Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 28
  1. #1
    Senior Member astompa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    best folder for commuting

    What's the best folder for commuting by train?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,119
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is a good question.

    The train gives you some alternatives that the bus would not. Most if not ALL 20' inch wheel folding bikes would have no trouble boarding the train. If you live in London, the Brompton might be the way to go but in the U.S., you really need to look at Dahon. Also look at the offering from Giant and Trek. In fact, European folders in the U.S. are way over priced due to the falling dollar and shipping costs.

    It also depends on how far you will commute to the train station. If it's under 5 miles, a 16' inch wheel folder will work out fine. Anything over than 10 miles and you really need a 20' inch folder.

  3. #3
    Senior Member astompa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    3 miles to the train station. I'm in the U.S. I was attracted to the Brompton because of its ease of foldability, but it is a little pricey. It's the only folder I've looked at so far. Thanks for pointing out Dahon. Which one do you have?

  4. #4
    Guest
    Guest
    A Dahon is very easy to fold and just takes a few seconds. I have a Bike Friday, and it does take a bit of time to take all the parts down and completely take it apart. The quick fold just takes a few seconds too, but it is definitely a little more complicated than the Dahon. The Bike Friday is made more for longer travels, and that's why I like it. I use it for my overseas travel, and then if I had a choice, I would definitely go for the Bike Friday over the Dahon.

    Dahon is also cheaper than the Bike Friday (the lower end Dahons, at least). You can get the Bike Friday used, just go to the www.bikefriday.com for details on the different bikes they have and the cost of the bikes.

    Koffee

  5. #5
    Senior Member astompa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks. The Bike Fridays look nice but I'd rather not spend that much. I'm thinking about the Dahon Speed P8 or possibly a Brompton. This bike would be for the 3 mile commute from the train station plus around town errands.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,119
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by astompa
    Thanks. The Bike Fridays look nice but I'd rather not spend that much. I'm thinking about the Dahon Speed P8 or possibly a Brompton. This bike would be for the 3 mile commute from the train station plus around town errands.
    If you have money and intend on doing traveling overseas, the Bike Friday is the best touring cycle. However, you're need are much different and an inexpensive folder that can fold in seconds is a must for a commuter. I have the Speed 8 and could highly recommend it to anyone. Dahon's fold better and faster than the Bike Friday which is very important. I would forget the Brompton unless you have 1K to spare and quite frankly, the Dahon Presto model has better specs all around.

    First, find out what space exists on the train. Do not under any circumstances put the bike on an overhead rack because it could seriously hurt someone if it falls down. Look for spaces where there wheel chairs are placed as this provides opportunites. You cannot place the folder on top of the seat next to you because you are allowed one seat per fare! Forget about putting the bike on your lap because of the weight and dirt.

    Second, find out what is the trains policy on folding bikes. Do they require you to bag the bike? Do they even allow folding bikes at all??

  7. #7
    Senior Member astompa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The commute is on SEPTA in Philly. They allow full sized bikes on off-peak trains and foldable bikes on all trains. I'll be taking off-peak trains most of the time but bringing the full sized bike on the train can be a hassle if there are more than a few bikes on the train as there sometimes are. With a full size bike, you are subject to the whim of the conductor as to whether or not you ride. Plus my full size commuter is getting old anyway. I'm not sure if a foldable could fit on the floor in a regular seat. Possibly, although the Dahon's seem a little big folded compared to the Bromptons. I could also possibly keep it on the seat next to me, although you make a good point about paying for one seat and the dirt factor. Anyway I could always sit in the larger seats toward the fronts of the cars.

