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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 09-05-11, 08:54 AM   #1
petaleeh
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Folding bike for small person?

Hi All

Im after some advice. I am on a limited budget (pref <$500) and looking to get a folding bike with 20inch wheels. Was thinking maybe a Nova Downtube or Origin-8 (they have these in a shop close to where i am so will take for a test ride this week).

It will mainly be used for commuting.

I'm only 4"11 and 50 kgs, so pretty small. I know some of the bikes say they are suitable down to 4"8, but interested to know if any other littlies are happy with the ride. Would love to be able to afford a custom petite Bike Friday, but way out of my price range

Which would be the better option? What are the negatives?!

Thanks!
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Old 09-05-11, 09:01 AM   #2
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Welcome. Where are you located? How far is the commute? Flat or hilly terrain?
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Old 09-05-11, 09:13 AM   #3
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My wife is 5' and change and rides a Raleigh 20 just fine. Not familiar with the two models you listed, however a couple of things to look for: Can you tilt the handle bars front or back to adjust for reach and are you comfortable on the bike? Also see how easy it is to handle folded. They both weigh about the same, but that doesn't mean they will balance the same when folded.

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Old 09-05-11, 10:54 AM   #4
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Thor is a Dahon dealer and a regular here on the forums and he has a part that is called a aber hallo that attaches to the stem and can bring the handlebars closer or farther away depending what is needed. http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/technical/aberhallo.htm
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Old 09-05-11, 11:03 AM   #5
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My youngest is 11 and < 5 feet... her new bike is an R20.
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Old 09-05-11, 11:06 AM   #6
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You can also move the seat forward from 'centre' a couple of inches to increase your reach if need be;
Actually - Depending on the kind of seat-post (or seat-clip) it's even sometimes possible to rotate the seat-post 180 and position the saddle even further forward (this is done 'as standard' on a Brompton with a little extra part);

I would imagine you'll be fine though - the 'cockpit' (ie distance between seat and bars) on most folding bikes is usually pretty accommodating.

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Old 09-05-11, 11:07 AM   #7
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Cheap! http://www.roadbikeoutlet.com/comfor...ke-avanti.html
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Old 09-05-11, 03:25 PM   #8
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Thanks, nice forum
I'm in Davis CA. So very flat, no hills.
My normal commute would only be 10-20 mins ride. I wouldn't be looking to ride for much longer than that around town.
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Old 09-05-11, 03:27 PM   #9
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Looking up the Raleigh 20 now!
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Old 09-05-11, 03:37 PM   #10
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Looking up the Raleigh 20 now!
Use your back button before its too late! Its a cult. A very dangerous and expensive cult.
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Old 09-05-11, 03:43 PM   #11
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Looking up the Raleigh 20 now!
Just a heads up they are vintage and addictive...Sixtyfiver has at least 4 I have 4, plus 3 more folders.

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"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
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Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 09-05-11, 03:56 PM   #12
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With any bicycle you need to determine what you are going to do with it... for all their positives like their great ride and handling Raleigh Twentys (we have 4 and a non folding Saffron) they are heavier bikes, require a few upgrades to bring them up to snuff for daily riding, and are not a really compact folding bike.

I do believe they set a very high standard for toughness and ride quality so if your needs are for a smaller bike that can handle the rigors of daily urban riding with less need of a compact fold a Twenty might be a good choice.

This one arrived yesterday... have already upgraded the brake pads, tyres, and changed the front wheel to an alloy one to improve braking and will eventually rebuild the wheels so they are both alloy as the stock steel wheels offer very poor braking.



My other 20 has been hyper modified (I work as a frame builder) to serve as a separable touring bike and has spent a lot of time under the torch... this was an extreme makeover and have yet to powdercoat the frame and re-install the fenders and racks.

I would expect that if one wanted a vintage folder like a 20 that $500.00 is more than enough to acquire a nice example and have the needed upgrades done and then they become really great bikes.
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Old 09-05-11, 03:57 PM   #13
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Use your back button before its too late! Its a cult. A very dangerous and expensive cult.
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Old 09-05-11, 04:06 PM   #14
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Haha might be difficult for me to find one in short notice. I just walked into town which nearl killed me, so I'll have to try and at least order a bike this week. Will let you know how the origin8 rides tomorrow - it is probably not a brilliant bike -copy of a dahon I think - but it is the only one I can find on hand around Davis. Selling for about $375.

The Avanti looks alright for the cheap price, also looking at the citizen Gotham...and I think I just saw another thread on those.....be right back
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Old 09-05-11, 04:17 PM   #15
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I know it's outside your budget, but I've seen primary school girls (8 or 10 years) on Bromptons.

This was of course in Kensington, a famously rich part of London (think Peter Pan and nannies, though you won't see either there now).
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Old 09-05-11, 04:21 PM   #16
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http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/2579975570.html
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Old 09-05-11, 04:23 PM   #17
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Great deal on this http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/bik/2581082853.html
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Old 09-05-11, 04:25 PM   #18
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Yeah, if I fell over some more money I'd go a Brompton or Bike Friday....maybe next time. It is only my first folder, so plenty of time to become obsessed with them!
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Old 09-05-11, 04:30 PM   #19
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Thanks for the links
The Raleigh is pick up only, and I have no car yet but might give them a call about the Dahon.

I have just been looking at the citizen gothams though, and I really like the look of them...uh oh.
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Old 09-05-11, 04:34 PM   #20
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The MuXl has a 8 speed. Here is a description of the MuXl http://us.dahon.com/bikes/2894/mu-xl-sport
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Old 09-05-11, 04:49 PM   #21
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$300.00... that is a steep price for a 20.
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Old 09-05-11, 04:49 PM   #22
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Thanks, nice forum
I'm in Davis CA. So very flat, no hills.
My normal commute would only be 10-20 mins ride. I wouldn't be looking to ride for much longer than that around town.
For a short ride in flat terrain you almost certainly don't need anything more than a well considered single speed, so don't let these crazies talk you into getting anything more than that, except maybe if you find one of the many 3 speeds that are around, but only if it was at a very attractive price.
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Old 09-05-11, 04:51 PM   #23
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$300.00... that is a steep price for a 20.
I agree and the only one I could find. Even up this way I am starting to see them in the $250 range.
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Old 09-05-11, 05:00 PM   #24
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$300.00... that is a steep price for a 20.
They are starting to escalate in price. I have watched several go for close to that on Ebay that weren't all that clean. Probably should have scooped up a bunch a few years back at the $100 price tag, would have been a better investment than my money market account


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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 09-05-11, 05:06 PM   #25
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I agree and the only one I could find. Even up this way I am starting to see them in the $250 range.
This cult following may be driving up prices in some quarters... purchased my daughter's British variant in mint shape for $100.00 last year while my wife's uber mint 20 cost me $40.00 a few years before that and bought 2 well used but solid Phillip's 20's for $60.00.

Have sold 20's for $300.00 plus but that was after I did a lot of upgrading and the higher price was due to the cost of the hand built wheels and other upgrades.

A nice basic 20 should not cost more than $200.00 and maybe $250.00 in some markets like Portland where used bike prices are very high... and a 20 is not even that good a bike to have in such a rainy city unless it has had some significant upgrades.

My wife has had many people ask her if she would sell her Twenty... she tells them that she would take no less than $1000.00.. it was a gift from me while we were dating so has extra sentimental value.
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