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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Bystander Comments

    I've already found that folding bicycles are not for shy people - people notice them and they talk to you. Yesterday, I got two comments I enjoyed:
    As I was folding at the Metro yesterday morning, a woman comes up to me and says: "Cool bike. Does it have a motor?" I'm all sweaty from my ride from home to the station, and I reply, "Yep - me ... I'm the motor." She smiled and wished me a good day.
    I was waiting for the elevator to head home with my folded and bagged bike on my shoulder after work yesterday. When the elevator opened, one of my co-workers from downstairs came out. He looks at the bike and says, "What happened to your bike? Did you have an accident?" The bike pokes out the top of the Ikea bag, and I admit that it looks like an odd collection of bicycle parts, if you don't know that it's a folder.

    Anybody else get some funny comments like these?

  2. #2
    These go to eleven kegoguinness's Avatar
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    Good ones. Here's a few I've gotten at the DC Metro:

    1. As I was about to unfold my bike, I felt eyes upon me. I turn and two 8-10yr old kids are watching me.
    me: you like my bike?
    girl: yeah!
    me: it's really handy for the Metro. ( I proceed to unfold bike as they watch)
    boy: Man, I really can sure see how handy that thing is!

    2. In the elevator, with my bike already folded up: a woman looks at my bike, looks at me, looks back at my bike, then says: How does it do that?

    3. The one I get most often: How much does that thing weigh?
    1989 Lumaca Schiacciata
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    2010 salsicha vermelha

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Citizen Tokyo, A-Bike, Dahon Boardwalk D6, Dahon Boardwalk D7, Dahon Curve D3, Dahon Mu XL, BF Tikit2, Dahon Speed TR, Dahon Curve SL.
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    just got off the bus carrying my tokyo. as i was standing and waiting an older couple inside their car couldn't help it so they stopped and asked me about the bike. the man said 'that's a cool bike'. the lady asked if it will fit in a box to be shipped to asia. and followed-up with 'will 2 bikes fit in the box'. we talked and the man asked where to get it as he is planning on buying one for himself. they left with grins on their face and still couldn't believe that it's a bike....and he shouted to me 'i will be buying one....

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Brompton H6, Schwinn Mirada, ICE B1. Used to own: 2 F-frame Moultons, Koga Myata Elevation 2000 mtb, Challenge Hurricane, Riese & Mueller Birdy Silver, Actionbent Tidalwave 3
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    A lot of people comment about the Birdy, "man, that thing sure does fly". I usually just shrug, smile and say "yeah"
    ICE B1, Brompton H6, Schwinn Mirada drop-bar vintage mtb

  5. #5
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    I had some engineering student on the trian comment " look at that for great engineering, not like we would do!",at my mezzo folded.

  6. #6
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    I get comments and questions every time I take one of my folding bikes out. I give out my World Of Folding Bicycles Website series addresses out to all interested parties. Most people that ask are very interested and motivated to buy ones(s) for themselves.

  7. #7
    lube addict
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    I recently rode to our local supermarket on my Strida where I folded it up and placed it just inside one of the entrances for a few minutes while I picked up a couple of items. I knew it would be safe there in that particular store. By the time I returned less than four minutes later five people had gathered around looking it over - they were waiting for me to return. I spent most of my time in the market answering their questions. They were impressed by the design and the quick fold/unfold. The Strida website decal is right on the frame so a couple of them took note. I forewarned them about sticker shock and mentioned there are other manufacturers of folding bikes with a lower price point.

  8. #8
    Female Member KitN's Avatar
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    People stop me all the time and tell me how cool it is or how "cute" it is. They ask how much it weighs or how "fast" it goes, lol! I don't mind answering their questions.
    Ride what you like. Ride in what you like.

  9. #9
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    It's funny, I've never had any comments on my dahon or bike Friday at all. Just a few comments on some of the raleighs I was commissioned to work on.

  10. #10
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    IRO Mark V Pro, home made bamboo track bike, eddy merckx corsa extra, Airnimal Joey commute, UGADA Tikit
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    some comments can be a bit irksome, like the buff triathlete lady who rides by on her carbon fiber bike, and thinking she is the authority on all things bicycle related says to me "hey, your seatpost is way too high, you oughta lower it"...
    I guess I cant blame her for her ignorance, still a bit annoying...
    IRO Mark V Pro, home made bamboo track bike, eddy merckx corsa extra, Airnimal Joey, UGADA Tikit

  11. #11
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yangmusa View Post
    A lot of people comment about the Birdy, "man, that thing sure does fly". I usually just shrug, smile and say "yeah"
    Mine does fly.