    I'm glad to hear you like the speed 8. I may get that one. How do you carry stuff? Backpack or racks/panniers? I don't think the Dahon's have a nice front bag like the Bromptons do. What about lights/reflectors? Do you have any?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,119
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by astompa
    The commute is on SEPTA in Philly. They allow full sized bikes on off-peak trains and foldable bikes on all trains. I'll be taking off-peak trains most of the time but bringing the full sized bike on the train can be a hassle if there are more than a few bikes on the train as there sometimes are. With a full size bike, you are subject to the whim of the conductor as to whether or not you ride. Plus my full size commuter is getting old anyway. I'm not sure if a foldable could fit on the floor in a regular seat. Possibly, although the Dahon's seem a little big folded compared to the Bromptons. I could also possibly keep it on the seat next to me, although you make a good point about paying for one seat and the dirt factor. Anyway I could always sit in the larger seats toward the fronts of the cars.

    I'm glad to hear you like the speed 8. I may get that one. How do you carry stuff? Backpack or racks/panniers? I don't think the Dahon's have a nice front bag like the Bromptons do. What about lights/reflectors? Do you have any?
    I purchased two Dahon folders thinking I would use them for commuting on trains during rush hour. Didn't happen. I found riding my cheap Dahon (Piccolo) and locking it at the station while having another bike (Pacific toy store bike) at the other end actually worked better. What I do use my Dahon folders are for riding the trains during the weekends. Although I could use a large size bike, a folder gives me the opportunity to sit instead of having to stand in the doorway.

    I use a small backpack but you're better off using the rack. When I used to commute 5 miles a day with my Piccolo, the rear rack was fine and worked well. The front bag of the Brompton slows you down because it makes you less aero while acting like a paracheutte. (sp) The Brompton is about as wide as the Piccolo so don't worry about it.

    I've ridden SEPTA and the conductor allows you to keep the bike between cars. You might be able to do this and have a bungy chord to tie the bike so it won't tip over.

    I always use lights (Opticube) and two red blinkies. I attach one on the back of my helmet while the other says on the seatpost

  9. #9
    Senior Member astompa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So you couldn't use the Piccolo to take on the train during rush hour? Why--it didn't fit anywhere? That's a little distressing. So now you keep the piccolo locked at the train station? Don't need a folder for that!

    Keep the bike between the cars? Yikes I don't think I'd do that.

    So you use your Speed 8 on the weekends? How's the grease from the chain when it's folded?

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,119
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by astompa
    So you couldn't use the Piccolo to take on the train during rush hour? Why--it didn't fit anywhere? That's a little distressing. So now you keep the piccolo locked at the train station? Don't need a folder for that!

    Keep the bike between the cars? Yikes I don't think I'd do that.

    So you use your Speed 8 on the weekends? How's the grease from the chain when it's folded?
    I can take the Piccolo on the train during rush hour. It's perfectly legal and the conductor won't say anything providing it's folded. I don't bring it with me anymore because the office where I work is just a several blocks from the train station. Furthermore, the new office happens to be in New York City and they won't allow bikes inside. No exceptions. Locking the bike ouside in Manhanttan is more dangerous than New Jersey so the bike stays there. I don't even have to use a bicycle once I reach my destination (office is very close) and frequently find myself walking to work. I just keep a junk bike locked up for days at a time just in case.

    I used to bring the folder in the train when the office was located 2 miles away but now that it's located several blocks, there's no need anymore to lug a folder through the train. I see some people with Dahon's on trains but those are individuals who have to ride several miles once exiting the station.

    On SEPTA, full size bikes ride between the trains! YES! That's correct. When I took a full size bike, they would not allow it inside the cabin. It's not too dangerous because the vestibule is enclosed so the bike won't fall out. My folder never has to ride between cars and was allowed inside the cabin with no problem. If the train is packed, that might be your only option.

    The chain on the Speed 8 is on the outside unfortunatly. The Piccolo and Presto models have a chain guard so your clothes won't get dirty. If you fold the bike correctly, the chain shouldn't be much of a problem. I think this is clearly overrated problem but bikes in general are clean or dirty depending on the weather and how well you maintain them.

  11. #11
    commuter neon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    My Bikes
    1979 Peugeot
    Posts
    35
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I briefly owned a Dahon Espresso, which has full-size (26") wheels. It may be train-legal but it was *way* too big to be practical. In its bag it looked even bigger! This seems to be a folding bike phenomenon: I think it's because you can see thru an unbagged bicycle, so it looks smaller.
    So now I'm going to the opposite extreme and getting a Dahon Piccolo from Urbanbikepacker.com ('04s are backordered because Dahon is having supply-chain problems, but I got a great deal on an '03 demo model. I like the silver color better anyway.) I plan to use it to commute 2.5 miles to the train, with a couple of mean little inclines that will call for the low gear, take it on the train, and then use it after work for running all over town. Wish it was a Presto but it's not in the budget.

    Re. Brompton: a C-model just appeared on Ebay at a reasonable starting price, FYI.

  12. #12
    Senior Member astompa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Neon: Thanks for letting me know about the Brompton on Ebay, good luck with the Piccolo. I'm also looking at the Dahon Vitesse D3, but I'm fixated on the Speed 8. Yeah, I was wondering about the Dahon supply problems.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,119
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by neon

    Re. Brompton: a C-model just appeared on Ebay at a reasonable starting price, FYI.
    The C model is waaaay over priced and the component spec put it below the Piccolo. I would avoid getting the bottom of the line Brompton because the brakes are poor.

  14. #14
    Senior Member astompa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, if I get a Brompton (doubtful) I guess would get an L 6.

  15. #15
    Senior Member astompa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Dahon.Steve: Do you have fenders and rack on the speed 8? Do they rattle around much? Does the rack affect the folding? How do you like the gearing?

  16. #16
    CRM
    CRM is offline
    Mernber CRM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    G'ville, FL / Rossie, MA
    My Bikes
    '03 Dahon Speed 8 / '06 Dahon Boardwalk S1 Fixed
    Posts
    40
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I own a 2002 speed p8 and I love it. I'm constantly amazed at how smooth and fast the ride is. I live in Boston and have had no trouble riding the T (subway) here. Unfortunately I haven't been on the comuter rail. I know they allow folding bikes, but I'm not sure how much of a hassle it is.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,119
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by astompa
    Dahon.Steve: Do you have fenders and rack on the speed 8? Do they rattle around much? Does the rack affect the folding? How do you like the gearing?
    I don't have fenders or a rear rack on my Speed 8 but they are on my Piccolo. The fenders didn't rattle when the bike was new but that was almost 4 years ago. I could tighten them but it's basically a beater bike now. My rear rack does not rattle at all.

    When you fold it, the rear rack does make the package slightly larger.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    My Bikes
    Specialized Allez Road Bike, Bike Friday Folding Bike, Specialized Hardrock Mountain Bike
    Posts
    50
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I bought a Bike Friday Pocket Crusoe for commuting on the Long Island Rail Road and for lunchtime rides in Central Park. After a few trips on the train\subway commute, I realized why people buy Brompton's. A Brompton may be expensive, but its definitely worth it if you are going to fold the bike a few times each day. Now I only use my BF for lunchtime rides in the park, which has a few big hills that would be hard to do on a Brompton.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    My Bikes
    Specialized Sirrus Sport, Specialized Stumpjumper Comp, Brompton, Trek 1500
    Posts
    379
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Bromptoin, brompton did my 18 mile round trip today, enjoyable or what ...............

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Out there, on my bike
    Posts
    5,420
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a 26"-wheeled folding bike. It is a bit bulky to carry, but once on the train it's not so bad (although not as compact as a smaller one). I bought it because I have 12-13 mile one-way commute in the morning and then I take the train home at night. Perhaps next winter I'll try a 20-inch that is more easily manageable. How would the Dahon Speed 8 be for a 12-13 mile ride (urban, paved trails and hills)?

  21. #21
    Aussie Commuter
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Canberra
    My Bikes
    Trek 7700fx, Birdy Blue (Folder)
    Posts
    13
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I own a Birdy Blue folder. It is a German designed bike, now manufactured in Taiwan. Not sure if they are available in the US. You can see what they look like at www.birdy.com.au

    It is easy to fold and I regularly ride it on my 11Km commute.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,119
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by velogirl
    I have a 26"-wheeled folding bike. It is a bit bulky to carry, but once on the train it's not so bad (although not as compact as a smaller one). I bought it because I have 12-13 mile one-way commute in the morning and then I take the train home at night. Perhaps next winter I'll try a 20-inch that is more easily manageable. How would the Dahon Speed 8 be for a 12-13 mile ride (urban, paved trails and hills)?
    I don't see any problems doing a 13 mile ride with a 20' inch wheel bicycle. Just ask all those Bike Fridays who are doing centuries on their bikes if they are having problems! I did Bike New York several years ago on my Dahon Speed 8 so it's very possible. I think the Speed 8 is less efficient than a 26 inch wheel bicycle and you would certainly feel more road bumps and ruts.

    If the train does not create an issue, keep the 26' inch wheel folder because your not going to get any faster on a 20' inch wheel bike. I suppose you could buy high presure Primo Comet tires for a Dahon Speed 8 but then you'll sacrifice overall comfort.

  23. #23
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    My Bikes
    Dale r500, Balistic Exocet II Dahon Helios P8
    Posts
    20
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I use a Dahon Impulse 7 with Primo Comets. I commute on it every day and do journeys of between 12-60km and I can tell you the Comets make all the difference in the world. They are also very, very puncture resistant (important if you intend to commute) which alone puts them in a different league to most 20" tyres. If your going to be using the bike on a regular basis Id recommend the Impulse 7 beacuse its well made, resonably nippy and at that price you can afford to have it stolen. Get the Comets fitted at purchase, get a dscount because they cost a fortune and spend the money you saved over a fancier bike on flapjacks and banana's.

    Oh and get a better seat!

  24. #24
    www.getafolder.com wpflem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Santa Fe & Gallup, New Mexico
    My Bikes
    Brompton T6, Trek 3700 Moutain Bike, Dahon Boardwalk 6
    Posts
    400
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by StartledPancake
    I use a Dahon Impulse 7 with Primo Comets. I commute on it every day and do journeys of between 12-60km and I can tell you the Comets make all the difference in the world. They are also very, very puncture resistant (important if you intend to commute) which alone puts them in a different league to most 20" tyres. If your going to be using the bike on a regular basis Id recommend the Impulse 7 beacuse its well made, resonably nippy and at that price you can afford to have it stolen. Get the Comets fitted at purchase, get a dscount because they cost a fortune and spend the money you saved over a fancier bike on flapjacks and banana's.

    Oh and get a better seat!

    The Impulse in not imported into the US, so it's not an option for us.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Out there, on my bike
    Posts
    5,420
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The only trouble I've had on the train with my 26" wheeled Matrix was a couple of transit police telling me that no bikes were allowed until after 7pm. I kindly and respectfully said that, indeed, folding bikes are allowed any time by WMATA (the Metro folks) policy. It's on their website and in the brochure up at the front of the station. One policeman said that he thought he remembered hearing something about folding bikes being allowed, and they let me on the train. I did not want them to go check out the brochure because it actually says that folding bikes must be in a bag. The Matrix is a bit big to put in a bag. I've been a bit nervous about the bag requirement since, thinking that these guys might do some investigating on their own.

    Since the days are now just about long enough to commute both ways, I won't be using the train much anymore until next winter. I have some time to decide about whether or not to pursue the 20" option. It's nice to be reminded that there are people who do long commutes on small-wheeled bikes.

    I also want to make my Matrix ice-friendly for next winter. That means investing in some Nokian studded tires. So perhaps I'll irresponsibly spend money and get a 20" folder for winter commuting when there is no ice, and use my Matrix for days when there is ice on the roads and trails. The ice kept me off the bike for a couple of months altogether this winter. Man, I sure can find ways to spend money!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •