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  1. #1
    Senior Member mrbrown's Avatar
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    Why do some cyclists think foldies (and their riders) are inferior and can't keep up?

    In addition to commuting, my friends and I like to take longer rides on our Dahon foldies and we usually do 30km to 40km when we meet.

    We are not triathletes or training for the Tour De France, but we are fairly fit (we've been riding 3 to 5 times a week for 6 months now, in addition to the daily commutes). Heck, most of us don't even own lycra.

    So it has been interesting to see reactions to our bikes. It ranges from amusement to almost disdain.

    I've gotten remarks like "You rode here all the way in that small thing?" and "Your bike looks like a toy." and "Your bikes look gay."

    Recently, this guy on a road bike overtook us. My friend was on a 9-speed MU-C9 and I was on a 7-speed Vitesse. We decided to not overtake him back because another friend of ours was on a 3-speed Curve and taking a little longer. But just for fun, we kept up with the roadie. I think he did not expect it, because there was this look of surprise each time he looked back and saw us still behind him, and not eating his dust.

    It was a fun ride nonetheless, and we got some decent exercise too.

    Do you foldie riders get this kind of reaction a lot?
    Mercy overtakes
    even when you push fifty
    pedaling His paths


    My blog | My podcasts | My Flickr | My Rides

  2. #2
    Small wheels ARE better! OldiesONfoldies's Avatar
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    Small wheels = kids bike = slow




    See the similarity? Of course I'm using the 8" Carry Me bike here that really looks like a kids bike but you know what I mean Heh, I'm a fan of yours!

  3. #3
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbrown View Post
    Do you foldie riders get this kind of reaction a lot?
    Everyday. Every single day.

    14R

  4. #4
    SWS: Small Wheel Syndrome kb5ql's Avatar
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    Folding bikes are stoopid.

    ... and so am i...


  5. #5
    Senior Member mrbrown's Avatar
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    Thank you, OldiesONfoldies, for liking my blog and podcasts! I just read your blog, wow, you really tour with your foldies, man!

    Respect!
    Mercy overtakes
    even when you push fifty
    pedaling His paths


    My blog | My podcasts | My Flickr | My Rides

  6. #6
    The Metropolis, UK
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    I guess the people who laugh at folding bikes fall into 2 categories:

    1) Uneducated people who know no better and are ignorant of the geometry, engineering and benefits that folders possess.
    2) Cyclists who should know better and are just ignorant idiots. Even if they think the bike is funny, they would do better to keep their stupid comments to themselves. Such idiots have a very moronic sense of humour, the 'Beavis & Butthead' types!

    I only ever laughed at a work colleague on a folder when he mounted his bike after a few beers and crashed into a lampost, without hurting himself or his Brompton. I appreciated the flexibility of folders even then and was converted once I tried one out.

    Times are changing and so are the perception and reputation of folders. When I was growing up it was uncool to wear glasses. Now they are seen as a fashion item in some cases and JK Rowling (Harry Potter) worked wonders for kids wearing specs. Similarly with the green movement, need for flexible options in urban commuting, increase in health consciousness, and the increased innovation put into cycling in the last two decades, folders are becoming more mainstream. They are now percevied as cool and even quirky by people of all ages and are no longer the preserve of a small minority. The people who still laugh simply have no clue and are either lack the fitness to ride one or the brainpower & awareness to see their potential. Smile at their ignorance.
    Last edited by mulleady; 02-26-08 at 03:31 AM.

  7. #7
    Small wheels ARE better! OldiesONfoldies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbrown View Post
    Thank you, OldiesONfoldies, for liking my blog and podcasts! I just read your blog, wow, you really tour with your foldies, man!

    Respect!
    Heh Mr Brown, glad you enjoyed my little blog. Your podcasts will one day win you a Nat Day medal or two! Keep them coming, I never miss any

    If you really want to be laughed at, try riding the 8" Carry Me bike. I was really seriously mocked by a group of village kids in Malaysia as I rode pass them that it was not funny. But in most cases, people are positively curious.

