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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 01-09-09, 11:49 AM   #1
Xanti Andia
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spec out a folding bike

I want to spec out a folding bike for use as a local commuter, (in and out of a bank or doctor's office), medium distance commuter 10-20 km, and an occasional tourer capable of carrying full sized rear panniers if possible to cycle out of an airport with my load. I like nice bikes.

I find internally geared hubs cool, but I wonder if their gearing range is wide enough. I have a decent set of legs and will get fidgety if over a 20 km commute I cannot ride the bike at 20 mph because the gearing is not high enough. Should I go for a geared hub or must I stick to deraileurs?

Budget? up to about US$ 1000.

Suggestions? I have looked on the web at a Dahon Vitesse and a Dahon Mu SL

Can full sized panniers be mounted on a 20" folder? What model rack?
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Old 01-09-09, 12:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Xanti Andia View Post
Should I go for a geared hub or must I stick to deraileurs?

Budget? up to about US$ 1000.

Suggestions? I have looked on the web at a Dahon Vitesse and a Dahon Mu SL

Can full sized panniers be mounted on a 20" folder? What model rack?
Typically, for touring, I recommend either a derailer drivetrain with at least a compact double in the front -- low gears are pretty easy to obtain with small wheels -- but I think a triple is better or the SRAM Dual Drive which in many ways is similar to the triple derailer drivetrain.

Dahon has a Mu model with the SRAM Dual Drive. I would look at that.

Here is alternative.

http://bikefriday.com/2009

Generally, one uses racks specifically designed for 20" wheels since the mounts are closer to the ground. Both Dahon and Bike Friday sell such racks. I have never used the Dahon racks. The Bike Friday racks work well.
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Old 01-09-09, 02:46 PM   #3
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A Bike Friday Model T Tikit would fit your riding and money needs. Roger
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Old 01-09-09, 04:43 PM   #4
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Bike Friday is probably your best bet, assuming you can get one in your price range. They make several models specifically for touring and you can customize the whole setup, including specifying an internal hub.

Dahons would be OK for this purpose. Main thing about them would be to make sure the rack has enough ground clearance; you may need to replace the stock rack.
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Old 01-09-09, 05:41 PM   #5
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The Dahon Speed TR might fit the bill exactly as-is, plus having some nice extras such as a dyno hub.
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Old 01-09-09, 06:28 PM   #6
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The Dahon Speed TR might fit the bill exactly as-is, plus having some nice extras such as a dyno hub.
Yes, I agree with jur. The Dahon Speed TR is ready out of the box to do what you are wanting to. You can buy one for UNDER $1,000, shipping included (Assuming you live in the US) at any of these two sources:

eBay

http://cgi.ebay.com/New-folding-bicy...3%3A1|294%3A50

The Fitness Store

http://www.thefitnessstore.com/Qstor...d+Folding+Bike

Check it out. Good luck!

Edward
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Old 01-10-09, 09:24 AM   #7
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The Dahon Speed TR is ready out of the box to do what you are wanting to. You can buy one for UNDER $1,000, shipping included (Assuming you live in the US) at any of these two sources:
That looks like a pretty good deal. Fenders, racks, Big Apples, dyno hub, and a wide gear range. If the bike fits, it would be hard to lose from the purchase.

Bike fit ... especially for long rides ... is pretty important. Make sure that there is a good return policy f it doesn't fit or go to a LBS. Also, bring a set of panniers to test out heel clearance in the rear and a small set to make sure that the front rack is high enough. The other thing to check is how it packs in a suitcase.

The Bike Friday touring model I linked is fairly competitive with the Dahon. It comes in a few sizes and costs $900 MSRP. Typically you can get a discount as a LAB or Adventure Cycling member. Their racks are more expensive, but they are high quality chromoly racks. So $1100 - $1200 to get fenders, racks, and some supplies (no dyno hub) to have the whole package shipped to you. It will be a steel bike which some people strongly prefer for touring applications.

Good luck.
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Old 01-12-09, 08:26 AM   #8
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Thanks, the Dahon Speed TR package does look nice, as for fit, there is only one size which does worry me a bit, I am 6', but I tend towards a smaller bike for my size.

Can I have some reports on Dahon sizing from Dahon owners? Any Speed TR owners care to comment on the bike?
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Old 01-12-09, 02:10 PM   #9
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The Dahon design is pretty well-thought out wrt sizing - due to the forward-sloping stempost. So as you raise the saddle and stempost, the reach becomes longer. Take a look at the vast majoprity of other folders - they don't have this feature. Some of the cheapies have also begun to implement this idea now.

It may work perfectly for you - testride time.
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Old 01-12-09, 02:24 PM   #10
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It may work perfectly for you - testride time.
Most definitely.
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Old 01-12-09, 07:11 PM   #11
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I know of one Speed TR owner on this forum, and that is John, whose screen name is "TrekJapan". In fact I think he owns two more Dahons. Send him a private message, and ask him about the TR.

Regards,
Edward

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanti Andia View Post
Thanks, the Dahon Speed TR package does look nice, as for fit, there is only one size which does worry me a bit, I am 6', but I tend towards a smaller bike for my size.

Can I have some reports on Dahon sizing from Dahon owners? Any Speed TR owners care to comment on the bike?
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