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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 07-31-03, 09:46 AM   #1
Sallyf14
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I (finally) bought a folding bike

Well, I talked about it, thought about it and talked about is somemore- to the point that people were begging me to buy one already or shut the heck up. I did it...last night I bought a folding bike. I got a Dahon Boardwalk D6. I have a two mile commute in NYC in an area where it would be stolen outside, and a full size bike is not allowed inside- so this was a perfect compromize. I took it for a spin last night and already realize I need to practice navigating the traffic and get a little braver before I try trekking all over the place. I'm very excited to start biking to work!
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Old 07-31-03, 09:54 AM   #2
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Good move.
If you are not used to traffic, take the bike out on a Sunday morning when the traffic is pretty light. You should probably wear a helmet and cycling gloves for some limitted protection if the worst happens, but your first line of defense is to ride like a vehicle. You may be able to find an "Effective Cycling" course or read the book.
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Old 07-31-03, 09:57 AM   #3
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I have a helmet and will not ride without it...that's for sure! Do you think gloves are important. I didn't even think about that. I was thinking about buying the Effective Cycling book- does it deal with city street riding?
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Old 07-31-03, 10:09 AM   #4
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The only time I wear gloves is when it is below freezing, and they are ski gloves. Effective Cycling deals with just that.

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Old 07-31-03, 10:10 AM   #5
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Originally posted by Sallyf14
I have a helmet and will not ride without it...that's for sure! Do you think gloves are important. I didn't even think about that. I was thinking about buying the Effective Cycling book- does it deal with city street riding?
Gloves make the ride more comfortable, and if you do come off (which is rare ) they help prevent road rash. I can't comment on the US effective cycling book but the UK one is excellent for a newcomer.
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Old 07-31-03, 10:46 AM   #6
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Despite my 35yrs experience of cycling (I started when I was 4), I have come off the bike a couple of times. As an adult rider, I have had 2 falls, one very low speed car collision, and one luggage getting tangled. On both occasions my helmeted head recieved no impact, but my leather-palm gloves were shredded. Cycling gloves will protect your hands from a skinning on even a minor fall. Unlike other types of graze, the palms of your hand take a long time to heal, and it is really incapacitating. I always wear gloves.


I read Effective Cycling a few years ago and really didnt learn much, but it does distill the hard-won experience of every vehicular cyclist in a form that beginers can understand. It will probably save you 10 years of trial and error on the roads.
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Old 07-31-03, 11:06 AM   #7
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My experience with the Boardwalk 6 is pretty good. It is a bit twitchy and I would recommend never even trying to ride it handsfree. And it doesn't climb all that well because of the flexibility of the handlbars. The stock tires/tubes don't seem to hold their 65 lbs. of air all that long so check them often and air them up.

I have ridden it about 30 miles at a time and that is about the max my rear can handle on that particular seat.

If you want a storage/carry bag, check out ediscountbike on Ebay. They have a Mongoose/Montague bag which is a little big but works pretty well and no one can even tell it's a bike in the bag.

Gloves have a several valuable purposes, at least to me. They give you a great means of wiping the perspiration off of your face. They protect your hands if you fall and they can dampen some shock and vibration and help keep your hands from going numb. I do recommend them on the Dahon if you ride any distance, because you only have one place you can put your hands on those short straight bars. But at two miles each way you probably don't need them.

I really don't know why the water bottle brase on's are on the underside of the main tube. It works but your bottle can get a bit grungy. But once again at two miles you don't really need that either.

My wife and I have really enjoyed mine. Have fun and be careful.
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Old 07-31-03, 12:05 PM   #8
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I noticed it was a little "twitchy" when I test drove it...especially on uneven asphalt. I noticed that I was keeping an especially tight grip on the handlebars to keep in control. Luckily- for most of my commute I'll be on the West Side highway bike path which is separate from the road so I won't have to worry about cars too much. Once I get to my street though, I'll have to get into regular traffic for about 5 city long blocks. Its a good run to get aquainted with the bike I think. I think I will invest in gloves though!
Thanks all for the advice
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Old 07-31-03, 07:47 PM   #9
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Sally

John Allen's Bicycling Street Smarts is also a good publication. I little less provocative than John Forester's Effective Cycling.

