Would appreciate some honest feedback... for some reason, I got into my head that a folding bike would be really cool!
Upfront disclaimer. Unlike many other members, I have no particular reason to get a folding bike: I don't live in an urban jungle, there are no commuter trains/buses to jump on, it's only a 30 minute walk to work or an 8 minute drive, I have a decent hybrid bike that I could commute to work with and just shove in my office (tight, but doable), and the city I live in is not overly bike friendly (yet - trails are coming!)... but I was thinking that I have to attend a number of conferences across Canada this coming summer and wouldn't it be cool to have a bike to tour around in my spare time!
I've found from experience (e.g., dSLR photography) that "cheap" doesn't last so I rather pay more upfront than regret my decision later. Also, I figure I might as well get something I like otherwise I'll keep looking over my shoulder.
My challenge is that nobody nearby sells any folding bikes that I've been reading about (Brompton, Tern, Dohan, etc.), so my options are limited to Toronto which is 4 hours drive away, mail order from across Canada or from the US, like NYCE Cycle.
I've come down to a Brompton M6R, or something like a Tern Verge S11i. I really like the Brompton (maybe I've bought into its mythos), but I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe it appeals to the academic in me (I'm a professor).
However, I might not have much choice in what I get. The Toronto store I located only sells Bromptons. Nobody else nearby really sells any other folding bikes. If I get the Brompton, at least service and warranty repairs are not too far away. On the other hand, if I get a Tern, would it be easier for repairs at my local cycle shop assuming the Tern uses more common off-the-shelf parts? Reasonable assumption?
I understand Bromptons can handle riders up to 242 lbs, as can most Tern models. I weigh 225 lbs and am 5'11" - I work out a fair amount, so I'd like to think I will "push" the bike to some degree: I admit I'm not gentle with my equipment.
I have no real opportunity to try these bikes out in advance, and nobody I know has a folding bike nor have they ridden one, so if I buy one, it will be sight/ride unseen. From the videos I've seen by NYCE, it looks like the "stretched out" frame of the Brompton might suit me. Can anybody comment on this? Also, I've decided on the M handle; I figure it would be more flexible overall than the S handle. A good move? The bike shop recommended I get the extended seat post.
Finally... for any Brompton owners out there, how does a racing green body with sage green extremities sound? I originally wanted all black or all racing green, but the racing green/sage green combination has some funky appeal.
Sorry for the long post... thanks in advance to anybody who can help!