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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 03-07-12, 11:00 AM   #26
Sixty Fiver
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Another important consideration is toughness and with a bike that folds and stows this becomes extra critical as they can get banged around in transport.

Again, the 20 meets this requirement for me and they can stand up to terrain and loads that would make other bikes fold up...

I started with 1 Phillips 20 and now we have four of them as my daughter and wife have one, and I have two, and also have a Dawes and a Moulton (non folding) that I am building up.

If I was a multi modal traveler and needed to bring my bike on buses and trains a Brompton would probably top the list but since I usually bus and there are racks, my 20's fit up there like any other bike.
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Old 03-07-12, 11:50 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bendembroski View Post
My needs / wants change periodically, but at the moment:
A fold time of less than 2 minutes.
2 miutes is a pretty generous allowance for folding time. I think more in the range of 20 seconds. Maybe I have ADD?
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Old 03-07-12, 06:58 PM   #28
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I agree, but then if I want to fold into a suitcase, which means dropping the pedals and front wheel... that's pretty darned quick!
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Old 03-08-12, 07:54 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
2 miutes is a pretty generous allowance for folding time. I think more in the range of 20 seconds. Maybe I have ADD?
I've never really understood the need for a sub 1 minute fold. I've also never actually timed how long it takes to fold or unfold my Swift or Brompton, so I'm just guessing here.

If I'm going to take the bike on a train or bus, I'm usually standing around waiting anyway...

I suppose the only time I curse a slow fold is when it's pouring rain, and I need to fold the bike before I enter the flat.
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Old 03-08-12, 10:20 AM   #30
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What's important to me is the age and looks of it. I like vintage bicycles and the weirder it looks the happier I am. I'm not too concerned about the size and weight of folding as I carry my bikes on the bike rack otherwise they easily fit in the trunk of my wagon or in my van. One other important thing to me is the way it rides. I like it smooth and easy to steer.
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Old 03-08-12, 12:27 PM   #31
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The most important thing to me in a folding bike?

It is the "purpose". Once you know the purpose of what you want from the bike, everything else everyone discussed above falls into place "naturally".

Every folding bike is designed for a purpose. No one bike is perfect. It is only perfect when the rider's purpose for the bike meets the bike intended purpose. Which is why we keep changing bikes as our needs and purpose changes. We are dynamic human beings with interests ever changing. Many years ago, I use to do tons of touring so my steed of bikes consist mainly of heavy touring bikes and a folder; namely my BF NWT. Today, I do less self-supported touring and more supported or hub based touring. So I need a lighter purposedly built bike. My bike stable changed from having a variety of touring bikes to now mainly 1 26" tourer and the rest consisting of a commuter, racers and light folders.

Who knows what a another decade might bring? Perhaps then, my purpose will change. How about you?
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Old 03-08-12, 12:38 PM   #32
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reliability of the hinge on the frame and on the steering column ! any folding bike WEAKEST POINT

the most popular folder manufacturer still can't make a good one they creak and develops play because of weak aluminum components. despite changing it for over 20 years they still havent designed a reliable one and keep changing the design that proves they don't know how to make one.
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Old 03-08-12, 10:23 PM   #33
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Simplicity, and size.
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Old 03-09-12, 09:32 AM   #34
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For me it's ability to fit under my desk and durability. I don't want to be spending more time fixing this than riding this!
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Old 03-09-12, 10:14 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EM42 View Post
reliability of the hinge on the frame and on the steering column ! any folding bike WEAKEST POINT

the most popular folder manufacturer still can't make a good one they creak and develops play because of weak aluminum components. despite changing it for over 20 years they still havent designed a reliable one and keep changing the design that proves they don't know how to make one.
I must say that I have seen some hinges that did not inspire confidence. I want to know that the hinge will not come undone if it gets bumped while riding.

I was riding in DC recently and a young lady stopped to tell me how she broke her arm on a folding bike when the handlebar stem folded when she was riding. I showed her that mine has both a pin and a lever so that can't happen.
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Old 03-09-12, 11:57 AM   #36
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I must say that I have seen some hinges that did not inspire confidence. I want to know that the hinge will not come undone if it gets bumped while riding.

I was riding in DC recently and a young lady stopped to tell me how she broke her arm on a folding bike when the handlebar stem folded when she was riding. I showed her that mine has both a pin and a lever so that can't happen.
exactly some of these bikes are lawsuits waiting to happen.

