Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    NEWB looking at folder bikes...help please

    Brand new to folders here, but pretty experienced with road and mt. bikes. I'm a guy who loves travel and photography and am looking for a good, somewhat inexpensive, folding bike to carry my 6-2/210 lbs. on various types of roads...maybe some light trails too.

    So far, I have seen (photos only) the Dehans, Downtubes, Bazookas, and Schwinn. I'm looking for something I can carry on a flight, ferry, or taxi. I know there are many choices and believe the importance of a test ride...however, my local bike shops are very limited or don't carry any folders. I prefer steel frames on my full size bikes, but that's mostly due to when I am riding 30-60 miles and don't want the aluminum road buzz from a chip seal road on 23c tires...painful. Your thoughts as to possibly 2-3 brands/models I should consider? Any online sellers you have high regards for would be also appreciated.
    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    1,453
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For a flight you look for the smallest fold....Brompton.

    For anything else, a whole bunch more are on the table.
    Internal Gear Hub Guru
    Currently owned hubs: Sachs Pentasport, SRAM P5 Drum, Sturmey SRF5-W , Sturmey XRD3
    Previously owned hubs: Shimano Nexus 8 speed, Sturmey AW 3 speed, Shimano 3 speed coaster, SRAM S7 Drum, Sturmey XRF8 8 speed
    Tested hubs: SRAM i-Motion 9 speed, Sturmey XRD5

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    832
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The three magic phrases here are "6'2"", "somewhat inexpensive", and "carry on a flight". There's no bike which fits these constraints.

    It depends on your arm reach, but at 6'2", you're likely well out of the range of most Dahons, Downtubes, and definitely way out of Bromptons. These bikes have short effective top tubes, which I'm guessing will result in an upright, weird riding position for you. I'd try a Dahon Speed P8 though, which runs around $500. If you really need cheaper, look at a Downtube 9 or 9FS.

    A size-Large Bike Friday Tikit will fit nicely for you and also can be put into a Sampsonite F'Lite 31 suitcase. I think it flies better than Bromptons do. But Tikits start at $1000. A Bike Friday Pocket Companion ($900) doesn't fold well for ferries but nicely for flights.

    A Swift will also probably fit you (and runs around $700), as will a Montague Paratrooper (around $800). But these bikes don't fold very small, and probably won't be going on flights.

  4. #4
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    My Bikes
    2005 Fuji Professional, 2002 Lemond Zurich, Folders - Strida, Merc, Dahon, Downtube, Recumbent folder
    Posts
    3,843
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Given the parameters you stated, I would also suggest the Downtube Full Suspension bike. It's relatively inexpensive, can handle your size easily, has suspension to handle a variety of road conditions. While the stock components are merely serviceable, they are easily upgradeable. Everything is standard.

    The biggest negative is that it's around 29lbs, as I recall. You can remove a lot of weight with some "Low hanging fruit" upgrades. Can't carry it on an airplane, though. Check out the gigantic Downtube thread on this Forum - lots of feedback and tips from users.
    Last edited by SesameCrunch; 03-21-09 at 02:50 PM.

  5. #5
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,183
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Regarding steel vs aluminium, read this, then choose what you need and ignore the frame material.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  6. #6
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,183
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jimx200 View Post
    Brand new to folders here, but pretty experienced with road and mt. bikes.
    To me this is the key phrase.

    In that I read that you have experienced lots of bikes and know the difference between quality and rubbish bikes. So, I would caution you to ignore the lowish price constraint and go for a better quality bike - Bike Friday.

    They are steel (lots of people like that), are designed to take on flights (by packing them in a suitcase) and the ride quality is so very good that it will quite probably become your only bike. Plus they are made to size, the only folding bike where this is the case. Every single other folding bike is made in medium or even small (as they are aimed at the far east market). Check out vik's blog - he has several BFs. The versatile tikit in particular would be a great choice.

    I might also put forward the Xootr Swift. Though they are size medium, you can fit a long stem and order it with a extra long seatpost; but the ride quality is just excellent. They don't fold small but well enough so you can throw it in the boot, and like many other folding bikes, with a little disassembly they pack into a suitcase. The Swift is only $679, about 1/2 of a BF.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks guys, good stuff. My budget for a folder bike is around the $300. mark so the Friday bike is out ...at least until I get a better idea on how much I will use this kind of bike. BTW, that Xootr Swift looks very nice....again, more than I want to spend.
    I would appreciate anyone's comments on the Citizen bike or the Pigeon bike. From what little I have read about the Downtube, they appear to be good "bang for the buck". Thanks again.

