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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 04-08-08, 07:26 PM   #1
yamcha
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To hell with derailleur gears on folding bikes

I am on my fourth folder and I swear now that internal hubs are so well made and reliable that there is no reason for me to even consider getting a bike with derailleur gears. Yeah they are a pound or two heavier but so what? A person's water weight can fluctuate even more than that within a days time. And yeah you can only get 7-8 gears out of them but so what? How many people actually use 23 or 27 gears whatever. Even with a 7 gear bike I am seldom ever in the lowest or highest gear.

I am also sick of constantly having to adjust the derailleur after like 12 folds and cleaning the cassette and chain ring and how fast they wear out sucks too.

oh, I also like being able to pop it into any gear I want while stopped.
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Old 04-08-08, 07:43 PM   #2
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you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way :p
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Old 04-08-08, 08:05 PM   #3
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Old 04-08-08, 08:06 PM   #4
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LOL +1

I especially hate the dished wheels! Although I bought a DaHon with a SA XRF5 and it had a dished wheel (because the hub is supposed to be on a bike with 130mm OLN not 110mm OLN, I've since corrected DaHon's mistake)..

Also replacing spokes is so much easier.. just watch out for the c clip in the eye!

Excuse the exclamation marks but I share your sentiment.

Oh BTW I always go with coaster brakes as well. I detest rear cable operated brakes.
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Old 04-08-08, 08:10 PM   #5
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I prefer roller brakes.
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Old 04-08-08, 08:13 PM   #6
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Are those any good? I put a drum brake on my winter bike and it sucks (front wheel). It squeals to high heaven and doesn't stop me one bit. The bike has a 3 speed internal with coaster brake on the back, and that works great.
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Old 04-08-08, 08:21 PM   #7
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My stolen bike had a Shimano 3 spd internal with drum brake and it was great. I want to all my brakes to drums.

I don't like coaster brakes because first off they are gay and secondly it's nice to be able to pedal backwards sometimes while you are coasting. Kind of like stretching out your muscles.
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Old 04-08-08, 09:18 PM   #8
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Good to hear my suspicions confirmed. I'm looking into a folder, and I just can't get over how not-great an idea a derailleur on such a machine seems. I'm sure I'm overthinking it a bit, but in any case, I'm paying a lot more attention to internally-geared options.
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Old 04-08-08, 09:29 PM   #9
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I'm agreeing with this, too. I have a ss on my Swift right now.
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Old 04-08-08, 10:51 PM   #10
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The 'secret' to getting the derailer systems lasting long is to keep the chain clean. Not just any old clean, no, operating room clean. That means after *every* wet ride, remove, wash and relube the chain.

SS or geared hubs' chains will also wear fast if you don't keep them clean but it won't be noticible until everything is worn down to nubs. But they will never wear as fast as derailer chains.

The 'secret' to folding without the gear system getting out of adjustment is to shift to the gear where the cable is slack, usually highest gear unless you have a low normal derailer. With the cable slack, there is no force involved during folding.
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Old 04-08-08, 11:33 PM   #11
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I'm somewhat convince now and happy, that I got this folding bike thing, right the first time. Unlike some other things in my life.

Last edited by DVC45; 04-08-08 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 04-08-08, 11:44 PM   #12
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The 'secret' to getting the derailer systems lasting long is...

Who cares what the secret is? What's next? You gonna tell me how to make my VCR last forever too? I am out of the low-tech world of derailers and into the cutting edge world of virtually maintenance and hassle free internal hubs.
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Old 04-09-08, 12:12 AM   #13
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I'm somewhat convince now and happy, that I got this folding bike thing, right the first time. Unlike some other things in my life.
That is just one of many things you got right and I love you.
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Old 04-09-08, 02:49 AM   #14
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... internal hubs are so well made and reliable ...
I agree. And they are nice in nordic winter - at least my Merc's oiled hub gears have worked ok.
But what about this http://www.flickr.com/photos/nc_psyclist/2262303340/ - would a front derailleur be reliable in folding-bikes. BTW I think Jur's advice is worth to remember.
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Old 04-09-08, 03:09 AM   #15
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There are people in the Forums who have the Schlumpf 2-gear bottom bracket in their folder. I don't know what range or how many distinctive gear combinations it gives with a 8-speed rear hub, but should be plenty. If not, just get both the Schlumpf and a Rohloff rear hub.

