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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 06-11-08, 01:36 AM   #1
vYu223
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Please recommend the best folder for me

Hello everybody,

I've just graduated from high school and just got my first job at a Hollister clothing store at a mall about six miles away from me. I was thinking about biking to work everyday, and when I did a little bit of research, I happened to take a liking to the concept of folding bikes. (for my other intended uses for a bike, go down to "Purposes")

I am:
17 years old, 5 feet and 4 inches tall (may still have room to grow taller), 135 lbs.

Purposes:
I'd like to use the bike for going through streets/suburbs/urban areas/residential areas to work, getting around campus in the fall, long distance cycling for exercise and fitness, racing my friends sometimes, and going uphill and downhill occasionally (however, most of the time I'll be on flat land). I'll also want to be able to carry it with me on public transportation, such as the vta lightrail. Also, it doesn't rain here often, but it does sometimes, so I wouldn't want a bike that gets damaged from rain.

Preferences:
I'm perfectly fine with getting a singlespeed; I'm up to the challenge. I've seen pictures of the A-bike, and I must say, I wouldn't like to ride a bike that runs on shopping cart wheels. They're too small! I've also seen pictures of the mobiky "genius", and I think that the wheels on that one are also too small. So I wouldn't prefer extremely small wheels. On the other hand, I wouldn't want huge 700c wheels either.

Maintenance:
Even though I'm new, I'm definitely willing to learn whatever I could, should, and need to, so I'm completely open and willing to getting a bike where it is "complicated" and requires knowledge and skill to maintain and use. (I'm a diy freak; I've soldered myself a headphone amplifier before, drilled and soldered headphones, built computers and modified them, installed linux and rockbox on my ipod, etc. so I'm willing to get hardcore if I need to) I'd also like for the bike itself to be able to last a long time, for several years.

Spare parts:
I'd like ito able to get spare parts for the bike without too much difficulty. this includes extra tires and other stuff I don't know about because I'm new, haha. Therefore, I don't want to get a bike where I can only get tires custom-made from the original manufacturer; this would make it too expensive in the long run. There must be aftermarket parts available for it.

My spending limit is $150 to ~$500-$600. ... Depending on what I hear from you guys.

Thanks so very much in advance for all your help! I'd greatly appreciate it.

-Vincent

EDIT: By the way, I live in the silicon valley in Northern California in the United States.

Last edited by vYu223; 06-11-08 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 06-11-08, 03:22 AM   #2
nigelme
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Hello Vincent

A Downtube Mini might be the one if 16 inch wheels aren't too small for you.

http://www.downtube.com/product540.html

There is a review thread on this forum for more in-depth info.

Review of Downtube Mini with internal hub
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Old 06-11-08, 08:28 AM   #3
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So do you actually intend to ever fold the bike or you just will rest easier at night knowing your bike somehow folds? It may sound like a silly question, but there are lots of people around here who own folders because they "like the concept", but hardly ever actually fold them.

Do you intend to take your bike into work with you or lock it outside? Do you intend to take it into classrooms on campus? Do you intend to take it into any kind of vehicle other than light rail (bus, car, plane, etc)?

Folding bikes are all compromise. We could easily pick a folder that would serve all the purposes you listed, but that won't necessarily mean folding it will be very useful apart from satisfying your desire for the concept of a bike which folds.
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Old 06-11-08, 09:15 AM   #4
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Dahon Boardwalk single speed easy maintenance.
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Old 06-11-08, 12:56 PM   #5
vYu223
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Thanks for everything so far, guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
So do you actually intend to ever fold the bike or you just will rest easier at night knowing your bike somehow folds? It may sound like a silly question, but there are lots of people around here who own folders because they "like the concept", but hardly ever actually fold them.

Do you intend to take your bike into work with you or lock it outside? Do you intend to take it into classrooms on campus? Do you intend to take it into any kind of vehicle other than light rail (bus, car, plane, etc)?

Folding bikes are all compromise. We could easily pick a folder that would serve all the purposes you listed, but that won't necessarily mean folding it will be very useful apart from satisfying your desire for the concept of a bike which folds.
Whoops, maybe I shouldn't have used the phrase, "like the concept." What I meant when I was saying that was that I was gaining interest as I was reading more about it.

I definitely intend to fold it often; such as when I go on the lightrail (public transportation) or when I put it into the trunk of my car. I also intend to fold it up and bring it in with me to my classes, into my dorm, and into hollister (if my manager lets me, haha). I don't know about being able to bring it into a plane in a regulation sized suitcase. Probably not; this would not be a requirement, but rather a plus/perk.
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Old 06-11-08, 01:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vYu223 View Post
Thanks for everything so far, guys.

Whoops, maybe I shouldn't have used the phrase, "like the concept." What I meant when I was saying that was that I was gaining interest as I was reading more about it.

I definitely intend to fold it often; such as when I go on the lightrail (public transportation) or when I put it into the trunk of my car. I also intend to fold it up and bring it in with me to my classes, into my dorm, and into hollister (if my manager lets me, haha). I don't know about being able to bring it into a plane in a regulation sized suitcase. Probably not; this would not be a requirement, but rather a plus/perk.
20" wheels will be a pita to take into a crowded classroom, but if you're willing to leave it outside while in class then you'd probably be better served by a folder with 20" wheels. Think about it because I think most people have unrealistic expectations when it comes to how convenient it is to take a folding bike with you.

