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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 11-26-05, 03:39 AM   #1
humancongereel
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Why?

so, i searched "why?" for this forum, and it turned up no results. i just want to know why you'd ride a folding bike. it sounds like it could be handy, but these things are also really ugly, imo. so what outweighs that for you guys? i just...don't really understand, perhaps i'm missing something.
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Old 11-26-05, 04:59 AM   #2
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Hmm, I'll take the chance that you aren't just being sarcastic...


Quote:
Originally Posted by humancongereel
but these things are also really ugly, imo.
Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder...


Quote:
Originally Posted by humancongereel
so what outweighs that for you guys? i just...don't really understand
The ability to fold the bike away in my tiny apartment! The ability to bring the bike on the train, on the bus, in the car. The ability to pack the bike in a suitcase! Under my desk at work!

(If you live in a low crime area, you may not see the value of having the bike with you at all times..)
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Old 11-26-05, 07:52 AM   #3
James H Haury
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Why?The neato factor the ability to take the bike on metra or put it in a suitcase and take it with you for free when you travel.Compactness as already mentioned . And there are even full size folders .
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Old 11-26-05, 09:11 AM   #4
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See
http://www.atob.org.uk/why_fold.html
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Old 11-26-05, 09:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humancongereel
so, i searched "why?" for this forum, and it turned up no results. i just want to know why you'd ride a folding bike. it sounds like it could be handy, but these things are also really ugly, imo. so what outweighs that for you guys? i just...don't really understand, perhaps i'm missing something.
Well, thanks for asking! :)

I've been contributing to the Wiki page on Folding Bicycles, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folding_bicycle It sums up most of what I want to say. :)

My own folder page is linked in my sig file. The short of it: folders have come a long way.
They can be bought in sizes to fit anyone.
There are some beautiful designs on the market. (and some odd ones ;)

Add to all that the ability to put it in a bag and carry it on a bus or plane.



I originally bought the bike to stow in the back of a car (sub-compact sedan) or plane (Cessna, Piper - small baggage compartment) - now I find myself taking it everywhere.

To paraphrase Sun Tsu, it's not the fastest or strongest that wins the battle - it's being where you need it, when you need it.

Even IF you concede some performance disadvantage to a folder (which I don't), having a bike with me all the time is better to me than leaving it in the garage.

Some pics/links of folders that I find quite attractive:
A KHS F20-R: http://www.khsbicycles.com.tw/html/product/f-20r.htm
Forum member "Cheg"'s super-mod Raleigh 20: http://home.comcast.net/~cheg01/r20.html
Kuwahara Gaap Street folder: http://www.juppo.co.jp/2plus4/Moku_K/ori_n092.html
Airnimal Joey (all their bikes are fantastic): http://www.airnimal.com/Joey.php
Downtube's DT VIII FS full suspension model is probably the best looking folder in its price class:
http://www.downtube.com/catalog

I hope this is helpful. I can't say enough positive things about owning a folder. I love bikes in general but a folder opens possibilities I never thought of. I can ride until I've bonked and grab a bus to get home without a second thought.

If I think of anything else, I'll post again. :)

Chris

EDIT: yangmusa mentions a very important point: theft-deterence. I can't afford a replacement bike of the same quality as my folder so bringing the folder inside - into grocery stores, bars etc - makes it theft proof. If you put the folder in a soft carry case when folded, I doubt you'd get any objections.
Some pics of the Downtube bike in it's bag: http://www.downtube.com/images/Bikes_7-14/BikeinBag.jpg (the little black bag to the right in the photo IS the same bag just folded down for stowage on the handlebars or seatpost)
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Last edited by af895; 11-27-05 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 11-26-05, 11:08 AM   #6
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Folders are ugly? All the kids I zip by when I'm riding my folder think it's cool. I get tons of positive comments. Haven't got one bad comment about my folder yet.

"The bike is so ganster! Cool bike, man!"
"That's so awesome looking!"

Af895 sums up a lot of reasons in the above post.
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Old 11-26-05, 11:47 AM   #7
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Because it's compact and folds well. I can travel anywhere now and not worry about not getting a ride in. Plus, I don't pay a dime in bike charges when I pack it on the planes.

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Old 11-26-05, 11:51 AM   #8
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yeh..folders aren't ugly...my orange bikefriday gets a compliment a day...even from some hardcore roadies sporting orbea's with full record components...even the uber-hipsters think its cool, and they're impossible to impress
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Old 11-26-05, 01:25 PM   #9
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1.) Because it's 2005. If your bike takes-up the same amount of space as a chest freezer, then you're behind the times.

