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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 06-10-08, 07:55 PM   #1
ShrinkMD
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Montague for first folder

I am getting back into biking after a 25 year hiatus. I was thinking about getting a folder so I could keep it in the trunk or bring it into the office, and I have been looking at the 26" wheel models such as the Dahon cadenza or matrix or the Montague CX.

I plan on riding almost exclusively on the streets or paved trails, and this will be a pleasure/commuter bike, no loading up saddlebags and touring hundreds of miles. My neighborhood is quite hilly, however, and I need something which is capable of getting up some pretty mean hills (and getting down safely as well)

Lots of time this bike may not even be folded, just sitting in the garage and riding around, so I have little interest in something like a Brompton or other ultra small/light bike.

Unfortunately there are no stocking dealers for either anywhere near me, so it would be a trip to NYC to see any of these in person. Have people had decent experiences ordering online from a shop like Bikesarecool.com? I would like to give the business to my local store, but they don't carry these items!

Thanks
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Old 06-10-08, 08:34 PM   #2
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If you're going to stick to pavement and stash your bike under your desk at work, I highly recommend you consider a 20" folder. If you find that the ride is a bit rough, use wider and/or softer tires. Or, you can get a 20" folder with suspension (e.g. Dahon Jack). They'll also fold much smaller than the 26", better for taking to work.

If the gearing isn't low enough, you can easily upgrade the gearing -- possibly even at time of purchase. An 11-32 in back will help, or you can lower the front chainring.

If you're going into NYC, bfold has a good selection of folding bikes; call first as they have slightly unusual hours. No Dahons though. James Vincent in Bergen Heights has several Dahons, and the owner is into folders in general.
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Old 06-10-08, 09:07 PM   #3
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Yeah ... 26" models are not very portable and carrying it into the office might be more difficult that you think. I would stick with the 20" bikes.

You want to determine your price point before doing much more work.

You should also consider how much you like to tinker.

From what you describe, I would just make sure that it can fit fat tires. Assuming that you are not spending a ton of bucks, my preference is to avoid suspension bikes; but others here feel differently.
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Old 06-10-08, 09:16 PM   #4
ShrinkMD
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Thanks for the feedback. I am less worried about the folding size, since the only place it is likely to be folded is either in the garage or the trunk of my car.

Are the standard parts included with a Montague decent? I know you can spend more for any one part of a bike than most walmart type bikes cost for the whole thing. I'm not expecting a miracle for $500 bucks, but I don't want things breaking and falling apart, either.

How well does Dahon and Montague compare to similarly priced non folders in terms of reliability/durability? I assume that besides for the proprietary frame, the rest of either of these bikes (in 26 in anyway) use standard parts, so my local bike shop can tune it up and won't have problems working on a "non-standard" bike?

Thanks for the info!
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Old 06-10-08, 09:53 PM   #5
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Seems that I've mostly read negative comments regarding Montague quality.
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Old 06-10-08, 11:46 PM   #6
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check this one http://www.dahon.com/us/cadenza.htm
From what I've gathered here, Montague's are heavy, with sub-par components.
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Old 06-11-08, 05:28 AM   #7
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Montague's are heavy, with sub-par components.
I've got a (heavily modified) Montague CX, and it's quite heavy indeed. Putting it in the trunk of the car is no problem, provided the trunk is not too small. I wouldn't want to fold it every day to take it into the office or on a commuting train though.

The original components were not very good quality, after a few km riding I had to replace the bottom bracket for example. There's hardly an original component left by now (changed from 7 to 8 gears in the rear, put on a Modolo Yumo handlebar, replaced the front wheel as the rim was worn out ; my saddle and seatpost got stolen, ....). The CX model can be packaged more compactly than the others (a rigid fork, with a threaded stem is easily 10cm shorter than a suspension fork for A-head stem - after the stem is removed that is).

That said, the frame is very solid and stiff enough even for me (I'm a Clydesdale, and a heavy one at that).

Personally I'm fairly happy with it now. It's excellent for mixed mode travelling. I can fold it when I take a bus, keeps the drivers happy and avoids excessive surcharges, and I take it apart and bag it when I travel by airplane, again to avoid excessive surcharges (often for free). Disassembly and reassembly for airplane travel are a bit of a pain (remove both wheels, rack, front panniers, handlebar, saddle, pedals, protect rear dérailleur, put everything in a bag,...).

It's been a faithful companion for several trips now, including several month-long heavily loaded tours.
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Old 06-14-08, 06:11 AM   #8
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I purchased a Montgue ‘Paratrooper’ model last spring ‘07’ and have been very happy with it. Was my first bicycle in over 25 years. I haven’t dropped it out of an airplane so I can’t tell you how well it flies.

It may be heavy – I don’t have anything to compare it to.

I’ve used almost daily for 10-15 mile sessions. Used on the road, mountain bike, and rail trails. My favorite rail-trail is just a flat single track with very few improvements from the abandoned roadbed.

I fold to carry in the car as needed. Very quick to dis/assemble with no tools.

Replaced the stock pedals since the ones provided were junk. I haven’t had any breakage or failing parts. Out of the box it rode ‘OK’. A trip to LBS for fine tuning improved the ride.
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Old 06-14-08, 08:09 AM   #9
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Montague bikes are heavy indeed, but it is mainly due to its sub par components. And ALMOST ALL folders have very cheap components compared to 'normal' bikes with similiar price range. (Bike fridays, Moultons, Bromptons, Birdys.... Sole exception is Dahon IMO)

However it is kind of mixed blessing. You can fit standard MTB components to montage frame, making it a reasonably light and good folding bike that can be ridden in rocky mountains(My montague weighs 9kg). But if you want to ride it without any modification, I think cadenza will be suit you better.
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Old 09-15-08, 12:05 AM   #10
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I saw an add for a Montague MX bike and am in contact with the owner. So long story short I told him that I'm 5'4" and he said the bike might be to big. How can I tell if the bike is to big for me, Ive only seen pictures of it?

Im a real noob when it comes to bikes, I just want something to learn on and take with me during rush hour on bart.
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Old 12-22-09, 08:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by noob_island View Post
I saw an add for a Montague MX bike and am in contact with the owner. So long story short I told him that I'm 5'4" and he said the bike might be to big. How can I tell if the bike is to big for me, Ive only seen pictures of it?

Im a real noob when it comes to bikes, I just want something to learn on and take with me during rush hour on bart.
So how did things work out for you? I'm about start communting on BART with a 26 incher and would love to hear you account of how things are!
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