Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 55
  1. #26
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,183
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    I have to disagree with this one. The public roads are generally well traveled by vehicles which weigh a couple tons and have wheels around 16"-20" in diameter. As a result imperfections 16"-20" in diameter are very common. I subsequently believe that there is a bit a cusp at around 16"-20" in the ability of wheels to smooth the usual pothole jolts (with wheels around 16"-20" in diameter being disproportionately more jarring than their larger counterparts).
    Perhaps we are spoiled in Melbourne but roads are generally good here, very few potholes or wheel-swallowing irregularities. On dirt/gravel roads, corrugations frequently occur and they are uncomfortable in the extreme, but the size of those things are such that any bicycle experiences exactly the same degree of discomfort. On the same roads in the wet, potholes occur which are formed by small puddles that get driven through by cars, splashing water in all directions, taking some dirt with it every time, and so the hole grows. Such holes are wheel-swallowing, I havent' actually checked to see what size wheel would ride over but car wheels aren't 16' or even 20" in actual tyre tread size, they are quite a bit bigger on avarage, so the holes are bigger than that, too.

    Potholes in bitumen roads, well again, not much experience there.

    What I do know with certainty, is that my Raleigh 20 while a heavy beast, is the most comfortable bike I have had.


    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    I have to say I'm a bit confused about the fit complaints. My impression is that apart from the adage "it fits if you feel it does" no one can really agree about bike fitting anyway. Since diamond frames aren't very modular and whatever fit concerns you may have need to be settled when you buy the bike, but the adjustable/modular designs commonly used for folding frames are so easy to reconfigure that it's easier to fine tune the fit later. If anything I'd say that most folders are at an advantage when it comes to fit.
    The 2 aspect that come to mind is seat post lengths and cockpit sizes. If that is too small then you're locked out.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  2. #27
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,250
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    In my opinion, folding in itself usually doesn't provide much benefit. The majority of the space saving gained by folding bikes comes from just having a small bike (small wheels, short wheelbase, fewer tubes, etc).

    Compared to their larger counterparts, small bikes are at a disadvantage with respect to comfort, handling, etc. Commuters prefer larger bikes for the same reasons they prefer wider tires (comfort, handling, etc, etc).
    To me that is the major advantage, especially when it comes to transporting a bicycle via airline, amtrak, bus or compact car. All of which I require on occasion. Airlines are particularly nasty when it comes to full sized bicycles and as fuel costs escalate I suspect it will get worse. I just read an article about people getting bumped on CalTrans trains because of the lack of bike space during peak travel times, those are people using full sized bikes, NOT folders.

    Ride and comfort is subjective. I can put up with a short cockpit as long as my leg extension is satisfactory, one of my buddies can't stand to have the short cockpit, but will ride with his saddle too low all day long.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  3. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Victoria BC Canada & La Quinta CA USA
    My Bikes
    Birdy Red 8 speed, Birdy Blue 21 Speed, Birdy Monocoque 24 Speed, 2002 Devinci Desperado, 1996 Rocky Mountain Hammer Race
    Posts
    248
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Clownbike View Post
    David - What's the support for the Birdy like up that way? Are accessories and parts readily available? It's a complete joke here in the states and I'm having trouble finding even the basics. An attempt to order a fender set from England has turned into a disaster.

    But I still recommend the Birdy overall. The suspension works very well with no sign of pogo-ing thus far and there is little flex anywhere. The build quality, engineering, and components are excellent. The only improvements I felt compelled to make were my traditional carbon handlebar, which I've found to relieve harmonics buzzing, and the peddles I prefer.

    Too bad the distribution and dealer network here doesn't seem too committed to promoting the marque. But then again, cycling in the states is more of a status thing than transportation and them funny little bikes just aint cool.
    Support for the Birdy in Canada is not good. Fortunately Schwalbe tires are easy to get and nearly all of the other parts that are likely wear are standard and easy to get. For the rest there is the internet or a trip to Black Dog Bicycles on Lopez Island.

