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  1. #51
    Senior Member overbyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    Most fixes are not intended for track use so the exclusion does not count. A racing bmx bike ,(ie track bike),is not a road bike and may get around the road requirements even though they have a rear brake in UK. I think a bmx bike with a chain guard might fail race scrutineering anyway, as it's an unnesseary component that could fail. That's my heresy not official. I suppose a lot of this implementation is toothless??
    Someone who completes a certificate of compliance could say that the chainguard does not apply to the fixie because, of course, a fixie with no brakes is "intended" for competitive velodrome racing, even though most if not virtually all buyers will in fact not use them exclusively on a velodrome. The justification would be that the manufacturer or importer has no control over the intention or use of a buyer, only over the manufacturer's intention. A seller who advertises the fixie as a cool road bike, as I've seen many do, would be on thin ice since he's selling a non-conforming bike that isn't actually intended for velodrome racing.

    A BMX bike isn't intended for velodrome racing no matter how you parse the language. Yet, they're sold without meeting some of the CPSC regulations.

    I sent an email to the contact person of CPSC bicycle regulations several days ago asking a direct question about lack of full-length or even a circular chain guard on fixies and single-speed road non-cruiser bikes. So far, no reply. Probably never will get one. The saying seems to apply "turn a blind eye".

    The question in my mind regarding this ultra-compact folder is, does it have "one rear sprocket" or 3 rear sprockets (two on the jackshaft and one on the rear hub). Sheldon Brown's bike glossary calls the toothed wheels that the belt runs around a "pulley" not a "sprocket" but the Gates Carbon Drive website calls them sprockets, so what are they as far as CPSC goes? Probably sprockets. So the bike in question has 4 sprockets total. Is it exempt?

  2. #52
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    A racing bmx bike is a track bike as I stated. I never claimed it was a velodrome bike. Just a different type of track. Simular to bycycle speedway and so on.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8.

  3. #53
    Senior Member overbyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    A racing bmx bike is a track bike as I stated. I never claimed it was a velodrome bike. Just a different type of track. Simular to bycycle speedway and so on.
    My point was that the US CPSC regulations on bicycles explicitly exclude velodrome track bicycles (fixie, no brakes, intended for velodrome racing) from the requirements, but not any other kind of bike that the seller or consumer might call a racing bike or use for racing on a track other than a velodrome. In other words, a BMX racing bike must comply with the rule for such things as full-length chain guard for sale in the US if it has only one front sprocket and one rear sprocket. I don't know how it is in other countries, such as the UK.

  4. #54
    Senior Member overbyte's Avatar
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    Why buy from a US-based seller if you live in the US?

    Quote Originally Posted by ratdog View Post
    I've seen Ebay listings for $279 w/ $99 shipping. Frankly, Don't know why you think you can outsell unscrupulous China based retailers willing to do a drop ship. All they'll do is come down to your price point.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
    The difference is that we can stand behind the product as the importer. The price will end up being about the same, but with an eBay purchase you are on your own after the sale and you have little recourse if the product is defective.
    The "stand behind" factor is a big difference which is not realized, not thought about, by US consumers who buy bikes from off-shore sellers. The bike may be unsafe, contain manufacturing defects that are not obvious but only show up when someone is injured by breakage, and yet the US consumer will never know that they are riding a potential time-bomb. When you fill out that warranty registration card, or make a purchase from a US retailer or US-located online seller, that information goes into the records of the seller for possible future contact if a hazardous defect is discovered.

    The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is supposed to be notified very promptly when a manufacturer, importer, or retailer becomes aware of hazardous product defects. Usually the manufacturer or importer makes concerted efforts to notify people who have the defective product, by email, direct mailings, press releases, notices to their distributors and retailers, posters in the retail stores, etc. The CPSC has the power to order recalls for repair or replacement or refund, and the power to fine and prosecute and jail those bad apples in the US who don't comply with the safety laws of the US. CPSC regulations require that manufacturers and importers certify that their products have been tested (either in-house or by third party testing labs) and were found to meet the safety standards if the product has such standards.

    Bicycles are covered under the regulation known as 16 CFR 1512, which includes some very specific engineering requirements. Not every possible defect can be detected by testing that way. For example, the CFR 1512 does not specify any fatigue tests, just static strength tests. It's well known that aluminum is prone to fatigue failure. That is, after repeated flexing under loads, microfractures develop within the aluminum and propagate during repeated use until the fracture causes the part to break. Steel is much, much, less prone to fatigue fractures, since it tends to yield and bend permanently rather than cracking. Carbon fiber parts are brittle and although strong they snap when bent too far, so weak designs in carbon fiber may show up on the static testing.

