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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 07-17-12, 05:16 AM   #26
chagzuki
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Oh, and I recently started using a B17S saddle. . . I actually prefer it to the men's version which is unnecessarily long, though a bit nicer looking. Anyhow, the smaller S version makes more sense on a folding bike and is around 80g lighter I think. The only downside is that it has 'ladies' written on the side, though thankfully in very small lettering.
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Old 07-17-12, 09:14 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Jerrys88 View Post
Thanks, badmother - I was not aware of that. Of course, now we're talking about adding weight back, but still worth considering. I wish I had taken notes on each bike I tried because by the time I tried the third bike I sort of lost track of what the first one (Tern) had felt like. If I try it again (knowing now that a rolling rack is available) I wonder if I could bring my own saddle and have them put it on for me. As I mentioned, the saddle was really hard (I went for a ride today and my butt was SORE from it), making it difficult to evaluate the rest of the bike. I think I found the handlebar a bit low and its height is unadjustable. Another difficulty in evaluating bikes is that I've gotten so used to the Brompton, anything else feels strange at first, but not to say I wouldn't become comfortable with it with a little time. Still, eager to look at Mezzo and revisit the Tikit. If all else fails, I'll be happy to hold on to my Brompton. The issues I've stated in this thread are really minor compared to the convenience and all else about the bike. Incidentally, riding my Brompton today I realized that I could easily dispense with the 2 very lowest gears, so a 10 speed would be sufficient if it had the right range.

You have to be aware that the tern trolley rack ONLY works for the LINK models and not the verge models that you have tried. it makes pulling your bike as easy as dragging a laptop bag around, and stands on it's own. But the lightest link model with gears is around 11.5kg and that rack is 1kg itself. that's around 25lb already. But you get 9 speeds from that link p9 model, the frame would feel different than the brompton so you would have to decide for yourself whether that's what you want or not.
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Old 07-17-12, 12:10 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Training.Wheels View Post
My take on it is if you have a rack, then you shouldn't need to carry your brommie around and therefore the end weight shouldn't matter that much. Also, the rack adds weight, so you either settle for a lighter bike to carry around or a heavier bike to roll around. Sounds like you already have everything you need in a bike but just had a moment of doubt. I wish I had a Brompton.
True to a point, but even a bike that you can roll around easily needs to be carried, in places like stairs, train aisles blocked with commuters standing in the aisle, and so on.
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Old 07-17-12, 12:46 PM   #29
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I got the Carry Freedom City trailer as a companion to my Brompton.

One of its merits is with gear loaded in the sling bag in the trailer frame,
you can load the folded bike up, on top of the trailer.. then use the handle
and tow it at a dead run down a long train platform, climb stairs , and so forth.

then once the sling bag is un snapped and shouldered
you can fold the trailer wheels into the frame..

Clever Scots..
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Old 07-17-12, 03:14 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I got the Carry Freedom City trailer as a companion to my Brompton.

One of its merits is with gear loaded in the sling bag in the trailer frame,
you can load the folded bike up, on top of the trailer.. then use the handle
and tow it at a dead run down a long train platform, climb stairs , and so forth.

then once the sling bag is un snapped and shouldered
you can fold the trailer wheels into the frame..

Clever Scots..
Fair enough but you would not like to do that several times a day would you?
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Old 07-17-12, 06:35 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Azreal911 View Post
You have to be aware that the tern trolley rack ONLY works for the LINK models and not the verge models that you have tried. it makes pulling your bike as easy as dragging a laptop bag around, and stands on it's own. But the lightest link model with gears is around 11.5kg and that rack is 1kg itself. that's around 25lb already. But you get 9 speeds from that link p9 model, the frame would feel different than the brompton so you would have to decide for yourself whether that's what you want or not.
Thanks for the heads up, Azreal. I noticed myself that the rack is advertised for the LINK models. I realize that this may very well be the first time the guy in this video is folding his Tern and using the rack, and I could see that a sturdy rack like that would be very useful for occasional wheeling the bike through, say, airports or train stations, but for quick folding and breazing in and out of a deli to pick up a sandwich, I'll definitely stick with my Brompton!

