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Thread: BF frame only?

  1. #51
    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
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    That sounds interesting. Are you still thinks of 20" wheels? For me, I'd rather have a packable 20'' touring bike. I really have little use for a folder...If you're using 20" wheels, will you have the raise the LHT bottom bracket to compensate for 20"" wheels?

  2. #52
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    I think I'd compromise for an S&S style 16" wheel bike as well. Buying the couplers direct from them would cost $200, if you're able to buy them. So we're already in the $4-500 range with other parts. It's just too similarly priced to buying a new bike and selling off the components.

    One of the options I'd looked into in the past was using a Dahon frame as a basis. Their warranties are good, the quality seems high, and the prices are quite low (even as a disposable). Just a few of the details made them unappealing for me, like having to work with the 74mm front hub, or 115'ish (ie. Piccolo) rear dropout.

  3. #53
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    Dave, I have a recumbent with good 406 (I thought they were 451, but they are 406) wheels, and all kinds of trick parts. I like it pretty well, but I thought when I started this thread that if I could get a cheap BF frame, At least I could try out the BF lifestyle with these parts, and I could always move the parts back to the Recumbent if I didn't like the BF, or rebuild it if I did. Or use the BF for a big trip involving travel. Then switch back.

    jasong I've been building motorcycle frames for the last year or so, and I thought if I can't buy what I want, I could build it. Once you go down that path, it isn't any longer a BF. If one thinks of the Surly LHT, and then the BF, the latter is supposed to be able to do many of the same things, but it isn't really in the same class, and in truth, most of the pictures on the BF site indicate the riders used their credit card to order more than just the bike. Once you go down the custom road, every part of the bike becomes hard wired to every component and design decision, so it would be worth a few hundred bucks for such a frame. So far I don't think I can get the couplers. That isn't a big deal for me since I can find something to bolt stuff to on the frame, if it's just for me. I mean the BF brackets are pretty cheesy too. The S&S would just make the whole thing look legitimately a custom.

  4. #54
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    Seems to me the BF design is actually rather simple (the Brompton seems more complex). And if the correct tubing is available affordably and we have someone with motorbike frame building experience, you'd think we could make them affordably. As for modding a Surly, i could be wrong but i am thinking buying any frame rertail (even one as reasonably priced as a Surly) would be costly, expecially if frame didn't work out for some reason.

    But whatever project actually gets underway i will follow with interest and might want one of the frames (depends).

    Btw i have yet to hear anything from BF on my last inquiry.. i might mail them again. All i want is a price to know whether that option might be more expedient.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  5. #55
    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
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    If you've ever seen a Slingshot Tri frame(forget the wire cable down tube), the top tube just slides into a sleeve near the seat tube. It is held in place via a couple of screws. I've always thought this is a more elegant solution than S+S. Also, by keeping the seat tube and rear stays as one unit, the drivetrain stays in place while packing..

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    I;m not talking about adding couplers to a surly, though possibly that could be done for 550 including the frame.

    I am talking about what if there was a Surly LHT that was designed around 406 wheels, and that frame was minimaly packable as if it had say S&S couplers in it, but could be some other system. That result would be different than my earlier idea that Surly make something that would fit into the BF retail space. The difference for the builder is that making a standard diamond frame is straighforward, and the result for the rider would be a much more rugged touring frame, with the loss only of quick folding. When I say standard, it would still have to be as compactable as a BF even if some of the folding, mostly the drivetrail was a little messier. I could live with that, possibly ditching the chain after a long tour when headed home.

    If I could wave a wand, when I got where I was going, the ruggedness and design objectives of what I would want to ride on would be nearer the LHT than the BF, so if I have to start from scratch...

