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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 09-18-07, 09:36 AM   #1
Costello
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Advice for a clyde

Hi guys. I'm looking at an old Raleigh Twenty this afternoon and was hoping you guys can help me out. I'm a fatty (6'3", 280) and everything about a folding bike doesn't seem right for me . I'm changing my location soon to a mass transit-friendly area and a folding bike would be a great help. I know I'll have to make some modifications to it due to my height, but will my weight be that huge of an issue? Pardon my ignorance, and thanks for the help!
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Old 09-18-07, 10:14 AM   #2
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I'm sure someone will be along to help you directly. Not an expert, but the twenty isn't anything like as compact on mass transit as many of the more modern folders, though it is a very fine and excellent riding bike. I'm not sure about the weight issue though, so we'll have to wait for a more expert helper. If you're looking this afternoon at the twenty, fold it up and then picture getting onto a train with it (or bus). For real compact folders, bikes like the Brompton (expensive) are unbeatable, very closely followed by Dahon Curve (almost as neat) which comes in two forms, the D3 which is cheap, and the SL which is more expensive, but with some nicer features, especially that it weighs next to nothing.

New bikes will cost a lot more obviously than an old twenty - you'll need to assess the fold though.
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Old 09-18-07, 10:27 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Costello View Post
Hi guys. I'm looking at an old Raleigh Twenty this afternoon and was hoping you guys can help me out. I'm a fatty (6'3", 280) and everything about a folding bike doesn't seem right for me . I'm changing my location soon to a mass transit-friendly area and a folding bike would be a great help. I know I'll have to make some modifications to it due to my height, but will my weight be that huge of an issue? Pardon my ignorance, and thanks for the help!
Hmmmmm, well I recall that some of the guys from the Clydesdale forum have folding bikes. I forget which models they have and how heavy they are. I am sure that at 280, you are above the stated max weight for most mass produced bikes; although the max weight is typically conservative. I think that if you worked yourself down to 250, you would have a lot more choices.

You can definitely get a Bike Friday since they will produce one with thicker tubing for taller and heavier riders. But relative to a used R20, you will definitely pay a lot more for the bike. As you may know already, they are now producing a more commuter friendly bike called the tikit.

-G

EDIT: In case you are unfamiliar with the brand, the (very) rough dollar figure for a low-end Bike Friday will be $1000.
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Old 09-18-07, 10:40 AM   #4
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The 20 should work for you, it is steel I believe, it did survive this long. Check all welds for cracks.

The wheels should have a min of 36 spokes, or you are asking for trouble. As it is used make sure the spokes are properly tensioned. Otherwise buy used BMX wheels off ebay, CL, or look in the garbage.

If you do not want a folding bike consider a BMX. They are made for abuse, and while you weigh allot more than the typical rider you will not be doing aerials.
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Old 09-18-07, 10:53 AM   #5
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This is some really great advice. The only reason I'm looking at the Twenty is because it's at a really good price ($80), but I don't want to have the thing fail on me when I plop on it. All my bikes are steel by necessity, and this is my first venture into the realm of folders.
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Old 09-18-07, 11:06 AM   #6
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I mass a bit more than you and have been very happy with my Bike Friday NWT -- but I've only had it 5 months so who knows. I was a little leery of folders with a hinge in the middle of the frame. With the BF your weight helps keep the bike "unfolded." Of course it cost a little more than $80
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Old 09-18-07, 01:27 PM   #7
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This is some really great advice. The only reason I'm looking at the Twenty is because it's at a really good price ($80), but I don't want to have the thing fail on me when I plop on it. All my bikes are steel by necessity, and this is my first venture into the realm of folders.
As long as the bike is designed for a 280 pound person, I don't think that frame material will matter much. A small wheel is stronger than an equal number of spokes big wheel.

The Raleigh 20 has a lot of fans. But I never heard of a person folding and unfolding the Raleigh 20 a lot.
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Old 09-18-07, 04:22 PM   #8
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As long as the bike is designed for a 280 pound person, I don't think that frame material will matter much. A small wheel is stronger than an equal number of spokes big wheel.

The Raleigh 20 has a lot of fans. But I never heard of a person folding and unfolding the Raleigh 20 a lot.
Pardon my ignorance, but isn't the point of a folder to ... well ... fold it? Or does it not fold enough to make it good for the purposes I hope to use it for?
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Old 09-18-07, 05:48 PM   #9
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Pardon my ignorance, but isn't the point of a folder to ... well ... fold it? Or does it not fold enough to make it good for the purposes I hope to use it for?
I don't have one. So I really can't elaborate much. It does fold ... just not a very compact fold. It is also heavy ... so you really don't want to carry it far. So it doesn't fit the mold of the typical multi-mode commuter bike.

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Old 09-18-07, 06:15 PM   #10
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Costello,
I own my own Twenty and love it. Its my favorite ride, even though I have a "go fast" bike with Shimano 105 and Ultegra components that weighs easily 10-12 pounds lighter than the Twenty.You will have no issue with (your) weight. The biggest problem I see for you is the fact that Raleigh Twenty's don't really fold up all that small. I would not want to take my Twenty on the local train to NYC during rush hour. I shudder at the thought of it. It's a great, solidly built bike whose fold makes it a great space saver. You can even throw it in your car trunk. I would say it's a little too big for general mass transit.

If I were you, I would still pick it up, though. By using it for a couple of weeks, you will figure out exactly what you really want out of a folding bike. If the Raleigh doesn't fit the bill, you can easily sell it on Ebay for at least $125-$150, not including the price of shipping! That's right, you'll make money on it that you can put towards the folder you really want or need. Of course, you might fall in love with it and throw vast amounts of money at it, like so many of us have!

my 2 cents,

Juan
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Old 09-19-07, 09:52 AM   #11
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Costello,
I own my own Twenty and love it. Its my favorite ride, even though I have a "go fast" bike with Shimano 105 and Ultegra components that weighs easily 10-12 pounds lighter than the Twenty.You will have no issue with (your) weight. The biggest problem I see for you is the fact that Raleigh Twenty's don't really fold up all that small. I would not want to take my Twenty on the local train to NYC during rush hour. I shudder at the thought of it. It's a great, solidly built bike whose fold makes it a great space saver. You can even throw it in your car trunk. I would say it's a little too big for general mass transit.

If I were you, I would still pick it up, though. By using it for a couple of weeks, you will figure out exactly what you really want out of a folding bike. If the Raleigh doesn't fit the bill, you can easily sell it on Ebay for at least $125-$150, not including the price of shipping! That's right, you'll make money on it that you can put towards the folder you really want or need. Of course, you might fall in love with it and throw vast amounts of money at it, like so many of us have!

my 2 cents,

Juan

I picked it up. You guys are right, It would be pretty hard to travel in and out of buses and trains and the like with it . However, it's such an attractive bike! I can't wait to start fiddling with it!
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Old 09-19-07, 06:29 PM   #12
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Hi Costello,

I would think that you would be OK on most folders designed to carry luggage. Not sure what the Dahons are rated to carry with respect to luggage. My bike is rated for a 240 pound rider and 80 pounds on the racks, or 320 pounds. Sure would be nice to see more tailored machines out there. Japan has a lot of bikes for little folks, but that's about it.

Best,

P
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