I've long considered the idea of an all around multipurpose bike that is a folder to be a positive development. My requirements would be a comfy ride on many surfaces, but not necessarily off road capabilities(by off road I mean what a modern mountain bike is made for). I don't need the off road capabilities of a mountain bike or the speed of a road bike. I have a Swift, but it's not cutting it as far as multipurpose is concerned. The ride is really rough with the surfaces I ride. I need something that can carry a great deal of weight(maybe 100 lbs.) without the need for a trailer. With 26" or higher tires I prefer steel frames for the comfort so suspension would probably be necessary for my purposes. With suspension an aluminum framed folder should be fine, but for non-suspended it would need to be steel. I would prefer steel and no suspension for simplicity, but either or would do.
I would need racks front and rear with a load capacity of at least 50lbs front and 50 lbs. rear. Fenders would also be a necessity.
Do they exist at a reasonable price? This has been sparked by the debate between folding and non-folding bikes.
I should state that I don't need to commute on a folding bike, I have a place to store a normal sized bike. I don't travel on a train or bus and am not limited within the space or the constraints that a normal sized bikes would carry. My interest is purely out of convenience.
The Pacific reach tekking seems OK, but it's $1000 USD. This seems like a great deal of money for something that still needs the wheels to come off when folded. The components are also crap for the price compared to a normal bike. This is also a concern. Also, by adding racks would it be a problem with the fold of the bike?
A little help would be appreciated. The Downtube FS looks interesting due to its price, but the lack of fender and rack mount capabilities seems like a gamble. I'm also not sure it would survive the abuse I normally put on bikes if fenders and racks could be mounted, let alone with the added weight I normally expect on racks. I'm not careful at all when I ride, hence my problem with the Swift on irregular surfaces.
I love the idea of folders and am looking for the justification to look further into one.
Thanks for reading, Todd