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  1. #1
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    EDIT! See the most recent post for a couple of other folders I came across as candidates for a backup bike.

    Hey folks!

    I'm happy with my KHS folder for the majority of my riding.
    I'm looking for something to fill in "multimode gaps." ***

    I'm 6'0".
    Budget is "under $500" though I may be able to stretch for the right bike. (used is fine)
    Folded size is a big factor.

    I was thinking about the HandyBike - http://www.handybike.com
    They're seem to be $300 USD.

    Others that piqued my interest:
    - Brompton ($$)
    - Frog ($$$$)
    - Strida
    - Dahon Sweat Pea (doesn't seem to accomodate 6' riders)
    - Dahon Piccolo (seems like an awesome deal but folded size could be on the large side)

    Something with 12" or 16" wheels would be better as a backup bike but weight and fold size may discourage me from those.

    Input welcomed!
    Chris


    ***Today, I only needed to go a couple of miles cumulatively between bus stops, store and office.
    No point in having the KHS along but something a step up from a scooter would have been nice.
    Last edited by af895; 12-03-05 at 12:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Wow man! That's pretty cool! Where can I find those?

  4. #4
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    hey, vacyclist, what kind of bike is that?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by af895
    Wow man! That's pretty cool! Where can I find those?
    It does look quite cool, but it also looks like it's bigger than a Brompton, but with smaller wheels (12"?)

    I test rode the Brompton S2L-X the other day, I loved the bike but I think it's ridiculously overpriced. It was fast, stiff, comfy and Brompton have finally put decent brakes on! And they still have the most compact fold out there. I also really like the front luggage system on Bromptons. The thing is - I look at the Brompton price tag, then I look at how much more I could get for the same money from another manufacturer...

    I don't know what the Frog costs in the USA. Here in the UK it's fairly expensive. I tried one last year and rather liked it. I wasn't very impressed by the fold though, and I think a backpack is the only option for carrying luggage on it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Hey yangmusa! I haven't tried the Brompton yet but everyone seems to love them for ride quality. I previously thought they used tiny wheels but learned they're 349mm (not 305mm) so they're a lot closer to ETRTO 406 than I thought. (20")

    While I don't have a problem paying for quality, Brompton is out of my range unless I sell my other folder and make a Brompton my #1 bike. (and then I'm still back to finding a #2 bike)
    Brompton gearing seems odd. You'd think they'd at least have a SRAM dual-drive at the price they're charging. *shrug*

    Any way to add 20" wheels to a Brompton?

  7. #7
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Found another model that seems to only be available in Australia:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/JD-RAZOR-FOLDING...QQcmdZViewItem

    Similar to the HandyBike but made by a well known scooter company.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by af895
    I haven't tried the Brompton yet but everyone seems to love them for ride quality.
    I'm fairly tall (6'4") and I never particularly liked the older Bromptons. For me the ride was too upright, the reach was too small and I thought the steering was overly sensitive. Also their brakes used to suck bigtime! It would be a matter of squeezing the brakes with a vice-like death grip and praying to your chosen deity the thing would stop. Thankfully they now have dual caliper brakes that surprised me with their efficiency. Also the new frame is longer, and the new S handlebars (flat) give a much better position, for me at any rate.

    I test rode a Kew green Brompton S2L-X last week, and thought it was fabulous! But at £965 ($1680!!!) it's just not enough bike for the money.


    Quote Originally Posted by af895
    While I don't have a problem paying for quality
    Me neither, but I don't think Bromptons quality is any better or worse than say Dahon, Xootr, KHS etc. In my opinion, their 2 distinct advantages are the unique front luggage fixture (though Dahon offers something similar using KlickFix from 2006!) and the incredibly compact fold. I would truly love a Brompton, but I can't help comparing them with other makes and finding that for me the cost/features equation doesn't balance in Brompton's favour...


    Quote Originally Posted by af895
    Brompton gearing seems odd. You'd think they'd at least have a SRAM dual-drive at the price they're charging. *shrug*
    Yes, that cost/features equation again... I have seen people have retro-fitted derailleurs to Bromptons, so it is obviously possible.