[off-topic]By then you'll be working at least two jobs anyways, so why not throw a SON dynohub in the mix too. [/off-topic]

Clean chainline and no cables / rods for the front gear system.

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Old 04-09-08, 03:55 AM   #16
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I ride a Dahon Curve D3 with a 3-speed SA hun and I totally agree. No fussing about.

Changing rear tires is a pain though.
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Old 04-09-08, 04:52 AM   #17
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The only downsides to hub gears - at least on some models is the fragility of the clickbox (yes that's you mr sram spectro seven] and the hassles of removing it all with a puncture. And the weight though as mentioned this is debatable, esp if you have a roller brake and no need for rear calipers.

I think they're great - I don't really understand why they fell out of favour for twenty+ years. If they were the transmission of choice worldwide throughout that time think of the innovation that might have transpired in that time...
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Old 04-09-08, 05:05 AM   #18
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You don't need to remove the rear wheel, cables, chains, clickbox etc to replace a tube.

* goes away, letting the others puzzle *
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Old 04-09-08, 05:17 AM   #19
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I didn't realise we had Uri Geller on the boards!
[So really - how!!!?]
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Old 04-09-08, 05:30 AM   #20
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See this image for a vague hint...

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t...kestour082.jpg
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Old 04-09-08, 06:22 AM   #21
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Spare tube already installed?
That only reduces removal by 50% you minx!


PS: I had this idea a while back for a tube that works in the same way as a ship - ie it has air in compartments so if one is ruptured it doesn't automatically totally deflate.

The idea is to have a tube that's contructed from X amount of braided smaller tubes, that fill independently but all link to the master valve.

Say you are inflated at 100psi, and there are 6 sub-tubes then, as one is punctured, the others remain in use and you only lose 16.67% of pressure, leaving you with 83psi of tyre - plenty enough to get home, or further. If the tube consisted of just three it would still have 66psi - a very respectable get-home pressure.

Ok so mending the puncture would be harder (as would deflating 6 separate pockets via one valve) and manufacture more complicated (and costly) but I think that it really could be a goer. Presumably there are a lot of other issues or it would be the norm already though right?
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Old 04-09-08, 07:39 AM   #22
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Spare tube already installed or somehow fastened inside the rear triangle? I remember reading a post in BF about that earlier. If you don't care about the punctured tube, you can of course cut it to remove. No wheel removal required.

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Old 04-09-08, 10:03 AM   #23
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I agree. And they are nice in nordic winter - at least my Merc's oiled hub gears have worked ok.
But what about this http://www.flickr.com/photos/nc_psyclist/2262303340/ - would a front derailleur be reliable in folding-bikes. BTW I think Jur's advice is worth to remember.
Ah - you have oiled your merc hub too. How did you find it? Did you decide to drill the outer case or drop the oil in through the centre of the axle?

I'm soon going to open my hub again and see how much oil remains in there after a few hundred miles of riding without any attention.

I would underline your point to Yamcha about Jur's advice. He knows the answer to some of yamcha's problems and having bothered to explain, deserves better than a put down.

Last edited by EvilV; 04-09-08 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 04-09-08, 10:07 AM   #24
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The only downsides to hub gears - at least on some models is the fragility of the clickbox (yes that's you mr sram spectro seven] and the hassles of removing it all with a puncture. And the weight though as mentioned this is debatable, esp if you have a roller brake and no need for rear calipers.

I think they're great - I don't really understand why they fell out of favour for twenty+ years. If they were the transmission of choice worldwide throughout that time think of the innovation that might have transpired in that time...
I expect they fell out of favour because a cheap derrailieur is cheaper - and then there's the fashion thing. When I was a lad in the 1960s, we saw flash older lads on derrailieur bikes with drop bars and we spurned our old technology. In fact, those same old technology hubs are still working wherever people didn't just dump the bike. I doubt many of those low end 'racer's are though.

The sturmey three speed has of course the very robust tiny chain for changing gear. Not that much to go wrong on that, unless the cable snaps or comes off the roller that is used to change its direction on the rear triangle.
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Old 04-09-08, 10:23 AM   #25
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Evil, I know the answers to those problems too. But the thing is with a internal hub I won't be having those problems. And what do you tell a guy who says he wants to go to Vietnam and he wants to kill a Viet Cong? You say hey baby that war is over and we are in Iraq now.
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