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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 06-29-04, 07:38 PM   #1
bianchi_rider
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Bike Friday ???

Saw this on ebay tonight.. I just dont know what to think, Hmmmmmmmmm.
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Old 06-29-04, 08:39 PM   #2
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That thing rules!

PJ
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Old 06-30-04, 09:28 AM   #3
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Owners rave about them-- claim they're the most comfortable road bike ever.

Also, they're very adjustable, and the headtube/stem is easily replaceable, as is the "boom tube" to the saddle with a different length, etc.

Not to mention they pack in a suitcase...
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Old 06-30-04, 11:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxcyclist
Owners rave about them-- claim they're the most comfortable road bike ever.

Also, they're very adjustable, and the headtube/stem is easily replaceable, as is the "boom tube" to the saddle with a different length, etc.

Not to mention they pack in a suitcase...
It looks old. I wonder how much flex that beam would have now that it's very used? Will you be wasting a lot of energy bobbing all over the place? You never know. I prefer the Softride over this bike but that is my opinion. If you really want to see nice bikes with this geometry, visit the Softride site.

I do know this. You better get the instructions on how to pack that bike in a suitecase or you'll spend the better half of a day trying to get the bike back together again. I have two folding bikes and will say this about the one in question.

1. Even though your rear end has suspension, your hands do not. The smaller front wheel means you will feel every rut, bump and pot hole much harder than an ordinary bike.

2. The smaller wheel adds an extra element of danger. Just so you know.

3. The smaller wheel means you will work harder (because of performance issues) than one designed for a racing bike.

I would ONLY get this bike if I tour extensively all over the world.
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Old 06-30-04, 01:37 PM   #5
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The seat look a little uncomfortable.
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Old 06-30-04, 01:53 PM   #6
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I've ridden a couple of bike friday's, although not that one, and they feel like a full size road bike. They're not going to replace a full size road bike, but they fold! The frame is not going to be as stiff, the bike is going to be a extra pounds, but if you travel often and want to ride, these things are pretty good. Let us know if you get it and what you think of it.
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Old 06-30-04, 03:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fogrider
Let us know if you get it and what you think of it.
Oh I am not going to get it, I just saw it and thought it was interesting or strange, I dont know what...
It does have Hed wheels, and shimano ultegra mix groupo. It just caught my eye LOL
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Old 06-30-04, 04:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
I do know this. You better get the instructions on how to pack that bike in a suitecase or you'll spend the better half of a day trying to get the bike back together again. I have two folding bikes and will say this about the one in question.

1. Even though your rear end has suspension, your hands do not. The smaller front wheel means you will feel every rut, bump and pot hole much harder than an ordinary bike.

2. The smaller wheel adds an extra element of danger. Just so you know.

3. The smaller wheel means you will work harder (because of performance issues) than one designed for a racing bike.
I agree that packing can be complicated, but I've rode my Bike Friday around 400 miles now and I haven't noticed a difference in (or problem with) road shock, small wheel danger, or having to work harder. If anything, the front end has slightly softer feel because the bar can flex fore and aft a bit because stem is so high and far from the top tube.

Bike Fridays are unusual-- they seem like they should have problems, but instead they have a really nice and light ride feel. Having ridden one for awhile now, I can understand why some have switched to them entirely. Not everyone will feel that way, but for those who do really get addicted. I'm surprised by how many owners go back for newer, more tricked out models.
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Old 09-26-04, 04:46 PM   #9
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We have 2 BFs the NWT will fold in about 10 seconds and go in the back of our car, To go in the suitcase (becomes a trailer) it takes longer and some disassembly, depends on how carefull you are. I have 1.75 tires so I can go on or off road, so it is not fast as my road bike, but feels more like my MtBike. The Airglide in the picture, doesn't fold up but comes apart easy for suitcase packing. Big wheel small wheel feel about the same if you have same diamater tires. We use the BFs for long trips and usually the big wheels for all regular rides, but many of our BF friends use only their BF.
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Old 09-27-04, 04:48 PM   #10
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You crazy nutr, it's missing!
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Old 09-27-04, 04:59 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=Dahon.Steve]
<snip> The smaller front wheel means you will feel every rut, bump and pot hole much harder than an ordinary bike.
<snip>


My experience does not support your statement. How did you draw this conclusion?

