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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 08-27-12, 08:37 PM   #1
Laiko
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Be a friend and suggest a folding bike

Hi All,

New to the forums, fascinated with folding bikes so here I am.

Location: NYC Queens - Manhattan
Weight: 159 lbs
Height: 5'10
Budget: Negotiable
Experience: Biking since 2010 with my 2009 Bianchi Via Narone Alu 7, I'm not brazen enough to say I'm experienced as I only done a few hosted rides and my max mileage in a single ride was only 45miles(Last years NYC Hudson river ride, anyone remember the heavy rain?)

Additional Information: I don't have a car but I do like small cars(Fiat 500), so I won't be initially storing this in a trunk or whatever and I'll be lugging it physically and hopefully figure out how to carry the bike folded on my back(I notice there is no market for this yet)

Use: Well I already have my Bianchi for "touring" but it is a bit of a hassle to lug it to the city if I wanted to navigate to areas that aren't blessed with a nearby public transit.
For my intended use of my future folding bike, I'd hope to use it for..
1. Commuting(Manhatten, from gym to home, etc)
2. Casual park riding(Light 15-20 mile rides)
3. Shopping(Pick up some groceries)

I looked a bit at the Brompton, Dahon, Downtube, Citizen, etc(basically lurked the webs for awhile). I still really can't decide what to do and was hoping for some guidance. I noticed the sticky thread had some nice good old examples of people asking for advice so I thought to create a new thread in hopes of understanding the current tech trend of 2012-2013 of folding bikes.

I am all about practicality but I also love stylish bikes(my Bianchi is a good poser bike..but I love her) and I do plan on hauling the bike folded on my back so weight is also important to some extent. I'm probably asking for too much and the budget might be quite high so please go ahead and open my eyes and wake me up from my dream.
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Old 08-27-12, 08:40 PM   #2
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I would checkout NYCE in person and look at the Bromptons.
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Old 08-27-12, 08:46 PM   #3
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I you can locate one of these I would consider this stylish http://www.calhouncycle.com/productc...on-95p3173.htm
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Old 08-28-12, 01:24 AM   #4
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And Bike Friday Ships factory direct to your home or office, from Oregon.

Tikit is their quick fold , Brompton like 349 16" wheel.. same tires .
More frame lengths and component options..

Their travel bikes have some hinges to aid packing small
in suit cases, but wouldn't fold to get on the bus daily..

I have a 20" wheel BF Pocket Llama, [that smaller wheel
makes bike 14" shorter than the 700c ones]

and a Brompton in the Apt closet..

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-28-12 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 08-28-12, 02:47 AM   #5
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Brompton or a Tikit[Bike Friday] and nothing else don't even bother wasting your time on the others that you've checked out trust me on this !
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Old 08-28-12, 03:38 AM   #6
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I'd go with the Brompton because I really don't like how the Tikit looks; it just looks like a pile of junk when folded, and unfolded it just doesn't appeal to me. Just my two cents tho. Seems like you'll be doing more casual local riding, so the Brompton seems better suited for that.
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Old 08-28-12, 04:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
I you can locate one of these I would consider this stylish http://www.calhouncycle.com/productc...on-95p3173.htm
tacky!

Go for something stylish if you go for Brompton!

OP: Sure you need to carry it? Did you look into the way to roll the Tikit? The rack and easywheels on the Brompton? The rack with small wheels for rolling some of the Terns? Others are for sure designed to roll instead of carry also. Why carry something with wheels? You need to go to some shops or meet with owners to make sure you can try out how to roll the different bikes.

For shopping and carrying stuff the Brompton luggagesystem is great bot if you really want you can have that system on other bikes too.

Last edited by badmother; 08-28-12 at 04:59 AM. Reason: add more
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Old 08-28-12, 06:02 AM   #8
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Melon Slice Folding Bike http://www.amazon.com/Melon-Bicycles.../dp/B004705X0Q
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Fitness is only a side effect,...I feel alive when I ride!!!
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Old 08-28-12, 07:53 AM   #9
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I would checkout NYCE in person and look at the Bromptons.
I agree with this suggestion. They have several different brands and types to actually try out (if I'm correct).
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Old 08-28-12, 08:05 AM   #10
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I've never been to NYCE, but if you're in New York, I really suggest going to try out bikes for yourself. For what you describe, a Brompton is probably a really good fit. I've used mine for commuting (less than yours), but have taken it on conferences and done some riding during my downtime (about 2 to 3 hours worth), to the library, etc.

