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  1. #1
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    Please help ne choose the right folding bikes..

    Hello,

    I would like to buy the best bikes for my budget. I started looking into folding bikes recently so I don't know much or even half of the options I have in buying a good folding pair of bike.

    I live in NYC so my dream bikes will be the ones I'll be able to carry on the subway/bus/cab without making people think I'm crazy while killing myself with the bike size and weight..
    I'm also afraid to buy something very expensive and have it stolen, after all I'm a student who supports himself... cash isn't something I have plenty of.
    I would love to get your advices on which bikes to get, And this is my main idea with this post- To get advices from people who KNOW what is out there and what will be good.

    my current top 3 bikes are:
    1. Sinclair A bike
    2. Mobiky genius
    3. Strida 3

    Don't think that I'm lucked on this models!!! I merely wanted to show my direction and all notes and advices will be very very welcomed!!

    THANK YOU!

  2. #2
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    I am not sure if you ever tried any of the bikes you listed, but the compromise is quite big when you go from conventional bikes to those small wheeled ones. I personally did not enjoy the Mobiky Genius when I test rode it and decided that the smallest wheel size that I would ever allow me to ride would be 16".
    You might be very well served with a Brompton C3E - Entry level bike from Brompton, one of the references all other bikes are measured against when it is time to fold and deal with your bike once folded.

    Since you are in NYC, check www.bfold.com

    The Brompton will be small enough for you to get a cab with the bike on your lap, without compromising the riding feel as much as the smaller wheeled bikes you listed.

    Just my opinion. Others will disagree though.

    Good luck on your final choice and let us know what you end up buying. This thread might help others in the future.





    14R

  3. #3
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greendot View Post
    I live in NYC so my dream bikes will be the ones I'll be able to carry on the subway/bus/cab without making people think I'm crazy while killing myself with the bike size and weight.
    Y'know, I'm rather unclear on why you'd need to regularly take a bike onto the subway. In NYC, you won't need to take the subway / cab / bus if you have a bike. In many instances, a bicycle will be the fastest form of transportation in NYC.

    I'd go for a folding bike if you want to save space in your apartment, or if you plan to commute and don't want to leave it outside -- assuming the building your employer is in will allow you to bring it inside, which is not always a given....

  4. #4
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    I agree with 14R. A Brompton C3E is the perfect bike for someone who wants a good bike but not break the bank. I own one for 2 years now and just love it! Although I am not sure if that model is still available for purchase new. I also have a Dahon Piccolo and a Dahon Boardwalk. If you need additonal assistance with selecting the right bike for you, just see my Web site series below. The Selection section of my Geocities web site goes into great detail on how to figure out the right bike for you and your own situation. The Flickr Photos show the bikes in action and the features each one either already has or that I added to. Please feel free to ask if you have any more questions.

  5. #5
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    I think the brompton is bigger than the ones I mentioned plus I was only able to find them for a very high price..
    I'll try to get a ride on the bikes to see how I like it but I would be really happy to get some more opinios on models.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greendot View Post
    I think the brompton is bigger than the ones I mentioned plus I was only able to find them for a very high price..
    I'll try to get a ride on the bikes to see how I like it but I would be really happy to get some more opinios on models.

    Thanks
    Why not be explicit about your budget?

    You should also give us a rough estimate of your physical dimensions.

    I thought that Brompton ceased production of the low-end model leaving only ~$900 and up bikes. But it is just a fuzzy memory. You might be able to find a used one with some discount.

    Bacc has a point. Although a bike with a small fold like the Brompton--particularly if you put it in a bag--will be allowed in just about any office building.

  7. #7
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    As a folder neophyte, I would suggest getting a suspension
    model if you are going to be spending a lot of time on it.
    I hate suspsensions on full size bikes but after about 9 miles
    on my DownTube I wish I had opted for something with
    rear suspension.

  8. #8
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=- View Post
    As a folder neophyte, I would suggest getting a suspension
    model if you are going to be spending a lot of time on it.
    I hate suspsensions on full size bikes but after about 9 miles
    on my DownTube I wish I had opted for something with
    rear suspension.
    Have you tried swapping the tires out for something wider like the Schwalbe Big Apples?

    On the Mini it made a huge difference.

    Regarding the suspension, remember that suspension adds weight which can be a hassle if you have to carry the bike.

  9. #9
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    Have you tried swapping the tires out for something wider like the Schwalbe Big Apples?

    On the Mini it made a huge difference.

    Regarding the suspension, remember that suspension adds weight which can be a hassle if you have to carry the bike.
    Thanks IH !
    I always see them mentioned here but always thought
    it was a rolling resistance issue they helped with, not
    comfort. I will look into them along with a thudbuster
    type seatpost

  10. #10
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    Regarding the suspension, remember that suspension adds weight which can be a hassle if you have to carry the bike.
    Not so much with the Birdy, which is one of the lighter folders out there. They run $850 for the entry model (white/yellow), though, probably too much $$. http://birdy.yeahbike.com/alivio8.html Never leave your bike outside, ever. If you bring your bike with you, it won't get stolen. And you can resell it at near full value.