    I'm trying to sort out fenders for my Birdy too. It looks to me as though I will have to get something and than modify it to be the way I want it.

    On the bright side, North American Birdy prices are a lot better than those in the UK or Australia.

    David

  4. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Victoria BC Canada & La Quinta CA USA
    My Bikes
    Birdy Red 8 speed, Birdy Blue 21 Speed, Birdy Monocoque 24 Speed, 2002 Devinci Desperado, 1996 Rocky Mountain Hammer Race
    Posts
    248
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    I have to disagree with this one. The public roads are generally well traveled by vehicles which weigh a couple tons and have wheels around 16"-20" in diameter. As a result imperfections 16"-20" in diameter are very common. I subsequently believe that there is a bit a cusp at around 16"-20" in the ability of wheels to smooth the usual pothole jolts (with wheels around 16"-20" in diameter being disproportionately more jarring than their larger counterparts).
    I just checked my 2002 Honda Accord (25" dia) and the Chevy Pick up next door (30" dia). It looks to me as though full size bike tire ODs fall right in the same range as the typical road vehicle OD around here.

    I think that you might have to go down to a Smart Car to find a car with a tire OD in the same range as folding bikes.

    David
    Last edited by energyandair; 02-24-08 at 08:28 PM.

  5. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    244
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Fit, Fit,and Fit...did I say fit? Folders are a compromise when it comes to fit, especially if you are over "average" size or height. I want/need a 16" wheeled folder for the compact fold. The only folder on the market that I can find that looks like it will fit me is a Brommie.
    They don't have to be. The ~59cm top tube on the large Tikit actually makes it too big for me with drop bars even though I'm 5'10". There are a few companies doing custom fit folding bicycles out there. There is nothing about having 16" wheels that says the cockpit needs to be cramped.

    alex

  6. #31
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,353
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I wonder if those reasons are really the ones.
    Yes, they really are. Remember, I used folders exclusively for about a year, so I do have a basis for my opinions.

    I think it's very clear that, all other things being equal, 20" wheeled bikes have a much harsher ride than 700c. The transmission is also significantly lower, which limits their utility on rough, dirt and muddy roads. I cannot imagine that any 20" bike will handle as steadily and stable as 700c, unless the 700c bike is mechanically decrepit (or you're comparing a touring folder to a super-twitchy racing bike ). You can definitely get a folder that performs as well as a 700c bike (that is, if you're able to get it to fit you properly), but at a substantial decrease in comfort and increase in price.

    Again, there are definitely situations and uses where the virtues of a folding bike will outweigh the required compromises. There is a lot of ignorance about folding bikes. And if you've spent years on 700c bikes, the change of pace can be refreshing. But if you're trying to figure out why folders are a tiny portion of the market, I think it's best to acknowledge the compromises rather than blame the buyers.

  7. #32
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,183
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    ...But if you're trying to figure out why folders are a tiny portion of the market, I think it's best to acknowledge the compromises rather than blame the buyers.
    Ahhh, but you see, for a rider with your sort of experience that could be correct, but for the greater unwashed public who want a bike and vaguely think "I'd like a bike with gears", they haven't got the next clue.

    And much the same for the great unwashed public who ride road bikes for weekend sport - many don't know much at all about folders; they vaguely might know they exist, and the do know they have small wheels, so they are dismissed out of hand as "not for serious riding". They look at Orbea and Look, drool over titanium or CF frames but only may have heard of Dahon.