As it turns out, I have to put my bike investigations on hold. Today I either pulled or tore a muscle in my calf while using my kick scooter. Big bummer - hope it heals in time for my beach vacation at the end of August :-(
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Old 07-17-12, 08:34 PM   #32
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Fair enough but you would not like to do that several times a day would you?
might get the hang of it.. a bungee deployment system .. after a while

no problem, US built around motorcars, after WW2, and saw to destruction of public assets ,
like transportation
as the Enemy to be Crushed, so, .. transportation could be privatized, but the highways
cost externalized kept at public cost .. aint no trains to catch out here..
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Old 09-11-16, 04:14 PM   #33
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a bike for every occasion

I own a 2008ish M6R with 12% reduced gearing. I added a Schlumpf Mountain Drive, converted it to an H6R with the conversion stem and gear, added Ergon grips, and also a Shimano dyno system. I recently stopped in to the local Brom dealer and could hardly believe how light a brand new S2L was (no options to speak of) when I lifted it off the shelf! My-oh-my, my little Brom is a bit of a pig! But...I love it. Absolutely utterly cannot beat the fold. I can pack it away anywhere, anytime, effortlessly. With the conversions I've made over the past ten years, it actually feels quite similar to a full-size bike. The gearing is incredibly well spaced and quite intuitive on dark morning commutes. I believe my lowest gear is somewhere around 17.4 gear inches and my highest gear is somewhere around 22-23 mph on a downhill grade. It's a complex and sometimes moody little bugger, but it is ever-fascinating to me. A truly thoughtful, beautiful, work of art--folded or unfolded.

As a comparison, I also own a one year old Tern Verge S27H. It didn't have low enough gearing for my comfort, so I reduced the front chain ring to 36T. Brings the lowest gear down to approx 17-18 gear inches and a top speed of approx 20 mph. Really nice bike too. Solid, stout, cushy ride, with a badass all black gloss look, a nice upright riding position when I prefer with the quick release adjustable stem...and also has incredible cargo carrying capacity. Quite the tank with the fat Big Apple tires. Probably weighs a bit more than my Brom when carrying it out of the house. The downside? The fold sucks. In fact, the only time I fold it is when I'm taking a vacation and I want to throw it in the minivan. The fold almost seems like an afterthought. It does what it needs to do when you need it folded, but it's definitely ungainly compared to the Brom when in folded form--NOT EVEN CLOSE.

And lastly, I own a full-size folder-- the Tern Joe P24, with a low of 18 gear inches. Okay bike I guess, but honestly I only ride it on lazy weekend afternoons. It definitely feels lighter than either the Brom or Verge when lifting it, but the fold is truly useless. It's almost as big folded as unfolded.

Comparing the three bikes, a 16 incher, a 20 incher, and a 26 incher, in terms of efficiency--according to Google Tracks--I ride almost identical average miles per hour, over the same 10 mile terrain, no matter which bike I'm on. I'm a slow, high-cadence rider, so even though I sometimes 'feel' like I'm going slower or faster, I think impressions can be deceiving.

If I were to ditch one of the three, I'd probably toss the Joe. Doesn't have the utility of the Verge or the magic of the Brom.
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Old 05-15-17, 01:05 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Jerrys88 View Post
I love my Brompton for its compact size, ease of folding, reliability, and the way it rolls when folded, but I'm wondering if it's time to try something different. The issues I have are that it is heavy (I added rear rack for better rolling when folded, and installed a heavy and not most efficient Schlumpf Mountain Drive to achieve my preferred gearing. It now weighs 30 lbs.) and I prefer a bike with at least 12 gears, including super low-end gears for climbing steep hills.

So, given the following criteria, what bikes would you guys recommend I look at?

1) As light as possible.

2) Rollable when folded, or, if not, then light weight is especially important.

3) Designed with minimum 12 gears, including super low gears. Speed is not issue.

Bike is kept in car trunk and used to commute 18 miles a day with multiple folding and unfolding to take in and out of stores and office.
If you want a lightweight and cheap folding bike, you may consider a bike with only one gear. Then you can walk uphill with your bike. And if it is not too steep, you can ride your bike uphill, if you choose a folder with just a low gear, that is suited for that.

