I want to start off with: I registered because as I was researching on folding bikes, Google kept referring me to you guys. You people are awesome.
That said, I'm considering buying a folding bike as I'd like to start biking to school and I have two very verbose questions.
1) I have a bike at my parents' house. It's pretty old (I think it's gaining on 10 years old) and has been used maybe 3 or 4 times since I went to college. It won't fit in my car, so we'd have to get a carrier for my roof rack. It's also in need of a massive tune-up since, as far as I can remember, we've never taken it to a bike shop ever since we bought it at Costco (should give an idea of how much it cost to begin with). The shifter is kinda messed up and it also needs new tires and inner tubes; I'm pretty sure whatever shop I take it to will uncover more issues with it. I don't even want to think about how much it'd cost to fix it up. Am I better off buying a new bike instead?
2) In the case that I'm better off buying a new bike, I'd rather buy a folding bike. My school's more longboard/skateboard-friendly, so there isn't a lot of places to lock a bike to; the bike racks at my apartment are located under a ground-level gate in the underground garage and it's been raining more and more lately.
I'm in Taiwan at the moment, so I've got access to relatively inexpensive folding bikes. The two that I've seen that I'm most interested in would be Giant's Halfway and the Stepdragon (I think it was the SS24 model). Now, I've got a lot of information in regards to the Halfway, but I know next to nothing on the Stepdragon (it would appear the same applies to the people on this forum). I like the look of the Halfway more and it's easier to fold, but the Stepdragon, at about 8000NTD/250USD, is more affordable than the 10800NTD/325USD Halfway (both of which are within my budget) and has 24 gears as opposed to 7.
I'm somewhat more inclined to the Halfway, but between my apartment and my school is a hill with the steepness of a highway on-ramp, if not slightly steeper. This is kinda critical and I haven't found any testimonials about biking uphills with the Halfway. The total ride is about 3-4 miles (depending on where on campus) and the uphill climb is about the first mile and the last half mile. Which would serve me better in this case? Should I just get a normal bike, would I be better served with the Stepdragon, or could I get away with a Halfway? Or are there any other alternatives I should consider? My ideal budget would be within 12000NTD/375USD