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  1. #1
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    Need a folding bike suggestion...

    Hello everyone,

    I am currently in the market for a folding bike. I think it would be the best solution simply because I live in an apartment and have limited space. I live in NYC and plan to the bike to commute to work (10 mile round trip), bike trails (central park and the like), long distance rides (Queens to Manhattan) and get around the city. I am willing to pay around 500 - 800 dollars. One of my biggest concerns is getting a folding bike that can take my weight. I won't lie, I have gotten quite overweight over the last few years (240) and am concern that most of the folding bikes won't be able to take my weight.

    Are there any sturdy bikes out there that can handle my weight for the price I am looking for?

  2. #2
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Dahon Jack, 230 lbs. 26" wheels, 7 or 24 gears, folds up to apartment size. Once you start cycling daily, weight falls off: change the diet a little, lots of fruit instead of carbs, leave out the cheese, fries, ice cream, snacking and booze, (I'm generalising here) and you're going to be very happy in three months time. Lots of fluids. Ride at least every other day.
    Start now.

    Worked for me.

    Good luck!
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  3. #3
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    Would the swift or montague bikes be another good choice?

  4. #4
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    This is useful: rider weights:

    http://www.lfgss.com/thread3747.html

    The Mezzo does well, as does the Swift as mentioned. As an aside, UK mag Cycling Active has just reviewed the Mezzo against the Brompton, and put the Mezzo ahead for everything other than the small folding size of the Brompton. I'm pleased to say I have ridden a Mezzo, and it was a delight.

    Also Bike Friday -Heavy rider option.
    Last edited by snafu21; 07-14-10 at 02:02 PM.
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  5. #5
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    For the dollar range and that you don't need a tiny fold, I would go with the swift folder.

  6. #6
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    What about the Tikit? Great for the longer rides as well as the commutes.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  7. #7
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    I am not aware of a folding Dahon which supports over 230 pounds. I think you must eliminate them as an option. Downtube is generally in that weight range too.

    Xootr Swift would be a good pick for you except that Xootr has no statements anywhere on their site about the maximum weight for the Swift. Unless Xootr says what their bike will support under warranty, I think it's out too.

    Mezzo bikes likewise has nothing on their website, which doesn't make me feel good. Their bikes are far too expensive for you anyway.

    Many Montagues (such as the Paratrooper) are rated at 250 pounds. Note that Montague's bikes are... big. You may not find them sufficient for your apartment situation, particularly getting in the elevator or up the stairs.

    Brompton claims weight support of up to 245 pounds, but Bfold suggests that this isn't reliable (broken spokes in particular). However Bfold can build stronger wheels for you.

    Bike Friday can do a heavy rider upgrade to most of their bikes, including the Tikit, to support up to 260 pounds.

    So realistically your three options are Montague, Brompton with Bfold's upgrades, and various Bike Fridays. Since your cost is $500-800, your only remaining option is Montague. Strongly consider increasing your price range. Montagues don't fold very compactly -- they really sort of break down for car trunks etc., and you may really want to look at a Brompton or a Bike Friday Tikit. I wouldn't want to commute ten miles on a Montague, but it's wonderful on a Tikit. And if the Xootr supports your weight (Bfold will know) it's probably your best bet: a good NY bike in other respects.

    Don't listen to us. You're in NYC. THE PLACE to go is BFold in Union Square. David Lam knows his stuff.

  8. #8
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    I actually went to the store and tried a Matrix and a Mu SL. Vastly preferred the Matrix overall. The shop owner said not to worry about the weight considering he has bigger heavier rider use the Dohan.

    My two choices so far is the Matrix which runs for $840 + tax where I live and the Jack D7 which runs for $580 + Tax here in the city. Didn't ride the Jack simply because they did not have it. So can anyone steer me to one or the other. The shop owner pretty much said he think the Matrix is a better bike with better parts and he likes the folding design on the Matrix over the Jack since he considers it more rugged. Considering he's the owner and making a buck who knows.

