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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 04-20-10, 11:48 PM   #1
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folding commuter bike <$500 for a 6'6", 220 lb guy

I live in San Francisco and need to get a folding commuter bike to get me the 4-5 miles to/from the Caltrain station. I'm 6'6" and have a 36" inseam. I would appreciate recommendations on a sturdy folding bike that is big enough it won't make me feel like a clown at the circus. Thanks!
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Old 04-21-10, 05:52 AM   #2
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I am 5 foot 11.

Looks like you are looking at a Downtube or a dahon. Dahon make full sized folders also.

Downtube are very sturdy bikes. Mine looked great after I moded it.I reconed by measurement that it would be fine up to 6 foot 4 with the standard seatpost. With a sprung saddle you can gain another 1.5 inches you should be ok.

Others worth considering but beyond your budget stated are Birdie,bike friday,l,animals,paffic reach,moulton seperable.

There is an extended seatpost for Bromptons and Dahons ,but personally I feel the brompton is better suited to somone 5 foot 8 or below. Mezzo bikes suit up to about 6 foot, maybe 6 foot 2 with sprung saddle. You also gain a bit by using clippness peddles also. so at a push maybe,but no extended seat post available.

Do not consider a space genie as the bottom bracket is high and seat post would need to be enormous.

Bike friday sell large frame size's, if bargin secound hand find.

It al depends on your priorities really. Compactness of fold ,cost and performance.
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Old 04-21-10, 12:00 PM   #3
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The Downtube Full Suspension model accommodates up to 220 or 230 lbs. If you're inseam is indeed 36", that's not too bad. I'm 6'0" with 34" inseam, and can ride most folders.

The only problem is that I don't see the Full Suspension model on the Downtube website now. They only have the internal gear version, and the weight limit is less (can't figure why that would be?). You may want to look on Craigslist for one. They're under $400.

You an also email Yan at Downtube and ask if he's got an FS model stashed away or maybe an FS frame to sell you. Or ask Yan if the weight limit on the internal geared FS is stated incorrectly on their website.
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Old 04-21-10, 12:27 PM   #4
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Ditto on Dahon or Downtube models for your price range. I'd definitely go with 20 inch wheeled folder. Unless you're in a rush I would suggest checking craigslist which is where I purchased my first folder (Dahon D7) for $250 in like new condition.
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Old 04-21-10, 01:21 PM   #5
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Hey, I found something on Craigslist that might suit you well. It's a full size Montague folding mountain bike.

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/1700711346.html

I think it would meet your needs for a larger bike (for a larger person). Since you're taking CalTrain, the larger folded size won't be a problem. You'd have a hard time taking this on Bart, though.
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Old 04-22-10, 09:10 AM   #6
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Here's another very suitable candidate for you. Good price too.
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/1704203372.html
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Old 04-22-10, 09:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
Here's another very suitable candidate for you. Good price too.
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/1704203372.html
Ouch Sesame that bike is a small frame size and will not fit him at all .... he would need a large
Thor :-)
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Old 04-22-10, 11:17 AM   #8
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I think this is a lot of bike for the money and it is a large frame
http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/2008/cadenza8.htm
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Old 04-22-10, 02:29 PM   #9
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Ouch Sesame that bike is a small frame size and will not fit him at all .... he would need a large
Thor :-)

I impressed, Thor. The seller doesn't state the frame size. You could tell just by looking at it! You da Man!
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Old 04-26-10, 09:50 AM   #10
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Wow, Thor IS da man!! Great eye!

Thanks for all the advice. There is a 2009.5 FS downtube on Yan's site for $399, but in the end, I found a bike on CL - it's a 2001 Dahon Zero G with a size L frame. It has upgraded handlebars & front fork with a sprung seat. I took it to LBS Lombardi Sports yesterday for their $35 commuter tuneup special & had new hybrid tires & tubes put on (the old ones felt like they had dryrot). $250 for the bike an $100 for the tuneup & tires and it's good to go.

Now to figure out what I'm supposed to wear for the commute. I have to wear a nice shirt and dress pants at my office, and don't want to get my work clothes all sweaty. I think I've seen guys cycling with a skinny garment bag over their shoulders, but I'm hoping to find a less bulky option, since I'll have to carry my laptop as well. Any ideas? Thanks!!
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Old 04-26-10, 01:19 PM   #11
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Nice! Here's some things consider...

*Keep a spare shirt, pants, socks in the office. You may never used them, but it's always good to have a spare.

*If you need to wear dress shoes regularly, keep a pair in the office. No need to mess them up on your commute. I eventually found a pair of casual shoes that I felt OK with wearing at the office, but were utilitarian enough to use on the bike.

*If your job requires dress clothes, I suggest you use a pannier for your stuff. I used to use a backpack or messenger bag... and even on cool days it adds to your sweat.

*I carried my laptop on my body (backpack/mess bag), but again this causes sweat. If you have a good cushioned pannier, you can avoid this problem.

The downside to a pannier is that it may affect your folding ability. If this is a problem, you may want to look at something like the Xootr Swift seatpost pannier rack which might lessen the impact of a pannier. Or you could only use a pannier on the outside of the fold. Or only use a rack bag. Another option is large Carradice style saddle bag, but those tend to be pricey.
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Old 04-26-10, 01:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfbay-bay-er View Post
but in the end, I found a bike on CL - it's a 2001 Dahon Zero G with a size L frame. It has upgraded handlebars & front fork with a sprung seat. I took it to LBS Lombardi Sports yesterday for their $35 commuter tuneup special & had new hybrid tires & tubes put on

N
pictures please
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Old 04-26-10, 01:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfbay-bay-er View Post
but in the end, I found a bike on CL - it's a 2001 Dahon Zero G with a size L frame. It has upgraded handlebars & front fork with a sprung seat. I took it to LBS Lombardi Sports yesterday for their $35 commuter tuneup special & had new hybrid tires & tubes put on

N
pictures please
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