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  1. #1
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    What is the fastest safe speed on a folder?

    I am tootling around on my Dahon Speed and enjoying it more and more...but the other day I can down an overpass - well, I had to go up it first - and started to pick up speed...so I started to upshift to go faster and when I was in 7th gear I was starting to get a bit apprehensive about it all.

    What are the limits with this bike? The brakes seem to be very good - am I dealing mostly with the psychological issue? If I adjust my seating position will it make any difference? Raise/lower the handle bars?

    BTW, I like my bike...almost as much as I liked the dog I had when I was just a little pup..and more than I like most people

  2. #2
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    That depends on your ability

  3. #3
    Senior Member what bike?'s Avatar
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    ive gone around 30 down the steep hill behind my house on a 1970s bickerton lol

    edit: although i dont think this is a safe speed on a old 70s bickerton
    Last edited by what bike?; 07-13-08 at 04:57 AM.

  4. #4
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    Last time I was down hill in my Downtube 8FS, when I start doing 16mil/h about 25km/h I was little afraid, because the front suspension is soft, so, it is like you loose control at high speeds in a full suspension bike, I learned in NOT done for speeding

    Regards

  5. #5
    Senior Member what bike?'s Avatar
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    lol sounds funny, last time my cousin came up ( a long time ago ), she went down that hill on my mountain bike (sold now) and she fell off and shes still scared of the hill now

  6. #6
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    I've done 40+ on my 1970s Raleigh Twenty with a cheapo suspension fork so I'm sure that you'd be fine above and beyond that on a Dahon Speed. Always ride within what feels comfortable and safe, but try and push the envelope every now and again for maximum fun and exhilaration - that's my credo at any rate.

  7. #7
    Senior Member what bike?'s Avatar
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    i agree, also my bickerton has no suspension so it made it even more painfull

  8. #8
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    Part of it is how close you are to traffic. If you are on a clear road with no cars I would go a lot faster than if traffic was wizzing by me.

  9. #9
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    Like littlepixel I have done +45mph on my modified twenty. Just stay within your individual abilities and you'll. A fine, juan162

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan162 View Post
    Like littlepixel I have done +45mph on my modified twenty. Just stay within your individual abilities and you'll. A fine, juan162
    very INCREDIBLE....

    Tour de France average speed (on very high tech bikes) is 25mph and you do +45mph in a folder???

    mmm... +45mph = 72km/h, you could go in the highway at that speed, without any problem




    Regards

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tovar View Post
    very INCREDIBLE....

    Tour de France average speed (on very high tech bikes) is 25mph and you do +45mph in a folder???

    mmm... +45mph = 72km/h, you could go in the highway at that speed, without any problem




    Regards
    I'm sure it was down hill or for a very short stretch, in which case it's something really easy to do. I have reached 30 mph on my Dahon Mariner folding bike for like a split second on flat ground. On a hill it would be no problem.

  12. #12
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    Doesn't seem unreasonable. Alan Scholz did 40MPH on his tikit, no sweat (fast forward to 1:40). I think a well-set-up Dahon could do that too.

  13. #13
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    I detect some skepticism. I didn't say I sustained that speed for very long-it was a steep decent of less than a mile in the fingerlakes in NY state. However, i did do it and regularly do better than 30mph on the local descents. BTW, pros can do way faster than 45mph on decents. If i'm not mistaken, they can sometimes do 60+mph if they are really trying to bomb down a hill. That's how Biloki -I know that's gotta be spelled wrong- completely destroyed himself on a decent when Lance Armstrong had to go offeroad a few years back. I love how people assume that if someone claims to ride faster than what they think feasible, they must be lying.
    Last edited by juan162; 07-13-08 at 07:53 PM.

  14. #14
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    My top speed on my Dahon Speed D7 was 28.5mph. It felt perfectly stable although I did not. It seemed insanely fast, car speed minus the car, seatbelt, airbags, etc. Life affirming if you don't die though. Weirdly enough I hit 20 or 21 most days on a nice flat smooth stetch by a scenic lake nearby and think nothing of it at all, I would readily go faster if I didn't have to turn off - on a longer stright I'd go for 25mph under my own steam on the flat and not care one jot. Funny how those few mph and shooting down a hill with street furniture and traffic changed everything.



    It really was 'brown trousers time' that day

  15. #15
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tovar View Post
    Tour de France average speed (on very high tech bikes) is 25mph and you do +45mph in a folder???
    I'm sure if the Tour de France were downhill all the way, their average speed would be much higher.

  16. #16
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    Now that I got that out of my system, I thought I might add that I only average 15-17mph on most rides. I'm just fat so I have a very strong decending muscle!

    Owlmaster, you must not know many serious roadies. My bro in law is only a cat 4 rider here in NJ but will routinely average 21-24mph over a 45 minute race. He averages 18-20mph on century rides, depending on weather and terain. You need to do your homework before trying to call somone out.
    Last edited by juan162; 07-13-08 at 08:10 PM.