Not sure about hoisting it on your back. 30 lbs of bike is not that bad, but any folded bike is a bit... awkward...
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Old 08-28-12, 08:47 AM   #11
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Try before you buy really is the only sure way

Regards

Jerry
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Old 08-28-12, 09:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
I do plan on hauling the bike folded on my back so weight is also important to some extent.


Holy crap. Folding bikes are generally heavier than "regular" bikes because of the complexities of the folding mechanism. You may want to reconsider this.

At any rate: look at Brompton and Bike Friday Tikit. The Brompton is more of a folding device you can use as a bike. The Tikit is more of a bike which you can fold. The Brompton has a cleaner and more compact fold by far, and nice luggage options, and it's more elegant by a long shot. But it has lots of custom parts, grotesquely bad handlebars, limited gearing and brake options, and poor sizing options (won't affect you so much -- it's probably okay for your size). The Tikit also folds much, much faster, but that's not its big selling point: it's mostly standard parts and highly configurable in size and options both before and after the sale.

A stripped-down Brompton can get to about 20 pounds. A stripped-down Tikit can get to about 19 pounds, and if you're willing to pay the dough, you can get it down to about 17 pounds.

Instead of NYCE, I'd go to BFold. Union Square. And call up Bike Friday as well.


Last edited by feijai; 08-28-12 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 08-28-12, 10:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Well I already have my Bianchi for "touring" but it is a bit of a hassle to lug it to the city if I wanted to navigate to areas that aren't blessed with a nearby public transit.
The closest thing to your Bianchi Via Narone Alu 7 in a true folder would perhaps be a Dahon Vector X27H or a Tern Verge X30H.
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Old 08-28-12, 11:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmother View Post
Why carry something with wheels?
I'm a big proponent of rolling instead of carrying whenever possible. There are situations, though, like boarding transit or surmounting apartment stairs, that will necessitate lifting and carrying the bike.
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Old 08-28-12, 12:17 PM   #15
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Yeah, it's pretty hard to get a folding bike to a low weight because no one makes a light folding frame except maybe the full titanium Minimax but no one has ever reviewed one here since they only seem to be sold in Asia.
http://www.hasabike.com.tw/cat_fd_bike.htm

There are carbon framed folders in Asia but once again no one has reviewed them.
I wouldn't trust a carbon folding frame just because of the abuse a folder gets bumping into things.
My 7005 alloy Dahon Mantis frameset weighs around 2500g which is heavier than a high end full size frame.
Reinforcing the joints adds weight, there's no way around it.

If you really intend to put a 20+ pound bike on your back, the Brompton will be the smallest package but it can never be superlight as in 15 pounds.

If I were to roll a bike instead of carry it, I'd go with a Tern Verge but I doubt you could ever get it below 17 pounds no matter how much money you throw at it.
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Old 08-28-12, 01:18 PM   #16
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The amusing thing about the notion that trying a folding bike out for real is the only way to find out what suit you: there are so many aspects of folding bike mechanisms that can be slightly maladjusted that often you'll end up with a false impression of the 'ride quality' of a bike based on a peculiarity of a test model. On top of that the uses to which a folding bike can be put are more diverse than a regular bike and it often takes months/years to get a real feel for it. Which is why most people on this forum have multiple bikes, or have gone through several purchases before arriving at a long-term folder.

Do you plan on locking the bike outside?
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Old 08-28-12, 04:26 PM   #17
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I'm a big proponent of rolling instead of carrying whenever possible. There are situations, though, like boarding transit or surmounting apartment stairs, that will necessitate lifting and carrying the bike.
Yes, but I am not sure yet if this is the case for the OP. Boarding transit (at least around here) is done by just lifting it. We can roll the bike (on its wheels) all the way up to the bus or train but I know this is not possible other places but rolling a folded B innside the cower should be possible most places.

Apartment stairs- yes of course but a lot of peopel can hang the bike with the seat on the sholder and just walk up or use an elevator.

