Advice re recent purchase...
OK, I gave in a bought a Challange 20" folding 6gear city bike from Argos in the UK for £74.
I have a MTB that is my main cycle, but you can't take it on public transport in rush hour and as I'll be working in the city (London) more thought a folding bike might fit.
Now I'd love to have got a brompton, or Dahon but can't afford the £100's involved in that - so this cheapie will have to do.
Won't be killing in on mileage and I know performance won't be great...however it is the same weight as a £6000 Dahon so now I'd like some advice on further improvements I can make.
- I'm thinking some quick release pedals will be a start for folding size.
- Next The handlebars don't fold, but can I get either a quick release stem/post or can anyone advise a source for a folding post/stem like the dahon's have?
- Lastly, I think I can lose some weight from the wheels - would more or less any 20" wheel fit?
Sorry for the ignorant questions...I have searched but there's a lot of parts out there to choose from!
Assembled the bike sunday, not rode it properly yet due to adverse weather in UK
If in your heart you want a Brompton or whatever, I would not put any big bucks into a cheapie folder. If it works as is, run it into the ground until you saved up enough money for what you really want.
First please feel Welcomed to this forum.
Originally Posted by dazcox5181
Thank you for taking the time to post & start this thread.
I never heard of the Challange folding bike, but apparently it is not imported to the United States like Dahon, Brompton, and some others are. But if it has the folding feature built in, it does offer the same ability as the others do-compress into a smaller package though perhaps not as nice or neatly.
Pedals are a rather simple item to improve upon without going into too much money. You have a choice between folding types or separating types. Each type offers pros/cons in usage. I have both. My Brompton and Dahons have or had folding ones. They simply folded out of the way. The advantages were I never had to remove them. The disadvantage is they do jut outward a bit. The Raleigh Twenty will have a completely removable separating MKS ones. The advantage is there is no noticeable jutting out of the pedals. The disadvantage is I can misplace or even lose them if I am careless.
Originally Posted by dazcox5181
The handlebars/stem is another matter. My Brompton's & Dahons' ones actually fold down, my older Raleigh Twenty's handlebar/stem does not. But my Twenty's one does completely separate from the frame. I sewed a soft cushion with Velcro straps (looks strange, but it does works) to hook the handlebar/stem unit to the frame when it is taken off the bike without scratching and/or damaging to either the frame or the handlebar/stem. This practice may not be as nice as the others, but I can and do (as it is presently is in as of this writing) break my ancient R20 down into a smaller package just like the others.
As for wheels, I changed my Twenty's old steel rims to alloy ones for lighter weight, corrosion resistance, & far improved upon braking power. But 20" does not necessary mean an actual 20". There are actually 2 sizes that use the 20" label-406 & 451. Check your own bike and see which ones are used.
Good luck on using your bike. If you have any problems with it, don't be shy about taking your bike back to the bike shop. Be sure to visit my World Of Folding Bicycles Website series listed below:
Last edited by folder fanatic; 12-07-10 at 01:04 PM.
I've sorted a pannier tonight, and road tested-rides way better than I expected it too and the gearing helped on the hill to the station!
Will be taking it to work tomorrow in the car boot, will then leave car at office and bike to hotel for overnight...just fold and take the bike to the room
Agree I should keep an eye on how much I sink into it! However think I will defiantly try to source lighter wheels, first thing is to look for a handlebar solution though, it has what I'd call bull horn style bars (almost like a bmx) and the bike shop think they may be able to get a brompton or Dahon handlebar for me... No idea of cost at present though.
ditto on the attempts to make a cheap folder into a slightly more expensive cheap folder... i started a summer project to take a walmart folder, and replaced the crankset with a 54T gear to get a better high end, changed the vbrakes with a better grouping, swapped out the seat, replaced the handlebar with a better rise. in all, it felt a bit nicer to ride and had better gearing, but it still creaked and groaned like a sonofa***** just from the poor tolerance of parts. i tightened and realigned everything multiple times, and the bottom line is - it's still just a cheap folder - with some expensive parts.
How does it actually fold? Hard to advise if we don't have a clear picture of what you're dealing with.
What's the weight? If I'm looking up the right bike on Argos, you got a steel-framed folding bike. Doesn't mention what the wheels are made of. Are they chrome?
What's the weight of the pedals? Do they fold at all? If they do and the weight is slight, then why change them, just for the profile, especially if the bike is heavy.
Can you wheel the bike around when folded? If you can, then you may want to reconsider changing the wheels if you don't have to constantly carry it.
Whatever changes you do, price it out first. You don't want to spend money to make a cheap bike less cheap. Sooooo....even if you can get a handlebar that can fold a little neater, if you can't carry the folder around comfortably because of the weight, then what's the point of changing them.
Last edited by SunnyFlorida; 12-07-10 at 07:41 PM.
Guessing this one? http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Produc...LDING+BIKE.htm
I would concur with everyone else, don't spend money on any parts you can't easily move onto another bike if/when you can afford to upgrade.
Changing Pedals, saddle, tyres should be worthwhile, if handlebars are a big issue for you then change them. Folding handlebar stem would be a step too far. Cheap folding handlebars flex like hell anyway.