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Old 03-03-08, 11:30 PM   #1
Mr. Smith
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What have you done to your folder?

Whether its a hub dynamo subwoofer system, neon lights, hydraulic shocks, or maybe just a new set of grips, what have you done to change what you didn't like about a folding bike you own?

I personally have put Ergon grips on my tikit and am working on switching out the Microshift shifter/derailer combo for something a little better. Adding new components seems a little tricky on these things since tolerances are key for the fold, so I'm curious what others are doing to their bikes to improve and customize.
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Old 03-03-08, 11:46 PM   #2
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I just put Ergon grips on my Tikit as well. I swapped out the factory stem for a shorter one and the factory pedals for some MKS EZY pedals.
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Old 03-04-08, 12:58 AM   #3
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I just put Ergon grips on my Tikit as well. I swapped out the factory stem for a shorter one and the factory pedals for some MKS EZY pedals.
I should probably do something with the pedals, but I have been folding down the stock pedals a lot which makes me think I should maybe keep them. The rubber also bonds to the bottom of my leather soled wing-tips. Proper pedals would leave me bloody in those shoes. I commute dressed for work until it gets hot out.

Have you thought about messing with the crank set? I like the stock 175 mm cranks except when I'm cornering. I have noticed my knee getting a little pissy on this bike, so maybe I should bump down to a shorter length.

Are you happy with the microshift stuff? It's a little low end I thought for this bike's price. I'm pretty anxious to ditch it. I can't seem to dial in the derailer. It's usually off a little in 8th no matter what I do. I think it may be the shifter. I think I'll go rapid fire on the next shifter and see if a better derailer helps.
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Old 03-04-08, 01:04 AM   #4
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I ripped off the butt-ugly Ultralite stickers and replaced them with happy fun planet bike and indiebike advocacy ones. Other mods--basically just fredded it out with lights, mirror, milk crate, and 'flecty stuff.

Mechanical-wise, I should probably change the chainring to a bigger one, but I'm too lazy and cheap to do so.
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Old 03-04-08, 04:12 AM   #5
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Ergon R2M grips on the Dahon Curve (and a host of other changes). Currently playing with my new MU-P24. Just added fenders and a rack, and a trunk bag to it. Trunk bags rule. Probably going to change the chainring to a Vista Synchro Elliptical Chainwheel.
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Old 03-04-08, 04:40 AM   #6
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What have I done with it? Mostly I just ride it, but I also modified the Merc to have two front chain rings so that I could lower the ratios on steep hills. It's a Sturmey three speed hub gear and the stock 175% gear range can be a bit narrow if you live somewhere with steep hills, high head wind probability or if you want to ride longer than the typical commuting distances. I arranged a front derailier and handle bar lever which works very well indeed, but to be honest, I only rarely need to drop down onto the smaller chain wheel. Mostly, the bike is ridden as it was intended to be - a three gear bike for rides of about five miles. It isn't at all tiring at that sort of distance.



Please note, these pictures were taken during some filthy weather last winter. The bike is generally a lot smarter than this.






The derailieur clamp is by Steve Parry of Bromton mods fame. It cost £40, but I think I have found an alternative that costs a mere £10. I need to do some accurate measurements to make sure it would fit as an alternative, but it looks a reasonable match. The whole job cost me about £60. If the alternative clamp will in fact work, it would have cost about £37 for the whole mod (39 tooth chain ring from Anita at Merc £4.50, handle bar lever C £5, cable £2.50, front mech £10, derailier frame clamp £10). You might have to add a bit of postage for some items. Take the figures as ballpark rather than exact. I had a couple of bits like the gear lever and cable lying around in the garage.

Last edited by EvilV; 03-04-08 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 03-04-08, 06:13 AM   #7
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EvilV,

Are you using a chain tensioner or a rear derailluer?
I want to try this idea with my R20 with the 8 spd SA hub.
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Old 03-04-08, 06:43 AM   #8
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Mine is a sort of folder...1968 Raleigh Compact RSW. I just upgraded the front wheel to OEM Dynohub. The head light for the time being is going to be a chrome B&M Retro. I have an original RSW headlight that I may try and rework as an LED or restore. Added a much longer late model seat post and a leather saddle, currently a Wright 5N, but it will be replaced with a Brooks Champion Flyer or a B67. I don't want to do too many mods to it because it is an unusual little beast. Heavy as hell but fun to ride.

