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  1. #1
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    Advice on two folding bicycle models needed

    Hello, I'm looking for a folding bike, and so far i found two model within my budget that I like. But I'm not very good with bicycles, so I need some advice which one to buy, or maybe not buy at all They both cost 189 pounds.
    Here is the first one (see link) :

    Ventura Commute 2010 Folding bike
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ventura-Comm...1150904&sr=8-5
    Info that I found:
    * Folding Frame HiTensile Fork 1 1/8 Ahead Intergrated
    * Alloy 28h Twin Spoke wheels
    * 6SPD Shimano Twist Shift Index Gears, Alloy V Brakes
    * Alloy folding Stem 1 1/8 Aheadset, Alloy Crank, Folding Pedals,
    * Rear Rack With Strap, Full Length Mudguards, Bike Weight 12kg
    * Description: Graphite Grey Titanium SRP 249.95(now 189) This fantastic Ventura Commute light weight Alloy FOLDING bike is brought to you at a very competative price, check out the quality looks, contrasting fashonable black alloy wheels . A solid and relaible bike, with easy to use 6Spd Index speed gears and powerful v brakes. Also added features are folding frame, handle bars and pedals. Ideal for camping, holidays and will fold easily to fit in the boot of your car in a matter of seconds.
    *6061 alloy frame, Suit person 5" Plus



    The second option (see link):
    20" folding bicycle with 6 - speed Shimano
    http://www.bicycles4u.com/index.php?bike=47
    Info:
    # ALUMINIUM FRAME
    # 6 speed Shimano gears
    # Shimano RevoShift grip shifter (easy gear changing)
    # highly adjustable handlebar (for upright ride)
    # foldable handlebar post
    # highly adjustable seatpost
    # light alloy rims
    # front and rear alloy V-brakes
    # side reflectors inside rim
    # double chainguard
    # kickstand
    # bell
    # battery powered front and rear lights (LED)
    # sporty saddle
    # metal reinforced pedals (non foldable)
    # SRP: 309.00 (reduced to 189)
    # 12 kg
    ...(more description and pictures in that link)


    Some concerns:
    -If I accidently drop the second one (aluminium frame) from the stairs (or crash etc) , will it break? what about the steel one?
    -is folding pedals important?

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
    Last edited by Stewie111; 11-30-10 at 06:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Russcoles11's Avatar
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    If you do manage to break an aluminium one its broken, if you break a steel one it can be fixed but will cost less to buy a new one anyway.
    These are both cheap (possibly chinese) folders. At this price you cannot expect good build quality but should get a usable bike. I can see the same problem with both bikes: The chainring is too small for a folding bike so you will find the gear ratios rather low. This is common in this price range and is easy to fix.
    I think there was a thread about cheap chinese folders a while back, see if you can find it.
    Oh and my 1st folder was only 6 months ago (have 3 now) check out Sunlova.com, you will find bikes half the price of the 2 you listed and you can use the spare cash to remedy the faults with it Mine is the 20" folding mountain bike.
    I replaced the seat post, saddle, hand grips, cranks (went from 36T chainring to 48T), pedals and the bell. The modifications cost about the same as the bike and I wouldn't trade it for one of the ones you listed. Given the choice to choose again I might go with a non suspension model though as it sucks up my power on hills a lot.
    Oh and folding pedals are worth it only if you buy an expensive folding bike and want it to fit into a smaller shoebox than you currently carry it in, there is little point on a bike in this price range.

  3. #3
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    They both have aluminum frames. The weak point of each is likely to be the rigidity and durability of the hinge - and that's hard to assess without an extended trial. If you have a need for the rear rack that's included on the first model then that would be a consideration since it could be hard to find one that would fit on the second bike. The second bike includes some cheap lights - but those are standard items and easy to add if needed. The folding pedals would tend to make the folded bike a little narrower - whether that's important depends on your application.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Russcoles11's Avatar
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    hmm out of the 2 bikes go with the Ventura, it has better mudguards and a rear rack which I would take as a sign that they put a bit more thought into the bike. If you're in the UK, good mudguards are gunna be worth while and a rear rack is always handy.
    What is your reason for getting a folder? Might help us make better suggestions. Commuting, fitness, occasional trips to the shop, are you needing to take it on trains, buses etc. maybe you lack storage space?

