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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 03-07-11, 05:05 PM   #1
Quiwi
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Bringing folding bikes inside

So I understand the virtue of being able to bring your bike in anywhere and not having to worry about it. (read: "bike locking case") However, I've been in situations where it was definitely a hassle for me to bring my bike inside and wheel it around with me. I was never asked to leave my bike outside in any of these situations, but the bike was definitely a bit cumbersome to bring around.

The first of the situations is when the aisleways of the store are simply too small for the bike. I've been in store where there was just enough space to very carefully wheel my bike along in the aisle. However, as there were other people also shopping in the store (hardware store in this case) I would not be able to reach the end of the aisle if someone was currently shopping. Additionally, they were not able to pass by me if they needed to find something further down in the aisle.

The other situation is when I'm shopping and am using both of my hands extensively (such as if I am holding a basket or some clothes with one hand and grabbing items with the other) In such a case I'm constantly picking it up and wheeling it before immediately setting it back down on the ground. While it is certainly manageable, it gets to be a bit frustrating at times.

Just wondering if there's any suggestions as to how to handle these situations. In general, I always have a bike lock in my bike just in case I am really required to leave my bike alone for a short period, but so far I've just toughed through it.

Also, a quick question for the tikit owners. I ride in all sorts of weather including the rain and I usually fold my bike before heading into work (or wherever else I'm going). Folding the tikit stem results in a large unpainted opening and on multiple occasions I've gotten drops of water into this section. Any suggestions on any preventative measures?

Thanks!
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Old 03-07-11, 05:28 PM   #2
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I don't use any one approach for all situations so I can only give you a general response. Depending on the store I will find a decent spot and park my bike while I shop. I'll often dump my other gear [backpack, jacket, etc..] in the same spot so I can get around unencumbered. I treat the Tikit just like I would any extra bags I might be carrying when entering a shop. For the places I go frequently I often have a spot sorted out I use all the time.

I haven't done anything in the way of corrosion treatment of my Tikit and so far have had zero issues.
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Old 03-07-11, 05:50 PM   #3
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Brompton's with rear rack and front carrier bag are pretty well thought out for shopping.. this is the set up I use for grocery or general store shopping... I just use it in the aisles, pushing it ahead of me by the handlebars .. it stands nicely by itself if I have to leave it unattended..

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Old 03-07-11, 05:55 PM   #4
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Bruce, how stable is that? Is there a danger of unbalancing it if you don't spread items evenly across the bag?
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Old 03-07-11, 06:10 PM   #5
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Bruce, how stable is that? Is there a danger of unbalancing it if you don't spread items evenly across the bag?
If you mean stable pushing it down the aisle, I can't remember paying much attention to loading it up, so I guess it's pretty good.. since that pic, I've changed the little black wheels for 80mm skate wheels, so it's probably better still .. if you mean stable while riding, the mounting block fastens to the head tube, so the load doesn't shift around with the turning of the bars.. this one feature (ease in shopping) is the draw for me keeping this bike..
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Old 03-07-11, 06:16 PM   #6
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I meant when using it as a trolley. Over the last couple of weeks I seem to have become convinced that I want a Brompton and this, for me too, is one of the selling points.
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Old 03-07-11, 07:10 PM   #7
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I meant when using it as a trolley. Over the last couple of weeks I seem to have become convinced that I want a Brompton and this, for me too, is one of the selling points.
Okay, I just went and checked.. if you were picking corners, you'd want to load your beer to the right corner (as seen from handlebar pushing position).. you can't overload the right side.. if you stick enough weight in the left corner (without counterbalance), you could get it to tip... so some common sense will still need to be employed.. .... From the outside looking in, I thought these things would ride much worse than they do, but they really work fine and their utility in many situations can really shine.
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Old 03-07-11, 08:19 PM   #8
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If I am not doing what BruceMetras suggested (since I run my Brompton more on an E configuration than with fenders or rear rack), I clip a messenger's bag band on my saddle rails and have my Brompton hanging from my shoulders behind my back, almost like Chewbacca and his bandoleer in Star Wars or something else...

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Old 03-08-11, 09:43 AM   #9
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Any folder which can stand on its own (without having to put it down after pushing it along) will be pretty good for shopping. I think my Downtube 8H with the hanger/stand under the BB is just as good as the Brompton in this regard.

However, the tikit is not a good design for this. I asked Bike Friday if they would make a stand to hold up the folded bike (ie not with the push grip at ankle level) and they said no. Perhaps one could add a rear wheel axle stand to do the job? This one allows quick deployment for small wheels and can be rotated around the axle nuts for proper orientation:
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Old 03-08-11, 01:30 PM   #10
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I have had no issues shopping with a BF Tikit with a front pannier. Even in narrow aisles it's been good.

My older Giant Halfway wasn't horrible for shopping, but I found that I left it in a nice corner of the store more often than not. Contrast that with the Tikit which I rarely leave behind.

Chucky's point of laying the bike down hasn't really affected me. I guess it really depends on your usage pattern. When you're shopping do you regularly need both hands to grab the items or can you grab most things with one hand. At any rate, it's never been an issue for me.
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Old 03-08-11, 03:00 PM   #11
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Nobody was denied entry to the store, I see. That's good to know, although I'm not sure it would work in some supermarkets I go to.
I was thinking about folding the bike and putting it at the bottom of the grocery cart, underneath the basket part. Anybody tried that?
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Old 03-08-11, 04:21 PM   #12
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I haven't tried that, lucille, but that might work for some folks. I guess it depends on how big that part of the cart is. I can see some bikes having a hard time fitting.

