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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 01-09-12, 05:12 AM   #1
garethzbarker
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Can you get me started?

Hi, I don't know much about folding bikes but I'm hoping you can help me getting started on some models to look at. I ride a road bike and a surly touring rig in korea. You can't put bikes on most buses and you aren't supposed to use bikes on the subways except sunday. I'm thinking of selling my mountain bike and getting a folding bike. Here's what I'm after:

Gear range: Korea is 70% mountains. I used my lowest gears all the time on my touring bike. A lot of the really cool looking folding bikes I've seen don't seem to have that kind of gear range.
Comfort: I can't stand an uncomfortable bike. Both my bikes have brooks saddles. Comfort is always more important to me than speed.
Pannier space: I don't plan on doing a fully loaded tour but I could see myself throwing my small panniers on a folding bike for some weekend camping.
Folding: I don't really care how fast the bike folds so this is the lowest importance. I just want it to fold up so I can use public transport and it would be nice if it fit in a cardboard box for a flight.
Price: around 1500$ I know it's hard to know b/c bikes cost more in korea but just around that price or lower would probably be what I'd want to spend.
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Old 01-09-12, 05:22 AM   #2
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a birdy could be a good candidate
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Old 01-09-12, 06:36 AM   #3
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yep they do sell those here and I've seen bike friday and dalhon and bromptons. I met a foldable bike club at the subway station and saw a whole plethora of bikes I have to admit I liked the look of the birdy and the bike fridays the most.
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Old 01-09-12, 06:41 AM   #4
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By the way, since the tires are 20', the low gears should be lower right?
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Old 01-09-12, 06:57 AM   #5
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they're usually geared higher to be pretty close to full sized bikes.
not that they can't be configured to be suited to climbing.
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Old 01-09-12, 08:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garethzbarker View Post
By the way, since the tires are 20', the low gears should be lower right?
You can decide this yourself after you buy the bike if you like all but the gearing. My folders are geared for climbing hills and pulling trailers.

On some bikes the frameshape can restrict the size sprockets and chainrings you can fit. Do you want der or IGH gearing?
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Old 01-09-12, 11:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
By the way, since the tires are 20', the low gears should be lower right?
FWIW I have the same IG hub .. with a 16t cog in a 26" wheel the chainring is a 39.
when in a 20" wheel the chain ring is a 53t.

gear inch sizes are pretty much the same...

so smaller chainring lowers the gear
NB IG Hubs have a torque limitations
on the low side, because they have reduction gears in them .

there can be too much..

SA 8 speed is an unusual one
the gear by way of chainring , a 30t, hub cog a 19, 21 or 23t.

the other 7 gears are overdrive..
It seems 20" wheels are what they had in mind..

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-09-12 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 01-09-12, 04:00 PM   #8
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Yeah a Birdy is a good suggestion. The chainring is replacable (on the model I bought) so you could swap it for a smaller ring should the range be too high. You would need to fit chain guards to suit on both sides.



Above is the Birdy on a fully loaded tour with me carrying all the camping gear for 2 people plus all the other needed stuff.
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Old 01-09-12, 10:08 PM   #9
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I've always used a der but I'm open to igh. if there was ever a good place to have one it seems like that would be a foldable. Jur that's a nice looking bike! I just looked at a thread on here I guy made with a bike friday pocket companion. That one is cheap and has a pretty wide gear range as well. I think I'll go see if they stock the PC in Seoul and check out a shop that sells birdys. It would be nice to test them out.
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