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Old 03-04-08, 06:43 AM   #9
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EvilV,

Are you using a chain tensioner or a rear derailluer?
I want to try this idea with my R20 with the 8 spd SA hub.
Hi Stevegor.

The bike has an aluminium chain tensioner. The copied Brompton design requires a tensioner. The rear hinge used in folding is behind the bottom bracket which would mean that the chain length was too great as you fold it under. The chain would fall off without. I suppose you could use either derailleur or tensioner on your R20 to accomodate the different sized chain rings. Maybe a cheap derailleur set with the adjusting screws into the right plane would work out. Can you lock out the sideways movement with the adjusting screws on those things? I'm not sure.
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Old 03-04-08, 11:05 AM   #10
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EvilV - does it fold with the chain on either front ring or is it more prone to a drop if on the smaller one?
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Old 03-04-08, 12:07 PM   #11
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The biggest mod I have made to my Downtube IX is to replace the shifter, chain and derailleur with SRAM. What a difference! Now it shifts like it really should, clean and crisp.

The flat bar was replaced with trekking handlebars and a longer stem. This was my setup for 6 months or so, mostly commuting. Only within the last week have I gone back to the shorter stem that came with the bike. This feels like a better fit for me.

I've added a Topeak rack that clamps onto the seatpost, and one pannier bag. Very handy. I'm not too wild about the constant extra weight, but I always seem to need to carry something. I've also added lights, a front fender from my long gone MTB, a bottle cage on the steeerer, a new saddle and standard platform pedals w/ clips.

I rarely fold it, but none of the additions interfere with the fold significantly. I can still fold it and pop it into the back of my car.

I am going to Yosemite in May and will be taking both my DT and R20 so that I and my friends can get around. Looking forward to taking pics of the bikes there.
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Old 03-04-08, 12:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Smith View Post
Whether its a hub dynamo subwoofer system, neon lights, hydraulic shocks, or maybe just a new set of grips, what have you done to change what you didn't like about a folding bike you own?

....I'm curious what others are doing to their bikes to improve and customize.
Plenty over the last almost 5 years! Please see my Flickr photos to see the bikes and Geocities for descriptions below for links:
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Old 03-04-08, 12:37 PM   #13
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EvilV - does it fold with the chain on either front ring or is it more prone to a drop if on the smaller one?
I don't fold it that much Huw, but the inner ring is the one that has the exact same chainline as the original bike did. I always make a habit after folding, of lifting the rear wheel and spinning the pedals a couple of times to check that all is well. Once or twice I have had the chain come off the rear cog after folding. It would almost always be on the outer ring for me, since I rarely use the inner one except for climbing monster hills. On typical five mile rides, I can usually push the 45 inch bottom gear of the standard set up on almost all the hills I meet.
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Old 03-04-08, 12:40 PM   #14
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On my Twenty so far...

New alloy wheels and tyres, new alloy post, new rack, new brake levers and grips, new pedals, and new fenders.

To come: Looking at installing a new fork, headset, stem and bars as well as replacing the bb and cranks.

As it is now, it is a pretty decent ride and I will be leaving the drive (an SA AW) as is.

Before:


After a few hours in the shop:
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Old 03-04-08, 12:55 PM   #15
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Biggest modification I've done to a folder is to turn it into a recumbent. Apologies to those who have seen this picture before :

Downtube Front Suspension + Cruzbike conversion kit



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Kt_d3fy_pU
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Old 03-04-08, 05:49 PM   #16
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Biggest modification I've done to a folder is to turn it into a recumbent. Apologies to those who have seen this picture before :

Downtube Front Suspension + Cruzbike conversion kit
That is one radical set of modifications Sesame..... Makes the rest of our mods look like a wash and polish up, by comparison.
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Old 03-04-08, 06:25 PM   #17
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That is one radical set of modifications Sesame..... Makes the rest of our mods look like a wash and polish up, by comparison.
Thanks for the compliment, but I did use a commercial kit. Made it a lot easier. Believe me, if I could do it, anyone can ...
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Old 03-04-08, 07:13 PM   #18
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I guess this qualifies. I just received a swift folder yesterday. I stripped everything off an now I am trying to decide what to do....