  8. #8
    cab horn
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Toronto
    My Bikes
    1987 Bianchi Campione
    Posts
    28,295
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jimx200 View Post
    Thanks guys, good stuff. My budget for a folder bike is around the $300. mark so the Friday bike is out ...at least until I get a better idea on how much I will use this kind of bike. BTW, that Xootr Swift looks very nice....again, more than I want to spend.
    I would appreciate anyone's comments on the Citizen bike or the Pigeon bike. From what little I have read about the Downtube, they appear to be good "bang for the buck". Thanks again.
    For $300, you're not going to get anywhere near above walmart quality.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  9. #9
    Cycling Hack bikinbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    My Bikes
    Swift 8 Shimano Hub, Downtube VIII FS, Raleigh SC40, Generic MTN Bike, K2 Cruiser 24
    Posts
    63
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If I was trying to work in the $300 - $400 range, I'd also try to find a folding forum member that's getting ready to let go of something (at a nice discount). I've picked up a Swift, and a second Downtube through the forums.

    Like Jur suggested, at 6' 2", you'd probably need a stem replacement to get streched out the Downtubes or a Swift.

    If you could get hold of a used Swift, I think you'd find that suprisingly wonderful. You get fantastic flexability for transforming those bikes into whatever you want them to be, and you start with a wonderful riding, QUALITY base. But, don't think you're gonna find a lot used Swift's in $300 range. But wow, the are nice! You might be able to pick up a used frame for that (if you're lucky).

    In a week or two I will be ready to "let go of" a Downtube VIII FS (full suspension) with SRAM STX trigger and a Deore derailluer. Even after letting go of that Downtube, I'll still have another almost equally equipped VIII FS "still in the stable."

    If you would be willing to slap another zero on that number (as in $3000), we could find you a REAL NICE Moulton, and maybe even let you keep a few bucks.

    Have fun and good luck,

    Bob G.
    Dallas, Tx

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hello again, I found a bike called Yeah Bike. Would appreciate anyone's experience or observations on this folding bike.
    http://www.yeahbike.com/folding-bikes/bike-HA061.html

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    My Bikes
    Too many....................
    Posts
    3,073
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I believe that are made by Dahon but a cheaper version. Check your local Craigslist for folders. For $300 you can get a new Downtube plus shipping.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    My Bikes
    Too many....................
    Posts
    3,073
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    http://www.downtube.com/product546.html On the description it states it will fit someone as tall as 6'4".

  13. #13
    smallwheelsonly
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ca.
    My Bikes
    SmallWheelOnly
    Posts
    279
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    bikefriday.com might be a choice for you they custom make bikes

    you call to order and they ask your specifics and they build them down to the componentry and riding geometry that you like ie flat , touring, or drop bars, wheel type 406 or 451[preferred], frame style geometry, color, etc etc

  14. #14
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,183
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jimx200 View Post
    Hello again, I found a bike called Yeah Bike. Would appreciate anyone's experience or observations on this folding bike.
    http://www.yeahbike.com/folding-bikes/bike-HA061.html
    Yeah bikes are basically lower spec'ed OEM Dahons, ie rebranded. They are of the Chinese Dahon line where there are many more models marketed with entry-level componentry on mostly standard frames.

    I have a Dahon/Yeah with essentially the same frame as the Dahon Helios. But surprisingly, it turned out a better ride than the Helios (which I also had for a brief time) due to a stiffer frame and handlepost. The Yeah handleposts are steel which is the old discontinued Dahon post, but the modern alloy Dahon post suffers from many many many problems, none of which plague the older stiffer steel post.

    The fork will be steel, and the seatpost will have one of those old saddle clips. It will have 6 speeds, 14-28T freewheel and 6 speeds with entry-level shifter and derailer. Chainring is fixed. So the gearing is rather low for faster cruising and you can't upgrade - you will have to replace the rear wheel, shifter, derailer and crankset should you wish to do so.

    The Dahons in general have probably the most twitchy steering of all folders.

    That particular model looks like the same frame as the older Dahon Eco. Unfortunately the cockpit will be cramped, but you could saw off the top handlebar and cobble on a stem for some more room.

    If you are really content with slow riding, then it will work. If you want to begin hammering, forget it.

    I upgraded my Yeah with XT stuff and did a tour of Tasmania with it (see sig - my wife rode it). But she never felt good on difficult roads with the twitchy steering.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bay Area, SF California
    My Bikes
    Citizen Tokyo, A-Bike, Dahon Boardwalk D6, Dahon Boardwalk D7, Dahon Curve D3, Dahon Mu XL, BF Tikit2, Dahon Speed TR, Dahon Curve SL.
    Posts
    1,487
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    For $300, you're not going to get anywhere near above walmart quality.

    that's harsh. i have a cheap citizen tokyo that i bought used for $100 and i can say that i am loving it. fast, sturdy, a beauty.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •