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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 11-17-11, 08:08 PM   #1
pynchonian
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Montague Boston 8 Review

Here's my first review of a bike, so be kind :-) I received my Montague Boston 8 in the mail three weeks ago, and I've been riding it religiously ever since. Unboxing it took a while. It's well packed in two nested boxes with plenty of padding. It's shipped folded and fully assembled. Once I removed all the cardboard and packing material, I just attached the front wheel and hit the road

First impressions: It's a gorgeous bike. The paint job is matte black and minimal, and it comes with front and rear detachable fenders. The internal hub fits well with the clean lines of the bike's style. Talking the bike out for its maiden voyage, I was surprised to find no flex at all in the ride, despite the folding mechanism. My old Dahon Matrix 2007 had a bit of flex. This bike has none.



Long ride: Taking this bike out for a longer ride, I started from the Union City Bart station and biked to Google Headquarters in Mountain View. It's a great ride that mixes city streets, a park road through a bird sanctuary, and a big hill going over the Dumbarton bridge.



The bike really shines on city streets, and getting around Union City and Palo Alto was a blast. However, the stretch leading up to the Dumbarton bridge is pitted and rough, and the aluminum frame let me feel every bump. In addition, the internal friction in the Nexus hub does slow the bike down. It's not noticeable at slower speeds, but once I got over 20mph, I definitely felt the drag. For most of the ride, I stuck to 5th gear, which showed the least amount of resistance. I'm told there's a "break in" period for internal hubs, so I hope this goes away over time.



Conclusion: This bike is a solid (dare I say perfect?) commuter bike. It's folds when you need it to, but otherwise it's a full-size bike. It's a solid upgrade from my Dahon Matrix 2007, and the 8 speed Shimano Nexus shifter covers more than enough gear range to get me over San Francisco's hills. The drawbacks are that it doesn't fold down very small at all - just enough to fit into a car trunk or a closet. I've had no problem taking it on trains in the bay area, but it's possible someone could call me out for having a full-size bike. The internal friction in the internal hub is another issue, but it's a small sacrifice for reliability.
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Old 11-17-11, 09:48 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by pynchonian View Post
The bike really shines on city streets, and getting around Union City and Palo Alto was a blast. However, the stretch leading up to the Dumbarton bridge is pitted and rough, and the aluminum frame let me feel every bump.
That road east of the Dumbarton bridge is the worst in the entire bay area. I hate it. Rode it once with a Dahon Vitese and the road buzz on the handlebar was painful. Slightly better Moulton TSR and a Brompton S but still not fun. I am glad to hear that it's not because of the small wheels ;-)
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Old 11-18-11, 12:49 AM   #3
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Nice bike and thanks for the review.

Congrats!
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Old 11-19-11, 07:32 AM   #4
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Thanks for the review, very cool looking bike. Tell us more about the weight of the bike and ease of folding.
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Old 12-05-11, 03:42 PM   #5
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Sorry for the late response.

Montague claims that the bike's weight is about 29lbs. I have yet to put it on a scale to test the weight, but it was pretty much the same as my old Dahon, which is listed at 28 lbs. The Boston 8 is all around a larger bike, due to the 700cc wheels, but weight-wise it's more or less the same.

The folding mechanism is much clumsier than Dahon's. My old Dahon could fold in 5 seconds flat, where the Montague folds in about 15-20 seconds once you get good at it. You have to first pull the quick release "Clix" clip which holds the frame in place, pop off the front tire (another "Clix" clip), and fold the bike. I've found I don't need to pull off the front tire to fit the bike into my front closet - just fold it. That seems to save some time. However, if I'm going to put it into the back of a friend's car, I have to take the front tire off.

The trade-off with the folding mechanism is that it's much stiffer and structurally sound than my old Dahon. The Boston 8 frame doesn't have any flex, and I can ride the bike without holding the handlebars - something I would never try with my Dahon due to hinge flex.

I'm still in love with the Boston 8, and the internal hub has certainly loosened up as I've ridden it more. It does get a lot of attention due to its style and unique geometry. When I'm riding on the train with it people tend to ask me a lot of questions and they all want to see me fold it.
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Old 01-10-12, 04:34 PM   #6
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Great to hear. I've been thinking about getting a Montague folding bike for some time. It's nice to know they ride as well as I think they should from the look of them.
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Old 02-01-12, 10:14 PM   #7
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Sweet...

Thanks for the review. I'm seriously considering buying one of these for my new commute to Oakland via BART. I just rode the Boston single speed which was great and think the 8 speed will be a perfect city commuter. I have a Dahon Jack which is kind of bulky and thought the Montague definitely folds down much slimmer. Have you taken it on BART? Any issues? Anyone call you out?
Cheers!
e...
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Old 02-02-12, 02:20 PM   #8
pynchonian
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I've never had an issue on BART, but I also haven't tried taking it on during rush hour through the tunnel. I have a friend who has the crosstown who takes it on Caltrain every day and has never had an issue, so I'm guessing you're pretty safe.

The Jack is a great bike for a commuter, but it's definitely clunkier and heavier than the Boston. I also think the folding mechanism on the Jack makes the bike far less stable.
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Old 10-20-12, 08:27 AM   #9
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Cool bike

Last edited by GPDesign; 10-20-12 at 08:58 AM.
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