    Incidentally, one of our Dahon club riders took part recently in a 400km race, consisting largely roadies and some MTBs on slicks. He was on a Speed Pro TT and came in a respectable top 20%.

    I say, those of us who know, know!


  8. #8
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    haha... my favorite post (made by someone else about me) from the commuting forum.


    My last folding bike + train commute of the season

    You: Leaving great Valley Corporate center by 55/65 Valley Stream Pkwy, clad in Docker-esque business casual clothes, Messenger bag, riding your folder.

    Me: Riding behind you on Valley Stream, passed you on Swedesford Rd.. Red Trek Hybrid, wearing Bike shorts and plain jersey. I made right on Cedar Hollow and left you behind, or at least that what I thought....

    When: Early July??

    What: Dropped by a folder!!! As the road made its increasingly steeper climb up to Paoli you started gaining ground. As we past under the RR tunnel and started the even steeper bit, my legs and lungs cried uncle and I slow to a pitiful crawl. You however, just pedaled past me as if you where on a pleasant ride down some seaside broad walk. You exchange some greeting, I gasp out some quick words before I have to pull over and catch my breath. I gaze in amazement as you merrily spin up the hill.

    You left a serious impression on me, the only thread of dignity that I could think of was that you must have some seriously low gears on that folder. I'm better at hills now, but Cedar Hollow Rd is still not a hill to be t*****d with! Tis a shame that you have to forgo that daily challenge!

  9. #9
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    Happens to me all the time. It's really not about the bike. A lot of people are jerks, just go ahead forgive them.

    I find the rude anti-freds are outnumbered by the attractive women (I mean, nice people) we meet that are genuinely curious about the folders.

  10. #10
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Most memorable comments made by my friends when I show up at group rides with one of my folders:

    - Hmmm - everything shrinks in the cold weather...
    - What did you do? Put your bike in the dryer and it shrank?
    - Hey doughnut boy!

    I get funny looks sometimes from roadies in cycling gear. I think they might feel that I mock their favorite sport by showing up in non-serious gear and equipment. (Not knowing that I have my share of blingy, fast road bikes.) Once I start riding, they know I'm serious, though.

    Sometimes, when I'm in a mischievous mood, I like to trail behind a roadie for a while. Get their surprised reaction when they can't shake me. Then, I'll just crank it up and pass them.

    I must say though, that a lot of kids have positive reactions. I have had several "Cool Bike!" comments from kids.

    It's all good fun, and who cares what they think anyway? There are ignoramous-es in every walk of life. Who knows, in some circles, I am probably the ignoramous .

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldiesONfoldies View Post
    If you really want to be laughed at, try riding the 8" Carry Me bike. I was really seriously mocked by a group of village kids in Malaysia as I rode pass them that it was not funny. But in most cases, people are positively curious.
    I don't get laughed at much when I ride my Carryme. Most folks are too busy reaching for their cameras.

  12. #12
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    I'm always amazed at how guys on full size bikes always feel the need to prove themselves against me when I'm on my folder. A lot of them seem to see it as an affront to their manhood that they could be passed by such a funny looking bike.
    Salsa La Cruz--one bike for everything

  13. #13
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    In all honesty, people on road bikes tend to try and drop _everyone_ they see. If you're on a cruiser they do the same thing as if you're on a folder.

    I've blown by people on road bikes with both of my folders, but they were never really serious 'roadies'. The serious ones could always drop me on the DT and my BF is a tick slower than a real road bike. That doesn't mean they don't have a purpose, though.

  14. #14
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Boy View Post
    In all honesty, people on road bikes tend to try and drop _everyone_ they see. If you're on a cruiser they do the same thing as if you're on a folder.

    I've blown by people on road bikes with both of my folders, but they were never really serious 'roadies'. The serious ones could always drop me on the DT and my BF is a tick slower than a real road bike. That doesn't mean they don't have a purpose, though.