Does anyone know how much a spoke stretches/compresses when hitting potholes? I don't and I wonder about it. I expect the feel of impact would be affected by tire pressure and size more than any other factors. Though I'm open to persuasion.

Ron Sowers
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Old 09-27-04, 05:14 PM   #12
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That 'beam' on the Airglide is titanium.
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Old 09-27-04, 06:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
3. The smaller wheel means you will work harder (because of performance issues) than one designed for a racing bike.
Below are responses I got when I questioned the inefficiency of small wheels over from Touring Mailing List. George






>>Yes, you might accelerate quicker, but you'll expend more energy maintaining speed...

George >>


<<Drew Writes,

Small wheel bikes have a reputation for being inefficient. Maybe it would be

a good idea to question this. I would like someone to show me a "study"

that demonstrates the validity of this assumption. Equivalent materials

would have to be used on both sized wheels, and similar quality bike

construction.>>

Gilbert responds,
Actually most small wheels and bikes are inefficient; extremely so! It is no
suprise that this reputation is so prevalent as most small wheels are steel
rims,
knobby tires, heavy and utilize poor tire construction and low air pressure.
The smaller they are the worst they are. Having said this the world land
speed
record (drafting) was set at over 160 MPH at last count on 20 inch wheels.
The world land speed record unassisted for upright bicycles was set on 17
inch wheels (www.alexmoulton.co.uk). Most other HPV high speed records used
currently on the books have used one or more wheels of 20 inch or less.
These equipment choices and records were not set because small wheels were
inefficient. They were chosen for many reasons but certainly not because of
poor performance potential. The fact is modern small wheels can be top
performers
in competition. Before about 1962 when Alex Moulton developed his high
pressure
lightweight wheels few examples of these products were produced. These
early
attempts with small wheels won many races and set many records until banned
from most competition. Modern small wheel equipment is much more reliable
and advanced and many noticeable improvements in performance are common.





<<Whatever (if any) "proof" of inefficiency could be coaxed out a scientific

study would probably be less than the action of the coriolis effect on your

bicycling, or what side of the bed you got out of in the morning.>>

There have been many studies of efficiency but like any study or statistic
it's hard to test all the variables. Country Lawyer and old Watergate
prosecutor
Sam Irvin used to say you can prove anything with statistics. Back in the
1970's he
said that Statistically, Americans are the healthiest people that live the
longest of
any people in the world. Americans also smoke more cigarettes than any other
country.
Therefore smoking must be good for you, right. This is true today s our
health and
longevity have slipped in the world many steps away from first place and we
as a nation
have one of the lowest smoking rates anywhere. These statistics prove nothing
but
it is an interesting debate about proof and studies, the truth may be far
away.




<
recently with Lon Haldeman and a large group of riders on 20" wheel Bike

Fridays in Arizona recently. Maynard has ridden countless racing bikes over

the decades, and has been given bikes by manufacturers to test ride. He

tells me there is no difference; small wheels do not slow him down. >>


<
is on the Friday. He would tell them that is not the case, and would usually

get a parting nod that says: "Well you just don't understand, but they are.">>

I think there is a difference (depends on circumstance, course, etc.) but a
high performance model of Bike Friday with lightweight wheels is a joy to ride.
Many good quality small wheel bikes have heavy rims and tires and do not
share this characteristic. It's a horses for courses thing just like touring and
racing bike comparison in the big wheel world. There is a Moulton Email list
similar to the Phred list that always has people wagering how much farther the
winner Lance Armstrong would be ahead should he be riding an Alex Moulton
Speed-Pylon model rather than his more normal TREK. I would find it to a
remarkable suprise if anyone that got a little experience with this Pylon bicycle; if
one they didn't think it was faster or at least as fast as a traditional
bike. On the people that think Maynard doesn't understand; well it is virtually
certain that they have very little expense with high grade small wheel equipment
(and I don't mean high cost). That Pylon bicycle can do something you do
well with the TREK; go on a camping tour. That with sub 300 gram rims and 180
grams tires without a durability issue to fuss with too. A pickup truck that
drives like a Ferrari.



