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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 08-25-10, 07:47 PM   #1
Dave1899
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Rode a Bike Friday today...WOW...Now what???

I got in touch with a BF owner for a test ride before deciding weather I would like to own one. Now I'm in trouble!!! The New World Tourist I rode was FANTASTIC!!! It was like riding my giant TCR but it was a folder...Soooooo...Do I spend mega bucks for a new BF or can I get a Dahon or other Folder that gives me the same ride at half the $$$$ ? The BF compared to mt Dahon Boardwalk D7 is like comparing a Miata to a Ferrari I'm open to suggestions.
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Old 08-25-10, 07:58 PM   #2
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This on CL http://orlando.craigslist.org/bik/1884539852.html
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Old 08-25-10, 08:02 PM   #3
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Thanks Dynocoaster. I called about that one. It's on consignment at a LBS but It's too big for me. I need a smaller one as I'm 5'6".
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Old 08-25-10, 08:07 PM   #4
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A swift will offer at least the same ride quality at a much lower price point.
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Old 08-25-10, 09:07 PM   #5
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Dave,

In my mind, top tier folding bikes based on ride quality are Moulton (long wheelbase, spaceframe, suspension), Bike Fridays (possible custom-fit for your body, air ride and whatever specified components you desire) and Xootr Swift (custom components possible, very very stiff frame). If you are in love with the BF's ride, do NOT, repeat DO NOT buy a Dahon or you will be dissatisfied.

Your choice would be to save and buy a new or used BF, Moulton (harder to come by) or a Swift. If the smallest fold is not a principal requirement, I think the Swift represents the best value as it uses standard components and you can pretty much make the Swift into whatever you want it to be. If you WANT a BF however, there is nothing wrong in waiting until you can satiate the desire
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Old 08-25-10, 11:19 PM   #6
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BF Tikit shares the 349 wheel size with Brompton [high pressure easy rolling tires].. it folds, but not as small as Brommy
but the BTO gives you lots if custom options

Alfine 8 speed Or Rohloff 14 speed Internal gear hubs can be spec'd,
or a dérailleur drivetrain with Shimano's Caprio micro cassette hub for small wheels ,
racks and etc.
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Old 08-26-10, 08:22 AM   #7
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Soooooo...Do I spend mega bucks for a new BF or can I get a Dahon or other Folder that gives me the same ride at half the $$$$ ?
It depends on how price sensitive and desperate you are. At the moment, used Bike Fridays seems to be selling at a discount. My thought is that with the recession people are more willing to part with their second/travel bike while people are travelling less and consequently have less need for a second/travel bike.

I'd pay attention to the semi-regular posts on the Bike Friday Yak and a few other places and simply wait. Remember, that replacement stem posts froim Bike Friday are reasonably priced when I last checked.

If you have particularly high standards, very specific fitting arrangements, or your money is on fire, then you might just get a new one.
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Old 08-26-10, 08:43 AM   #8
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I got in touch with a BF owner for a test ride before deciding weather I would like to own one. Now I'm in trouble!!! The New World Tourist I rode was FANTASTIC!!! It was like riding my giant TCR but it was a folder...Soooooo...Do I spend mega bucks for a new BF or can I get a Dahon or other Folder that gives me the same ride at half the $$$$ ? The BF compared to mt Dahon Boardwalk D7 is like comparing a Miata to a Ferrari I'm open to suggestions.


I felt the same way about my NWT after the first ride. It fit just like my Surly LHT full size touring bike and rode very similarly as well - plus it folds!

I own a Dahon and I would not recommend one. The biggest issue is their one size fits a few frame size option. The quality of the Bike Friday travel bikes is a different level and you can call someone who cares and will support you down the road. Also you are supporting a smaller company in the US creating jobs for bike nuts!

As to the mega $$ part. A fully custom spec'd BF can be expensive. My NWT is such a beast. The advantages are you get exactly what you want. If you interests/needs/desires are not typical and you plan to ride the bike a ton this can totally be worth it. OTOH if you don't need or want anything special BF has some stock bikes at sub $1K prices...




Pocket Companion [flat bar touring]

Pocket Sport [drop bar]

My friend Amy bought the red Pocket Sport shown above as her first adult bike and then jumped on it and completed a super fun 1000 mile+ tour through the Canadian Rockies and down the west coast right away. That bike has since been to Hawaii, San Fran and the east coast of Canada. She just emailed me about her latest tour and is raving about the bike...

