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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 11-08-05, 12:36 AM   #1
mosplat
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please help me find a folder for my dad. (story inside)

when i was a kid i used to go on outings to the park with my dad all the time.
i would rollerblade and he would ride his folding bike,
and we would head out from downtown brooklyn across the bridge to battery park in manhattan.
some days we would spend the whole time in battery, sometimes my mom came too.
other days we would head up the west side bike path and go all the way to central park.
we had some really good times, i remember now, father and son together..

now i'm "all growns up" and am an avid bike rider, weight lifter, martial artist,
i guess i can say that i'm a very physical person.
my dad on the other hand hasn't been on a bike in probably several years.
he's in his mid 50's now and developed arthritis in his hip a couple years ago.
he's been going through physical therapy, acupuncture, sports medicine, etcetera for it for a while.
he can walk better than when it first started, but not for extended periods of time.
he doesn't really exercise much, if at all, and i feel like he should be at his age.

i believe bicycling is good exercise for this type of condition, and really want him to get back on a bike.
he's shown interest when i've talked to him about it, but is a bit hesitant.
i figure a great way to entice him would be to get him a sweet new ride.
besides the fact that we'd get to ride together again.
he's always been a fan of folding bikes so what could you folder enthusiasts recommend?
you know his age and condition, i should also add that he's 5'4" tall.
i figure suspension would be nice, to make the ride supple and easy on joints, but not necessary,
because light weight is also a concern; he thinks all my bikes are too big and too heavy.
money isn't too much of an object as i can probably get the rest of the family to chip in.
i'd just really like to do something nice for my dad.

so if you're still here after reading my life story, please,
any advice for a folding bike for my dad would be helpful.
thanks for your time and thought.

-nate chin from brooklyn
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Old 11-08-05, 01:18 AM   #2
14R
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The first bike that came to my mind after reading you life story was the Dahon Helios XL. I think this bike can show the technological leap and keep him motivated at least while the first rides are still painful.

A Downtube VIII has full suspension but is not as sophisticated as the Helios XL, but would be a good match. Just make sure you get them thru E-Bay instead of the website. You can save at least US$100.00 by buying (from the dealer, brande new) using Ebay.

Now, besides being a folder fan, does he really need a folder? For extra confort, specially due to his condition, I believe he would benefit from a confort bike like a Cypress or even the Revive. My girlfriend's father is getting one for Xmas, he just doesn't know it yet (mid 50s, sedentary and really motivated with our "folding habits". My girlfriend and I ride aproximately 3 times a week). The riding posture on the Revive is the selling point for older/weak abdominal muscles riders.

You will get better imput from more experienced members, but one way or another, please come back and let us know what you ended up getting.

Hope this helps,

Rafael
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Old 11-08-05, 02:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosplat
you know his age and condition, i should also add that he's 5'4" tall.
i figure suspension would be nice, to make the ride supple and easy on joints, but not necessary,
because light weight is also a concern; he thinks all my bikes are too big and too heavy.
money isn't too much of an object as i can probably get the rest of the family to chip in.
i'd just really like to do something nice for my dad.

so if you're still here after reading my life story, please,
any advice for a folding bike for my dad would be helpful.
thanks for your time and thought.

-nate chin from brooklyn
I'd seriously consider a new Dahon Jetstream XP. It has front and rear suspension, refined compact folding, 9spd, excellent components, looks awesome, and is UNDER 20lbs!.. if a priority is on weight and a relatively smooth ride in a top notch folder, the XP is tough to beat. If you are looking at quality bikes under 24lbs, two more I would recommend would be the New York based Xootr Swift (no suspension, although you could add a suspension hub and a suspension seatpost) or the Dahon SpeedPro (front suspension hub). Of course you could always change out tires on these for even more comfort. Both companies have excellent support of their products. In the 25 to 30lb range, there is a wide variety of models to explore.

Bruce
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Old 11-08-05, 08:42 AM   #4
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wow. what a great idea. if cost is really no object, I would go for the Bike Friday Air Llama. if you cruise this forum you will find few if any negative comments on bik friday - truly a superior ride. only thing is, it could cost you $3,000 or more.
http://www.bikefriday.com/bikecat99.cfm?cat=3
the Pocket gnu and pocket llama would also be great choices for less $$. if you need to get closer to $500, the dahon's are good, too.
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Old 11-08-05, 08:46 AM   #5
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given his physical condition, a sweet recumbent might be a good choice. my father-in-law has a tweaked back from years on the railroad - he doesn't have the $ or the inclination to buy a bike and he probably couldn't ride a regular bike with his back. I have been thinking about buying him one to get him out of the house and active.
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Old 11-08-05, 09:50 AM   #6
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Good story...hope he gets on the bike soon. I would guess it will be therapeutic for his arthritis.

I'm in my 50's and am mostly a roadie commuter and only do tame off-road riding, and have always had rigid bikes. I rode a full suspension rental out of town recently, and also tried out a suspension seatpost on my mountain bike and I just didn't like the jiggly feeling...it made the bike feel unsteady, and if I pedalled hard I started to rhythmically bounce. I doubt your dad will ride offroad and if he's never ridden suspension I suspect he'll feel more comfortable without it.
RGC
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Old 11-08-05, 09:58 AM   #7
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When you mentioned your Dad's arthritis, it made me think he might be best served by a bike with a nice low stepover height. The Dahon Helios is good in this regard, but the Roo D7 is even better.

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Old 11-08-05, 11:25 AM   #8
mosplat
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thanks for the responses!

i don't really like the idea of recumbents so i wouldn't have him on one.
his back and core muscles aren't doing that badly either,
but thanks for the suggestion.

bike friday's air llama is wow.
but like someone said, standover is to be considered as well.
titanium seat beam though... again, wow.

he's actually had a couple dahon's so one would be familiar.
plus the jetstream xp is pretty freaking sweet!
under 20lbs and under a grand, with high quality components...
i think it's the top contender right now.

any other suggestions?
thanks again for all the responses.
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Old 11-08-05, 07:53 PM   #9
James H Haury
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How about the new Bike friday satrday when it comes out? it will a 20 inch wheeled recumbent.
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Old 11-08-05, 08:05 PM   #10
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Look at the Bridgestone Moulton separable, has a suspended frame, a couple of drivetrain options and is sized right for your dad's height. See www.jitensha.com under bicycles. It is a beautiful classic and fully suspended, and sized right.
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