2.) Because I get an absolute kick out of watching the big-wheeled bikers struggle, grunt and groan in frustration loading their bikes onto the bike car of the commuter train every morning. I find it quite humorous every time someone gets smacked upside the head by the 26" wheel of a bike who's owner isn't aware as he/she hefts the beast amidst the fray of frantic cyclists hurriedly trying to pile into the bike car before the train doors slam shut.

3.) I like being original...for the time being (more and more people are riding folders these days).

4.) I like being able to ride my bike to work, fold it, then chuck it under my desk.

5.) My folder delivers almost the same performance as any 26"/700C-wheeled bike (excluding the $2300 composite speed machines).

Last edited by james_swift; 11-26-05 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 11-26-05, 08:14 PM   #10
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+ 1 to all the posts and reasons above.

My (additional) reasons:

1. The fact that i have loved and tweaked all kinds of good quality "normal" sized bikes for most of my life and that once i got my current folder it blew them all away in terms of convenience as well as performance. My folder is faster (!), more robust, more manouverable, climbs better and more comfortable.
2. Because for me biking is all about riding... If a folder enables me to go out and ride more often/in situations i could previously not, well heck that is the real deal!
3. Because i think most folders look great, not ugly at all. It is just a matter of tradition/culture and the eye of the beholder. I guess if one used larger wheeled racers as reference one could mantain that BMXs or even MTB's are ugly too, but i find that akin to comparing apples with oranges.
4. Everything i explain in detail on my page (see sig).
5. About 35 more reasons.

None of this means i can't or don't enjoy riding 'regular size' bikes on occassion. But those occassions are rare, i just don't feel the need or see the benefit..

Last edited by v1nce; 11-26-05 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 11-27-05, 02:58 AM   #11
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well, geez, so many things i don't know what to comment on first!

ummmm...well, i guess the statement about ugly...it's true it's in the eye of the beholder and there are many designs...i just happen to not like any of the ones i've seen.

i see the benefits of taking it on public transit, but i tend not to use that myself.

i wouldn't expect they'd perform any worse than a regular bicycle. but i was just thinking, wondering "i know nothing about folding bikes, i may as well, get some people to defend them and they'll put some good reasons out there for them".

the security is probably the biggest thing, that you can have one anywhere and keep an eye on it. that sounds nice.

and the guy with the wikipedia site, i'll look it up. i'm on there all the time.

i doubt i'll get one anytime soon, but i've always been curious as to the reasons for riding one. though a couple of things have certainly sparked something in my mind (taking it on planes, and being able to carry it with you and have a bike anytime) as being sort of cool. thanks, all.
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Old 11-27-05, 08:36 PM   #12
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I think they're beautiful. I dare you to think so too after reading the above. Have a look at the new Dahon Mu or the Titanium Bike Friday's to further your quest. Or my 30 year old Raleigh Twenty in battleship grey. Link below... I love not having mine stolen and fitting it in the boot when my girlfriend picks me up in the car if I get a flat in the rain. (Why are they always in the rain?
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Old 11-27-05, 10:05 PM   #13
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I got one so I could bike commute -- my office building wouldn't allow my road bike inside and I'm not the sort who feels good about locking-up in NYC.

I've found plenty of other situations, of course, where folding is handy.
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Old 11-28-05, 12:07 AM   #14
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hmmm, i looked at that raleigh twenty, and while it doesn't fit my idea of a "beautiful bike"....there was something quirky and interesting about it. i just saw a picture of a fixed gear folding bike in the ss/fg forum...it also had an odd appeal to it. can't say just what. but yes, i see the practical advantages...i suppose there's a bike for everything...
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Old 11-28-05, 12:55 AM   #15
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Ha ha ha, you may have just felt the first subtle tuggs of the Dark Side,... It's insidious and unrelenting. Before you know it, you wake up one day and are suddenly craving a folder. That is what happened to me after reading Sheldon's twenty page and a couple more. Before that juncture (only about 6 months ago!) i would never ever seriously have considered using a folder as my main ride because i had only ridden loq quality ones.

Twenties are very nice if usually a bit old skool/retro in their look. The nice thing about custom Folders is that they can look so different though Pixel's Twenty is a beautifull speed/high end tweaked out machine , mine is more of an affordable comfort commuter with some bling parts, both reflect their owners i think.

Other very nice looking bikes are the Various Bike Fridays on the Fixed Gear Gallery. And perhaps the Xootr Swift you might like. The frame is/looks bigger and closer to normal bike and looks pretty modern.
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