I love my current bike, the EasyRacers EZ-1 low-end recumbent, but it's just TOO DARN BIG. Have to disassemble it to get it in our Escort wagon and even then it's a tight fit. For the price of a rack big enough to hold it, I can buy a second bike. So that's what I want to do. I want a bike I can toss in the trunk and take with me on trips so that IF I see a nice opportunity to ride, I can ride.
I'm a lazy, middle-aged, recreational rider. I take the bike out on nice days and ride around for fun. I do want a decent bike with good, trouble-free gears so riding isn't a misery. Light weight's not important, durability and being trouble-free are. My current bike's lowest gears are 21.4, 25, 28.6" and I use the 28.6 a lot, the 25 sometimes, and I'm glad to have the 21.4 although I use it rarely. I HATE working hard going uphill; I just want to take my time and go really slowly. I want to be sure that the bike I get has low enough gears so I won't feel dismayed by the prospect of riding uphill.
Any suggestions for folding bikes? I'm more concerned with avoiding terrible mistakes than getting the absolute best most optimum choice. My nightmare is dropping a bundle on a spiffy new bike and getting somewhere and finding that some tricky little widget that makes it unfold is stuck or rusty or fell off and got lost...
Oh, right. Price. Yeah, I'll spend $800 if I absolutely have to but I'd really like to keep it under $500.