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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 02-27-11, 07:15 PM   #1
no1mad
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Longevity of folding mechanisms?

Thinking about picking up a folder for commuting duty. I like the form factor of mini-velos, but the capacity to fold would be beneficial in my multi-modal commute. Though not planning on folding it every time, but what would be the life cycle if one were forced to fold 3-4 times a day, 5 days a week?

I'd be pushing the weight limits of most models, as I'm roughly 230 lbs. Brands local to me are Giant, KHS, and Sun. And if you know of any others that have dealers within 50 miles of zip code 74066, I'd consider those as well.
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Old 02-27-11, 07:38 PM   #2
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I'm into year 4 of owning a Bike Friday Tikit. I'm going to guess it has ~2000 folds under its belt. Some days it gets folded 10+ times. Just got it repainted and expect I'll still be riding it in 2015. The fold works like it did on day 1.
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Old 02-27-11, 08:40 PM   #3
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Wicked fast fold featured in that video, but there are no BF dealers in my State. Not to mention that they are a little pricey for me .
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Old 02-27-11, 08:56 PM   #4
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And it looks like I was wrong about Sun having a folder- not on their current site. Depending on how up to date the dealer locator info is, there are a couple of shops that have Breezer, which has the Zig 7 in my price range.
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Old 02-27-11, 09:10 PM   #5
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I would think of a steel folding bike. Aluminium would have quicker wear in the hinge joints.
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Old 03-01-11, 07:06 AM   #6
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Coincidentally yesterday was my 4 year anniversary of commuting w/ folding bikes. I fold 3 times and unfold 3 times daily (for the train, office, and train again). 610 round-trip commutes total, 5185 miles total.

Bike 1 - Downtube IXNS which I used Feb 2007 - Dec 2009. ZERO problems with the hinge on the frame and ZERO problems with the folding hinge on the stem. The Quick-release nut/bolt (on the handlebar post) tends to strip and I had to replace it a few times. The bike frame cracked at the seatpost insertion point after about 4000 miles. so, 422 commutes, that's 1250 folds and 1250 unfods.

Bike 2 - Downtube 8H purchased Dec 2009, so far zero problems on folding/unfolding, 118 commutes.
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Old 03-01-11, 08:06 AM   #7
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Hinge mechanisms vary from model to model, but are usually quite robust.

However a little preventative maintenance is a good idea. The hinges may need to be tightened on occasion, for example.

You may want to update this question when you have picked up the bike.
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Old 03-01-11, 09:41 AM   #8
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strida - 2 years biking for like 3/4 months of the year. 2 folds a day (1fold and unfold = 1 fold) = around 800 folds so far and it's still mint and no play in the ball joint (put some silicone grease in the joints at least once or twice a year though to keep it going perfect.
there's around 4600 kms on it so far and the hinges and joints still feel tight with no play at all.

You must maintain the bike though and it would last for a very very long time.
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Old 03-01-11, 12:54 PM   #9
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On any folder, keeping the latch mechanism adjusted and lubed will greatly prolong the useful life of the bike. A sloppy fit (and no lubrication) just increases wear, and thus failure in most mechanical devices.

FYI: 230 is the MAX rider weight on most folders, and might eventually induce other failures.

Lou
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Old 03-01-11, 07:00 PM   #10
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Brompton uses 2 cast pieces, Machined to precisely draw molten brass into the gap, around the Tube, just like Lugs do on other bikes.
a riveted in pivot pin.
and the closure is a U shaped double wedge piece that firmly holds the 2 parts together,
which is tightened by the big lever tightened bolt.
Previous hinge used 2 Hot forged parts, Butt fillet brazed joint.
Mine still holding up, 1994 made ..

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Old 03-01-11, 09:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldable Two View Post
On any folder, keeping the latch mechanism adjusted and lubed will greatly prolong the useful life of the bike. A sloppy fit (and no lubrication) just increases wear, and thus failure in most mechanical devices.

FYI: 230 is the MAX rider weight on most folders, and might eventually induce other failures.

Lou
I was afraid of that, and the models that might be able to hold a bit more weight are probably out my price range...
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Old 03-01-11, 10:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
I was afraid of that, and the models that might be able to hold a bit more weight are probably out my price range...
Yup...and Bike Friday is about the only one that will make a custom bike for heavier rider. They are more expensive, but they ride great, hold up well and are fully supported by a U.S. manufacturer.

Suggestion: Many folders go up to 230 lbs, so start with one of them, and if you find you really like folders then UPGRADE, like most of us on this Forum did. The wife and I started with Dahon Boardwalk D7's.

Lou
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