You can keep your Brompton with quite different characteristics for different purposes as your second folding bike. You could even have three different folding bikes, for different purposes.
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Old 05-15-17, 01:12 PM   #35
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With all respect, loosing two pounds of body weight reduces the weight that you have to carry, reduces your cost for food and healthcare. And it is cheaper than a new folding bike. It also helps to ride your bike uphill.
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Old 05-15-17, 01:25 PM   #36
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Depending on your budget and location, I think a Bike Friday Tikit might work. They're not super-light, but you can get them with as many gears as you like, they're rollable (although not as easily as a Brommie). But my 14-speed Tikit climbs hills amazingly well. The down side is the expense and the size - they're large when folded. But the fold is similar to what you're used to. Get the hyperfold model and these bikes fold in maybe a couple of seconds.

Here's mine:



BF doesn't make the TikiT any more. :-(
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Old 05-15-17, 01:29 PM   #37
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BF doesn't make the TikiT any more. :-(
I know, I noticed that too. (My post is from a couple years back.)

Still riding the Tikit. About to replace the rear cassette for the first time, so it's worn very well. Moving to a city soon, though, so I might be selling the Tikit down the line for something with a smaller fold.
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Old 05-22-17, 04:12 AM   #38
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For what it's worth, I have a Brompton MRX2 also with mountain drive. I don't find it too heavy and the 4 speeds are adequate for any hills. Comes in at 11-12kgs. Super low gearing is good for towing a fully laden Travoy trailer.
I think the Brompton is the best all round folding bike. The other brands are usually bulkier and difficult to fold.

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I love my Brompton for its compact size, ease of folding, reliability, and the way it rolls when folded, but I'm wondering if it's time to try something different. The issues I have are that it is heavy (I added rear rack for better rolling when folded, and installed a heavy and not most efficient Schlumpf Mountain Drive to achieve my preferred gearing. It now weighs 30 lbs.) and I prefer a bike with at least 12 gears, including super low-end gears for climbing steep hills.

So, given the following criteria, what bikes would you guys recommend I look at?

1) As light as possible.

2) Rollable when folded, or, if not, then light weight is especially important.

3) Designed with minimum 12 gears, including super low gears. Speed is not issue.

Bike is kept in car trunk and used to commute 18 miles a day with multiple folding and unfolding to take in and out of stores and office.

Appreciate any suggestions - thanks!
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Old 05-22-17, 05:07 AM   #39
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I have a Dahon Mu with a SRAM DualDrive (27 gears total). It has an impressive gearing range, both on the low and high ends. It has both lower and higher gears than my road bike.

But if the weight is a big concern for you, a DualDrive is quite heavy. My bike weights about 13kg with fenders, luggage truss and Magura hydro brakes.
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Old 05-22-17, 05:56 AM   #40
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Hey people, this thread is 5 years old.

Just to give an update, I wound up buying a Dahon Formula S18 which I customized by swapping out the front chain rings for smaller ones - much better suited to my needs for a wide range of 18 gears with perfect low gear for climbing. Sold my Brompton. Love my Formula S18 - it's an amazing bike - happily commuted with it for two years. Figured out how to roll it when folded almost as well as my Brompton by installing a dual kickstand and securing the folded bike with a rubber twist tie. Also, the slightly larger folded size turned out to be no big deal.

But eventually I came to the realization that I love cycling so much, it was time for me to own a full-size bike. I bought my last full-size bike in 1982 and hadn't ridden it for around 15 years. My timing was great. Bought a beautiful 19 lb. 22-gear carbon-fiber road bike at an amazing end-of-season sale price (still $$ but worth every penny). OMG! What a bike!!! Holy cow - it was like going from riding a family sedan to riding a sports car. Well, I instantly fell in love and knew I had to figure a way to use this bike as my commuter. That meant figuring how to get it in my car for my multi-modal commute. YouTube came to my rescue. There was no way to fit the bike in the trunk of my car, and I wanted to avoid carrying it on an external rack for security reasons (I often run errands and go food shopping on my way home from work - wouldn't want to leave my expensive bike outside). Found a YouTube video that showed me how to slip the bike behind the front seats of my car by removing the front wheel and turning the bike upside down.

So, I've been commuting with my full-size road bike ever since and will never go back. I hate to say it, but there is just no comparison between the ride of folding bikes vs. a good full-size road bike, not to mention it was perfectly sized and customized for me. It's also opened up a whole new world of weekend bike tours with a local cycling club. As an added bonus, because it's so lightweight, it's actually easier to get in and out of places with stairs, like subway stations, because I can so effortlessly lift and carry it.