Buying used is also a good way to go as long as 1) the bike fits well, 2) it's in good condition and 3) it's spec'd the way you want. Just be careful you don't end up spending as much as new upgrading/repairing a used bike or worse buying one that doesn't fit quite right...it's easy to blow any savings buying used.
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Old 08-26-10, 08:49 AM   #9
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A swift will offer at least the same ride quality at a much lower price point.
Hmmmm, if you compare new ones, I don't think that the price point is that different. Although it sort of depends on what you mean by much lower.

I think of the stock Swiftfolder as a hybrid. From memory, a Pocket Companion is about $1000 but it has 24 speeds. Last I checked a Xootr Swiftfolder is $750 + $125 for the front derailer + another chainring for a double. I think Bike Friday has a model with just 8-speeds that is a $100 less. So roughly speaking we're talking $100 or $150 according to whether you want multiple chainrings or not. It is a 10%+ difference which could be "much lower" by many accounts.

There are some other differences. Off the top of my head, the Bike Friday comes in three frame sizes and I believe their warranty is slightly better in that it is transferable. Whether it is worth the premium is another story.
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Old 08-26-10, 09:23 AM   #10
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If you are in love with the BF's ride, do NOT, repeat DO NOT buy a Dahon or you will be dissatisfied
That's a sweeping generalisation PP. Dahon have a huge bike range so what are we basing this on? I had a Dahon Cadenza 8 for a while and only sold it on as a deposit for a new bike I am getting. I would have recommended at the old pricing point in 2008 but nit at its current price £950. Why such a sweeping condemnation of Dahon?
'


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The quality of the Bike Friday travel bikes is a different level and you can call someone who cares and will support you down the road. Also you are supporting a smaller company in the US creating jobs for bike nuts!
Vik, your Bike Friday is a stunner in its simple white and black. No doubt one of the nicest folders I've seen. I also wouldn't contest the pedigree of these bikes either. However sometimes I detect Bike Fridays get hyped on your side of the pond. Now, the average Dahon is not going to match a niche high-end range of bikes like Bike Friday. OK the stock $1000 ones you mention represent great value to the right person but there are some particularly good Dahon models too. Would you write off a bike like the new Dahon IOS XL or the high-end Dahon Jetstream EX with its fantastic components?

What I'm getting at here is I totally agree Bike Friday are a great company but aren't Dahon getting an unfair representation here?

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Old 08-26-10, 09:28 AM   #11
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Hmmmmmmmmmm I wonder! Who is getting a JetstreamEX? :-]
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Old 08-26-10, 10:35 AM   #12
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Mulleady,

That's a fair call on me for generalizing. I assumed that since the OP referred to a Boardwalk D7, the comparison was with 20", non-suspended folding bikes. I myself do not prefer foldies with suspension due to the added weight and complexity. For my geography and riding, it is simply not necessary so the thought of the Jetstream did not enter my mind.

Truth is without the OP being more specific about riding habits, typical distances, riding style and preferences, its hard to nail down a recommendation. I know that if I was to budget over $1200 Canadian dollars for a folding bike, it would have to be something along the lines of a Bike Friday that can fold with reasonable ease (not separable like a Moulton) simply due to my needs of multi-modal commuting.
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Old 08-26-10, 11:11 AM   #13
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I prefer Downtube to lower end Dahons, I'll support you on that Puppypilgrim ;-)
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Old 08-26-10, 11:11 AM   #14
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Hmmmmmmmmmm I wonder! Who is getting a JetstreamEX? :-]

Or an IF Reach or a Dahon IOS XL lol! Keep guessing ~~
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Old 08-26-10, 11:13 AM   #15
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Hmmmmmmmmmm I wonder! Who is getting a JetstreamEX? :-]
I own a Dahon Jetstream EX - and it offers a fantastic ride.

Edit: ups. it's a Mu Ex, not a Jetstream, sorry

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Old 08-26-10, 11:23 AM   #16
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I own a Dahon Jetstream EX - and it offers a fantastic ride.
Is this in addition to your MU EX?
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Old 08-26-10, 12:27 PM   #17
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What I'm getting at here is I totally agree Bike Friday are a great company but aren't Dahon getting an unfair representation here?
You make a good point in that if you fit a given Dahon and you are happy with the spec/handling as well as how it folds that's great.

