Bike Friday Pocket Llama. It folds, but to pack it for transport really takes about an hour.
Bike Friday Pocket Llama. It folds, but to pack it for transport really takes about an hour.
Relax, it's a bike ride.
The NWT is the one that provides the highest quality ride and would be the one I would tour on.
Although they are all folding bikes I'd classify the Tikit and D7 as commuter bikes and the NWT as a travel/touring bike.
What Vik said!
Two examples Trek 520 have a wheel base ranging from 104.1 - 107.4
and Surly Long Haul Trucker have a wheel base ranging from 103.6 - 108.5
The Bike Friday, NWT, however has a range of 96 - 106 for their size small to large bikes, and since they also make custom, can go up from there.
http://www.gaerlan.com/dahon/rack.htm are still only for smaller panniers. Are there any racks that will fit a Dahon, which can hold standard rear panniers? Whether the rack fits on the front or the back is irrelevant to me, I tend to carry rear Ortlieb panniers on the front of my NWT.
I think the standard rack, without side panniers but with stuff packed on top and strapped to the seatpost is the better solution.All of the racks mentioned on http://www.gaerlan.com/dahon/rack.htm are still only for smaller panniers.
You can't compare a D7 to a NWT. It's not in the same price range. Compare it to a Speed TR. Or a Mu P24, or even a Mu EX (with BA tires) or a Jetstream XP.The NWT is the one that provides the highest quality ride and would be the one I would tour on.
I'm with pibach. I have Dahon Helios singlespeed. No way it takes me 35 seconds to fold it. I'd put it generously at less than 10 seconds to fold. You can even see pics of my fold here: Dahon Helios with short bullhorns
I had a Mu P8 test bike from my LBS and the fold was no better.
With the Tikit the cockpit is exactly the same each time without any thinking about it.
Having ridden with quite a few Dahon owners now I have never seen a Dahon folded/unfolded in half the time it takes for my Tikit.
I test rode a Speed TR and it's the only Dahon I've tried that fit me reasonably well. I don't suit the one size fits all Dahon cockpit particularly well which is a major reason I got a Tikit and a NWT for the size range. The Speed TR seemed like a nice bike in general, but I didn't love some of the component choices and given the cost think a Bike Friday is a better touring option. Particularly now with their lower cost stock bikes providing a cheaper option to a custom Bike Friday, but still offering some sizing options.
Where I think Dahon has the advantage is at the lower end of the price spectrum. Three of my friends ride Dahon D7's simply because they can be had for under $500 - a lot cheaper than a Tikit. Frankly that's why I got a D7 and it showed me how great folding bikes were leading to my ownership of a Tikit and a NWT.
However, this thread was about folding touring bikes so I assume we are talking bikes in the $1K+ range.
Last edited by vik; 05-12-09 at 05:16 PM.
If you don't like the geometry there are many options to change that. E.g., put an ahead stem. A 5 cm stem doesn't comprise the fold. And makes the post&bar stiffer. Gives 68cm bar to seatpost distance, fits me perfectly (I am 6,2" tall). If you need more, you can attach a bullhorn bar, still without compromising the fold.
Half the time or half the speed??Having ridden with quite a few Dahon owners now I have never seen a Dahon folded/unfolded in half the time it takes for my Tikit.
Actually a Tikit does not fold much faster than a Mu Sl, if any. If I do not detach the pedals I can fold it in 3 sec (if pressed for time). Unfolding takes 4 sec (1 extra sec for adjusting seatpost). But in most cases the quick fold (just fold in half) is good enough, takes ~1 sec.
Check out some of the higher end Dahons. I recommend Mu Sl. Put BA tires on it. Its a perfect all purpose bike. Firstly, I also was skeptical with the folds-in-half approach, but it is fairly robust and provides a lot of advantages. BTW, it is easily wheelable too.Where I think Dahon has the advantage is at the lower end of the price spectrum. Three of my friends ride Dahon D7's simply because they can be had for under $500 - a lot cheaper than a Tikit.
I never test rode Bike Fridays. But a lot of other folders. The Dahon Mu SL is surely among the best around. Also Mu XL Sport is a very good choice.
