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  1. #1
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    Folding bike riders in the Washinton, D.C. area?

    Hi,

    I am in the market for a bicycle. I am trying to decide between a recumbent bike and a folding bike. I already have tried several recumbents. Before taking the plunge, I will like to ride several folding bikes to make sure I am making the best decision.

    The intended purposes are leisure riding (around the city or on the trails), commuting, and perhaps some touring. Any of these will require fast pace riding/pedaling whenever needed. The local bicycle shops don't seem to carry folding bikes, or don't have them available at the moment.

    Is there any local (Washington, D.C.-Northern Virginia) folding bike rider out there? I will love to hear your experiences on your folding bike. I can also be reached at fortymlshot@yahoo.com

    Thanks

    Javier
    Woodbridge, VA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Javier
    Hi,

    The intended purposes are leisure riding (around the city or on the trails), commuting, and perhaps some touring. \

    Javier
    Woodbridge, VA
    Folding bikes and recumbents are two totally different bikes. It really depends on what your're going to be doing more.

    If you need to travel inside trains and buses for commuting, the folder is the best way to go. If you're going to use airplanes, the folder is the way to go.

    However.

    Leisure riding and touring are much better on a recumbent. If you have no intention of hopping aboard a bus, train or airplane, the best bet would be to get a bent. It will be waaaay more comfortable than a folder or an standard bike for that matter.

  3. #3
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    Excuse me .Bike friday has a folding recumbent called a satrday . It is not however meant as a commuter.Bike fridays tend not to fold as fast as a Dahon but you might like it anyway.Correction they are curently reworking it to make it better(I.E 20" wheels better gearng and a quicker fold)it should be available again sometime in 2005.
    Last edited by james Haury; 09-27-04 at 05:25 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by james Haury
    Excuse me .Bike friday has a folding recumbent called a satrday . It is not however meant as a commuter.Bike fridays tend not to fold as fast as a Dahon but you might like it anyway.Correction they are curently reworking it to make it better(I.E 20" wheels better gearng and a quicker fold)it should be available again sometime in 2005.
    You're correct that Bike Friday has a folding recumbent. However. You'll have a difficult time entering the bus and trains during rush hour. If he needs to board the bus each morning, the SaturDay would be impractical.

    This is why he many need two bikes. One for commuting and one for touring.

    I would say this. If he uses the bike 70% of the time for bus/train, his best option would be a folder. If he uses the bike only 10% or less in conjuction with bus/train his best option would be a recumbent.

  5. #5
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    True enough the satrday would be impractical for a daily commute.Unless the new version has a greatly improved fold.

  6. #6
    meb
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javier
    Hi,

    I am in the market for a bicycle. I am trying to decide between a recumbent bike and a folding bike. I already have tried several recumbents. Before taking the plunge, I will like to ride several folding bikes to make sure I am making the best decision.

    The intended purposes are leisure riding (around the city or on the trails), commuting, and perhaps some touring. Any of these will require fast pace riding/pedaling whenever needed. The local bicycle shops don't seem to carry folding bikes, or don't have them available at the moment.

    Is there any local (Washington, D.C.-Northern Virginia) folding bike rider out there? I will love to hear your experiences on your folding bike. I can also be reached at fortymlshot@yahoo.com

    Thanks

    Javier
    Woodbridge, VA
    Bikes@Vienna is a recumbent & folder specialty shop-and the closest recumbent shop to where you live.
    John started carrying folders after his wife got stranded in town on 9/11, she keeps a folder in her office now.

    My folder, a 16" wheeled folder is small and compact in it's bag I can carry it just about anywhere. However, in high gear has a 44 gear inch ratio so it is not suitable for touring- its small distance transportation coupled to car/mass transit options. I have been gathering parts to convert it to a folding recumbent.

    Larger wheeled folders are less compact but better tourers, and generally a better compromise between portability and touring.
    Metrobus and Montgomery County Ride on Busses all have bike racks on front, so a folder isn't necessary- not sure about Fairfax County Connector. There are some nice 26" folders.

    Recumbents are great on most of the local metro DC trails, particularly the Mt. Vernon Trail, W&OD, Capital Crescent trail or out on the national parks accross the Potomac.

    If you want both in one package:
    check the Bentrideronline archives on the foldable BikeE thread from last spring & summer-economical CT conversion. Gaerlan also has a case and how to fit a Bike CT in their travel case.
    Human Pwoered Machines has the lowest priced folding SWB bent.
    Backsafer is the lowest priced CLWB bent. M5 has a very nice foldable CLWB-not sure if they import that model. LWB bents will be much more expensive (i.e. see the Fold Rush).
    Many new foldable recumbent trikes coming out.

  7. #7
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    Hey guys, thanks a lot for the replies.

    MEB,

    With regards to your message: "My folder, a 16" wheeled folder is small and compact in it's bag I can carry it just about anywhere. However, in high gear has a 44 gear inch ratio so it is not suitable for touring- its small distance transportation coupled to car/mass transit options. I have been gathering parts to convert it to a folding recumbent."

    The first homebuilders issue of Recumbent Cycling News had an article and a picture of a folding bike converted to a folding recumbent bike. It looked great and will probably pass as factory-built. I contacted the builder of said bike with regards to how he did it. He only added the front boom and a Vision seat to it. He used tubes as chain guides. He really did a great job!

    If you have completed (or are halfway done) your folding recumbent conversion, is there any chance we can meet to take a look at it?

    My e-mail is fortymlshot (at) yahoo (dot) com

    Javier
    Woodbridge, VA

  8. #8
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    IT sounds like the z bike I used to have . Have you figured out how expensive it might be to improve it? I.E would it be worth it.

  9. #9
    meb
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    Quote Originally Posted by james Haury
    IT sounds like the z bike I used to have . Have you figured out how expensive it might be to improve it? I.E would it be worth it.
    Excluding the seat, I'm expecting to spend a little over $100. I still need a boom and seat, the boom can be obtained easily and inexpensively by cutting a donor bike and frame.

    One could save some money and time by using the small ring of a triple as the timing gear instead of a left side tandem, but then you would only have a double available for gear selection.

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