    Reputable manufacturers and importers have product liability insurance and recall insurance so they can follow through with their legal and moral responsibility to fix problems, pay for the consequences of injuries caused by their defective products, and/or refund the consumer. Every year, bicycle products of all sorts are discovered to be defective in some manner resulting in breakage and injury, sometimes very severe injury or death. You can see the history of bicycle recalls at the CPSC website: CPSC Home | CPSC.gov and SaferProducts.gov. What kinds of things have broken and resulted in recalls?: Crank arms, steering stems that break at welds, frames that break at welds, pedals that break at their axle and fall off, chains, brakes, seat posts, forks, you name it. And these faulty products didn't just come from no-name, off-brand, or big-box retail discount stores. Some of the top name brands in the US bike market have had recalls.

    Do you think that a bike you buy from someone on eBay or AliExpress or Amazon who is a guy selling out of his home in mainland China is going to provide you with protection in that manner? The answer is no. The CPSC only has jurisdiction within the US and can't pursue foreign manufacturers and sellers unless they have a US presence on the ground. I'll bet that most of the China sellers don't even know if the product they're selling has been certified to meet the Chinese safety regulations, much less the US or European or Canadian or wherever. By the way, the Canadian equivalent of the US CPSC has even more far reaching requirements which make it a duty of the importer or manufacturer in Canada to report any defect they discover anywhere in the world, not just those that occur in Canada.

    Think about this when you decide to shop around at a local bike shop for a particular bike and then go online to buy a cheaper one from someone outside of the US or your own home country where you live.
    Last edited by overbyte; 03-19-14 at 01:41 PM.

  5. #55
    Senior Member overbyte's Avatar
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    My order for one of these "Freeride" super-compacting folding bikes arrived this afternoon from China, as FedExIE said it would. I've taken some box-opening photos, which I'll upload when I have a chance. Here are some quick first observations.

    I didn't find any damage from shipping. The box was well sealed with clear packaging tape all over, providing some extra protection against penetration and bursting. No big rips or holes in the box. So far, I haven't found any damage to the bike itself. The expanded polystyrene pellet boards lining the box were somewhat shredded and broken, such as where an axle rested against the inside of the box with just the foam between. Consequently little loose pellets are all of the place inside the box. If you get one of these, be sure to open the box in a garage or other room where you don't have any wind and where you can clean up the static-clinging pellets before they're out of control.

    The bike comes with the pedals removed and loose in the box. They are non-folding pedals. It's wrapped in a black poly garbage bag. There is no owner's manual, but the bike frame has many wordy labels on it, all in Chinese which I don't read. I'm going to try to find someone here who can translate to English. Unfolding is not completely intuitive, but once you figure it out, it's easy. Watch the videos.

    I checked the metal parts with a magnet. The frame is steel (that is, ferromagnetic) with good looking welds and well painted. The steering stem and seat post are not magnetic and looked like polished aluminum. The handlebar is not magnetic, but seems to be buffed stainless steel. The crank arms are steel. Front brake caliper is forged steel. The rear brake is a drum brake, in which the cable pulls a band tight around a cylindrical drum, all covered by an outer steel casing which is not completely closed. The cable guide on the drum brake housing isn't quite aligned well, so the cable rubs on the guide, but I can see that I can adjust it by loosening a screw. The band around the drum is loose enough to rattle when you jiggle the bike, but that may not affect functioning. The front brake pads are not well positioned on the rim, but again, easily adjusted. Both brakes need to have cable length adjustments so you can provide strong braking pressure without the brake levers getting too close to the handlebar. The outer sections of the straight handle bar are locked in position with small bullet latches that engage in a hole in the main bar. To telescope the handlebar narrower, you push the bullet and twist the grips then slide the grips toward the midline of the bike and twist so the brake levers aim inward toward the seat so they don't protrude when the bike is completely folded compactly.

    I took some photos of it next to my Schwinn Loop, which is a 20" folding bike that sells online in the US$250 price vicinity. When I unpacked the Loop new from the box, the Loop was in much worse condition with just about everything out of adjustment. Everything was there on the Loop, but just thrown together, including the random spoke tensions. So far, this Freeride seems to be more carefully assembled.

    There is one strange thing that I need to investigate. Looking at the space between the crank arms and the locking nuts of the bottom bracket itself, there seems to be a short piece of white PVC pipe on each side as spacers to keep the cranks the right distance from the bottom bracket sides. The bottom bracket width seems to be around 54 mm.

    The wheelbase of the Freeride is a little shorter than the Loop, but the cockpit length (from center of sit-bones area on the saddle to the handlebar) is actually a little more roomy than the Loop. I haven't ridden it yet, but when I sit on the bike, it doesn't feel cramped. (I'm a 5'10" tall male Caucasian.) I haven't weighed the bike yet, but even though the ads say it weighs 13 kg (28.6 lbs), it doesn't feel too heavy. It feels lighter than the Loop, which has an aluminum alloy frame with a built-in rear rack. It balances well when you pick it up with the nose of the saddle as your handle. The Loop has a typical frame hinge, like the Dahon hinge, and a steering stem foldover hinge. The Freeride doesn't need to fold the steering stem over like nearly all other folders do -- it telescopes down into the steering tube of the frame. And the frame folds with a vertical zig-zag action, like scissors, not like the side-folding bikes. Watch the Chinese videos of it. The main body of the frame is an oval steel tube, hinged in the middle and at the ends, with a latching pin.

    The forks on this bike are not tubular like bikes usually are. Instead they're stamped from flat steel, and not very thick steel at that, with ridges and curves to give stiffness. The axles bolt on, but there's no safety washer with a hook that engages a hole in the fork to prevent the wheel from falling out of the dropouts if the axle nuts are loose. The safety axle retention scheme is required for bolt-on axles in the US regulations. They wouldn't be hard to add, since they only involve a couple of holes and the hook washer.

    The tires actually are well-labeled with the proper information (size in Arabic numerals 12.5"x1.75" and corresponding ISO number, and recommended inflation pressure in English with Arabic numerals = 35 psi). US regulations require such size lableing embossed on the sidewall, so these tires meet the requirement. The tread is a road-tread, not a knobby off-road tread, with good water channels, not slicks but with a smooth center ridge for less rolling resistance.

    I looked for a serial number somewhere on the frame, which is typically stamped into the metal near the bottom bracket under the frame. I didn't find a frame serial number. I'll look further. I did find a number on the steering stem telescoping quick-release clamp, but it's a 3-digit number and not likely to be the serial number of the bike itself. All bikes distributed or sold at retail in the US must have a serial number on them, for identification in case of recalls due to dangerous defects. But a unique serial number could be added by an importer.

    So far, I'm cautiously optimistic, but I think it won't pass the 16 CFR 1512 testing without some upgrades first. I'm somewhat skeptical that the stamped steel forks will survive the static force testing, but I'm not an engineer. Maybe they're stronger than they seem to me.

    Other people and I have been posting about this bike here and in the "Rare and Unusual Folding Bikes" thread, but I'm going to quit posting there and just continue here because its a more specific place to focus on this bike.
    Last edited by overbyte; 03-27-14 at 09:25 PM.

  6. #56
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Good start. I'm looking forward to seeing lots of pictures.
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  7. #57
    Senior Member overbyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    Good start. I'm looking forward to seeing lots of pictures.
    I'm away from home so I can't send my photos yet, but I will in a couple of days. I did bring the bike with me. I adjusted the brakes and took it to a small park which has a class 1 paved bike path loop around it. A few comments so far:

    I'm 5'10" tall. The bike feels a little small compared with my 20" folders, because it is. I was hoping that the seat stem would extend a little farther than it does. While riding, my knees come up higher than I'd prefer, but still it's rideable. It has a nice soft ride due to the suspension of the rear wheel, but not too bouncy when you pedal. I was able to ride up a moderate incline fully seated and not straining but not a steep one unless I stood on the pedals or tacked up the slope. I don't have a feel for what % the grade is. When I'm home, I'll take it out on some roads and measure the grades. Maybe I'll go back tomorrow to this park and record my riding with MapMyRide on my cell phone, which will measure the grades, maybe.

    I noted before that the crank has some spacers that look like white PVC pipe. I found some more white plastic used as a filler between the small handlebar and the slightly larger handebar-to-stem clamp. It feels tight and secure there, but longevity? I'd rather see some aluminum tubing used instead of PVC. (Maybe the plastic spacer is actually better than an aluminum one since the plastic acts as a dielectric coupling to keep the aluminum alloy stem-to-handlebar clamp from contacting the stainless steel handlebar. Contact of these dissimilar metals might lead to galvanic corrosion. Plumbers use a plastic dielectric coupler when connecting copper pipe to steel pipe for that reason -- it prevents electrochemical corrosion.)

    One nice feature discovered: the seat post and steering stem both have stops that prevent them from being raised out of their tubes farther than the allowable maximum. Other bikes just have marks on the post and stem to show the maximum extension point.

    It's raining today, although it had stopped by the time I went to the park. I don't think the rims were wet nor the rear drum brake. The brakes after adjustments worked well enough to hold their respective wheel locked while I pushed against them (feet standing on the ground) to the point of skidding the tire, but it took some good squeezing of the brake levers. Softer brake pads might improve the front wheel braking.
    Last edited by overbyte; 03-31-14 at 09:52 PM.

  8. #58
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by overbyte View Post
    I'm 5'10" tall. The bike feels a little small compared with my 20" because it is.
    What's your inseam (or jeans pants size)?
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  9. #59
    Senior Member overbyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    What's your inseam (or jeans pants size)?
    32"

  10. #60
    Senior Member overbyte's Avatar
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    Photos of the Free Ride 12" super-compact folding bike from China

    Here are photos of my Free Ride bike that arrived by FedEx International Economy shipping from an AliExpress store called "Best Outdoor". I show it as it looked when I opened the black plastic bag in which it was wrapped inside the shipping carton, some closeups, and for comparison with a 20" folding bike, I show it next to a Schwinn Loop. Notice that the front brake pad was rubbing the tire as it arrived from the factory, and the brake cables were too loose, and front brake caliper needed centering.
    102_1150.jpg102_1155.jpg102_1158.jpg102_1159.jpg102_1160.jpg102_1163.jpg102_1165.jpg102_1177.jpg102_1172.jpg102_1173.jpg
    I'll take more photos when our weather improves. It's raining today and tomorrow. We need the water, so I'm not complaining.
    Last edited by overbyte; 03-31-14 at 09:18 PM.

  11. #61
    Senior Member overbyte's Avatar
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    I stopped by a bicycle store today on the way home from my weekend meeting. This one is in a city which has a significant number of commuters who get to work by bus, train, or BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit light-rail trains). The store carries folding bikes and advertises itself as the largest folding bike store in the region. (That's probably true, since I found very few bike stores that carry any folding bikes in the store at all, and when they do, it may only be one bike.) I asked the manager about the Free Ride bike which I brought into the store on its little luggage rollers and demonstrated the unfolding and refolding. He said his store would never carry such a bike for the following reasons:
    --They have selling contracts with some of the major brands (Brompton, Tern, Dahon) which preclude them from carrying other folding brands.
    --The Free Ride would be difficult to service because it has no established company behind it, so getting replacement parts may be very hard.
    --The bike needs to be a more mature, older product which has had years of field experience to see how durable it is.
    --The Brompton is small enough to meet the needs of his customers.
    --With only the one-speed gearing and 12" wheels, he felt it would only be good for short rides without much hill climbing. (True enough.)
    --It's a very small niche market for such a bike.

    So, I'd say this bike won't be carried in any bricks-and-mortar bike shops. It will remain an Internet purchase only, and at the moment that's only by direct purchase from China.
    Last edited by overbyte; 04-01-14 at 05:02 PM.

  12. #62
    Senior Member tk1971's Avatar
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    Overbyte,

    Since the front chain ring is on the opposite side of "normal" bikes, I was wondering about the direction in which the pedals screw in.

    Did they use a standard crankset w/ right screw thread on the chain ring side and left screw thread on the other... meaning that your pedals may fall off when you are riding, or was a custom crankset used?

  13. #63
    Senior Member overbyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk1971 View Post
    Overbyte,

    Since the front chain ring is on the opposite side of "normal" bikes, I was wondering about the direction in which the pedals screw in.

    Did they use a standard crankset w/ right screw thread on the chain ring side and left screw thread on the other... meaning that your pedals may fall off when you are riding, or was a custom crankset used?
    Although the chain is on the left, you still pedal forward to move the bike forward, so the pedals screw into the crank arms in the normal way: on the right side, righty-tighty; on the left side, lefty-tighty.