  9. #9
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    Might be able to help - I've got 2 in your list - a Brompton and a Strida3 (sorry no KHS, to give you a full comparison). I like both these for different reasons; Brompton - size when folded, build quality and gears. Strida - speed of folding, weight (or rather lack of it) and 'wheelability' when folded. For the sort of journeys you describe the Strida probably fits the bill best -it would make a good companion to your KHS. Strida for shorter hops , commuting and 'smiles' and KHS for more serious training 'miles'

  10. #10
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simple Simon
    Might be able to help - I've got 2 in your list - a Brompton and a Strida3 (sorry no KHS, to give you a full comparison). I like both these for different reasons; Brompton - size when folded, build quality and gears. Strida - speed of folding, weight (or rather lack of it) and 'wheelability' when folded. For the sort of journeys you describe the Strida probably fits the bill best -it would make a good companion to your KHS. Strida for shorter hops , commuting and 'smiles' and KHS for more serious training 'miles'

    Hey Simple Simon - thanks for that. If I can find a Strida, it may be what I go with.
    Price seems quite reasonable and it would make a good #2 bike. Probably a good ride for guests too as it doesn't seem intimidating.

    Any comments on the different versions? I hear they keep making improvements and it might make sense to look for a recent model. ?

    EDIT: I see one Strida on eBay, here: http://cgi.ebay.com/Strida-Collapsib...QQcmdZViewItem

    Not sure what version it is...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simple Simon
    I like both these for different reasons; Brompton - size when folded, build quality and gears.
    I'd like to qualify my earlier statement about Brompton gears. I also live in London, and if I was planning to continue doing so I might well get a Brompton, cost be damned! The gears are more than good enough for fairly flat places.

    (I'm moving to San Francisco in January, so I don't think a 46"+ low gear will cut it.)

  12. #12
    Senior Member royalflash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by af895
    Hey folks!

    I'm happy with my KHS folder for the majority of my riding.
    I'm looking for something to fill in "multimode gaps." ***

    I'm 6'0".
    Budget is "under $500" though I may be able to stretch for the right bike. (used is fine)
    Folded size is a big factor.

    I was thinking about the HandyBike - http://www.handybike.com
    They're seem to be $300 USD.

    Others that piqued my interest:
    - Brompton ($$)
    - Frog ($$$$)
    - Strida
    - Dahon Sweat Pea (doesn't seem to accomodate 6' riders)
    - Dahon Piccolo (seems like an awesome deal but folded size could be on the large side)

    Something with 12" or 16" wheels would be better as a backup bike but weight and fold size may discourage me from those.

    Input welcomed!
    Chris


    ***Today, I only needed to go a couple of miles cumulatively between bus stops, store and office.
    No point in having the KHS along but something a step up from a scooter would have been nice.
    bikes don“t get much smaller and cooler than the handybike





    only the dead have seen the end of mass motorized stupidity

    Plato

    (well if he was alive today he would have written it)

  13. #13
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Ha that's awesome RoyalFlash! I saw your post some months ago regarding replacement tires/tubes I think? I was hoping you'd chime in!

    I talked to the bike shop in NYC and it turns out they don't have HandyBikes anymore. :\

    Any thoughts on where to find one?

    I'm also curious: how does the HandyBike take to rough pavement? I wouldn't try dirt or gravel but I'm thinking of cracks, dips and debris.

    Any other comments on your HandyBike?

    Thanks!
    Chris

  14. #14
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Super_Socks
    hey, vacyclist, what kind of bike is that?
    Beats me -- I saw this on CNET last week. Here's the link...

  15. #15
    Senior Member royalflash's Avatar
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    I got mine on ebay for about 75 euros a couple of years ago- there were quite a few being sold at that time and for that price I was willing to take a chance.

    The handling of the bike is actually not as bad as you expect- a bit of roughness/debris/cracks is fine but I would hesitate to tackle any serious potholes/kerbs with it. If you try it I would strongly recommend a helmet.

    For short distances (5 km or less) with some public transport it is OK. I put some folding pedals and a bag strap on it and it makes the bike quite useful (much more useful than those scooters). You can fold it and just carry it on your back like a long bag. There is no other bike I have seen that you can do that with.

    It is not as efficient as a real bike though. It just depends on what type of journeys you want to make and your priorities.

    Also you had better get used to lots of attention with it.
    only the dead have seen the end of mass motorized stupidity

    Plato

    (well if he was alive today he would have written it)

  16. #16
    Life in Mono
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    Not sure about earlier models, Strida3 is the most recent with Strida1's dating from the '80s. http://strida.com/bike/versions.php

  17. #17
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Does anyone know whether this idea (published in the 100th Anniversary issue of American Bicyclist and Motorcyclist in December, 1979) was ever developed? It won first prize in the "Bikes of the Future" design competition sponsored by the British Cycling Bureau.

    It's described as "extra-foldable, collapsing into a 17-inch-wide shell-like package. Reinforced plastic mudguards serve as bike carrying case. Features protected shaft drive."

