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  1. #1
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    The All-Around Folder

    Hello All,

    This is my first post on this board and wanted opinions regarding a folding bike. I'm planning to ride the MS150 but I have been recently traveling a lot with work and my training is way behind schedule. So I needed a bike that would travel easy (car and plane) but still performs well. Then my friend decided he wants to ride the MS150 this year but doesn't have the $$ for a new bike so I was going to let him use my normal bike and since I was going to train on the folder, I would just ride the folder for the 150. I was initially going to get a downtube because it is reasonably priced and has standard parts that I can change out when I wanted but wasn't sure how comfortable the bike would be over a long distance. I also have been thinking about using the folder as a touring bike and i didn't know if the downtube would be able to handle the load. So I have also been looking at the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket and New World Tourist. Any thoughts about these bikes or any other recommendations. Thanks for your help, Brian

  2. #2
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    Ok... I was one search away from finding the majority of my answer: http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=399010 - however, if there are any other bikes I should be considering please let me know... Thanks again, Brian

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Brian,

    Good you found that thread.

    I like Xootr Swift myself. For my recent project I just bought their frame "kit". What you get is a frame, fork, seat post, dérailleur hangar etc. The rest of the components you put on it yourself. I think the Swift design is strong and I believe others here agree (because here is where my opinions formed in the first place ). So this may be your other option. I don't know how it compares to DT or BF as I don't own either of those.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the response. I looked at the Xootr Swift and really like it but was concerned about the fold. I went to the site last night to take another look and saw that you can in fact pack it into a suitcase so it's still a viable option. I tried to find the bike kit, because building the bike sounds interesting but couldn't find it. I'm going to contact them to see if it's still available.

    Thanks for your help,
    Brian

  5. #5
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkk573 View Post
    Thanks for the response. I looked at the Xootr Swift and really like it but was concerned about the fold. I went to the site last night to take another look and saw that you can in fact pack it into a suitcase so it's still a viable option. I tried to find the bike kit, because building the bike sounds interesting but couldn't find it. I'm going to contact them to see if it's still available.

    Thanks for your help,
    Brian
    Hello Brian,

    I am rather sad to say that there is compromises and trade-offs in everything-even folding bikes. I noticed that the best performance bikes (i.e. Swift, Bike Friday) are the ones that have the worst folding ability. The best folding ones (Dahons, Downtubes, Bromptons) ususally have some complaint about it's riding characteristics in a greater or lesser way. This is due to the rider's own physique. It appears that you are headed in the right direction for you.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    I also wanted a folding bike that would do it all. I wanted it to be good enough at each thing I used it for that I would never wish that I was on a different bike

    After a lot of investigation and test rides on what was available locally, I concluded that the Birdy was the only bike I could find that was good enough at everything that I wanted from a bike.

    You can find a bike that will fold smaller, a different bike that is a fraction faster, another one that is better off-road, and another that is touch lighter, but the Birdy is near the best at every one of these things, will fit nearly everyone and is probably more comfortable than any of them.

    I bought a Birdy and I couldn't be happier.

    David

  7. #7
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkk573 View Post
    Hello All,

    This is my first post on this board and wanted opinions regarding a folding bike. I'm planning to ride the MS150 but I have been recently traveling a lot with work and my training is way behind schedule. So I needed a bike that would travel easy (car and plane) but still performs well. Then my friend decided he wants to ride the MS150 this year but doesn't have the $$ for a new bike so I was going to let him use my normal bike and since I was going to train on the folder, I would just ride the folder for the 150. I was initially going to get a downtube because it is reasonably priced and has standard parts that I can change out when I wanted but wasn't sure how comfortable the bike would be over a long distance. I also have been thinking about using the folder as a touring bike and i didn't know if the downtube would be able to handle the load. So I have also been looking at the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket and New World Tourist. Any thoughts about these bikes or any other recommendations. Thanks for your help, Brian
    It sounds like a compact fold really is not important and that you have a decent budget.

    If you are really thinking of loaded touring -- or semi-loaded touring -- it would be difficult to do better than the Bike Friday NWT. Basically, because it is designed for it. Other high performance folding bikes include the Airnimal and -- just based on other's reviews -- Pashley, and Reach. I will mention Moulton (a custom Pashley) but it is really expensive and probably ridiculously difficult to get here in the States; although I don't know where you are.

    Actually, the Pashley and Moulton bikes are separable instead of folding bikes.

    Anyway, several forum members have done centuries and such on their Bike Fridays. I know a few Arlington locals that do brevets with them. Great bike in my opinion for many reasons, most of which were covered in that other thread.

    More comments in this thread ... http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php...703&highlight=

  8. #8
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    Hello All,

    I really appreciate everyone's input and advice. I am currently leaning toward the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket, NWT or Xootr Swift. I really haven't heard much about the Birdy before but it looks interesting. Will I lose performance with the 16" wheels versus the 20"? Fortunately there is a bike shop up in Vienna, VA that carries both Bike Friday and Birdy so I can give them both a try before I make my decision. The Pocket Rocket seems to fit the bill the best but it might be out of my $$ range (according to the Mrs..). The NWT has a stock model that is about 1200 that I'm interested in but building up a Xootr Swift may be fun... So I have actually added more bikes to the mix instead of narrowing them down - bike shopping is so much fun!!

    Thanks again,
    Brian

  9. #9
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkk573 View Post
    The Pocket Rocket seems to fit the bill the best but it might be out of my $$ range (according to the Mrs..).

    Thanks again,
    Brian
    A couple of points:

    Bike Friday now has "stock" models of the Pocket Rocket 16-Speed (3 different frame sizes) for $999 - check their website. http://www.bikefriday.com/node/6647

    The Swift was co-developed by Peter Reich and Jan VanderTuin. VanderTuin is now based in Eugene, OR (a few miles from Bike Friday), and hand makes the Cro Moly version of the Swift. http://www.catoregon.org/hpm/swift.htm

    Too bad you are on the other end of the country. (Co-Motion is in the neighborhood, too.)

    Good Luck on your search - both are very nice bikes. I own a NWT, but appreciate the Swifts design and quality.

  10. #10
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkk573 View Post
    Hello All,

    I really appreciate everyone's input and advice. I am currently leaning toward the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket, NWT or Xootr Swift. I really haven't heard much about the Birdy before but it looks interesting. Will I lose performance with the 16" wheels versus the 20"? Fortunately there is a bike shop up in Vienna, VA that carries both Bike Friday and Birdy so I can give them both a try before I make my decision. The Pocket Rocket seems to fit the bill the best but it might be out of my $$ range (according to the Mrs..). The NWT has a stock model that is about 1200 that I'm interested in but building up a Xootr Swift may be fun... So I have actually added more bikes to the mix instead of narrowing them down - bike shopping is so much fun!!

    Thanks again,
    Brian
    Ahhhh you are in my neck of the woods. Bikes at Vienna is a good shop. I know Tim the head mechanic ... a good guy.

    You should also check out Mt Airy/College Park Bicycles since they have a lot more models in stock such as the Airnimal. They might also have a Xootr Swiftfolder too.

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