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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 01-11-12, 09:27 AM   #1
NWS Alpine
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Abnormal attention from train riders when using a folding bike

I started bi-modal commuting this year and it's so much fun and stress free ditching the I95 bumper to bumper traffic. Anyways it's getting to be really annoying with everyone asking tons of questions about the bike.

The weirdest was today when an older lady in her late 40s asked if she could touch my bike after saying it was really cool. She started rubbing my seat and the tubes slowly and thought she was going to.. yeah it was weird. Then came the question of how much it was. How do you guys answer this question on a train fully of sketchy people. My canned response is they start at a couple hundred dollars. This time I added "They start at a couple hundred dollards and go up to a couple thousand for some models". At that point about 4-5 people turned around and looked at my bike. I'm glad it was in the morning at not at night because they had that look like they wanted my bike

Most of the bikes on the trains are really beat and spray painted since they are either stolen or trying to prevent them form being stolen. Glad I don't need to lock mine anywhere as I just carry it everywhere when needed.
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Old 01-11-12, 09:40 AM   #2
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You just get used to the constant questions. It's one of the perks of folder ownership!

As to the price question, I usually tell the person (if they are giving off dodgey vibe) that I bought it second hand, so I don't know what they cost new. This helps give the impression that the bike is old and therefore less desirable.
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Old 01-11-12, 10:21 AM   #3
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Yeah good point. I can say it's used or I got it as a gift.
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Old 01-11-12, 10:42 AM   #4
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My stock answer on what is the value of my bikes, is either "less than a cheap used car" or if the right crowd, "less than a week's payment on a new Ferrari"

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Old 01-11-12, 01:20 PM   #5
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I'm not one to take jabs at people who drives cars. I acutally just sold my 6 series BMW and bought a brand new 2012 Ford Edge Sport. It's my weekend ride. Carries my paddleboards and golf clubs.
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Old 01-11-12, 04:30 PM   #6
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an older lady in her 40's.....
carefull now ...lol a lot of my customers are pretty fit 40 year old :-)

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Old 01-11-12, 04:40 PM   #7
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I get a lot of comments on another thing. The old trike with the dog. Some think it should be valuable.

I say they are not collectable, and most people are not interested in them so it's not worth much. That seems to satisfy everyone.
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Old 01-11-12, 05:36 PM   #8
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an older lady in her 40's.....
carefull now ...lol a lot of my customers are pretty fit 40 year old :-)

thor
Late 40's was a generous guess. I'm only 25
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Old 01-11-12, 05:37 PM   #9
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I get a lot of comments on another thing. The old trike with the dog. Some think it should be valuable.

I say they are not collectable, and most people are not interested in them so it's not worth much. That seems to satisfy everyone.
That's a sweet setup!
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Old 01-11-12, 05:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
an older lady in her 40's.....
carefull now ...lol a lot of my customers are pretty fit 40 year old :-)

thor
Exactely! I was going to give him a really hard time on this one. I`d not stop at rubbing his seat if I got hold of him..
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Old 01-11-12, 06:27 PM   #11
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Only time I got extra attention was late one evening when I got on the subway with my folder (Bike Friday) and towing a trailer carrying my kayak after doing some paddling on the bay. The train was pretty empty when I got on, but a few stops down was the station for the baseball stadium and apparently a game had just ended. So the moment the doors open this horde of people storms into the train and I got some nasty looks for the amount of space I was occupying. Just bad timing.
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Old 01-11-12, 06:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWS Alpine View Post
I'm not one to take jabs at people who drives cars. I acutally just sold my 6 series BMW and bought a brand new 2012 Ford Edge Sport. It's my weekend ride. Carries my paddleboards and golf clubs.
Who's jabbing? Cars is expensive...I know. Got my dually up for sale, it was only driven 4500 miles last year, 3 more trucks on the property. Plan to use the ill gotten gains to purchase a new bike.

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"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 01-11-12, 08:45 PM   #13
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IThen came the question of how much it was.
I've been asked the same question. I just say one word. Ebay.

You don't have to say nothing more. It works!
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Old 01-11-12, 09:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWS Alpine View Post
I started bi-modal commuting this year and it's so much fun and stress free ditching the I95 bumper to bumper traffic. Anyways it's getting to be really annoying with everyone asking tons of questions about the bike.

The weirdest was today when an older lady in her late 40s asked if she could touch my bike after saying it was really cool. She started rubbing my seat and the tubes slowly and thought she was going to.. yeah it was weird. Then came the question of how much it was. How do you guys answer this question on a train fully of sketchy people. My canned response is they start at a couple hundred dollars. This time I added "They start at a couple hundred dollards and go up to a couple thousand for some models". At that point about 4-5 people turned around and looked at my bike. I'm glad it was in the morning at not at night because they had that look like they wanted my bike

Most of the bikes on the trains are really beat and spray painted since they are either stolen or trying to prevent them form being stolen. Glad I don't need to lock mine anywhere as I just carry it everywhere when needed.
I don't know your location so I cannot give a better answer. But if you live in a large anonymous urban center (large city) like I do, I would worry about a possible (I stress a possibility only) bike jack-a forced separation of the bike out of your presence while your hands or bum is on it. While that is not a likely occurrence, I still err on the conservative side and don't discuss the price or price range of folding bikes-or anything of monetary value at all-in a stranger's presence. What I do is simply tell them the name(s) of the bike shops that have folding bikes, that it is a gift from my father who is deceased (that is very true), and I simply don't know how much it cost. And not locking it up like those other bikes and keeping it in your presence at all times it the secret weapon against bike thievery ranging from the casual opportunistic grabber to a all out assault by a professional tool carrying type.

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Originally Posted by NWS Alpine View Post
Late 40's was a generous guess. I'm only 25
By the way, I don't let anyone touch-or paw in your own case-my bike while out as I treat it like I do my purse or briefcase. I consider it an valuable extension of my own person if you will. The "older" lady seems to take a liking to this particular extension of your person.

Generous guess? Well, I am a bit older than your admirer. It is a real "cold shower" reality check moment and a reminder for me to read a, well, honest description by another younger person as to being not exactly young anymore.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 01-11-12 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 01-12-12, 03:11 AM   #15
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coincidentally, i took my folder out in public transportation for the very first time today. i rode from my house to the redondo beach metro train station (about 5 miles) and then rode the train for 4 stops, got on a bus, got off about 2 miles from work, rode to work.

i got a lot of attention too. in the morning it wasn't too bad because people were busy, etc. but i did get a lot of people saying stuff like "that's cool man" and i overheard a lot of people talking amongst themselves "yo, check that out..."

however, on the way home one of the slightly sketchier looking fellows did approach and ask about the bike. he just kept saying how it looks like there's a lot of engineering and looks complicated, etc. he asked "how much are those? like $1500?" this is a dude who was just grabbing stuff out of the trash can a few minutes ago. i just said "nah...they start at like $200 and go up...this one was like $600" and he just said "oh ok" and eventually left.

i guess it just comes with the territory.

these people all thought the bike was so cool and they didn't even know the best part about it...mine has a freaking hub motor and runs on batteries! i didn't get around to telling anyone that and they couldn't tell.

it was nice taking it into the train, bus, etc. but it also took me about 2 hours door to door each way to/from work today. it usually takes me about 1 hour (16 mile commute each way) so i don't think i'll be doing this train/bus thing anymore.
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Old 01-13-12, 12:33 PM   #16
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Response - "a gift from my parents to help me lose weight". Bad bad to infiltrate the real costs of the good bikes.
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Old 01-14-12, 12:12 PM   #17
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it was nice taking it into the train, bus, etc. but it also took me about 2 hours door to door each way to/from work today. it usually takes me about 1 hour (16 mile commute each way) so i don't think i'll be doing this train/bus thing anymore.
The first time I did a multi-modal commute and it took me roughly twice as long as a car commute, I thought I wouldn't do it anymore either. Then I remembered how nice it was to arrive at work stress free and completely energized to start the day. I found myself riding the bike and train more often than not.
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