The Op said "..and I do plan on hauling the bike folded on my back so weight is also important to some extent".
That is not enough info really. Guess he`ll be back with more info.
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Old 08-28-12, 04:44 PM   #18
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The Op said "..and I do plan on hauling the bike folded on my back so weight is also important to some extent".
That is not enough info really. Guess he`ll be back with more info.
I think he is trying to find a way to be able to carry the bikes like this:

It would be great for a company to come up with some solution like this for their bikes.
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Old 08-28-12, 04:58 PM   #19
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I think he is trying to find a way to be able to carry the bikes like this:

It would be great for a company to come up with some solution like this for their bikes.
We understand that much, and a lot of peopel are doing it already.We are trying to find out if the OP need to do this a lot. No need to do it for the two peopel on the picture.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-Foldaway-bike
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Old 08-28-12, 05:04 PM   #20
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I think he is trying to find a way to be able to carry the bikes like this:

It would be great for a company to come up with some solution like this for their bikes.
Huh... what bikes are in the above photo?
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Old 08-28-12, 05:04 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=badmother;14664841]We understand that much, and a lot of peopel are doing it already.We are trying to find out if the OP need to do this a lot. No need to do it for the two peopel on the picture.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-Foldaway-bike[/QUOTE

Oh wow, my bad. I'm totally out of the loop, lol. Thanks for the info.
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Old 08-28-12, 05:34 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Training.Wheels View Post
I think he is trying to find a way to be able to carry the bikes like this:

It would be great for a company to come up with some solution like this for their bikes.
I thought that too but I think there is a possibility someone could hurt their back in some way and bring quite a lawsuit.
Homebrew solutions seem to be the way to go if you want to carry your bike on your back in the US.

Laiko: I looked at the low end of bikes-the Giant Expressway ($330) and the Tern Link 7 ($440). The Tern was the better bike and had better quality all around. If I only had one bike I would have bought the Tern. I mainly wanted to dip my toes in the folder market so I went with the Giant. Its just ok. The fold is not as nice as the Tern, and the Tern is more stable while folded and holds together better when folded.
The Giant needs to be held together by straps when folded. Both bikes are pretty big still even when folded. I think my Giant takes up half of the trunk of my small car.
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Old 08-28-12, 06:33 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
Huh... what bikes are in the above photo?
here's the website! They're interesting, but with no pedals, it's made for hiking uphill and riding downhill only.

http://www.bergmoench.com/en/
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Old 08-28-12, 08:09 PM   #24
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NYCE and Brompton = done.
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Old 08-28-12, 08:48 PM   #25
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Oh boy, lots of responses - thank you all.

@Dynocoaster: Jubilee is such an awesome sounding name, I like the color scheme but I don't want to come off as such a UK loving man

@All on Tikit Bikes: I'm seeing a lot of support for Tikit's, any particular reason? I saw a couple of their models and I have to agree with Training.Wheels that they kind of look weird.

@Bromptons: I did give them a good look through, they are quite stylish and compact. feijai's comments are kind of a worry though.

@Ozonation/Lao/Dynocoaster: Yeah, I'm thinking I'll need to at least test ride a few bikes to get a taste first

@tds101: Never heard of Melon before, are they reliable?


@chagzuki: I'm really terrified of the thought of locking my bike outside in New York City, I may as well say goodbye once I hear that *clink* sound. Reminds me of an incident in the Lower East Side, where I noticed many bikes with missing wheels and finding a guy selling a mountain of wheels on some corner area.

@badmother: I never tried rolling a bike, I guess that is what peeves me and is another notion where I'll need to visit one of those shops in the city to try out myself. I suppose my idea of carrying it on my back is just another option I can undertake and not limited to holding/rolling it. Just seems more manly to me to have it on your back, rather than rolling it - haha.

I understand one of the main issues is that you may have a part jabbing you through the back if you ever tried to put it on your back.

@ttakata73: Hmm point taken, I'd rather not look into anything that is not wildly known yet and understand the weight involved with folds now.

@MF Monk: The Tern Link 7 looks quite nice actually, what kind of car do you have?

@tcs: The Dahon Vector X27H & Tern Verge X30H both look like sexy bikes but I don't really need something to replace my Bianchi, it's definitely a thought though. I'm trying to find a sort of supplement bike in combination with my Bianchi.


Visiting an actual store is all good and all but could I be recommended some specific models so perhaps I can provide a list to whoever is assisting me? With specific things that these models are known for and etc?


Thanks again everyone.

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