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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 04-05-08, 10:15 PM   #1
tinye
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But....I don't need to FOLD it!

Is it crazy to want to buy one of these if it's not going to get folded?

I find that I have an unusual interest in a Swift based on the 20 inch tires and general layout. I like the idea of not being as far from the ground as I would be with 700c tires, and having something smaller to move around the neighborhood on.

I don't commute, vacation, or have a real storage problem; so I'm questioning if this is just stupid for me to consider.

Thanks!

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Old 04-05-08, 10:37 PM   #2
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Is it crazy to want to buy one of these if it's not going to get folded?

I find that I have an unusual interest in a Swift based on the 20 inch tires and general layout. I like the idea of not being as far from the ground as I would be with 700c tires, and having something smaller to move around the neighborhood on.

I don't commute, vacation, or have a real storage problem; so I'm questioning if this is just stupid for me to consider.

Thanks!
If it's stoopid, you are not the only one .

I got five (well, six, counting the project bike I picked up today) of them now, and I don't reeeallly need the fold. I just admire them. The engineering, the aesthetics, the cuteness, the variety, the non-conformance... Aw heck, who cares how I justify it. I just like 'em.
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Old 04-05-08, 10:48 PM   #3
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For some people, folding bikes can be a better fit. I'm pretty short, and the 20" wheels on my Bike Friday (plus the custom tube lengths, etc.) mean that this is by far the best fitting bike I have ever ridden.

But the main reason I got the folder was so I could more easily take it with me when I travel; I don't know that I would have bought it if I were never going to take it anywhere.

Also, I think you will be just as far from the ground on a swift folder than you would be on a bike with 700c tires - there will just be a longer seat tube holding you up there.
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Old 04-05-08, 11:09 PM   #4
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Is it crazy to want to buy one of these if it's not going to get folded?

I find that I have an unusual interest in a Swift based on the 20 inch tires and general layout. I like the idea of not being as far from the ground as I would be with 700c tires, and having something smaller to move around the neighborhood on.

I don't commute, vacation, or have a real storage problem; so I'm questioning if this is just stupid for me to consider.

Thanks!
Hah, join the fold of the stoopid ones!

Likewise I have a number of these folding bikes and have actually gotten rid of ALL my big-wheeled ones. There is something appealing about them, and the ability to fold is just another bonus for me - just pop it in the car if you have to go somewhere far.

I have a Swift and it is my go-fast bike with top of the range componentry (check my sig); in fact just yesterday I did yet another 200km brevet with it, and rode with one of the fastest bunches. The ride was 150km away from home. No problem, just fold, pop in boot and go!

But besides those relatively rare instances, I don't fold. Us folding bike junkies are just way ahead of our time.

Just a word of warning though: These are highly addictive. With road bikes, seen one seen em all. But with folders, it's like, "Oooh, look at that one. Gotta get me one of those!"
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Old 04-06-08, 12:40 AM   #5
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What you're looking for is a class of bike that the folks here in this sub-forum would refer to as a mini-velo. There ate a lot of examples of them in the pacific/Asia region. Dahon makes a model.
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Old 04-06-08, 12:52 AM   #6
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I can certainly understand the addiction to own more and more foldies - they each are so different in their unique ways. Hope you don't get too addicted like too many of us "junkies" here...

Gotta go now to get my folding fix now - ah... unlatch, push, unlatch, fold, presto. Opps, I forgot the pedal.



6 so far
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Old 04-06-08, 01:19 AM   #7
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I just installed some Wald folding baskets and they've already been folded and unfolded more than the bike ever has.

My Phillip's Twenty not a great little bike, or a great folding bike, but quite simply a great bike. She rides nicely, handles like a porsche, and gets me everywhere I need to be in a timely fashion. With the addition of some high performance slicks (not shown) and that recent dual drive conversion she has also gotten just a little quicker than she was when I got her.
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Old 04-06-08, 11:44 AM   #8
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As someone for whom the shine has mostly worn off of folding bikes.... It isn't "crazy" to buy a bike of any sort, as long as you ride it.

If folding is unimportant, the Swift will likely work out well -- since it happens to have one of the worst folds out there.
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Old 04-06-08, 12:15 PM   #9
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I have always like the looks of a folder and that is why I have one.
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Old 04-06-08, 01:27 PM   #10
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I find that I have an unusual interest in a Swift based on the 20 inch tires and general layout. I like the idea of not being as far from the ground as I would be with 700c tires, and having something smaller to move around the neighborhood on.
I think the longer seat and handlebar posts will put you just as far from the ground as you would on 700c wheels. The frame will be closer to the ground, but your body shouldn't be.
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Old 04-06-08, 02:05 PM   #11
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Thanks for the lively discussion! I'm feeling not so out of place now

The point of the wheel sizes and body height is well taken.

I think I may have just characterized my intention incorrectly.....I like the idea of a minimalist frame and not having such a high top tube up in my "business"
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Old 04-06-08, 02:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by tinye View Post
Is it crazy to want to buy one of these if it's not going to get folded?

I find that I have an unusual interest in a Swift based on the 20 inch tires and general layout. I like the idea of not being as far from the ground as I would be with 700c tires, and having something smaller to move around the neighborhood on.