  14. #64
    Senior Member overbyte's Avatar
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    A few more photos

    I installed a handlebar bag that mounts by a removable quick-release system called Klickfix. It's a Giant Shadow Dry waterproof bag. Here are some photos with the bag on and off, and with the bike in the cargo area of my compact utility vehicle (Kia Sportage) along with my red helmet, gloves, and the handlebar bag. The handlebar bracket prevents the handle grips and brake levers from coming all the way together at the steering stem-to-handlebar clamp, but they're still close enough together that they don't protrude much wider than the pedals.
    102_1178.jpg102_1179.jpg102_1180.jpg102_1181.jpg102_1182.jpg102_1183.jpg102_1184.jpg102_1185.jpg102_1186.jpg

    I also considered having a welder mount a front block on the steering tube like the Tern and Brompton bikes have, but this handlebar bag was a quick and easy alternative for now. I had to add a layer of rubber as a shim on the handlebar to increase the size enough for the quick-release bracket to grab tightly. The bottom of the bag is rigid, so when loaded and the weight pulls it down, the bottom rests against the steering stem and doesn't flop.

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    A marvel of engineering! This is a case where form trumps function. Where would you ride it? A factory floor. But a indoor factory doesn't need a transforming bike. This is the type of bike you'd build in a design contest. It's a wonderful toy.

  16. #66
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Do you know the ratio of the mid drive? What is the get inch range?
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  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by kungfuguy View Post
    A marvel of engineering! This is a case where form trumps function. Where would you ride it? A factory floor. But a indoor factory doesn't need a transforming bike. This is the type of bike you'd build in a design contest. It's a wonderful toy.
    I see this a being a bike to use for very short journeys and where space is at a premium such bus and train journeys around cities or in situations where you park the car just out side the city and then cycle to your destination.
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  18. #68
    cpg
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    Thanks for posting the information and photos overbyte, I am eagerly awaiting your opinions of how well it rides.
    With some quick release pedals and folding handlebars (such as these Folding Handlebar, View Folding Handlebar, X-TAS-Y Product Details from Shenzhen Shiduoli Hardware Co., Ltd. on Alibaba.com) I think you could get the folded width narrower.
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  19. #69
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kungfuguy View Post
    A marvel of engineering! This is a case where form trumps function. Where would you ride it? A factory floor. But a indoor factory doesn't need a transforming bike. This is the type of bike you'd build in a design contest. It's a wonderful toy.
    If you watch the youtube video it goes over some rough ground ok due to suspension.
    I bet its much better than a carry me which ia a useful bike. Carry me is halve the weight however.

    I used to commute on rollerblades which are much more convenient to pack, but cant be lock up. This requires a high decree of skill and is no fun on poor surfaces. Scooter is another option that people mention as a cpmpact transport option. I dont thonk this should be dismissed out of hand.
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  20. #70
    Senior Member overbyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    Do you know the ratio of the mid drive? What is the get inch range?
    I haven't counted the teeth on the sprockets yet, but I will do it and calculate the gear-inches.
    I rode it briefly yesterday again, between rains. I have a short steep hill getting out of my street, where I need to shift my multi-gear bikes into their lowest or next-to-lowest gears. I was not able to get up that hill with this bike, even standing on the pedals. But I can climb modest hills. I'll try to figure out what % slope the bike can handle. The rain is gone today, so I'll take it out for a ride on the bike path along the Santa Cruz coast, which includes slopes of various steepness. I'll turn on my MapMyRide recording so I can have it compute the slopes.

    The crank arms are 160 mm. I usually ride 170 mm cranks, so this doesn't feel so different, not like some small bikes which have 130 mm cranks. I remember riding my first folding bike, an old original Dahon single-speed, which had short crank arms. That was too much like a clown bike for me, so I donated it to a bike non-profit organization in town.

    I had a couple of other people try it. At first, they were wobbly in steering because they're not used to such quick steering response from the small wheels. They overcompensated and oversteered until they got the feel of the bike. But after a few loops around the parking lot, they were pretty stable.

    Going through potholes and down modest curbs is no problem with the suspension. It takes the bumps well. Also, the tires are 35 psi 12-1/2" x 1.75" which give a comfortable ride over rough ground and can handle soft surfaces like dirt and grass.
    Last edited by overbyte; 04-02-14 at 10:50 AM.

