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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 05-31-09, 08:56 AM   #1
Gotte
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folder with least flex?

I've a Dahon Roo (well, it's rebadged into a SPecialized Globe), and the only thing I don;t really like is the noticable flex in the steering column. I know flex is a "feature" of folding bikes becasue of their frame design, but which is the stiffest out there?
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Old 05-31-09, 09:45 AM   #2
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Swift.
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Old 05-31-09, 09:54 AM   #3
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Bike Friday Pocket bikes, excepting the Tikit which is a bit flexy.

Yes, Swift is also good.
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Old 05-31-09, 10:41 AM   #4
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Swift

BF's are excellent bikes, but from what I can tell aren't quite as stiff. The handlepost and seatpost are both is a lot longer than the Swift, therefore more likely to have some flex. Also, the Swift's tubes are larger and made of aluminum, both of which add to stiffness.

That said, afaik both are significantly stiffer than the Dahon, and it's likely either one will work fine.
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Old 05-31-09, 10:53 AM   #5
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R20.

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Old 05-31-09, 11:11 AM   #6
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Swift, BF and twenty are, as everyone else is saying, probably the stiffest. The only way you might do better would be with a full-sized bike-- Montague, Ritchey breakaway, Dahon Cadenza, or something coupled with S&S couplers.
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Old 05-31-09, 11:19 AM   #7
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You can pretty much generalize here, the shorter the steering lever, the less it will flex... materials being similar, a long telescoping post will flex substantially more than it's shorter counterparts.. the bikes without a folding steering lever will usually be stiffer again .. The Swift is comparatively stiff (but due to its rather long lever) will not be quite as stiff as the Pacific Reach, the TSR Moultons, Airnimals, and the like with less lever above the headtube bearing .. in a folding post, the Birdy (left short) is one of the best.. Dahon's one piece short handleposts (like on some Jetstreams) are also good....
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Old 05-31-09, 11:44 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=Gotte;9014242..........and the only thing I don;t really like is the noticable flex ............ I know flex is a "feature" of folding bikes becasue of their frame design, but which is the stiffest out there?[/QUOTE]

Does it actually matter?

An interestig article on wheel "flex":

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/wheel/index.htm



John
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Old 05-31-09, 12:08 PM   #9
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down tube NS is pretty solid IMO
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Old 05-31-09, 12:27 PM   #10
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Swift. Mine's stayed stiff over a year and probably 1500 miles.
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Old 05-31-09, 01:27 PM   #11
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Moulton/APB/TSR, Brompton, Strida.
Brompton is quite stiff in lower frame, and Strida has v stiff bars due to closed triangle frame compared to open 'F' Frame.

As John said, Wheel flex IS important, and some springy frames are much more efficient than 'solid' frames, all depends where the flex is :-) ... my 1p worth anyway.
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Old 05-31-09, 01:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Simon View Post
Moulton/APB/TSR, Brompton, Strida.
Brompton is quite stiff in lower frame,.
IMO a Mezzo frame is a lot stiffer than a Brompton, Bromptoms standard bars flex like crazy(i know they are suppose to), I swopped them for straight ones.
The main area of flex on the Mezzo is the seat post
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Old 05-31-09, 02:18 PM   #13
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Any IF model (if you can find a dealer) the frames are pulled into tension on folding making them immensely strong! Hope this helps.

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Old 05-31-09, 02:33 PM   #14
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brompton S-type not the others.
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Old 05-31-09, 04:39 PM   #15
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The problem is that none of the stiff ones mentioned are actually folding stems (but detachable stems).
Stiffest built still is a single piece fork, plus ahead stem.

Out of the folding stems the one's from Dahon are comparatively stiff, due to their conic shape with larger diameter below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
...in a folding post, the Birdy (left short) is one of the best.. Dahon's one piece short handleposts (like on some Jetstreams) are also good....
I like the short one from the Jetstream XP with the Syntace VRO most. Fairly stiff. And gives a perfect geometry for me (186cm tall).

The Birdy hinges are not as nicely integrated as the Dahon "Fusion" ones, and also I would not recommend any telescoping and clamping in a handlepost.

Last edited by pibach; 05-31-09 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 05-31-09, 05:45 PM   #16
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Swift: very stiff (the designer really nailed it with this one, doesn't look stiff but it is superb)
Reach: frame very stiff but some minor flex in handlebar area
Moulton: stiff as (but not a folder)
R20: very stiff indeed, mine has some handlebar flex due to my own design of modernising it.
Downtube Mini: typical flex but maybe better than lightweight Dahons (haven't tried a MU though)
Birdy: Typical flex but quite a lot better than Dahons
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Old 06-01-09, 03:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jur View Post
Birdy: Typical flex but quite a lot better than Dahons
Dahon offers a bunch of different stems. All these stems are interchangeable, i.e., should work on any Dahon.
The Fusion2 now has a V-Clamp from outside. It comes in different length, telescoping and non-telescoping. The ones on the Jetsteams are shorter and non-telescoping. These are the stiffest.
I did not do an extensive comparison, but from some test rides with other folders, I think these Dahon stems are stiffer than all other folding stems, including Birdy.

If you have a telescoping post, I recommend an ahead conversion (chop of the QR and use a reducer), see this pic:

Last edited by pibach; 06-01-09 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 06-01-09, 07:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclistjohn View Post
Does it actually matter?

An interestig article on wheel "flex":

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/wheel/index.htm



John
My only real concern, whether it's warrented or not, is that with an alu frame and components, the flex will lead to metal fatigue and failure.
As for the ride, I don;t mind it so much. In some respects I wonder whether it even helps a little with taking out some of the road buzz.
Obvioulsy too much flex could give you a sense of unresponsiveness and poor handling. Again, whether that's the case or not, I don;t know.
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Old 06-01-09, 10:58 AM   #19
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I really liked the Swift for its stiffness. Didn't fold as small as I wanted it to though.
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Old 06-01-09, 09:53 PM   #20
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Birdy with old style frame and non extending stem seems reasonably stiff to me.

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Old 06-01-09, 11:00 PM   #21
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Airnimal Joey's have to be the stiffest folding bikes I have ever tried personally, the aluminium makes it almos a little too stiff in terms of road vibration over long distances.The Bike Friday NWT is probably the second stiffest folding bike I have ridden and is steel.
The Tikit is slightly flexy, but still performs really well over long or short distances, and it is 100% CoMo steel.
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Old 06-10-09, 07:48 AM   #22
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My Montague is wicked stiff, guy. But seriously. No flex or slop whatsoever.
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Old 06-10-09, 08:13 AM   #23
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My Brompton S-Type is a lot stiffer than the Dahon MU SL that I used to own.
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Old 06-10-09, 12:49 PM   #24
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Test rode a Giant Halfway last week and figure jumping curbs with this would not be an issue... it has a very solid feel and I would liken to to a Twenty in that respect.
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Old 06-10-09, 06:14 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
IMO a Mezzo frame is a lot stiffer than a Brompton, Bromptoms standard bars flex like crazy(i know they are suppose to), I swopped them for straight ones.
The main area of flex on the Mezzo is the seat post
I've got a very flexy I-Beam seat post on my Vitesse and it's great for absorbing small bumps, much nicer than the standard stiff Dahon seat post.
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