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  1. #1
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    Choosing the right microfolding bike

    Hi all,

    This is my first post in this great forum - I'm new to the concept of folding bikes and it looks like it may solve my commuting difficulties with going on and off trains and buses. I have been reading a lot of the threads here and got a general picture of the variety and availability, but still I am a complete newbie to this and wanted to hear some advice about choosing a model.

    Basically I am looking for a folding bike for about 4 to 6 very short travels between public transport almost every day. I myself am not very tall, 5 7 and 140 lbs, so the requirements of any of the microfolding bikes are not narrowing the selection for me. This is the type of bike I had in mind because I would prefer a light bike with a quick and tiny folding to carry along with me during the day over a high performance, all-purpose bike. Hopefully the compromise of staying with a single gear and smaller wheels will be compensated by getting a very lightweight, compact and easy to carry bike.

    The models found so far are Ezybike, 17bicycle, Louis Garneau, MicroBike, ZeroBike and HandyBike. There are of course Strida, CarryMe and Mobiky as well, but considering the short runs I'm expected to take I don't feel it's worth the double price. But please correct me if I'm wrong...

    I would be grateful to get some advice based on your experience with some of these models (and other options as well) and recommendations.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Mobiky is heavy last I tried one.

    You might do better with a-bike.co.uk (US$300), which is useless for anything but short rides on smooth surfaces. You can buy knockoff a-bikes on ebay as low as $75 with shipping, that probably are functional but almost certainly have cheaper drivetrain components and no support/returns. If you like the knockoff go for the $300 original.

    Small differences in weight make a big difference if you are carrying it while carring other things, and rushing from train to train.

    Brompton, Strida, and Birdy while expensive can double as a general purpose bike.

    Another possibility is just buy a cheap bike and a chain it near the station and leave it.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomRider View Post
    Hi all,

    This is my first post in this great forum - I'm new to the concept of folding bikes and it looks like it may solve my commuting difficulties with going on and off trains and buses. I have been reading a lot of the threads here and got a general picture of the variety and availability, but still I am a complete newbie to this and wanted to hear some advice about choosing a model.

    Basically I am looking for a folding bike for about 4 to 6 very short travels between public transport almost every day. I myself am not very tall, 5 7 and 140 lbs, so the requirements of any of the microfolding bikes are not narrowing the selection for me. This is the type of bike I had in mind because I would prefer a light bike with a quick and tiny folding to carry along with me during the day over a high performance, all-purpose bike. Hopefully the compromise of staying with a single gear and smaller wheels will be compensated by getting a very lightweight, compact and easy to carry bike.

    The models found so far are Ezybike, 17bicycle, Louis Garneau, MicroBike, ZeroBike and HandyBike. There are of course Strida, CarryMe and Mobiky as well, but considering the short runs I'm expected to take I don't feel it's worth the double price. But please correct me if I'm wrong...

    I would be grateful to get some advice based on your experience with some of these models (and other options as well) and recommendations.

    Thanks!

    Don't overlook one of the lightest, simplest and efficient forms of transport..



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomRider View Post
    Hi all,

    This is my first post in this great forum - I'm new to the concept of folding bikes and it looks like it may solve my commuting difficulties with going on and off trains and buses. I have been reading a lot of the threads here and got a general picture of the variety and availability, but still I am a complete newbie to this and wanted to hear some advice about choosing a model.

    Basically I am looking for a folding bike for about 4 to 6 very short travels between public transport almost every day. I myself am not very tall, 5 7 and 140 lbs, so the requirements of any of the microfolding bikes are not narrowing the selection for me. This is the type of bike I had in mind because I would prefer a light bike with a quick and tiny folding to carry along with me during the day over a high performance, all-purpose bike. Hopefully the compromise of staying with a single gear and smaller wheels will be compensated by getting a very lightweight, compact and easy to carry bike.