    How about everyone here which of the two bikes do you think I should go for?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    Mezzo bikes likewise has nothing on their website, which doesn't make me feel good. Their bikes are far too expensive for you anyway.
    2 things wrong:
    1. Most of the rest of the world uses kilograms
    2. Wouldn't have helped anyway, it's hidden in a pdf


    http://www.mezzobikes.com/downloads/Mezzo%20Manual.pdf

    MAXIMUM WEIGHT LIMIT:
    The maximum combined weight of rider and luggage should not exceed 110kg.
    Which for those of you stuck with medieval measuring systems is a little over 240lbs
    2008 Mezzo D9
    2012 Giant Avail 2

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefmcg View Post
    Most of the rest of the world uses kilograms
    Very true, but half of Mezzo.com's website is catering to the US market. But stupid me, I should have searched for kg also of course.

    Wouldn't have helped anyway, it's hidden in a pdf
    Actually Google searches PDFs.

    Which for those of you stuck with medieval measuring systems is a little over 240lbs
    242.5. At about $1100 in the US, a Mezzo D-9 may be a decent choice for him if he extends his budget. At over $1400, a Mezzo D-10 isn't.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by daimbert View Post
    I actually went to the store and tried a Matrix and a Mu SL. Vastly preferred the Matrix overall. The shop owner said not to worry about the weight considering he has bigger heavier rider use the Dohan.
    This is NOT good advice. Dahons have weight limits for a reason, and if the frame goes, you have violated the warranty. Believe me: I know.

    Don't pick these bikes, you're over their weight limit.

    If you're looking at a Matrix and Jack and find that folded size acceptable, go look at a Montague SwissBike or Paratrooper, they run from $500 to $1000. And ask David Lam at BFold to dig up the weight limits on a Xootr Swift. And check out the Mezzo D-9! Bfold has them.

  12. #12
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    Actually, I came into some extra money today so I may be able to push the budget to 1200. Does it make it easier to suggest other bikes?

  13. #13
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    I personally think the Dahon bike limits are just for possible litigation issues. Bike breaks, you sue them and their defense is you weigh over 235 lbs, which is the recommended weight of the riders. It's their get out of jail free card. But the bottom line is most of the Dahon's can handle well over the published limits. With you at 240 and them recommending 235 lbs. I wouldn't even consider it as a factor.

    In your price range look at the Dahon MuP8 unless you have some ridiculous hills or something on your intended path.

    John

  14. #14
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    If your budget is up to $1200, here's what I can think of. (1) Montague SwissBike or Paratrooper (2) Mezzo D-9 (3) Maybe a Swift (again, ask David Lam at BFold in Union Square to verify its weight limit) (4) possibly a Bike Friday Tikit Model T or a Pocket 8, both with the heavy rider upgrade -- unless it's only available as a custom build in which case it's well over your budget (5) possibly a Brompton, particularly with a stronger wheel a-la David, but not likely pricewise.

    I am partial to the Tikit. But you can't go wrong with any of the first three. I bet you'll like the Mezzo.

  15. #15
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Daimbert is going to be below 230 lbs within a month of getting a bike. C'mon, help the guy out with some positive energy, here

    The more one spends on one's first bike, the less wiggle room there is when one gets ugraditis a month later. The Jack V Matrix debate is an old one, The Matrix gets the lockjaw (allen wrench required) frame and front suspension, the Jack in 7 and 24 gear modes is an evolved city bike capable of some hot dirty action at the weekend.

    It's the old debate: 26" wheel versatility, versus 20" portabilty. With a 26" wheel bike, a second pair of wheels fitted with toothy tyres gets you a trail bike for the weekend, almost for free if you search the local recycling centre for them.

    And for larger riders, every kilo of weight takes another 5 watts of power or so to haul up a moderate hill. More gears helps.

    24 gears and short travel front suspension on the MKII Matrix makes a very complete go-anywhere bike, the only downside is the faff with the allen key for folding. Between Jack and Matrix, it's a hard choice. 24 gears on both this year. For a city bike with a fast fold, the Jack is probably slightly more convenient, the Matrix better off-road on trails. A toughie. I've ridden both. It doesn't make the choice any easier.

    I'd probably take the Jack for that classic Joe Murray rebar frame, less weight, and a faster fold. I've ridden one offroad downhilll, and they are very capable. And I lose Allen wrenches almost daily.

    But I am not Daimbert.

    (Gear range of 23"-113" or so on the 2010 D24 Jack. though; Oooh. A folding urban assault vehicle)
    Last edited by snafu21; 07-16-10 at 12:42 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  16. #16
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    I will probably go with the Jack as well. This is my first bike since I was 10 years old. Also, speaking to two separate shops they mentioned that they did not like to lock jaw frame of the matrix. Apparently, they have had several people come back and return because they did not like the extra time they had to spend to unscrew the frame and they had costumers over tighten and strip the screws.

