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Thread: Budget folder?

  1. #1
    Member Cousin Jack's Avatar
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    Budget folder?

    My wife and I are educators, me retired and she still working, and we've done two great European trips, mostly by rented motorcycles. The prohibitive cost of rental motorcycles and/or the cost of shipping our own motorcycle is significant, and slowing us down. We decided to switch to bicycles (we're pretty strong fitness riders), and actually bought a couple of touring bicycles with the thought of shipping them over....but the airline "tariff" on bicycles and the difficulty of crating them for flight put us off........ we need folders that can go through checked luggage. We examined BikeFriday, but for the cost of two of those and their containers, we could easily ship our motorcycle over and back several times. My question: is there a budget folder, a second-rank bike maybe that can be toured on, and be purchased for less than one half your mortgage? I've discovered that a 29"X29"X10" container can be checked, and I think I could cobble up a couple cases if I could find a bike that would break down to fit.....

    Thoughts?

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    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Jack View Post
    My wife and I are educators, me retired and she still working, and we've done two great European trips, mostly by rented motorcycles. The prohibitive cost of rental motorcycles and/or the cost of shipping our own motorcycle is significant, and slowing us down. We decided to switch to bicycles (we're pretty strong fitness riders), and actually bought a couple of touring bicycles with the thought of shipping them over....but the airline "tariff" on bicycles and the difficulty of crating them for flight put us off........ we need folders that can go through checked luggage. We examined BikeFriday, but for the cost of two of those and their containers, we could easily ship our motorcycle over and back several times. My question: is there a budget folder, a second-rank bike maybe that can be toured on, and be purchased for less than one half your mortgage? I've discovered that a 29"X29"X10" container can be checked, and I think I could cobble up a couple cases if I could find a bike that would break down to fit.....

    Thoughts?
    I suggest you do not go for cheap and heavy. The cost- both in money and sweat to haul them around would not be worth it. I suggest a Dahon: http://www.dahon.com/bikes/2011/mu-p8

    Look for second hand ones or sell the touring bikes and buy something light and easy to maintain and pack. Buy good racks front and rear (or go for a trailer solution). Touring on folders are great, you`ll newer look back.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...y-your-luggage

    Also do some reading in the touring forums http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php/47-Touring
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Maybe buy a used bike pair when you get there.. shed them when you depart,
    Craigs list or equivalent, in that country, so to have it secured before departure.

    I Own A Bike Friday and a Brompton, both are world tour ready ..
    have been utilized by the on tour forever Herr Stuke.

    NB: you could make 2, disposable, bike boxes for them out of 1 big wheel bike carton..

  4. #4
    Day trip lover mr geeker's Avatar
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    budget is a relative term. but yea, you mean cheaper end of the spectrum. citizen has bikes as cheap as about $200 including shipping, half of what a dahon costs.

    here's a link that might help, http://www.foldingcyclist.com/, it has a giant list of companies that make folding bikes and a short buyers guide.
    Last edited by mr geeker; 10-23-12 at 03:31 PM.
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    Senior Member fusilierdan's Avatar
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    I just took a Dahon MU P8 to Colorado in an Airline legal (62") hard sided suitcase. No problems. For touring you would need racks and maybe fenders but they should fit in the same case just taking a little longer to assemble on arrival.
    Giant TCRC2 2007, GT Avalance 2011,Dahon MU P8 2012

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    How much are you looking to spend for a folder?
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    Thor has some new Tern Link P9 for sale the price includes shipping
    http://www.thorusa.com/accessories/oneoff.htm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Jack View Post
    I've discovered that a 29"X29"X10" container can be checked
    That would be a linear dimension (L + W + H) of 68" and is well over the usual US airline limit for regular checked baggage of 62". Charges vary, but, e.g., Amer. Airlines lists a charge of $150 for a flight from the US to Europe for luggage that's over 62" but under 126":
    http://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInforma...false&from=Nav

    I'd suggest looking for a used Bike Friday or one of the better quality Dahons, Terns, or Bromptons that can get you down to a size that fits in a regular suitcase (these are almost always sized to meet the 62" L+H+W limit). Note that Bike Friday uses regular suitcases (mine uses a Carlton case) and there's no need to buy the case from them - you can usually pick up used suitcases from thrift shops for very little money.