I don't commute, vacation, or have a real storage problem; so I'm questioning if this is just stupid for me to consider.

Thanks!
Heavens no! I have owned or borrowed many different types or styles of bikes in the recent and distant past. There were elements and features that I absolutely loved about each of them. So, when I bought my first one, I made sure to include these same features whenever possible. And I still do it for the more recent purchases. I just love the flexibility/adaptable way these little bikes handle most any situation I could places them in. That is one of the main reasons why I only own/ride these bikes now. Plus the theft-resistant feature of folding it up and taking it with you most anywhere.
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Old 04-06-08, 02:12 PM   #13
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You are going to be sitting in pretty much the same position / altitude on a folder as you do on a standard bike although a lower bb and shorter cranks might bring you down a little.

The thing I like most about my folders (P20's) is that their low centre of gravity and excellent tracking make them more nimble and stable than any other bike I own... one can actually make pretty reckless turns and the bike just holds on.

This makes them ideal for urban riding and dodging potholes which are very abundant here in the spring.
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Old 04-06-08, 04:39 PM   #14
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You are going to be sitting in pretty much the same position / altitude on a folder as you do on a standard bike although a lower bb and shorter cranks might bring you down a little.
I would say the BB is rather high on my Downtube. At a comfortable saddle/pedal distance I can't touch both tip toes to the ground while seated. Is the BB low on your R20?

The BB on my Carryme is certainly a bit low (as I'm frequently reminded by pedal strikes), but I think the cranks are fairly long (170mm).

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The thing I like most about my folders (P20's) is that their low centre of gravity and excellent tracking make them more nimble and stable than any other bike I own... one can actually make pretty reckless turns and the bike just holds on.

This makes them ideal for urban riding and dodging potholes which are very abundant here in the spring.
Yeah. This is especially noticeable on my Carryme whose wheels seem to stick to the ground like suction cups.
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Old 04-06-08, 04:54 PM   #15
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The BB on R20's is a little low and pedal strikes can happen in really sharp turns which an R20 is really good at... mind you this can happen with a lot of other bikes too.

I can't touch both toes when I am seated on any bike... if I can I know the saddle height is far too low.

It seems that for many the reason they ride folders is not because they fold but because small wheelers are simply great bikes...if I had the chance to pick up a non folding Twenty at a good price I would.

I know a fellow that picked up a mint Phillip's Twenty (non folding model) for $40.00 at a second hand / thrift shop and it is a gorgeous and slightly lighter bike due to the lack of a hinge.

Another shot:

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Old 04-06-08, 05:04 PM   #16
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Sixty Fiver,

Not meaning to gloat......my Wasp non fold R20 was $15au and my wife's was $25au......but then the cost of modding was, well........best left unsaid!!
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Old 04-06-08, 05:04 PM   #17
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I think the BB on my Mini is a bit ower; never measured it but I can lean over a bit and actually place my foot flat on the ground. A bit puzzling since I haven't had a pedal strike. Maybe I'm over-cautious.
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Old 04-06-08, 07:27 PM   #18
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You are not alone. I have a folder because I like to travel and I like to ride my bike. But if I had the super power of unlimited budget, I would have at least a couple Mini-Velo with high-end components.



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Old 04-06-08, 08:59 PM   #19
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14R, those O2's are SHARP!
mmm discs...
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Old 04-07-08, 03:23 AM   #20
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Nice!!
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Old 04-07-08, 05:19 AM   #21
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Nope. I've got a Dahon Curve on order, not sure if I really need it. But I want it!
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Old 04-07-08, 06:45 AM   #22
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I've spent the last couple of days worrying about specing out the gearing on a 700C bike. The standard road component set ups just don't work for me; gears are too high! It's much easier getting the gears I want on a small wheeled bike.

I wonder if those Mini-Velos in 14R's post will become popular in the US. They seem to mostly come from Asia. Very cool.

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Old 04-07-08, 08:14 AM   #23
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I desire a Smooth Hound but lacking, ( Plus dahon longer imports them to the states)( declaim as a super hero would>Super Power Of Unlimited Budget! I content myself with my BF Metro and Boardwalk 6 and 5 other Velo's.

Last edited by James H Haury; 04-07-08 at 08:16 AM. Reason: Dramatic flair!
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Old 04-07-08, 09:09 AM   #24
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I desire a Smooth Hound but lacking, ( Plus dahon longer imports them to the states)( declaim as a super hero would>Super Power Of Unlimited Budget! I content myself with my BF Metro and Boardwalk 6 and 5 other Velo's.
Yeah, the Smooth Hound has been on my mind for some time. Its more seperable than foldable though - but it fits into a suitcase and looks deliciously classic. With its moustach bar, bar end shifters, timeless color, brooks seat and handlebar covers, drool...
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Old 04-08-08, 12:13 AM   #25
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Nope. I've got a Dahon Curve on order, not sure if I really need it. But I want it!
Last summer I bought a Curve SL. The small wheel experience has exceeded my expectations to such an extent that I'm now considering getting a minivelo for days when folding is unnecessary. I heart this bike:

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