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Thread: Best Folder

  1. #1
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    Best Folder

    seriously...
    which is the best folder available in the U.S.?
    which is the best low-budget folder available in U.S.?
    which is the best folder for petite person (5'4 and under) available in U.S.?
    thanks.

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    You should post what your needs are. Will you be carrying it, riding long distances/short distances? Should it fold extremely compact quickly, or is a bike that just separates in the middle ok.

    Downtube is about the only cheapy bike I would consider. Xootr Swift is very popular on this board.

    I ride a Montague and would not recomend it to anyone that did not require a 26" wheel.

  3. #3
    Member, Schmember DaFriMon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turtlesland
    seriously...
    . . .
    which is the best folder for petite person (5'4 and under) available in U.S.?
    thanks.
    For someone above or below average size, a custom built folder might be the way to go, if you're really particular about fit, and if you can afford it. For that, Bike Friday is probably best, but they are fairly expensive. Some shorter and taller people are happy enough with the one size fits all brands. It depends on how exactly you want your riding position dialed in.
    You're right, I do have more bikes than I need.

  4. #4
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    I am biased but not unreasonably so...

    Best general folder (but not most compact) - Swift (aka Xootr in mast produced guise)
    Best custom built (but not most compact) - Bike Friday
    Best folder for commuting combo bike/bus/metro - Brompton or Merc
    Best Value - Xootr or Downtube
    2nd Best value - mid-range Dahons

    If you are small the Brompton or Merc would be awesome.

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    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
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    Bike Friday has a petite series for smaller riders.. You can order their Pocket Rocket and Pocket Crusoe models in the petite series. The BF is more a travel bike that fits in a suitcase. For trains, etc...other folding bikes might be a better option...

    I'm sure others will disagree but I'm not a big fan of the 2006 Downtubes(non full suspension) and Dahon models for the smaller rider. The frames are longer(almost 2") than my Bike Friday and I'm 5'7".. The 2005Downtubes have a shorter frame so if I were to buy a budget folder, I'd get the 2005 non full suspension Downtube.

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    I rode a Birday recently and was super impressed, but there is an availability issue in the US right? Shame as they are nice bikes.

    As my sig says - I would recommend a Dahon for bang for buck or a Brompton for folded size.
    In my shed: Santa Cruz Bullit and Superlight, Ritchey BreakAway

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    Senior Member Tomaso's Avatar
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    There's not such a thing as 'best overall folder'. It all depends on what YOU want.

    There are of course the better brands such as: Brompton, Dahon, Swift, BF, Birdy, etc.
    It's like cars, some say Mercedes is best others say Toyota. It doesn't matter as long you are happy with the bike.

    Most of us here like Dahon,DownTube, Swift and Brompton, others stick to their beloved Twenty.

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    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    which is the best folder available in the U.S.?
    The best US folder available here in the US would be the Bike Fridays and the upper range Dahons for 20 inch wheels. Brompton for 16 inch wheels.
    which is the best low-budget folder available in U.S.?
    The best low-budget folder in the US would have been the Dahon Boardwalk. Since for some reason it is no longer offered here, the next choices are the Mariner 20 incher seven speed and the Speed 7. The Boardwalk was my first folder and an excellent choice for a good introduction into the world of folders.
    which is the best folder for petite person (5'4 and under) available in U.S.?
    I am in that size range (although I do not think of myself as petite!) The best ones for me was the Brompton. The Dahon is a very close second. Each are very adjustable, although the Brompton's brake levers had to be rotated a little up for my small hands.

    When I first entered into the world of folders, I chose the Boardwalk S1 (single speed) and extensively modified to fit my criteria of what I wanted out of my bike-AW three speed hub gearing, removed coaster brake and cheezy rear hub, added a Teckro brake lever and simple pivot brake to rear wheel-and have been pleased as punch for 2+ years. The Brompton is undergoing some simple modifications along the way as I see fit. Each offers some degree of freedom and flexibility when I travel anywhere on public or private transit. You do not have to spend a large amount of $$$ upfront in order to find happiness. Just know what you what for present and future riding styles to find the perfect fit.

  9. #9
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    the best folder is the one you like much and ride more than you thought you would when you bought it.

    thor

  10. #10
    Member, Schmember DaFriMon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic
    which is the best folder available in the U.S.?
    . . . .
    which is the best folder for petite person (5'4 and under) available in U.S.?
    I am in that size range (although I do not think of myself as petite!) The best ones for me was the Brompton. The Dahon is a very close second. Each are very adjustable, although the Brompton's brake levers had to be rotated a little up for my small hands. . . .
    Now I have a question. That's two people, you and Wav, who have mentioned Brompton as a good bike for a short rider. I'm below average myself at 5' 7". I've considered Bromptons myself, and one thing that put me off was the fixed height handlebars. It seemed that the fixed height bars on the M and P types would be about 3 inches above the saddle for me, in fact, slightly more for the P type. The S type bars would have been about right, but this seemed to come with their more expensive options. Although I could have lived with the higher bars, they didn't seem ideal. Do shorter Brompton riders mostly go with the S type bars? Are there other ways in which Bromptons are good for a shorter rider?

