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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 08-17-11, 10:46 AM   #1
thedave80
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bike for deployments

I'm getting ready to go spend 6 months in the desert, good times. I want to take a bike with me and I think a folding bike would be a great option. So I have been doing some research and would love some advice

What i'm looking for is simplicity, durability, and being able to survive being hauled halfway around the globe and back. So i'm looking single speed, coaster brake, and minimal additions. It needs to be able to fit my 6'3" and 220 lbs, and ideally i'd like to spend less than $400

So far what i've found that looks interesting are the dahon boardwalk S1, the dahon speed uno, and the citizen bikes gotham 1. From what i've been able to find the boardwalk is a little on the weak side and the citizen bikes have weak hinges. The speed uno looks like a real good option but I want to make sure i'm not missing anything.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-17-11, 11:08 AM   #2
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I'm a Viet Nam era Veteran, sorry, about your being used that way.. .


I'd contact Jan at Human Powered Machines,. in Eugene, he makes
a version of the Swift, its a small shop, and can tweak the bike specs as it's built for your
size and weight.
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Old 08-17-11, 01:56 PM   #3
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I called up citizen about the miami bike... they said max of 6'2 and less weight than you are for their bikes. It was strange they don't sell an extended seat post just in case. You could always pick up a raleigh twenty which are built like a tank but I'm unsure how compact you're trying to fold up to.
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Old 08-17-11, 04:06 PM   #4
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Sand and chains don't play well together. Maybe you should consider a belt drive? Otherwise, it might makes sense to pack a spare chain.
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Old 08-17-11, 05:10 PM   #5
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Pick up a used bike from a soldier thats returning home, it be cheap like $30 or something, it will not be a quality bike but you in the desert, beggars cannot be choosers.
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Old 08-17-11, 05:14 PM   #6
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Raleigh Twenty, or Motague/Hummer.
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Old 08-17-11, 05:37 PM   #7
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Raleigh Twenty, or Motague/Hummer.
I vote for the Raleigh Twenty. The Montague is a nice bike, but it has an Aluminum frame, which is a real pain to fix far from home. Steel frames were popular during WW 2. My uncle used that sort of bike during his deployment in the UK.
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Old 08-20-11, 11:45 PM   #8
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thank you guys for the ideas, I appreciate it. I looked into the raleigh 20 but it looks to be a bit on the large side and I think thats going to knock it out of the running. As far as finding a bike there well thats not a bad idea but BX bikes are a shade worse than wal-mart and a used one of those isn't very appealing.

So it seems that short of spending close to a grand the best and seemingly most durable options are the dahon boardwalk and speed uno. I got to ride the boardwalk and I was impressed by how it felt but i'm still concerned from what i've heard that it's not that durable. I keep leaning towards the speed uno but i've still gor a couple months before I have to make a decision.

Thanks again folks, your advice has been very helpful
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Old 08-21-11, 12:12 AM   #9
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This sounds like a job for one of those long and thin Stridas, single speed, belt drive, ok on size ????
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Old 08-21-11, 12:19 AM   #10
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Steel frames were popular during WW 2. My uncle used that sort of bike during his deployment in the UK.
Steel is always a popular choice during war time, gives an added sense of security, plus of course in the UK we melted down all our aluminium saucepans to make Spitfires, there was no allocation for bicycle frames, not that anyone had thought of making bicycle frames from aluminium at that time - or did they ?
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Old 08-21-11, 09:29 AM   #11
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So it seems that short of spending close to a grand the best and seemingly most durable options are the dahon boardwalk and speed uno. I got to ride the boardwalk and I was impressed by how it felt but i'm still concerned from what i've heard that it's not that durable. I keep leaning towards the speed uno but i've still gor a couple months before I have to make a decision.
Just curious, how much spare parts, tools and bike stuff do you plan to take with you?
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Old 08-21-11, 09:43 AM   #12
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The Speed Uno has a plastic guard around the chain.
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Old 08-21-11, 10:22 AM   #13
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Just curious, how much spare parts, tools and bike stuff do you plan to take with you?
spare tires, tubes, helmet, pump, basic tools. I can get oil and grease at work if needed. I'll be able to change the tires and repack the bearings and thats about as far as i'll be able to get into things there.
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Old 08-21-11, 10:28 AM   #14
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Available in Tacoma http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/bik/2553181068.html

In Burien http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/2558187581.html
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Old 08-21-11, 09:45 PM   #15
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Montague. I've had one for six years and ride in the sand, mud, and dirt. Frame is tough to hurt. The rest of the bike is mostly off the shelf stuff. Little expensive with your $400 in mind. I'm 5'9" and should have gotten the larger frame. Was available from AAFES last I checked.
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Old 08-21-11, 10:09 PM   #16
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Montague. I've had one for six years and ride in the sand, mud, and dirt. Frame is tough to hurt. The rest of the bike is mostly off the shelf stuff. Little expensive with your $400 in mind. I'm 5'9" and should have gotten the larger frame. Was available from AAFES last I checked.
I never even considered AAFES, they do have it. The boston looks really interesting. I don't know about being able to carry it very easily though, do you carry yours folded? Gonna have to look into that, thanks for the tip

They also have another folding bike, a kettler verso cologne 20". I'm about to do more reasearching on that but has anybody heard of that one?
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Old 08-21-11, 11:42 PM   #17
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Hey stud - Remember the old and vital rule...

Don't take anything in the field you cant afford to loose...
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Old 08-22-11, 06:09 PM   #18
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I never even considered AAFES, they do have it. The boston looks really interesting. I don't know about being able to carry it very easily though, do you carry yours folded? Gonna have to look into that, thanks for the tip
Rarely carry anywhere. Few times I've used the local bus there was room in the outside bike rack. Without a bag, I don't think I'd try inside. With a bag, it's just a bag of bike parts.
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Old 08-22-11, 07:12 PM   #19
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BSA, got a contract to make folding bikes for the Paratroops ,
and for the rifles to put on their back.. for
"the war to end all wars"
[yeah right]

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-22-11 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 08-22-11, 07:31 PM   #20
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Used Montauge with a bag in Des Moines http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/2560035585.html
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Old 08-24-11, 05:08 PM   #21
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I hope you are an Officer because i do not know how you will take it with you as enlisted .I think I had 1 seabag when I went to Kuwait maybe 2 but that is it.I was lucky to stay on one base the whole time.You could buy a bike at the exchange once you are in country.
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