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  1. #1
    Senior Member smurray's Avatar
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    Help me find a folder that will fit me

    I've recently started researching folding bikes as I am in need of one for school. My current situation forces me to drive to campus, yet my classes are spread out enough that I need a bike while actually on campus. Since my car isn't big enough to hold a full size bike, I decided a folding bike would be the perfect solution. I had all but decided on getting a Dahon Jack when I suddenly noticed the weight limit on the bike was 230 lbs. I'm a pretty big guy at about 6'3" and I currently weigh in at around 250lbs. I'm trying to lose weight, but that's a different story altogether. Anyway, I hope to eventually be under the 230 limit, but I'm worried that I may break it while riding for a few months before I reach that goal. Plus I need to take into consideration the few lbs of books I'll be carrying with me.

    Basically my question is two-fold. Firstly, should I give up on the Jack altogether at this point. And if so, what other bike would you recommend? I've looked into a Montague CX, however I've noticed it isn't getting the greatest of reviews. I need to keep the bike around $400, definitely no higher than $450. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member, Schmember DaFriMon's Avatar
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    I'll guess that you'll get some responses along the lines of "I weigh as much as/more than you, and I haven't had any problem with a _____".

    The thing is, you can probably get away with going significantly over a manufacturer's specified weight limit, but if something does fail, then you may have trouble trying to make a warranty claim. In your price range, you may just have to accept that. It's more likely that you'll break spokes than the frame itself, so that's at least fixable.

    In your price range, the Jack, and other low end Dahons, sound reasonable. You could also look at Downtubes. The smaller wheels could actually be stronger.
    You're right, I do have more bikes than I need.

  3. #3
    Senior Member smurray's Avatar
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    I checked out the Downtube website, and their FS (full suspension) model seemed pretty nice. I couldn't find a weight limit listed, does anyone know what it is by chance? Also, would Downtube be good as my only bike? One of the main reasons I was looking at the Dahon's was because it was a full sized bike. Whatever bike i get will need to be used as both my campus commuter bike as well as my everyday exercise bike.

  4. #4
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    "Basically my question is two-fold. Firstly, should I give up on the Jack altogether at this point. And if so, what other bike would you recommend? I've looked into a Montague CX, however I've noticed it isn't getting the greatest of reviews. I need to keep the bike around $400, definitely no higher than $450. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated." -findingemo

    I would use caution when overstepping on Downtube's (or any other make's) bike fit. The metal parts of the said bike would probably support you with no problem, but the flexible hinges and latches-that is where you are most likely to experience problems. I think that you should contact Downtube directly (either email or telephone them) about their recommended weight for their bikes. Something like this should not be overlook when your safety is at stake. Don't focus too much on reviews, rather than what would work for you. Take additional time to actually contact Montague about how their specs of their bikes would match you. The CX sounds like something I would look into more before finalizing my decision.

  5. #5
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by findingemo
    I checked out the Downtube website, and their FS (full suspension) model seemed pretty nice. I couldn't find a weight limit listed, does anyone know what it is by chance? Also, would Downtube be good as my only bike? One of the main reasons I was looking at the Dahon's was because it was a full sized bike. Whatever bike i get will need to be used as both my campus commuter bike as well as my everyday exercise bike.
    I seem to recall the weight limit of the Downtube FS to be around 230/240. If you're 10 lbs heavier (temporarily ), I certainly wouldn't worry about it. It's a very sturdy bike. The frame and handlebars can stand up to abuse.

    I would be concerned about your height, though. The new model is two inches higher than last years. I am 6' even with a 34" true inseam and the seatpost extension on old model was not quite tall enough for me to consider long rides on the bike (longer than 10 or 15 miles). If your true inseam (measured from floor to crotch) is more than 36", be sure to check it out carefully. Good thing is that DT allows you a 30 day satisfaction guarantee ( you just pay the return shipping).

    The DT FS is a very good bike. The suspension is good for taking the edge off potholes and pavement cracks, but don't think you're getting a mountain bike. As I said, it's built tough and therefore a little on the heavy side. But, I think they're a really great value at $350 and given your budget, I don't think you'll get a better buy.

  6. #6
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    "I've looked into a Montague CX, however I've noticed it isn't getting the greatest of reviews. "

    As an owner I can say I like it, after I replaced most everything except the frame. You might be able to get a cheap used Montague or frame off ebay/CL and then upgrade. Their Hummer product has much better parts.

    I would say any steel bike with 36 spoke wheels will be just fine.

    Smaller diameter wheels are actually stronger than similar quality large diameter wheels.

    I personally doubt a cheap suspension shock will be able to support you.

    If you already own a steel bike you like, a frame builder can 'hack' it into a folding bike for about $500. www.sandsmachine.com
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  7. #7
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    If you can swing it, the Bike Friday New World Tourist can be made to fit you and fold and bear up under much heavier riders than you. And when you lose weight, it can take your packs. Steel construction with high-quality components, and of course, folds to fit in a standard rolling flight case.

  8. #8
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    Hi,

    I'm a nUb in the biking world but having graduate from college last month I can confidently say that carring a backpack with hardcover science textbooks, binders, water bottle, etc, will easily add 10 pounds or more. Lighter traveling is possible though. As others have said, I doubt the bike will break unless you're jumping off the stairs or something.

    Anyways, have fun losing weight! College is def the place to do it. Most uni's have exercise facilities on campus and have lots of opportunities to be active. Sadly, most people gain weight after graduating and finding a job because they become more sedentary.

    later, jUng

  9. #9
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    I use a Strida myself, which I chose because it's compact, transportable and low-maintenance (no greasy chain or complex joints). I was apprehensive when researching them, but was surprised at how solid it feels to ride. According to the UK website the weight limit is 250lbs and height limit 6'4". I have heard, however that they're hard to come by in the US...I hope this helps. Good luck!

  10. #10
    I like chrome. Donkey Hodie's Avatar
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    The Strida sounds like a great college campus solution. I am personally looking into a steel swift for similar reasons. I Myself am 6'2" 240 lbs and on my way down to the 200'ish area. I think the the steel swift looks like it can handle a heavier rider no problem. Especially with one or two suspension upgrades(sprung saddle, thudbuster seat post, fatter tires, suspension forks, etc...)

    Does anyone here ride a swift who is in mine and the original poster's height/weight range?

  11. #11
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    If I were you I would consider a bike rack for your car. Easy to lash down a regular sized bike that can easily handle your size. Make it a beater and no one will steal it. When you get to a lower weight then go buy the folder of your choice.

  12. #12
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by findingemo
    I checked out the Downtube website, and their FS (full suspension) model seemed pretty nice. I couldn't find a weight limit listed, does anyone know what it is by chance? Also, would Downtube be good as my only bike? One of the main reasons I was looking at the Dahon's was because it was a full sized bike. Whatever bike i get will need to be used as both my campus commuter bike as well as my everyday exercise bike.
    I recall several posts stating that the Full Suspension performed poorly with heavier riders.

    You can e-mail Yan directly to get an official estimate.

  13. #13
    Senior Member law4jba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balto charlie
    If I were you I would consider a bike rack for your car. Easy to lash down a regular sized bike that can easily handle your size. Make it a beater and no one will steal it. When you get to a lower weight then go buy the folder of your choice.
    If you have a hatch back/wagon/SUV/van - put the back seats down and most bikes will fit inside. I've been doing this for about 8 months with a pontiac vibe and a schwinn traveler. I have the bike for commuting by boat/bike when the weather cooperates and the bike is locked inside when I have to take the subway.

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