I don't mean to diss folding bikes. They definitely have their place, especially if you live in a small space and/or need to use public transportation to multi-mode commute. I don't have those restrictions and learned how to make a full-size bike work for me. The only down side is that I have to manage security more than with my folding bike. I would never leave my expensive full-size bike outside, unattended, even locked up in most locations. I was able to wheel my folded bike into any store, office, building, etc. I have become quite brazen about wheeling my full-size bike into commercial spaces and fortunately have not been turned away yet. It's worked out well for me.

Last edited by Jerrys88; 05-22-17 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 05-22-17, 11:20 AM   #41
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Nice write up @Jerrys88. I have two bikes and they both serve different purposes. I have commuted on both and I have to say for comfort my Rivendell wins hands down. When my work place is in a riskier neighborhood, the Brompton is the bike of choice. Like you say, each bike has their place. Glad to hear you like your Synapse and it is working well for you.
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Old 05-22-17, 01:32 PM   #42
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Thanks, @blakcloud. Hey, what a beautiful bike your Rivendell is (I did a google search). My twin brother wants me to do a tour in Patagonia with him two years from now for our 60th birthday. I may have to purchase a touring bike for the purpose. I'm going to keep Rivendell in mind.
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Old 05-23-17, 05:53 PM   #43
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With all respect, loosing two pounds of body weight reduces the weight that you have to carry, reduces your cost for food and healthcare. And it is cheaper than a new folding bike. It also helps to ride your bike uphill.

I agree,most of the complaints in this thread are put on how heavy the bike is ,not the riders lack of physical conditoning. A few minutes spent lifting the folder from floor to chest height, done correctly two or three times a week can make a big difference over a period of time.I would suggest first learning proper form how to do weight training to avoid any injuries, it's not that difficult and let's be honest ,it's only about 30lb.Who knows you might get to enjoy it.
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Old 05-24-17, 03:42 PM   #44
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The new one is the PakIt, lighter than the Tikit, sort of the 349 wheel version of the new NWT, silk

BB part of the rear section, so belt drive capable, but you remove things rather than have them all stay together.

so in that it is like their other travel bikes.. some take apart, some fold.
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Old 05-24-17, 03:47 PM   #45
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FWIW Jerrys88 Id contact Bruce Gordon, (Quick he is about to retire) , and get him to make a BLT-X for you (2)?

his racks are the best, and this is his 26" wheel Basic Loaded Touring bike
Can get his made to measure expertise on a very sound USA made Bike.
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Old 05-24-17, 04:16 PM   #46
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most of the complaints in this thread are put on how heavy the bike is ,not the riders lack of physical conditoning. A few minutes spent lifting the folder from floor to chest height, done correctly two or three times a week can make a big difference over a period of time.
But then, if you're a 60kg/132lbs woman, how heavy the bike is does make a difference if you need to carry it up stairs in public transport or if you live in an appartement.
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Old 05-24-17, 07:58 PM   #47
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FWIW Jerrys88 Id contact Bruce Gordon, (Quick he is about to retire) , and get him to make a BLT-X for you (2)?

his racks are the best, and this is his 26" wheel Basic Loaded Touring bike
Can get his made to measure expertise on a very sound USA made Bike.
OMG - What gorgeous bikes. Unfortunately, $4,000 is way more than I can spend on a second bike. I'll most likely be looking for a used bike or may even look into upgrading my 1982 Fuji Touring Series III bike if that's at all possible, I have no idea. Anyway, it's two years away, so I'm not quite ready to go shopping, but thanks for the recommendation. Who knows, maybe I'll find a used BG when it comes time.
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Old 05-25-17, 12:53 AM   #48
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Funny I did exactly the opposite.
Selling my 653 road race bike because my roadrace groupset equiped downtube NS was very close in performance but more useful.
My Mezzo upgraded in a simular way was close to my downtube and I sold the Downtube. (I would have kept it if I could, too many bikes for storage available)
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Old 05-25-17, 12:11 PM   #49
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easy to drop 4 grand in a car repair , maintenance, Insurance, and fuel in a couple years...


BTW you can refurbish the Brompton, most parts are backwards compatible..
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Old 05-25-17, 12:50 PM   #50
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easy to drop 4 grand in a car repair , maintenance, Insurance, and fuel in a couple years...


BTW you can refurbish the Brompton, most parts are backwards compatible..
@fietsbob - did you mean to write that I can refurbish my Fuji Touring Series? I sold my Brompton.
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