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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 07-26-07, 10:18 AM   #1
ash4781
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Folding bike for 3 stage commute

Quote:
First post. (I currently don't ride)

The journey to work involves a walk of about 2 miles to the station and then a train about 15 miles, and then a short (about 2 miles) bus ride . If I commuted straight to the office it would be about 15-20 miles with roads all the way, heavy traffic and fairly flat!

I've had a look at a few bikes over the past week; Decathlon, Specialized Globe and Cirrus, Marin Novato, Carrera Subway (for Halfords). Some of them looked like they would fall to bits.

The problem I have is that I don't think I'd be able to ride 15 miles but leaving an expensive bike at the station all day would be asking for trouble. Not sure about folding bikes.

Which is the one to ride for a beginner ? (15 mile or the 4 mile or cheap hack bike on the 2 mile side)
Above was posted in the commuting forum and they referred me to here.
Any recommendations for the folder ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
You might want to move this to your own thread.

The following details would be helpful:

(1) What is your budget for the bike excluding accessories?

(2) Whether you plan on being a multi-model commuter or actually riding to work.

(3) Approximately where you live. Certain areas of the country seem to have shops that specialize in folding bikes.

(4) Whether you are going to use the bike for anything else other than commuting.

-G
1. About 400 pounds

2. Probably not riding to work until raise fitness level. Not sure how long this would take.

3. Kent (South East of England)

4. Unlikely
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Old 07-26-07, 11:16 AM   #2
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Sounds like you should head to the Brompton/Merc dealer.
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Old 07-26-07, 03:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ash4781 View Post
Above was posted in the commuting forum and they referred me to here.

Any recommendations for the folder ?
I would simply recommend riding a cheap hack bike the two miles to the train station and locking up. Seriously, it's two miles, you could practically log roll your way there:
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Old 07-26-07, 05:12 PM   #4
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With a Brompton, you could ride to the train and then ride the rest of the way to work. Why bother with the bus when you can ride? Unless you judge the traffic to be dangerous.

As makeinu suggests, you aren't going to get much exercise with your commute. But you could work your way up to 15 miles on occasion, which should be fine on a Brommie.

If you just wanted to cover the first two miles, you could get an old bike if your neck of the woods is especially safe. Around where I am, trasher bikes get stomped, stolen, or otherwise dismantled no matter how cheap they are.
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Old 07-26-07, 10:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pm124 View Post
As makeinu suggests, you aren't going to get much exercise with your commute. But you could work your way up to 15 miles on occasion, which should be fine on a Brommie.
Bah. Even 4 miles round trip is enough to do some good. Maybe not enough to lose serious weight or develop your muscles too much, but it is enough to slow down or stop the weight gain that can happen from sitting on your butt in the office all day long. At least that has been my experience with my 3.4 mile round trip ride to the train station.
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Old 07-27-07, 08:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pm124 View Post
With a Brompton, you could ride to the train and then ride the rest of the way to work. Why bother with the bus when you can ride? Unless you judge the traffic to be dangerous.

As makeinu suggests, you aren't going to get much exercise with your commute. But you could work your way up to 15 miles on occasion, which should be fine on a Brommie.
If the train isn't crowded and he's going to cut out the bus at the other end and plan on working up to longer rides then I would recommend a 20" wheeled bike over a Brompton.

Unless their overstuffed commuter trains generally have quite a bit of space. Why pay the premium for the Brompton if he doesn't need the extra small folded size?
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Old 07-27-07, 11:30 AM   #7
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Two important questions:
--How crowded is the train?
--Do you expect to ride the whole way sometimes, or do you expect to take the train every day?

If the train is very crowded, and you expect to take the train every day, then a Strida or similar (carryme, A-bike etc) is indicated.

If the train is fairly crowded, and you expect to ride the whole way with some regularity (such whenever the weather is really nice), then a Brompton or similar (Merc, perhaps Dahon Curve, etc) is indicated.

If the train is not crowded at all, and you expect to ride the whole way with some regularity, then a 20" folder --even an old Raleigh Twenty-- will do fine.

There are, of course other variables... such as, can you bring a bike into your office building? Can you stash a folded bike in your office? These things make a difference too.
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Old 07-27-07, 11:56 AM   #8
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Will you ride in the rain (brakes and tire selection are better on 20"), and how far will you have to carry the bike, including stairs?

I suggest getting a beater bike and start riding the first leg immediately. The beater becomes your backup bike after you buy a folder. Why postpone the joys of cycling a second longer?
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Old 07-27-07, 12:15 PM   #9
ash4781
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
If the train isn't crowded and he's going to cut out the bus at the other end and plan on working up to longer rides then I would recommend a 20" wheeled bike over a Brompton.

Unless their overstuffed commuter trains generally have quite a bit of space. Why pay the premium for the Brompton if he doesn't need the extra small folded size?
The announcement at the station is something like "..bicycles are not aloud at peak times unless they are folding". Before they replaced the 1970's slam door carriage trains about two years ago you could take a standard size bike on the train and put it in the guards van!

It's a little muddled here in the UK! http://www.atob.org.uk/Bike_Rail.html

I could probably keep the folding bike in the building although I do know the building lease is about to be taken over by another company.

-Not crowded as only going a few stops.

-I don't expect to ride the whole way.

-Can you do 15 miles on a folding ?

-Cycled 4 miles today on a mountain bike along station route and beyond. Road a little narrow and has potholes. Didn't seem that taxing but not sure after a day's work!



Kind regards,

Ashley.

Last edited by ash4781; 07-27-07 at 12:20 PM.
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