    I think you have more experience than me so I defer to that ; but with the bikes I have ridden, I have discovered contrary to what I thought and was told and am still told, smaller wheels are not harsher over typical conditions that I encounter. In fact if the bike as a whole is considered, it is to the contrary - the long seat posts and handleposts more than cancel out harshness, conferring a certain amount of flexing, absorbing sharp impacts better than say a road bike with the same tyres. There is no way a diamond frame (the strongest design that exists) with a short seat post and 700c wheels, is less harsh. Specialised admit this by producing their Spec. S-Works Roubaix frame with little elastomer inserts in the seat stays, fork and seat post. Other manufacturers introduce snake stays, wavy tubes which are supposed to flex in an attempt to remove the harshness. But if you press down on those bikes, the amount of flexing you get is less than a stalky folder seat post. The harshness argument is theoretically true for the wheel considered in isolation but practical? Rubbish.
    Last edited by jur; 02-24-08 at 09:48 PM.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  8. #33
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    YEG
    My Bikes
    See my sig...
    Posts
    26,113
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    I think it's very clear that, all other things being equal, 20" wheeled bikes have a much harsher ride than 700c. The transmission is also significantly lower, which limits their utility on rough, dirt and muddy roads. I cannot imagine that any 20" bike will handle as steadily and stable as 700c, unless the 700c bike is mechanically decrepit (or you're comparing a touring folder to a super-twitchy racing bike ). You can definitely get a folder that performs as well as a 700c bike (that is, if you're able to get it to fit you properly), but at a substantial decrease in comfort and increase in price.
    I can only speak for my folder...

    The ride on my Twenty is anything but harsh as if it was, I would not be riding anything right now... my back probably wouldn't take it.

    The 20 by 2 tyres can be run at as little as 35 psi (I am running 45) and as high as 70 psi and they really absorb a great deal of road shock which is also taken up by the seat post and sprung saddle.

    Raleigh designed the Twenty really well as the handling and stability of these bikes is incredible and ideally suited for games of urban dodge 'em. The 20 inch wheels are incredibly strong and to get the same strength out of a 700c wheel you would need to use 44 spokes.

    It is only when I want to ride faster, longer, or ride on extreme terrain that a road / touring bike or mtb is a better choice.

    That, and I just like riding different bikes through my week.

  9. #34
    Bicycling Gnome
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    55.0N 1.59W
    Posts
    1,877
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I defer to other people's experience, but make this comment - we can't talk as if all folders and demountable bikes are the same. They vary in ride quality, speed, efficiency and handling. I have two small wheeled bikes and the differences between them, are almost as great as the difference between any one of them and my old 700c road bike. The Merc folds smaller, has fast and somewhat twitchy steering, whereas the Pashley - Moulton TSR is faster (by far), smoother (by far), more efficient and more stable at speed. They are as different as chalk and cheese. I bet you could say the same about most folders when you compare them.

    The Moulton is fast, and even at aged 57, I was riding a forty mile route in between 2hrs 10 & 2 hrs 7 minutes last summer, depending on the wind. Bear in mind, I am no sort of an athlete. It has drop handlebars and lets you get your head down which feature alone will raise the average speed for me by about 15%. Also, it has 110 psi in the tyres. Alex Moulton makes a great thing about how he transformed the performance of his small wheeled bikes through full suspension and very high tyre pressures. With a small wheel, you can't really run high pressure tyres unless you soak up the road shocks. The drag induced by a tyre at 40 psi is much more than one at 110, but without suspension, the rattling will shake your teeth loose.



    Last edited by EvilV; 02-25-08 at 02:07 AM.
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  10. #35
    PDR
    PDR is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Cheshire, North West England, UK
    My Bikes
    Brompton S2L-X, Bridgestone Moulton, 1963 & 1966 Moultons, Scott Mountain bike
    Posts
    555
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Earlier in this thread it was mentioned that folding bikes “look funny or strange” and are not seen as “real bikes”.

    Well all I can say is that I have had VERY GOOD feed back from riding a 20” wheeled folder for the last 3 months (commuting via bike & train).

    I have had a complete cross section of strangers stop me countless times in the street or at the railway station to ask about my bike, women around town shopping, old age pensioners, business men, other cyclists with folders, full sized mountain bikes and those really serious Spandex clad roadies have all taken an interest…. especially when I’m able to squeeze into a crowded rail carriage and they are left waiting for the next train because their bike is too big!

    By far the most surprising reaction I have had is from teenagers… they simply think that the bike is “really cool” which considering I’m a 45 year old bearded guy wearing khaki shirts, combats and cat boots I felt sure to have some less than pleasant comments directed at me.

  11. #36
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,296
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ..
    Last edited by makeinu; 11-24-08 at 08:03 PM.

  12. #37
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,605
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by awetmore View Post
    * They cost more for the same quality
    * Replacement parts cost more
    * Replacement parts (tires especially) don't last as long
    * They often weigh more
    * There are more things to break
    * They are often slower
    * They often don't fit as well
    * Normal load/cargo carrying solutions often don't work with them
    I tend to agree with most of this list. The third item being the only one that I have not found in my personal experience, but that may be because I don't put that many miles on the folder.

    I would add a few comments:
    1. For me I find that I can't get the bars either as low or as far forward as I would like on most folders and changing stems messes with the fold ease and size.
    2. I miss drop bars which most folders don't have. On ones that do it compromises ease and or size of fold.
    3. The handling on the folders I have ridden is "twitchy".
    4. My folder is way less pleasant on rough roads.

    Those can be eliminated or minimized to some extent by buying a more expensive folder, but we are talking about a good bit of money.

    FWIW: I like my folder (Helios P8) for what it is, but found it to be way less of an all around bike than I would have expected. My road bike is WAY better at what it is designed to do. Similarly my touring bike is a WAY better tourer. My folder is awesome to have in the car or to run to the store or whatever.

  13. #38
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,353
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think we have about the same level of experience, Jur. But our respective experiences seem to produce different opinions.


    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Ahhh, but you see, for a rider with your sort of experience that could be correct, but for the greater unwashed public who want a bike and vaguely think "I'd like a bike with gears", they haven't got the next clue.
    I guess, but I remember thinking "wow, these folding bikes are great, but definitely not for everyone" shortly after I got my first one.

    I would agree that for a 5- or 10-mile jaunt, though, the differences are marginal; and that there is some room for growth in the folder market. I tend to ride quite a bit so my impressions are based on 100-150 miles a week.



    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    In fact if the bike as a whole is considered, it is to the contrary - the long seat posts and handleposts more than cancel out harshness, conferring a certain amount of flexing, absorbing sharp impacts better than say a road bike with the same tyres. There is no way a diamond frame (the strongest design that exists) with a short seat post and 700c wheels, is less harsh.
    I can only say that in my experience, my 700c bikes are smoother than my folding bikes. Diamond frames will definitely be stiffer than the typical monotube folder, but the larger wheels more than make up for it. And, of course, "more flexible" = "less efficient" = "worse performance."

    FWIW as best I can determine, my Swift is about as stiff as a diamond frame.



    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    Specialised admit this by producing their Spec. S-Works Roubaix frame with little elastomer inserts in the seat stays, fork and seat post. Other manufacturers introduce snake stays, wavy tubes which are supposed to flex in an attempt to remove the harshness. But if you press down on those bikes, the amount of flexing you get is less than a stalky folder seat post.
    Well, let's try not to mix too many apples with too many oranges. And you forgot to mention the proliferation of carbon bits.

    Most novice riders won't find road bikes especially comfortable, due to rider position and skinny tires; that's why MTB's became popular and morphed into hybrid bikes. Most folding bikes are set up like hybrids, ergo it would make sense to compare a typical folding bike to a typical 700c hybrid.

    "Roubaix" style bikes were originally made for the Paris-Roubaix cycling race, which is infamous for its extensive cobblestone sections. They profess to be both fast and comfortable. The reality is that stiff racing frames with aggressive geometries and low spoke count wheels will have a harsh and twitchy ride. Ergo, the mass-market Roubaix bikes are a tad more relaxed, use 25c tires, and have different decals. (I don't place much stock in the elastomer inserts, by the way -- I think it's a bunch of marketing hooey.)

    As to "wavy tubes," I assume you're talking about something like this....



    *sigh*

    Err, anyway... In these cases, theoretically they are taking advantage of the ability to manipulate the carbon frame in order to allow for more vertical compliance, while maintaining lateral stiffness. (Maybe it's true, maybe it's an excuse, maybe it's purely aesthetic -- not really sure.) I.e. the goal is to maximize pedaling efficiency without making the ride excessively harsh.

