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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 04-04-09, 02:09 AM   #1
richkab
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6'2 315 lbs Need help.

Hi, new to this forum. I want to buy a folding bike to commute to work. I currently have a trek 300 and had to put a new wheel on the back due to spokes breaking frequently. Now it's fine and everything works nicely except going home to New Jersey has been a source of trouble because the George Washington Bridge now closes at 12 midnight. Buses are not big bike friendly. I now realize folding is the way to go. Any ideas on the most durable with regular size wheels? Thanks!
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Old 04-04-09, 05:37 AM   #2
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Do you have a specific issue with small wheels? Because they are stronger than big wheels.

With your weight, I think your only option is to contact Bike Friday. (They build folding tandems as well, amply demonstrating that these bikes are plenty strong.)

Good luck!
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Old 04-04-09, 06:25 AM   #3
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My answer is the same as Jur's--but I'm also wondering what you do when the bridge is closed. (I live at the NY foot of it.)
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Old 04-04-09, 12:38 PM   #4
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http://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s...ml/page21.html

Its not light, but will last forever.
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Old 04-04-09, 01:12 PM   #5
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I'd go with Noteon and Jur. Check Bike Friday.
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Old 04-08-09, 10:29 PM   #6
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Thank you all

I appreciate all the input and will have to check out this bike friday thing. I had never heard of it.

As for the Bridge when it's closed I go up the stairs in Port Authority and wait for a bus and then beg the driver to let me on. They kind of have to but they can make me put it in the area on the side of the bus and then it gets thrown around in that cubby hole and can do some damage. The only other option is to take a train all the way back to my job then take another train to 42nd street and take a bus from there getting me home around three in the morning, ouch.
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Old 04-08-09, 10:50 PM   #7
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Sounds like a Bike Friday Tikit would suit you. I hear the large sized Tikit (at being 6'2", you will need the large size) is made with thicker tubing.

If you can't afford a Tikit (they start at $1K and go up quickly) then perhaps you could look into a beefed up Downtube (www.downtube.com).
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Old 04-09-09, 02:46 AM   #8
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Hilarious audible warning device:

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Old 04-09-09, 08:20 AM   #9
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You should also ask in the clydesdale sub-forum if you haven't already. They know all the tricks for bikes for larger folks (including me technically).
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Old 04-09-09, 10:22 AM   #10
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A comment on my Tikit blog from Bike Friday:

"All of our tikits can be built with riders up to 260#. Above the 260# limit, we need to review the design and frame materials. We would need to know your weight in order to properly design the frame. Costs are $50 for the heavy rider upgrade to 260#, most likely an additional $50-100 above this weight limit."
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Old 04-09-09, 11:43 AM   #11
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For a heavy rider -- clydesdale -- the small wheels are perfect since they are so much stronger. Jobst Brandt for instance writes that 26" wheels (ERTO 559) are approximately 10% stronger than 700c (ERTO 622) wheels with similar rim/spoke configurations. If you use 20" (ERTO 406) or 16" (ERTO 349) wheels you will get a roughly proportionate strength increase. As others wrote, Bike Friday is probably the only choice for a heavy rider since their construction process is semi-custom.

BTW, regarding your weight, don't forget to include what you are carrying as part of the total.

Given that you ride at night, are you considering a dynamo hub to power your lighting?
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Old 04-09-09, 11:53 AM   #12
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a 300 lb human should dwarf a normal sized bike.

if the 300 lb human is allowed on the bus, the driver SHOULD realize that the bike is actually smaller in comparison.
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Old 04-09-09, 11:58 PM   #13
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This is great!

I can't believe all the responses. Well I contacted Bike Friday and spoke with Ruthy. She was very helpful and sent me an email with the model I would need. Apparently I am beyond the Tikit. I was recommended the Pocket Llama. I am going to fill out the form and call again tomorrow. I should probably check out the clydesdale place also but so many of you have already made up my mind with Friday. Good point about extra weight. I usually carry my backpack which can be 10 or 15 and a little pack with spare tubes and stuff. I guess now I have to Google dynamo hub. Does it ever end? Just when you think you got it all covered there's fenders lights helmets.....
Anyway thanks to you all.

P.s. It does take 5 or 6 weeks for it to be built.
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Old 04-10-09, 12:23 AM   #14
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Kudos to you for cycling in the first place - it can't be easy with your weight to go up hills, no insult intended.
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Old 04-10-09, 12:46 AM   #15
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No insult taken.

Yeah hills can be rough but once I get moving I'm ok. I just love the way I feel once I get to work I feel great the whole time. Now I'll be able to do it 5 days a week instead of just 3. By the way I filled out my profile but couldn't figure out how to get that avatar going. How did you get that pic into your profile? I also just started looking at your cycling photo essay, very cool.
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Old 04-10-09, 06:38 PM   #16
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Avatar...

1.On the upper right hand side of the page look for "User Control Panel"
2.On the left side of the control panel page look for "Edit Avatar"

You can either pick one from the list or upload your own.

