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  1. #1
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    need advice for first folding bike

    HI guys just want some advice after reading the sticky at top and not quite finding what I wanted.

    Im a 5'8" 210lb (need to lose some weight, up from 185 this time last year) rider looking for a folding bike to carry in my car and for easier storage around the house.

    I want a full sized bike

    I could spend around 1K on this but obviously less is better but I dont want junk either.
    dont think I could go much higher than that.

    A couple years ago I bought a hybrid bike pretty cheap $300-400 and I rode a lot and lost some weight. This year ive been just unhappy with that bike, I guess it was boring and I was super depressed and just didnt ride as much.
    Im looking for a bike that will be a step up and more interesting and fun.
    I mostly ride on paved trails but could ride on rodes in the future...and there is one trail here in StL that is gravel that I would like to ride in the future.
    I dont think I will be doing any seriously mountain biking any time soon at my weight and I cannot commute to work due to my job.
    I mostly bike for health, weight loss and fun.

    ive been looking at Montague bikes online (there are none here to test)
    and im wondering if I should go with a Paratrooper (or paratrooper pro), a Montague Fit or just get a cheap one and sell the components and build a bike around the frame.


    The paratrooper is very interesting and a good price but I worry that its not the best suited for the kind of riding im looking at.

    the fit looks very interesting but im afraid that it wont work well on the gravel nature trail

    and building one would be fun, but im worried it would be more expensive in the long run and I dont have a whole lot of knowledge (though I could follow instruction)


    any thoughts or suggestions?

    edit: there isnt much on ebay or craigslist here
    but these is a Schwinn Montague folding bike up there but I dont know anything about those. for 400


    Im thinking of giving my gf my Voyager and having her ride with me sometimes for fun on the days we are both off.
    She is about my height but her legs are much longer then mine.

    Right now what I ride is Grants Trail (I think about 16 miles round trip) and Creve Coeur Lake trail is anyone is familiar with the area. No huge hills or anything off road, though I would like to do the Katy trail here which is kind of loose gravel.
    Id be open to a non folding bike but it would be much easier to keep it stored at the house if its folded, there really isnt a lot of room.
    But I do want a bike that I can grow with, last year I was out 3-4 times a week and id like to get back into that. I dont want to get a bike that in a year or two I wont care for either. I know my price range isnt that great but I dont think I can justify a 2K bike either with where im at.
    Last edited by jealousblues; 09-02-11 at 03:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    hello

    Sure you want a full size bike? All the fun ones are 20"..

    Small wheels are stronger than big wheels, IGH wheels are stronger than der geared wheels.

    The big folders are not so much discussed here, but if you wait you could be lucky. Did you search the forum for info on the bikes you mentioned?
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  3. #3
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    Of course I am biased .... but I would suggest two choices ...
    1 Dahon Espresso the blue newer version with the big apples cost os 550 dlr and its a nice bike, rides well....
    2 Dahon Jack ... it has only 7 gears....599.00 but all the components are just a little tad more robust and nicer at the same trime. It also has big apples and rides very nice....



    for both you need a allen key to unlock the handlebar for a smaller fold. but better is really to take the front wheel out and just turn the handlebar for flat storage in your car....

    as I said I am biased of course..... AND THOSE PRICES WILL BE WISHFULL THINKING IN THE NEXT 2 weeks.... expect 20 % increase.

    thor

  4. #4
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badmother View Post
    IGH wheels are stronger than der geared wheels.
    Why? Most IGHs with more than three speeds have dish.

  5. #5
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    What's more fun about the smaller bikes?


    I was thinking montague after reading lots of positive things about them and because I don't need a tiny bike just easier to store I also believed that after taking off the wheel there were less adjustments to make.

    The problem with the montague is its difficult to find any reviews of their bikes that sent the paratrooper.
    And I was concerned that that bike was innapropriate for what I'm doing.


    Also its nice that the folding system is quick and doesn't use tools

  6. #6
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jealousblues View Post
    What's more fun about the smaller bikes?


    I don't need a tiny bike
    I think you may be confusing small wheels with a reduced size of bike. Its a common misconception. Many small wheeled folders are equal or larger in cockpit size than some folding MBT sytle 26 inch bikes. Ie bike friday, airamal
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  7. #7
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    im sorry, i just meant I didnt need a bike that would fold up the smallest as I wont use it for commute or on a train ect.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    airamal range or bike friday or paffic reach come to mind at this price level
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by badmother View Post
    All the fun ones are 20"..
    Shhhh...don't say that so loudly...that's a well-kept secret known only to us folder fans.

  10. #10
    Erudite white trash lexm's Avatar
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    At the risk of sounding like a broken record when first-folding-bike-advice threads come up, this sounds like a job for the Swift: Road bike geometry, 406 wheels, a fast and easy (though not the most compact) fold, uses standard components.

    $699 (single speed) or $749 (8-speed derailleur) from Xootr. It can be had in a variety of custom configurations (and prices) from its creator, Peter Reich.

    P.S. I've ridden at Creve Coeur Lake, but not Grant's Trail. The Mrs rode her Swift around Creve Coeur Lake (I was on my Moulton) when we celebrated our wedding anniversary in St Louis in June.
    @AlexeiM on Twitter

  11. #11
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Or a flix?
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  12. #12
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    It all comes down to bike fit! I suspect that the reason you do not like riding your current bike was because it did not fit you well in the first place. So how are the other bikes as well as the Montague make you ride more if you do not address the fitting issue?

  13. #13
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    its just kind of a boringf hybrid bike

    you know?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Russcoles11's Avatar
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    So you want a bike thats fun, you would be interested in trying to fix one up, the folding size doesn't matter. Why not look for a good quality vintage folder? There are plenty of people on this forums that can tell you what's good and what isn't if you need help whilst looking at ebay or craigslist. You may not in the end save any money over the cost of buying some of the bikes suggested but doing up an old bike is a lot of fun and you end up with a bike thats much more fun to ride.
    Take a look at raleightwenty.webs.com for inspiration.

  15. #15
    Canadian Chick Aquakitty's Avatar
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    Well sorry to break it to you but any new bike you get will be just as boring in a few weeks when the initial new shiny wears off. Mind if I make a suggestion? Why not focus on losing the weight, diet change and consistent workouts. The only thing stopping you is your own mind and you will feel much better about yourself. I lost 85 pounds so far and I have gone through a lot of bikes and a lot of excuses before I just said "ok its time to stop making excuses and do this". New bikes do make things more exciting for a bit but it comes down to wanting to ride. I am at the point now where I can have a blast on my 10$ garage sale bike. Just sayin'

  16. #16
    Senior Member Folding-Bikes's Avatar
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    Another worth checking is the Pacific iF Urban

    http://www.pacific-cycles.com/produc...&cat2=4&pid=30

    www.folding-bikes.com
    Pacific Folding bikes on Facebook

  17. #17
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    good advice jealousblues

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquakitty View Post
    Well sorry to break it to you but any new bike you get will be just as boring in a few weeks when the initial new shiny wears off. Mind if I make a suggestion? Why not focus on losing the weight, diet change and consistent workouts. The only thing stopping you is your own mind and you will feel much better about yourself. I lost 85 pounds so far and I have gone through a lot of bikes and a lot of excuses before I just said "ok its time to stop making excuses and do this". New bikes do make things more exciting for a bit but it comes down to wanting to ride. I am at the point now where I can have a blast on my 10$ garage sale bike. Just sayin'
    I hear you
    but ill put it this way, it was the cheapest bike in the shop and I didnt know much about biking or if I would even like it at all when I got it.
    Im a guitar player for a living and I can play on a cheapo $100 guitar all day if I wanted...but I dont. You know?
    Ever since last year when I started getting "serious" about it and going 3-4 times a week I had just wished I hadnt bought that particular bike.


    about the bike fit thing.
    Ive been looking into this and the shops here in stl ive seen suggested are all about $200 or so...and honestly as someone who isnt 135 or the best in shape pro cyclist would that be 'dumb?'
    if that makes sense?

    Its weird because I read a lot on here about trusting bike shops...when in most businesses ive seen its not the best to trust the salesman ;-)

    I want to say thats to everyone so far a big thank you
    im not the most knowledgable and you have done a lot

  19. #19
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    congrats on the anniversary.

    The lake is a nice ride, its a bit far from me (im really close to Grants Trail so I usually default to there)


    if you are ever in stl and bored look up my band www.griffinandthegargoyles.com and say 'hi'

  20. #20
    Senior Member rkokish's Avatar
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    I second that motion. 25lbs is a lot of weight gain for one year and it sounds like your inexpensive hybrid is at least as capable as you are right now. Even if you spend 3 grand on it, a new bike won't be THAT different unless it's a unicycle. (Actually, a UNIcycle isn't a BIcycle, so it wouldn't count.)

    You probably ought to take a serious look at your life, your commitments and your priorities first and buy the new bike later, to mark having brought your height/weight ratio inside the normal range and riding at least 1000 miles a year on the bike you already have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquakitty View Post
    Well sorry to break it to you but any new bike you get will be just as boring in a few weeks when the initial new shiny wears off. Mind if I make a suggestion? Why not focus on losing the weight, diet change and consistent workouts. The only thing stopping you is your own mind and you will feel much better about yourself. I lost 85 pounds so far and I have gone through a lot of bikes and a lot of excuses before I just said "ok its time to stop making excuses and do this". New bikes do make things more exciting for a bit but it comes down to wanting to ride. I am at the point now where I can have a blast on my 10$ garage sale bike. Just sayin'
    Ron Kokish
    Carbondale, CO

  21. #21
    Senior Member rkokish's Avatar
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    Okay - if you absolutely gotta have that new bike now, Bike Friday (IMHO the BMW of folding bikes) is selling a used New World Tourist (NWT) that will do everything you require and way, way more for about $1100. People have gone around the world on NWT's. The link is:

    http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/pre-loved

    It's the second bike on the list (today). Further down the list there's a brand new Pocket Sport for $1185, marked down because the frame model has been discontinued. You might be better off with that one, because they have one in a 52 cm (effective) frame size. Not sure how big the tourist is. If you are interested, a BF sales consultant will help you consider sizing over the phone and will not, in my opinion, try selling you anything you don't want or that she/he thinks is wrong for you.

    These are excellent, hand built (in the USA) bikes made for serious riders. Beware that buying one and not giving it the exercise it deserves is a crime in some states and a sin anywhere on the planet.
    Ron Kokish
    Carbondale, CO

  22. #22
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    Hi
    I saw this post on bikeforums and would love to what did you end up buying?
    and how was your experience?
    I have been eyeing the paratrooper pro as my first folding bike, but have not pulled the trigger yet, did you buy it? how did you like it?
    I would appreciate any advice


    Thanks
    David

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