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  1. #1
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    Carrying / riding experience with folding bikes?

    He, I am new here and looking into buying a Brompton folding bike as it's heavily recommended on so many sites. I try to find out what's important to look at and what I need for getting to work.
    One of my shortlisted option is the very basic model M3L with 3 gears but it's 11.4 kg heavy.
    The other one is the S2L-X with a titanium frame and still has got 9.7kg and 2 gears.

    I would be happy to hear from you and your experiences with your folding bikes?

    1) Do you find that 2 or 3 gears are enough? In my case it a city commute with only some slight slopes.

    2) How is it going with carrying your bikes? I am a girl and most of the reviewers seem to be guys, probably a bit stronger than me. I lifted the 9.7 kg and that was just ok when thinking about carrying it around onto the train or so but it costs £400 more (I get it for 200) for being 1.7 kg lighter than the other option. I wonder if it's worth it? Did you buy a lightweight and are happy that you did? How often do you really carry your bike and as I far as I have seen on the forum here people find some good ways to push the bike more than carrying it. What do you think?

    3) Get clothes get dirty from carrying the bike (I wanted to try to restrict myself to ride the bike when it's halfway decent weather otherwise take the tube with the bike.) All the reviews I read so far were that people where carrying lots clothes around or having clothes deposited at work which doesn't really appeal to me.

    4) Furthermore a friend said that riding a folding bike is a bit of a different experience and you get to pedal harder and you therefore sweat more easily. My commute is just half an hour, maybe 6-8 km and I originally thought it's doable without changing clothes. I just start a new job (that requires the commuting) and don't want to be overcomplicated with asking for shower neither I want to carry around another set of clothes or bother others with some unpleasant smell. Any ideas on this?

    5) Any recommendations for a good rucksack that lets air circulate on the back?

    I would be happy to get some ideas from you! And thanks for it!

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    Hi Tinchen,
    And welcome. First off, take a look at this thread:

    http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=279278

    This lovely lady had alot of the same issues as you. You will see that she ended up with a Dahon Curve for a multitude of reasons, one of which being that it was the only one she felt she could seriously carry around. You will have to make your on decisions.

    As far as item # 4, this is one of the biggest myths about folding bikes. They are no harder to pedal than a normal bike. The smaller wheels just mean the gearing might be a little different, but it will be no harder to pedal than any conventional bike. If you have a lot of hills, you may want to go with a bike with more gears, but that is about it. The only real difference will be in bike handling. Smaller wheels feel "twitchy" when you first start using them. The feeling goes away in a week, though.

    I encourage you to look through the list of older bike threads, as many of your questions are answered in depth, there,

    Juan

  3. #3
    Member, Schmember DaFriMon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinchen
    . . . 1) Do you find that 2 or 3 gears are enough? In my case it a city commute with only some slight slopes.
    For that kind of ride, the 3 gears of a Brompton would be ample. You could consider their optional 12% gear reduction (reduces each of your gears by 12%). One of my bikes is a 3 speed Dahon Curve, and I get up moderate hills with no trouble. I do use bikes with a wider range for long rides over varied terrain.

    . . .
    3) Get clothes get dirty from carrying the bike (I wanted to try to restrict myself to ride the bike when it's halfway decent weather otherwise take the tube with the bike.) All the reviews I read so far were that people where carrying lots clothes around or having clothes deposited at work which doesn't really appeal to me.
    I always do carry extra clothes on the bike, and keep some at work too. Some people manage to ride in their work clothes without much problem. Keep your bike frame clean, and watch out for the chain. Yes, I know Bromptons fold with the chain inside. I mean while riding.

    4) Furthermore a friend said that riding a folding bike is a bit of a different experience and you get to pedal harder and you therefore sweat more easily. . .
    What Juan said.


    5) Any recommendations for a good rucksack that lets air circulate on the back? . . .
    Don't use a rucksack (just my opinion). If you get the Brompton, I'd suggest their front carrier system, or a bag on their rear rack. With other bikes, possibly a bag on the rear rack would be the way to go. The exact kind of bag depends on what you have to carry.
    You're right, I do have more bikes than I need.

  4. #4
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Brompton, Curve or Downtube Mini.

    Brompton is by far the easiest to carry once folded. Curve is a great bike (I sold ALL my folders and currently I only have a curve). All Downtube Mini owners reported back to this forum very happy with their products.

