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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 04-07-11, 04:25 PM   #1
fmt_biker
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Need some suggestions for a folder

**Edit .. sorry for the lame title ... I hit submit too fast, and cannot figure out to edit the title&&
I have been browsing the internet for folding bikes but am a bit overwhelmed, so I thought I could get a few suggestions from this list and then narrow it down from there.

From my initial research it looks like you can have PICK TWO of:

*Ease/Size of folding
*Good riding dynamics
*Low Price

My needs are pretty specific. I have a eight mile to a station with rolling suburban hills. My my ride shows a total of 400 feet of gain. Then on the other end I have six "drafting table" flat miles to work on a fast bike trail. So doing the math I'm seeing 28 miles of riding per day round trip.

I like to ride briskly and average 15-18 mph on the flats on my current mountain bike with street tires. The bike needs to fold fairly well as BART does not allow bikes past certain stops during the commute hours, also I need to be able to fold it down quickly as not to miss a trail while messing with it. Budget wise I'm I'd like to keep it under $1000, but am flexible.

Can people throw out some suggestions?
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Old 04-07-11, 04:37 PM   #2
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Small fold, light weight and 8 gears http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/2009/curvesl.htm
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Old 04-07-11, 04:40 PM   #3
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This Tikit is a deal on CL http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/2302414239.html
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Old 04-07-11, 05:15 PM   #4
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Every folding bike strikes a slightly different balance between a bunch of requirements, there's often no outright winner. I'm a fan of the Curve SL/XL though I think it makes a lot more sense with Big Apple tyres. . . quite a versatile bike in that it's well-specced, fast and agile, folds pretty small. The wheels seem indestructible. But if you're on crowded trains any bike is going to be problematic, even a Brompton, i.e. if there's no space nothing will be small enough. If there's always space on the trains then a 20" folder could do. I kinda prefer the ride of the Curve SL to my 20" Dahon except on really bad road surfaces (of which there are plenty where I live). . . then the 20" wheels win out. But there's not much in it. . .
Bromptons win in the small fold department but the design makes the bike less versatile in terms of component switches and the base models have very limited gearing.

As a general rule the smaller the wheels the longer the stem/handlepost, resulting in greater flex in that area. Both the Brompton and Curve bikes suffer from this, and that changes the way one has to ride. So if you're counting on using your upper body and pulling on the bars then a 20" Dahon or something similar would be preferable.
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Old 04-07-11, 05:38 PM   #5
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Your height and weight become relevant from this point on, but to transform your bike into a small folded pack (and not miss a trail while messing with it), I suggest 16 inches for the wheels. Since folding it extra-small is not important, I would exclude the Brompton and focus on Bike Friday Tikit and Dahon Curve.

If budget wasn't an issue, I would go with a Tikit. Great, solid bike with fast fold, lots of room for upgrades and longer wheelbase compared to the Dahon.
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Old 04-07-11, 05:53 PM   #6
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I've found the wheelbase isn't an issue with the Curve so long as I'm using a Thudbuster ST.
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