    The models found so far are Ezybike, 17bicycle, Louis Garneau, MicroBike, ZeroBike and HandyBike. There are of course Strida, CarryMe and Mobiky as well, but considering the short runs I'm expected to take I don't feel it's worth the double price. But please correct me if I'm wrong...

    I would be grateful to get some advice based on your experience with some of these models (and other options as well) and recommendations.

    Thanks!
    Where do you live? Price and availability varies with location. Ezybike, 17bicycle, Louis Garneau, MicroBike, ZeroBike and HandyBike are very difficult to come across in America and you would pay dearly to get one. To the best of my knowledge the MicroBike is no longer produced. The ZeroBike and Handybike are available in both Europe and Asia while the 17bicycle is only available in Asia. I don't know much about the Ezybike.

    In the east there are many folding bikes labeled with the Louis Garneau brand; The microsized one is the same bike as the Carryme. If you can get a good deal on it then I highly recommend it.

    I don't have any hands on experience with the others, but the ZeroBike is very similar to the Carryme on paper. It uses the same size wheels, has a similarly shaped frame, weighs about the same, and folds up to about the same size (although the folded shape is more square than the Carryme). There are other technical differences, but they probably don't matter for your purposes.

    The Handybike is a bit heavier and has smaller wheels than the Carryme, but it doesn't fold any smaller and appears to flop around a bit while folded.

    The 17bicycle looks pretty good for the money. It is made of steel instead of aluminum and is a larger bike overall than the Carryme (both when folded and when ridden). Like the ZeroBike and Handybike I can't say much about the quality.

    With 4 to 6 public transit transfers per day you need to smallest bike you can afford and the smallest bike you will be comfortable riding. How far are the very short distances you plan on cycling and what is the pavement like?

    If the distances are truly very short and the pavement is good then you should also consider the A-bike which george mentioned. These are available all over the world and are basically the lightest and smallest folded bike. As george mentioned, there are also cheap A-bike knock offs available both in the west and the east for the price concious.

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
    Don't overlook one of the lightest, simplest and efficient forms of transport.
    I've never really understood the appeal of these. They are probably good for going downhill, but otherwise they are too slow...better to just run and not have to carry the thing around with you.

  5. #5
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    I live in Israel and my daily route includes 2 or 3 short travels of 3km each, for each direction. Unfortunately the pavements are not smooth enough to consider the A-Bike, otherwise it would clearly be a winner among other microfolders for my purpose, and the reason I won't use a cheap bike to chain near the rail/bus station is that I want to travel fast both TO that station and FROM the station I stop at and so on (some days I'm required to make 3 stops in each direction). If there's a 200 to 300$ solution for this situation I'll be very glad to have it. I'm curious to know if an Asian or European brand takes international orders by the Internet - it seems like there are dozens of manufacturers in Japan and China but it's impossible to find complete data about them - so far I couldn't find a way to contact 17bicycle and HandyBike by email.

    Thanks for all the replies!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post


    I've never really understood the appeal of these. They are probably good for going downhill, but otherwise they are too slow...better to just run and not have to carry the thing around with you.
    The appeal is obvious... I ride mine all the time (gps mounted on handlebar) at 9 to 10mph (16kph) .. besides using it to run my dog, one of my uses is to shuttle cars to various subs (muffler shops, smog shops, body shops, etc.) there is no customer car that it won't fit in easily, quickly, and without fear of 'marking' upholstery on causing any other cosmetic damage...typical trips are 1 to 2 miles.... it is much less effort (let alone jarring) than running 10mph... weight is under 10lbs... it has a very small footprint .. it is highly stable with a low cg, good brakes, and secure tracking... you just glide along... it is at it's best on relatively flat ground, sidewalks or smooth road surfaces...and it's fun to use.... certainly, the mechanical advantage of a well designed micro-bike cannot be overlooked when going uphill... but if you need something simple for public transport and little short trips multiple times per day, a Xootr easily deserves a look...

