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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.

View Poll Results: Are you interested in joining a folder focused bicycle club?
No. Who would ride one of those tiny little things anyway. 1 5.00%
Yes but only if it is free. I am too cheap or poor to help support the club. 4 20.00%
Yes and I am willing to pay a moderate sum (<25$US) to help support it. 15 75.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-14-06, 06:54 PM   #1
Wavshrdr
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Rafael Guerra and I have been having detailed off-forum conversations regarding starting a folder focused club. We are looking at forming a club that would have low dues to help support the club and related site. It is not free to setup a website, have a server to host it and buy the bulletin board software to run it but Rafael and I are willing to share the startup costs to help get it off the ground.

We would have club specific decals, pins, stickers, patches and/or other items developed to show your love of the sport. I have already contacted a shop who would be willing to give us "member discounts" on accessories and possibly even on new bikes they carry. That way there would be a tangible benefit for members that would more than offset any dues structure. I also discussed with them the option of very substantial discounts on "group buys" if we could get enough people interested in 1 particular item be it mirrors, tires, tubes, etc. The shop I spoke with is willing to ship internationally so don’t worry if you are not in North America.

We will be also looking at companies who might be willing to help sponsor the club and its site as well. Rafael and I are working on sort of a business plan to structure everything. You need a business plan even if you aren't running a business as any sponsor will want to know how you are structuring everything with respect to a professional manner.

The thought is to be a vendor neutral club/site that will encourage open discourse on all things related to folders. We would like to feature a unique bike each month and review folder specific products. I personally don't want to see it become just a Brompton or Dahon type club. Ideally we want all folders to be welcome and for all people to participate sort of like what we have here. At the same time we would like to have FAQ's for people just getting into folders to help attract the cross-over riders. It would be cool to have a “Rides” section where you can showcase all the mods you have made to your tricked out ride.

We want it to be more than just a forum but a valuable resource to all things related to folders. In addition who wouldn't mind saving money on accessories or a new bike? I think it would be great to have a direct relationship with many companies to get quick answers to some burning questions and have folder specific news. I was really turned off by the UK's folder society as almost no bike but a Brompton need apply. I like my Bromptons but they are not "all that" for the US market. I also don't want it to be US centric either but to encourage riders of all locale and national origin to participate. I am multi-lingual and I am sure quite a few others on this board are as well so we can help others all over the world. I will copy a major part of this thread to start the new club related thread to gauge widespread interest.

The idea is not to compete with bikeforums.net but to augment it. We have need of talented people to help lend their expertise. We can’t compensate you but we can give you recognition. Rafael and I are doing this because we love the sport and want to see it grow. Any likeminded individuals are welcome to contribute their talents. We are still working on a name and other details. At this point nothing is concrete but we want to gauge interest before investing a lot of our time and money. We are also interested in trying to put together events or specific rides for people to meet up and share their love of the sport. A great way to get exposure is to do charity rides. Ride for the American Heart Association or Red Cross and get media attention that way AND at the same time benefit your fellow man. It make the news if people cycle for 200 miles for a charity weekend fundraiser but think how impressive that would appear to many people if we did it on little tiny wheels. If we have enough interest we are tentatively planning at going “live” sometime around mid-April. If you are interested please leave a post here or email me via the site. Maybe we are crazy but maybe there are enough of you interested in contributing and being a part of this to make it work. I personally wouldn’t mind saving some money on accessories or bikes not to mention maybe having something with a cool logo as well to show my devotion to the sport. Of course anyone and everyone is welcome even if they don’t have a folder. Give them time and the will come around.

Last edited by Wavshrdr; 02-14-06 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 02-14-06, 09:43 PM   #2
juan162
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I'm definitely interested and am definitely interested in helping out on the logo. I have design experience and would love to take a crack at the logo. I play well with others and would invite any suggestions/ideas,
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Old 02-14-06, 09:45 PM   #3
Wavshrdr
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Bienvenido Juan! All help is appreciated as well as all interest

For those of you reading this thread, you don't have to vote but if you are interested or have input please post.
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Old 02-14-06, 09:56 PM   #4
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No dought this project would be very interesting, specialy for someone who lives in the "out skirts" of the center of the world. My main problem with folders and where I live is that there are no components, such as top of the line 20 inch wheels or even tires or tubes. If I order a component from the net there is the handling charge and the previously established shipping fees that are over priced. Certainly such a folding club would help me a lot.

Count on me for such project.
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Old 02-15-06, 04:49 AM   #5
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Interesting - the more I use them the more I think folders offer a really fun and valuable solution to transport and storage. So the more clubs and activities the better. But how would a new club be different or better than what there is ?

Could it have a strong mission statement (as above) that people stick to in an open way ?
For example, would 'vendor neutral' mean bye bye Yan ? ;-)
Could it also be country neutral ? or would it be US centric ?
How would it differ from this forum ?

