turns out he has two Dahons, one at home in Europe and one here in NYC where he travels to on business. He's planning on riding in the 5 boro next May and the 55 mile route in next year's century if he can arrange his business trips accordingly. My question is:

1) Is that like dating sisters? or
2) Is that like having two wives in two different countries?
Actually not to both questions 1 and 2. It seems more like not being hassled by the TSA or either the US, foreign customs when you enter and exit a given country if you happen to live in at least 2 different countries. Most wealthy people have furnished homes or condos, cars, and other possesions scattered all over the place. Why not different bicycles in different homes?
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Old 09-13-05, 12:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by folder fanatic
least 2 different countries. Most wealthy people have furnished homes or condos, cars, and other possesions scattered all over the place. Why not different bicycles in different homes?
A little less expensive option is to have another wheelset in another place. Getting a frame/components into a box minus the wheels is a lot easier. I have two S&S coupled bikes and have a wheelset in France. Not carrying the wheels makes life very easy. I even pull off the cassette before coming home.

Or just travel with the wheels. Many would argue that the biggest contributor to performance on a bike is the wheelset. Have an inexpensive frame abroad and bring a $600 set of a wheels back and forth. Wheels [even 700c] fit well into a 26x26x10 suitcase and the great amount of void space allow for sticking a bunch of other stuff.
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Old 09-13-05, 12:49 PM   #8
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Actually, I was just kidding with those two questions. The reason the guy bought two Dahons was because he couldn't get the hard case shipped to where he lived in Europe so he just bought another one here. I guess it was a choice between spending $X for the bike and risking it being destroyed, stolen while travelling and having no bike or spending twice $X and having two bikes.
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