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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 06-02-08, 04:37 PM   #1
stoogeswoman
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Totally new to folding bikes - did I make a mistake?

Hi everyone!

I'm new both to this forum and to folding bikes. (In fact, I've only recently taken up biking again, period!)

The past few weeks I've had the idea that it might be neat to have a folding bike in my trunk. On my way to/from work, I drive past a big park with some inviting looking bike trails and sometimes I wish I could just stop, pop out a bike & ride for a little bit. I drive a tiny Toyota, so needless to say, a folding bike sounds pretty good!

To make a long story longer , I'm an impulse buyer. And yesterday - before I discovered this forum - I ordered a "Schwinn Hinge Folding Bike" from Amazon. It has 2 good customer reviews & was on sale for $169 (free shipping) so I thought that sounded like a pretty good deal for what I was looking for.

But now I'm wondering -- did I make a mistake?? I've found some less-than-salutory comments about Schwinn here in your forum's archives.

It's too late to cancel the order as it's already shipped. And unless the bike is a total disaster, I would still want to keep it in the trunk & ride it from time to time. And I still want to buy a better-quality folding bike later on, for commuting purposes.

So give it to me straight - is it going to be a total disaster which I should return, unopened, if at all possible? Or could it serve as a decent/cheap introduction to folders for this "newbie"?

Thanks for your opinions - appreciated!

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Old 06-02-08, 04:46 PM   #2
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It's probably not going to be a total disaster. I'm super impulsive and bought a Downtube without much research and didn't really like it, even though they get rave reviews here; I bought a Tikit afterwards (1 week to be precise). I keep the Downtube in my room but don't ride it, and will probably let my friend borrow it over the summer.

If you keep it, you'll be able to ride it and decide what you don't like about it. It'll make the next purchase easier, since you'll know what to look for.
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Old 06-02-08, 04:52 PM   #3
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It's probably not going to be a total disaster. I'm super impulsive and bought a Downtube without much research and didn't really like it, even though they get rave reviews here; I bought a Tikit afterwards (1 week to be precise). I keep the Downtube in my room but don't ride it, and will probably let my friend borrow it over the summer.

If you keep it, you'll be able to ride it and decide what you don't like about it. It'll make the next purchase easier, since you'll know what to look for.
That's good to know - thanks!! As MST3K says, maybe I should just relax.
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Old 06-02-08, 05:12 PM   #4
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The best thing you could have done is ask about it here So now we can advise you.

The bike may be just fine for you; one thing that you must realise, is that after that long off the bike, you will very likely prefer an upright riding position. Additionally, one bike won't seem all that different from another wrt to its parts and quality. So from this point of view, it's good that you got a low cost one.

Once you are happy with riding, you may find the saddle is uncomfortable. That can be replaced. Perhaps later you'll find the gears aren't very suitable for your needs. And so on. Eventually, if you keep riding and build some knowledge and experience, it may be time to look for a better quality bike and let this one go on ebay (or just keep it as a backup).

Another very important thing to keep in mind, if the bike is an awful experience (not all that likely though), don't get discouraged and stop riding altogether. There are some absolutely excellent bikes out there for very reasonable cost. One of them will be perfect for you and riding will become a joy to look forward to.
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Old 06-02-08, 05:25 PM   #5
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Cool, jur! My husband is handy with tools so maybe I will nag him to replace the seat for me (or just take it to a bike shop).

I'll post a review once I get it & ride it! Meantime I'll start educating myself towards the *next* bike!
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Old 06-02-08, 05:56 PM   #6
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that bike looks like the folder I learned how to ride on when I was ten.
only it had a coaster brake. a great learning experience, learned how to fix
my own flats and just great fun for a ten year old. can't ask for more when
you're that age. Pre Internet.
sometimes the simple things are the best things.
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Old 06-02-08, 06:30 PM   #7
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Yeah, but ... I'm a little older than ten now ! ;-)
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Old 06-02-08, 07:08 PM   #8
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Stoogeswoman, I like your name! Woo woo woo!
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Old 06-02-08, 07:10 PM   #9
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I think you can refuse to accept the package when it arrives, and then it will be returned to Amazon for refund at no cost to you.
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Old 06-02-08, 07:11 PM   #10
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Then you can listen to the experts here and get a better folder that you will enjoy more instead.
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Old 06-02-08, 07:41 PM   #11
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Cool, jur! My husband is handy with tools so maybe I will nag him to replace the seat for me (or just take it to a bike shop).

I'll post a review once I get it & ride it! Meantime I'll start educating myself towards the *next* bike!
I mentioned the seat as an example only - it may be fine. Soft padded seats are OK for short trips but for longer rides, the pressure over the entire seat area causes lack of blood flow with associated numbness. For longer rides, paradoxically a firmer saddle is best.
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Old 06-03-08, 12:40 AM   #12
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It's perfectly fine for riding in the park. Even if you use it and don't like it wouldn't Amazon accept a return anyway? I'd go for it, it's an economical start back into the world of bikes.