I agree about folding society and AtoB in Uk sometimes appearing to be 'brompton owners clubs' (it never bothered me as i have a brompton but there is definately some bias). But likewise this forum sometimes appears to concentrate on Swift's and Downtubes - (just as examples - which is slightly boring for us in UK where these are not really available).

It would be difficult to avoid such baises as we are all human and all have different stuff available to us, as well as different needs and preferences. At best it is so easy to get enthusiastic about your own choices, and at worst this becomes "my xxxxx is bigger/better/smaller/faster than your yyyyy" ......... yawn !

So, bearing in mind these observations, I'd be up for a new club....... Si
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Old 02-15-06, 05:20 AM   #6
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I'd be up for it and would not mind paying, even though i am 'poor' by most standards, but this is tied in (whether i can and want to pay) what i wrote on this in the 16 inch Downtube thread.

Keep me posted please!
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Old 02-15-06, 05:40 AM   #7
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Sounds great ! But yes, it has to stay neutral. Sponsorship is OK, but as Simple Simon already asked: NO COMMERCIAL TALK on the new forum. (You know my opinion about the DT-mania, DT has created itself)
I see lots of folders on my way to work every morning, might be interesting to make a sort of a leaflet to hand over to other folder users, so people get to know the new forum not only by googling,......
So I voted : YES, I can contribute a (very) small sum of money, not too much though.

So, Holland and Belgium are saying 'YES' (v1nce and I), WE'LL CONCUR EUROPE !
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Old 02-15-06, 09:28 AM   #8
james_swift
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Brilliant idea. It would be nice to have a resource where dealers/after-market parts vendors for folders are consilidated into one convenient site. Test rides and product reviews would also be most interesting.
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Old 02-15-06, 09:59 AM   #9
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Although I am optimistic about riding a folder, since I have not yet taken possession of my folder, it would be premature for me to join, if there was a fee. If after a time, I really love my folder and develop similar enthusiasum , I would join a fee based group. This would also depend where in the world I was and whether I had easy internet access. I would want to fee to be somewhat low.

SG
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Old 02-15-06, 11:30 AM   #10
Wavshrdr
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SG - thanks for the feedback. We are not talking a large fee here. Sort of like what a upgraded membership would cost here at bikeforums. The object of the fee is not to be profitable enterprise but to cover the costs of the website and hosting. On the flip side of that the discounts could more than make up for any cost of the site. I don't want to see an issue where the site is supported is by very intrusive advertisements. I would rather pay something than to be bombarded with annoying ads. We are trying to figure out the best model to adopt.
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Old 02-15-06, 12:13 PM   #11
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Please count me in. The Bike Forums and the Dahon sites have been invalualble in getting me involved with the folder world as well as learning to live/ride with them. I agree with you not to become to attached to any one make. These biases sometimes do get in the way of deciding which folder style is the best one for that particular individual. I do hope you also consider adding special sections for women, and children since these groups quietly do use them and sometimes it seems that the makers tend to ignore these groups and concentrate on men only.
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Old 02-15-06, 12:17 PM   #12
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I guess we would have a "public" section which would be open for anyone on the internet, and a private one for members. Of course the big question is what features will make the paid member section worth it? Supporting a theoretically unbiased fixed gear group, and being able to have a cool bike shirt with the logo plus some discounts are all a good start. What else would be good to features for "premier" (paying) members? Just throwing out some questions to get some feedback,
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Old 02-15-06, 02:56 PM   #13
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The premium members would have access to special discounts that I am negotiating with bike shops. I am hoping that I can work out something with some of the manufacturers of bikes as well. This is is not a get-rich scheme for Rafael and I as if you want to get rich on the internet you need to sell porno. Now there is a thought. Premium content will show naked...bikes in all their glory.

I think it is very important to keep it vendor neutral to attract all riders. I would like to have sort of an expert on each marque that at least has a few riders owning them. While I may have a Swift and love it, I do have several other folders so I personally have no great bias going in.

I definitely think we should have content for all types of riders; European, American, young, old, male, female, fixies, touring, etc. Of course the challenge is you can't be all things to everyone BUT I feel we should definitely make it open so all folder enthusiasts are welcome as well as those just starting to check them out.

Keep the input coming everyone. We are trying to design something customized for folders enthusiasts. We don't want to waste time on things that aren't important. This is sort of a grass roots movement in some ways. I am involved only because I love this aspect of the sport and want to try and build a better sense of community that has no prejudice against what you ride.
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Old 02-15-06, 04:00 PM   #14
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One of the (many) objectives of this club is to provide hands on experience reviews showing specific details of folders so newbies can make a more educated decision when buying a folder can't be based on personal feeling of each and every model available.

Getting discounts from selective supporters is just a nice consequence of something bigger than the financial benefit.