    Hah! Very good. I think that you are on the money here FB.

    -G

  15. #15
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Boy View Post
    In all honesty, people on road bikes tend to try and drop _everyone_ they see. If you're on a cruiser they do the same thing as if you're on a folder.
    +1. You nailed it!

    It's in the nature of the sport ...

  16. #16
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    I don't get laughed at much when I ride my Carryme. Most folks are too busy reaching for their cameras.
    Same thing when I'm riding the Strida5

  17. #17
    Senior Member psykoocycle's Avatar
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    I've had a few of those comments... mostly from TESTOSTA - ROADIES... though I'm sure everyone here has a pretty good radar for those guys by now...

    Ladies love the folders, the guys not as much...

    but most have been positive so far...

  18. #18
    Senior Member donlab's Avatar
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    Ha, check this video out: Birdy vs Road bike.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svX0ZmkKaOg

    It's folder's revenge!

  19. #19
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Boy View Post
    In all honesty, people on road bikes tend to try and drop _everyone_ they see.
    I am confused...The post above is a link to a guy on a folder dropping a roadbike and yelling revenge. So if a roadie drops a folder then the roadie is obnoxious.....if a folder drops a roadie it's all fun and games. Seems like a double standard to me and the whole damn subject is just as stupid as the bents vs roadies. Really, no one gives a damn what you ride....just ride.

  20. #20
    Small wheels ARE better! OldiesONfoldies's Avatar
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    The Birdy BionX I believe is elec assisted - not a very fare comparision ya?

    In answer to Garysol1 very "mature" point, my "playground" response is - "Heh, they started it first!"

  21. #21
    Señor Mambo
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    Quote Originally Posted by garysol1 View Post
    I am confused...The post above is a link to a guy on a folder dropping a roadbike and yelling revenge. So if a roadie drops a folder then the roadie is obnoxious.....if a folder drops a roadie it's all fun and games. Seems like a double standard to me and the whole damn subject is just as stupid as the bents vs roadies. Really, no one gives a damn what you ride....just ride.
    Amen.

    Some need to spend more time doing other things if they get emotionally hurt so easily.

  22. #22
    SWS: Small Wheel Syndrome kb5ql's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garysol1 View Post
    I am confused...The post above is a link to a guy on a folder dropping a roadbike and yelling revenge. So if a roadie drops a folder then the roadie is obnoxious.....if a folder drops a roadie it's all fun and games. Seems like a double standard to me and the whole damn subject is just as stupid as the bents vs roadies. Really, no one gives a damn what you ride....just ride.
    I'm glad we're keeping it in this sub-forum. Our seated brethren riders get REALLY 'bent' and go nuts on the road forum and all sorts of inanity ensues.

    If you ride with confidence, it shouldn't matter what you use. Check out the zoo-bombers in Portland.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    These guys had a display at the Oregon handmade Bike Show in Portland late last year. Really creative "bikes" - lots of interest by everyone.

    Check it out:
    http://www.zoobomb.org/gallery/

    Portland has a great variety of bike types & riders - makes it fun.
    Last edited by Foldable Two; 02-26-08 at 09:53 PM.

  24. #24
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    So while I was riding today (my road bike), I was pondering the question of this thread. That's one thing that rides are great for.

    I decided that fast road bike riders drop everyone they can see for the same reason that dogs lick their nuts. Because they can.

  25. #25
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by donlab View Post
    Ha, check this video out: Birdy vs Road bike.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svX0ZmkKaOg

    It's folder's revenge!
    Wtf?!!! The birdy is ELECTRIC!!!! eek:

    It's no test of the Birdy at all, or the rider. The Birdy is carrying a couple of KW hours of utility power on the back. Maybe I should do a comparison test up a mountain between a Brompton and a Honda CBR 600
    Last edited by EvilV; 02-27-08 at 01:35 AM.
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

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