Here is a link to Allen's on-line Street Smarts book. Enjoy the reading and putting into practice the principles of Vehicular Cycling

R
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Old 08-01-03, 09:00 AM   #10
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I have two Dahon folding bikes (Piccolo, Speed 8) and use the 16' inch wheel the most since it's least likely to get stolen. I always wear gloves and the small wheels can get swallowed up by a pot hole and thow you off the bike real fast. This happend to me and the gloves saved my hands.

About folding bikes.

It's always a pleasure to see another folder on the streets and they are the biggest secret out there. I have taken my Piccolo on Amtrack where a large wheel bike would have been kicked off! It just amazes me how very few people would consider a folding bike when the performance rivals that of a confort bike or hybrid.

Probably the best upgrade you can get for the Boardwalk is the Thudbuster suspension seat post. I would NOT ride the Piccolo without that device and my susgestion would be to get one ASAP.
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Old 08-01-03, 09:57 AM   #11
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Good choice of bike.

As to gloves, I sometimes don't wear them but if you come off, the first thing you'll do is put your hand down. Gloves help prevent injury.
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Old 08-07-03, 03:50 PM   #12
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Good news.

I think I've made another folding bike converter.

Regular bikes are not allowed on the Light Rail (Trolley) during rush hour but folding bikes are the exception. Well the other day I see this young girl rolling a new Dahon Boardwalk to the Light rail, folded it up and boarded like everyone else.

Well.

I just walked right up to her and with a million dollar smile said "NICE BIKE".

I told her about my folders and she actually bought hers afer seeing mine! Well everything seem to be going well until she told me about her BOYFRIEND and that kind of killed the conversation.

Well. At least I converted someone over the the folding society. There are now only two folding bike users in my town of 42,000.
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Old 08-07-03, 07:36 PM   #13
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"wow"
maybe you can convince her to ditch the boyfriend?

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Old 08-08-03, 06:11 AM   #14
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Dahon riders of the world unite! I'm still very new to this- but I get excited when I see another Dahon and rider when I'm cycling up and down the West Side Highway bike path
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Old 08-08-03, 10:29 PM   #15
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Folding Bikes are great. I have this old Ralgleih Folder with 20 inch wheels and 3 speeds. Most comfotable ride in the world. In the middle of restoring it.
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Old 10-03-04, 07:32 AM   #16
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I bought a Dahon several years ago. It was not as good as I see people praises them in this forum. I now switched to a halfway. Maybe the new Dahons are better than mine. But Dahon distributer here went out of business.
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Old 10-03-04, 08:36 AM   #17
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How does the Dahon compare to Bike Friday?

I'm thinking my 3rd bike HAS to be a folding bike!
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Old 10-03-04, 09:02 AM   #18
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Heres a suggestion get a well sized and shaped sprung saddle. I have sprung saddles on all my bikes . I even have a lepper 65 (It is a wide leather saddle with springs and no padding)on my little 16 inch yeah it is surprisingly comfortable.
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Old 10-04-04, 08:08 AM   #19
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I've had my dahon for over a year now and I think its fantastic. I've never tried any other brand of folding bikes so I can't compare but I do think the dahon is fantastic. Its a snap to fold and unfold, its lightweight, and a smooth ride. I fold it up when I get to work, put it in the carrying bag and take it through security in my office building and store it under my desk until the ride home. Over the weekend I went riding through central park with my friend who has a mountain bike. At one point we switched bikes because I wanted to see if there was a noticeable difference. Her bike is a lot heavier than mine so the dahon sped up on a downhill a lot quicker than the mountain bike. I also felt like the dahon lost speed on an uphill more quickly (though maybe my imagination) that may also have to do with the mountain bike having more speeds. One thing about the dahon though, I have 20 inch wheels and I tend to feel every bump in the road. If theres pieces of gravel on the ground, I'll feel them as I ride over them with the folder. It can't take as many knocks as a bigger and heavier bike.
I suppose that's to be expected though.
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Old 10-04-04, 09:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruchai


I bought a Dahon several years ago. It was not as good as I see people praises them in this forum. I now switched to a halfway. Maybe the new Dahons are better than mine. But Dahon distributer here went out of business.
You have a second generation Dahon which had inferrior parts. Josh Hon (President of Dahon) told me they either increase quality each year by 10% or they drop the price. As a result, the Dahon bikes of today are much better to those that were produced four years ago. Unfortunately, the prices of Dahon's have gone up as a result of their aggressive product improvement. I have a Dahon Speed 8 and today's model of the same bike has an improved latch system, brakes, saddle, wheels, handlebar system and frame.

I find that new Dahon bikes suffer from low quality issues but these are rectified several years later. I've ridden the Giant Halfway at a bike show but considered the gearing slightly slugglish. It's OK but when my Speed 8 was new, you couldn't hear the shifting! I like the Giant and hope they continue to improve the product.

I think everyone who buys a folding needs to really upgrade the saddle to either a Brooks Champion flyer or add a Thudbuster. The Dahon folding bike or Giant Halfway have you sitting practically straight-up so some suspension is necessary.
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Old 10-04-04, 09:18 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sallyf14
I've had my dahon for over a year now and I think its fantastic. I've never tried any other brand of folding bikes so I can't compare but I do think the dahon is fantastic. Its a snap to fold and unfold, its lightweight, and a smooth ride. I fold it up when I get to work, put it in the carrying bag and take it through security in my office building and store it under my desk until the ride home. Over the weekend I went riding through central park with my friend who has a mountain bike. At one point we switched bikes because I wanted to see if there was a noticeable difference. Her bike is a lot heavier than mine so the dahon sped up on a downhill a lot quicker than the mountain bike. I also felt like the dahon lost speed on an uphill more quickly (though maybe my imagination) that may also have to do with the mountain bike having more speeds. One thing about the dahon though, I have 20 inch wheels and I tend to feel every bump in the road. If theres pieces of gravel on the ground, I'll feel them as I ride over them with the folder. It can't take as many knocks as a bigger and heavier bike.
I suppose that's to be expected though.
Sally

Get a Brooks Champion Flyer or add the Thudbuster for your bike.
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Old 10-05-04, 06:04 AM   #22
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The Giant seat that came with the Halfway was useless. I tried first the Brooks B73, it was very comfortable but too bouncy. I then tried an old Brooks Professional which was also comfortable. I finally switched to Brooks B66 champion (same as Flyer Champion but with 4 wires, halfway use straight seat post) and think the Brooks66 Champion was just the saddle made for the Halfway.

The hipressure (80 psi) tires made the Halfway felt like a road bike.
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Old 10-06-04, 12:23 AM   #23
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Steve

You also need the Brooks saddlebag to fully utilize the two loops!
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Old 10-06-04, 10:11 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruchai


Steve

You also need the Brooks saddlebag to fully utilize the two loops!
Is that leather or vinyl i never knew Brooks made saddlebags ? What is it's vintage? By the way I have converted my 7 speed 20 inch yeah to a single speed with a 56 inch gear and 1.85 by 20 inch Haro tires 85 psi. (54.6 gear inches by your reckoning)Ahh! the single life.

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Old 10-06-04, 06:53 PM   #25
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It's vinyl with leather straps. I got it from the old former Raleigh's dealer in Bangkok. I do not know from what era but it is quite practical. They also have some leather Brooks' bags but rhey are heavy.

I love the simplicity of the single speed.
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