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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 04-09-12, 08:03 PM   #1
katerine
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A folder with a short reach?

Hi, all. I did do a search on this but couldn't find anything. I'd appreciate advice from anyone with the kind of reach problems I have.

I had always sort of assumed that a folding bike would be a decent fit for me at almost 5'1". Then I tried out a Tern and found the reach was just too much--it was necessary for me to lean far forward and stretch in order to grip the handlebars, let alone the shifter or brakes. My RA is a problem so on a bad day I wouldn't be able to ride at all. The guy at the shop said there really wasn't any adjustment that would work for me without messing up the fold.

Has anyone had any experience with this problem? I need to ride upright, so I am looking for a folder with a short reach. I'll try more bikes, but there aren't a lot of them around here to try. Getting one custom build isn't in the cards right now, though it's nice to know that the option is out there. Any recommendations or advice? Thanks. katerine
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Old 04-09-12, 08:14 PM   #2
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Which Tern did you try? The models with the Andros stem (I think Dahon has an equivalent too) have surprising reach adjustment. I've seen very short people ride comfortably.
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Old 04-09-12, 08:17 PM   #3
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Thor is a dealer for Dahons and Terns and he sells the aber hallo to help with a longer or shorter reach.
http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/technical/aberhallo.htm
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Old 04-09-12, 08:29 PM   #4
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This might also help. It can be found on Thor's website http://www.thorusa.com/accessories/handlebar.htm and can even be used with the above aber hallo for more effect.

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Old 04-09-12, 10:42 PM   #5
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How much more closer to the seat do you need the handlebar to be? Can you estimate?

The handlepost of Tern bikes folds to the outside of the frame fold (i.e. not sandwiched between the tires). So if you change the flat handlebar to one that swoops forward (toward the seat), you'll probably still be able to fold the bike somehow.
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Old 04-10-12, 03:56 AM   #6
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Stridas are pretty upright, no?

You could try a Strida Mini. The specs say it's for people who are 4'6" to 5'3".

http://www.strida.com/en/products/?method=listing&sid=2
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Old 04-10-12, 09:09 AM   #7
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Citizen GOTHAM1:
http://www.citizenbike.com/catalog.a...&product_id=31

Last edited by bbmike; 04-10-12 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 04-10-12, 10:00 AM   #8
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Non Asian,
Brompton has a 'saddle adapter pin', it is added to the seat post top,
then the saddle clip sits on it's horizontal tube, so is positioned,
ahead of the regular seat post.

M bar has 6" of rise above the central clamp, so can be rotated closer, also..

Oregon made Bike-Friday has a short medium and long Tikit.
they can be built to order, for special needs.
not fully custom , but as a small business they are adaptable folks.

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-10-12 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 04-10-12, 03:12 PM   #9
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http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/technical/aberhallo6.htm
that would work

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Old 04-10-12, 09:40 PM   #10
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I actually had north road bars on my flyby for a while, it shortened the reach.



it still folds with them



now I'm using the sparrow bars

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Old 04-11-12, 01:45 AM   #11
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Thank you for all the suggestions--I have a lot to think about.

This is a wonderful forum!

katerine
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Old 04-11-12, 06:03 AM   #12
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Saddle adjustment

Did you try moving the saddle forward to see if it shortened your reach?
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Old 04-11-12, 07:26 AM   #13
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Did you try moving the saddle forward to see if it shortened your reach?
I was also wondering if the bike shop guy even tried to adjust the seat.
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Old 04-12-12, 10:56 PM   #14
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It does take a sense of humor to deal with angry bike shop guys, but I am always polite and eventually get them to talk to me. He said that no, it couldn't be adjusted so I got down on the floor and took a look at it, and I could only have gotten another half inch or so adjusting it. Currently I am leaning towards a Tern I saw at an REI which would probably work with some of the adaptations from ThorUSA. The REI guy was friendly, didn't know anything about folders and tried to steer me to a regular bike. You really have to laugh sometimes.
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Old 04-12-12, 11:19 PM   #15
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I was reading about handlebar changes that other folding bike owners have made, and it seems that other options you can consider to shorten the reach a little, besides those already mentioned above, are the Soma Oxford handlebar, and the Vienna handlebar which Thor sells. Besides the change in reach, swept-back handlebars like these also give a more comfortable hand position on the grips.

Here is a thread from someone who had the Oxford handlebar. He had a Dahon Speed P8. A Tern would be more accommodating to a handlebar change because the handlepost folds to the outside of the fold.

http://forum.dahon.com/index.php?showtopic=10391

The Soma Oxford handlebar:

http://store.somafab.com/sooxha.html

The Vienna handlebar from Thor (second handlebar on page):

http://www.thorusa.com/accessories/handlebar.htm
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Old 04-13-12, 10:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katerine View Post
It does take a sense of humor to deal with angry bike shop guys, but I am always polite and eventually get them to talk to me. He said that no, it couldn't be adjusted so I got down on the floor and took a look at it, and I could only have gotten another half inch or so adjusting it. Currently I am leaning towards a Tern I saw at an REI which would probably work with some of the adaptations from ThorUSA. The REI guy was friendly, didn't know anything about folders and tried to steer me to a regular bike. You really have to laugh sometimes.
Just to play devil's advocate on behalf of the bike shop employee, he may have meant that it shouldn't be adjusted to compensate for reach. The fore/aft adjustment of the saddle is used to get you in the right spot for your pedal stroke to be efficient and comfortable. The reach is controlled by frame size and your choice of handlebar and stem size/angle/etc. For cruisers and light usage, using the saddle to compensate for reach won't be the end of the world, but most bike shops are geared toward the performance crowd, so they have a particular way of looking at things.
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Old 04-13-12, 11:06 AM   #17
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If you're going to use a comfort handlebar I'd go for a Tern as the bar folds to the outside of the bike. With Dahons there's a bit of luck involved in how things will fit inside the fold.

Having said that, Tern bikes don't have telescopically adjustable stems/handleposts (in Dahon terminology) so you'll want to be confident that the combination of bar and stem will be a suitable height for you. . . .actually this could lead to folding problems if you want a comfort bar that raises handlebar height. I take back the original statement. There's a few things to consider here to make sure the fit is good.
The Dahon comfort handlepost option is a good one.
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Old 04-14-12, 06:41 PM   #18
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To my astonishment, I bought a Brompton today.
I went to a couple more places and tried a few more bikes, none of which were promising. Then I tried a Brompton just to say I tried a Brompton, and after the woman who worked there and I tinkered with it for a while it became one of the most comfortable bicycles I've ever been on. I am not saying that I'm going to ride a bazillion miles on it at a time, but this is a big deal for me. The adjustments didn't affect the fold by more than a few inches.

So my bike is on order (the bike we worked with was an official demo) and I will now work more hours and be incredibly frugal to be pay off my credit card. I am astonished, relieved and a little panicked by the expense.

Thanks all for your help. I am so pleased.
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Old 04-14-12, 06:42 PM   #19
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Congrats. Which model and color?
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Old 04-14-12, 08:10 PM   #20
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Wow a Brompton, congratulations.
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Old 04-14-12, 08:43 PM   #21
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The B has quite a short reach. It'd be a good pick.
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Old 04-14-12, 10:08 PM   #22
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Thanks!
It's an M1R. Living where we do in the land of flat, a single speed is what I wanted. The closest thing to a hill around here is the bridge over the expressway, although I'm looking forward to throwing the bike into the trunk of the car and riding out to a trail somewhere. Which will also be flat.

My husband has decided to get one as well so this will be our vacation, and we think it's well worth it for the value we'll get out of it.
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Old 04-15-12, 09:45 AM   #23
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Congratulations! What colors did you and your husband get?
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Old 04-15-12, 10:30 PM   #24
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After seeing me almost get hit by a person who was texting while driving, my husband wanted us to get white which he felt would make us more visible. I'm good with that.

We're making a list of places to go with the folders when we finally get them. I think basically everywhere.
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Old 04-15-12, 10:52 PM   #25
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After seeing me almost get hit by a person who was texting while driving, my husband wanted us to get white which he felt would make us more visible. I'm good with that.

We're making a list of places to go with the folders when we finally get them. I think basically everywhere.
Are you guys living in the Netherlands?
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