    However, you're talking about serious road bikes. Realistically we'd have to compare a race-capable folder to a road bike. The only 20" bikes I can think of that would favorably compare are the high-end Moultons and the Air Friday -- both of which are pretty expensive, and as best I can tell, will ride about the same as any entry-level road bike.

    Or to put it another way, I'm fairly confident that you could kit out an aluminum Swift as an uber race machine and it will still ride harsher and twitcher (and a tad slower) than a Cervelo Soloist Team....




    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV
    I defer to other people's experience, but make this comment - we can't talk as if all folders and demountable bikes are the same. They vary in ride quality, speed, efficiency and handling....
    And price. I have little doubt your Moulton rides superbly, but at a significantly higher cost than most Dahons.

    Plus, we definitely can't talk as if all 26" and 700c bikes are the same. A meaningful comparison would compare like to like -- e.g. road to road, touring to touring, general purpose to hybrid, and so forth.

  14. #39
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Anti Social Media-Land
    Posts
    3,076
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by -=£em in Pa=- View Post
    Folders are an aquired taste. At first, they look 'funny' to lots of people.
    The bicycle industry is 60% vanity and hype. Basically, folders dont look
    cool or hip to most of todays carbon-lycra cycling public. Usually people
    are sold after thier first ride, its just getting them to check them out.
    Once they ride them they have a whole different outlook. I ride my
    DownTube daily for an RT of 20 miles and love it Ive put 2500 on it in
    6 months and no problems at all.
    I think that folding bikes are not only an aquried taste, but simply one of a lack of knowing they even exist! Many people have stopped me on one of the folders very surprised that these bikes are even offered.

    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Just last Saturday I got rid of my last big-wheeled bikes, and now own only folders (althought there still are a few big-wheeled bikes in my garage).

    I think I agree with Alex's list. I am forever tinkering with my folding bikes, and frequently make parts on the lathe due to non-standard parts needed, such as a loooooooong seat post with laaaaaaaaaaarge diameter.

    I have a 20" Big Apple on my R20 commuter which has done about 10,000km, and is not worn through yet.
    My last nonfolding bike is now history. I donated it to the Bicycle Kitchen a couple of Sundays ago. While I did really loved that bike, I could not keep it anymore since it is prone to theft here just like anything else left out (immediately taken within a few min.). I have never experienced any major problem with these bikes due to it's unique structure after it's first tune up. I use sprung saddles for suspension.

    Quote Originally Posted by awetmore View Post
    They don't really fold that well though. A 26" wheeled folding bike won't fold to get you onto public transportation, most won't get into an airline-legal carrier, and they don't fit as nicely into a closet or under a desk. There is a reason why most people who buy folding bikes are looking for 16" to 20" wheels.

    Anyone who wants the ~500+% gear range for mountain biking or loaded touring in the mountains. I require it, just not on my folder because I don't push it into that type of duty. 24 gears aren't useful, but a 24 speed derailleur drivetrain doesn't have 24 unique gears anyway. The range is what is important.

    alex
    I only would use folding 26" bikes for weekend trips. I only have bikes no more than 20" wheels since I take them on public transit at any time. As for gearing I am only using internal hubs with the proper chainring and cog sized for the rolling hills around here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedo View Post
    I would put the "looks funny" at the top of the list. I often get comments that indicate the commenter doesn't see my folder as a real bike.

    Speedo
    In Gangland, I find that "looks funny" is something I want the bikes to look like. This avoids complications on the road-like a bike jack.

    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Fit, Fit,and Fit...did I say fit? Folders are a compromise when it comes to fit, especially if you are over "average" size or height. I want/need a 16" wheeled folder for the compact fold. The only folder on the market that I can find that looks like it will fit me is a Brommie. Finding bikes to test ride is very difficult to nearly impossible. The closest dealer to me that stocks more than one brand is a 6-7 hour drive! and his stock is limited. To test ride more than one Brommie I have to travel around 600 miles.

    Then you can add Alex's list to mine. Proprietary parts and parts that seem to wear faster. FWIW I do own one folder that is a bit of an oddity 1968 Raleigh Compact RSW, it doesn't fold particularly small, and is bloody heavy to boot. I have yet to get my hands on a Raleigh Twenty, but in part because I am saving money for a Brompton.

    Aaron
    For a smaller woman, these bikes are a boon to me. These are the only bikes that fit me right. I had always been in pain due to being stretched out too much reaching for the handlebars, saddle too hard-like a rock, bike frame too high, etc. Now I can be comfortable and keep the bikes safe from thieves too!

  15. #40
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Western Washington
    My Bikes
    2-many...2 road bikes, 2 fixed wheels, 3 tandems, 2 recumbents, 2 cyclecross, 3 mtb, 4 folders
    Posts
    231
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by gunter View Post
    Folding bikes seem so practical that I can't understand why any commuter would use a regular non-folding bike. Does anyone out there have any reasons why there aren't more folding bikes?
    Don't forget the basic marketing problems. I think that most commuters would go to a bike shop to get a bike. Most bike shops deal with distributors that have no folding bikes in their lineups. Most people come into a bike shop with some sort of preconceived notion of what they want and it isn't a folder. For a bicycle shop to carry folders they have to go out of their way to do so. Most shop owners and employees have little folder experience. There is a lot of inertia to overcome.

    I haven't worked in a bike shop for many years, but it is much easier to sell someone a bike they think they want than trying to talk them into something else, even if it might fit their needs better. For the same quality, a folder costs more, and the potential buyer has to see value in the extra cost. You are also selling against what other bike shops carry, so you may talk them into a folder, but some other guy at another shop will try and talk them into something else.

  16. #41
    rhm
    rhm is offline
    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    NJ, NYC, LI
    My Bikes
    1945? Fothergill, 1948 Raleigh Record Ace, 1954 Drysdale, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1972 Fuji Finest, 1983 Trek 720, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...
    Posts
    12,381
    Mentioned
    33 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I basically agree with you, Gunter, but I have some misgivings about all the folding bikes I've tried.

    Case in point, my downtube Mini, which is the bike I use for most of my riding. The bike simply does not feel as sturdy as a conventional, non-folding big-wheeled bike. This is partly due to the floppy suspension, which I could do without. It is partly due to the short wheelbase; I wish I could change that, too. It is partly due to the frame geometry, which is too lively for my taste. And then there's the extremely long stem. I have never heard of stem failure on one of these bikes, so my fears are probably without foundation, but I always try not to pull on, or to put much weight on, the handlebar. This results in a ride that is less relaxing, and less comfortable, than that of a big wheeled bike.

    With the exception of the stem thing, it seems to me that all of these problems would be easier for the manufacturer to correct in future models. The stem thing may be a universal problem for folding bikes.

  17. #42
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,296
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    I guess, but I remember thinking "wow, these folding bikes are great, but definitely not for everyone" shortly after I got my first one.

    I would agree that for a 5- or 10-mile jaunt, though, the differences are marginal; and that there is some room for growth in the folder market. I tend to ride quite a bit so my impressions are based on 100-150 miles a week.
    Clocking 100-150 miles a week is what isn't for everyone. 10 mile jaunts are much more palatable to most people and, as you said, for these kinds of rides the differences in ride quality are marginal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    However, you're talking about serious road bikes. Realistically we'd have to compare a race-capable folder to a road bike. The only 20" bikes I can think of that would favorably compare are the high-end Moultons and the Air Friday -- both of which are pretty expensive, and as best I can tell, will ride about the same as any entry-level road bike.

    Or to put it another way, I'm fairly confident that you could kit out an aluminum Swift as an uber race machine and it will still ride harsher and twitcher (and a tad slower) than a Cervelo Soloist Team....
    Is there anything serious about road bikes? Road bikes are for sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pine Cone View Post
    Don't forget the basic marketing problems. I think that most commuters would go to a bike shop to get a bike. Most bike shops deal with distributors that have no folding bikes in their lineups. Most people come into a bike shop with some sort of preconceived notion of what they want and it isn't a folder. For a bicycle shop to carry folders they have to go out of their way to do so. Most shop owners and employees have little folder experience. There is a lot of inertia to overcome.

