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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 06-07-08, 02:09 AM   #1
gilda
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total novice!! can i get some advice please?

hello. i'm new to this crazy new york city (well, relatively). i've recently moved and gotten a great new internship, and i want to get a bike to get to work and also to school.

i don't need some hardcore bicycle, just one that will take me on mostly short distances. i think my longest possible distance that i might travel would be from union square to times square.

i would like a folding bicycle that has at least 3 different speed options (because i'm not the fittest of people).

my biggest worry is size, weight and price.
+ i have one of those super puny city apartments, which is why i'm looking for a folding bicycle, and hopefully one that will fold up to fit in my pocket. or a small nook.
+ weight, because my school bag is usually really heavy and i am not the strongest of people to carry a heavy bike at the same time.
+ price-wise, as a student, i don't have a lot to spare. but if this might save me on all that metro cards each month, i guess it will be an investment.

i haven't owned a bike in years and really never serviced one before. all i know how to do is to pump air in tires so i really can't deal with anything that's very complicated. i read through some of the threads in this forum but honestly got so confused, which is why i thought i'd post a thread of my own and hopefully someone will be nice enough to offer some advice?

i saw a bike called mobiky that was really expensive (to me) but it seems to fold really small and i'm wondering if i should starve myself for a couple of months to buy it. does anyone know if this might be a good option for me? or if someone could suggest some similar options, i would really appreciate it.

thank you!!
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Old 06-07-08, 04:09 AM   #2
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How tall are you? What is your budget?
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Old 06-07-08, 06:24 AM   #3
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Union Square to Times Square is about 30 blocks, and is flat as a board. You could use literally anything for that, and don't even need any gears at all.

The Mobiky is a little pricey, but if it isn't too heavy it might work out. While you're saving up money for it, you could keep an eye on Craigslist and eBa for a used Strida, A-Bike, or Pacific Carry-Me.
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Old 06-07-08, 07:34 AM   #4
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Having just gone this route myself, I got a Dahon Curve D3 and am extremely happy with it. It's a bit less than the Mobiky, and the Schwalbe Big Apple tires make it ride very comfortably. Folds up into a very nice small package at about 24 pounds. I also bought (from Thor USA), the new Klickfix extension bracket and their metal basket and attached it to the fitting that's built in to the front of the Dahon. Extremely convenient and handy addition. The bike comes complete with fenders, mudguards, back rack and bungies.

That said, I'm also looking for a Mobiky Genius just because. Anybody in SoCal have one they want to pass on?
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Old 06-07-08, 10:57 PM   #5
gilda
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thanks everyone for your suggestions!!

i'm not very tall, about 5' 3".

i looked up the a-bike yesterday and it looks really cool and folds up small, but i read many reviews saying that it's really hard to ride and balance? i guess both the a0bike and mobiky looks really attractive to me because of how small it folds up to.

sotto> i had no idea bicycles can get so complicating! wow, so you totally customized yours??


are there any bicycle websites or something that sell bikes for cheap??
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Old 06-07-08, 11:41 PM   #6
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Hi gilda...
It's not necessarily getting a bike for cheap. It's more about getting the right bike.

I have yet to hear any good reviews of either the A-Bike or the Mobicky. If I had to choose between the two I would probably choose the Mobicky... but honestly I wouldn't choose either.

What exactly is your budget? If it's in the $500 range, I would either choose the Curve D3 noted by sotto or the Downtube Mini.

Also... there are shops in NYC where you can test ride some bikes.

--sam
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Old 06-07-08, 11:44 PM   #7
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Gilda,

If size and weight are an issue (they are when you carry them) start by looking at bikes with 16" wheels. Steel frame bikes are generally heavier, but cheaper than aluminum frame bikes. Bikes with larger 20" wheels can be heavier. My 20" folding bike is 12 kilos, which is too heavy to carry very far.

Gears are handy if you're not a regular cyclist with thighs made from hewn marble or you cycle into headwinds. Fenders keep the rain off -a bit - a rear rack gets the weight off your back.


