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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    I feel like a rock star!

    Ok, not exactly but I've sure gotten a lot of attention with my folder. It's only been 3 days since I started my commute and I've been approached by probably a dozen people.

    It's kinda nice to connect with strangers. Brief, but comforting in a "we're all part of the human family" sorta way.

    Or maybe I just never received too much attention as a kid?

  2. #2
    Life in Mono
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    Bask in it
    except when you are late for a train !

  3. #3
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    Lately, I too have been getting a lot of questions and comments about my folder. Most people are very curious and can instantly see the intelligence and practicality in owning a folder but are hesitant about ever getting one for themselves. By reading their faces, I can tell that they are scared of owning something so out of the norm and that it might make them look like a nerd or loser. Switching to a folding bike is basically like changing your religion or more aptly, losing it.

  4. #4
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    Lately, I too have been getting a lot of questions and comments about my folder. Most people are very curious and can instantly see the intelligence and practicality in owning a folder but are hesitant about ever getting one for themselves. By reading their faces, I can tell that they are scared of owning something so out of the norm and that it might make them look like a nerd or loser. Switching to a folding bike is basically like changing your religion or more aptly, losing it.
    I think buying a folder is one of it being so "high price." Most people are conditioned to pay no more than $100 or so US dollars unless it is a high end road or mountain bike and the person in question is more into biking as a "sport" or other such activity. I usually get a glassy eye spaced out look when someone asks me how much the bike costs-and my bikes are the basic no frills models. But with the rising gas prices most everywhere, I expect more interest as time goes on and less of the spaced out look. The most serious buyers simply ask me where the bike was bought.

  5. #5
    I... Don't care. nekohime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
    I think buying a folder is one of it being so "high price." Most people are conditioned to pay no more than $100 or so US dollars unless it is a high end road or mountain bike and the person in question is more into biking as a "sport" or other such activity. I usually get a glassy eye spaced out look when someone asks me how much the bike costs-and my bikes are the basic no frills models. But with the rising gas prices most everywhere, I expect more interest as time goes on and less of the spaced out look. The most serious buyers simply ask me where the bike was bought.
    Haha, I get the opposite--some people estimate my cheapie Kent's price at $500 or more. One lady on the train even estimated it at $1000!!! They're always surprised that I got it for less than $200. Hm, maybe I should try flipping the bike to one of the more interested askers...

    I love riding around on folders, and the getting to know other people part is definitely a great perk. When I can afford it, I'm definitely gonna get a better one. After China, I will start saving up for a Dahon Curve or Ciao and bask in the ooohs and aaaahs those models would get.
    Wanna join my charity folding bike ride? Sign-up here!
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way :p

  6. #6
    mjw
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    Rather than start a new thread, I'll add a "me too" to this one. I've had my bike only 2 weeks and so many people have approached me and asked me about my Dahon, even on the conversationless train.

    What's the craziest thing anyone's said to you about your bike?

  7. #7
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    When people ask me how much my folder cost, I say "5 tanks of gas, tomorrow it'll be 4."

  8. #8
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    Sotto, that is a great way of putting things... If they can afford to drive for three or four weeks, they can afford the bike.


    R-20's : Costs me less than a tank of gas, and doesnt stink when it gets on my shoes!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Phatatude- Ride em' till the wheels fall off, or your jewels go numb...


    Come check the progress...
    http://web.mac.com/phatatude/Green_S...enty_Blog.html

  9. #9
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    By reading their faces, I can tell that they are scared of owning something so out of the norm and that it might make them look like a nerd or loser. Switching to a folding bike is basically like changing your religion or more aptly, losing it.
    There's definitely something in that. An ex colleague of mine came by when he was in the area and saw my Merc with its 16 inch wheels and laughed. He said, 'Jeez - I bet you look a bit special needs on that.' I refrained from hitting him since he is 6'7" tall, and laughed instead.

  10. #10
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    I've had my folder for less than a week, and I'm already used to people asking me about it. People will say "cool bike!" out of nowhere. A group of middle school kids started applauding when I rode by (They old me it was for the bike.) My neighbor asked, with a grin, if I can do tricks on it. Two people at work have tried riding it. Folks ask me where they can get one. Yeah, it's kinda cool. I tell people not to get a folding bike if they don't like strangers striking up conversations with them.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  11. #11
    trouble
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    I bought a folder within weeks of chatting up a guy on a tikit. (Nevermind that we were in front of a Dunkin Donuts). I thought I was crazy because I already had two perfectly good bikes. Of course I've since learned that I'm much less crazy than some... uh, in this regard.

    My best day out - one in a pack of 10-12ish boys exclaimed "That bike is sick! Cool!", then a lone roadie passed me going the other way, said "Nice bike" and kinda grinned. Oh sure maybe he was being sarcastic. I prefer to think not.

  12. #12
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    I've only had one derisive comment on a folder:

    It was a guy on a fixie who was going in the opposite direction and made an obviously forced obnoxious laugh at my Downtube VIIIH (presumably because of the wheel size?). It's hard to understand what he was laughing at since I think the VIIIH is rather cool looking and my wheels were within a few inches of his. God only knows what he would have done if I were riding my Carryme; Most people don't say anything and just start snapping pictures.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    I get at least one comment or question every day on my bike... usually multiple comments or questions. Lucky me, I'm the gregarious and open type.

    The question that is asked most often is, "how much does that bike cost?" followed by "what kind of bike is that?" followed by ""Does that thing fit in your pocket?"

    The comment most often uttered in my general direction is... "Cool Bike!"