    I haven't worked in a bike shop for many years, but it is much easier to sell someone a bike they think they want than trying to talk them into something else, even if it might fit their needs better. For the same quality, a folder costs more, and the potential buyer has to see value in the extra cost. You are also selling against what other bike shops carry, so you may talk them into a folder, but some other guy at another shop will try and talk them into something else.
    What about people that think they can't use a bike because bikes are too difficult to combine with other forms of transit and/or too difficult to park/store? Why are bike shops so apathetic when it comes to capitalizing on this market? I hate to say it, but bike shop owners seem to be a lazy bunch. Sure, it's easier to appease your current customer base, but doesn't expanding the customer base to noncyclists pay off in the long run?

  18. #43
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,183
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    Clocking 100-150 miles a week is what isn't for everyone. 10 mile jaunts are much more palatable to most people and, as you said, for these kinds of rides the differences in ride quality are marginal.
    I commute 56km round trip every day, plus weekend rides, on some weekends Audax rides which are 200km at a time. So every week at least 300km+, some weeks 480km. Exclusively on folders.

    I should admit that I'm hopelessly smitten by my small-wheeled bikes, and so stubborn that mules comment on it , so my opinions should be taken wih a generous pinch of salt.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  19. #44
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    194
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by -=£em in Pa=- View Post
    The bicycle industry is 60% vanity and hype.
    Amen. The only industry I can think of that is worse is downhill skiing.

    Most of the hardcore bikers I know either are roadies or exclusively do mountain biking. I know and see very few commuters around town. Most folks around here seem to just bike recreationally on the weekends when a big boy bike would be fine. The only people maybe more dependent on bike transport are the students, and they don't have the cash for the fold premium in general.

  20. #45
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,296
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I commute 56km round trip every day, plus weekend rides, on some weekends Audax rides which are 200km at a time. So every week at least 300km+, some weeks 480km. Exclusively on folders.

    I should admit that I'm hopelessly smitten by my small-wheeled bikes, and so stubborn that mules comment on it , so my opinions should be taken wih a generous pinch of salt.
    I didn't mean to imply that there's anything wrong with high mileage or high mileage on small wheels. I'm just a bit puzzled when enthusiasts of niche activities disparage alternative niches for being too niche, especially when the niche being disparaged is the more practical one.

  21. #46
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Boston Area
    My Bikes
    Univega Gran Turismo, Guerciotti, Bridgestone MB2, Bike Friday New World Tourist, Serotta Ti
    Posts
    1,998
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by PDR View Post
    Earlier in this thread it was mentioned that folding bikes “look funny or strange” and are not seen as “real bikes”.

    Well all I can say is that I have had VERY GOOD feed back from riding a 20” wheeled folder for the last 3 months (commuting via bike & train).
    The "funny looks" guy was me.

    Your post is interesting, and it reminds me that I do get positive comments, and they do come from interesting places.

    1) 12 year old boys LOVE my bike.

    2) 6 year old girls LOVE my bike. It's pink. (Power Raspberry please!)

    3) 6 year old girls totally LOVE my bike when I'm wearing my Sponge Bob jersey.

    4) I once had a random, and very attractive, blond lady yell "Nice Bike!!" at me.

    People, who are high mileage bikers are curious, but most of their questions immediately indicate a bias that they can't believe that the bike is a real bike. "It must be slower." "It must be less efficient" "It must be less comfortable." "With those small wheels, you are going to have to pedal faster." (Being a high mileage biker doesn't mean that you have a clue about mechanics.) "You did a century on THAT?!?"

    I think the kids, and others without pre-conceived notions about what a bike "should" be are more open to folding bikes.

    Also, for you, it might just be that between riding a folder, and carrying that snake around you get less funny looks with the folder, so it seems like normal.

