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Thread: Which Folder?

  1. #1
    Xtreme Commuting London tonka.toy's Avatar
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    Which Folder?

    Hi,

    my last bike got folded in half, the only problem was that it was not meant to. I'm just about ready for a new bike and I'm thinking that a folding bike would be really handy. I'm mid way through changing cars and I no longer have a car big enough to throw a MTB in the back.

    I do a lot of coaching at a rowing club and often need to take a bike with me when we go to training camps or away races. I also want soemthing I can use as a weekend bike but I will probably buy/build a road only bike for comuting.

    So I'm currently tempted by the Dahon Matrix & Cadenza. I'm also looking at the Montague Paratrooper and Swissbike.

    I like the idea of having full size wheels and standard components, I also like the look of these bikes.

    So are there any other similar bikes out there?

    What are the real pro's and cons with these bikes, which ones have the best locking systems etc.

    And will they fit in the trunk of a Honda S2000 with the wheels off (the bike).


    Thanks in advance...
    Last edited by tonka.toy; 09-10-07 at 05:21 PM.

    Daily Ride - Specialized HRXC
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  2. #2
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Y'know, I haven't heard too many positive comments about any of those bikes. People don't seem to like the components on the Montagues. The last guy I remember talking about the Dahons basically stripped the thing and built it up to fit his preferences.

    They ought to fit in the trunk of a car.

    What are your uses, by the way? Are you a serious MTB'er?

  3. #3
    Xtreme Commuting London tonka.toy's Avatar
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    It's mostly riverside paths and paving for me. I don't do any serious offroad.

    Components are not too much of a problem, I usually end up customising any bike I've ever bought. I also have bunch of goodies that I can pull off my knackered old frame.

    I think my concerns are more to do with the frame, pitty that neither comapny does a frame only option.

    cw

    Daily Ride - Specialized HRXC
    Upgraded everything just the frame remains
    Hone Cranks with 38 & 50 Tooth TA rings, Mavic CrossRides, Schwalbe tyres no tubes, Trigon Carbon Fork, Avid Juicy 5s, FSA headset, ITM stem, XTR cables

    Rat Fixie - 1970s Dawes Lightning
    New items - Raliegh 700c flip-flop wheelset, Bontager Hardcase tyres, cheapo KF crankset.
    Bike shop bargain bin - Shimano square taper BB, long seat post, Assorted bearings and bits.
    ebay - Crank Brother Candy Ti

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    "I like the idea of having full size wheels and standard components"

    Montague frames have a non standard geometry that makes finding fenders ect hard.

    The BB is 126mm I believe, and will not support chain rings larger than 42t or 44t.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  5. #5
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonka.toy View Post
    And will they fit in the trunk of a Honda S2000 with the wheels off (the bike).


    Thanks in advance...
    How small is that trunk?

    I know a few people that use the full-size folders as beater bikes. But nothing serious. They seem happy with them but I really don't know any details.

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    I had the Dahon Cadenza. It was a pretty nice bike, which surprised me. I was expecting a pile that I would have to upgrade. It rode nicely, was fairly light, and didn't flex. The problem was that in order to get it into my VW I had to remove the front wheel and loosen the handlebars, and the pedals sometimes presented a problem. Not really very convenient as a usable folder.
    Gave it to the daughter who rides it regularly.
    PCG

  7. #7
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    To myself as well a full sized folder often seems well,.. a contradiction in terms and somewhat self defeating. Though it is true that the size of most folders wheels and the general look take some getting used to i'd say the trade of in bullet proof wheels, easy fold, portability etc. is well worth it. There are quite a few folders out there that take very standard parts. For your intended use i'd think about looking at the Xootr Swift, a Downtube, a (sturdy/touring) Dahon etc. Would definitely recommend Schwalbe Big apples for the plush feel without coupled with some off road capability and pretty good speed.

    Most of the big folder designs are bulky frames with rather little proven use in the field, seems to have a pity to spend cash on a folder that might still require a lot of heaving or even some disassembly to fit it in a trunk. The best folder IMHO is one that suits your purposes and taste but especially one that the use the most and enjoy the most. It is very possibly that removing and re attaching the wheels every time and getting grease allover oneself might wear very thin very rapidly and the folder might see more and more of the trunk rather than trails..
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  8. #8
    Xtreme Commuting London tonka.toy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info so far.

    Pismocycleguy, Was that one of the old style Cadenza's, I'm less than 100% convinced by the new one.

    v1nce, I hear you about the assembly issues, but the rowers take ages to bolt their boats together ;-) . I also want a bike that I can use as a daily pop here - go there - sort of ride. I'm also quite a big fella (modest too) and and I'm concerned about looking a bit "clown car" on one of the smaller folders. I've just been looking at the airnimal bikes. midway between the two type of folders.

    invisiblehand, The S2000 trunk is big enough for a golf bag but not massive, I don't have it yet so can't measure it, I think it would take a 26" wheel easily.

    geo8rge, I'm not a lover of fenders but chainrings might be a bit of a problem, I like 48s and I had a 50 on my last MTB

    Daily Ride - Specialized HRXC
    Upgraded everything just the frame remains
    Hone Cranks with 38 & 50 Tooth TA rings, Mavic CrossRides, Schwalbe tyres no tubes, Trigon Carbon Fork, Avid Juicy 5s, FSA headset, ITM stem, XTR cables

    Rat Fixie - 1970s Dawes Lightning
    New items - Raliegh 700c flip-flop wheelset, Bontager Hardcase tyres, cheapo KF crankset.
    Bike shop bargain bin - Shimano square taper BB, long seat post, Assorted bearings and bits.
    ebay - Crank Brother Candy Ti

  9. #9
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonka.toy View Post
    I've just been looking at the airnimal bikes. midway between the two type of folders.
    What is your budget? If you are looking at Airnimals, then I assume you have a lot of flexibility. Most people that check out the Airnimals usually compare them to Bike Fridays (approximately the same price range). There is a new series of bikes under the name Reach that might suit your needs too.

    20" folding bikes are pretty convenient and would probably fit in that trunk without removing the wheels. You might want to test them out before eliminating them from the competition.

  10. #10
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    you want a cadenza .. great bikes and will fit into the trunk od the s 2000.. yes you will have to take the wheels out .....at least I think ...

    thor

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    rhm
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonka.toy View Post
    I like the idea of having full size wheels and standard components, I also like the look of these bikes.
    Just get over it!

    At least, try some of the 20" options or even the 16" options. I really don't see the point of big wheels any more.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonka.toy View Post
    Thanks for the info so far.

    Pismocycleguy, Was that one of the old style Cadenza's, I'm less than 100% convinced by the new one.
    It was the 2006 model 20" Cadenza, 16 speed, Item #DA663-20-E-4. Purchased May 2006. I do not know if this qualifies as the "new" or the "old" model. But if was painted flat black. Nice bike, but not a handy small folder in my opinion.
    PCG

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