  17. #17
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    I didn't call you out? I was just trying to explain to Tovar that if I, a newbie, could get up to 30 mph on flat ground on a Mariner then getting 45 mph on a folding bike by someone more experienced on a downhill or a short sprint would be no problem by an average person. Tovar seemed amazed that "you were going faster then Tour de France Pros!!" I was just trying to explain to him that it really wasnt that insane. That's why I quoted him, not you.

    I actually don't know any roadies, I'm just a bike to work commuter newbie, averaging not more than 15 mph for half an hour, with my cruise speed being 18-19mph in between stoplights.

    I'm sorry if it seemed like I was callign you out, I didn't mean for it to sound that way.

  18. #18
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    What is the fastest safe speed on a folder?

    I agree with owlmaster08, nobody is calling nothing, those are only opinions, that is it all.

    I am not skeptic, was only a joke.

    To answer this I will say that safe speed is variable it depends on:

    bicycle and track conditions + driver's ability + weather + obstacles, etc. and you should be protected in case of a crash (damage vary with speed, there is not seatbelt in a bicycle)


    Regards.

  19. #19
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    I've seen 34 mph on my IXFS. I'd have been quite happy going faster, but I spun out (it's only about 76 gear inches in top) and it wasn't a steep enough hill to go faster on inertia alone! I'm sure I can go faster on the Mini, but I don't have a speedo on that. Yet.

  20. #20
    Small wheels ARE better! OldiesONfoldies's Avatar
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    I don't know what is the obsession with "faster is better" but I like to add that its wiser to ride with a good dose of common sense, concentration and safety. I have ridden in many different countries with no incident, fast and slow speeds, but recently was humbled by a recent tumble at a local coastal bike path. At only 20km/h, I was not paying attention to golf-size fruit on the bike path! Helmet cracked. Nursing some bruises and as one gets older, it takes longer to heal

    http://lovethefold.blogspot.com/2008...i-crashed.html

    So the short answer to your question is - ride as fast as it is safe to do so. This could very well mean 60kmh+ on a clear, wide downhill or 15kmh on a crowded street. If necessary, get off your bike and push. Its ok.

    Safety gear is compulsory - helmet, gloves, shoes.

    Last edited by OldiesONfoldies; 07-14-08 at 12:52 AM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member what bike?'s Avatar
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    i agree oldies but when you start going fast (I) just want to go faster and faster, and the adrenalin is great, also juan i dont think you could do that on a flat straight on a folder, my mate is a pro cycler and he can only do 30mph hammering it on a flat straight road.
    Last edited by what bike?; 07-15-08 at 10:27 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member The Chemist's Avatar
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    The fastest I've put my Boardwalk D7 up to is about 42km/h, and it felt perfectly stable at that speed. I'm sure you could go much faster on hills with it - but there's no big hills here in Shanghai to try that theory out.

  23. #23
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    I noticed , when I hit a 'massive' er, 28 mph on my HH7, that the slightest mishap would land me in hospital. (again) See Oldisonfoldies post about hitting fruit with narrow Stelvio tires.

    As a kid I went down a steep hill 'speed testing', put the front brake on when a wobble started, and the brake blocks flew out - they'd been fitted backwards. Hit a lamp-post and broke an arm and a collarbone. The bike looked like it had been run over by a train.

    Have tried to avoid repeating the experience.

    I think potholes and road debris are pretty dangerous, the faster you go, the more difficulty you'll have spotting them, as your vision is necessarily focused much further ahead.
    Last edited by snafu21; 07-14-08 at 01:56 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  24. #24
    jur
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    I've had 74km/h on my Mini, and 82 on the Swift, and routinely got over 70 on the R20 (until I changed my commute route).

    There is a very serious problem with speed on a bicycle; a sudden inadvertent steering movement may initiate speed wobbles, also called the death wobble. It is very difficult to recover from this and easy to crash. But as far as I know, this is the only danger with going fast (other than misjudging a corner or brakes fading or something obvious like that). Of course, there is also the danger of the tyre failing if it is in poor condition or a crappy quality.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  25. #25
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    Yeah, those wobbles stink. At slower speeds, sometimes I have an itch, or need to adjust my backpack etc. I then hit a stick, bump, etc. Steering goes out of control (one hand can't bring it back in control). I then go flying. This has hapened a couple times over the past year, but havent got hurt at all yet. I guess I am young still, so maybe it's because I know it's happening and am "flexible" enough to land on my feet and sacrifice the bike. Each time I am happy I am fine bit grimace at the thought of my Mariner beign broken. Surprisingly, it has survived each fall without any problems.

    At faster speeds I always keep both hands on the handle bar and pay full attention to the road. As people have suggested here, the faster you go the more dangerous it is, but as long as you pay full attention and there aren't any hazards you will probably be ok (there are always risks riding).

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