    I assume the shaft drive means it's fixed gear. By any measure it would seem to qualify as a really tiny folder.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Scooper; 12-02-05 at 07:04 PM.
    - Stan

  18. #18
    Senior Member Chop!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by af895
    Hey Simple Simon - thanks for that. If I can find a Strida, it may be what I go with.
    Price seems quite reasonable and it would make a good #2 bike. Probably a good ride for guests too as it doesn't seem intimidating.

    Any comments on the different versions? I hear they keep making improvements and it might make sense to look for a recent model. ?

    EDIT: I see one Strida on eBay, here: http://cgi.ebay.com/Strida-Collapsib...QQcmdZViewItem

    Not sure what version it is...
    The Strida in question is a very early model, no where near the quality & ride of the newer Strida III the latest model has a small roller attached to a modified frame member (i.e. this mod is not retro-fittable) this roller prevents the kevlar belt from jumping & allows a much looser belt tension, which in turn reduces bearing damage. (arrowed on attached photo)

    Earlier versions than the III are easy to spot :-

    They did not have a one piece steering headstock

    They had plastic wheel clips which clipped the wheels together when folded (the III uses magnets)

    The handlebars are folded and locked into place with an over-centre lever

    The III is polished aluminium, earlier versions were painted

    The III has a much stiffer ride & now with the wire wheel option, higher tyre pressures are possible & thus better rolling resistance.

    Hope this helps. P.S. Strida used to sell re-conditioned models for those watching the pennies.
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  19. #19
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    Royalflash, what kind of speeds can you maintain on that (ie. ~60-90rpm cadence), and when coasting downhill? How is stopping power rolling down hills?

    [QUOTE=royalflash]bikes don“t get much smaller and cooler than the handybike

  20. #20
    Senior Member royalflash's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=jasong]Royalflash, what kind of speeds can you maintain on that (ie. ~60-90rpm cadence), and when coasting downhill? How is stopping power rolling down hills?

    Quote Originally Posted by royalflash
    bikes don“t get much smaller and cooler than the handybike
    you definitely won't win any speed trials on it- I would guess that you could get a little over 15 km/hr but I don't have a computer on the bike so can't give you a very accurate estimate at the moment. I will have a look at the gearing when I get home and see if I can calculate the expected speed if I can remember the calculation. I think the handbook puts the top speed at 15 km/hr.

    The brakes are not great so I wouldn't go too fast down hills anyway.

    Since the bike is singlespeed, going up hills, particularly after stopping can also be a challenge.

    Riding the bike takes a bit of practice as the handling is totally unlike a normal bike.

    I am not sure why these bikes are not more popular though. They are 10x as good as those scooters. They just don't seem to have caught on in the same way though.

    You should be able to get one for a lot less than 300 dollars

    http://cgi.ebay.de/Handybike-Faltrad...QQcmdZViewItem
    Last edited by royalflash; 11-15-05 at 05:26 AM.
    only the dead have seen the end of mass motorized stupidity

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  21. #21
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    I'm surprised at the HandyBike not being more popular too, Royalflash.

    Even "Razor," the original scooter folks, have taken a shot at building a scooter-bike: http://cgi.ebay.com/JD-RAZOR-FOLDING...QQcmdZViewItem

    It's a toss-up for me which would be easier to get - the Razor seems solely marketed in Australia and the Pacific Rim, despite Razor scooters being all over here. HandyBike seems more targeted at Europe.

    Thanks for the eBay link - I hadn't been able to turn any HandyBikes up. (I have relatives in Germany so they may be able to help sort out the shipping if I go that route)

  22. #22
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    A little over your budget, but R+M has the Frog: http://www.kinetics-online.co.uk/html/frog.shtml

  23. #23
    Senior Member Shilun's Avatar
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHenry
    A little over your budget, but R+M has the Frog: http://www.kinetics-online.co.uk/html/frog.shtml
    Are there any specs of the folded sizes for the Frog?

    It's a bit surprising just how big some of the "small" folders fold. ie, the Strida is still in total dimension sum too big for unsurcharged air travel, even though they say that won't be a problem.

  25. #25
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong
    Are there any specs of the folded sizes for the Frog?

    It's a bit surprising just how big some of the "small" folders fold. ie, the Strida is still in total dimension sum too big for unsurcharged air travel, even though they say that won't be a problem.
    Scaling the folded photo on the website and using the 12" wheels as a basis for the scale, it looks like the folded dimension is ~28" x 24". There's no way to tell how wide it is from the photos, though.

    The Strida is bigger than I thought it would be, and for me it isn't that comfortable. There's also a lot of oversteer, but you get used to that. I normally carry my Montague BiFrame with me in my single engine Cessna so I have local transportation at my destination, but if I'm in a hurry and will only be taking short trips on the bike, I use the Strida.
    - Stan

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