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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 10-20-05, 11:21 AM   #1
Oliveman
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Winter/all weather commuter

I am looking for a winter commuting bike and came across this forum via a Google search. I am thinking a folder may make sense considering the portability to take inside for cleaning in the middle of winter. This bike will be used in the Northeast (USA) on snowy, salty, wet roads. Any suggestions on a low maintainence, light, and durable folding bike?

Jerry
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Old 10-20-05, 12:52 PM   #2
ike
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Jerry,

I commute daily in all weather in Seattle. We don't have much snow or any salt but it rains A LOT. I use a Dahon Helios XL which is very well suited to adverse weather. It has full fenders, an Aluminum frame, an 8 speed internal gear hub and a stainless steel chain. I have had it for 9 months and have logged just over 1900 miles on it. The brakes seem to need more frequent adjustment than I'm used to and the insides of the folding mechanisms need to be kept very clean, but no more messing with derailers is a welcomed switch. I rode many folders and reviewed even more and found this model to be the best combination of price, quick fold, durability, and low maintenance. I recommend it as good commuting equipment.
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Old 10-20-05, 01:58 PM   #3
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I have to second that Dahon, normally i am not at all a fan of Alu frames but in the conditions you describe it makes sense. Unless you treat your steel frame with Linseed oil or other such product on the inside. No matter which frame, a Stainless chain and hub gears make total sense in this sit.
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Old 10-20-05, 03:54 PM   #4
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I have a Dahon Matrix that I use for my winter bike. I'll be putting studded tires on it for ice patches this year (Nokian W106), and it has fenders, rack, lights. Since I don't ride my bike at night, I fold it up and put it on the Metro for the evening commute.

I would like to get a smaller folding bike (SpeedPro or Helios), but it's not in the budget right now. I have not noticed if Schwalb or Nokians make 20" studded tires. A 20" folder with studded tires would be a good winter bike for me, since the Matrix is a bit bulky on the Metro.

My non-folding bikes are steel, but I don't mind the alu Matrix.
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Old 10-20-05, 09:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velogirl
. . . I have not noticed if Schwalb or Nokians make 20" studded tires. A 20" folder with studded tires would be a good winter bike for me. . .
Innova makes one. It's available at Harris Cyclery.
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Old 10-22-05, 08:20 AM   #6
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Do any of you try the commute in the rain but with your work cloths on? If so how do you do it?
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Old 10-25-05, 03:30 PM   #7
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Does anyone know of any other 20" studded tires that won't cost me $40 a piece like the innova tires at Harris (posted above)? I hate to spend $80 on tires for a $220 folder! By the way, a full review of my impressions of the Downtube VIII are forthcoming, as are pics of it with my homegrown lighting system (ala total geekiness) and all weather child transport system (i.e. a child seat with rain cover.)
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