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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 07-10-08, 06:23 AM   #1
gringo_gus
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design your fantasy folder....

OK, here's how it goes. What is your ideal combination of folder characteristics - either in terms of what you have seen on a real bike, or in the bike of your imagination. Any kind of characteristics can be bought in, after all this is fantasy, right.

So, me my ideal folder would have:

Fold as small as a brompton

The acceleration of a HH 7

The easy replacability/upgrading of a downtube

The kevlar drive of a strida

Make me 24% more attractive...

And so on. Any other fantasists out there?
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Old 07-10-08, 06:51 AM   #2
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Mine turns into a hovercraft.
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Old 07-10-08, 07:01 AM   #3
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Mine is a Dahon Mu XXV with Jessica Alba sitting on it.
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Old 07-10-08, 07:08 AM   #4
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OK, more seriously...

I have a new Xootr Swift that I think is the coolest, but my fantasy version:

- Folds smaller
- Packs into a standard suitcase without the use of tools
- Allows the use of a Megarange 11/34 cassette
- Easier to close the seatpost clamps without allowing post slippage

And of course the hovercraft and Jessica Alba things.
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Old 07-10-08, 07:09 AM   #5
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I have a Strida 5 and the only "normal" folder with belt drive that I've found is a Bernds (see www.bernds.de). The problem is that it is expensive, it doesn't fold small and none seems to own one to get reviews. I haven't found any Brompton (or whatever other brand) kit to use belt drives, just an old Birdy not longer for sale.

Yes, there's the IXI bike but I can't take that thing seriously. Besides, it doesn't really fold.

On the other hand my Strida 5 makes me remember the comments from the wise Mark Sanders:

Quote:
"Unlike me, they never appreciated the 'bomb-proof' plastic wheels and drums."
http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/Mike/strida3.html

Because yes, disc brakes look cool but right now I'd change them. The bad news is that the Strida 3 (with its plastic bottom bracket that, BTW, sucks) is no longer for sale on several countries.

So, can I get a downgrade to plastic wheels and drum brakes on my Strida 5?

Last edited by Carlos71; 07-10-08 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 07-10-08, 07:25 AM   #6
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Gearing like a Brompton with a 6-speed internal hub, folds as small as the Downtube mini, handling like the Dahon Curve SL. Stays together when folded, and has the Brompton mini-wheels to wheel it along when folded. No suspension, although a seatpost or saddle suspension would be nice if it were very unobtrusive.

It'd need a rear rack and full fenders, folding metal platform pedals with toe clips and straps (that also fold or magically don't get in the way of the pedal fold).

Seatpost pump with a gauge and tire levers that hide in the body of the pump. Lighting system with a generator hub. It'd be a challenge to integrate that with the internal hub.

Bike bag that fits in a saddlebag, one that still has room for a spare tire and et cetera.

Telescoping/ folding handlebar and seatpost that somehow remembers where you regularly set it, without hacing to draw a mark on the metal. Also they should be easy to align; I spend all of half a minute on aligning the saddle and handlebar alone. (Horrors... how will I cope?)
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Old 07-10-08, 08:22 AM   #7
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Here is my humbly wishlist for a folder:

1) weigh no more than 11lbs.
2) not rust - maybe all titanium or stainless steel or even bamboo
3) fold as neatly and compact as the brompton but the package would be a little
higher (better to push with rolerwheels) and a little slimmer.
4) fit into a special Rimowa like polycarbonate ultralight travel-case, the suitcase converts easily into two waterproof streamlined bike panniers.
5) have decent suspension, perhaps the new Rohloff to come and a SON dynohub
6) lacquer is reflective
7) transform with little effort into a recumbent in summer
8) transform with little effort into a velomobil in heavy rain
9) when sitting at home can be used as a rocking chair
10) is fast: in the back mirror it shows an admiring superman backing me up ;-)

Somna
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Old 07-10-08, 08:34 AM   #8
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A Downtube Mini that I can order the components and paint that I want.
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Old 07-10-08, 08:58 AM   #9
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Fits in Samsonite Oyster or F'lite without disassembly, accepts F&R racks, and fenders, standard components, 20" to 100" gear range.
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Old 07-10-08, 09:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somnatash View Post
4) fit into a special Rimowa like polycarbonate ultralight travel-case, the suitcase converts easily into two waterproof streamlined bike panniers.
Now that is an awesome idea.
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Old 07-10-08, 09:38 AM   #11
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High weight limit - heavy rider plus plenty of extra stuff to carry around
Standard drivetrain to allow for an extremely wide range of gearing to climb 20% hills
Common tire size for which carbide studded tires are available
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Old 07-10-08, 11:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somnatash View Post
Here is my humbly wishlist for a folder:

1) weigh no more than 11lbs.
Mine will be made of corrugated cardboard.
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Old 07-10-08, 11:46 AM   #13
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I want to keep my clothes and hands greaseless! So give me a kevlar belt or full chain guard or shaft drive to do so. Also 15 lbs or lighter would be a dream.
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Old 07-11-08, 01:38 AM   #14
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i love all these - the case/panniers and being able to mark the alignment/settings of seatposts and handlebars a particular fave; but also, not beyond the dreams of possibility surely ?

Weightwise, are we back to the bamboo folder?
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Old 07-11-08, 03:41 AM   #15
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Real world (ish):
1. Len Rubin's UFB- an awesome bit of kit, hope he gets the thing into some kind of production after all his effort & sacrifices. The bike Brompton should be aiming to build.
2. An improved version of the Jetstream XP '08- definitely worthwhile improvements over my '04, but the weight's gone up a bit, about 12.5 kg with pedals (the '04 was 9.2 kg in its 9 speed form, mine's now 11kg with DualDrive, pedals and mudguards). So: magnesium frame a la Mu XXV. For drive train : either (a) DuraAce or SRAM Red rear mech, plus either a matching FD (with chainrings/cassette combo to give the same range as DD) or a carbon-body DD hub (SRAM have shown a similar iMotion hub, so DD should be easy) or (b) the new improved Rohloff Speedhub (lighter & 576% range) those clever Germans are working on. General weight-saving (bolts, brake levers etc) as more than a few practice on here (see posts by Raxel and friends, dannyg1). Hopefully weight back near 10kg ready to roll....
3. Moulton Double Pylon Separable Stainless. Not a folder, but I want one anyway
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Old 07-17-08, 03:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos71 View Post
Yes, there's the IXI bike but I can't take that thing seriously. Besides, it doesn't really fold.
Could you elaborate on this Carlos ? Have any experience of it, or you ridden it ?

The iXi is a bike I have always fancied, striking looks, hub gears, belt drive, ok it doesn't ''fold'', but it is seperable, like some others, and it's not a racer or tourer, but it seemed to me it was a cool bike for pootling in the city, dam you can even get a coffee holder to go on it, so all it would need is one of those clips to attach to the handle bars to hold you morning paper !
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Old 07-17-08, 10:31 AM   #17
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OK... here goes.

1. Fast fold... I need something that I can fold quickly as I arrive at the subway platform or bus. I know folks don't think a fast fold is all that important, but if you're in a hurry and the train is about to leave you want as fast a fold as possible.

2. Either rolling or light... There needs to be a way to roll the bike... and if not, the bike needs to be super light. And heck... since this is my fantasy, I want both. Weight should be in the 20 pound range.

3. Internally geared hub... I need the bike that requires as little maintenance as possible. I also want something with fewer greasy bits. While my clothes is important, I'm more worried about my fellow commuters. While 3 speeds may be enough for many folks, I would like somewhere in the region of 8. Oh... and a wide gear range would be nice. I'm not climbing hills, but I would like the option to be available to me.

4. Fold is small... I don't need a Brompton-like small fold, but obviously the smaller the fold the better. While I have had nearly no issues with my Giant Halfway with regard to using trains or buses, even I recognize that a smaller fold would mean fewer looks from conductors and bus drivers.

5. Who can ride? The bike needs to be able to handle riders of my weight and height. Duh! I'm 6', 230 lbs. That certainly puts me in the upper range for fitting a bike to me. Telescoping seat posts, adjustable handlebars for both height and length would be awesome.

6. Tinkerable... I want a bike that should something happen and I decide I want a different hub or whatever, the parts are readily available and the work is fairly straightforward.

7. Ride & Handling... I would love a bike that is stiff and that feels like an extension of my legs underneath me. I know that's asking quite a bit, but this is my fantasy. LOL

There you have it... I want it all.

--sam
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