    As you may be able to tell, I'm still thinking of getting a Brompton , although not this year. By the time I decide, Merc may be another possibility.
    You're right, I do have more bikes than I need.

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    Best Folder

    Quote Originally Posted by geo8rge
    You should post what your needs are. Will you be carrying it, riding long distances/short distances? Should it fold extremely compact quickly, or is a bike that just separates in the middle ok.
    You are right. Thanks Geo8rge.
    My specs/details are as follows:
    -- For: commuting/recreational
    -- Where: L.A. area
    -- Want and need portability (ability to easily fold and bring inside)
    -- Me: 5'1''
    -- Bike history: Schwinn, Raleigh
    Other preferences-
    +Internal hubs
    +Adjustable handlebars
    +Easy foldability
    +Fun to ride

    Need help with wheel size. Do I want 16 or 20 inch? I was thinking of Dahon Piccolo or Presto Lite but when you have the Dahon dealer telling ya to go with 20", you get confused.

    Re budget-I dont want to break the bank on my first folder. I also want it to be a real keeper.
    thanks for all your help and suggestions.

  12. #12
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    I have 3 small children max age of 10 and youngest 7 and they all can ride the Brompton with some adjustments. They can all carry it too.

    I like the fold of the Brompton better than the Piccolo or Presto. B beats them hands down and the ride is much better. The P & P feel like toys compared to the B. Enough alphabet soup in that last sentence for you?

    As for budget all I can say is quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten. If you CAN buy the better bike, then buy it. Don't skimp out in some areas and end up selling a bike you didn't like. That will be a more costly mistake in the long run. I can't honesly consider the 2 16" wheel models from Dahon though I like a lot of their other models.

    Based on what you said you have few choices, Merc or Brompton. I have a great contact at Merc if you interested as the base model would work well. I also posted her address for Phil@Santa Fe Bikes to contact her. Their base model is very similar to upper level Brompton for less money. Phil sells Bromptons too and could ship you one. Of course you have local dealers as well but you could probably save enough on sales tax that it would still be cheaper to have it shipped to you from Santa Fe than to buy it in LA.

  13. #13
    Member, Schmember DaFriMon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
    I have 3 small children max age of 10 and youngest 7 and they all can ride the Brompton with some adjustments. . . . .
    But what adjustments exactly? Not asking to be difficult, really want to know. Do you rotate the bars so they're pointing backwards and not so high? Rotate the brake levers on the bars? Something I'm not thinking of? I just wonder, because that fixed height seems so limiting, and maybe there are other adjustments I don't know about.
    You're right, I do have more bikes than I need.

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    Seņor Mambo
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    At 5'7" I think you're tall enough so that you won't have to adjust the handlebars fore or aft too much. Besides, you couldn't put the bars back that far anyway as it will affect the fold.

    The Brompton does have you sitting more upright for comfort, so if you like riding in the drops, you'll probably hate the geometry of this bike. Another solution is to set the seat back a little so you get more extension.

    Or you could be like Andy and cut the stem tube and insert your own tube customized for your height.

  15. #15
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    I adjust the levers so they are more horizontal. I leave the just loose enough to rotate them but not so loose as to constantly fall. I move the seat forward on its track/rails.

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    Senior Member Fear&Trembling's Avatar
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    Are there other ways in which Bromptons are good for a shorter rider?
    Bromptons have a low standover height and shortish reach (but this varies depending on the model). In addition, the seat can be moved closer to the bars with a seat pin adaptor and the bars can be rotated, but not significantly.

    If you found the S-Type bars too low, you could always stick on a 25mm riser bar - I don't think this will foul the fold...

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    But what adjustments exactly? Not asking to be difficult, really want to know. Do you rotate the bars so they're pointing backwards and not so high? Rotate the brake levers on the bars? Something I'm not thinking of? I just wonder, because that fixed height seems so limiting, and maybe there are other adjustments I don't know about. -DaFriMon

    I had the bike mechanic at my present shop rotate it up about 30 degrees. My 2 fingers now casually drape themselves across the levers if desired, plus my squeezing pressure has improved vastly-allowing me to postpone major brake replacement (dual pivots) for at least a year to save up for it. Comfort also improved that I no longer ache with pain in my hands.

    I adjust the levers so they are more horizontal. I leave the just loose enough to rotate them but not so loose as to constantly fall. -Wavshrdr

    My brake levers are permamently tightened as to prevent accidental slippage. Besides, my fold is not affected in any way so why have it always loose?

    As for fitting the shorter rider, it depends on the rider's needs and wishes. The M type handbars (which I selected for mine) is great for a wide range of riders that like a more straight sitting up postition. The P type handlebars was my second choice. It is more like my old road bike as to allow a wider choice of positions. Unfortunally, it only has the brakes at the top of the handlebars and with these maniacs I must deal with on a daily basis, I felt it would not be the best choice for me. The S type is very sporty with it's lower postion straight bar. It seems to be suggested for the shorter rider. I think it depends more on the rider's preference than size. I like to move about now as I age. I do not like to be locked into one position. When I used road bikes, that is all I was doing-hunched over.

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