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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 12-12-04, 05:10 PM   #1
lobo
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Anyone here buy a folding bike but could careless about folding it?

I have to admit I have a little obsession with these little guys. I already have a really great bike and my wife would kill me if I bought another. But I can't help but love these bikes - even if I would never take advantage of their folding abilities. Kind of like how some people take to the VW New Beetle or Mini-Cooper. So far my favorite is the Dahon Vitesse 3. It just seems like an evolution of the English 3-speed.

Anyone else in the same boat?
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Old 12-12-04, 06:46 PM   #2
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Nope. Count me out. I definitely would fold it.

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Old 12-13-04, 10:40 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
Nope. Count me out. I definitely would fold it.
I would fold in early position, but probably check if I was far off the button and there was only one raise in front of me.

Oh, sorry... I momentarily got this forum confused with another one I frequent.

Anyway, I only fold my Dahon about half the time, I'd say. Sometimes I'll carry it up the stairs and put it in my office unfolded, and I'll often leave it unfolded when I take it home (I'll probably be riding it the next day, so it's not always worth even the small amount of effort needed to fold it up). Of course, if company's coming over and I need to make the place look presentable, I'll fold it up and stash it in the corner.

But I guess the question is, would I buy a 20" bike that didn't fold in the first place? Hmmmm... I've never ridden a fixed-frame 20-incher, and there are benefits to the smaller wheels apart from their compactness that might be a factor. But in the end, it probably wouldn't be worth the gawking.
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Old 12-13-04, 11:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobo
I have to admit I have a little obsession with these little guys. I already have a really great bike and my wife would kill me if I bought another. But I can't help but love these bikes - even if I would never take advantage of their folding abilities. Kind of like how some people take to the VW New Beetle or Mini-Cooper. So far my favorite is the Dahon Vitesse 3. It just seems like an evolution of the English 3-speed.

Anyone else in the same boat?
This is the reason why I have not purchased another folding bike. The commuter trains and subways all allow full size bikes during the weekends so there is no reason for me to buy another folder. In fact, I purchased 2 folders when I really only needed one! If there is no reason to fold, then you should always buy a full size bike. Since I don't bring the bike inside trains during rush hour anymore, I could sell my folders and probably never miss them. But for those who have limited space (boats, airplands) or use it inconjunction with commuting (train, bus) the folder is necessary.
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Old 12-13-04, 12:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
If there is no reason to fold, then you should always buy a full size bike.
There are some knowledgable people who would probably disagree with you on that point.
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Old 12-13-04, 02:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by eff-J
There are some knowledgable people who would probably disagree with you on that point.

From the Article:

5. Does it fold?

No - this is a no-compromise high-performance bike, quite unlike any folding bicycle.

The Alex Moulton does not fold and for a good reason. The folding bike is all about compromise and even Moulton knows this. As someone who rides a 16 and 20 inch wheel folder, there are several compromises that come with the smaller wheel. The Moulton is a nice bicycle but for the price of a "New Series", you could buy a top of the line Lightspeed! The Moulton will never ride as nice as a bike with 700 cc wheels which is why it needs both front and rear suspension.
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Old 12-13-04, 05:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
The Alex Moulton does not fold and for a good reason. The folding bike is all about compromise and even Moulton knows this. As someone who rides a 16 and 20 inch wheel folder, there are several compromises that come with the smaller wheel. The Moulton is a nice bicycle but for the price of a "New Series", you could buy a top of the line Lightspeed! The Moulton will never ride as nice as a bike with 700 cc wheels which is why it needs both front and rear suspension.
I'm afraid you missed my point. You had claimed that, if you don't need a bike to fold, you should always get a "full sized" (i.e., 26" or 700cc) bike. My "oh yeah?!" sensor goes off whenever anyone tosses off absolutes like "never" or "always". So I merely pointed out that, according to Moulton, that's just not true. I specifically mentioned Moultons precisely because they weren't folders, and thus were counter-examples to your argument, at least according to the guy that made them.

Moultons use smaller wheels for their inherent advantages, while incorporating suspension to make up for their disadvantages. The idea is that this is not some sort of compromise because they were unable to incorporate larger wheels--this was an intentional design decision. As a portions of the page you didn't quote mention:

"The small wheels are an essential feature of the Moulton concept. They offer many advantages... It's not just as good as a conventional bicycle, it's better. Owners of Moulton bicycles report that after using the Moulton for a week, they never want to ride conventional bicycles again."

Now, is this really true? You got me. Which is why I defer to Moulton's web page instead of giving my own opinion. I think it's an intriguing idea that a small-wheeled bike could, when unburdened by the need to fold, be designed to ride better than a full-sized bike, but I've never ridden one of them. Have you? If so, how do they compare to similarly-sized folders?
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Old 12-14-04, 07:47 AM   #8
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Several speed records were long held by Moulton riders, demonstrating that from a pure speed standpoint small wheels are not necessarily a compromise. It should also be pointed out that many current human power speed records were set on recumbents with small wheels.

Full size road bikes do offer better value than their small wheeled brethren but that has more to do with economies of scale.

So let's talk physics, what are the advantages and disadvantages of small wheels as compared to large wheels?
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Old 12-15-04, 02:53 PM   #9
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Count me out too. The ONLY reason I bought a folder was to take it with me (my full size bike won't fit at all.)
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Old 12-16-04, 05:15 AM   #10
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I ride for exercise and love my Giant Halfway. I bought it because it's a folder but now even for riding around watching birds etc. I prefer the Halfway more than my Klein Performance road bike or my Klein Attitude mtb. Why? I love the little Halfway with the same reason that I love my Honda subcompact or used to love my Vespa scooter. Small is beautiful.
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Old 12-16-04, 06:52 PM   #11
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I bought my folder(s) because they look cute and enable me to feel less like all the other people on their 700cc specialized and ridgeback hybrids on the way to work.

Tragic Individualist you see.
Folding is nice but I don't really need it...
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