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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 05-06-09, 08:40 AM   #1
vik 
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A second NWT?

I'm thinking about adding a second Bike Friday NWT to my fleet. This bike would be for my GF who is a casual cyclist, but has never had a quality bike that fitted her well and was comfortable to ride. It would also get used by one or two of my more bikey friends who like to ride, but wouldn't invest in a touring bike on their own.

My hope is to get my GF and friends out riding with me.

I liked my NWT out of the box from Bike Friday and now that I have it dialed in it has become my favourite bike to ride around town. Since my GF has a tiny car a folding travel bike will let her move it around without bothering with a bike rack. Additionally, although I'm optimistic about how much use this bike will get I am realistic enough to accept that I may end up storing it a lot more than I had hoped - so something that I can fold and put in the bottom of a closet has it's advantages.

I want to keep costs low initially so I'm thinking of going with a 3 x 8 derailleur drivetrain. If the bike gets lots of use I'll upgrade to an IGH and probably a double chainring since I doubt she'd be happy with the gear range of a Nexus 8/Alfine and a single ring.

My question is how have you Bike Friday folks who are running a 3 x 8 setup found it? Any issues with folding the bike and keeping everything well adjusted? The small size of the bike means the chain angle will be more extreme than on a typical touring bike - has this caused any issues?

Thanks!
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Old 05-06-09, 08:55 AM   #2
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Why not give her your tikit instead? Or are you just looking for an excuse to buy another bike?
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Old 05-06-09, 09:09 AM   #3
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Why not give her your tikit instead? Or are you just looking for an excuse to buy another bike?
She needs a ~54cm TT and my Tikit is closer to 58cm. Beyond that the Tikit is not a touring bike and doesn't ride as nicely as the NWT. Keep in mind I love my Tikit and it is a superb commuter/city bike that you can tour on. But, if you gave me the option of riding my NWT for 50kms or my Tikit - I'd take the NWT every time.

I do have a medium Seasons Tikit that would fit her and I'm sure she will ride it when we need to fold our bikes - like going to a movie. However, it doesn't have drop bars or an acceptable gear range for climbing hills with gear, it doesn't have racks, or a nice comfortable saddle. And as I noted above the Tikit doesn't ride as nicely as a NWT so by the time I spend the $$ to upgrade the Seasons Tikit to be what the NWT would be I've spent as much and not really achieved the same result.

My buddy Kurt rides the Seasons Tikit daily so I'd also have to de-Tikit him and I don't want to do that.
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Old 05-06-09, 09:24 AM   #4
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I'm thinking about adding a second Bike Friday NWT to my fleet. This bike would be for my GF who is a casual cyclist, but has never had a quality bike that fitted her well and was comfortable to ride. It would also get used by one or two of my more bikey friends who like to ride, but wouldn't invest in a touring bike on their own.

My hope is to get my GF and friends out riding with me.

I liked my NWT out of the box from Bike Friday and now that I have it dialed in it has become my favourite bike to ride around town. Since my GF has a tiny car a folding travel bike will let her move it around without bothering with a bike rack. Additionally, although I'm optimistic about how much use this bike will get I am realistic enough to accept that I may end up storing it a lot more than I had hoped - so something that I can fold and put in the bottom of a closet has it's advantages.

I want to keep costs low initially so I'm thinking of going with a 3 x 8 derailleur drivetrain. If the bike gets lots of use I'll upgrade to an IGH and probably a double chainring since I doubt she'd be happy with the gear range of a Nexus 8/Alfine and a single ring.

My question is how have you Bike Friday folks who are running a 3 x 8 setup found it? Any issues with folding the bike and keeping everything well adjusted? The small size of the bike means the chain angle will be more extreme than on a typical touring bike - has this caused any issues?

Thanks!
I have used a few 3x8 setups on a variety of Bike Fridays. Most recently on some recent test drives of tandem models which use roughly the same rear triangle. I personally own a 3x9 setup.

Folding the bike with a front derailer does require a bit of care since the chain tends to hook itself on the front derailer locking the chain in place. If you spin the wheel or if the chain gets caught on brake arm, the derailer/derailer mount can get bent. As you are probably aware, there is a method for folding the bike which prevents this and avoiding it is straightforward.

Folding has had no effect on cable tension and, consequently, derailer performance in my experience.

Relative to a long chainstay bike, you do experience a little more chain rub with the front derailer. I make use of the trimming function of the Shimano STI levers at during moments when the chain is at extreme angles which can take a light touch. When riding a bike with bar levers, this is pretty easy.
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Old 05-06-09, 01:56 PM   #5
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Vik,
Do you see your GF or guests loading the bike up with some serious weight? For a guest bike, I think I'd be more tempted to get a lighter model, like the Crusoe or PRocket, so they can feel a bit more zip when riding unloaded. Both of these models still have the hitch for the trailer if she or they want to join you for some touring. You'd probably be riding up front, so no concerns with drafting behind a trailer since she'd be in back.
As for gearing, I think you should splurge! The Nexus is more fun to shift than a RD. If the goal is to get your GF or friends hooked on cycling, then try to make their first impression a dazzling one !
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Old 05-06-09, 05:02 PM   #6
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Vik,
Do you see your GF or guests loading the bike up with some serious weight? For a guest bike, I think I'd be more tempted to get a lighter model, like the Crusoe or PRocket, so they can feel a bit more zip when riding unloaded. Both of these models still have the hitch for the trailer if she or they want to join you for some touring. You'd probably be riding up front, so no concerns with drafting behind a trailer since she'd be in back.
As for gearing, I think you should splurge! The Nexus is more fun to shift than a RD. If the goal is to get your GF or friends hooked on cycling, then try to make their first impression a dazzling one !
If I have to budget in a Nexus8/Alfine and a trailer the bike would definitely not meet my budget. In the long run I'd happily equip my GF with a Rohloff touring bike if it makes her experience more pleasant, but I'd want to be sure she actually wants to ride a bike more than for a casual jaunt to get coffee or brunch on the weekends before I invest that kind of $$$. She is sporty - just not bikey - so there is definitely hope.
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Old 05-06-09, 05:13 PM   #7
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I may look into getting her a used Electra Townie or similar cruiser bike for this season just to get her something comfy to ride at a low price and then invest in something more purpose built next season if the situation warrants it.
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Old 05-06-09, 06:41 PM   #8
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I had a NWT with 3 chainrings for short time and did not like how the chain and front derailleur get entangled when folded. I switched to DualDrive (9x3) and like it very much. Simple single chainring configuration (with chainring gurad on the outside) and wide gear range (20 to 110).

Front derailleur may work well with Dahon style folding where the chain is not affected by the fold.

Kam
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Old 05-06-09, 09:19 PM   #9
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Vik,

Here's how I handled the situation with the wife, who liked her Dahon Boardwalk D7, but just felt it needed a few more gears to do some of the 25 mile rides we had attempted.

She had never had a good bike, so didn't think she could really appreciate one and therefore was very apprehensive about spending the $ on two custom Fridays.

I ordered a NWT for myself and a better Crusoe for her. Yup, more $ for her bike than mine.

A year and a half later you could not pry that bike out of her hands. She loves it! It's a great bike and she likes the custom Sapphire color she chose.

FYI, both bikes are 3 X 9 (Dual Drive) and it works really well. They are currently mounted on their Travel Board into our 4Runner for a trip to Seattle in the morning and on to Kelowna, BC for a family wedding on Saturday.

Also, the Crusoe does NOT have a stock trailer mount like the NWT. The bolt-on must be used.

Lou
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Old 05-06-09, 10:35 PM   #10
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Vik,
Also, the Crusoe does NOT have a stock trailer mount like the NWT. The bolt-on must be used.
Oops, my bad
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