    Speedo

  22. #47
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,183
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Speedo View Post
    People, who are high mileage bikers are curious, but most of their questions immediately indicate a bias that they can't believe that the bike is a real bike. "It must be slower." "It must be less efficient" "It must be less comfortable." "With those small wheels, you are going to have to pedal faster." (Being a high mileage biker doesn't mean that you have a clue about mechanics.) "You did a century on THAT?!?"
    The first 200km Audax ride on my Swift drew: "Aren't you a bit brave to do 200km on THAT?" (read a bit stupid)

    The 2nd 200km drew in my absence: "Those things are 15% less efficient and the drive trains wear out faster, too." (overheard by SWMBO)

    After explaining that the gearing range is wide enough for the Alpine Classic: "You're doing the Alpine Classic on THAT?!"

    After overtaking one chap on the first long climb during Alpine Classic: "That's just unbelievable!"

    After posting a photo of yours truly near the top of Mt Buffalo plus the time on cycle2max: "Just think what you could do if you had a real bike."

    And so on...
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  23. #48
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    San Rafael, California
    Posts
    1,515
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    After posting a photo of yours truly near the top of Mt Buffalo plus the time on cycle2max: "Just think what you could do if you had a real bike."

    And so on...
    Maybe you should next enter on a 'real bike' and post a slower time...

  24. #49
    PDR
    PDR is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Cheshire, North West England, UK
    My Bikes
    Brompton S2L-X, Bridgestone Moulton, 1963 & 1966 Moultons, Scott Mountain bike
    Posts
    555
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Speedo View Post
    The "funny looks" guy was me.


    Also, for you, it might just be that between riding a folder, and carrying that snake around you get less funny looks with the folder, so it seems like normal.

    Speedo
    Ha ha, I don’t carry it around with me….. I work for a venom lab so it is just one of hundreds that I “milk” and care for.

    Back to the subject of folders, I find mine to be very comfortable to ride (after changing the saddle to my old Madison G16 geltek). So far, 7 miles is the furthest that I have been on a single journey, though I do plan to try it on some local trails once the weather improves. I do have a nice Scott mountain bike but it has not been out of the shed for over 3 years and it would be awkward to store at work……. so the bottom line is that my folder may have certain shortcoming but is far more practical and does see far more use than my expensive full size bike that hardly ever gets used.

  25. #50
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    310
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by energyandair View Post
    Support for the Birdy in Canada is not good. Fortunately Schwalbe tires are easy to get and nearly all of the other parts that are likely wear are standard and easy to get. For the rest there is the internet or a trip to Black Dog Bicycles on Lopez Island.

    I'm trying to sort out fenders for my Birdy too. It looks to me as though I will have to get something and than modify it to be the way I want it.

    On the bright side, North American Birdy prices are a lot better than those in the UK or Australia.

    David
    After exhausting all other possibilities for a replacement chainring guard for my '05 Silver, the fellow at Black Dog came through with an after market unit that's kinda ugly but does the job. He does seem the best bet for North America. Rad-Innovations is the distributor for NA and I've not had much luck there.

    As far as fenders are concerned, the OEM version would probably be the best to use as they have bumpers where the fender stays attach, which are also the contact points when the bike is folded. Unfortunately R-I does not offer these and universal plastic fenders would probably not hold up well if the bike is folded frequently.

    The Japanese have their version of the R&M fenders which would be good also. http://www.mizutanibike.co.jp/bd-1/a...es/bdac22.html.

    I had ordered an OEM set from an outfit in England, but was sent the wrong ones. So far they haven't seen fit to correct the problem and it looks like I'll have to sic my CC company on them and try elsewhere, probably Japan. If I can get someone over there to ship a set to the States would you be interested? Splitting the shipping would make the proposition much more attractive.

    It seems that neither R&M or Pacific actually make the accessories for the Birdy, but contract them out and leave it up to the distributers to decide if they want to carry them or not. This leaves the dealers pretty much at their mercy, which may be why so many former dealers have lost interest. It's disappointing that such a wonderful product doesn't get much respect or support from even the home office's.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •