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  1. #1
    Each Drop of Sweat Counts
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    Folding bike versatility

    Went on a hash run the other day. The meeting point and the party point were about 5 miles away. Several folks rode bikes to the start.

    They made a car run and the guys who rode their bikes ended up walking or running or taking a cab later (not entirely sure).

    Folded my bike and threw it in the car run van. Score another point for the versatility and flexibility of having a folding bike.

    I'm starting to think that when I move here to Mainland Japan I may go exclusively folding bike. Did two pretty long rides this weekend with about 70 km. yesterday and my legs don't feel any better or worse than when I ride a full size bike.

    Yeah, the hardcore bikers were out in force and they were passing me like it was cool whereas with a bigger bike I could at least hang maybe but I've never been out to set the world on fire. I'm more of a tourer than a road racer. A lot more.

    Also I'm somewhat unsupported here for now. I get 35 km from home and I'm on my own right now if something happens. I made sure to carry enough money to get a cab to a train station and a cab from the train station to the base if I had a major failure or something.

    John

  2. #2
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Well, whatever works for you.

    As with almost any tool or device, you wind up making compromises for the additional versatility. Often it is with fit and/or limited positions, often comfort, sometimes cost, sometimes stiffness, sometimes gearing, sometimes ride feel, sometimes other factors. (Rarely, if ever, do you really lose any performance.) Same thing with some full-sized bikes, by the way; my cross bike is highly versatile, but doesn't really excel at any one specific task.

    I expect though that if you're in a tiny apartment in Japan, the compromises are well worth the space savings and other conveniences.

  3. #3
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    Well, whatever works for you.

    As with almost any tool or device, you wind up making compromises for the additional versatility. Often it is with fit and/or limited positions, often comfort, sometimes cost, sometimes stiffness, sometimes gearing, sometimes ride feel, sometimes other factors. (Rarely, if ever, do you really lose any performance.) Same thing with some full-sized bikes, by the way; my cross bike is highly versatile, but doesn't really excel at any one specific task.

    I expect though that if you're in a tiny apartment in Japan, the compromises are well worth the space savings and other conveniences.
    I know several people, including racers that have gone almost exclusively to Bike Fridays, admittedly they are not (with the exception of the Tikit) a folding bike, but they have the performance, comfort and fit level of a full sized bike.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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  4. #4
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    I know several people, including racers that have gone almost exclusively to Bike Fridays, admittedly they are not (with the exception of the Tikit) a folding bike, but they have the performance, comfort and fit level of a full sized bike.
    I agree that BF's are top-notch. However:

    1) A BF is significantly more expensive than a comparably spec'ed 700c bike.
    2) Drivetrain choices are a bit limited for BF's. (E.g. double and triple front train rings don't work very well; a standard cassette might not work well either, so you have to go Capreo etc.)
    3) BF's generally don't fold as well as other folding bikes. (They pack better than they fold.)
    4) The drivetrain is usually lower, making it less capable for dirt, gravel and mild off-road than 700c bikes.
    5) You can't get a carbon fiber Bike Friday (if that matters to you).
    6) They are not as stiff as 700c (if that matters to you).

    I can't specifically discuss comfort, since it depends on numerous factors -- tire choice, rim and spoke setup, tire psi, frame tube shapes and design, saddle, expectatons. But I find it a bit tough to believe that a steel 700c bike with a comparable setup to a BF won't give you a smoother ride.

    Again, in many situations a BF is more than worth the compromise(s). In others, not so much.

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