Greetings, long time BF member, first post in folding bikes. Let me explain why i have jumped from commuting/touring up to here.
I have had dozens of bikes, been carfree most of my life and currently am down to two bikes. My lovely Surly LHT and an older Fuji I use for a beater bike. I bought the LHT after much thought and research into the perfect bike for commuting with some long distance touring thrown in. It worked great for both
I got laid off, changed jobs, cities, and apartments. My new place is much smaller, I got rid of three bikes, keeping only my favorites. However lugging my LHT up and down a narrow flight of stairs has gotten old quick, I even pulled my touring racks from it to lighten it up, still a hassle. I decided a folder might be the answer. I love doing new bike research so I plunged right in. Now I have some questions, but first answers to common things you guys are gonna ask me.
I'm 5'8" 170 lbs. I typically ride a smaller frame than normal due to a short torso (scoliosis)
New commute is flat and less than a mile, same for the grocery store and local restaurants, I'm keeping the LHT for longer stuff.
I know bikes (but not folders), I prefer acceptable quality, mid range components are ok for my riding.
I have done searchs on this forum and read everything pertinent back for about 12 pages now on the folding forum.
I have looked at most available folding bikes websites and compared models.
Now my questions for you.
How different is the ride from 20's to 16's? I have ridden a Giant with 20 inch wheels, no 16's around to test out. The Giant was amazingly quick and agile. Liked the bike, not a huge fan of the shop itself, long story there.
How clumsy are common 20 inch wheeled bikes to lug up narrow stairs (Dahon spd 7, Downtube Nova, Citizien Gotham etc)
Are 16 inch wheeled bikes that much more compact? (excluding the Brompton, I know that one is)
I would love to hear a review from an actual owner of a Citizien Tokyo 16, regarding ride and ease of lugging about.
Now my criteria, ease of folding, portability, decent ride quaility and ability to go get groceries in that order.
That said, yes it appears the Brompton wins . I'm kinda looking for an alternative since a new one is out of reach and used are rare and overpriced in the states. I have friends in Great Britain and am exploring getting a used one brought over as luggage possibly next month, but not sure if that is going to work out. I was (with their help) able to locate several in the London area for around the $400 dollar price point, some were obviously stolen of course and we'll avoid those.
BF has never let me down and I know no one can answer all my questions so please help out with the ones you can answer. BTW brand new Brompton speced to my taste with the front bag ran about $1400