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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 06-09-10, 10:27 AM   #1
Willy Gee
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New to Folding Bikes. Advice?

I'd like to buy a folding bike. It would not be my primary bike. I have a LHT and an XO1 that I use to commute and for short tours.

My wife and I go on weekend trips in the summer, often by car. I'd like to bring a couple of folding bikes with us. We would only ride 10 or 15 miles a day, sometimes in hilly areas.

What would be a good, solid bike for us. Money matters, but I want something that will last and that will be comfortable. I'd rather not spend thousands of dollars though.

I see there are a lot of options. Is there a consensus on the best mid-range bike?

I'm 6 foot 1 inch, by the way. My wife is 5 foot 9 inches.

Is
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Old 06-09-10, 10:56 AM   #2
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Downtube FS/Nova, I bet
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Old 06-10-10, 03:30 PM   #3
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Where do you live? In some countries, it's easier to get some folders than it is to get others.
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Old 06-11-10, 01:16 AM   #4
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I are betting two home-made pies that Willy Gee comes from the USA. perhaps one of the Southern States, and used to ride a Harley-Davidson.

LHT is the Surly acronym for a bike called a 'Long Haul Trucker' . It lacks folding arrangements and is open to undeserved slurs using Cockney Rhyming Slang. Surly themselves use the term 'NO BS' on their web site, so the unfortunate name of the bike could be a deliberate attempt at 'street-slang' ass-onance, if you'll forgive the further literary pun.

XO-1, as far as I can tell is a magnitude 11 yellow dwarf star in the constellation Corona Borealis.

Willy Gee is therefore an intergalactic traveller, currently resident in the USA. He needs the folder to fit into his spaceship, and still leave room for a Long Haul Trucker and his Wife.

I posit that two (2) Downtube Novas in name alone, will be suitable, and less susceptible to crass lingual reflection on my part. For more comfort the Downtube FS may be just the ticket. Otherwise just chuck a pair of Dahons or any other branded 20" wheel bike in the trunk. The cheaper unbranded internet-only bikes can be of variable quality. Some USA-ers think the Citizen ranges are worthy and not over-priced.

A fine stereotype would be a a manly Dahon Mariner for Mr Willy, and a Dahon Mu for Mrs Gee. You are both tall, a factor.

Nanu Nanu!

Last edited by snafu21; 06-11-10 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 06-11-10, 08:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy Gee View Post
I see there are a lot of options. Is there a consensus on the best mid-range bike?
It helps that you and your wife are on the tall side but still within the mainstream distribution.

Downtube is typically a good value brand. If you like to tinker and want basic recreational bikes, then it is a good deal. What I don't care for in the Novas is that they use a freewheel; but otherwise it appears to be well thought out with extra braze-ons for a rack and such. I seem to recall that there is a recommended height limit which you may be over.

Assuming that the used folding bike market is small where you are, I would go with something like a Dahon D7 which has a rear rack and fenders. One thing that pops out is that it has a 7-speed cassette. Now, I think that all of the Speed frames are the same which means that the OLD spacing is either 130 or 135 mm. (or perhaps 132.5) Just for future reference, you might want to find out whether it has a 8/9/10 speed freehub body with a spacer or a 7-speed freehub body. The former will make things easier to replace in the future. The other nice thing about Dahons is that they have a lot of accessories and dealerships.
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Old 06-11-10, 05:12 PM   #6
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If you're like me, then you might prefer all your bikes to have very similar fit. At 6'1 folding bikes are hard to fit assuming you have 45deg angle body and arms when riding comfortably. Folding bikes universally are size medium, with Bike Friday the exception that you can order large size.

Other folding bikes can be made to fit, such as the Xootr Swift by fitting longer stem and so on. That brings me directly to my recommendation - Xootr Swift. These are just about the nicest riding folders money can buy, of any price range. They often have the accusation leveled against them that their fold isn't very small. That's true if you view the side profile, but the vertical floor occupation is quite small. These can therefore be easily stacked on top of each other in the boot of the car, with an old blanket or some foam for protection.

Xootr Swifts are also bought to size, ie when you buy one, it already has fitted as standard the right stem for you. Swifts are highly customisable. They are fast (if you are). They are light out of the box. Best of all they are low-mid priced at $749.

http://www.xootr.com/folding-bicycle.html

(I don't work for these guys but I ought to. )
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Old 06-14-10, 11:24 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice. I will look into these bikes.

I live in Vermont by the way, and have never owned a Harley. When I was a kid, my dad had an Indian motorcyle with a suicide shift. That's about it.
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Old 06-14-10, 02:16 PM   #8
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For you: http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/2009/cadenza8.htm
for your wife: http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/2009/glide.htm

I like the sizes of these bikes and the internal gear hub.
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Old 06-16-10, 02:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy Gee View Post
Thanks for the advice. I will look into these bikes.

I live in Vermont by the way, and have never owned a Harley. When I was a kid, my dad had an Indian motorcyle with a suicide shift. That's about it.

Vermont?

You mention 'hills' The consensus is that More Low Gears are Better for Large Hills, specifically, a gear range extending below about 32". For comparison a typical urban seven speed bike will have a range of around 32"-92" of the so called 'gear-inches' to cope with moderate hills.

San Francisco they say, wiould need lower gear ranges still. But it depends what you both think is moderate. The folding 18-24 gear bikes will cope with most things. The 2007 Dwntube IX FS I had also seemed good at hills.
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