Stuff like the lower-priced Dahons with the curved frames commute well and have mostly standard rotating parts so they're easy (read cheaper) to fix. There are plenty of others.

Whatever you get, buy a decent lock(s), a puncture kit, tyre levers, a spare inner tube, and a pump. You may consider lights and a helmet essential.

If you're not a techie the shop will set the bike up for you. It will probably need to go back after a few hours riding to have cables adjusted as they stretch a little when the bike is new.


If you take the bike on public transport folded up, a bag keeps dirt and grime from other passengers off the bike and is often mandatory. 16" folders often fit in blue Ikea bags, or you buy a custom bag for your scoot.

Plenty of people take 20" bikes in public transport, but 16" wheel bikes are generally a little easier to handle or carry.

Ya pays ya money....


There's a good thread here

that compares bikes with pix. The Downtube Mini could fit the bill.

Last edited by snafu21; 06-07-08 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 06-08-08, 12:29 AM   #8
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Gilda:

Really, I would look very hard at the Dahon Curve D3 (16 inch wheels, about 24 pounds, comes complete with all the features such as fenders etc I outlined above) for your uses. It rides extremely solidly and comfortably and has a very nice complement of features at a decent price. I would very strongly advise that you pick it up from an established Dahon dealer who can set it up for you and provide any service. If you can find one that is open beyond the usual 9-5 hours, and that will deal with any issue you have immediately also, you'll find this to be extremely beneficial. The little fitting that is built-in to the front of the bike that is designed to take the Klickfix extension bracket is also ideal for mounting a basket or bag. They click on and off in a flash. These items are readily available from www.thorusa.com. Really an exceptionally nice all-around package.

Last edited by sotto; 06-08-08 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 06-08-08, 11:15 PM   #9
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hello!!! thanks for all that info. i did some research and finally i understand what some of the basic terminology is.....

the last time i bought a bike i think i was like 7, when it was hello kitty and i didn't have to think about anything!!!

the dahon curve d3 looks really good and since no one has recommended the mobiky, then i don't think i should really get it. i guess the folded size will somehow be able to fit into my bed room. yay!

the other appealing point about the mobiky was that i could roll it around instead of carrying it... would the dahon be too heavy for a girl to lug around??

also, does anyone live in nyc? i would love for a good recommendation for a bike shop that has nice salespeople? (who will be nice even to someone who knows absolutely nothing. i mean, the specs pages on the websites gave me headaches.)

sotto, thanks for all your advice. i checked out that thor usa website and bookmarked the whole thing.
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Old 06-09-08, 07:52 AM   #10
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Not to add more to your confusion... but you might also consider a Strida. If your heart is set on the Mobicky, please don't let us discourage you. It might be perfect for you and your needs. It's just that it hasn't received many positive reviews here on these forums. That doesn't mean that it isn't a good solution for you.

I believe you can test ride the Mobicky and Strida at... http://www.bfold.com (they're in NYC)

I'm certain you can test ride the Dahon and Strida at... http://www.nycewheels.com

I'm sure there are other NYC based bike shops with folders... but these are the two most commonly pointed to by folks here.

Good luck finding your new bike!

--sam
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Old 06-09-08, 08:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilda View Post
also, does anyone live in nyc? i would love for a good recommendation for a bike shop that has nice salespeople? (who will be nice even to someone who knows absolutely nothing. i mean, the specs pages on the websites gave me headaches.)
If you're on the Upper West Side, Metro Bicycles (W. 96th, just east of B'way) carries the Dahon Curve D3. Tip: try to avoid buying a new bike there (or at any bike shop in Manhattan) on weekends, when it's a zoo, and you won't get the attention you'd get on, say, a Tuesday morning.
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Old 06-09-08, 08:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalato View Post
Not to add more to your confusion... but you might also consider a Strida. If your heart is set on the Mobicky, please don't let us discourage you. It might be perfect for you and your needs. It's just that it hasn't received many positive reviews here on these forums. That doesn't mean that it isn't a good solution for you.