BUT and they are some big buts:
- given the poor fit resulting from one size option for a lot of people
- given the average quality/performance of the Dahon's I've seen/test ridden/owned [4 or 5 models]
- given the cost vs. a stock Bike Friday
- given the fact the OP test rode a Bike Friday and loved it
- given the fact people we can call and talk to build BFs by hand in the US
- given the fact the OP is from the US
- given the difference in customer service

I have a hard time recommending a Dahon to the OP.

That is not to say nobody ever loved their Dahon nor does it say a Dahon is a poor choice for everyone. If the OP had posted he had test ridden a $1K Dahon, it fit him, he loved the handling and the fold I'd be giving him a thumbs up and asking what colour he was going to get!
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Old 08-26-10, 12:53 PM   #18
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I'd pay attention to the semi-regular posts on the Bike Friday Yak and a few other places and simply wait. Remember, that replacement stem posts froim Bike Friday are reasonably priced when I last checked.
I have a NWT for sale here on the west cost. Have not posted it yet. Too busy/lazy.

Am not going to be too picky about the price. Got it about 18 months ago, used it for about a year (~1K miles). DualDrive, custom color, ultra light stem, trigger shifts, etc. Was my only bike so got a lot of TLC.
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Old 08-26-10, 01:58 PM   #19
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What size is it? The bike in Florida was too large and the OP is 5'6".
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Old 08-26-10, 02:47 PM   #20
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The real determiner of whether you should (or need to) invest in a Bike Friday is RIDER SIZE. If you are very tall, very short or very heavy you are a bonafide candidate for a stock or custom Friday.

I am 6'3" and have both, plus I have a Dahon S1 and had a Dahon D7, previously. The stock large BF frame is very close to my custom NWT - it has only 8-speeds but rides great. (Even got a very good deal on mine by buying it during last years Black Friday Sale.)

I was reading about the Swift the other day and realized that while they have five 'sizes', there is really only one frame size - they use larger/smaller seat posts, stems, stem risers, etc. to customize the bike's size.

When we were younger, I doubt we would have spent the $ for Fridays (too many other things going on then), but glad I can do it in retirement - we really enjoy the bikes.

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Old 08-26-10, 02:55 PM   #21
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...Remember, that replacement stem posts froim Bike Friday are reasonably priced when I last checked.
Forgive my ignorance, but does this mean that if you ride a small but buy a large (assuming the seat tube is low enough to position your seat) all you would need to do is change the stem post? Are all the frames really the same geometry outside of the seat post height on a BF?
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Old 08-26-10, 04:41 PM   #22
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Nothing to be sorry about bud.

There are at least three monotube lengths. I believe that the built-to-order models have more variation in the monotube length and that the rear triangle is the same size for all of the models with the exception of the heavy rider option and perhaps the llama.
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Old 08-26-10, 05:07 PM   #23
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Nothing to be sorry about bud.

There are at least three monotube lengths. I believe that the built-to-order models have more variation in the monotube length and that the rear triangle is the same size for all of the models with the exception of the heavy rider option and perhaps the llama.
Correct, stock BF's have three distinct frame sizes - wife has a Medium and I have a Large. The Large is close to my custom bike (monotube wise), but a bit shorter. I make up the difference with a longer stem.

On our custom bikes, the folding seat masts were made a couple of inches shorter than normal because we ordered Thudbuster seat posts.

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Old 08-26-10, 05:40 PM   #24
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- given the fact people we can call and talk to build BFs by hand in the US
- given the fact the OP is from the US
And given the one of Bike Friday's biggest fans is from North America lol!
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Old 08-26-10, 07:13 PM   #25
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Now don't get me wrong guy's, I'm not bashing my Dahon. The Dahon Boardwalk D7 is a good riding bike as well as my Citizen Miami However, they are nothing like the ride of the BF NWT I rode. I'm hoping to thin out the heard by selling my Specialized Sirus Sport which is set up for Commuting, my Giant TCR I use only as a road bike and my Dahon which I like to toss in the back of the SUV and take for quick spur of the moment rides with my wife. The Bike Friday would replace all three of those. I'm also thinking about a BF Pocket Llama I could take off road some as well. Then I might get rid of my old Trek 7000 seeing as I don't do heavy off road trail riding any more. Think I'm getting too old for that activity Thanks for all the response to my post.
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