I have only ever been denied entry into two places. One was a bar with a weird "no bikes" policy even though my bike was folded. The other was an office building that did allow me to bag the bike and enter. I think the bar would have been fine if I had bagged it before entering. I can't recall any other issues.

As to the OPs original questions:

If you're finding the aisles too narrow or that you are needing both hands regularly... I suggest asking a store clerk if you can leave the bike near the register. Another option is to see if you can find a spot that is visible to you and out of the way of most customers to leave the bike. I've done this on a couple of shopping excursions. Most store clerks have been more than happy to help. The thing you have going for you there is the novelty of the folding bike. A lot of folks seem to immediately smile when they see them. This makes asking for a favor a lot easier.

--sam
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Old 03-08-11, 05:51 PM   #13
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fold it up and put it in the shopping trolley.
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Old 03-08-11, 09:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Quiwi View Post
So I understand the virtue of being able to bring your bike in anywhere and not having to worry about it. (read: "bike locking case") However, I've been in situations where it was definitely a hassle for me to bring my bike inside and wheel it around with me. I was never asked to leave my bike outside in any of these situations, but the bike was definitely a bit cumbersome to bring around.

The first of the situations is when the aisleways of the store are simply too small for the bike. I've been in store where there was just enough space to very carefully wheel my bike along in the aisle. However, as there were other people also shopping in the store (hardware store in this case) I would not be able to reach the end of the aisle if someone was currently shopping. Additionally, they were not able to pass by me if they needed to find something further down in the aisle.

The other situation is when I'm shopping and am using both of my hands extensively (such as if I am holding a basket or some clothes with one hand and grabbing items with the other) In such a case I'm constantly picking it up and wheeling it before immediately setting it back down on the ground. While it is certainly manageable, it gets to be a bit frustrating at times.

Just wondering if there's any suggestions as to how to handle these situations. In general, I always have a bike lock in my bike just in case I am really required to leave my bike alone for a short period, but so far I've just toughed through it.

Also, a quick question for the tikit owners. I ride in all sorts of weather including the rain and I usually fold my bike before heading into work (or wherever else I'm going). Folding the tikit stem results in a large unpainted opening and on multiple occasions I've gotten drops of water into this section. Any suggestions on any preventative measures?

Thanks!
My folding bikes were in the past (as my former Piccolo shows in the photographs), and in the present always was at my side except for one uncomfortable time. After that, I no longer take a bike everywhere with me. Either I drive or take another form of transport. It is asking for trouble around here and possible loss of the bike.
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File Type: jpg Piccolo Almost In Position To Grab.jpg (102.1 KB, 10 views)
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Old 03-09-11, 10:29 AM   #15
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EWWW the whole house will smell like wet Bike! Seriously I bring my folders inside and it does not smell like wet bike.I can wash them in the kitchen and maintain them.I do not bring them into stores though.ONly once did I do that and it was my smallest folder.

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Old 03-09-11, 12:05 PM   #16
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EWWW the whole house will smell like wet Bike!
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Old 03-09-11, 12:30 PM   #17
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Chucky's point of laying the bike down hasn't really affected me. I guess it really depends on your usage pattern. When you're shopping do you regularly need both hands to grab the items or can you grab most things with one hand. At any rate, it's never been an issue for me.
I guess I could do my shopping with one hand just as I could do it hopping around on one leg, but why would I want to do that if I can avoid it? Especially when loading the goods directly onto your bike it's nice to be able to adjust the weight distribution (ie pick up eggs to put beer underneath, etc). It's also way easier to go through your wallet at the register if you can hold it in one hand and pick through it with the other.
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Old 03-09-11, 04:52 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
Brompton's with rear rack and front carrier bag are pretty well thought out for shopping.. this is the set up I use for grocery or general store shopping... I just use it in the aisles, pushing it ahead of me by the handlebars .. it stands nicely by itself if I have to leave it unattended..

What kind of rack? It looks nice.
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Old 03-10-11, 05:23 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
Brompton's with rear rack and front carrier bag are pretty well thought out for shopping.. this is the set up I use for grocery or general store shopping... I just use it in the aisles, pushing it ahead of me by the handlebars .. it stands nicely by itself if I have to leave it unattended..

There you go...versatility at it's best.

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Old 03-10-11, 08:47 PM   #20
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I guess I could do my shopping with one hand just as I could do it hopping around on one leg, but why would I want to do that if I can avoid it? Especially when loading the goods directly onto your bike it's nice to be able to adjust the weight distribution (ie pick up eggs to put beer underneath, etc). It's also way easier to go through your wallet at the register if you can hold it in one hand and pick through it with the other.
Chucky, I'm just stating my experience. I have no idea why you have problems reaching into your wallet or picking up eggs, but I don't have the same problems. I don't deny that having the use of both hands can be useful just that in my experience I didn't need both hands for the activity of shopping most of the time. If you read my other post in this thread you will see that there are times when I have left the bike with a clerk or in some place I could see. I simply found those times to be rather infrequent. Your mileage obviously varies.
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