option1=fixed with vintage campy pista 165 track crank, IRO fixed/fixed track hubs built up with velocity aeroheat rims, brooks saddle, 52x14 gearing,no brakes

option2=campy 10sp group taken off my road bike,brooks saddle

option3=s/a internal 8speed taken off my commuter


I am leaning towards option numero uno.....keep it simple and light....for now at least
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Old 03-04-08, 08:15 PM   #19
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Nothing too fancy on my Dahon Jack:

Cannondale Bad Boy grips (with the right side poorly cut down to accommodate the shifter)
MKS FD6 folding pedals
Topeak Explorer Rack (w/ an MTX DX bag to go on top)
Blackburn Mars 3.0 in the back, Voyager 3.0 in the front
the obligatory no-name bottle cage

The rest is stock, for now...
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Old 03-04-08, 08:43 PM   #20
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On my Twenty so far...

New alloy wheels and tyres, new alloy post, new rack, new brake levers and grips, new pedals, and new fenders.

To come: Looking at installing a new fork, headset, stem and bars as well as replacing the bb and cranks.

As it is now, it is a pretty decent ride and I will be leaving the drive (an SA AW) as is.

Before:


After a few hours in the shop:
Have you sourced a new fork yet? I am looking for one myself. I am leaning towards the Sun EZ Sport recumbent fork, but haven't seriously searched or priced one yet. Another BF member used one on his R20 rebuild.
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Old 03-04-08, 11:32 PM   #21
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I've made the following modifications to my Tikit:
  • Built a custom front rack for holding cargo/luggage.
  • Replaced the rear wheel and brake with one built around a SRAM S7 internal hub gear.
  • Replaced the stock cranks with Shimano 105 cranks for a lower Q-factor.
  • Replaced the stock Marathon tires with Greenspeed Scorcher tires for a better ride.
  • Replaced the stock handlebars with Origin-8 Space Bars which sweep back for a more comfortable riding position.
  • Replaced the stock seatpost and saddle with a Brooks B17.
  • Replaced the stock pedals with MKS removable ones.
  • Upgraded to the new stem hinge.

Still to do is build a generator front wheel and add generator lighting.

The fenders, front wheel, front brake, frame, fork, and stem are original.

alex
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Old 03-05-08, 02:36 AM   #22
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Thanks for the compliment, but I did use a commercial kit. Made it a lot easier. Believe me, if I could do it, anyone can ...

Yeah - I'll spare his blushes by not mentioning him by name, but someone PMd me with a degree of indignation to suggest the same. I think he was upset at my not recognising his own contribution to bicycle modification.

ROFLMAO

I just posted as things struck me at a moment in time. Maybe your radical picture fired off some synapses in my enthusiasm centre. You're right - it's crap, and anybody could have done it.



As for using commercial parts; I suppose that very few of us add parts that we fashioned from bar stock or from home made castings, so yours is at least as worthy of enthusiastic reception as others who fit bought in parts. Commercial kit or not, it is perhaps about as significant an alteration to a standard bicycle that one could imagine.
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Old 03-05-08, 08:33 AM   #23
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Yeah - I'll spare his blushes by not mentioning him by name, but someone PMd me with a degree of indignation to suggest the same. I think he was upset at my not recognising his own contribution to bicycle modification.

ROFLMAO
I'm stunned... . Oh well, let's celebrate the diversity of personalities in this world.

I love the Cruzbike recumbent. It is a good design and a pretty simple mod (2 days, slow tinkering). The end result is a head-turner, let me tell you, especially with my son in the back. I use it to take him to his pre-school and we both enjoy it lots.

My original intentions were to use it for a double century ride that I signed up for last year. But, I found out just how different recumbent muscles are from upright bikes. I didn't have the time (nor the desire) to build up my 'bent legs (especially for a 200 mile ride), so I didn't end up using it for that purpose.
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Old 03-05-08, 03:55 PM   #24
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Let's keep it civil, folks....

Don't make me put down my newspaper.....
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Old 03-05-08, 04:22 PM   #25
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Back to modification pictures....

Nothing too fancy, but I like the way it rides much better after the modification. It certainly changed the look!

Downtube Mini with SA-8. Old Scott AT4 handlebars, longer stem, Avid brakes levers, Big Apple tires, Shimano pedals, front and rear racks.

Next mod is Jur's doorstop suspension...


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