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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 10-12-05, 04:29 AM   #1
elmatto
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What would you do?

Hi,
I am relatively new to cycling and the wife has given me the go ahead to get a decent bike.

As I live in a small apartment and travel a lot a folding bike seems like the best alternative. My emphasis is more on performance over folding as I dont commute at the moment.

I currently train for a triathlon so the focus is on going as fast as I can (which is not that fast) Distance is from 40km to 100km (olympic to long distance). Doing an ironman on a small wheeled bike would be the ultimate!

The choices I see are:
Air Friday- like the beam design so I can see this being my do all bike and used for everthing. Downside is the cost and it would be stretching the budget. Its the Ti beam that really attracts me so I am not really that interested in the other BF models.

Speed Pro- seems like a good value for money deal and can see it useable (but not necessarily the best) for my triathlons. Downside is I would hate to get it and then realise that it is not that suitable and I should have bought the Air Friday in the first place.

One other point- I live in Singapore so there is absolutely no chance of a test ride!

Any comments- choices are good, but now I dont know which way to go.

Thanks!
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Old 10-12-05, 09:10 AM   #2
dalmore
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Hey - I'm a total newbie here to this world so weigh this accordingly! I recalled reading something recently and thought it might be of use to you. This guy talks in-depth about his take on the strengths of the bike friday vs the xootr swift. Probably some useful information for you there.

BUT he also mentions couplers down near the bottom of the page. - If I understood, you can use them make a non-folder into a break apart bike. Might meet your needs better than a folder or maybe not.

http://www.phred.org/~alex/bikes/bf-vs-swift.html

Me? I'm anxiously awaiting my new Dahon Speed TR ...
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Old 10-12-05, 09:41 AM   #3
oboeguy
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Wait for the '06 SpeedPro TT to come out.

/thread

No really, it sounds like a great solution for you. I don't have the link handy to the '06 Dahon catalog but it's basically the SpeedPro with bada55 cowhorn bars and brifters along the lines of a road bike. There's a thread around here on the new Dahon stuff... It's also probably less expensive than a BF, though I wouldn't know for sure about the model you're looking at. Also, it already has a TT angle to it, so to speak, which might make it better than the BF in the first place. I'd say though if you're on the short side you might have trouble getting a good aero position on it (though I can't say for sure having only seen the promo pics).

I have a SpeedPro '05 which I've used to ride the NYC Century and commute on most every day. At 6 feet tall, I have no trouble getting a good, aggressive position. The Stelvio tires on it are quite zippy; don't let the 28mm spec fool you. Fast little bike, believe you me!
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Old 10-12-05, 11:55 AM   #4
clayface
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmatto
Doing an ironman on a small wheeled bike would be the ultimate!
In 2004 I attended the Lanzarote Ironman as part of the local TV crew. We were all impressed to see a guy made it to the end with a Moulton like this:



Roberto
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Old 10-12-05, 12:09 PM   #5
spambait11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmatto
... I currently train for a triathlon so the focus is on going as fast as I can (which is not that fast) Distance is from 40km to 100km (olympic to long distance). Doing an ironman on a small wheeled bike would be the ultimate!

The choices I see are:
Air Friday- like the beam design so I can see this being my do all bike and used for everthing. Downside is the cost and it would be stretching the budget. Its the Ti beam that really attracts me so I am not really that interested in the other BF models...
Bike Friday did (probably still does) make a special triathalon bike based on the Air Friday; I think the only difference is that all the angles are more aerodynamic, but you still have the same Ti beam.

Things I've heard people say about the Ti beam is that it is comfortable, but it can be too flexy (i.e. power loss). If you talk to BF, you might want to mention that you'd like a stiffer Ti beam, depending on your weight and tolerances, of course.
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Old 10-13-05, 12:53 AM   #6
elmatto
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Thanks all for your comments. For some reason there is a part of me that just wants to use a small wheel bike to do a longer distance triathlon just for the heck of it.

I am not competitive, I just want to finish, but I want any limiting factors to be the engine and not the bike. I think that both the Speed Pro and the Air Friday can easily cover 90-100km while leaving some gas in the engine for the run.

However, I think the price has got me strongly leaning towards the 2006 Speed Pro.
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