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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 03-25-08, 05:56 PM   #1
stef-o
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Hercules Compact Folding Bike (from the 80s)

hello, new person from london, uk... was wondering if anyone could help me with this bike i just bought from a second hand dealer.

it's a great bike for me as it's small & i'm small, but i was just wondering whether there's an easier way of transporting it on long distance train journeys.
it folds up but it's really heavy to carry (got funny looks when i was on the tube cos when the train jerked, the bike would flail a little!)

i was too scared to cycle the whole journey home (haven't ridden in about 10 years, and have never ridden alongside cars!)

whilst i don't plan on carrying the bike around with me, i just wondered if anyone had any information on the Hercules Compact. or am i just being dumb & it locks into itself easily & i just can't see it?!
or is there a method of just pulling/pushing it when it's folded so i don't have to carry it so much?

thank you for reading!
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Old 03-25-08, 06:17 PM   #2
LittlePixel
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Hi there - you were brave taking it on the tube! I've done this once or twice with my bigger Raleigh Twenty but at night with a bit of dutch courage to help with the London Starers

Is this your bike?


Compared to modern bikes with really small folds these aren't quite so great for commutes where you go on trains, but you can make the most of them by doing a few things; if the frame is unfolding when in transit a good way to keep it secured is to use hooked bungie cords like you might use on a car roof-rack to stretch around the frame a bit and keep it in the shape you want. This can also be done with velcro straps and both are easy things to stow in a bag or backpack when not in use.

Another thing that might get you less stares on a train is to bag the bike up before travelling. This is obviously a bit more hassle and might mean the difference between catching and missing one but on a wet day with an oily chain you might just have a few enemies in the carriage with you if you don't cover it up and that person on their way to an interview with a flowing white skirt on might just thank you for finding a big ole bag to keep it out of the way of dry-clean only!

You might need to do a bit of experimenting to find a bag big enough for a bike like your hercules, but you could do a lot worse than one of those big heavy-duty laundry bags; They are tough, cheap and can be bundled up pretty compactly for when you aren't on the bike.

Hope that's some help - I'll keep my eye out for you when I'm next on the tube. [I'd love to say I'm never on it and always on my bike but this sadly isn't as true it should be!]
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Old 03-26-08, 01:43 AM   #3
alecw35
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Im doing up a hercules.
trying to get the weight down so I can take it on the bus

Put 7 speed deraileir gears on it after modding the frame.

got alloy racer cranks that fitted right in
The bb shell is standard. Not the strange Raleigh type

I was given the bike. The man had kept it in a shed in the country.
Lots of spiders on it
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Old 03-26-08, 04:28 AM   #4
stef-o
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Hey guys thanks for the help!
LittlePixel: i think i will definitly invest in a bungie cord, not just to keep the bike folded up tight, but also cos i have a wire basket which swings around wildly when it's full so i'll need to secure my bag onto the rack safely.

i've got a laundry bag too so just in case i do need to brave the tube, i'll have that handy!

alecw35: i haven't learnt too much about the technical side of bikes but when i do, i'll try to make the bike lighter. it is a very heavy folding bike but 55 isnt bad for a 2nd hand bike in top condition..

thanks again for the advice!
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Old 03-26-08, 04:52 AM   #5
Diode100
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I had a similar framed Puch, lovely to ride, but awkward to carry. You can replace all the steel parts with alloy, and loose some of the weight, but there is nothing you can do about the folded shape and poor balance when folded, plus there is always something sticking out to gouge you. I think you probably just have to accept its limitations, its a folder from a different era, when the only concession to folding was a hinge & QR stem. Still, an ideal city bike, hope you enjoy it.
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Old 03-26-08, 09:07 AM   #6
badmother
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I like the old folders, they make me smile, more pix and storys plse! Maybe I like them becouse I like free or cheap stuff but they often end up not-so-cheap so I think it is more about the challenge and I LIKE
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Old 03-26-08, 09:10 AM   #7
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I like the old folders, they make my heart smile. More pix and storys plse! Maybe I like them becouse I like cheap or free stuff, but they often end up not-so-cheap, so maybe it is more about the challenge, plus I like to re use stuff!
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Old 07-21-09, 10:00 AM   #8
siancroberts
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Broken hinge on hercules folder

I have just bought a second hand compact hercules folder. But the stem/ screw that holds the bike together- i.e. on the actual folding hinge has snapped!

Does anyone know if I can get a replacement from somewhere, or if one can be made for me? I'm guessing my local bike shop won't be able to order a replacement part.

alecw35, do you have any experience of this?

Last edited by siancroberts; 07-21-09 at 10:04 AM.
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