However for the extra $200 you can get a bike like the Downtube with nice 8 speed hub gears which would double for the park trails and commute:
http://www.downtube.com/product535.html

Last edited by mulleady; 06-03-08 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 06-03-08, 03:14 AM   #13
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If you have been away from biking for awhile, you might find any bike to be geared too high. This can usually be changed. If you have any hills, have low 20's for gear-inches in your lowest gear. This is unless you are otherwise very athletic, or you have an expensive ultralight bike.
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Old 06-03-08, 03:20 AM   #14
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The Schwinn Hinge bike has no gearing I believe and is single speed. Fine for a flat park but very limited for the average user in other situations.
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Old 06-03-08, 05:40 AM   #15
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$169 is fairly cheap. How much does it weigh? Cheap parts might be another problem. See hubs and Bottom Bracket maintenance on parktool.com. The single speed is not the problem you might think, once you get used to it you might prefer it.
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Old 06-03-08, 10:38 AM   #16
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I got a pretty cheap bike too--the Kent Ultralite, it cost about the same as yours--and I'm ok with it. I take it on my daily commute, and I ride anywhere between 5-10mi on it per day. Like others said above, now that I have more riding experience, I'm wanting a more expensive bike with better specs, better saddle(!!!!!!!) aero riding position, etc. But as an intro to folding bikes for a student on a budget, cheap folders can't be beat!
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Old 06-03-08, 11:05 AM   #17
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Here's the bike she's talking about:

http://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-S2278-...2512461&sr=8-1

See comments: Cranks are made of plastic. Say what?
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Old 06-03-08, 11:10 AM   #18
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Actually, I wouldn't mind having a cheap folder if it was halfway decent, and could support my weight and fit me, something that I could chain up to the bike rack. I wish my Swift had a luggage rack on it, like that Schwinn. That's one of the things i don't like about the Swift - no place to put a luggage rack, except attached to the seat post, and that has problems.
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Old 06-03-08, 12:12 PM   #19
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We probably would have encouraged you to go in a little different direction if you would have talked to us first (Actually, the Schwinn Loop doesn't look like a bad little bike). Having said this, you'll probably be able to use this bike for exactly what you want and you didn't spend an arm & a leg to get it.

Put miles on it. Have fun. Let us know what you think of it. If after a little while you decide you want a different bike that is more 'high end', you know where to come.
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Old 06-03-08, 12:16 PM   #20
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Yeah, it sounds like I will get pretty much what I wanted - a nice cheap bike to play around with till I can save up for something better.

So thanks for all your comments & advice! As I said, I will post a review once I've used it for a while. (I got the "free super saver" shipping so it won't be here for a couple of weeks.)

Woo woo to you too, werewolf! (if you like the Stooges, google "Stooges Woman" (2 words) and my website should be the first one to pop up - lots of good stooges stuff!)
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Old 06-03-08, 12:19 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Here's the bike she's talking about:

http://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-S2278-...2512461&sr=8-1

See comments: Cranks are made of plastic. Say what?
Yep, that's the one! I'm embarrassed to say I don't really know what the "crank" is, or whether it should be made of plastic or green cheese.

By the way, I told my husband about it last night. He's fine with it & said he'd check it over & put on a new seat or whatever I needed, if necessary.

(It's so nice to be married to a guy with lots of tools! )
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Old 06-03-08, 12:38 PM   #22
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I will definitely be looking up your 3 stooges website, Stoogewoman!

The cranks are the part of the bike that attaches the pedals to the bottom bracket. This is a most critical part, a part that has to bear your weight when you are pushing hard on the pedals and standing up on the pedals, like when you are accelerating or going uphill. You definitely do not want this part to snap in half, possibly breaking your leg, pelvis, whatever.

Maybe I'm not up to date on the latest Walmart junk bike technology, but i've never heard of plastic cranks before.

Parts of a bicycle:

http://www.jimlangley.net/wrench/bicycleparts.html

(They call it crankarms there)
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Old 06-03-08, 12:43 PM   #23
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I suggest you refuse delivery of the package and thus get it returned to Amazon for refund at no cost to yourself (I think), and then pay a little more and buy something much better and safer.
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Old 06-03-08, 05:39 PM   #24
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That's one of the things i don't like about the Swift - no place to put a luggage rack, except attached to the seat post, and that has problems.
Werewolf, check out the Delta Megarack Sport. It comes with rubber coated clamps that allow attachment to the seat stays on a bike that doesn't have brazed-on rack mounts. I had one on my Swift and it worked well.
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Old 06-03-08, 05:54 PM   #25
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Hey, thanks, Itsmoot! Do you need to order that $5.50 rack hardware seperately, besides the rack? I guess so, because the rack looks like it just has regular rack fittings
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