    --sam

  14. #14
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snidelys4 View Post
    then a lone roadie passed me going the other way, said "Nice bike" and kinda grinned. Oh sure maybe he was being sarcastic. I prefer to think not.
    I give folders a shout-out when I'm on my road bike. Don't assume it was sarcasm just because it was a roadie.
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

  15. #15
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Boy View Post
    I give folders a shout-out when I'm on my road bike. Don't assume it was sarcasm just because it was a roadie.
    +1, I do the same.

    My Birdy gets me tons of attention everywhere I go. It's generally nice, except when I'm in a hurry.

    I'm also not sure how to answer the "how much did it cost?" question. I just tell people there is a large range of folding bikes available at different price points. I guess I'm a little nervous about someone scoping it out to decide if it's worth stealing.

  16. #16
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msincredible View Post
    +1, I do the same.

    My Birdy gets me tons of attention everywhere I go. It's generally nice, except when I'm in a hurry.

    I'm also not sure how to answer the "how much did it cost?" question. I just tell people there is a large range of folding bikes available at different price points. I guess I'm a little nervous about someone scoping it out to decide if it's worth stealing.
    I generally just answer the question. I'll try your answer, though, it's a good one.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    I do the same thing regarding cost. I tell people there is a range of prices for folding bikes. Mine happens to cost X, but there are cheaper ones and more expensive ones... just like any bicycle.

    --sam

  18. #18
    Explorer CaptainSpalding's Avatar
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    The only negative comment I've received was from my laugh-a-minute brother, who told me that I looked like a trained bear while on a folder. I told him to be careful as one never knows when a wild animal will go on a rampage.

    Quote Originally Posted by v6v6v6 View Post
    I feel like a rock star!
    That's the way I always think of you, Eugene.
    Last edited by CaptainSpalding; 06-18-08 at 11:38 AM.
    I came to say I must be folding . . .
    Dahon Jetstream XP
    Dahon Helios SL
    Strida 5.0
    Twenty project


    or not . . .
    Fisher Mt. Tam (c.1988)
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    Schwinn Twinn Deluxe

  19. #19
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    If someone I don't really know asks the price of my BF out of idle curiousity, I'll tend to say something like, "Well, this one is pretty expensive because it was custom made, but you can get folders for around the cost of normal bikes." If they seem like they are asking the question because they've been considering a folder, I may go into exhaustive detail (i.e., "I also went for a custom color - stealth black - even though there was a $50 upcharge...")

  20. #20
    I... Don't care. nekohime's Avatar
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    I'm ok with saying the price of my bike since it's cheap anyway. If I get a more expensive one though (soon my preciouuuuusssss... sooooooon), I'll probably say what ms. incredible says, or say something like "well, it depends on the model, but you can look it up online"
    Wanna join my charity folding bike ride? Sign-up here!
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way :p

  21. #21
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nekohime View Post
    I'm ok with saying the price of my bike since it's cheap anyway. If I get a more expensive one though (soon my preciouuuuusssss... sooooooon), I'll probably say what ms. incredible says, or say something like "well, it depends on the model, but you can look it up online"
    If people ask me what folders cost, I'll have to clarify if they mean the bikes or the addiction.....

  22. #22
    lube addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by sotto View Post
    When people ask me how much my folder cost, I say "5 tanks of gas, tomorrow it'll be 4."
    I like it! We should have our own currency conversion. For Americans $80USD = 1TOG ( for folder pricing in "tank of gas" units). So my folder costs 7 ($560).

  23. #23
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    I think the "tank of gas" pricing is very good.

    I have to agree with what Folder Fanatic said earlier, peoples eyes just glass over when you tell them what a quality folder costs. The average person has no idea what a quality folder costs - such as her Brompton or our Fridays. They can relate to the $129.00 my single speed Dahon cost, but likely not to the $135.00 I paid for the Thudbuster seat post that adorns that bike.

    The problem is that most folks see regular bikes at WalMart for $49.00-$79.00 or in sporting goods store ads for $159.00-$359.00 They never see the Bicycling Magazines with the ads and test reports on a plethora of bikes from $3,000-$12,000.

    My wife handles it pretty well - she says there is a wide range of prices depending on what meets one's needs.

  24. #24
    Menace on Wheels
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    It can be dangerous to talk about bikes and money at the same time. I was recently talking to my father late at night over the phone, and telling him about my shiny new $7K hospital bill. Then somehow shortly after we got on the subjects of bikes. The next day I got 3 different phone calls from family members asking me why on Earth I spent $7K on a bike.

    I don't get the rock star thing so much though. I don't live in an area where I commute on the bike. I mainly got a folder to keep in the trunk when I'm traveling, but most of the time it stays assembled and ready to ride in the garage, so no one sees it folded up. My last bike was a recumbent, and you can imagine what riding that around people is like. Everyone wanted to know everything about it when I rolled by. It always got a smile out of people. On my folding bike though, I feel like I'm in an invisible bubble. No one ever pays me any attention as I ride by.

    It's kind of nice.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by msincredible View Post
    .....
    I'm also not sure how to answer the "how much did it cost?" question. .... I guess I'm a little nervous about someone scoping it out to decide if it's worth stealing.
    Yes, that's a good point. You could always say "Oh, it was a present" (maybe truthfully to yourself) thus avoiding answering that directly.



    EvilV

    I hope your kickstart leg is mending well?

    In the UK, conformism is pretty much the norm, & many people who could benefit from a folding bicycle never will, because such bicycles don't fit the "normal" pattern.

    Likewise with cars, one finds whole neighbourhoods with a particular "class" of car, & nothing less would fit in. It's all very sad.

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