    For the Price of a Brompton, you can almost buy 1 curve with the El Bolso bag + a DT Mini, so, is the foldability thing worthing THAT much? For me, it didn't.

  5. #5
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinchen
    3) Get clothes get dirty from carrying the bike (I wanted to try to restrict myself to ride the bike when it's halfway decent weather otherwise take the tube with the bike.)
    Bikes with internal hubs (ie. no external derailleurs) have a big advantage in keeping your clothes from being soiled by grease and grime. Both the Curve and Downtube Mini had internal hubs. The Curve is 3 speed, the Mini is 8 speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by juan162
    Hi Tinchen,
    And welcome. First off, take a look at this thread:

    http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=279278

    This lovely lady had alot of the same issues as you. You will see that she ended up with a Dahon Curve for a multitude of reasons, one of which being that it was the only one she felt she could seriously carry around. You will have to make your on decisions.

    As far as item # 4, this is one of the biggest myths about folding bikes. They are no harder to pedal than a normal bike. The smaller wheels just mean the gearing might be a little different, but it will be no harder to pedal than any conventional bike. If you have a lot of hills, you may want to go with a bike with more gears, but that is about it. The only real difference will be in bike handling. Smaller wheels feel "twitchy" when you first start using them. The feeling goes away in a week, though.

    I encourage you to look through the list of older bike threads, as many of your questions are answered in depth, there,

    Juan

    Juan162, thank you very much. Thatís good information.

    I looked up the thread you said. Seems really that she has got a similar height / weight and therefore similar issues with how much she can carry. I will look into the Dahon Curve. Sounds good as well. The Dahon Curve SL costs also half the price of the Brompton lightweight version. I was at a bike shop yesterday and the shop staff said that they will stop selling the Dahon brand as they have lots of repairs and it takes the company ages to get back to them and to send the spare parts. On the other hand I found lots of happy users on the threads of this site.... However is it easy to push around and carry? Does it have a suspension as the Brompton?

    As for the gears, do you think that 2 gears are enough at all? The lightweight version of Brompton has got only 2 gears. So itís a big tradeoff, isnít it? Lots of money for 1.7kg and than in addition one gear less. Hmmm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch
    Bikes with internal hubs (ie. no external derailleurs) have a big advantage in keeping your clothes from being soiled by grease and grime. Both the Curve and Downtube Mini had internal hubs. The Curve is 3 speed, the Mini is 8 speed.
    He Sesame Crunch, thank you very much for the info! Very much appreciated. Maybe a stupid question, but does the hub stay internal when you fold the bike, doesn't it? I imagine that it needs less maintenance as well, doesn't it?

    Btw what kind of maintenance work do you do with your bike? Oiling it once a month? etc.?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R
    Brompton, Curve or Downtube Mini.

    Brompton is by far the easiest to carry once folded. Curve is a great bike (I sold ALL my folders and currently I only have a curve). All Downtube Mini owners reported back to this forum very happy with their products.

    For the Price of a Brompton, you can almost buy 1 curve with the El Bolso bag + a DT Mini, so, is the foldability thing worthing THAT much? For me, it didn't.
    Hi 14R,
    you are quite right. What is the difference between the Curve and the Brompton in your experience? Is the Curve model easy to fold & carry? Spotted the SL version with less than 10kg....

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaFriMon
    For that kind of ride, the 3 gears of a Brompton would be ample. You could consider their optional 12% gear reduction (reduces each of your gears by 12%). One of my bikes is a 3 speed Dahon Curve, and I get up moderate hills with no trouble. I do use bikes with a wider range for long rides over varied terrain.



    I always do carry extra clothes on the bike, and keep some at work too. Some people manage to ride in their work clothes without much problem. Keep your bike frame clean, and watch out for the chain. Yes, I know Bromptons fold with the chain inside. I mean while riding.



    Don't use a rucksack (just my opinion). If you get the Brompton, I'd suggest their front carrier system, or a bag on their rear rack. With other bikes, possibly a bag on the rear rack would be the way to go. The exact kind of bag depends on what you have to carry.
    Hi DaFriMon, this sounds very interesting. What does the gear reduction mean?
    Btw do you have any experience with the 2 gear version of Brompton. Is this sufficient with no hills and only a few slopes on the way?

