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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 09-16-08, 09:17 PM   #1
1150A
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Why a foldable bike?

I'm sure this question comes up a lot, but mine might be a bit different. I want a foldable bike, and I'm not sure why.

The only reason I would need to fold up a bike is to make my bike space look a bit more tidy, but I don't even think I would fold it up then. I don't commute to work.. maybe around town once in awhile. My bike rarely goes in a car.

My other bike is a single speed Surly Cross Check that I'm racing this season. BUT, it's not a "race bike.." I use it for pretty much everything else.


I guess the reason I'm asking this is because I came across a used Bike Friday single speed bike for a decent price. I don't know much about foldables, but I know BF is supposed to be super nice.

I can see myself getting a foldable bike in the feature.. for no reason really. Just for fun of course. BUT, is Bike Friday worth the premium price? Especially since it's single speed?
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Old 09-16-08, 10:13 PM   #2
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Do it! Folders are awesome. I have an inexpensive folder and it has its flaws, but still, I love it. I keep it in the trunk of my car and I'm always pulling it out my car and taking spontaneous bike trips. Nobody knows it's in the trunk and I don't have to worry about it being a target for theft.
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Old 09-16-08, 11:05 PM   #3
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I keep it in the trunk of my car and I'm always pulling it out my car and taking spontaneous bike trips. Nobody knows it's in the trunk and I don't have to worry about it being a target for theft.
+1

Ever driven someplace and beforehand you thought "maybe I'll take the camera" or something? Having a folder is like that. No mileage hit from a bike out in the wind, and an extra 22-30 lbs in the trunk is negligible.
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Old 09-16-08, 11:30 PM   #4
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It increases your friendly interaction with humans of the opposite sex by 27.4% and your chances to mate by 9.6%.
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Old 09-16-08, 11:34 PM   #5
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In other word, chicks dig it.

Small wheel bikes are fun, and most of them are folders. Everyone needs one.
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Old 09-17-08, 12:29 AM   #6
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I'm coming up on my 1 year folder anniversary. Owning a Tikit has revolutionized my cycling. I use my Tikit much more than I used to use other bikes because I can grab it and go - without:

- worrying about a lock
- worrying about what I'll do when I get to my destination as far as locking up my ride goes
- worrying about what I'll do later in the day

If I run into a friend whose driving and we decide to do something together I fold my bike and throw it in the trunk. Later when we part ways I unfold my bike and go. If I'm late or I need to go a long distance I jump on transit with my bike. Even my friends with the smallest apartment are cool with me taking my bike inside. In fact my GFs building has a no bike inside the building policy which I am happily ignoring with my Tikit.

I went from not really "getting" folding bikes to not being able to imagine life without one in less than a year.

I ought to give credit where credit is due. It was Kent P and Alex W's blogs that made me realize folding bikes were quite useful. Dahon's D7 was cheap enough I took a chance on it and it showed me that folding bikes were practical/fun and taught me what I really wanted from a folder. Finally I found just what I was looking for in my Bike Friday Tikit when they had a sale last Dec. It was love at first fold and we've been going strong ever since....

PS - for any single guys out there I get more attention from women with my Tikit than any other bike I own - plus it's a great conversation starter. Just don't tell my GF!...
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Old 09-17-08, 12:31 AM   #7
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You answered your own question: just for fun! Yes, folders are portable and compact and all that other practical stuff but, most importantly, they have that quintessential quality that all bikes share - the potential for joy - but in a form that adds serendipity to the mix. You ride more often because the folder is there when you want to ride. So, you don't need to justify anything to me. Just do it. Do it for your self.
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Old 09-17-08, 01:08 AM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions. Sounds good to me!

I'm just having a tough time deciding if the premium price of the bike friday is worth it? Even the used ones are still a bit pricey.

With that being said my buddy has a citizen foldable bike that he said he'd give me for free. He didn't use it at all, but from reading on the forums, it's not too great of a bike. But then again, it's free. Would it be worth it to put some money into the Citizen bike? Am I going to notice a huge difference when compared to a Bike Friday? Either way I go, I plan on converting to SS or fixed.

Here's a link to the Citizen bike: http://www.citizenbike.com/catalog.a...&product_id=10
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Old 09-17-08, 01:51 AM   #9
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... if the premium price of the bike friday is worth it?
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1150A View Post
Would it be worth it to put some money into the Citizen bike?
No

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Originally Posted by 1150A View Post
Am I going to notice a huge difference when compared to a Bike Friday?
Yes

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In other word, chicks dig it.
Yes
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Old 09-17-08, 06:14 AM   #10
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My reasons for getting and using a folder?

I'm a daily bike commuter. I ride to the park 'n ride to my carpool. The folder easily fits into the car of whoever is driving that week.

On occasion I have to take the train. My folder easily fits under my legs. The LA Metrolink has a rule where in cases of large ridership, they can throw you and your full-sized bike off to make room for extra riders. This rule does not apply to folders.

When on vacation with my family, I tend to wake up around 5 AM (because I get to sleep in ). The slugs in my family don't get up until 9:00 or so. So, I get up, unfold, and go for a morning ride!

It fits into the back of a smart car.

It just looks cool!
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Old 09-17-08, 08:50 AM   #11
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I'm just having a tough time deciding if the premium price of the bike friday is worth it? Even the used ones are still a bit pricey.
As much as I like Bike Fridays there are three things to consider:

1) does the bike fit you? Make sure you have enough cockpit space and that the seatpost/bars raise to where you need them. Bike Fridays are not one size fits all.

2) While the Bike Friday Tikit is a true folding bike suitable for commuting the other Bike Friday models are travel bikes. They do fold up a bit....not as quickly or elegantly as a commuter folding bike, but good enough for solving storage issues at home or packing into a car trunk. Where they really shine is replacing a full-size bike when you have to fly. Not that you have to fly or even fold a Bike Friday to enjoy it. I ride my Tikit a lot for trips where I don't plan to fold it at all simply because it's a great bike. But, if you expect to fold the bike several times a day and have to move it around while folded a travel bike may disappoint.

3) If the Bike Friday in question is one of their travel models and it fits you then you need to figure our which model it is. They make road bikes and touring bikes. The road bikes won't be able to fit fatter rubber which may be an issue depending on what sort of use you hope to put it through.
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Old 09-17-08, 09:03 AM   #12
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Thanks for the suggestions. Sounds good to me!

I'm just having a tough time deciding if the premium price of the bike friday is worth it? Even the used ones are still a bit pricey.

With that being said my buddy has a citizen foldable bike that he said he'd give me for free. He didn't use it at all, but from reading on the forums, it's not too great of a bike. But then again, it's free. Would it be worth it to put some money into the Citizen bike? Am I going to notice a huge difference when compared to a Bike Friday? Either way I go, I plan on converting to SS or fixed.

Here's a link to the Citizen bike: http://www.citizenbike.com/catalog.a...&product_id=10
With the Citizen bike, you will begin to see the many advantages of the folding world. But it might not be a high performance bike as far as handling/overall riding quality is concerned. When and if you are ready to take the plunge for a new or used better quality bike like the Bike Friday, Brompton, Swift, and others, you will be in a better position to select a good match for you personally. I did the exact same thing and have been riding folding bikes for 5 years this December.
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Old 09-17-08, 10:14 AM   #13
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As much as I like Bike Fridays there are three things to consider:

1) does the bike fit you? Make sure you have enough cockpit space and that the seatpost/bars raise to where you need them. Bike Fridays are not one size fits all.

2) While the Bike Friday Tikit is a true folding bike suitable for commuting the other Bike Friday models are travel bikes. They do fold up a bit....not as quickly or elegantly as a commuter folding bike, but good enough for solving storage issues at home or packing into a car trunk. Where they really shine is replacing a full-size bike when you have to fly. Not that you have to fly or even fold a Bike Friday to enjoy it. I ride my Tikit a lot for trips where I don't plan to fold it at all simply because it's a great bike. But, if you expect to fold the bike several times a day and have to move it around while folded a travel bike may disappoint.

3) If the Bike Friday in question is one of their travel models and it fits you then you need to figure our which model it is. They make road bikes and touring bikes. The road bikes won't be able to fit fatter rubber which may be an issue depending on what sort of use you hope to put it through.
Excellent analogy Vik............ Especially the difference between a Travel and Folding bicycle. On this forum sometimes there seems to be blur.........
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Old 09-17-08, 11:15 AM   #14
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Unstealabilty
Peace of mind in knowing you can always go somewhere and stick it in someone's car to come back ( like if it starts raining )
Ability to carry on train and subway easily
Performance wise superior to a comparable commutting bike with full fenders and rear rack/basket

Given this, why would anyone NOT buy a folder???
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Old 09-17-08, 12:02 PM   #15
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Just from the storage standpoint it would be worth it. I look into my 11'x19' shop/garage/crap hole and see my wife's bike, ridden a couple of times a year. My commuterbike. My utility bike. My daughter's boyfriend's two bikes. My daughter's Downtube folder. Plus a few extra wheels and tires. This is just the bike stuff. If these were all folders I could stuff them under the work bench and stay inside while I scratch my rear end. Plus the Downtube is actually fun to ride. If I could make it carry two bags of groceries, a pizza and a growler I would dump both of my bikes and buy myself a pretty little red folder. I did see in a different group someone's pizza carrier on the back of a folder. Well winter is coming on and I'll be spending more time in the shop so this may be the year.
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Old 09-17-08, 01:07 PM   #16
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Plus the Downtube is actually fun to ride. If I could make it carry two bags of groceries, a pizza and a growler I would dump both of my bikes and buy myself a pretty little red folder. I did see in a different group someone's pizza carrier on the back of a folder.
A cargo trailer will do all that - there a several good options available.
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