It's still an Embryo, but it's already showing a head and some body parts. (:

Rafael
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Old 02-15-06, 07:07 PM   #15
James H Haury
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No politics please.I had a bad experience with the chicago folding bicycle society.
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Old 02-15-06, 07:11 PM   #16
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James- I am not interested in politics. I don't care if you Repulican, Democrat, Tory or Labor, everyone would be welcome. I am sure Rafael would agree that this is about the love of folders and no agenda is being promoted. I personally don't care what anyone rides even if you spend most of your time on a diamond frame bike or 'bent as long as you are interested in folders you are encouraged to participate.
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Old 02-15-06, 07:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James H Haury
No politics please.I had a bad experience with the chicago folding bicycle society.
I would hope that that one would be a no brainer to stay out of!! I am a member of Bikejournal...it is a nice, friendly place. Whenever someone starts anything having to do with politics, everyone politely tells them to stop, so that we can get to the more important business of Bicyles!!!
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Old 02-15-06, 10:15 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
Now there is a thought. Premium content will show naked...bikes in all their glory.
Wav, unless you want to get locked up, I would only show 18+ year old naked folders.
Now, if folders age like dogs then I guess a 2+ year old folder could be displayed and remember this is a family oriented forum.

SG
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Old 02-16-06, 08:33 AM   #19
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I concur that all the content should be available to anyone surfing the site, but the mentioned benefits for paying members sounds great and more than enough incentive for people to join.
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Old 02-16-06, 09:44 AM   #20
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I agree with Tomaso, I'm a newbie here, but all of this Downtube talk has made me want to frequent this site less as a resource for folding bike info. I think it's great that the guy from Downtube seems to be responsive to people who have bought his bikes, but why doesn't he have his own forum on his own site for that purpose? It's really shameless.
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Old 02-16-06, 12:56 PM   #21
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It's not shameless, it is simply the best way of reaching potential customers. Downtube is simply too small a company to start their own forums-beside you have to pay a webmaster to oversee the reponses and that takes money out of it's capital!
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Old 02-16-06, 12:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jss273nyc
I agree with Tomaso, I'm a newbie here, but all of this Downtube talk has made me want to frequent this site less as a resource for folding bike info. I think it's great that the guy from Downtube seems to be responsive to people who have bought his bikes, but why doesn't he have his own forum on his own site for that purpose? It's really shameless.
I am not Yan's lawyer but what is wrong about his participation on this forum and the potencial new folding club ? I think that everyone of us is gaining with Yan's participation in our "talks" and I am really sorry that owners/managers of other folding companies are not also participating in this forum. And jss, all of us have to recognise that Bike Forums is the most populated bicycle forum in the world.

Last edited by caotropheus; 02-16-06 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 02-17-06, 02:52 AM   #23
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@ jss, i heartily disagree with you 100%. I have explained in other threads why i think Yan's involvement here is honorable and beneficial to us all. To be honest if what you write is really how you feel and you will stick to that,.. i for one would not mind particularly if indeed you end up visiting this forum less or not at all...

I know that i'd not miss you calling someone like Yan 'shameless' one bit, if anything i think you slightly shame yourself with that statement, it show a rather judgemental nature IMO. So, if those are the kind of contributions that you will be making (after all the post above is only your third..) to the forum well,.. don't let the door hit you on the way out. But that's just my opinion.

Last edited by v1nce; 02-17-06 at 03:01 AM.
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Old 02-17-06, 03:46 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
I was really turned off by the UK's folder society as almost no bike but a Brompton need apply.
It might be worth noting that the Folding Society articles are written by members (mostly British) and the vast majority ride Bromptons (logically enough, given local conditions). Stand at any London rail terminal during rush hour and you will see wave after wave of Bromptons come by, and no other folding bike. Other countries have different foci. By the way, there is a fair amount on the Folding Society about both Dahon and Airnimal with lesser amounts on other brands.

Good luck with your planned folding bike club but I think it will be an uphill struggle to charge members for it. A large amount of information is available for free on forums like this and various enthusiast websites. The Moulton Club is slowly contracting for similar reasons.
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Old 02-17-06, 05:30 AM   #25
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Guys, Guys! Let's not start the DT-discussion again ! Everybody is entitled to have an opinion and use a forum to make it known to the world. My opinion is different from v1nce's, that's cool, otherwise we wouldn't need forums on the web ! If DT wants to be part of the new forum, and 90% give their blessing, then who am I to say 'no'? I will have to live with that or bugger off.... Simple as that.



If we would all ride Dahon Jetstreams, there would be no need for a (new) forum, if we would all drive VW Beetles,BMW, or Mercedes life would be boring (that's why I drive ALFA )
Luckely people all have their own ideas and preferences......

PLEASE RESPECT EVERY-ONES OPINION, THAT'S WHAT MAKES IT SO GREAT HAVING A BIKE-FORUM!!!

I hereby declare peace over the DT-topic
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