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Old 04-10-09, 09:03 PM   #17
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I can't believe all the responses. Well I contacted Bike Friday and spoke with Ruthy. She was very helpful and sent me an email with the model I would need. Apparently I am beyond the Tikit. I was recommended the Pocket Llama. I am going to fill out the form and call again tomorrow. I should probably check out the clydesdale place also but so many of you have already made up my mind with Friday. Good point about extra weight. I usually carry my backpack which can be 10 or 15 and a little pack with spare tubes and stuff. I guess now I have to Google dynamo hub. Does it ever end? Just when you think you got it all covered there's fenders lights helmets.....
Anyway thanks to you all.

P.s. It does take 5 or 6 weeks for it to be built.
Ruthy is cool.... I met her when I visited BF HQ this Jan. I nearly got a Pocket Llama myself, but ended up with a NWT - great bike...

Let us know how you like your new bike.
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Old 04-11-09, 12:19 AM   #18
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Sorry for the late response...

I am roughly your size and weight and have had a Bike Friday New World Tourist (NWT) for about 2 years now. It is me everyday bike. I work from home, so commuting is not an issue for me, but I go for at least a short ride 5 times a week or so, just to get out of the house. Most of my grocery shopping is done with the NWT and Arkel Utility Baskets.

My NWT is about to make its 3rd visit to Germany (riding from brewery to brewery -- nothing better!) and has been thrown in the back of my car numerous times when I have to drive somewhere for business. The Bike Friday people have been wonderful the few times I need to call them -- and mostly it was false alarms -- I'm a software guy, I don't do hardware

The NWT was more expensive than my initial budget, but they are worth the extra in my mind. My bike is rock solid. With my old "big wheel" bike I had to have custom rear wheels built or else I would loose spokes like I loose money at the blackjack table -- way to often.
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Old 04-11-09, 09:32 AM   #19
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http://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s...ml/page21.html

Its not light, but will last forever.
It's not clear how compact of a fold these have. Has anyone reviewed one?
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Old 04-11-09, 04:22 PM   #20
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Would a strida work here?
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Old 04-12-09, 10:48 AM   #21
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"...except going home to New Jersey has been a source of trouble because the George Washington Bridge now closes at 12 midnight. "


I've been away from NYC for awhile. I used to live just north of the GW bridge in Inwood. What's that about? I never heard of a bridge getting closed at midnight.

Google: Oh, I see. It's only closed to us.

http://www.panynj.gov/CommutingTrave.../html/gwb.html
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Old 04-13-09, 08:49 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richkab View Post
I can't believe all the responses. Well I contacted Bike Friday and spoke with Ruthy. She was very helpful and sent me an email with the model I would need. Apparently I am beyond the Tikit. I was recommended the Pocket Llama. I am going to fill out the form and call again tomorrow. I should probably check out the clydesdale place also but so many of you have already made up my mind with Friday. Good point about extra weight. I usually carry my backpack which can be 10 or 15 and a little pack with spare tubes and stuff. I guess now I have to Google dynamo hub. Does it ever end? Just when you think you got it all covered there's fenders lights helmets.....
Anyway thanks to you all.

P.s. It does take 5 or 6 weeks for it to be built.
Curious. What was the reasoning -- perhaps Vik would know too -- for the Llama? My understanding is that either the NWT or Llama can be built for "beef". Do you ride off road where the higher bottom bracket is important?

My experience with the NWT is that it rides pretty well with a front load. Essentially it slows the steering down while not adding weight to the rear wheel which generally supports most of the rider's weight. The bad thing is that it blocks your view of the wheel and what you are riding over at the very last second. Consequently, IMO, lighting is more important with a front load. If you have not done so already, you might want to contact the NYC Bike Friday club for more opinions and perhaps an opportunity to test out the front rack.

Oh ... after a while, carrying stuff on your back is a real chore. Putting it on the bike is much more comfortable and leads to better handling too.

I don't use a dynamo hub since my night riding is in a well lit urban area where a battery powered LED light is more than satisfactory ... and I have two of them. Although if I were buying a dedicated commuter or rebuilding the wheel on my present commuter, I would get a dynamo hub after seeing a friends with a new super bright LED setup. "Unfortunately" I do the hub maintenance religiously so I expect the front hub to last a long time.

You might have found this through a google search, but if not, Peter White is probably the best resource on the topic.

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/lightingsystems.htm
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Old 04-13-09, 09:06 AM   #23
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Would a strida work here?
For a 6'2" person? Seriously?

I don't understand the fascination with Stridas. Their ride position is unusually poor, especially for anyone even moderately tall, they have surprisingly dangerous braking, they're very squirrelly, they have only one gear, they have almost no standard parts, and they fold to a rather large package. Oh, yes, and they're $900. I can't understand why in heaven's name someone would buy one when the Dahon Mu P8 is $729 and the Bike Friday Tikit Model T is $1000, both superior bikes in most every way. It's got to be some obsession with riding a triangle to work.

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Old 04-13-09, 09:23 AM   #24
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The standard strida was a little short for me at 6'. But for use on Metro, they would be great.
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Old 04-13-09, 12:06 PM   #25
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The standard strida was a little short for me at 6'. But for use on Metro, they would be great.
On the Metro a Strida is not considered a folding bike and is not permitted during rush hour unless it's in a bag. At which its sole advantage (roll-ability) is gone and its sheer bulk becomes a liability.
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