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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 04-29-10, 07:59 PM   #1
Hemet Rider
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Looking at a Brompton

I am thinking about getting a 6 speed Brompton. I like the way it folds and me test ride went OK. Is it a good bike for running around with and also a little longer ride now and then? Had to sell my road bikes because I don't have room for them now. The other way to go would be a Bike Friday but it doesn't fold as small.
Any help on this?
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Old 04-29-10, 08:26 PM   #2
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A Bike Friday Tikit folds as small as a Brompton, doesn't it? (Speaking as owner of a 3-speed Brompton and an Air Friday.)
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Old 04-29-10, 10:25 PM   #3
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The Brompton folds to 22.2" x 21" x 9.8" and the Bike Friday fold size is 34" x 33" x 12" according to the specs. I have seen, isn't this correct? I haven't seen a Bike Friday, will have to try to find one near me if I can. Thanks
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Old 04-29-10, 10:27 PM   #4
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You can't go wrong with the Brompton. I used to think only multimode cycling on a bus would be the only advantage a Brompton would have over other folders. I was wrong.
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Old 04-29-10, 11:20 PM   #5
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I wrestled with this very question 2 years ago. Did a lot of research (there are great demos of how both bikes fold on YouTube), and the consensus was…

Brompton: best folding, smallest package, pretty good bike
Tikit: fastest folding (but into an odd shape not quite as handy as folded Brompton), better than Brompton as a bike

Since I wanted to bike commute and then "smuggle" my folded bike into an office building every day, I went with a 6-sp Brompton. I like the way it quickly folds into a neat little squarish shape and how, with its cover on, it never draws the attention of office building guards, and I really like how it rides, too. It's so cleverly thought out, and has a kind of smart, British elegance about it. As I said, most people feel the Tikit is a better bike, and I nearly bought one. But the Brompton's tidy folded package – plus the fact that it's been made and refined for over 20 years now - persuaded me to choose the Brompton.

For bopping around Manhattan and the rest of NYC (which isn't particularly hilly), the 6-sp Brompton is perfect. The occasional longer ride? I wouldn't hesitate to take the Brompton out on up to a 40 or 50 mile ride over gently rolling terrain. But for rides longer than that – or more serious hills – I believe any Bike Friday would be more suitable.
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Old 04-29-10, 11:41 PM   #6
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I know this webpage is marketing blurb, but it does make a good case for the brompton + Eazy wheels + touring pannier.
Check it out: http://www.nycewheels.com/brompton-review-steve.html
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Old 04-30-10, 03:31 AM   #7
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Sure, the Brompton is a very good folding bike. I have mine now for about 8 years. Did some touring with it and used it as a daily bike to go to work (bike and train).
But to be completely honest, for a longer trip you can find better bikes. That doesn't mean that the Brompton is a no good!.
I think that ( if you want small wheels) the Tikit is a better choice for longer trips.
I still like my Brompton, but for faster and longer trips I now use a Airnimal Joey. The folding of the Brompton T6 is much easier, smaller and faster. But the biking on a Airnimal Joey is easier and faster. So if the folding is your most important case, go for something like a Brompton.
But you mentioned that you gad to sell your road-bikes. If you liked them and don't need the smallest folding, it might be worth to take a look at "bigger" folder.
But you won't make a mistake by choosing a Brompton.
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Old 04-30-10, 04:02 PM   #8
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Checked out a Bike Friday Tikit this AM and think it would better fit the kind of riding I will be doing. The folded size was OK but not as nice as the Brompton. Now have to figure out the configuration that I want, so many choices.
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Old 05-01-10, 11:33 AM   #9
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A Brompton folds a lot smaller than a Tikit. 15x24x35 in for the Tikit vs 1022x22 in for the Brompton. (Both figures are off Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brompton_Bicycle

I have a Birdy and a Brompton and like the ride on both of them better than the Tikit I tried (I live in the NW so I kinda wish I liked the Tikit better - it's the home town player :-). The big win of the Brompton IMHO is two fold - the single big bag in the front is great around town as you end up with just one piece of luggage besides the bike and the small size fold really ends up mattering when you take the bike travelling.

But if you prefer the ride of a Tikit that is pretty important :-) Especially if you want to do longer rides on it.

Last edited by cycleup; 05-01-10 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 05-01-10, 12:18 PM   #10
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I am a proud Brompton M3L owner so this might be a little biased opinion. However, as far as convenience, especially folding the Brompton is unbeaten. You want a FOLDING bike, not an abomination that resists everytime you try to make it compact, doesn't stand on its own, can't be rolled, etc. Trust me I see a LOT of these everyday at the train station. Also while still on the abomination topic I would stay away from the 6 speed option. In order to change 1 gear you need to operate TWO shifters. The standard ratio 3 speed is bulletproof and has enough range to climb or crank it up. The two speed is also something to look into and it would save you almost a kilogram (~2.2lbs), i keep doubting whether I should have ordered a 2 speed in the first place, but i am a tinkerer and a recent Sturmey Archer enthusiast. As far as the ride quality goes, at first it feels twitchy, however, it is just because you are probably used to normal handlebars. In the Bromton case, twitchy=responsive. Also since you re more used to the road bike feeling, you might wanna look into ordering an s-type, it would be even more responsive. All of the above being said I have never ridden a Bike Friday so I can't compare it. Another plus of the Brompton: it is fully customizable, especially colors (if you are willing to wait the 12 weeks build/delivery time); at the end though you will not be disappointed.

-Carcinogent
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