    Well and it's a bit of a relief that you say that some people manage to ride in their work clothes. Hopefully this will apply to me as well. Can't face the hassle with changing clothes as unfortunately I can't go to work with a T-Shirt and some jeans (this would be easy to change) but skirts, suits and this kind of thing are expected.

    And as for the rucksack, that's good to know. Heard this from someone else as well. So I will skip my rucksack idea and do either the front carrier system or the rear rack. Balance wise does the front carrier make any difference to the rear rack? Anything better than the other?

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    I think that your location is an important factor.

    Sounds like your in the UK (you're talking £). So the Brompton will be more attractive for you than for those of us in the USA. Believe it or not a titanium Brompton is even more expensive here and a Curve SL is even cheaper. For you the Curve SL is about half the price of a titanium Brompton, but for us it's about a third or even a quarter.

    Also, like you said, you'll have more trouble getting Dahon's serviced over there (which is again, opposite for those of us in the US).

    As far as the carrier goes, many people seem to think the Brompton's front carrier is a major selling point, but you can't use the Brompton rear carrier and fold the bike at the same time. The Curve SL, on the other hand, can still be folded while using both the front and rear carrier.

    Since you don't seem to be on a tight budget like the woman from the other thread and since you're not located in North America I'd say go with the Brompton over the Curve because even though they weigh about the same and are probably similar quality, the folded Curve is more likely to get you dirty, simply by virtue of the fact that it's more awkward to carry (so you might not have the luxury of grabbing it in a convenient spot in all situations).

  11. #11
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinchen
    He Sesame Crunch, thank you very much for the info! Very much appreciated. Maybe a stupid question, but does the hub stay internal when you fold the bike, doesn't it? I imagine that it needs less maintenance as well, doesn't it?

    Btw what kind of maintenance work do you do with your bike? Oiling it once a month? etc.?
    Here's a picture of a bike with internal hub - it has no external gears in the rear wheel, all the gearing is contained within the largish hub of the rear wheel:


    Here's a conventional derailleur - all the gears are exposed and hanging out:


    You can see how the lack of gears (which are often greasy and dirty) can be cleaner to handle and transport. Intenal hubs are indeed easier to maintain. The specs actually say no maintenance is necessary. For derailleurs, one has to clean and lube periodically.
    Last edited by SesameCrunch; 04-02-07 at 11:37 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinchen
    ... On the other hand I found lots of happy users on the threads of this site....
    Too bad you can't give more time. Most people who post enthusiastic comments post after 1 or 2 rides. Check back in a year (and try to pinpoint riders who actually ride that particular bike a lot): you'll not only see owner turnover, but you'll also learn about the quirks, pros, and cons of many of models.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinchen
    Hi 14R,
    you are quite right. What is the difference between the Curve and the Brompton in your experience? Is the Curve model easy to fold & carry? Spotted the SL version with less than 10kg....
    I had a $1600 Brompton (that I gave as a gift to an ex-girlfriend) and a $400 Curve (that I kept) for a while. The brompton is way easier to carry once folded, it has a more elegant frame and is significantly easier to pack for international travels (it pretty much goes inside the luggage by just removing the seatpost and folding the bike). That's Why I gave it to a girl.

    The Curve is easy to fold (easier than the Brompton, actually) but not as nice to carry. I got the "El Bolso" carrying back for it but it still is a bulky thing.

    The Merc is an excellent option as well (it is a Copy of the Brompton with some MAJOR problems from the original design addressed). It comes with better brakes as well as some other major features.

    I'm happy with my Curve and I strongly suggest you to get one. UNLESS you plan on carrying your bike more often than riding it. If that's the case, the extra $$ for a Brompton/Merc makes sense. My next folder will be a Brompton-like frame. Maybe a Merc, maybe the Bromptube (Downtube's Brompton cousin coming up Jan 2008), maybe an original Brompton (that I plan on upgrade a lot since I don't think it is a nice product out of the box). But for now, the Curve is a nice folder.

  14. #14
    Member, Schmember DaFriMon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinchen
    Hi DaFriMon, this sounds very interesting. What does the gear reduction mean?
    Btw do you have any experience with the 2 gear version of Brompton. Is this sufficient with no hills and only a few slopes on the way?. . .And as for the rucksack, that's good to know. Heard this from someone else as well. So I will skip my rucksack idea and do either the front carrier system or the rear rack. Balance wise does the front carrier make any difference to the rear rack? Anything better than the other?
    If I didn't make it clear, I have a Curve not a Brompton. I spent quite some time looking into Bromptons, but decided not to spend the extra money. They advertise that you can get a reduced gear range, which probably means a smaller chainring, or a larger rear cog. This gives you "easier" gears, which will probably be fine for most people.

