*warning* longer post...
I'm planning to buy a folding bike. I've looked around quite a bit for reviews and posts from other users. In terms of value for money, I'm quite tempted by some of the Dahon models. Yet there are some remaining questions. The main use of the folder will be commuting via train - and potentially also serving as a general purpose bike for town and country. My budget is somewhere up to 500 pounds, potentially a bit more. Yet there are some constraints to the choice available. As the subject line indicates, I am a bit taller than the average rider with 1.92m (just under 6'4") and currently a bit on the heavy side with a weight of about 100kg (15.7 stone, ), yet I plan to go down to 90kg (14.2 stone). With all winter clothes and the rucksack with laptop, it could currently be up to 110 kg that the bike needs to carry. According to what I have found so far, the only folder brand that gives an indication of weight limits is Dahon. For their 20" models they indicate a maximum rider weight of 105kg. I guess the other issue is the size of the frame. On my current bike the length from the lowest point of the pedal to the saddle surface is 98 cm. I guess I could cope with a bit less as well. For the Dahon models the maximum distance is 96cm or 98cm with suspension seat post. I have not found any similar specs for other folders.
My current favourites from the Dahon range are all equipped with hub dynamo light system, mudguards and a rack - all essential for any utility bike that I would consider (IMHO).
- Dahon Speed D7, very cheap around £300, yet fairly simple low quality gears,
- Dahon MU XL, more pricy around £530, low maintenance Nexus 8 Premium hub gears, slightly higher seat post,
- Dahon Impulse TR, around £500, very wide range Dual Drive gears plus front/back rack, Big Apple tires for suspension.
At the moment my favourite would be the MU XL. My only concern would be the Aluminium as a frame material. I've always had steel frames on my previous bikes, which might be less likely to get a sudden crack. The Speed D7 would be an option just for the commuting. I would then get an extra bike for longer rides.
Has anyone got experience with the models above, especially for heavy tall riders?
How easy do they fit into trains? I would also consider other folder brands such as Brompton/ Riese & Müller Birdy, yet I’m not sure if these smaller wheeled bikes are suitable for my size and weight.
Does anyone know a good shop for folding bikes around Liverpool that allows test rides?