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  1. #1
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    Brands for Folding Road Bikes

    I am wanting to buy a backup bike, and am looking at a folding model. I travel some and would like to take a bike with me when I do. I am a hard core roadie, so I'm looking for a model with drop bars and rides like a road bike. Currently I ride a Lemond l'Alpe d'Huez and love the ride on that.

    So far, the only models I've seen like this are Bike Fridays, which of course are rather expensive for a backup bike. I've been scouring eBay and Craigslist for these, but they sell fast and for a lot of cash. I don't really want to spend more than $1000, but quite honestly it will be easier to sell my wife on it if it's a lot less.

    Are there any other folding models that ride and feel like road bikes?

  2. #2
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    That is a total personal opinion what rides like a road bike and whats not. its like asking what pair of new shoes fit the same way as your old worn sneakers....
    Folding bikes have long extensions like saddle and handlestem ..if you ride them like a mtb you will find that they feel flexy and unresponsive.... if you ride them sitting down spinning a higher cadence and dont pull like crazy on the handlebars you are fine ... ( and in so many ways thats whay you should learn to ride your roadbike anyhow.... )

    in other words there is no answer to your question ....

    you can get any decent folder and put some road bike handlebars on them .... its a little involved bvut not rocket science either
    http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/technic...conversion.htm

    Thanks Thor

  3. #3
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    I think this might fit without any mods and just a little more than $1000.
    http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/2008/speedprott.htm
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    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  4. #4
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Bike Friday is a good candidate (excellent support, standard parts, they will build it to whatever size and components you will spec). Others are Dahon Speed Pro TT (very good fold), and Moulton (said to be the best ride among 20" folders, though it is separable, not folder).

  5. #5
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    You may get a Dahon speed TT for -$1000 used. Nice bike .

    Another possiblity is taking a Dahon speed and fitting bullbars or drops and racing STI levers, or even to a downtube Nova.
    This is my old NS8 Downtube that cost less than 300 in all ,when upgraded with good used parts. This felt like a road bike certainly. I found the STI worked fine with V brakes if well adjusted and teflon cables were used.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bhkyte; 08-24-09 at 02:24 PM.

  6. #6
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    None of these options will make traveling with your bike a simple task: they all involved taking parts apart, removing wheels and (as a direct consequence of that) readjusting gear and cable on final destination.

    If you are looking for a performance oriented bike, I would go with S&S Couplers on a real road bike. Just my US$0.02


  7. #7
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R View Post
    If you are looking for a performance oriented bike, I would go with S&S Couplers on a real road bike. Just my US$0.02

    Yep ...

    Although while a second S&S coupler bike for a $1000 is a fantasy, if your LeMond frame is steel, you can retrofit your present bike for less than that (with suitcase).

    But if the OP wants brand names -- ignoring price -- I think he is best researching Bike Friday, Xootr Swiftfolder, Airnimal, higher end Dahons and Pashley/Moulton.

  8. #8
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    You can get an off the peg Ritchey Breakaway frame $1295 and build it up from spares ( or stealthily over time).

    http://www.ritcheylogic.com/dyn_prodfamily.php?k=114346



    However to get the bike into a flight case, there's about half an hour of packing and disassembly required. A S&S coupled bike would take just as long. This might be fine for a week in the same place, but if you are hopping around every couple of days, the overhead of assembly/disassembly will be a serious irritation. I have used my breakaway cross for holidays in NZ, but for a short business trip prefer the Brompton.

    Now some caution:
    The bike packing is very tight - TSA will always open your case and then guarantee to re-pack it badly. Even the Brompton, that just folds up and drops into the case without disassembly, will beyond the TSA. Last time, they could not work out with mine that to unfold, they must pull up the seat post. They also ripped out all the case lining - I guess there are a few volatile chemicals picked up on the road.

    Then again, if you travel by car, the practicalities become a lot easier as the bike does not need to fold down as compactly.

  9. #9
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    You can buy a standard (as opposed to custom) BF Pocket Sport for $1095; standard sizes are 50, 56, and 60cms. I'm not sure that you can get much lower than that price and still have a road-type bike. $500 folders tend to be of the folding hybrid variety, with flat bars and 7 or 8 gears.

    Which you may want to consider - having a bike like that is better than no bike at all.

    Or you could just get rid of your Lemond and replace it with a $5000 all dura-ace pocket rocket pro. You know you want to!

