Hi! I've always liked folders, but never could justify one because I though that I could always get around more quickly on a trusty road bike- but now I have a genuine reason to go for a nice folder....
Great resource here, I am happy to have come across such a good forum, I have already learned a lot by searching around...
Anyways, I am trying to find a bike that meets these criteria:
*quickly folds to a size that would easily fit in a car (for bike-hitching)
*possible to use as a "touring" bike (relativley efficient on-road)
*comforatble for a tall (6ft 5 in) rider.
I am primarily drawn to 20" wheel models, and my budget is in the < $500 range. I am attracted to bikes like the airnimal, bike fridays (but they don't fold quickly), and some of dahon's top end bikes, but my budget has directed me more towards the used bike market (craigslist, ebay, ?any other suggestions?)
I would like for the bike to be comforatble as a touring bike - rather than sitting upright, for long rides, loaded with gear (not trailer). Also, I don't really like wasting my energy, so a bike that gets me around relativley quickly/ efficiently (for a folder) would be nice. External derailer instead of any of the internal setups is a necessity..
Lightweight is also a definate concern, as I would like to be able to cary this bike around easily when I am not riding it. probably < 25 lbs would be prefered...(Not shure how realistic this is) The primary use for this bike will be bike-hitching (hitchhiking with a bike, so I would like to be able to fold it to a size that "looks like it will fit in a car without any problems" easily and quickly) (would the dahon matrix- see below- qualify?)
Also, I would like the bike to not be a disposable type model, something well built that will take some abuse, not fall apart, and allow me to ride thousands of miles on it.... this is why I am leaning more towards a used bike...
A few possibilities (used market) are a Dahon Matrix (26in mountain bike frame), fuji folder (26in mountain bike frame) Dahon mariner d7, older raleigh twenty, giant halfway (looks like it won't be large enough for me? (I just spent the last 2 days looking around everywhere I could find online and off) Any specific recomendations, especially any info on the fugi folder would be greatly appreciated.
I like to work on bikes, so I figure that I can probably get a better deal overall if I go for a used bike...
Would a light-ish weight folding 26" bike (such as the Matrix) with more road type tires suit my needs? Would this bike (w/ 19" frame) be comfortable for a tall rider? usable for touring? stowable in a car? The used dahon matrix seems to be the best deal I have found overall, but im not sure if it would fold small enough for me...
Anyone have experience trying to carry one of these 26" folders around? how awkward are they to carry with you folded up? If you were the type to pick up hitchhikers, would you be inclined to pull over and pick someone up who had one of these sitting next to them?
In the used market, what 20" folders would you look for that might best meet these criteria? Where would you look for used folding bikes for sale in the states? What dahon models would best meet my criteria (new)- how about the downtube bikes (new)?-
Would the downtube bikes fit a 6'5" rider? be comfortable for touring? would you suggest the FS (full suspension model or normal model?)
Thank you very much for any advice!