    Also consider what type of cycling trips you'll be doing in Europe. For just getting between museums in cities you could use just about any bike, but you might not be satisfied with the quality level and sturdiness of some of the cheaper folding bikes if you're planning on an extended cycle tour covering substantial distances each day.

  9. #9
    train safe buelito's Avatar
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    I took my dahon Speed8 to Colorado last June to do Ride the Rockies. Went in an airline friendly suitcase. Rode well,--about 450 miles mostly in the mountains-- hilly and head winds most of the time. Bike rode well. The Speed8 can be found for $350-450 used on ebay or craigslist.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    First of all, what type of touring do you and your wife plan on doing? Touring on a bicycle can be as simple as exploring the cities you visit, and just about any "budget folder" will do. If you do plan on going full tilt meaning front, and rear panniers, and riding over long distances, well, maybe a Bike Friday for example might be a good choice.

    Otherwise you can look at these "budget" models:

    Citizenbike Gotham 2 - $319 (Has a nice wide range of gear ratios)
    Origami Crane - $289 (Good value)
    Downtube Nova - $329 (Pretty light, and drivetrain can be easily upgraded to a 21 speed)
    Greenzone Premium Edition - $399 (Well built, and solid)
    Giant Expressway 2 - $460 (Well known, respected bike manufacturer)

    I'll stop there because anything above $500 in my humble opinion is not a "budget" folder, and that's the territory of the other brands most of the posters have recommended. Even a used Bikefriday NWT is almost always a four figure amount. But again, use common sense in choosing a bike according to your needs.

    Remember that to get any of these folding bikes into a case of the size you're looking at, may require at the very least to remove the wheels for it to fit. But then again, that's with most folders.

    Good luck, and please let us know what bike you decided on.

    Ed






    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Jack View Post
    My wife and I are educators, me retired and she still working, and we've done two great European trips, mostly by rented motorcycles. The prohibitive cost of rental motorcycles and/or the cost of shipping our own motorcycle is significant, and slowing us down. We decided to switch to bicycles (we're pretty strong fitness riders), and actually bought a couple of touring bicycles with the thought of shipping them over....but the airline "tariff" on bicycles and the difficulty of crating them for flight put us off........ we need folders that can go through checked luggage. We examined BikeFriday, but for the cost of two of those and their containers, we could easily ship our motorcycle over and back several times. My question: is there a budget folder, a second-rank bike maybe that can be toured on, and be purchased for less than one half your mortgage? I've discovered that a 29"X29"X10" container can be checked, and I think I could cobble up a couple cases if I could find a bike that would break down to fit.....

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by edwong3; 10-23-12 at 08:42 PM.
    Edward Wong III
    2008 Qile Duo VSTII Single Speed 20" Folder (Converted from a 5 speed)

  11. #11
    Portable Audio/Bike Lover tds101's Avatar
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    Fitness is only a side effect,...I feel alive when I ride!!!

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    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    you want to carry a budget bike with you to europe? then by "budget" you have to mean used.

    here's one that i would consider for city touring (that seems to be in your area):

    dahon curve:

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/3322616906.html

    a very good quality bike at a very good price that meets your travel reqs. offer the person 250. thats a great buy.

  13. #13
    Portable Audio/Bike Lover tds101's Avatar
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    Heh,...pinky.
    Fitness is only a side effect,...I feel alive when I ride!!!

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    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    One Month Tour of Italy on a Folding Bike

    Here's a video of a man who toured Italy for a full month on a budget folding bike. He didn't bring it with him though. He bought it there, and after a few days, had the rear freewheel changed to a Megarange, and installed a front rack. I just thought it was interesting.



    Ed
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  15. #15
    Member Cousin Jack's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone! Wiser now by far! Mulling it from a changed perspective.....

    Great video, Edwong3 "Cars cost money and make you fat; bicycles run on fat and make you money!" Priceless!
    Last edited by Cousin Jack; 10-24-12 at 08:55 AM.

