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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 03-11-06, 01:12 PM   #1
spambait11
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Bike Friday has officially started spec'ing at least 3 single-speed models using flip-flop hubs. This probably also means track ends instead of vertical dropouts. Nice.
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Old 03-11-06, 01:28 PM   #2
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It took them long enough!
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Old 03-11-06, 03:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spambait11
Bike Friday has officially started spec'ing at least 3 single-speed models using flip-flop hubs. This probably also means track ends instead of vertical dropouts. Nice.
That's excellent news. Can't wait to see the pics.

Speaking of, there was a guy intrigued by my SS Swift on the train yesterday....he mentioned he has a BF that he wants to "get rid of the gear hub".
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Old 03-11-06, 04:28 PM   #4
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On BART? You should have asked him "Where's yo bike?"
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Old 03-11-06, 08:18 PM   #5
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as an old person, i am having trouble understanding why someone would want a single speed folder. I could use the guidance from you folks. I have 4 folders ranging from a 3spd piccalo , a 20 something speed expresso and two 27 spd fridays. When i was a kid in the 50s we had single speeds. i have come to feel that gears are good and they help my beat up body keep riding . soooo how bout some help why are single speeds even considered?
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Old 03-11-06, 08:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spambait11
On BART? You should have asked him "Where's yo bike?"
It was on the CalTrain actually...it was raining, and so he brought a beater bike instead.

He mentioned he really wanted to go SS, but didn't want to mess with getting the parts and putting it all together, which is why it would be cool if BF sold pre-converted SS rear wheel kits like Design Mobility does for the Swift (but then one has to deal with the vertical dropouts).
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Old 03-11-06, 08:51 PM   #7
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as an old person, i am having trouble understanding why someone would want a single speed folder. I could use the guidance from you folks. I have 4 folders ranging from a 3spd piccalo , a 20 something speed expresso and two 27 spd fridays. When i was a kid in the 50s we had single speeds. i have come to feel that gears are good and they help my beat up body keep riding . soooo how bout some help why are single speeds even considered?
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html
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Old 03-12-06, 07:28 AM   #8
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okay i am reading the link i was sent and the question still persisits. the author is two years older than i
am and his lifestyle is completly different.
soooo any other reasons would be helpful in answering the question. thanks for the info
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Old 03-12-06, 02:26 PM   #9
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For many, single-speed is a preference some adopt, and some don't.

Some pros:
It's lighter weight because you don't use geared hubs, derailleurs, cables, shifters, cassettes which can add considerably to the overall weight of the ride.

The drivetrain is easier to fix, manage, and maintain since you use less parts overall.

Can be geared appropriately for the individual rider's terrain and style.

Stronger built rear wheel since it does not use offset dishing.

Easier to fold because there are less cables to get kinked and bent when folded.

Cons:
An inability to shift to different gears.

Chainline straightness AND proper chain tension can be hard to set up. These problems becomes exacerbated especially when dealing with vertical dropouts.

Also with track ends, you need to make sure the wheel is not installed at an angle (which is the benefit of vertical dropouts).

Takes longer to change a rear wheel flat since most don't use quick-releases and/or use axle nut chain tensioners.

More tools to carry around - i.e. small crescent wrenches or extra size wrenches (particularly in 15mm and 13mm sizes).

In sum, it's not for everyone - kind of like Brooks saddles. All my uprights have been changed to single-speed and one fixed gear because on an upright, this feels better to me. However, my recumbents all have gears because, in my experience, gears are necessary for that kind of riding position. If your riding experience in the 50s on a single-speed wasn't bad, it's probably not worse now - or maybe it is.
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Old 03-12-06, 03:21 PM   #10
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They've been doing it for a while, but now they're actually advertising. I got mine about 3 months ago and love it. Here's the thread:

My new ride
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Old 03-12-06, 03:22 PM   #11
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I believe in compromises as we age. I rode the single speed stingrays back in the 1960's as a child. I went to the ever-popular "10 speed" in the seventies, eighties, and ninties with the friction gears, hard unyielding saddle, and downtube shifters during High School, College, and early Work period. Then I purchased my oldie-a 1968 British Phillips 3 speed-as a second bike to the road ones. I found out that all the gears and the high maintanence was a big unecessary headache. I opt back to internal gears, simplicity, and more enjoyment as well as a damn good emergency vehicle (the old bike out did my number one bike at the time of two transit strikes with stability and reliability-two qualities I admire in bikes). So I gave away the last of the road bikes and still have the old bike. And that bike is the model and inspiration for suceeding bikes that I purchased up to now and most likely in the future. I no longer will consider a single speed due to the vast number of hills in my area. The internal hub gear system is the only way for me-low maintanence, reliability, ease of shifting, weather/damage resistant and will age gracefully as I do (help me up ever steeper hills).
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Old 03-12-06, 03:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r-dub
They've been doing it for a while, but now they're actually advertising. I got mine about 3 months ago and love it. Here's the thread:

My new ride
I remember your thread, dub, and you have a sweet ride.

I know they've been doing these for a while, but I thought they were mainly special requests. Just surprised to see them added to the regular line-up.

BTW, did you get your fixed when Walter was giving out the deal which included the Phil hub? Looking at your pics again, it doesn't seem you fold it often because of the axle nuts?
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Old 03-12-06, 03:47 PM   #13
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C'mon ff, I'm sure you're not that old.

But I think I may re-visit a hub gear at some point. I didn't like the one on my Brompton as I couldn't find a comfortable gear to ride in, but if I ever get extra funds, I may look into a Rolhoff or other hub... years from now, hopefully.
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Old 03-12-06, 03:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spambait11
I remember your thread, dub, and you have a sweet ride.

I know they've been doing these for a while, but I thought they were mainly special requests. Just surprised to see them added to the regular line-up.

BTW, did you get your fixed when Walter was giving out the deal which included the Phil hub? Looking at your pics again, it doesn't seem you fold it often because of the axle nuts?
Yeah, when I got it was only on a special-request basis. I found Walter's blog and talked with him about it. It was after the promo, but he extended it a few days for me, so I got the phil upgrade for free.

I don't fold it super-often (not a transit bike, more for travel and to have an extra bike around - I'm a messenger, and have used this bike on several occasions when my other bikes got bad flats or were out of commission for some other reason.) I like the shorter wheelbase, so I keep the axle toward the front of the dropouts...if I wanted to fold more often, I'd add some links to the chain and keep it further back. As it is now, I have to unseat the chain for folding, but that only adds a few seconds to folding/unfolding.

One (of many) nice thing about Phil hubs is that they use 6mm allen keys to loosen and tighten. BF includes an ingenious 5/6 key that snaps neatly into the water bottle cage. This tool can be used to adjust almost anything on the bike that isn't quick release.
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Old 03-12-06, 09:13 PM   #15
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thanks to all for giving me some ideas as to why a single speed.
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