  7. #57
    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
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    I just received the latest issue of Cycling plus(Oct?. It's not the one with Lance on the cover) and they had a tiny picture of a On-One 20" bike at one of the European shows. It was hard to tell from the pictures but the bike looked very cool...406 wheels with disk brakes..It was hard to tell if it folded or not. I checked on-one's website and they don't list anything yet but this company is similar to Surly. They build good quality reasonably priced frames..

    http://www.on-one.co.uk/index.php

    Maybe we'll have another 20" frame only option

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    @ Peter: I am guessing you have other priorities for a frame. Personally i think a Break Away/Coupler/sort off folder bike is not really worth considering. Quick folding (like BF fast not Brompton fast) doesn't necessarily significantly detract from ruggedness or stifness as Twenties and BF demonstrate and allows for using the bike in many mobility situations including commuting. A good quick folder is truly almost a 'do everything bike', and that is what i am looking for in a new frame if i am to spend a fair amount of cash on it and possibly use it to supplant my Twenty.
    Riding my Twenty every day just hits home the point that a quick fold (if not super small) but extremely rugged bike frame is possibly and was possible even 30 years ago. The only downside to the Twenty is that it is somewhat heavy (unlike BF), sounds like the ruggedness you are looking for i already have as well as the weight it might imply... (Surly style frames are known for being somewhat heavy... just cheap, good and bulletproof.)

    But hey if you are the one that is going to be building you should obviously build what You want!
    Though i guess i won't be on the short list for the NR 2 frame if it is heavy or not a semi quick fold.

    As for my other priorities: I also love 20 inch wheels, 20 inch climbs well (i wish i did too accelerate fast and they are nearly bulletproof. So any folder frame i would consider buying would have to be 20 inch as well or possibly 16. Cost as well is a significant factor for me.

    @ Dave. That sounds really interesting about On One. Together with folder brands, Surly, Rivendell and Circle A cycles they are my fave manufacturers. On one is not as cheap as Surly i think..? but still fairly affordable from what i gather...?
    Last edited by v1nce; 10-19-05 at 05:12 PM.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  9. #59
    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
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    I just got home from work and pulled out the issue. It's the Oct 05 Cycling Plus. On page 8 is the tiny picture of the on-one. The tag line says it's a one off full suspension 20" wheeled bike.

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    Maybe we should swamp them with e-mails too. I mean if they already have the geometry and such how hard can it be to add a hinge and sell them to us!!
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    jasong I've been building motorcycle frames for the last year or so, and I thought if I can't buy what I want, I could build it. Once you go down that path, it isn't any longer a BF. If one thinks of the Surly LHT, and then the BF, the latter is supposed to be able to do many of the same things, but it isn't really in the same class, and in truth, most of the pictures on the BF site indicate the riders used their credit card to order more than just the bike.
    But now you're talking at least what a BF frame is going to cost (S&S parts minimum $200, frame ~$400?) - somewhere around $600. And the same with the Brompton, roughly $650 for the cheapest one. Perhaps $100-200 (max) could be gotten out of the rest of the components sold on the Brompton. It'll take about $2-300 on good deal'ed components to get it back running, doing my own labor (wheel building).

    I think it'd be a fun learning process, but no money is going to be saved. Trying to nail the folding parts down is going to be the trickiest part of course. There are perhaps 1% of the frame building companies doing folding bikes, and I'd say it's for a reason.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1nce
    Maybe we should swamp them with e-mails too. I mean if they already have the geometry and such how hard can it be to add a hinge and sell them to us!!
    How does this make any sense? There are a ton of 20" bikes on the market to which a hinge could be "simply" added. There's no reason to buy one of their frames. I don't think a hinge is simply added, or there would be a lot of people doing it, and it would be a competitive substitution for something like the $400 minimum S&S coupler installation. I tried looking for hinges awhile back and didn't have any luck. It's quite probably that one would need to buy a cheap frame (ie. a Dahon boardwalk-1, ~$150-200) and steal some of its parts.

    If thinking about chopping a frame and doing S&S couplers, certainly a BMX bike exists with uniformly sized tubing (one of the reqs for S&S couplers)?

    My requirements for these ideas are 16" wheels. I don't want anything bigger than the minimum possibility, and will sacrifice comfort for functionality.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1nce
    rugged bike frame is possibly and was possible even 30 years ago. The only downside to the Twenty is that it is somewhat heavy (unlike BF), sounds like the ruggedness you are looking for i already have as well as the weight it might imply... (Surly style frames are known for being somewhat
    How much does the frame alone weigh? If it's similar to the road frame analogy in comparing aluminum to steel, the frame really isn't where the weight is. Even heavy steel frames only weigh in around 5lbs, which is only 2lbs more than a light frame. Replacing/upgrading the replaceable components is where the frame weight can be greatly mitigated.