    (When packed up in a suitcase and checked in with United Airlines. )
    Countries I've ridden in: US, Canada, Ireland, UK, Germany, Netherlands, France, China, Singapore, Malaysia
    States I've ridden in: Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, Nevada, Missouri, Colorado

  12. #12
    jur
    jur is offline
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    Sonce I ride with roadies from time to time, not necessarily the same people, I usually get comments like "Is it harder to pedal". I usually answer that "If I get dropped, I won't be able to blame the bike."
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  13. #13
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    Everytime I'm out and about with my Brompton, I get at least one person come up and ask me about the bike. Most times, they are amazed at how small it folds. Plus I get a LOT of onlookers while waiting for the light to turn green at the interesection or while in stores shopping.

    I try to seize every opportunity to educate and entertain. The more bicycle riders on the road the better. Never get annoyed. We all should try to be ambassadors for our sport.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    do any other bike friday riders get the stupid "but it's not friday yet" comment?

  15. #15
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    I do get a lot of comments, most people are very impressed with how quickly and easily it folds up. I do sometimes get asked if it has a motor, and I frequently get asked where I got it and how much it cost.
    Countries I've ridden in: US, Canada, Ireland, UK, Germany, Netherlands, France, China, Singapore, Malaysia
    States I've ridden in: Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, Nevada, Missouri, Colorado

  16. #16
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    "fantastic!" is a common response to me unfolding my mezzo.

    My Diblasi unfolding instantley often got the reponse "blimey!" ,or ocassional references to James bond type gadgets !

  17. #17
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    "Hildy", a Novara Randonee touring bike; a 16-speed Bike Friday Tikit; Dahon Curve D3 folding bike; a green around-town cruiser; and a Specialized Stumpjumper frame-based built-up MTB.
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    I get a lot of the usual comments (as above), but my favorite is when people are looking at the bike out of the corner of their eyes, and trying to decide if they should ask me about it. Sometimes I'll get that for a whole train ride. I'll strike up a conversation when I'm feeling social. (Usually on the way home.)
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  18. #18
    Banned.
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    • "Look at that guy folding his bike into a pocket eyeglass case!"
    • "How much does it cost?"
    • "Isn't it hard pedaling those small wheels" (response, pointing at chainring then cog, "It's geared")

  19. #19
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    My favorite was riding by a few high school students, and hearing one of them yell, "What the f*** is THAT?!"

  20. #20
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x136 View Post
    My favorite was riding by a few high school students, and hearing one of them yell, "What the f*** is THAT?!"
    *ahem* are you sure they were only referring to the bike?

  21. #21
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    My favorite bystander comment happened on a cold morning ride. We were waiting around at the start. A rider comes up, sizes up my Helios with 20" wheels. "You know, everything shrinks in the cold."

  22. #22
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    *ahem* are you sure they were only referring to the bike?
    Considering what I tend to look like when commuting on cold mornings, you're probably right.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Paul Braithwait's Avatar
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    Arriving home after a ride on my Xootr Swift I was approached by a couple of 8/9 year old boys who asked "Hey mister, what kinda bike is that?" I showed them how it folded and one of them exclaimed, "Cor, that's cool - gotta have a shot of this!" He then produced a camera cell phone and started snapping away. He was about 9 years old and had a better cell phone than me - and he knew how to use it!

  24. #24
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    "I heard about those before, they are called Bike Friday" (about my Brompton)

    "Is it a kids bike you customized?" (only heard this one once).

    "Wow, looks really good. Can't wait to see it when you finish, with the frame painted and everything" (More than once, talking about the Raw Lacquer Brompton)

  25. #25
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Being asked of my dualdrive Mezzo.

    " does it have 3 gears",( ask either in a snard way, or due to being innocentley unaware)

    "No, its got 27 ,highest gear is higher than a mountain bike"

    "oh", then considers next question more carefully.

    On another ocassion a mountain biker said of my folded Brompton,"these folding bikers are OK for what they are"
    I replyed, "yes, if I want to go faster than a mountian bike I use my other folding bike"

    I feel this thread is for comments other than the usuall small wheel misconceptions, so I will restrict myself to two comments of this type!

    I find I get few ,if any, genuine negerative comments concerning folders with dropped bars. I have had one such bike described as "sick", though, and another mezzo owner once commented " what have you done to your mezzo handle bars!"

    I one unfolded my Mezzo in the train station whilst holding a coffee in a take out cup. However, as I flicked the bike open the pressure in my hand spirted some coffee out the lid and hit a man wearing a suit. He did not notice and I could not tell if there was any mark, but I owned up to him. He did not even look at his suite when I told him and replied, " well it was woth it to see that bike unfold!"

    Love his attitute.
    Last edited by bhkyte; 04-15-09 at 03:48 PM.

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