    The best way to tell if the gear range is okay for you would be if the shop would let you take a test ride on the kind of terrain that you would be riding on.

    Not entirely sure about all the advantages/disadvantages of front vs rear carriers for Bromptons. If I had bought one, I intended to try the front carrier because it seemed that it would come off the bike easily, which would help with folding.

    The Curve is working out great for me, but I don't want to try to talk you out of a Brompton. Good luck with your choice!
    Last edited by DaFriMon; 04-02-07 at 02:16 PM.
    You're right, I do have more bikes than I need.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinchen
    He, I am new here and looking into buying a Brompton folding bike as it's heavily recommended on so many sites. I try to find out what's important to look at and what I need for getting to work.
    One of my shortlisted option is the very basic model M3L with 3 gears but it's 11.4 kg heavy.
    The other one is the S2L-X with a titanium frame and still has got 9.7kg and 2 gears.

    I would be happy to hear from you and your experiences with your folding bikes?

    1) Do you find that 2 or 3 gears are enough? In my case it a city commute with only some slight slopes.

    2) How is it going with carrying your bikes? I am a girl and most of the reviewers seem to be guys, probably a bit stronger than me. I lifted the 9.7 kg and that was just ok when thinking about carrying it around onto the train or so but it costs £400 more (I get it for 200) for being 1.7 kg lighter than the other option. I wonder if it's worth it? Did you buy a lightweight and are happy that you did? How often do you really carry your bike and as I far as I have seen on the forum here people find some good ways to push the bike more than carrying it. What do you think?

    3) Get clothes get dirty from carrying the bike (I wanted to try to restrict myself to ride the bike when it's halfway decent weather otherwise take the tube with the bike.) All the reviews I read so far were that people where carrying lots clothes around or having clothes deposited at work which doesn't really appeal to me.

    4) Furthermore a friend said that riding a folding bike is a bit of a different experience and you get to pedal harder and you therefore sweat more easily. My commute is just half an hour, maybe 6-8 km and I originally thought it's doable without changing clothes. I just start a new job (that requires the commuting) and don't want to be overcomplicated with asking for shower neither I want to carry around another set of clothes or bother others with some unpleasant smell. Any ideas on this?

    5) Any recommendations for a good rucksack that lets air circulate on the back?

    I would be happy to get some ideas from you! And thanks for it!
    Bompton and it's copy ( merc, flamingo, soon to be downtube ) are still the best compact folding bicycle in the market. 6 speed brommie is good for short distance commute with minimal hill. If you are looking for form ( foldabilty) plus function ( speed, braking etc.) look at a Birdy. You can get other folders and upgrade to near Brommie/Birdy f+f, will cost you about getting one of each.
    I have a M6L and a Birdy 9 Silver for about a year. For the short commute I use the Brommie and for the longer ie. > 3 miles, I use the Birdy. I have tried oem dahon folders under various brand and only the high end ones come close to the f+f of Brompton and Birdy. Both of them fold with the chain in between wheels and they all come with custom chain guard. If you should decide to add electric motor to your Bike in the future they are both good for it too. Last if all they both retain their value.
    My next project is to look for a similar quality 26" folder.
    Last edited by wubrew; 04-02-07 at 03:13 PM.

  16. #16
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    I am also female. I based the choice of what folding bike to buy based on it's weight as well as other factors. I don't carry it about much as I prefer to use a luggage cart when I carry one of the folders across a wide area like a train station. But I do carry it aboard a bus or train or a very short (less than 1/2city block) distance if need be without strain. As for breaking out in persperation, I simply adapt my riding style to where I am going (like a business meeting), rather than changing my clothes. I usually don't have the time or the luxury of a ever-present shower available to use all the time. I also take into consideration the climate where I live (usually hot and arid desert-like Southern California) and choose whether to ride by the temperature of that particular day (i.e. when it's too hot or wet, I pass on riding the bike). I choose to not to call too much undue attention to the bike when I am in an business meeting or lunch. Although there were many times in the past that one of the folders were a real ice-breaker and conversation starter since they are so rare here.

    The choice of the folder proves to be a simple one. All of my folding bikes have a Sturmey-Archer AW three speed hub. I like the idea of a completely enclosed gear system that keeps my clothes clean. Derailleurs-even the Brompton's 2 speed version-is exposed and could cause more problems. The weight difference between my own Brompton C's rear hub and the derailleur's is not enough for me to consider it for my Brompton when I bought one in 2005. The chainring/cog ratio is far more important to address the many hills I must overcome surrounding my residence. I choose a 44t-46t chainring and a 13t-14t cog for the best way of going along flat areas that suddenly turns into a short steep hill that is so common around here.

    For more information on where I keep the bike in a power business lunch and commuting on trains, see my Flickr web site. For more descriptive discussion on the choices I made in my own folding bikes, see my Geocities web site below.

  17. #17
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    I would suggest that you give each a try and see what you like.

    I use a light slip cover, which is so thin it can fit into a pocket or purse, and keeps the grease off. But a Brompton folds in such a way that it protects you from the chain. With a Dahon, you have to keep to one side of the bike. You can get one for either bike.

    In the past, Dahon's quality control has been weak, and it's unclear whether that's been resolved. However, 14R and others note few problems with the Curve so far.

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    wow

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinchen
    He, I am new here and looking into buying a Brompton folding bike as it's heavily recommended on so many sites. I try to find out what's important to look at and what I need for getting to work.
    One of my shortlisted option is the very basic model M3L with 3 gears but it's 11.4 kg heavy.
    The other one is the S2L-X with a titanium frame and still has got 9.7kg and 2 gears.

    I would be happy to hear from you and your experiences with your folding bikes?

    1) Do you find that 2 or 3 gears are enough? In my case it a city commute with only some slight slopes.

    2) How is it going with carrying your bikes? I am a girl and most of the reviewers seem to be guys, probably a bit stronger than me. I lifted the 9.7 kg and that was just ok when thinking about carrying it around onto the train or so but it costs £400 more (I get it for 200) for being 1.7 kg lighter than the other option. I wonder if it's worth it? Did you buy a lightweight and are happy that you did? How often do you really carry your bike and as I far as I have seen on the forum here people find some good ways to push the bike more than carrying it. What do you think?

    3) Get clothes get dirty from carrying the bike (I wanted to try to restrict myself to ride the bike when it's halfway decent weather otherwise take the tube with the bike.) All the reviews I read so far were that people where carrying lots clothes around or having clothes deposited at work which doesn't really appeal to me.

    4) Furthermore a friend said that riding a folding bike is a bit of a different experience and you get to pedal harder and you therefore sweat more easily. My commute is just half an hour, maybe 6-8 km and I originally thought it's doable without changing clothes. I just start a new job (that requires the commuting) and don't want to be overcomplicated with asking for shower neither I want to carry around another set of clothes or bother others with some unpleasant smell. Any ideas on this?

    5) Any recommendations for a good rucksack that lets air circulate on the back?

    I would be happy to get some ideas from you! And thanks for it!
    If you are only talking about 5 miles max on fairly flat terrain you should be able to cover this distance easily in 30 minutes, without sweating any more than you would if you walked at a comfortable pace for 1.5 miles. There is the cooling effect of the air when you are bicycling at 10 mph also. In addition, this is a very leisurly pace for a short ride unless you are extremely out of shape or very heavy. I'd use a rack of some kind that folds with the bike and use an expanable trunk bag of some type. A backpack will be hot and make you top heavy. My regular daily excercise route is only 9 miles with some hills and I do it in about 40 minutes and I am 48 years old and weigh 260 pounds so I am not the typical young skinny jock. My commute will be 36 miles round trip but only twice a week. My other commute would be 56 miles once a week but thats getting too long to be any good at my work. There is no bus in my area so I am forced to ride it or not! Consider yourself lucky to have such a pleasant commute!

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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu
    I think that your location is an important factor.

    Sounds like your in the UK (you're talking £). So the Brompton will be more attractive for you than for those of us in the USA. Believe it or not a titanium Brompton is even more expensive here and a Curve SL is even cheaper. For you the Curve SL is about half the price of a titanium Brompton, but for us it's about a third or even a quarter.

    Also, like you said, you'll have more trouble getting Dahon's serviced over there (which is again, opposite for those of us in the US).

    As far as the carrier goes, many people seem to think the Brompton's front carrier is a major selling point, but you can't use the Brompton rear carrier and fold the bike at the same time. The Curve SL, on the other hand, can still be folded while using both the front and rear carrier.

