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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 08-26-11, 01:58 PM   #1
bluefoxicy
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Montague Boston 8?

I have a GT Tachyon 3.0 2010 model and am considering replacing it with a Montague Boston 8. My main commuter is going to be a Trek Portland, but the MARC train only allows folding bicycles and I imagine some places will allow me to take a folded bike inside when I don't want it parked.

Given this, I've decided that the Tachyon isn't as good a back-up bike as a Boston 8. Thoughts?
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Old 08-29-11, 10:56 AM   #2
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If you're really interested in a bike you're going to take inside places or on Metro/MARC, I'd focus on those with 20" wheels.
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Old 08-30-11, 08:35 AM   #3
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Why 20 inch wheels? The full size seems easy enough for a carry-on...I can fit it in my lap just as easily at least. I figure it'd have better performance than a 20 inch bike, plus better tire selection in the 700c range. I want something comparable in performance (maybe even better) than my current rig.
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Old 08-31-11, 01:07 PM   #4
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Does your transit system allow 700c folders? Ours explicitly states a 20" maximum wheel size for folding bikes. I would have bought a 700c Montague myself (instead of the Swift I'm getting) if my transit system allowed it.
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Old 09-01-11, 10:53 AM   #5
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http://mta.maryland.gov/marc-frequently-asked-questions

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Due to safety concerns, MARC's bicycle policy allows for the transportation of folding bicycles only. There are no designated storage areas for bikes, and they are prohibited from being stored in the overhead racks. However, folding bikes are no longer restricted to those carried in a case. Lockers for bikes are also available at many stations. Call 410-767-8749 for details.
That's all I got.
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Old 09-01-11, 03:11 PM   #6
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Why 20 inch wheels? The full size seems easy enough for a carry-on...I can fit it in my lap just as easily at least. I figure it'd have better performance than a 20 inch bike, plus better tire selection in the 700c range. I want something comparable in performance (maybe even better) than my current rig.
My apologies for the delay bluefoxicy ... I don't visit as often as I once did.

Judging from a bunch of training rides on different bikes, I've always gotten excellent performance out of 20" wheels. It might not be for everyone, but you might as well try it before dismissing it. Moreover, if you get ERTO 406 wheels instead of 451, tire selection is quite good if you look at the folding, recumbent and bmx sites.

You might be surprised how often smaller/lighter is much more convenient in such situations. One, some conductors will simply be a PITA. You may win the argument. You may not. They might invent rules. You might write letters afterward and eventually win. But who really wants to go through the hassle? Two, storage and transportation are that much easier. Typically, the 20" folders can be packed into a standard suitcase with a reasonable amount of effort. So if you ever think about flying or traveling a long enough distance on a train/bus that you want to pack the bike, getting it into a regular suitcase is often a plus. Three, the small wheel folders can often be wheeled while folded (and covered). Avoiding the need to pick up the bike is a big advantage in my experience.

In my opinion, unless you need a really compact fold, I recommend 20" wheels for the great selection of tires and tubes. But some people have a big and strict preference for 26"+ wheels.

I recall that Light Street Cycles carries Dahon. I've only been there twice but ... she was always very nice to travelers and I understand that she runs a great shop. (sorry for the pronoun ... but both times a woman whose name escapes me was running the show. I always assumed she was the owner) Larry Black at Mt. Airy/College Park has a huge selection. Given that they are somewhat close it might be worthwhile to try them out.
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Old 09-04-11, 08:21 AM   #7
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Hmm good point, smaller and lighter seems easier to transport.

I'm the kind of guy that doesn't buy a normal engine ecocar. Mazda3 has the upgraded engine in it; I'd want the 1.8 in a MX-5 Miata; etc. If I got a Mazda6 it'd have to be the V6. A V8 engine at 400HP is cool and all, but not always practical; I just don't like the low end economy boxes that you hit the gas and then check your watch timing how many seconds (i.e. 8 or 9) it takes to reach the 25mph speed limit up a 2% grade. It needs to perform almost like a sports car (my Mazda3 has a sports suspension in it stock, comes standard on the 3S trim).

It's the same with me for folders. Small, light, pack-on, easy carry 11lb bike would be cool. For the most part, though, I'm looking for something I'd reasonably get on and traverse the 15 miles across the city on, on and off road, through ridiculous hills (I've climbed ONE where I had to stand AND force myself down on the pedals HARD in my lowest gear, 30T chainring to 32T rear cog), etc.

In other words, I'm not looking to sacrifice performance or fitness for a purpose. What I want is a full size bike, but they won't let me take that. It's too bad folders don't come in road style with drop bars and all...

That being said, what is your opinion on 20 inch wheel folders for general-purpose commuting and transportation over distances of 6-12 miles?
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Old 09-04-11, 08:52 AM   #8
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Bike Friday builds folders with drop bars. http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/road
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Old 09-06-11, 11:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
It's the same with me for folders. Small, light, pack-on, easy carry 11lb bike would be cool. For the most part, though, I'm looking for something I'd reasonably get on and traverse the 15 miles across the city on, on and off road, through ridiculous hills (I've climbed ONE where I had to stand AND force myself down on the pedals HARD in my lowest gear, 30T chainring to 32T rear cog), etc.

In other words, I'm not looking to sacrifice performance or fitness for a purpose. What I want is a full size bike, but they won't let me take that. It's too bad folders don't come in road style with drop bars and all...

That being said, what is your opinion on 20 inch wheel folders for general-purpose commuting and transportation over distances of 6-12 miles?
I know little about the Montegue 8; but I suspect that it isn't a particularly light bike and that a lot of 20" folders from say ... Dahon will be noticeably lighter. (I think you're joking but in case not ...) But any general purpose folder that comes to mind will be much heavier than 11 lbs.

I'm not in the market for a new folder, but there are folding bikes with drop bars, bull horns, and so on; although I should mention that drop bars almost always have a negative effect on the fold. Especially with wide 20" wheels at lower pressures, smaller wheels do quite well for around town and road riding. Assuming you are who I think you are, I road the Potomac Pedaler Century with a mutual friend on my Bike Friday. I did lots of club rides, commutes, and pulled my kids with the Bike Friday. I have not ridden off-road on anything more serious than a fire road out west in a loooooooong time. So I am a poor source of information on that. There is some adjustment period to riding with a low-trail instead of the high-trail bikes typically sold today. Moreover, it is important to find a bike that fits you well. But the differences from 26" or 20" wheels is pretty small, IMO.

You might find this article interesting.

http://www.hadland.me.uk/page15.html
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Old 09-06-11, 08:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
It's too bad folders don't come in road style with drop bars and all...
You need to learn more about folders.


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That being said, what is your opinion on 20 inch wheel folders for general-purpose commuting and transportation over distances of 6-12 miles?
Folding bikes (good folding bikes, anyway) are just like regular bikes. I've done centuries on my BF, plus loaded bike camping. If you can do 6-12 miles on a full sized bike, you can do it just as easily on the proper folding bike. Ditto for 50 miles. Or 100 miles.

The only thing you can't do (AFAIK) is full suspension hardcore mountain biking.
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Old 09-06-11, 09:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
I have a GT Tachyon 3.0 2010 model and am considering replacing it with a Montague Boston 8. My main commuter is going to be a Trek Portland, but the MARC train only allows folding bicycles and I imagine some places will allow me to take a folded bike inside when I don't want it parked.

Given this, I've decided that the Tachyon isn't as good a back-up bike as a Boston 8. Thoughts?
I like the Boston 8 but it's $1,000.00 dollars! Holy Cow.

The problem with the Boston 8 is that Montague does not look like a folding bike. The fold requires you to carry the front wheel! A conductor may think you're trying to pull one over on them by simply removing the front wheel while trying to board with a full size bike.
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