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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 07-21-12, 08:48 PM   #1
SlimRider
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New To Folders

Hey guys, I know zip about folders, so I'd just like to ask a few questions from time to time, until I get one in the not too distant future.


1) Which folder brand is most known for both its durability and its simplicity of folding?

2) Which folder brand is known for being the fastest?

3a) Which folder brand do you think is the most popular?

3b) Why do you think it's so popular?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 07-21-12, 11:46 PM   #2
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Simplicity and fastest folded will be similar among the top brands.

The most popular seem to be Brompton, Dahon, and Tern. That doesn't mean they are the best for your needs or your budget.

Their popularity seems to be greatest among those in densely populated areas like big cities where locking up a bike outside comes with some risks, or where singular automotive transportation is cost-prohibitive.

For cyclists who travel, a folding bike is much easier to transport compared to doing the same with a full-sized bike.
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Old 07-22-12, 08:35 AM   #3
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If you are over average height the field shrinks drastically...

Durability is a hard one, however I would put Brompton and Bike Friday at the top of the list with several other major brands tied for third. The less complicated the bike the more durable it is going to be.

Fastest as in road speed? Gears and engine

Dahon and Brompton are probably the most well known.

Dahon due to market share, Brompton because of the small fold, quality and cachet.

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Old 07-22-12, 10:15 AM   #4
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Bike Fridays Hyperfold 'speeding tikit' at least folds fast, still have to do the work.

Fast is an effort not a commodity , in bicycles..

Bradley Wiggins is fastest because he worked harder (smart tactics help too)
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Old 07-22-12, 10:34 AM   #5
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If I were to road race a folding bike I would go with the Xootr Swift and build it for speed.
I think Dahon and Brompton are well known.
Bromptons and Dahons have been around for a while.
The old Raleigh Twenties have become popular.
The raleigh twenty is probably the most durable. and heaviest.
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Old 07-22-12, 02:22 PM   #6
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Another option you have is to use S&S couplers on a standard frame.

http://www.sandsmachine.com/

Probably the closest you can get to road bike.

For example, you can get this one with couplers http://www.calfeedesign.com/products/tetra/

Last edited by kamtsa; 07-22-12 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 07-22-12, 02:53 PM   #7
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How do Bromptons compare to the Bike Friday tikit?
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Old 07-22-12, 07:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
1) Which folder brand is most known for both its durability and its simplicity of folding?
Any reputable folder will be durable and fold more or less simply. It's more useful to know the characteristics of the fold - how fast you can fold it, what size it is when you fold it, how compact is it when you fold it, can you roll it when folded, etc.

But the relevance of the answers depends on what you want to do with the bike. If the fold is important because you want to transport your bike once a week by car, you don't need a small fold or a fast fold or a compact fold, nor does it really matter if you can roll the bike while folded. If you're going to fold the bike twice a day and take it on public transportation or into buildings, speed and size do matter.
Quote:

2) Which folder brand is known for being the fastest?
Probably the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro.
Quote:

3a) Which folder brand do you think is the most popular?

3b) Why do you think it's so popular?
Dahon is easily the most popular folder; their sales dwarf those of all other folder makers.

I think that they are popular because they are - speaking generally - the best value in the sub $1000 market. They are a decent brand - much better than the no-name chinese folders you can find - and for around $500 you can get a very useful 7 speed Dahon D7. Dahons don't have the fastest fold, but they have a fast fold. They don't have the smallest or most compact fold, but they have pretty small fold and a pretty compact fold.

(Tern is a company that has broken off (for lack of a better term) from Dahon and what I wrote above probably also applies to Tern).

I don't own a Dahon or a Tern, and I don't particularly mean to endorse them one way or another; I'm just answering your question. But keep in mind the limits of your question - if you asked what the most popular bike in the US is (limiting it to bikes sold at bike shops), the answer is probably a $500 Trek hybrid. But that doesn't mean that you should buy a Trek hybrid - what you should buy really depends on what you want to do with the bike. And, as always, what your budget is - if you want something that rides like a road bike and has good performance, you'll be better off with a $2,000 BF pocket rocket. (Or a $5000 custom full dura ace pocket rocket pro, even).

Quote:
Thank you in advance!
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Old 07-23-12, 02:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alhedges View Post
Any reputable folder will be durable and fold more or less simply. It's more useful to know the characteristics of the fold - how fast you can fold it, what size it is when you fold it, how compact is it when you fold it, can you roll it when folded, etc.

But the relevance of the answers depends on what you want to do with the bike. If the fold is important because you want to transport your bike once a week by car, you don't need a small fold or a fast fold or a compact fold, nor does it really matter if you can roll the bike while folded. If you're going to fold the bike twice a day and take it on public transportation or into buildings, speed and size do matter.
Probably the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro.

Dahon is easily the most popular folder; their sales dwarf those of all other folder makers.

I think that they are popular because they are - speaking generally - the best value in the sub $1000 market. They are a decent brand - much better than the no-name chinese folders you can find - and for around $500 you can get a very useful 7 speed Dahon D7. Dahons don't have the fastest fold, but they have a fast fold. They don't have the smallest or most compact fold, but they have pretty small fold and a pretty compact fold.

(Tern is a company that has broken off (for lack of a better term) from Dahon and what I wrote above probably also applies to Tern).

I don't own a Dahon or a Tern, and I don't particularly mean to endorse them one way or another; I'm just answering your question. But keep in mind the limits of your question - if you asked what the most popular bike in the US is (limiting it to bikes sold at bike shops), the answer is probably a $500 Trek hybrid. But that doesn't mean that you should buy a Trek hybrid - what you should buy really depends on what you want to do with the bike. And, as always, what your budget is - if you want something that rides like a road bike and has good performance, you'll be better off with a $2,000 BF pocket rocket. (Or a $5000 custom full dura ace pocket rocket pro, even).
Thanks everybody!

That was all quite the lesson...

I shall return after more independent research
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Old 07-24-12, 11:02 AM   #10
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Check out the sticky threads for general information on folding bikes.
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Old 07-24-12, 03:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
Thanks everybody!

That was all quite the lesson...

I shall return after more independent research
Not sure what part of NorCal you're in, but I have a bike here that might fit the bill ... one of the fastest, one of the smaller, tighter folds, certainly one of the lightest ever.. and only a few months old.. Dahon Mu SL.. PM me if interested..
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