    Since you don't seem to be on a tight budget like the woman from the other thread and since you're not located in North America I'd say go with the Brompton over the Curve because even though they weigh about the same and are probably similar quality, the folded Curve is more likely to get you dirty, simply by virtue of the fact that it's more awkward to carry (so you might not have the luxury of grabbing it in a convenient spot in all situations).

    Hi, yes you guessed right. I live in the UK and I see your point with the Dahon and that it makes a difference as for the service if you live in the U.S. or the UK. Brompton is a UK company and even the production is in the UK as far as I heard, so servicing and spare parts shouldn't be a big deal.

    Another good thing is that the government runs a scheme where they are crossfunding the purchase of any bike that is used for the ride to work (probably cause of the upcoming Olympics and the growing amount of obese people here). So a 1.000 Pounds bike - which is the SL Brompton, for example, costs you 570 instead, the M3L costs you around 260 instead of 500. This scheme is running out in a few days and the next chance would be next year. (That brings me in a bit of hurry at the moment) But it's definitely a great thing and it brings me in the lucky situation that I can splash out a little bit more than I would in any other case....

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic
    I am also female. I based the choice of what folding bike to buy based on it's weight as well as other factors. I don't carry it about much as I prefer to use a luggage cart when I carry one of the folders across a wide area like a train station. But I do carry it aboard a bus or train or a very short (less than 1/2city block) distance if need be without strain. As for breaking out in persperation, I simply adapt my riding style to where I am going (like a business meeting), rather than changing my clothes. I usually don't have the time or the luxury of a ever-present shower available to use all the time. I also take into consideration the climate where I live (usually hot and arid desert-like Southern California) and choose whether to ride by the temperature of that particular day (i.e. when it's too hot or wet, I pass on riding the bike). I choose to not to call too much undue attention to the bike when I am in an business meeting or lunch. Although there were many times in the past that one of the folders were a real ice-breaker and conversation starter since they are so rare here.

    The choice of the folder proves to be a simple one. All of my folding bikes have a Sturmey-Archer AW three speed hub. I like the idea of a completely enclosed gear system that keeps my clothes clean. Derailleurs-even the Brompton's 2 speed version-is exposed and could cause more problems. The weight difference between my own Brompton C's rear hub and the derailleur's is not enough for me to consider it for my Brompton when I bought one in 2005. The chainring/cog ratio is far more important to address the many hills I must overcome surrounding my residence. I choose a 44t-46t chainring and a 13t-14t cog for the best way of going along flat areas that suddenly turns into a short steep hill that is so common around here.

    For more information on where I keep the bike in a power business lunch and commuting on trains, see my Flickr web site. For more descriptive discussion on the choices I made in my own folding bikes, see my Geocities web site below.
    Itís soo good to hear the female perspective as well! Especially as you seem to use the bike in the way I want to use it as well Ė cycling with business clothes (no shower at work) and this brings up a few more issues that need to be taken into account when deciding for a bike. Furthermore I think the weight seems to be important for lots of guys, but even more so for us, girls! Which model did you buy in the end?

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    SesameCrunch: Thank you so much for the pics and your help. Given the fact that itís easier for me to cycle in work clothes itís an important factor to consider the internal hub. It wouldnít be fun to get the clothes dirty or caught. With all this talking about the bikes I am looking really forward to my daily cycle ride and my new bike!

    Spambait11: You are quite right. That might be a good idea to see for how long people have tested the bikes, although it seems there are lots of senior members on this site that have tried out several models and some of them own more than one. I'll definitely consider this.

    14R: You seem to be such a nice guy! The upmarket Brompton for your ex-girlfriend sounds like a really great gift! ;-) I think with all the valuable info that I got from all the members here I will go for the Brompton although the Curve sounds really good and tempted me very much but the servicing in the UK for this brand does seem to be an issue. Bromptons' internal hub is a big plus factor for me as well. I also mentioned before that we have a governmental scheme here in the UK that crossfunds the purchase of bikes for the ride to work and I can knock roughly 40-50% off the retail price. This makes it easier for me to decide whether it's worth it to spend a bit more or not...

    DaFriMon: You are definitely right that a test ride is the way to go forward. I wanted to arrange a test ride for the Brompton today and went to several shops. Itís unbelievable but you hardly can just go to the shop and test ride a Brompton. I went to 2 bicycle chains and both of them donít have any stock (and one of them is biggest bike retailer in the UK and they even did check the stock of all of their branches) as Brompton does limit the amount the retailers can order per year plus there is a waiting list for delivery at the moment as well. I will order either the SL6-X Titanium or the M3L although it takes a few weeks. Still not quite sure if the 1.7kg lighter version is worth the £200 more. Since you canít try the bike itís a bit tricky. Might just try to lift some other things that weigh roughly this and carry it around the block to see how it is ;-)

    Charles vail: Hi Charles, 38 miles sounds like a good workout. And why shouldnít we able to do what the Dutch have been doing for hundreds of years? ;-) Thanks for the moral support!!!!You are right, I am very lucky cause there are alternatives. The tube in London is a pain, but if it's raining it will be an option.

  22. #22
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    I see you are not planning on carrying a change of clothes on the bike. But you might need to carry moderate amounts of stuff anyway, possibly lights / tools / work related items and such.

    Here's a question for the more knowledgeable folder people: is there a reason not to use a saddle bag (such as a Carradice from UK ) with a folder? If you had a suitable saddle (Brooks from UK ) you would need no extra hardware.

    Of course, the bag will get dirty in bad weather (UK ), so you'll have watch your clothes when you carry it. But if you need some kind of a bag, and don't want it in your back, this might be the least hassle.

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  23. #23
    SeŮor Mambo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha
    Here's a question for the more knowledgeable folder people: is there a reason not to use a saddle bag (such as a Carradice from UK ) with a folder? If you had a suitable saddle (Brooks from UK ) you would need no extra hardware.
    No problem with a saddlebag, Carradice in particular. If you "permanently" attach it (via the Brooks loopholes), then it may interfere with your fold or make your bike cumbersome to carry, depending on your bag size and how full it is (a Nelson longflap in my case). If you get an SQR adapter or buy an SQR system, you can easily remove the bag, but will have to carry it separately from the bike in all likelihood. Worst case scenario is that you're walking around with a bike in one hand and a heavy saddlebag in the other.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Fear&Trembling's Avatar
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    Here's a question for the more knowledgeable folder people: is there a reason not to use a saddle bag (such as a Carradice from UK ) with a folder? If you had a suitable saddle (Brooks from UK ) you would need no extra hardware.
    I use a Carradice SQR Tour Bag on my folders and not a saddle-bag for the reasons cited by Spambait11. However, if you are not folding the bike regularly a saddle bag is an option, but so is a rear-rack, front bag, panniers etc depending on your make/model.

    As far as the OP goes, the Brompton 2 speed will be fine for most London riding (the gearing can be easily changed if you want it lowered). The Ti model is noticeably lighter and some claim it provides a more "springy" ride - but take that with a pinch of salt. If you are now thinking of the 6 speed the Ti weight savings are less pronounced. Also puncture repair is more fiddly with a hub, but this is a minor point if you do want a wider range of gears.

    The riding style of an M-Type Bromton is very different to an S-Type (the bars of the latter are about 10cms lower). Ideally, you should try both to see what suits you best. For what it's worth most women riders I see prefer the M-type for its more upright position.

    If you're going to be on the tube in the rush hour I would strongly recommend getting a 16" folder.

    The Curve SL is worth considering, but remember it has smaller 16" tyres wheels than a Brompton. This makes the handling a tad twitchier.

    If you get a Brompton don't bother with a rucksack - use the front bag.
    Last edited by Fear&Trembling; 04-03-07 at 09:30 AM.

  25. #25
    Air
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan162
    As far as item # 4, this is one of the biggest myths about folding bikes. They are no harder to pedal than a normal bike. The smaller wheels just mean the gearing might be a little different, but it will be no harder to pedal than any conventional bike. If you have a lot of hills, you may want to go with a bike with more gears, but that is about it. The only real difference will be in bike handling. Smaller wheels feel "twitchy" when you first start using them. The feeling goes away in a week, though.
    To add a bit to this as well:

    - Smaller wheels means a greater chance of the wheel getting caught in a pothole, drain, etc... I ride my 20" in NYC and am more vigilant in avoiding holes then on my mtb.

    - Smaller wheels means easier to get up hills. There's less force required to get the wheels turning. The tradeoff if that you'll work a little harder maintaining the momentum on the straight-a-ways. Not huge, but noticeable.

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