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  1. #26
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    Guys thank you for all the responses! It's awesome information! Thank you!

  2. #27
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificcyclist View Post
    If you are willing to compromise a bit and go 16", I would say the Brompton is the best option thus far in terms of compact folding and ride quality as it has a long wheelbase to begin with, just as long as a full sized touring bike!! And that helps contribute to great handling and good ride quality plus the Brompton comes with a rear suspension elastomer to help smooth out the ride.

    Again. In terms of folding, a 20" folder bike isn't any BIGGER in terms of footprint than a 16" Brompton despite what many are trying to say here.

    I couldn't feel at all comfortable with a Brompton for as long as I tried cause it's designed to be super uber upright riding and I prefer less upright. So when you're looking to buy a folding bike, ask yourself this question.

    I will forego the 16" and go with 20" as my Dahon Mu SL have way superior V-brakes than the weak weak Brompton brakes especially going down a long steep 18% hill in the rain which is part of my commute plus the Thudbuster ST and Big Apple tires provide the smoothest ride you could ever get with a 20" folder.
    pacificcyclist makes a lot of good points for you to consider when buying a folding bike. I personally find my Brompton rides 95%+ like a full size bike - sometimes better, depending on the circumstances. I personally don't think the Brompton puts you in a super upright biking position: it depends on the handle you pick, seat height, etc. I personally find it nicely balanced between very upright and very forward/aggressive.

    Yes, physically, a Brompton with 16" wheels or a Tern with 20" wheels can fit in a standard 62" case, so the actual footprint is about the same. I prefer the Brompton fold, which to me, is a more functional and elegant fold. I packed my Brompton for Charlottetown, and had to do very little disassembly to get it packed and unpacked. I saw the instructions for packing a Tern and it appears that more steps are involved; maybe with practice it's not that much more work. The irony is that for me pumping up the tires after arrival took the longest time actually, not really the bike itself....

    The brakes on my Brompton are actually pretty good, and if I recall, the demo model I rode at the dealer had even more sensitive/grippy brakes. I weigh 220 lbs and ride fairly fast and I find the brakes quite satisfactory. However, I agree that there are better brakes out there so if you're pushing the weight limit on the bike and have lots of declines, better brakes and more variety in the drive train could be critical.

    I think others have said it well: what is your main use for a folding bike? If it's commuting and convenience, one thing that I find the Brompton to be very good at is its integrated luggage system for carrying additional items. The luggage block and bags they sell seemed too "over the top" at the beginning, but I have to say it's pretty brilliant and convenient. Or maybe you prefer a more conventional pannier system or have already invested in good panniers that you want to continue to use. Again, I think it goes back to the 90/10 rule (or the 80/20 rule more conventionally). If you hate a rear rack/pannier system, even though it's only about 20% of the biking experience, it will drive you crazy. If you don't want anything on the front, avoid the bikes that make heavy use of front mounting systems. So, don't overlook how the additional systems (accessories ) play into your decision: they're not as trivial as you might initially think.
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

  3. #28
    jur
    jur is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
    Hi-jack - sorry for the slight diversion. Jur, what kickstand do you have on the 16"? PM me if you can - thanks.
    It was a silver version of this:
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Adjustabl...ht_6202wt_1396

    I had rounded the top part and polished it to present a sleek look. I actually used it without the bottom section, just carefully cut it to length and put a rubber bung on the end.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  4. #29
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    I've got a 7 speed folder with 20" wheels and a 6 speed folder with 16" wheels. There is a little difference in ride quality, but not much. There is a much bigger difference in compact size when folded, which is due to both the wheel size and the fact the 16"er is a Brompton.

    Don't just think about the road, think about hauling the bike around, storing it under a desk or in a closet, car trunk, carrying it in an elevator, etc.

    I even take my Brompton shopping with me, I never have to worry about locking it up outside or it getting scratched in a bike rack because I always carry it inside. If you want a folding bike that you can carry in a bag (or a proprietary bag from the bike company), that really narrows down the field quite a bit. I'd also recommend getting a bag because some buildings have a "no bicycles" policy which is really meant for full-size bikes, but an over-zealous security guard might object anyway.

  5. #30
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    I agree. Wheelsize does not single-handedly decide the ride. However, I think there is a reason why bike makers emphasize features such as size and fold when it comes to 16" bikes: 16" bikes are primarily marketed as urban commuters. (the typical urban commute being a ride to the subway/bus station - folding it up - riding the subway/bus - unfolding it - riding again.)

    If people ARE riding 15 to 20 miles comfortably each day (on 16" wheels), I look up to them. Seriously. They are obviously seasoned riders who don't really need to be advised on any kind of bike-purchasing decision.

    After reading all the great things about the Brompton in this thread, I think I'll give it a try myself.

  6. #31
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    Guys! Once again, thanks for all that info!

  7. #32
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    No problem, emanuel_v19.

    Choose wisely, and happy biking!

  8. #33
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    My 2 Euros: Try both if possible. All the bikes and tyre combos handle differently. A 20 mile ride really isn't very far and the geared 16" wheelers do it without trouble. A 20" wheeled bike might do it with less fatigue though, which is a different topic. Ride 'quality' and fatigue also depends on the roads in your area, and the weight on your bum & wrists, so beware evangelising enthusiasts, including me. Try before you buy.

    The fold-up size and weight is as much a deciding point as anything else. What we all want is a 20" bike for the ride quality, which folds into the space of a Brompton, for the price of a Walmart bike.

    You'll have to do the math, but anything much over 12.5 Kg starts to become a nuisance if your life involves carrying the bike.

    Buying used makes sense for a first folder, because in a year, you'll want something else.
    Last edited by snafu21; 05-25-12 at 05:29 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  9. #34
    Senior Member Ridefreemc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doonbiker View Post
    I agree. Wheelsize does not single-handedly decide the ride. However, I think there is a reason why bike makers emphasize features such as size and fold when it comes to 16" bikes: 16" bikes are primarily marketed as urban commuters. (the typical urban commute being a ride to the subway/bus station - folding it up - riding the subway/bus - unfolding it - riding again.)

    If people ARE riding 15 to 20 miles comfortably each day (on 16" wheels), I look up to them. Seriously. They are obviously seasoned riders who don't really need to be advised on any kind of bike-purchasing decision.

    After reading all the great things about the Brompton in this thread, I think I'll give it a try myself.
    This post starts to get at where I have gotten in my riding (to some degree). When I go from my 700c wheeled Salsa Vaya to my 16" wheeled Mezzo folder I was expecting and looking to feel the same ride quality. However, they are not the same, but have individual qualities. The biggest difference though was the shorter crank arm length on the Mezzo believe it or not. But my point is you adjust your riding to the bike. If you are training for competition you may want something other than a folder (although you will still get in shape and improve). Rather, enjoy the ride, adjust your effort to fit your needs, and simply ride! 16 or 20 should be less of an issue then.
    On the move!
    2013 Velo Orange Campeur, 2012 Mezzo D9, 2004 Marin Mount Vision Pro

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