  7. #7
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    agree with Bruce . the scooter is great for 4-6 changes in public transportantion AND perfect smooth roads...

    Of course I will suggest a Dahon... lol
    It looks to me that your driving area is much rougher than a smooth surface.... plus hills and such... You need a CUrve D3 .... take the fenders and carrier off and enjoy the big suspension big Apples while riding around ....
    In fact I have one without fenders and carriers whichI would let go a little cheaper.... 07 models are slowly selling out and the 08 will be 100 bucks more ... so time is off the essence as they say

    And yes I ship to Israel or any other place in the world.. however sometimes shipping rates are out of this world ( literally) and than it doesnt make any sense.. But no problem to get a shipping quote ...

    thor

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomRider View Post
    I live in Israel and my daily route includes 2 or 3 short travels of 3km each, for each direction. Unfortunately the pavements are not smooth enough to consider the A-Bike, otherwise it would clearly be a winner among other microfolders for my purpose, and the reason I won't use a cheap bike to chain near the rail/bus station is that I want to travel fast both TO that station and FROM the station I stop at and so on (some days I'm required to make 3 stops in each direction). If there's a 200 to 300$ solution for this situation I'll be very glad to have it. I'm curious to know if an Asian or European brand takes international orders by the Internet - it seems like there are dozens of manufacturers in Japan and China but it's impossible to find complete data about them - so far I couldn't find a way to contact 17bicycle and HandyBike by email.

    Thanks for all the replies!
    The wheels on the Handybike are the same size as the A-bike. The 17bicycle has the same wheel size as the Carryme and I imagine the longer wheelbase would make it ride a bit smoother too.

    You might try calling 17bicycle instead of using the internet. They may speak english. This worked for another forum member who bought a Koma from japan. He just started calling shops he found online and they eventually put him in touch with the manufacturer who sold him a bike shipped direct to Canada.

    I'd consider selling you my Carryme (I'm thinking about getting the dual speed model), but I think shipping would kill the deal for both of us.

  9. #9
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    I'll make some phone calls today to 17bicycle and try my luck...thanks for the offers from the remote US...

    About the Dahon, I've just visited thorusa.com and from what I saw the models are considerably bigger and of course will give more stability, but what I really need is maximum comfort with carrying size, folding/unfolding and weight rather than a general purpose quality bike.

    Which brings me to ask this question (remember, newbie): Is it possible to take a light frame like the A-bike's and attach larger wheels, say 8 instead of 6? As far as I understand it could make a difference when dealing with pavements which aren't 100% flat and comfortable. Maybe this is the best thing to do since the A-bike are availabe to order from Europe at a reasonable price.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomRider View Post
    Which brings me to ask this question (remember, newbie): Is it possible to take a light frame like the A-bike's and attach larger wheels, say 8 instead of 6? As far as I understand it could make a difference when dealing with pavements which aren't 100% flat and comfortable. Maybe this is the best thing to do since the A-bike are availabe to order from Europe at a reasonable price.
    This is the place to ask your question:
    http://abikecentral.com/forum/

    Those guys a heavily into modding their A-bikes so they will know best.

  11. #11
    jur
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    You could also try contacting forum member caotropheus (same Skype name), he lives in Tel Aviv, has a bike shop and may be able to help.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomRider View Post
    Which brings me to ask this question (remember, newbie): Is it possible to take a light frame like the A-bike's and attach larger wheels, say 8 instead of 6? As far as I understand it could make a difference when dealing with pavements which aren't 100% flat and comfortable. Maybe this is the best thing to do since the A-bike are availabe to order from Europe at a reasonable price.
    Forget the A-Bike. It's much too inefficient and the mods you're requesting would void the warranty and make the bike dangerous to ride. The bike you're looking for is the CarryMe. Any bus you can fit the A-Bike will also fit the CarryMe.

    A better alternative would be the Strida if you can fit one in the bus.

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