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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 06-05-06, 01:12 PM   #1
Zonker
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Am I too big for a folder?

Hi, I'm 6'3", and fluctuate between 230 and 235. I have 3 bikes already, but would like to explore a folder for throwing in the trunk for trips to visit family, etc. Which makes are considered to be the most sturdy?
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Old 06-05-06, 04:24 PM   #2
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Many folders are specified with a weight limit of 230. Check the manufacturer's or distributor's web site. I suspect there is plenty of design margin. The implication of exceeding a weight limit is that you pay for the repair if one is required. (But you probably would anyway.)

I'm 260 and often carry a 25 pound backpack. My KHS Cappuccino has carried me reliably for over a year with no problems. I pay close attention to the rear wheel, which is the component I think is most stressed by rider weight. My rear wheel is steel and has 32 spokes. I inflate the tire to 55 psi even though the tire is rated at 40. Because of the higher pressure, I replaced the rubber rim strip with Velox rim tape. When I go over a bump I stand on the pedals a little to take some weight off the rear wheel.
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Old 06-05-06, 06:14 PM   #3
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Too heavy for a folder???

Hello Zonker, I weigh 225 and have been riding and selling Bromptons for over 10 years. You will have no problem with your weight and height. You can check our web site at www.foldabikes.com to read comments from many Brompton owners. You are welcome to call me to discuss the Brompton at 800 783 3447. Regards, Channell
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Old 06-05-06, 06:22 PM   #4
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I'm a lot shorter and lighter than you, so can't say from experience. However, if you can budget for it, look at Bike Fridays. They are custom built; they'll ask you your weight, and build a frame to match. There may be a rider weight above which they will not go, but you'll be well within that. In fact, they can probably build a bike which will take your own weight, and a fair amount of luggage as well. They'll also build to your dimensions, and with the components you select, but none of this comes cheap.

Plenty of other brands will probably be fine for you as far as weight goes, even though you'll be close to their limit. Another thing to think about is that you might need to get some sort of longer seatpost on some of them, so make sure one is available. In some cases, too, you may want a longer stem. You could probably get a Swift to fit you this way, and they're less expensive than Bike Fridays. As I recall, their upper weight limit is supposed to be about 250, but you'd better ask them directly.

Last edited by DaFriMon; 06-05-06 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 06-05-06, 06:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zonker
Hi, I'm 6'3", and fluctuate between 230 and 235. I have 3 bikes already, but would like to explore a folder for throwing in the trunk for trips to visit family, etc. Which makes are considered to be the most sturdy?
I recently bought a Brompton from Channell and ordered the optional telescopic seat post that gives tall riders the same seat-to-crank geometry they get with full size bikes. Brompton also has a $12.00 option for extra stiffening of seat posts they recommend for riders who weigh more than 250 pounds.

I'm really happy with the compactness of the folded Brompton, the quality of the ride, and the gearing which is similar to a full size road bike.
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Old 06-06-06, 05:44 AM   #6
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I'm 6'1", 230#.

I have a Dahon Speed 7 that I commute on every day and it's just fine. I also "ride light" on city streets, as Platy does. If I want to hammer, I'll use my Cannondale MTB!
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Old 06-06-06, 02:16 PM   #7
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I'm 260 - tried out a few different folders (all rated for below my weight!).

Downtube felt incredibly solid. I found the Dahon and Montague bikes flexed a bit too much for my taste. There's a discussion here on it too.

I found a vintage folding Russian commuter bike on Craigslist which has been serving me well and is built like a tank.
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Old 06-07-06, 02:03 PM   #8
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Thanks one and all for the replies. Any folder owners in the Atlanta, GA area that would be willing to let me try their bike? I'd like to make sure I don't look or feel like a bear on a circus bike before I plunk down the $$$ on one sight unseen. Maybe Channell could send me down a test Brompton!
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Old 06-07-06, 05:25 PM   #9
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I have two Dahons, a Speed TR and MU SL. in Roswell but just over in East Cobb and hence a Marietta address. I'd be happy to meet up with you and let you try them out. PM me and we'll try to work out the details.
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Old 06-08-06, 11:54 AM   #10
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Consider getting a good (used?) steel frame bike of your choice (perhaps craigslist or ebay). Then have it hacked ($500) http://www.sandsmachine.com/ . I wish I did this instead of getting the Montague, long term it would have cost less. If all you want is to fit it in a trunk, thats the way to go. Maybe you already have a steel frame bike?

A full size bike will always be awkward in trains stations airports folded or not, but will fit in the trunk just fine.

You will have to carry your special rachet tool with you at all times or you may be put in the embarassing position of wishing you could break your bike in two, but can't. Sometimes the law gives me trouble at the train stations and makes me fold it up, even though the train is empty. Or they have special rules on certain days, blah blah blah ...

Having a hacked bike will give you instant street cred with the the bike cognisetti (especially the ones that do that for a living).
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