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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 11-01-12, 06:10 PM   #1
trek2
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folder with suspension?

Currently I have a Bike Friday, and when I travel in my RV it rides on the back. But I'd rather use something with more suspension when traveling with the RV. I do end up mostly on pavement, but also dirt/gravel roads and easy trails.

So I was wondering about the Downtube suspended folders, or would I be better off with a Swift and some fat tires. I would like to stay with aluminum, since the bike is exposed on the back of the RV. Thoughts? Should I instead look at large wheel bikes?
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Old 11-01-12, 06:49 PM   #2
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why don't you just put schwalbe big apples on your bike friday?
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Old 11-01-12, 07:19 PM   #3
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why don't you just put schwalbe big apples on your bike friday?
The Llama is the only Pocket Friday that can take 2.0" Big Apples. We travel with an Aframe folding trailer and our Fridays mounted on a board in the rear of our SUV.

We prefer taking our Pocket 8's on trips vs. my NWT and wife's Crusoe because of the Pocket 8's 1.75" Kenda Kwest tires and 48T chain rings vs. the stock 53T. They work great on all the surfaces we have encountered, including a 20 mile ride on the gravel carriage trails of Acadia Nat. Pk. in Maine. Even did 10-12 miles on the C&O out of D.C. on that trip, too. Our custom Fridays have ThudBuster seat posts, and are comfy on such trails, but their 1.35" Kojacks are just not as sure-footed as the 1.75" Kendas. We are in our late 60's, so having the wife comfortable on gravel trails on her bike is definitely a positive recommendation - especially since we have never been mtn bikers.

Also, keeping the bikes inside the SUV has minimized the wear and tear from cross-country travel, and is far better security-wise, IMO.

Lou

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Old 11-01-12, 07:22 PM   #4
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The Origami Mantis and Cricket both come will full suspensions and 7005 Aluminum frames.
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Old 11-01-12, 07:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by trek2 View Post
Currently I have a Bike Friday, and when I travel in my RV it rides on the back. But I'd rather use something with more suspension when traveling with the RV. I do end up mostly on pavement, but also dirt/gravel roads and easy trails.

So I was wondering about the Downtube suspended folders, or would I be better off with a Swift and some fat tires. I would like to stay with aluminum, since the bike is exposed on the back of the RV. Thoughts? Should I instead look at large wheel bikes?
Why a folder if it's riding on the back of an RV? Sure, you can buy a suspended folder - Moulton (technically a demountable, or seperable, but a really well-designed suspension), mebbe a Brompton (although somewhat limited gearing & rear susp only). I haven't ridden the Downtube so can't comment there. I have ridden the Swift Xootr and while it's a fine ride, it's rather gangly when folded (the "stick" folder type). So I guess I'd recommend a "normal" size suspension bike in your situation.

One more thought: The Bike Friday "beam" bikes - Air Friday & Air Glide - are incredibly comfortable on rough surfaces. (You can see an Air Glide in my avatar pic.) If I were insane enough to do Paris-Brest-Paris over cobblestone, it'd be my first choice of all the bikes in my stable. Trouble is, long out of production because Green Gear had trouble sourcing the titanium after their Russian supplier dried up, but I still see them on the used market quite regularly. If you're looking for one bike which will do pavement as well as trail, could be worth trading or moving up to.

Don
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Old 11-01-12, 09:05 PM   #6
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Old 11-01-12, 10:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the responses. If I could travel with the bikes in the RV I would, they would certainly stay cleaner. But since they're outside, I thought that aluminum might be a better frame choice. And I guess I was looking to spend a little less, plus the Swift seems to have an ardent following. It's good to hear that the 1.75 Kendas have been adequate tires for most surfaces. As to non-folder large wheels, I suppose that makes sense, but having ridden my BF for the last 2 years, I've come to really enjoy the smaller wheeled ride. And of course, logic can only go so far when choosing a bike
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Old 11-02-12, 10:44 AM   #8
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I would try fat tyres and some sort of suspension in seat or seatpost before buying a new bike. Brooks flyer?

I have started putting BA`s on almost all my bikes. Cheap and light suspension plus I think they look good.
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Old 11-02-12, 10:55 AM   #9
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There are suspension forks for 20" wheels.. though the custom modifications
for Bike Friday , may mean threading the steerer.

Im OK with, just, the Butt suspension, offered by a Thudbuster seat post.

Quote:
I travel in my RV it rides on the back. But I'd rather use something with more suspension when traveling with the RV. I do end up mostly on pavement, but also dirt/gravel roads and easy trails.

sounds like you can just get a modest priced MTB,
if you put it on a rack on the back of your RV,
it doesn't even have to fold ..
Suspension Fork and seatpost, Hardtail.

bigger wheel better in the rough.. but a Pocket Llama
will cope OK.. just a compromise for Air Travel
to get the Pack Size Down.

but you use an RV, to travel..
and the bike is not getting folded to go inside..

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-02-12 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 11-02-12, 11:53 AM   #10
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The Downtube FS is a fine bike for casual riding. Factor in the price, and it's a great value. It's great for moderate riding on dirt trails. It's heavy, though. Probably 30+ lbs. So, if that's not a deterrent for you, then I can certainly recommend it. Try to look for a used one. Then it's an even better value.
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Old 11-02-12, 05:50 PM   #11
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Though I've never ridden or owned one, for value, and functionality, the Origami Mantis, and Cricket might be good choices to consider. They have aluminum frames, and are of reasonable weight.

The OP mentioned they ride mostly on pavement but sometimes on gravel, dirt, and easy trails. A large wheel MTB is bit of an overkill.

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Old 11-02-12, 06:34 PM   #12
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Id like to see some of your all folding bikes on these big apple tires!
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