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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 08-11-08, 01:36 AM   #1
My Dad
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Why are folders slow?

Why are folders so slow compared to most all other bikes? Is it beacuase of the seating position or maybe the wheel size? Or is because of overall the design?
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Old 08-11-08, 01:38 AM   #2
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A great storm arose, and the slumbering beast did awaken, its jaws agape, hungry for another innocent victim...
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Old 08-11-08, 01:39 AM   #3
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Ooh, I sort of asked this in the folder vs roadie thread. I wouldn't mind a few simple ideas.
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Old 08-11-08, 02:00 AM   #4
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They aren't. You are making a sweeping generalisation in your question mydad.

I suspect you are either ignorant of folding bikes or you are simply on a silly wind-up?

Have you ever heard of the Dahon Speed Pro, the Helios or Mu SL, Moultons and Bike Fridays?

"A Moulton holds the world speed record (51mph/82 kph) for a bike ridden in the conventional upright position."

Only carbon road racing bikes will surpass a good folder/smaller wheeled bike. Also folding bikes accelerate quicker. Larrger wheel bikes have greater inertia from a standing start, their advantage only begins to kick in if freewheeling for example. I leave most larger wheel bikes for dust commuting in London, especially from a standing start from traffic lights and even after that. What am I using? a 6 speed 16" wheel Brompton.

I would envisage a high performance folder vs a high performance road bike, with 2 riders of similar cadence and fitness is only 10-15% slower at the top-end. Hardly 'so slow' eh?

In the stop-start world of urban commuting that slender advantage is reversed very quickly due to the better acceleration and steering agility of a smaller wheeled bike.

Long live the folder and its smaller wheeled brethern!

Last edited by mulleady; 08-11-08 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 08-11-08, 02:01 AM   #5
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I don't think they are, are they?

Bicycle design and geometry is a series of interlocking geometric conundrums - you fiddle with one parameter at the expense of another. Some folders are optimally designed for portability - others tweaked for speed.

We have a Downtuber regularly cracking 30mph on here, a Matrix blasting to work every day at 25 MPH +, and my own Hammerhead 7, too fast for its own brakes. (It got better brakes)

I have that sinking feeling that we're going back to the 'small wheels are slow' argument.... :-)

About the only 'fact' I can add is that folders tend to be heavier than non folders, and frame design is often optimised more for practicality, than speed. The Hammerhead was designed the other way round.


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Old 08-11-08, 02:12 AM   #6
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About the only 'fact' I can add is that folders tend to be heavier than non folders
Dahon smacked that one on the head by making bikes like the Helios SL/XX at 7.6kg and the Mu SL at 8.7kg.

I believe burnt orange Hammerheads go even faster as they attract a certain spectrum of the sun's rays and convert it into solar power.

Can you feel the calling to buy one Snafu?

Playing Heaven 17's 'Temptation' 80's hit for Snafu
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Old 08-11-08, 02:18 AM   #7
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DNFTT!
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Old 08-11-08, 02:18 AM   #8
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Dahon smacked that one on the head by making bikes like the Helios SL/XX at 7.6kg and the Mu SL at 8.7kg.

I believe burnt orange Hammerheads go even faster as they attract a certain spectrum of the sun's rays and convert it into solar power.

Can you feel the calling to buy one Snafu?

Playing Heaven 17's 'Temptation' 80's hit for Snafu
Get thee behind me, Mulleady. I have a rattle can of Orange paint here, ready to spritz up my sorry-ass Hammerhead 7, and save two-fifty quids.
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Old 08-11-08, 02:21 AM   #9
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lol at the get thee beind me! Snafu is back on song!

The move no longer distracteth her.
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Old 08-11-08, 02:22 AM   #10
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But surely a professionally finished HH in burnt orange can't be beaten?

And it looks so nice, the most sublime colour for such a model. Gorgeous.


Leave no track
Dont look back

All I desire
Temptation
Keep climbing higher and higher
Temptation
Adorable creatures
Temptation
With unacceptable features
Temptation
Trouble is coming
Temptation
Its just the high cost of loving
Temptation
You can take it or leave it
Temptation

Last edited by mulleady; 08-11-08 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 08-11-08, 02:23 AM   #11
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.... the only colour faster than orange, is of course, black..
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Old 08-11-08, 02:26 AM   #12
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No! Raw lacquer!

And maybe black with a little gold & white? *wink*

Last edited by mulleady; 08-11-08 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 08-11-08, 02:29 AM   #13
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Good-day Mr Mulleady

Have you considered stripping your IXFS and lacquering it. Surely that would save 3 ounces of weight and improve performance by 0.00006%.

You would also have the most unique Downtube - Lacquered Brushed Ali
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Old 08-11-08, 02:31 AM   #14
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Good-day Mr Mulleady

Have you considered stripping your IXFS and lacquering it. Surely that would save 3 ounces of weight and improve performance by 0.00006%.

You would also have the most unique Downtube - Lacquered Brushed Ali
Hey Nigel! Sounds a good idea, if I get the paint will you spray it lol?

I wonder is Snafu gazingly longingly at that burn orange HH now?

Adorable creatures
Temptation
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Old 08-11-08, 02:34 AM   #15
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On a serious note I think a raw lacquer finish suits a tubular frame much more than a pressed one.
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Old 08-11-08, 02:35 AM   #16
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Hey Nigel! Sounds a good idea, if I get the paint will you spray it lol?
I suggest sandpaper; it will only take 5 or 6 months of scratching.

Then get a thousand bottles of nail-varnish and bob's your uncle!

Are there any aluminium framed bikes in lacquer finish?

If anyone knows this Mr Mulleady would.
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Old 08-11-08, 02:37 AM   #17
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Gawd you make me itchy saying that lol
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Old 08-11-08, 02:42 AM   #18
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A great storm arose, and the slumbering beast did awaken, its jaws agape, hungry for another innocent victim...
Snafu21 is the Kraken in disguise?
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Old 08-11-08, 02:43 AM   #19
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Gawd you make me itchy saying that lol
Is that 'itchy' with enthusiasm to start the project or 'itchy' at the prospect of millions of toxic particles on your skin.
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Old 08-11-08, 02:44 AM   #20
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Is that 'itchy' with enthusiasm to start the project or 'itchy' at the prospect of millions of toxic particles on your skin.
The latter and the prospect of 6 months of scratching.
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Old 08-11-08, 02:49 AM   #21
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I think we're getting off topic.

The question was, I think, "Why are folders so slow and rubbish and ridden by morons!"

Well they just are, get used to it!
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Old 08-11-08, 02:56 AM   #22
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Yes long love morons!
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Old 08-11-08, 03:04 AM   #23
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Because sometimes, we prefer to ride slow... to savour the scenery

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Old 08-11-08, 03:27 AM   #24
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Because sometimes, we prefer to ride slow... to savour the scenery
There's an old Polish proverb, "Just because a man is in a hurry, doesn't mean he's going somewhere"

There's another one about 'looking at the rear of an elephant', but for another time.
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Old 08-11-08, 03:31 AM   #25
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Behave Nigel!
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