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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 10-08-08, 02:32 PM   #1
mansishah
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Want a folding bike for Japan trip.

I'm looking for a folder for a long trip to Japan in the 200-300 price range.
I've been advised not to buy a bike from there because they are too expensive and
I'd like to practice on a folder before I go.

Any suggestions on what wheel size and speed I should get?

Last edited by mansishah; 10-08-08 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 10-08-08, 03:14 PM   #2
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It really depends on what you want to do with it while in Japan. Do you plan on touring and carrying a lot of bags or you just need a folder to go for short distances or sight seeing and don't care about racks and panniers?
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Old 10-08-08, 08:19 PM   #3
mansishah
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I don't plan on carrying many bags.. just a back-pack with essentials. I would only ride short distances for sight-seeing and take the train for long distance travel.
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Old 10-09-08, 07:10 PM   #4
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While I agree that everything is more expensive in Japan due to the exchange rates, the airlines are going to clip you bigtime for the oversized bag, plus you will probably need to buy a new bag large enough to accommodate it. You might just find that these extras will balance out the cost of buying in-country and reselling it before you leave if you plan on being there for a while.
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Old 10-09-08, 09:28 PM   #5
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you don't really need to bring a bike with you to japan if it's just for a trip

in japan you can rent a bike, right at the airport.
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Old 10-10-08, 11:57 AM   #6
mansishah
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Sorry, I should've been more specific..

GTALuigi: I'm going for an entire year so I'd like to have a bike of my own and not rent.

Fibber: I need the bike here in the states too for the next three months so I'm looking to buy in the US. And I'd like to get in some practice before I ride Tokyo streets.

Any suggestions for wheel size, speeds for Japan environment/terrain? In the 200-300 range?
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Old 10-10-08, 12:24 PM   #7
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I would look into getting a folder in Japan. I have heard there are some cool models that you cant get here.
http://nagoya.cool.ne.jp/alform1/jfbl.html
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Old 10-10-08, 12:30 PM   #8
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Some reading :
http://www.bikereader.com/contributo...ley/japan.html
http://www.foldingcyclist.com/foldin...directory.html
http://bikesthatfold.com/content/view/38/
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Old 10-10-08, 12:36 PM   #9
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Under 25 pounds and a little more than you want to spend but lots of upgrades for 2009. http://www.downtube.com/product541.html
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Old 10-10-08, 12:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mansishah View Post
Sorry, I should've been more specific..
Any suggestions for wheel size, speeds for Japan environment/terrain? In the 200-300 range?
Yes, more specific will get you better tips where to look at. Japan is a large country with probably every terrain one can think of, so its difficult to generate tips from there but okay, what have we:
  • "only ride short distances for sight-seeing"
  • "don't care about racks and panniers"
  • "train for long distance travel"
  • "in the 200-300 price range"
The last point limits your choices much and will get much better value if you look at a second hand folder, so perhaps its a questions what you can get. Given that you don't care for racks and not riding with luggage, that you want to carry your bike in train and ride only short distances, I say you will want a light and small folder with small wheels (8", 12" or 16"). Look at Carryme from Pacific cycles (a reviews here or search the forum):
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/catego...carry-me-29690
http://edinabike.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=415#reviews
or a small Dahon, the Downtubes also a good idea.
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Old 10-10-08, 01:00 PM   #11
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I hate to be contrarian, but folding bikes are cheaper in Japan. The streets are a lot more bike friendly in Tokyo than most places in the US. Ueno rocks for riding, but so does the rest of Tokyo and the rest of the country as well. You will find much more bike parking than car parking in most neighborhoods. Even crazier, the FOOD is cheaper in Japan as well. Yummy udon soup from the mass vendors runs about $3.50 with tempura. Japanese curry, is about the same price as well.

You can bring a folder to Japan without any cost at all, and can bring one back without any cost. The two of us brought our folders from Thailand to Japan, and then Japan back to the US without any real hassle. A lot of folks form a crowd around you as you put the wheels back on in the airport. A little pressure, but fun.

Pugeot and Bianchi make some nice and inexpensive folders. There are loads of other companies too. While generally cheaper there, the strong Yen may make a US purchase worthwhile, so check the exchange rate. I would say 100 Yen to the dollar is a break even point.
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Old 10-10-08, 01:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Fibber View Post
While I agree that everything is more expensive in Japan due to the exchange rates, the airlines are going to clip you bigtime for the oversized bag, plus you will probably need to buy a new bag large enough to accommodate it. You might just find that these extras will balance out the cost of buying in-country and reselling it before you leave if you plan on being there for a while.
+1. Freight costs are going to make the bike cost seem trivial.

You didn't specify in your profile what country you're from. But consider many forum members view with some envy, ok drool, over pictures of the folding bikes and minivelos available in Asia. You might also find a great used bike there that would cost 2x as much wherever you're from.

But if you're dead set on taking one with you, you might try taking a brand not generally available there, then resell it before returning home. The collectors there are a little crazed (like everywhere else) and often pay generously and eagerly for something unique to them.

Last edited by itsmoot; 10-10-08 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 10-10-08, 01:07 PM   #13
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+1. Freight costs are going to make the bike cost seem trivial.

You didn't specify in your profile what country you're from. But consider many forum members view with some envy, ok drool, over pictures of the folding bikes and minivelos available in Asia. You might also find a great used bike there that would cost 2x as much wherever you're from.
Why do you two say this? Are airlines suddenly charging for a single, appropriately sized 29" Samsonite?

We put one Birdy in a 29" case and another in a 31" case we got cheaply after one of the suitcases was crushed (bike was OK, just a bent chainring). The 31" also presented no problem, and left extra room for our clothing and extra bicycle parts bought in Japan.
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Old 10-10-08, 01:09 PM   #14
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By the way, a Downtube or a Dahon Boardwalk might be you primary choices in that price range. As Somnatash suggests, a used folder might save you $100, so you can get a slightly better model.

You can't easily fit a Downtube in a 29" suitcase, so be sure to get a bigger one if you go that route.
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Old 10-10-08, 05:42 PM   #15
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An alternative would be to buy a bike well beyond your stated budget, and then sell it upon your return. Some bikes like some cars have high resale value: Brompton, Bike Friday, Birdy.

Regards
T
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Old 10-10-08, 08:10 PM   #16
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Buy a folder here that is not available in Japan and then sell it there when done. BF Tikit comes to mind.
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Old 10-10-08, 10:04 PM   #17
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I did a quick search for bikes in Japan. This bike looks good to me. Its from BE.BIKE going for 38,000 Yen or about $382 US Dollars. It looks to be around the same price as a Dahon and Downtube. If I were going to Japan for a long time, I would take a few days to check out the LBS. I say buy a bike there.



http://item.rakuten.co.jp/bebike/16st-be1601/
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Old 10-11-08, 04:44 AM   #18
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I did a quick search for bikes in Japan. This bike looks good to me. Its from BE.BIKE going for 38,000 Yen or about $382 US Dollars. It looks to be around the same price as a Dahon and Downtube. If I were going to Japan for a long time, I would take a few days to check out the LBS. I say buy a bike there.



http://item.rakuten.co.jp/bebike/16st-be1601/
How does it fold?

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Old 10-11-08, 07:52 AM   #19
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i only see the handpost hinge, and the sliding seat post

apart from that, that's it

it seems like it Does Not fold at all.
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Old 10-11-08, 12:37 PM   #20
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Why do you two say this? Are airlines suddenly charging for a single, appropriately sized 29" Samsonite?
For an international flight I'd recommend shipping it as a bicycle and not in a checked bag, so freight fees apply.
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Old 10-11-08, 08:39 PM   #21
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Opps. I feel so embarrassed, that is not a folding bike. I should have made it a longer search. Just goes to show you small wheels dont mean folding bike. This bike cost about 29,925 Yen, about 300 US.


This sites have other folding bikes.
http://www.doppelganger-sports.jp/bike/top.html
http://www.bscycle.co.jp/root/catalog/compact.html
http://www.mc1.jp/
http://cycle.panasonic.jp/products/compact/index.html
http://www.smartcog.co.jp/Products/koma.htm

Last edited by noob_island; 10-11-08 at 08:47 PM. Reason: other websites
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Old 10-11-08, 09:28 PM   #22
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The black Echo and Avalanche are cool also.
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Old 10-11-08, 09:32 PM   #23
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Get this one http://www.bscycle.co.jp/bs_moulton/bsm_index.html
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Old 10-12-08, 03:47 AM   #24
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I travel between the USA and Japan several times a year and there is no extra charge for taking a bicycle. I've done in several times with a plastic bike box that fits a full size bike. The bicycle fee is not permitted by Japan is how it was explained to me. The last time I took a bike was about 8 months ago and things change so, call the airline you plan on using and ask about taking a bike to Japan to get the latest.

There's lots of folders available here. Consider buying it here and save yourself the trouble of packing one along with you. Save your baggage allowance for other things like clothes. I know that doesn't help you the next 3 months.
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Old 10-12-08, 06:32 AM   #25
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For an international flight I'd recommend shipping it as a bicycle and not in a checked bag, so freight fees apply.
?? so you pay $200 rather than $0? It will still get crushed at the bottom of the cargo hold.
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