<
different sized wheels. Small wheels are actually more appropriate for some

uses. But tagging them as inefficient is worse than just being inaccurate

and blindly following "common knowledge". It diminishes the scope of the

bicycle experience available to the public, by suggesting there is only a

narrow range of wheel sizes appropriate for efficient bicycle use.


Drew Devereux >>



Yours in Cycling,


Gilbert Anderson


North Road Bicycle Company

519 W. North St.

Raleigh, NC 27603

USA

Toll Free Ph: 800•321•5511

Local Ph: 919•828•8999

E-mail: cyclestore@aol.com
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Touring@phred.org
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Old 09-27-04, 06:27 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=elares]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
<snip> The smaller front wheel means you will feel every rut, bump and pot hole much harder than an ordinary bike.
<snip>


My experience does not support your statement. How did you draw this conclusion?

Does anyone know how much a spoke stretches/compresses when hitting potholes? I don't and I wonder about it. I expect the feel of impact would be affected by tire pressure and size more than any other factors. Though I'm open to persuasion.

Ron Sowers
I've been using folding bikes for the past 4 years. A 16' inch wheel bicycle with 70 PSI or above will be a very rough ride. I've ridden touring bikes with 700 cc wheels that are twice as comfortable as a 16' inch wheel. The problem with the smaller wheel is that you can only get good performance when the tires are pumped high. Otherwise, the performance drops significantly and you'll find yourself using more energy.

A 20' inch wheel bicycle is more comfortable than a 16 inch wheel that feels squarly. Yet, you can feel the ruts and bumps more than 26 inch or a 700 cc wheel. In fact, I had to buy a suspension seat post for my 16 inch folder (Dahon Piccolo) or it would have been impossible to ride that bike further than 10 miles! I also had to purchase a Brooks Champion flyer for my 20' inch wheel folder (Dahon Speed 8) or that would have been very uncomfortable after 20 miles.

I never had to do that with my other steal bicycles. (Bianchi Volpe, Jamis Aurora, Bianchi Eros) You'll find that many folding bike users are doing something to curb the pain by adding suspension seatposts and handlbars to curb the shock! I think a combination of the larger wheel wheel base being able to absorb the road bums and the flex provided by a low level chromoly frame is the reason why a full size bicycle tends to be more comfortable.

This may not be the case with many low level Alu bikes like the Trek 1000 which is a hard ride in itself. There is no question in my mind that my light tourer Bianchi Volpe provides a much more comfortable ride than either of my folders. This is not to say that the folding bike is bad. It's a compromise that I'm willing to give up in order to boad buses, trains and airiplanes.
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Old 09-27-04, 07:02 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=elares]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
<snip> The smaller front wheel means you will feel every rut, bump and pot hole much harder than an ordinary bike.
<snip>


My experience does not support your statement. How did you draw this conclusion?

Does anyone know how much a spoke stretches/compresses when hitting potholes? I don't and I wonder about it. I expect the feel of impact would be affected by tire pressure and size more than any other factors. Though I'm open to persuasion.

Ron Sowers
Larger diameter wheels roll over objects with less effort. .....one reason why many Mtb'ers are riding 29" wheels over the standard 26" ers.

George
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Old 10-08-04, 01:47 PM   #16
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I've logged a few thousand miles on my Bike Friday Pocket Rocket, which I had set up with the same components and similar geometry to my road bike. I've found that the center of gravity being lower to the ground makes cornering with speed more of an effort, kind of like electric steering vs. manual steering, maybe not that extreme. My road bike is steel and the PR is chromoly so I do feel a difference (I prefer steel), but I've taken the folder as normal checked luggage to exotic foreign lands like Wales, Berlin and Florida.

S
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Old 10-08-04, 09:41 PM   #17
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Small wheels accelerate better than larger wheels because they are lighter. Twenty inches wheels with Brooks spring saddle are comfortable enough for me. I think standard road and mountainbike are too big. They also not one size fit all like a 20 inches wheel bikes.
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