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    I don't think I can get the S&S, so that's 200 bucks to put back in the pocket, and the price of the parts in a frame should be around a hundred bucks. Weight is and isn't a worry, on a touring bike as long as it isn't rotating, and you don't go nuts on being overweight everywhere else, It isn't a big deal. One pound is like .3% of the whole package. On the other hand, a 20" bike frame isn't naturally lighter than a diamond frame, so one has to be a little careful about accepting excess weight in components.

    It is good to hear what people like and don't like. I guess I don't really believe the BF hype that it's the best of all possible worlds, but on the other hand, if one is going to go that route, throwing ease of folding away may not be wise either. Most of what I have read, suggests the BF isn't a comuting type folder. The exact degree of sacrifice of the folding ability that results from peruing a particular design may be dependant on the format. The BF has a number of things that interfere with folding, and many of them one would want on a long tour, mudgards, drops, rackss. And then just the fact of a lot of stuff, which doesn't affect the BF, but may ultimately put one into excess baggage either way. Interesting question.

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    By the way, I don't know squat about BMX. On a doner basis, would any of the forks be useful? My recumbent has a suspension fork, but I don't want to rip the whole thing apart.

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    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
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    I've looked at a lot of BMX type frames for a conversion. These frames vary from 2lbs to 6 lbs. My biggest concern would be the 25.4 seatpost. With the long length required,I don't know if a 25.4 post would be strong enough.

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    @ jasong,

    Yeah i totally agree with you on the weight thing. As can be seen on my page my Twenty weighed 16 Kilos to begin with. I replaced the all steel parts and now it is down to 13 and that's including Brooks and such. I could even make it lighter with some effort. So it is at present neither a leight weight or a heavy clunker. I don't know, maybe we should all import Twenty frames from the UK (as we were discussing in another thread) since they are cheap there. It will be a lot simpler than building your own and probably cheaper too. Plus you could modify them at will. Just a thought. Still making your own is prob. more fun.
    The BF frames are a lighter than mine i am sure, but it is true the difference is probably only significant when doing an extended tour or climbing a lot.

    Maybe your right on the On One bike. Or maybe not. After all they are a builder with a lot of experience on building somewhat unusual frames. Although they idea of building something ourselves by trial an error also greatly appeals to me supporting On one also does. I mean letting them know there is a market for this type of bike and then asking them to build in a hinge is not such a crazy idea. Especially as the chances of getting a very satisfactory end product from a company like theirs are pretty large. "DIY" S & S couplers are rather expensive in comparison to incorporating a hinge in a streamlined production process, especially as they have probably already figured out a lot of the frame basics for their non folding prototype. On one didn't sell derallieur equipped frames for years (they were hardline SS/FG people) but demand made them try it and now that frame is their biggest seller. I think that is cool because it means they can put money into more unusual designs too and niche markets such as SS frames and hopefully a folder.

    Of course it is true there are lots of folder companies out there. But very few sell seperate cheap or affordable (steel!) 20 inch folder frames...

    But it was just an idea to mail them. Obviously there are always other options. But from where i am standing, the more companies that are making (folder) frames and bikes the better!

    @ Peter. It is true the BF is not a great fold, but good enough for my purposes (the Dutch public transport people are not difficult, as long as it folds it is cool). But my ideal frame would be something that folds small/easy, is totally standardized (unlike Gobike and Brompton) and steel. I always wondered why the BF frames didn't incorporate a real good stiff hinge (like Dahon or Giant) for a quick/small fold option. No one frame can truly do everything as well as say 3 other bikes. With anything 20 inch or smaller for example long and fast descents are not as safe as with larger wheels i have heard (apparantly you get overheated rimms with possible blowouts). But i do believe that BF comes the closest to being a do everything bike. Lots of People have used BF for some extreme things with succes, Dahon seems to be a slightly distant second in this regard.
    Last edited by v1nce; 10-20-05 at 06:20 AM.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

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    Vince. I agree about the BF. When I look at other folding bikes, it is the one that stands out for touring and versatility. It is just when I start from a tourign vantage that I see limits, but I do have a touring bike already so something different is what I am after. You are lucky about your government, in Canada, bikes are at best an aftrethought. Stuff that would really help like transit access is not that comon.

    I was just wondering whether the BMX fork by itself, not the whole frame, would be compatible with a BF-like frame. It's 406 sizeable, so why not? Forks are more trouble to make than they are worth, if one doesn't have to. I assume that the 406 suspension fork on my recumbent started out as a BMX product? Would that be right?