I say get the Dahon Boardwalk fold it up on the light rail or to put it in the trunk or the dorm room and lock it outside when you go to class. If it get's stolen while you're in class...it only cost you $200 to find out you need a smaller bike (cheap if you ask me, how else would you ever find out?).

http://brandscycle.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=7900
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Old 07-04-08, 01:48 AM   #7
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Sorry for the extremely late reply. Turns out that my dad will not allow me to get a folding bike. He simply does not believe that I will get the best for my money in terms of performance when comparing a folding bike to a non-folding bike (Well, it does make sense - portability always costs money), and he doesn't believe that I'll need a folding bike. He is paying for the bike, anyhow; not like I can (didn't even receive my first paycheck yet! Hollister gives out paychecks every other week, and I finally got called in to work only last week. Maybe someday in the future then.
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Old 07-04-08, 03:32 AM   #8
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Downtube Mini or Dahon Curve D3, both excellent 16" bikes in your price range.

You will want 16" wheels for folding small for the train.

I do not know why 20" wheels would be better for anything, but they are bigger than what you want for a compact fold, and too small for mountain biking.
20" seems to be easier to build, and a compromise for no other purpose than price.

A non-folder without the extra weight of hinges is better for racing, regardless of wheel size.
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Old 07-04-08, 05:29 AM   #9
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vYu223,

Sorry for your dad, he is missing something great in his life, and in your life, still controlling your life when you are almost 18 years old, is not a good dad-son relation. ask him to take some reading on this forum he will see actually that a LOT of DADS have FOLDING BIKES.

Lord Bless you.

Regards
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Old 07-04-08, 05:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tovar View Post
vYu223,

Sorry for your dad, he is missing something great in his life, and in your life, still controlling your life when you are almost 18 years old, is not a good dad-son relation. ask him to take some reading on this forum he will see actually that a LOT of DADS have FOLDING BIKES.

Lord Bless you.

Regards
What's with all the God stuff and being so judgemental? So self righteous on a bike forum!

You're not qualified to make such a judgement Tovar. Remember 'thou shalt not judge' if you are so religious! At least his dad will buy him a bike, there are many mean penny pinchers out there who wouldn't. Yes his Dad is misinformed and Vincent is sensible enough to see the potential of folding bikes. When he gets his own paychecks and saves up he can do what he wants.

Have you considered a larger wheel folder that your dad might accept Vincent? See:
http://cgi.ebay.com/dahon-espresso-0...QQcmdZViewItem

This is reasonable and quite a good bike and fulfils your dad's larger wheel proviso maybe? Wish you luck!
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Old 07-04-08, 06:57 AM   #11
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Check out the deal on a Dahon Smooth Hound it does not fold but is light and quick. Arent we judging when we tell someone not to judge? Doesnt a person have the freedom to believe the way that they want to? Freedom is what the 4th of July is all about.
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Old 07-04-08, 07:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
Check out the deal on a Dahon Smooth Hound it does not fold but is light and quick. Arent we judging when we tell someone not to judge? Doesnt a person have the freedom to believe the way that they want to? Freedom is what the 4th of July is all about.
I know what you mean Dyno but not this forum is not the sounding board to judge personal relationships IMHO
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Old 07-04-08, 11:10 AM   #13
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Sorry again, but I give an OPINNION non a JUDGEMENT,

In any forum I can tell my opinion in any time,

No Offenses to anybody thought.

And I maintain my word, dad-son relation should be softened at 17, is no time to IMPOSE authority is the time to DISCUSS opinions, at that age LIBERTY is NEAR, and this boy NEEDS to DECIDE NOW WHAT TO DO, to be PREPARED for ADULT LIFE.

God bless every body on this forum

Regards
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Old 07-04-08, 11:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tovar View Post
Sorry again, but I give an OPINNION non a JUDGEMENT,

In any forum I can tell my opinion in any time,

No Offenses to anybody thought.

And I maintain my word, dad-son relation should be softened at 17, is no time to IMPOSE authority is the time to DISCUSS opinions, at that age LIBERTY is NEAR, and this boy NEEDS to DECIDE NOW WHAT TO DO, to be PREPARED for ADULT LIFE.

God bless every body on this forum

Regards
Perhaps a judgemental opinion?

Better to stick to 'opinions' and advice on bikes. Not sure the OP asked for your pearls of wisdom on non-bike issues. There are other sections on bikeforums to speak freely and offer your opinion on other topics.

God bless folding bikes too. We need more of them on tbis Earth!
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Old 07-04-08, 01:22 PM   #15
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vYu223,

I think a Downtube Mini, is the good choice, price, versus versatility, that's the one you need.

5 feet and 4 inches tall (may still have room to grow taller), 135 lbs <<<< OK

Purposes: <<< ALL

Preferences: <<< portable bikes good wheel size is 16", 20" better but not so portable.

Maintenance: <<< Use but not ABUSE OK

Spare parts: <<< OK standard

spending limit is $150 to ~$500-$600 <<< OK

Regards
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Old 07-04-08, 02:45 PM   #16
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Agree totally. Check ebay for Downtube's clearance on 2007 Mini bikes, some real bargains to be had on clearance, except for the issue of funding a folding bike. The Dahon Expresso or Cadenza might get around this dilemma.
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