  5. #5
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    Do yourself a favor and increase your bike budget by another 50 to 100 pounds. You'll get a better bike out of it instead of a cheapie that you will quickly outgrow.

    You really don't want to spend that much up front and then find you have to add to it to make it half way comfortable and decently usable. The only exception would be to get a beater bike/folder with good bones that you know you'll have to upgrade.

    You mentioned that you don't know a lot about bikes so the above "beater/upgrade" option may not be feasible for you.

    Whatever you decide, do yourself another favor and test ride your options, if possible. If it isn't possible and you're ordering online, then you take the risk that the folder may not be suitable for your reach, size, weight and general needs.

    Now if I had a choice, based on looks and general features, I'd go for the Ventura. It seems as if you would get more bang for the buck (in your case pound) with this bike.

    To me it does matter if the pedals fold because that helps with the overall fold. After all, the purpose of getting a folder is usually for the fold.

    Of course, some get folders because it's a neat compact bike and the fold is not very important. Again, as prat said, it depends on the application.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Russcoles11's Avatar
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    Yes folding pedals do make the fold smaller. Bikes in this price bracket really don't fold very small anyway so my thinking is, why bother?
    The beater/upgrade option is always a fun one. You might not want to start with something as complex as the favourite Raleigh twenty though. Its a great way to learn more about bicycle maintenance and can be great fun. If you chose this route you will find that people on this forum will be able to give all sorts of useful advice (from how to replace a bottom bracket to how to hide how much your spending from your other half). If you're anywhere near Bristol I might even be tempted to come give you a hand (no space for a 4th bike and my 3rd one is almost finished).
    A good 2nd hand bike is another option. There are usually a lot of Dahons on Ebay and recently there have been quite a few Giant Halfways.
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Kansi-9Twenty-...item19c1594343
    This one also catches my eye on a quick look at whats available, no idea what it'll go for in the end but if you bid what you're planning to buy those other bikes for and win you'd have an absolute bargain.
    Gumtree.co.uk is another place to look for 2nd hand bikes.
    Whatever you decide to do, please keep us informed. Its also worth checking out http://foldsoc.co.uk/ to meet up and go for a cycle ride with some folding bike enthusiasts. There are monthly rides in Bristol, Swindon and the Midlands. I also think there is a group that meets in hyde park. This is a great way to meet people who will be able to give advice when you need it.

  7. #7
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    Thank you all for your replies.

    I need it to cycle to work twice a day, for about 3.5 miles. And maybe other commutes.

    I think I will do what Russcoles11 suggested, and buy a cheap Chinese bike from Sunlova.com and maybe get some upgrades for it, if necessary.
    I don't see much difference between that Ventura bike that I was looking at first and a 20" SL20AF08BL aluminium bike for 137 pounds on that website (plus there is a free bag). Also, I'll have a look on ebay to see if I can find maybe a second hand bike from a good brand in my price range, since most of you are sure that even used it will be better than Chinese.


    Cheers

  8. #8
    Senior Member Russcoles11's Avatar
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    The big difference between the Sunlova and the Ventura seems to be that the Sunlova has a larger chainring (why didn't my sunlova have that ). With cheaper folders you tend to get small chainrings which are absolutely useless with small wheels.
    Last edited by Russcoles11; 12-02-10 at 01:22 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Russcoles11's Avatar
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    Heres one worth bidding on
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Brompton-6-gea...item3a61102bc9
    10 hours to go and at 2 a 6 speed brompton which just needs brakes adjusting and new mudguards!
    You'd have to pick it up from uxbridge but should normally sell for 300+

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