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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 02-02-12, 11:59 AM   #1
nsgould
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Newbie needing a little guidance...

Hi everyone! I have recently been bitten by the folding bike bug so to speak. I am currently deployed and was searching for solutions to transport around base and when I get home. My biggest concern at first was shipping a bike to Kuwait and then back home. Of course this is how I found out about foldies.

I have been trying to research all the different bikes out there, including reading many posts here, but I can't find many guides as to what to look for when buying one that helps me. So I come to you now hoping I can get some of your great advice.

Currently I would only be riding 1/2 mile to work and riding for exercise/enjoyment. When I get home it will be used as my main transport around town. I am Approx. 6' tall 200 lbs (hoping to drop about 20 of that by the end of my tour.) The environment is very sandy with some spots of loose gravel. My budget is around $1000 and I am willing to be flexible either way to help cover the initial shipping costs. I am not very bike savvy, but I am very willing to learn the ins and outs of bikes. (I have a decent amount of free time here)

That's about it I guess. I greatly appreciate any advice you guys can give.

Thanks!
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Old 02-02-12, 12:15 PM   #2
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Add some more money and SJS in UK will ship you one of these,
NB they ship worldwide.

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brompton-.../?currency=usd

you won't have to covet better folders then..
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Old 02-02-12, 12:19 PM   #3
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Add some more money and SJS in UK will ship you one of these,
NB they ship worldwide.

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brompton-.../?currency=usd

It looks nice, but the webpage says that you can't purchase it online.

you won't have to covet better folders then..
Looks nice, but the webpage says you can't buy them online. Kinda ruins that option.

EDIT: I feel stupid because I noticed it said COMPLETE bikes. Sorry fietsbob.

Last edited by nsgould; 02-02-12 at 12:24 PM. Reason: Im an idiot
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Old 02-02-12, 12:28 PM   #4
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Automated basket thing aside..

Maybe call them on the phone and email a letter, and see if they are supportive
for the forces in the field ..

brompton.co.uk site has a dealer list, you can ask all of them till you get a Yes.


or How about Bike Friday, here in Oregon..? they sent 2 to India for a forum member.

Edit, looks like Israel is the closest country with a Brompton dealer.. http://www.brompton.co.uk/dealers/pdfs/

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-02-12 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 02-02-12, 12:30 PM   #5
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Bike Friday is one of the top runners for me. Im trying to swing more money into my budget for a nicer one, but I feel like I should start slow.
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Old 02-02-12, 12:33 PM   #6
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The biggest problem you might encounter is that usually the US mail doesnt accept a large package like a folding bike to be shipped to APO addresses.... And Fed Ex and UPS wont do it either.
Its a shame and I feel very upset about this as I think that our deployed soldiers should get the best treatment they derserve...

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Old 02-02-12, 12:40 PM   #7
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The biggest problem you might encounter is that usually the US mail doesnt accept a large package like a folding bike to be shipped to APO addresses.... And Fed Ex and UPS wont do it either.
Its a shame and I feel very upset about this as I think that our deployed soldiers should get the best treatment they derserve...

Thor
I was kinda worried about that. I know I can send trunk sized boxes FROM here. Maybe they can ship something similar here? Or even have them fully disassemble the bike?
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Old 02-02-12, 12:47 PM   #8
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Isn't there air traffic to there from the US German sited Military bases?
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Old 02-02-12, 12:51 PM   #9
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Isn't there air traffic to there from the US German sited Military bases?
There is, but I don't think they allow freight to come with those flights. If push comes to shove, I am taking my leave end of February through the first half of March and I can ship it to my home then figure out a way to make it checked baggage on the way home.
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Old 02-02-12, 12:57 PM   #10
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Probably better that way , pick it up on Leave, then bring it with,
as checked luggage.
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Old 02-02-12, 04:23 PM   #11
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If you are handy with a wrench you could always have some one ship it to you a piece at a time. (Ala the old WWII stories of guys shipping jeeps home a piece at a time)

Seriously though, this is a tough idea, I know some guys (triathletes) who trained in Kuwait while deployed, I'll pop over to their forum and ask the question.
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Old 02-02-12, 06:30 PM   #12
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Well according to the triathletes, they usually just had it shipped to their APO as long as it fell under a certain size. They did state some APO's had stricter rules. I also had a guy state he might be able to get you something, but it looks like he is in Afghanistan. Evidently they have mountain bikes available from the two larger airbases. Nsgould, I'm gonna send you a pm for more info, the guys at Slowtwitch love helping out folks, if I know a little more they should be able to figure out how to get a bike to you.
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Old 02-02-12, 09:11 PM   #13
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I can't reply to PM because I don't have enough posts yet so I will just leave my response here.

