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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 01-08-08, 03:41 PM   #1
destro713
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Best sub-$500 16" folder for someone who's 5'11", 220#?

I'm looking for a folder that will pack easily into an airline-legal case with as little disassembly as possible, and fit under my desk at work if needed. I guess that means 16" is the way to go. And I'm broke as hell so I'd like to stay under $500. I'm 5'11", 220, and I'd like to be able to support the weight of small backpack for traveling -- on a rack, or on my back if I end up having to carry something else with the rack unexpectedly. Which would be best for me? Seems like the DT Mini and the Curve D3 are the only options but are there others?
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Old 01-08-08, 03:56 PM   #2
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I'm looking for a folder that will pack easily into an airline-legal case with as little disassembly as possible, and fit under my desk at work if needed. I guess that means 16" is the way to go. And I'm broke as hell so I'd like to stay under $500. I'm 5'11", 220, and I'd like to be able to support the weight of small backpack for traveling -- on a rack, or on my back if I end up having to carry something else with the rack unexpectedly. Which would be best for me? Seems like the DT Mini and the Curve D3 are the only options but are there others?
I recall that you would be over the Mini weight limit. But you should double check to be sure.

Save your money for a tikit or Brompton.
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Old 01-08-08, 03:59 PM   #3
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I don't have enough income to justify a BF or Brompton unless my employment situation changes in a dramatic way.
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Old 01-08-08, 04:10 PM   #4
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Birdy would do it (OK to 254 lb) but as with Tikit or Brompton, price is likely to be a problem.

Lowest price for a new Birdy seems to be about $850.

You see some second hand for less but I can't recall one under $500.

Something to think about is that bikes in this class (Birdy, Brompton, Tikit) may last a lot longer and cost less in the long run.
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Old 01-08-08, 04:37 PM   #5
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Anyone tested a KHS? No max weight designated on the web site.
Seems to me that a steel frame, increased spoke size and better tires might accomodate a heavier rider.
Edit - 20" bike
http://khsbicycles.com/09_mocha_08.htm
http://khsbicycles.com/09_latte_08.htm
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Old 01-08-08, 04:58 PM   #6
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If I was going with a 20" my mind would basically be already made up. I'd go for the $400 front suspension DT with hub gearing.

I would much rather have a 16" though. The whole reason I want a folder is for portability, stowability and packability. Makes sense to go small.
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Old 01-09-08, 09:43 AM   #7
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I'd bet a Curve D3 would handle you just fine. I'm 5'11" and 175lb, and I ride a Curve SL. It is a very strong bike. You are right at the weight limit for the D3, but I bet it would handle you just fine as long as you didn't get too crazy.
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Old 01-09-08, 10:39 AM   #8
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I don't have enough income to justify a BF or Brompton unless my employment situation changes in a dramatic way.
I understand. I just don't think you should putz around with the weight limit if you are going to do light touring or something similar.
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Old 01-09-08, 12:07 PM   #9
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Strida 3 might be a viable option here.
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Old 01-09-08, 12:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jerryt View Post
Anyone tested a KHS? No max weight designated on the web site.
Seems to me that a steel frame, increased spoke size and better tires might accomodate a heavier rider.
Edit - 20" bike
http://khsbicycles.com/09_mocha_08.htm
http://khsbicycles.com/09_latte_08.htm
I've got a KHS Mocha--it's certainly cheaper and folds adequately, but it's not as well-thought out when I compare them to my Dahons. The folding mechanisms are clunky and the cables can get caught. It's a 20"-er so that defeats your desire for a 16" folder. But it comes with accessories, an integrated rack, and again it's fairly cheap compared to others in its category.
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Old 01-11-08, 09:48 AM   #11
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Well... I stopped by Rapid Transit Cycles last night and test rode a couple Dahons, the Curve D3 and the Speed P8.

So much for my insistence on a 16". The Curve just didn't feel right for me. I had the seat at minimum insertion (which makes me nervous) and it still felt too short. I was getting quite a bit of handlebar flex. Also, the gearing isn't right for my riding style. Too much gap between 2nd and 3rd, and 1st gear is largely useless for someone who rarely encounters hills. I wouldn't want to ride a Curve more than 3 or 4 miles. Good brakes though.

The Speed, on the other hand, was very encouraging. The seat felt right about a couple inches below minimum insertion, the ride seemed less flexy in general, and after a couple minutes I forgot it was a folding bike. The gripshifter was a POS but the drivetrain felt pretty good. And like the Curve, good brakes.

I guess I will set my sights back on the 20" Downtubes.
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Old 01-11-08, 12:23 PM   #12
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The Downtube Mini is less flexy than any Dahon I have ridden. Granted, I have the seatpost beyond the max extension, but like SesameCrunch I have something inside the post to give added strength, so I don't worry. I am 5"10 and 165#. It packs easily. See here.
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Old 01-11-08, 02:07 PM   #13
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I guess I will set my sights back on the 20" Downtubes.
Sounds like a good idea.
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