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  1. #1
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    is security an adequate reason

    My main reason for buying a folding bicycle rather than a conventional bicycle, is that I'm pissed off at bicycle theft and believe that no lock can protect my bicycle from imbecilic criminals.

    There are apparently "bicycle lockers" available, but I'm still very keen on bicycle innovations that finally would outsmart a thief.

    Do you think I should just get a ridiculously big lock/chain for a big bicycle, which I would think would give me a better ride for a lower price than getting a folding bicycle which... in a budgeted search, comes up with folders that aren't completely satisfactory? only the Brompton seems to have an enough compact size to feasibly carry in a backpack, but it's too expensive for me :/
    and, folders are all in the 19-27 lbs range, which isn't light. Anyone find a solution to that, any way to wheel it around rather than lug it around?

    I know you all are folding bicycle converts, but I think I only had one big reason to get a folding bicycle: evading the massive problem of bicycle theft. I have a minor concern about storing it in my dorm room, but that's not going to happen until next year, I'll have a year ahead of me where it's just a security that's my concern.
    Is that enough reason to oft for a folding bicycle? sacrificing the comfort/value of a traditional bike?
    Last edited by burmesepenguin; 08-27-07 at 11:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Whether you'll find a folder suitable for you may depend to some extent on your physical size, and just how fast a cyclist you already are. Also, for some designs it will depend on how far you expect to ride. If you are not massively tall, and just want to ride about in a fairly liesurely way, there are excellent folders that are not really expensive, like the Downtube series and the Merc (available quite cheaply in the UK). Smaller bikes like the DT Mini, and the Dahon Curve, are very capable bikes but may require a slightly unaccustomed riding posture because they have short wheelbase, but they work VERY well and can be ridden longish distances. Brompton and Merc (a Taiwanese copy of the B) ride very well too. You won't enter the Tour de France on any of these bikes, but they all fold up pretty small and can be carried easily around by any half fit person.

    PM me if you want any information on the Merc.
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  3. #3
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    First, I don't think there is a sacrifice in comfort. But no, there isn't a comfortable folder that you can carry in your backpack. The Birdy has a backpack option, but the bike is too bulky to be comfortable on your back.

    A full size road bike + New York Kryptonite + seat lock = 45-50 pounds. The locks cost over $100, so the whole package is much heavier than a Huffy mountain bike and not a particularly good value. Thus, it all depends on your perspective. I just walk around with my bike in my hands.

  4. #4
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    pm124 is right, you won't have to sacrifice comfort. My Dahon speed 7 is very comfortable. It's my main bike. I only use my MTB for trail riding and heavy touring.

    You just can't jump curbs and beat a folder like you can a MTB.
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  5. #5
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    Before opting to purchase a folder, you have to weigh all of the pros and cons as to why you'd like one. Is it just for security? Is it that you have no space? Is it that bikes aren't allowed in certain places? Then if you say yes to at least two of those, then you can go to ... how much you want to ride? Where will the bike be ridden? And then what is that worth in $$ to you... is a good bike what you want, or a cheap folder that you are just going to use every now and then?

    It took me months to finally make a decision, but if you're going to spend $$$ on a bike... you have to be sure that it is what you want and it will work for what you need it to work for.

  6. #6
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    The question I have for you is: Why can't you just take your regular bike inside instead of locking it outside?

    Is it against someone's policy (building administration, train conductor, etc)? If so, are you sure that a folding bike won't also be against policy?

    Do you simply feel that a folding bike would fit better in the spaces you have available? Remember that, apart from wheel size, folding bikes aren't really much smaller than nonfolding bikes. They are just shaped differently and there are many situations where a folding bike would be more in the way than a nonfolding one (for example, behind a couch, in a narrow hallway, etc).

    If you're just thinking that a folding bike would be more convenient to always have by your side when meandering around at stores, at school, or at parties I would think again. Even Brompton owners seem to prefer unfolding their bikes for such tasks and only folding when tucking it away somewhere (behind a train seat, under a restaurant table, in a closet, in a suitcase, etc). The one exception to this rule is the Carryme by Pacific Cycles which is about as troublesome as taking a bundle of 4 full size umbrellas. Although the Carryme is not going to compare to a full sized bike, it will get you from point A to point B within civilization as well as any other bike.

    If you're serious about having your bike by your side at all times then, in my opinion, the Carryme is your only option. However, have you considered a dual lock/take approach? How about getting something like the Dahon smoothhound? It's small enough that you should be able to take it with you if you're staying somewhere overnight (for example, you could probably fit it under the bed in your dorm room), but when you're just hanging out you can take the handlebars, seat, and front wheel with you while locking the rest (and the handlebars, seat, and front wheel will be much less cumbersome to carry around than any folding bike).
    Last edited by makeinu; 08-28-07 at 07:46 AM.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    I don't need to carry it everywhere, only say, if I see a store I want to buy from, I can stop my bike, fold it, and then carry it into the store, and not have it obstructing everything and weighing me down tremendously.

    I'm not tall, and I think upright riding is very quaint and European-like, I don't mind that.
    I do only need it for leisurely rides, no rushed commutes, maybe an occasional one, but not daily, and definitely no stunts. So in that sense, I'm fine getting a folder.
    I think my desire for having a safe bike will prevent me from getting a conventional bike. :/ Okay, I think I'm settled on folders. Thanks guys

    I'm very interested in getting the Dahon Curve D3, because the store sells it and it seems best - though it only comes in bright red, I'm thinking of getting it a dark grey paint job..

  8. #8
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burmesepenguin View Post
    I'm very interested in getting the Dahon Curve D3, because the store sells it and it seems best - though it only comes in bright red, I'm thinking of getting it a dark grey paint job..
    There is a more expensive SL version that is grey ... although not very dark.

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