    Of the bikes that ride reasonably well, the Brompton is the smallest, the Birdy rides like a performance machine but is bigger. I think that the Birdy is the only quality performance folder with a relatively small fold. I take mine on the subway only if the conditions outside are outrageous (high winds/rain). Neither loses much value when used, so you won't find either for less than $500-$600. One sees a ton of Bromptons on the bike path, a fair number of Giant Halfways (too heavy for you), a few Swifts, and lots of Dahons. The Swift is probably the best value for a reliable performance folder, but doesn't work well as a multi-mode. Dahon offers a lot of cheap folders that easily go on the subway, but they might not be as durable as the toehrs.

    The bikes you mention are great multi-mode bikes, but as pointed out, bikes are often the fastest way to get around NYC, and none of these will be very good on potholed streets.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by greendot View Post
    I think the brompton is bigger than the ones I mentioned plus I was only able to find them for a very high price..
    I'll try to get a ride on the bikes to see how I like it but I would be really happy to get some more opinios on models.

    Thanks
    Forget the Brompton if it's too expensive. If you don't have $1,000 dollars to spend on a folder, then the Brompton is out of the question.

    However, life does not end because you don't have this kind of cash. An ultra-portable folder makes very good sence on crowded trains and buses. Out of the three choices you made, I can only recommend the Strida. First, it's affordable at about half the price of a Brompton. It's lighter and rolls much like a baby buggy. This is going to be very important if you intend to carry about 30lbs of books in one hand and the folder in the other. I like the fact you can bring the bike on trains and buses and can still get a seat and not block the aisle. It has a 30 day money back guaranty so you can't lose.

    Also look at the Pacific Carryme.

    I have the A-Bike and cannot recommend it. Wheels are too small and does not freewheel very well.

  12. #12
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    I really like the strida but i'm a bit un sure about taking it on the NYC subway. What about the mobiky genius?
    BTW I'm 5'10" and about 165 pounds (178cm and 75kg)

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    Quote Originally Posted by greendot View Post
    I really like the strida but i'm a bit un sure about taking it on the NYC subway. What about the mobiky genius?
    BTW I'm 5'10" and about 165 pounds (178cm and 75kg)
    The Mobiky costs almost $700.00 dollars. I don't know how well it holds up together as rolling the bike is very important. I also don't know if the bike is too small for you.

  14. #14
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=- View Post
    Thanks IH !
    I always see them mentioned here but always thought
    it was a rolling resistance issue they helped with, not
    comfort. I will look into them along with a thudbuster
    type seatpost
    The Big Apples are designed for a wide range of tire pressure. So if you want a more cushy ride, just use them at the low end of the range. Definitely try it before you test out the thudbuster.

    Good luck!

    -G

    EDIT: If my memory is correct, the 16" Big Apples can operate with as little as 30 psi. With stuff, I probably weight something on the order of 200 pounds. But if I want a more cushy ride, I lower the pressure to about 45-50 psi. That leaves a lot more range for a more "cushy" ride.
    Last edited by invisiblehand; 10-28-07 at 07:33 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    Have you tried swapping the tires out for something wider like the Schwalbe Big Apples?

    On the Mini it made a huge difference.

    Regarding the suspension, remember that suspension adds weight which can be a hassle if you have to carry the bike.
    I've read a lot of great reviews of the Big Apples - especially in relation to the Dahon Curve. The surprising thing is that people say they are fast as well as absorbent of bumps. The two things don't normally go togther.
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  16. #16
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greendot View Post
    I think the brompton is bigger than the ones I mentioned plus I was only able to find them for a very high price..
    I'll try to get a ride on the bikes to see how I like it but I would be really happy to get some more opinios on models.

    Thanks
    It is bigger, but it is small enough to do the things you need to do and, so far, it is the only "full size" bike replacement. Never heard of people doing 1200km on an A-Bike or Strida.

    It is more expensive than most bikes listed here, but it is a design that has been around for a nice while and it is not uncommon to see people riding their Bromptons after 10-20 years.

    You can get one, brand new, for less than a US$1K.

  17. #17
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    I think you'll find that "the ride" of a Xootr Swift will be as good if not better than many of the more expensive folders. Unfortunately, Xooter Swifts don't fold to a very compact size. Check out the "Swift Folders "thread in this forum. Suggestion: Swap out stock tires for wider ones.
    http://tinyurl.com/3cly8s

  18. #18
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    I've read a lot of great reviews of the Big Apples - especially in relation to the Dahon Curve. The surprising thing is that people say they are fast as well as absorbent of bumps. The two things don't normally go togther.
    I just read a blip with the conclusion that tire pressure had less effect on rolling resistance than expected. Unfortunately, I can't remember where and I am way behind on a few things. But if I come across it--and someone else here has not passed along the article--I will definitely send it to you.

    -G

  19. #19
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greendot View Post
    I really like the strida but i'm a bit un sure about taking it on the NYC subway. What about the mobiky genius?
    BTW I'm 5'10" and about 165 pounds (178cm and 75kg)
    At that size, you are a good ergonomic fit for most folding bikes.

    What is more important to you: ride quality or compact fold? How much more important?

    How aggressive is your riding style? Or are you just trying to get around?

    How far will most of your rides be?

    Will you be carrying stuff? Will you be shopping with the bike?

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