"I was looking at a folder also because I need to be able to store it inside, both at home and in Kuwait.
I am unsure of the APO size limit for Kuwait. I will probably ask today.
Im currently at Arifjan.
Thanks for the help!"
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Old 02-02-12, 09:21 PM   #14
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No problem, check on your APO size limit and let me know if that solves things, if it doesn't I'll see what the guys can work out.
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Old 02-03-12, 01:21 AM   #15
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After talking to the mail room the limits are 100" diameter and no more than 75lbs. He confirmed that people have had full sized bikes delivered here as well. So that problem is now fixed. Just need to figure out which bike to get now!
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Old 02-03-12, 09:00 AM   #16
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Alright! good deal good luck with the new ride
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Old 02-03-12, 09:50 AM   #17
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100 diam you are meaning Girth ..right ....? That silly way we measure over here instead of ....the rest of the world....
I think Girth our 20 incher are bigger yet than 100 ...
But in all reality the local post office flat out refuses .....
Plus there is the problem that the sender has NO tacking possibility , which makes payment a ***** .... or the fact that one almost need to be paid with cash ( or check , which is inheritantly impossible almost as well )
No easy solution

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Old 02-03-12, 11:10 AM   #18
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100" diameter? thats 8 feet 4 inches! there's missiles smaller than that.
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Old 02-03-12, 11:35 AM   #19
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In talking to the vets who have done this it would be the sum of all measurements(LxWxH) cannot exceed 100 inches. I heard 108 inches mentioned by one Vet as the max for priority shipping, he got a full size tri bike in under that some how.
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Old 02-03-12, 11:38 AM   #20
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Hmm in that case what are the suggestions on bikes? Kinda got focused on shipping. Worst comes to worst I can just do what I was saying about making it checked baggage.
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Old 02-03-12, 12:20 PM   #21
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108 is most likely max girth ... measured max length plus than you wind a string around the rest ... as if you lasso that carton .... its backwards I know and our fellow friends in the rest of the world please excuse ....

:-)
but it doesnt all matter if your buddies got the regular bikes shipped it should be no problem
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Old 02-03-12, 12:41 PM   #22
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In talking to the vets who have done this it would be the sum of all measurements(LxWxH) cannot exceed 100 inches. I heard 108 inches mentioned by one Vet as the max for priority shipping, he got a full size tri bike in under that some how.
What kind of measure(?) is that? (Plus the sum would be L+W+H) .) Girth seems to translate into 2 x (W+H); that is you take the width and add the height, then you multiply the sum of that. Over here we have "reference measure" which is L + 2 x (W+H).

A Brompton has these measures translated into girth and reference measure:
Girth: 65,6"
Reference measure: 88,6"

Although I don't know how large the box acctually will be but you can ask any dealer or Brompton themselves. Look around on the brands you are interested in. Brompton has one of the smallest folds around but a Riese & Müller Frog (the smaller sibling of the Birdy) can also fold quite small (and seems to be a fun ride). There is a small risk that 16" wheels are a bit to small depending on how loose the sand is.
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Old 02-03-12, 12:57 PM   #23
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Bike Friday standard shipping carton, FWIW, is 26x31x14..
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Old 02-03-12, 01:54 PM   #24
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Bike Friday standard shipping carton, FWIW, is 26x31x14..
Girth .... 26 + 26 + 14 + 14 + 31 = 111 girth...
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Old 02-03-12, 02:04 PM   #25
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Brompton would certainly be my recommendationn if your are looking for a top quality folder that can tolerate the type of conditions you describe. They have an internally geared hub which would make sand less of a problem with shifting. If you dont like the Brompton or dont use it as much as you thought, then you can always sell it when you get back to the States. They hold their value very well.
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