    I think once I have been riding awhile and if I actually follow through and ride to work everyday or several times a day then I might start saving for something more fancy in several years, maybe a 24" wheeler like a Pacific Reach or airnimal

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by daimbert View Post
    I will probably go with the Jack as well. This is my first bike since I was 10 years old. Also, speaking to two separate shops they mentioned that they did not like to lock jaw frame of the matrix. Apparently, they have had several people come back and return because they did not like the extra time they had to spend to unscrew the frame and they had costumers over tighten and strip the screws.

    I think once I have been riding awhile and if I actually follow through and ride to work everyday or several times a day then I might start saving for something more fancy in several years, maybe a 24" wheeler like a Pacific Reach or airnimal
    probably the best idea you can have.

    chances are if you haven't ridden a bike for so long you're likely to have a few hiccups along the way of learning the process of commuting. Biggest threat to it is probably gonna come from thieves wanting to steal your bike and the first thing you'll learn to avoiding that is making sure the bait( your bike) is the least attractive of the bunch to steal.

    I'd say get a downtube 8fs, but they're no longer made. Maybe you could try and find a used one locally and fix it up

  18. #18
    Senior Member GeorgePaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daimbert View Post
    Actually, I came into some extra money today so I may be able to push the budget to 1200. Does it make it easier to suggest other bikes?
    I suggest the Montague FIT, which has 700c wheels, 27 speeds, and adjustable stem. This one lists for $1200. It's a very nice bicycle indeed.

  19. #19
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    Diambert,

    Make sure you can get it into your place of employment. The last thing you want is to have to lock up a brand new bike in the street because you couldn't get it into your office building.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by daimbert View Post
    Would the swift or montague bikes be another good choice?
    have you set yourself to a 20 inch or 24 inch wheel size folder ? any preference ?

  21. #21
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    vmaniqui -

    Whatever diameter that provides a decent ride.

    So went to my local bike shop to go get the Jack and they also had the swift. The jack felt like any other MTB I have rented when I went to trail. Liked it, although if folded it really wasn't that small of a package.

    The Swift on the other hand was hands down fun. It felt much more nimble than the Jack and also felt a little more rigid and solid. I felt the road a bit. The bike folded oddly but it was an extremely slim package.

    Both bikes look real cool too. Now I can't decide again LOL

  22. #22
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    Get the Swift. This is the Swift thread http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-swift-folders
    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by daimbert View Post
    vmaniqui -

    Whatever diameter that provides a decent ride.

    So went to my local bike shop to go get the Jack and they also had the swift. The jack felt like any other MTB I have rented when I went to trail. Liked it, although if folded it really wasn't that small of a package.

    The Swift on the other hand was hands down fun. It felt much more nimble than the Jack and also felt a little more rigid and solid. I felt the road a bit. The bike folded oddly but it was an extremely slim package.

    Both bikes look real cool too. Now I can't decide again LOL
    if you are deciding between the jack and the swift, go for the swift. you will not regret buying it. i have no experience with swift as i have the tikit and mostly dahon bikes but i like the swift better than jack. just my personal opinion. since you mentioned that you already have a regular MTB, adding a smaller folder to your arsenal will be a luxury.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by daimbert View Post
    vmaniqui -

    Whatever diameter that provides a decent ride.

    So went to my local bike shop to go get the Jack and they also had the swift. The jack felt like any other MTB I have rented when I went to trail. Liked it, although if folded it really wasn't that small of a package.

    The Swift on the other hand was hands down fun. It felt much more nimble than the Jack and also felt a little more rigid and solid. I felt the road a bit. The bike folded oddly but it was an extremely slim package.

    Both bikes look real cool too. Now I can't decide again LOL
    As long as you can get decent tires like the apples you can smoothen out the ride a bit. From my own experience the smaller the wheel, the easier it is to handle the bike and the faster you can accelerate. My little 16 citizen was a joy to ride around, but at 200lbs I'm much to heavy for it so I gave it away and stuck with my 20 downtube 8FS

  25. #25
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daimbert View Post
    vmaniqui -


    Both bikes look real cool too. Now I can't decide again LOL
    See? Before you got the bike, you got upgradeitis, already.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

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