R&D by trial and error and customer is the guinea pig by their yearly experiments.


did you ask what bike it was ?
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Old 03-09-12, 12:05 PM   #37
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I did ask what bike it was, but all she knew wat that it was blue. I tried not to laugh....
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Old 03-09-12, 01:16 PM   #38
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I'm surprised that the EU doesn't require testing on those pieces.
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Old 03-09-12, 01:41 PM   #39
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The failure of the latch may have been user error; it may not have been latched completely.
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Old 03-09-12, 03:10 PM   #40
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i have not read the whole thread yet but if it's not mentioned yet, to me weight is another primary consideration or another important factor in choosing a folding bike.
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Old 03-09-12, 03:19 PM   #41
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Weight is huge factor! I saw a 20" folding bike on ebay a few days ago that looked like a pretty good deal so I emailed the seller and asked the weight. It no longer looked like a good deal when the weight came it at 39 lbs!
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Old 03-09-12, 04:33 PM   #42
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If I review the folding bikes I have and had: Weight, folded size, ride quality but not in that order. Ride quality is first - if a folder sucks to ride, I wouldn't touch it. If it had a silly fold, I wouldn't touch it either. Weight is right up there with the other two. Probably all of roughly equal importance. Which is probably why the R20 hasn't been ridden in a long long time - heavy and clumsy when folded (but ride quality is superb especially for touring).
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Old 03-09-12, 08:08 PM   #43
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1) Ride Quality - 90% of the time thats what I do with a bike. Feeling safe while riding is key, drinking water, signalling etc should feel like on any other bike also going FAST, I like to go fast and feel safe doing so.
2) Can I move the bike around when folded? how well does it roll when folded?
3) Standard components all around, inner tubes/tyres are always tricky to find in every shop so I make sure I carry spares.
4) has to Fit in a Samsonite case removing wheels (every folding bike with wheel size 20" does)
5) Durability, I have to know I am going to have a bike for life, I hate the throw-away society.

Juan
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Old 03-09-12, 08:11 PM   #44
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Ride quality is first - if a folder sucks to ride, I wouldn't touch it.
+1

I have a non folding R20 that I thought I upgraded to be the lightest one on earth unless someone else has

9.7kg

i chose to upgrade this instead of my folding version as the fold mechanism alone is probably over a kilogram


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Old 03-15-12, 07:10 PM   #45
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Size when folded is important to me, and portability so it can easily be taken inside and not locked up in a rack outside. Gears are also a big deal, because I might travel and take it someplace with hills.
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Old 03-15-12, 07:23 PM   #46
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Size when folded is important to me, and portability so it can easily be taken inside and not locked up in a rack outside. Gears are also a big deal, because I might travel and take it someplace with hills.
What do you ride now?
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Old 03-16-12, 07:56 AM   #47
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I bought my Dahon single speed for its folding size to stow in the bow of my shallow draft sailboat - and sometimes in the bow of an 8' inflatable - so I could expand my explorations of the Chesapeake Bay coasts (also helpful in fetching supplies). Brackish/salt water environment is like acid on all metals so I selected an inexpensive simple bike. I didn't anticipate how much fun I could have stowing it in the trunk of my Honda Civic to expand explorations of cities, suburbs, and country roads.
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Old 03-16-12, 08:12 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacificcyclist View Post
The most important thing to me in a folding bike?

It is the "purpose". Once you know the purpose of what you want from the bike, everything else everyone discussed above falls into place "naturally".
That.

The deuce of it is, you often don't know your real usage patterns until bike #3 or #4 (or more)... I have a small Dahon I keep in the car and a Bike Friday I ride to work most days (but rarely fold). Truthfully, I rarely ride the Dahon because... I'm driving! I like having it there, it's a bike "security blanket," but my driving and riding rarely mix. And if I'm going to somewhere far specifically to bike, I take the Friday (stowed in its case) anyway.
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Old 03-16-12, 12:54 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
I know that we all chose our folding bikes for different reasons, and I am curious to know what the most important considerations were in your choice. Was it the weight of the bike, the dimensions when folded, ease of folding, asethetics, componenets, or something else?
For my folding commuter bike:

#1 - fit
#2 - fold
#3 - performance

Which led me to a Bike Friday Tikit.

For my folding touring bike:

#1 - fit
#2 - performance
#3 - fold/pack-ability

Which led me to my Bike Friday NWT.
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Old 03-16-12, 01:23 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
I know that we all chose our folding bikes for different reasons, and I am curious to know what the most important considerations were in your choice. Was it the weight of the bike, the dimensions when folded, ease of folding, asethetics, componenets, or something else?
Although only a couple of responses have referred to it so far, "cost" seems to be an overriding consideration among our folding bike customers.

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