I believe you can test ride the Mobicky and Strida at... http://www.bfold.com (they're in NYC)

I'm certain you can test ride the Dahon and Strida at... http://www.nycewheels.com

I'm sure there are other NYC based bike shops with folders... but these are the two most commonly pointed to by folks here.

Good luck finding your new bike!

--sam
Sam is giving good advice. I've been to both Bfold and Nycewheels, and they're both very nice shops. I especially like David at Bfold, who knows as much about folding bikes as anyone I've met. He let me test ride a Mobiky, and has ordered parts for me. Nycewheels is also a great shop, they let me test ride both a Brompton and a Swift.

If you want to see and ride a Downtube Mini, feel free to PM me, I ride mine most days.
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Old 06-09-08, 09:28 AM   #13
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as much as I like the strida I don't think its all that great for the mechanically challenged. Should anything break on it, ur going to be waiting for a replacement part for a while as
they are not readily available at your local bike shop. You could get really good at using JB WELD or SumoGlue, tho. You may also be a tad too short for its riding geometry.

Also, consider how much you will need to carry the bike. A 16" wheel should really be your only consideration as a 20" bike will probably be quite heavy for your build. If the bike could be wheeled while folded, I find that a significant bonus while taking transit or doing some grocery shopping. Defintely look for racks or a well venting backpack as well as lighting and a bell, as you will be immersed in the city! Sounds like fun!
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Old 06-10-08, 03:28 PM   #14
gilda
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thanks guys!! i think i have decided on the dahon. i'm growing to like it
the strida looks like cool but trueno92 is right... i absolutely cannot deal with it if anything wrong happens! i'm lucky i know where a bike's pedal is.

thank you for all your help!! now i'm just going to go around to different bike shops and see if anyone has a good deal. heh heh.
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Old 06-11-08, 11:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilda View Post
hello. i'm new to this crazy new york city (well, relatively). i've recently moved and gotten a great new internship, and i want to get a bike to get to work and also to school.

i don't need some hardcore bicycle, just one that will take me on mostly short distances. i think my longest possible distance that i might travel would be from union square to times square.

i would like a folding bicycle that has at least 3 different speed options (because i'm not the fittest of people).

my biggest worry is size, weight and price.
+ i have one of those super puny city apartments, which is why i'm looking for a folding bicycle, and hopefully one that will fold up to fit in my pocket. or a small nook.
+ weight, because my school bag is usually really heavy and i am not the strongest of people to carry a heavy bike at the same time.
+ price-wise, as a student, i don't have a lot to spare. but if this might save me on all that metro cards each month, i guess it will be an investment.

i haven't owned a bike in years and really never serviced one before. all i know how to do is to pump air in tires so i really can't deal with anything that's very complicated. i read through some of the threads in this forum but honestly got so confused, which is why i thought i'd post a thread of my own and hopefully someone will be nice enough to offer some advice?

i saw a bike called mobiky that was really expensive (to me) but it seems to fold really small and i'm wondering if i should starve myself for a couple of months to buy it. does anyone know if this might be a good option for me? or if someone could suggest some similar options, i would really appreciate it.

thank you!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by gilda View Post
thanks guys!! i think i have decided on the dahon. i'm growing to like it
the strida looks like cool but trueno92 is right... i absolutely cannot deal with it if anything wrong happens! i'm lucky i know where a bike's pedal is.

thank you for all your help!! now i'm just going to go around to different bike shops and see if anyone has a good deal. heh heh.
Gilda,

I have 3 different folders-2 Dahons and 1 Brompton. Since you live in NYC, I recommend BFold as that shop is the type of shop that not only knows folders, but takes the time to match the right folder for you. That is the most critical part of bike selection, rather than just focusing on price. I know where you are coming from as my own finances are quite limited right now, but I have and will continue to purchase my folders for many years of service & pleasure I expect to get out of them, not just a impulse buy or just a few months use-they are like a investment of sorts. To see what a 20 inch and a 16 inch Dahons are like, see my Web sites listed below:
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