Last edited by pibach; 05-12-09 at 06:15 PM.
Since Dahons are available in my area I'll keep testing them out for the sake of interest. I'd be happy to have a Dahon rock my world. I'm all for options.
* No URT design available with 20" wheels, i.e., no clean chainline option.
* not intended for commuting (probably some little wheel such as on the Bromptons would help?)
* no option for wide tires, specifically Big Apples, bummer.
* Hyperfold Tikit frame seems to be quite heavy, probably 1 kg more than a Dahon Mu. Would like to know exact numbers
* awkward fold of the handlepost on the Tikit, should be improved.
* overall, the folded size is too big
* no lightweight an stiff handlepost option here
All in all, I'm inclined to trust what Peter says about the Mu because he seems to have more experience with this model than anyone. Thanks for posting, Peter! However, that doesn't necessarily mean it's the absolute best bike for the job either.
Now I will close my mouth because I don't tour!
Last edited by itsajustme; 05-12-09 at 09:44 PM.
I think it is disingenuous to resort to such folds in order to make this claim. I also notice the magnets are missing. I have owned three Helios P8s. I presently still own two. I think I have a fair degree of experience folding them. I have friends with other P8 models. And I also think people who claim fast fold times for the bikes are not being honest. Here's the fold I do, and in fact the fold that everyone I personally know who has a P8 does:
Adjust pedals into position. Open handlebar quick-release. Rotate handlebars so the brake levers point up. Close handlebar quick-release. Open handlebar stem adjustment quick-release. Change stem height to be compatible with wheel axle magnets when folded. Close handlebar stem adjustment quick-release. Release handlebar stem safety. Open handlebar stem latch. Fold handlebar stem. Rotate seatmast reflector 180 degrees. Release seatmast quick-release. Rotate seatmast 180 degrees. Push seatmast down. Close seatmast quick-release. Release body latch safety. Open body latch. Fold bike in half. Clear wires out of the way of magnets. Engage wheel axle magnets. Fold both pedals.
Well over 30 seconds easy. And I'm considered "fast". My friends generally fold theirs rather slower than this. Some notes:
1. At my height, the handlebar stem must be adjusted so the handlebars clear the magnets. Actually, all of my friends have the same issue. Handlebar adjustment takes the longest time.
2. On all *three* of my Helii, the cables have to be cleared out of the way of the magnets every time.
3. To pick up the Helios easily by the seat (IMHO by far the most convenient way to carry it), realistically, it needs to be rotated 180 in place, and likewise the reflector (because of the cage). This is hardly the slow part of the fold tho.
4. Unfolding is somewhat slower than folding, because you have to adjust things to get them back right again.
Contrast this to my tikit hyperfold:
Adjust pedals into position. Slap the seat. Swing back half of bike under front half. Fold down seatmast. Fold down handlebar stem. Fold left pedal.
5 seconds without thinking, and unlike the Dahons, it unfolds faster than it folds.
Here's two of my Helii as proof of ownership. They're in front of a shop in Lucca, Italy. I think they're perfect bikes for my purposes. But fast folders they're not.
BTW This video shows a tikit vs. Mu P8 vs brompton in unfolding. The P8's being undone without adjusting the stem (lucky guy), sizing the seat height, doing the pedals, or rotating the seat. Basically a quick and dirty example. And it still takes a good 12 seconds at least. The Tikit's unfolded poorly and it's 5 secs.
Last edited by feijai; 05-13-09 at 12:03 AM.
I can't think of any reason why various 20" BFs can't be fitted with Big Apples, except maybe the Pocket Rocket? The Tikit's widest tires are about 40mm (Comet, Scorcher), which is still pretty wide, but no Big Apple there, even if they were made in 349.* no option for wide tires, specifically Big Apples, bummer.
Here's the outer limit: a size-Large Tikit (the biggest and heaviest) decked out with a front and rear rack, transit cover, fenders, kickstand, is 26.5 pounds with saddle and pedals. A size-Small Tikit is about 24 pounds. A Helios is 23.5 pounds. A Mu P8 is 24.5 pounds. A Mu SL is 19.5 pounds. (Some Tikits are 17 pounds, their lower limit.)* Hyperfold Tikit frame seems to be quite heavy, probably 1 kg more than a Dahon Mu. Would like to know exact numbers
Doesn't seem that awkward to me.* awkward fold of the handlepost on the Tikit, should be improved.
On the Tikit, sure. On (say) the Pocket Rocket the stem is very stiff and lightweight.* no lightweight an stiff handlepost option here
Last edited by feijai; 05-13-09 at 12:12 AM.
BA 2.0" is 1,8" (=45mm) wide (narrower than its specification, yes) but still too much for BFs, even the Pocket Llama (according to their spec). I suppose it is because of the asymmetric rear under fold, sideways to the main tube. A wider tire might conflict then with the main tube.I can't think of any reason why various 20" BFs can't be fitted with Big Apples, except maybe the Pocket Rocket? The Tikit's widest tires are about 40mm (Comet, Scorcher).
It is difficult to calculate the frame weight backwards from these numbers. What I am looking for is a superlight fixed gear folder, below 8kg. Considered the Tikit, but it seems much too heavy. Probably the URT design takes its toll, as all force go into the hinge which has to be built rather strong? Or is it the hyperfold? Or the fork & handlepost?Here's the outer limit: a size-Large Tikit (the biggest and heaviest) decked out with a front and rear rack, transit cover, fenders, kickstand, is 26.5 pounds with saddle and pedals. A size-Small Tikit is about 24 pounds. A Helios is 23.5 pounds. A Mu P8 is 24.5 pounds. A Mu SL is 19.5 pounds. (Some Tikits are 17 pounds, their lower limit.)
Anyway, for loaded touring the frame weight doesn't matter much.
Might be because you have the handlepost at axle hight? Do it an inch lower (or higher), and you'll get the benefit of the over-the-axle fold (under-the-axle works even better but is just too high then). Plus shorten the wires and in case use a cable strap to get them out of the way. BTW, I have my post at downmost position (as Dahon's geometry is rather upright). This provides best stiffness and control. And also works best for the 1 sec quick '180°-backwards-fold-in-half' (see pic attached).Here's two of my Helii as proof of ownership. They're in front of a shop in Lucca, Italy. I think they're perfect bikes for my purposes. But fast folders they're not.
And here is a video of folding the Mu SL (~6 sec in this case).
You can also go for a custom adjustable ahead. See this video.
Last edited by pibach; 05-13-09 at 03:05 AM.
Sure it is. The handlepost takes about half the time. But I am already compromised by the short top tube of most Dahons. You're asking that I and others make the bike fit us even less just to fold it faster? [The Tikit has no such requirements.]Might be because you have the handlepost at axle hight? Do it an inch lower (or higher), and you'll get the benefit of the over-the-axle fold (under-the-axle works even better but is just too high then).
BTW, it's a lot more than an inch: the P8s must rotate their handlebars and the break levers have to clear as well: my wife is much shorter than me and also doesn't clear the magnets.
The Llama is designed to accept 54mm *knobbies*. It can handle little Big Apples for sure. The NWT is specced up to 1.75 inches, which I'm guessing is probably fine for BAs. BF also customizes frames.BA 2.0" is 1,8" (=45mm) wide (narrower than its specification, yes) but still too much for BFs, even the Pocket Llama (according to their spec).
The tikit can get to 8kg (17.63 pounds) but it ain't cheap. A basic fixed pocket rocket starts at 20 pounds so you can much more easily get to 8k from there.It is difficult to calculate the frame weight backwards from these numbers. What I am looking for is a superlight fixed gear folder, below 8kg.
I'm guessing it's the steel and the folding assembly in general. The hyperfold cable isn't much. The rear triangle is actually mechanically coupled to the rest of the bike at four locations, so it doesn't need to be as beefy as you think.Probably the URT design takes its toll, as all force go into the hinge which has to be built rather strong? Or is it the hyperfold? Or the fork & handlepost?
Oh sure, there's flex in the seatpost under stress of course, given its length, like most folders. But the triangle proper is pretty solid.Looking at the Tikit's rear construction there must be some suspension effect.
