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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 12-30-12, 07:03 PM   #1
B McEwen
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I finally made the plunge

About 15 years ago I read an article on folders in Bicycling and thought "cool". But life was busy and I never got around to getting one. I retired this year. Mid-Dec I did some looking on-line and have ended up with 2 bike Fridays (one for my wife). We plan to take them on trips.

Of course I should have done this 15 years ago and could have had them on business trips.

The one for my wife is a BF Metro about 10 years old I would guess. It arrived 2 days ago. It has a few scratches and needs some adjustments but should be fine. With shipping it ended up costing me $500.

Mine is is a used NWT with trailer. I will be picking it up in Jan when we leave the snow and ice of Ottawa for a southern holiday.

I'm really looking forward to having bikes as we travel.

Would appreciate any advice on maintenance and things to watch for on these bikes. Also looking for a suitcase for the Metro. I see BFRIDAY sells the 30" samsonite F'lite which various places online have for about $180. Are there cheaper or better alternatives? Does anyone have a used case available?
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Old 12-30-12, 07:19 PM   #2
rhenning
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My advice is with Bike Friday call them with what you are looking for. They often have things for their bikes that never get on the web site. The may have several trailers sitting waiting for new owners. Also after you get your BF call BF with your serial numbers. They love to keep track of where the bikes are and will send you out emails and offers without being obnoxious. Also if they have any recall type things going on they would want to know where the bikes are. I bought my Pocket Rocket from them used in 1994 and over the years have gotten to friends with one of the owners and his wife and many of the staff. They are a small company and you actually talk to people who ride bikes when you call. You have just gained a new large family. Roger
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Old 12-30-12, 08:43 PM   #3
bargainguy
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First of all, congrats and welcome to the forum!

Things to watch out for: Headsets loosening (lotsa folks run Chris King headsets because of this) and issues with the folding QR clamps and bits.

The older Samsonite Carlton & Oyster suitcases work just fine but are a tight squeeze with the larger frame sizes. The F'lite is a touch bigger and sometimes gets flagged for oversize (62" total dimensions), which will ruin your day by adding small charges on a domestic flight and whopping charges on international flights. Whatever suitcase you get, make sure to get a set of crush protectors (available separately from BF, or make your own) to prevent the suitcase contents from side impacts. A set of felt bags helps too. A friend uses the purple Crown Royale bags from liquor bottles for this.

You also need to stay within the 50 lb. international weight limit - suitcase + contents - to prevent overweight charges. If your suitcase and bike are near the 50 lb. weight limit going overseas, resist the temptation to stuff things like helmets and shoes in the nooks and crannies of your suitcase.
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