  16. #16
    Member Cousin Jack's Avatar
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    Well, maybe I oughta quit screwing around, and just go Bike Friday....it's only money. Along the same costs, what do you think of something like this, an S and S coupled folder.....? Something that can fit in the 26"X26"X10" (not the 29X29X10 I originally put up......)

    http://www.rodcycle.com/

    (go to bicycle by type, and look at their UTB Adventure model....)
    Last edited by Cousin Jack; 10-24-12 at 10:05 AM.

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    The 6 pack is nice but that is alot of money and you can get 2 nice bike fridays for that.
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    Portable Audio/Bike Lover tds101's Avatar
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    Thanks for the video Ed, it made my morning.
    Fitness is only a side effect,...I feel alive when I ride!!!

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    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    I've seen a very similar bike somewhere before...

    147175379.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by edwong3 View Post
    Here's a video of a man who toured Italy for a full month on a budget folding bike. He didn't bring it with him though. He bought it there, and after a few days, had the rear freewheel changed to a Megarange, and installed a front rack. I just thought it was interesting.



    Ed
    I love this video. Part of what made me want to get a folder.

  22. #22
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    I'm very glad you all liked that video. Here's my thoughts. If you can COMFORTABLY AFFORD a "big name" brand like Bikefriday, Brompton, Dahon or Tern...go for it, and don't feel guilty about it.

    And if you can't afford one of those or unwilling to invest in a high end bike, that shouldn't prevent someone from enjoying the sights from the seat of a $250-$350 bike. A bike tour is what you make it of it. Heck, there is a guy with several videos on YouTube that is touring through his state on a 2012 Citizenbike Tokyo!

    Have fun riding what you have!

    Ed
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  23. #23
    Member Cousin Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwong3 View Post
    I'm very glad you all liked that video. Here's my thoughts. If you can COMFORTABLY AFFORD a "big name" brand like Bikefriday, Brompton, Dahon or Tern...go for it, and don't feel guilty about it.

    And if you can't afford one of those or unwilling to invest in a high end bike, that shouldn't prevent someone from enjoying the sights from the seat of a $250-$350 bike. A bike tour is what you make it of it. Heck, there is a guy with several videos on YouTube that is touring through his state on a 2012 Citizenbike Tokyo!

    Have fun riding what you have!

    Ed
    Thanks, Edwong, good advice, too........ There's a couple of "pre-loved" New World Tourists on their home site...... both together would be about $2.5K total...... which, in the long run, wouldn't be impossible.....mulling......

  24. #24
    Senior Member Fenway's Avatar
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    The 16" Citizen Tokyo might be a little too small if you are taller than 5'-8" for full leg extension, in which case I recommend the 20" Miami. I also must add that they don't fold as compactly as other more expensive folders due to the way the handlebars fold to the outside. Other than that, I've found the recent production (post 2011 redesign)Citizen bikes to be lovely, much more-so than one would expect for the price-point. They are heavier and lack some refinement in the hinge design/fold design, but the finish and manufacturing quality are now quite good.

  25. #25
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    The Citizenbike Miami, and Tokyo use the pin, and locking cam latch design which is not as fancy as say the system used on the Tern bikes for example, but it is very effective, strong, and SAFE. But I do understand what you mean.

    In this video, the owner of this Tokyo which he calls "The Little Mule", uses his to do some short tours, and he mentioned that he is 5'8" in another one of his videos.



    But I do think a Tokyo will accommodate someone a bit taller.

    I am also aware of two Miami owners who have used theirs to tour, one in the Florida Keys, and the other a gentleman who lives in Ireland. The quality of those bikes have come a long way starting in 2011 like you said.

    Ed



    Quote Originally Posted by Fenway View Post
    The 16" Citizen Tokyo might be a little too small if you are taller than 5'-8" for full leg extension, in which case I recommend the 20" Miami. I also must add that they don't fold as compactly as other more expensive folders due to the way the handlebars fold to the outside. Other than that, I've found the recent production (post 2011 redesign)Citizen bikes to be lovely, much more-so than one would expect for the price-point. They are heavier and lack some refinement in the hinge design/fold design, but the finish and manufacturing quality are now quite good.
    Last edited by edwong3; 10-26-12 at 06:45 AM.
    Edward Wong III
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