Last edited by feijai; 05-13-09 at 08:12 AM.
with modifications, a cheap dahon vitesse or speed can be a touring or even a road bike..i use my heavily modified 08 dahon vitesse for long rides in malaysia..rough and hilly terrians..and also for road rides with full size road bikes..
dahon offers comfortable riding position, not aero dynamic though..i've tried other folding bikes and dahon turn out to be a good choice..
a pic of my bike:
Regardless of your ownership of Helii (demonstrates good taste by the ), I think you are being pedantic in emphasizing the Helios' tardiness in folding.
Point being is that your experience may not be the same experience as everyone else's. Our bikes are not setup the same. Users are entitled to know that other Helios owners have shorter fold times. I even posted pics so people could see exactly the fold performed. Disingenuous? I hardly think so.
Instead of contributing to the shared knowledge of the forum by allowing a range of reported opinions on a subject, why do you feel a need to evangelize your opinion above others? I notice this pattern of yours is repeated in other threads other than this.
Respect others and you will be respected as well.
Be careful about test riding a BF tho. They're like a drug, once you spend a few hours riding one, there's no turning back. Your interest in lower end folding bikes will probably be in jeopardy.
Like Vik I don't have anything against Dahon. On the contrary, I think they provide a valuable role in the folding bike market. I'd much rather see someone riding a Dahon than driving a car.
People seem to have discounted the Swift quickly, but I'd like to shamelessly plug it a bit here:
Bike Friday will arguably make better-outfitted bikes, but the Swift folder does just about everything a NWT or similar does for a lot less money-- Xootr sells the mass-produced aluminum model for $700. Peter Reich, the co-inventor, sells the same aluminum frame for around $450 and also does custom builds
Unlike Dahon and other similar folders, the Swift has no proprietary parts beyond the frame, and seatpost. Standard hubs, headset, fork, handlebars, stem, etc. The folding mechanism is centered around the seatpost and in my (subjective) opinion looks far less likely to fail than the latches used on dahons and others. The swift has clearance for 2" Big Apples, and takes front and rear racks and fenders.
If you want a steel one, the Center for Appropriate Transport in Eugene, Oregon sells steel swifts that they hand-build. Complete bikes start around $900.
As I've said, the swift is sort of a "poor man's Bike Friday." Designed for durability and simplicity, rides like a normal bike, easily repairable, lots of provisions for touring. It's just missing some of the finer touches that a hand-build Friday offers.
here it is only the handlepost which you can exchange if you like.Still though, the SL is, of course, different from the P8.
Oh, thx, good to know.The Llama is designed to accept 54mm *knobbies*. It can handle little Big Apples for sure.
yes, I would like to know why the Tikit frame is so much heavier that the Pocket Rocket. But only the Tikit has URT and track ends to suit for singlespeed.The tikit can get to 8kg (17.63 pounds) but it ain't cheap. A basic fixed pocket rocket starts at 20 pounds so you can much more easily get to 8k from there.
Actually I am expecting some extra flex in the lower part of the seatpost when the rear is pressing it and then travels upwards some mm. I think this is why BF has constructed it that way instead of connecting the rear directly to the main tube (as on their other models).Oh sure, there's flex in the seatpost under stress of course, given its length, like most folders. But the triangle proper is pretty solid.
So for a steel bike, the Bike Friday costs $5 less.
The aluminum version is $200 less (a 22% savings), but you're settling for a mass produced aluminum bike which comes in only one size. In my opinion, those extra $200 are well spent.
Actually the downmost position on a Dahon is fine for me (6'2" tall). Smaller riders usually need to hacksaw the telescoping part of the stem to get it lower (yes, that' a bit irritating, but it is to make it extend long enough to provide the under-the-axle fold for those who have a rack and a fully stuffed bar). I don't see any compromise for folding. Only geometry problem I see on Dahons is, that they do not provide enough reach for taller riders. People above 6ft might want an ahead stem to improve the reach, then it is fine.
feijai, which BF do you own? A Tikit? Could you explain why you prefer it over your Helios specifically? I would be interested.