  10. #10
    tcs
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    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  11. #11
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    Thanks everyone for the excellent responses, especially the ones that mentioned a model. The Pacific Reach Racing bike appears to be exactly what I'm looking for. Now, the cost...

  12. #12
    Senior Member GeorgePaul's Avatar
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    I've heard good things about the KHS F-20r, which lists for $999.

  13. #13
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgePaul View Post
    I've heard good things about the KHS F-20r, which lists for $999.
    Interesting. The bike is not listed under the general folding bike page.

    Other than a review a loooooooooong time ago -- which was positive by my memory ... maybe it was BruceM? -- I have not heard a peep about it. Has anyone here seen or ridden one? It looks cool; but the gearing is pretty low for a roadie and I recall that the bike rested on the chainring when folded.

    Given that the series was originally designed for the Asian market -- again, just from memory -- and certain KHS models had somewhat restrictive weight limits, one would want to ask a lot of questions before ordering one here in the US.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Looks Nice. Does the rear triangle fold under, it looks like it does. Would like to see one folded.
    I think the KHS are on ebay UK also

  15. #15
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    Looks Nice. Does the rear triangle fold under, it looks like it does. Would like to see one folded.
    I think the KHS are on ebay UK also
    Again from memory ...

    I believe it only folds along the hinge in the center of the monotube. Consequently, there is nothing supporting the area under the crank creating an issue with the chainring.

  16. #16
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    I recall other threads too ...

    Khs F20-r

  17. #17
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomInFLA View Post
    I am wanting to buy a backup bike, and am looking at a folding model. I travel some and would like to take a bike with me when I do. I am a hard core roadie, so I'm looking for a model with drop bars and rides like a road bike. Currently I ride a Lemond l'Alpe d'Huez and love the ride on that.

    So far, the only models I've seen like this are Bike Fridays, which of course are rather expensive for a backup bike. I've been scouring eBay and Craigslist for these, but they sell fast and for a lot of cash. I don't really want to spend more than $1000, but quite honestly it will be easier to sell my wife on it if it's a lot less.

    Are there any other folding models that ride and feel like road bikes?
    I strongly recommend the Swift. It would be easier than many to fit drops to, and it does ride like a roadie. I have one kitted out like a flat bar roadie (see sig), with careful selection of parts it came to 8.5kg. Every time I take it off the wall hook it brings a smile to my face - it is superb. Due to its stiffness it does get some ctiticism of giving a harsh ride; i don't share that opinion, and I don't know why that is, if one's riding style (ie becoming light over bumps and so on) is a major factor. It sells for about $700 (Xootr Swift) and you can order custom jobs from Peter Reich.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  18. #18
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I strongly recommend the Swift. Due to its stiffness it does get some ctiticism of giving a harsh ride; i don't share that opinion, and I don't know why that is, if one's riding style (ie becoming light over bumps and so on) is a major factor.
    Harshness is often a criticism of stiff well made rigid frame,that give lots of feel. I agree on riding style making a difference, a good road bike can be uncomfortable if ridden badly.

  19. #19
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    a steel swift (still available in Portland, I believe) is an ideal compromise between stiffness and vibration dampening, albeit at a slight weight penalty....
    other than that, I dont believe there are other sub-1000 options. Bike Friday stock model or an Airnimal Chameleon are close seconds...
    Any of these 3 bikes are fast and guaranteed to make you smile while you ride them, and all can be packed within 20 minutes or so...
    IRO Mark V Pro, home made bamboo track bike, eddy merckx corsa extra, Airnimal Joey, UGADA Tikit

  20. #20
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    Also, it bears mentioning here that the Xootr Swift (barely) fits the 2" (50c) Schwalbe Big Apple tires. I just got a pair, and they help a lot with the harshness. They also up the gearing slightly and add a bit of trail, which makes the bike feel a bit less twitchy at speed and makes it easier to ride no-hands.

    As far as I can tell, contrary to my initial instinct, they've made the bike faster since it's so much more comfortable and grippy at speed and the larger outside diameter feels like it rolls more efficiently.

  21. #21
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiapasFixed View Post
    a steel swift (still available in Portland, I believe) is an ideal compromise between stiffness and vibration dampening, albeit at a slight weight penalty....
    I believe that it is still available; but I recall that the seat tube is a different diameter than the aluminum (Xootr) frame. If true, this implies that the Xootr front derailer clamp will be incompatible with the steel frame.

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