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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 10-01-12, 04:12 AM   #1
gringo_gus
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BF pocket companion vs Airnimal Joey Explore - help me decide....

Guys, I am in a dilemma about which to get. I have 1kstlg to spend on a bike-to-work bike.

I would like something I can ride to/from work, but also would replace the two FS audax bikes I have at either end of my split-site lifestyle. Also, fitting in a airline acceptable case would be good. I have honed it down to a BF pocket companion and an Airnimal Joey Explore. This is my thinking so far:

BF Pocket Companion. Advantages beyond the obvious: goes in a case. Steel frame. Lots of accessories. Good for light/normal touring. Disadvantages; At 1k stlg, I am paying a big import premium. As I go to the states often I guess I could buy one there for c $1K USD and ship it home. Maybe.

Airnimal: Advantages: Made in UK. Nice first fold - can be wheeled folded with commuter kit. Slightly bigger wheels. No import premium. Disadvantages: Aluminium frame (don't know why this matters but it does). Won't go in airline case.

I need the gear range either offers, and 1.1K is really the max I can go to. So any thoughts, alternatives
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Old 10-01-12, 05:06 AM   #2
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If you decide on the bike friday, picking one up in the states if possible is a good idea. This is how my wife and I obtained our pocket sports in 2011. Bike Friday were very helpful and shipped them to us where we were staying in LA. We did some rides during our time in the USA and carried them home as "second hand" bikes saving approx $1100 AUD on import duty in the process. Love the bikes and have toured, commuted and done a couple of 100+ km "charity rides" on them - have never had any trouble taking them on any form of transport and they stay well protected in the case with their packing kits. These are my thoughts, ultimately you will know which is the right bike for you. Happy shopping!!
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Old 10-01-12, 12:18 PM   #3
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How about a Brompton 6 speed with a Steve Parry front derailleur kit?

dual range for the 6 speed, tidier than a 2 chainring crank,
and greasy finger shifting.

PDX dealer touring set was a 36/44.. he liked it..

Schlumpf cranks are a bit pricy, being Swiss manufactured,
but another range spreading option.
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Old 10-01-12, 12:24 PM   #4
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You can take a connecting flight from London to Seattle to Eugene,
and do a factory pickup at the BiFri shop.

but your bike to work scheme may need that UK sales receipt,IDK.

No sales tax in Oregon, we get lots of Canadian shoppers..
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Old 10-01-12, 06:57 PM   #5
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If you know that you are headed to the states order the bike from BF and have them ship it to where you are staying.
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Old 10-01-12, 07:02 PM   #6
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I do like the Joey Commute
http://www.bicycledoctor.co.uk/p_air...eycommute.html
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Old 10-01-12, 07:06 PM   #7
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How about a Moulton,it does come apart.
http://www.bicycledoctor.co.uk/p_pashleytsr8.html

or

http://www.bicycledoctor.co.uk/p_pashleytsr9.html
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Old 10-01-12, 08:23 PM   #8
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I've ridden both. I'd go for the BF. Couple reasons here: BF can be sized to fit you, whereas Joey is one-size-fits-all. Not as crazy about the 24" rims on the Joey, either. Not only a less compact fold but not as popular a size for tires/tubes/rims as the BF, so replacement could be an issue, esp if you're far from home and don't have a spare or run out. YMMV.

Don
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Old 10-02-12, 05:08 AM   #9
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I've ridden both. I'd go for the BF. Couple reasons here: BF can be sized to fit you, whereas Joey is one-size-fits-all. Not as crazy about the 24" rims on the Joey, either. Not only a less compact fold but not as popular a size for tires/tubes/rims as the BF, so replacement could be an issue, esp if you're far from home and don't have a spare or run out. YMMV.

Don
thanks for all your comments, really helpful. I have been in further correspondence with Richard at Airnimal who says that the Joey sport will, with disassembly, fit a b and w case. I have asked my local dealer for a price for a Joey Explore, but with skinny wheels and drops which I am assured will also fit. The BF dealer (Cyclesense) has been very responsive. However, I see I can get a pocket rocket in the US for the price I'd pay here for a pocket companion. Of course, if I had an Airnimal with drops etc then why would I need a pocket rocket....

An embarrassment of riches. Nice dilemma to have, though.
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Old 10-03-12, 09:26 AM   #10
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I don't think that you'll be disappointed with the Joey Explore. I have the Explore Drop as well as a Chameleon and this bike is capable of serious work. It really is a robust bike and I would happily use it for loaded touring without a qualm and I've owned custom-made heavy tourers in the past. I would have bought from Spa cycles myself as they have a lot of expertise and are well-regarded but you pays your money...........
As regards the comment about the difficulty in sourcing 24" tyres I don't see this as a problem. There is bags of clearance on the Joey and 24" is a popular choice for BMX bikes.
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Old 10-03-12, 02:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by onbike 1939 View Post
I don't think that you'll be disappointed with the Joey Explore. I have the Explore Drop as well as a Chameleon and this bike is capable of serious work. It really is a robust bike and I would happily use it for loaded touring without a qualm and I've owned custom-made heavy tourers in the past. I would have bought from Spa cycles myself as they have a lot of expertise and are well-regarded but you pays your money...........
As regards the comment about the difficulty in sourcing 24" tyres I don't see this as a problem. There is bags of clearance on the Joey and 24" is a popular choice for BMX bikes.
cheers onbike 1939.... to be honest I am enjoying wallowing in my indecision. I've emailed bicycledoctor (see above) who are my local dealer on joey options, but no reply (but airnimal themselves have been excellent). Have been veering BF way, but I guess no harm trying spa cycles, as am often Harrogate way anyway...
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Old 10-06-12, 06:22 AM   #12
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Hi guys. I have had further correspondence with bicycledoctor, and went in today. Rode a commute, which rode, well, just like a commuter bike (which given it is a folder, is very good); and a chameleon, which they had at a good price. Still a bit much for me though, so have ordered the joey explore drop, but with the thinner wheelset. Am very excited, will start another folderitis thread when it arrives.....

In the end it was the proximity of the dealer, the wheelsize, and the lack of import premium that swung me against the BF. Still would love a pocket rocket pro one day.
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Old 10-12-12, 08:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by gringo_gus View Post
Hi guys. I have had further correspondence with bicycledoctor, and went in today. Rode a commute, which rode, well, just like a commuter bike (which given it is a folder, is very good); and a chameleon, which they had at a good price. Still a bit much for me though, so have ordered the joey explore drop, but with the thinner wheelset. Am very excited, will start another folderitis thread when it arrives.....

In the end it was the proximity of the dealer, the wheelsize, and the lack of import premium that swung me against the BF. Still would love a pocket rocket pro one day.
Congratulations!
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