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    I am guessing you are right on the BMX fork thing, though i have no practical experience with that myself. I do know that on his Twenty page Sheldon brown explains how he used a Haro BMX fork, for his Twenty. When i look at the forks that BF uses though i gotta say, they sure look skinny and light. Apparantly they do the job fine. A BMX fork does seem like (a lot of) overkill and a lot of added weight for a Folder that is meant to be kindoff portable/not used in a BMX style. But if nothing else is cheaply at hand, well hey they seem to work so why not.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

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    One has to be realistic on a prototype. The ideal is cheap, and get the geometry right, so one can experiment with it. After that one can build it in whatever materials one wants. If it is BMX, then I already have a fork. Not one I would use for ever, but one less thing to do before I can ride it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    One has to be realistic on a prototype. The ideal is cheap, and get the geometry right, so one can experiment with it. After that one can build it in whatever materials one wants. If it is BMX, then I already have a fork. Not one I would use for ever, but one less thing to do before I can ride it.
    You're right. It's quite likely not to be done right the first time. I think the trouble with the eastern fabrication ends up being that if there's just one-two failures, everything's lost in return shipping. I just bought a Downtube bike online. I'm really enthused about playing with this, given that a lot of testing can be done without wasting money on proprietary parts (it uses all standard stuff). I would have preferred a 16" modeled bike for minimal transportation space, but we'll see.

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    Right now I have a bunch of things I would like to fit from my last tour. They can't possibly all make it on. so keeping this thing simple and adding and removing parts till it is right is a lot of the appeal of the project On the other hand, making a straight taper fork would be pretty easy also.

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    As for the straight taper fork, well the BF style forks does look extremely simple but of course looks can very misleading. Speaking of BF,.. never did get a price range or other such info as reply to my mails. I'll mail them once more for it and then call it quites.

    One thing which does intrigues me still is that new bike/frame that BF is alledegly (pretty reliable source, KoffeeBrown) is working on. It is suppossed to fold (a lot) better than any of their existing models. If that is so and the quality is as ever the & cost isn't prohibitive this could be a real option for me at least.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1nce
    One thing which does intrigues me still is that new bike/frame that BF is alledegly (pretty reliable source, KoffeeBrown) is working on. It is suppossed to fold (a lot) better than any of their existing models. If that is so and the quality is as ever the & cost isn't prohibitive this could be a real option for me at least.
    Uh, it's called the TIKIT and folds like a Brompton (yes there is a hinge on the main frame close to the head tube). There are pictures of the prototype, but they've supposedly put this on the backburner for now (probably in order to make their new recumbents).

    It comes with 16" wheels...But weren't you the one who said you don't like 16" wheels, that that was a "deal breaker" for you?

    In any case, it was supposedly going to be sold in the ~$900 range, so a low-end Pocket Tourist model is still the cheapest option - and has 20" wheels to boot.

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    @ Spambait, could you direct me to those pictures, i would very much like to see them if they are still available somewhere?

    Oh yeah, i think you mentioned the TIKIT previously.

    As for the 16 Inch being a deal breaker, hmm well it isn't as simple as you might have gathered from what i wrote previously,.. for me things are not so Black or White in this case. 16 inch is a deal breaker for me if it implies a significant amount of reduced efficiency (which the Brompton alledgedly suffers from) or if the ride will become harsh without the possibility of completely compensating that by simple/affordable measures (suspension saddle/Brooks/comfier tires etc). Or if it means that the versatility is compromised. If the Tikit is non suitable for touring or longer rides for example that would put me off. But if BF manages to clinch a folder that rides (almost) as well as and is (almost) as versatile/standardized as their other models and folds (almost) as well as the Brompton to boot, welll the 16 inch thing becomes a non-issue then doesn't it...? Especially if the price is reasonable and i'd say 900 is fairly reasonable. I am not into 20 inch for the sake of 20 inch but for the advantages it often brings. As for Tires, well if there are 1 or 2 tires in 16 inch that meet my requirements i'd be fine with that.

    Sure what i would like is the Holy Grail of folders in some ways, but i am hoping someone can pull it of one day.
    Last edited by v1nce; 10-22-05 at 10:58 AM.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

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