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    Senior Member overbyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpg View Post
    With some quick release pedals and folding handlebars (such as these Folding Handlebar, View Folding Handlebar, X-TAS-Y Product Details from Shenzhen Shiduoli Hardware Co., Ltd. on Alibaba.com) I think you could get the folded width narrower.
    Looking at those folding handlebars, and making more measurements, I have this comment. The handlebars, when telescoped in as far as they'll go against the handlebar bag mounting device as shown, are 13" wide. If I removed the mount, they would be 11" wide. Across the width at the wheel axles, the folded bike is 11-3/4" wide. One pedal does extend beyond the end of the axle, so a folding pedal would narrow the bike a little. The folding handlebar does not have space for the handlebar bag mount, so that would be a drawback. Considering these factors, I think it's not worth replacing the handlebar, and even if the folding pedals were used, the width would still be 11-3/4" which is probably too wide for an over-head carry-on bag compartment. Those usually are 9" maximum, I think.
    Last edited by overbyte; 04-02-14 at 11:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by overbyte View Post
    Looking at those folding handlebars, I have this comment. They may make the bike a little narrower in combination with folding pedals, but I'd have to look carefully to see if they would make much difference in the folded width considering where the wheels are on the sides when folded up. The wheels may be the limiting factor. Also, these folding handlebars don't have space for mounting the quick-release handlebar bag mount that I show on my latest photos.
    Yes, I doubt that the folding bard would be suitable for use with your bar bad. Looking at the plan view photos it appears that the pedals and bars stick out a couple of inches beyond the wheels, this might be an optical illusion of the perspective in the photos.
    Mezzo I4 (converted to dual drive), Whyte PRST-1, Trek 1200, Dahon Jack, Bickerton (work in progress)

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    Senior Member overbyte's Avatar
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    Gear-inches, gain ratio

    Here are the gear measurements.

    The crank chain ring sprocket is a 40-tooth. The jackshaft sprocket where the chain engages is a 10-tooth sprocket. The jackshaft has no internal gearing. It is a direct shaft to the belt sprocket. I didn't count the belt teeth because the jackshaft belt sprocket and the rear wheel sprocket are identical diamater so their ratio is 1:1 and can be ignored in calculations. In effect, this is a 40/10 geared bike.

    However, you need to consider that the crank arm is 160mm whereas a typical road bike (and my 20" folding 16-gear bike) has a 170mm crank arm. The rear wheel is called a 12-1/2" wheel, but by actual measurement its outside diameter unloaded is 11.75". Assume that it will compress a little when you sit on the bike, so I'll consider the diameter 11.5".

    Refer to Sheldon Brown's glossary for explanations of gear-inches, gain-ratio, and meter-development, which are measurements of the relationship between crank revolutions and wheel revolutions or distance traveled per crank revolution. Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Glossary G

    Since his online calculator doesn't go down to such small wheels, I'll do the calculations. Gain ratio Gain Ratios--A New Way to Designate Bicycle Gears is a unit-less figure which takes the crank arm length into account, unlike the other 2 measures. Sheldon says:
    This ratio would be calculated as follows: divide the wheel radius by the crank length; this will yield a single radius ratio applicable to all of the gears of a given bike. The individual gear ratios are calculated as with gear inches, using this radius ratio instead of the wheel size. A road bike with 170 mm cranks: (The usual generic diameter value for road wheels is 680 mm, so the radius would be 340 mm.)

    340 mm / 170 mm = 2.0. (The radius ratio)

    2.0 X 53 / 19 = 5.58

    This number is a pure ratio, the units cancel out. I call this a "gain ratio" (with thanks to Osman Isvan for suggesting this term.) What it means is that for every inch, or kilometer, or furlong the pedal travels in its orbit around the bottom bracket, the bicycle will travel 5.58 inches, or kilometers, or furlongs.
    The Free Ride bike has 160 mm cranks and drive wheel radius of (0.5 x 11.5 inch x 2.54 mm/inch) 14.605 mm. This gives a gain ratio 160/14.605 = 10.96. Applying this to the gears, 10.96 * 40/10 = 43.84 gain ratio.

    The gear-inch is defined by Sheldon: "the diameter of the drive wheel, times the size of the front sprocket divided by the size of the rear sprocket. This gives a convenient two- or three-digit number. The lowest gear on most mountain bikes is around 22-26 inches. The highest gear on road racing bikes is usually around 108-110 inches." The Free Ride diameter under load is 11.5". Thus gear-inches of the Free Ride bike is 11.5"*40/10 = 46 inches. This means that for every revolution of the crank, the bike moves 46 inches forward.

    Compare this with the gear-inches of various other bikes at my posting about the Schwinn Loop here:
    For comparison, some other 7-speed 20" wheel folders have these gear-inch ranges:
    Dahon Vitesse D7: 32 to 79
    Dahon Mariner: 34 to 92
    Tern D7i: 32 to 79
    Citizen Miami: 32 to 64 (6-speed)
    Brompton (16" wheels, 6-speed, lowest gear-inch range option): 29 to 88.

    So indeed, the Schwinn Loop (27 to 58 roughly) has gearing which more favors hill-climbing (lower gear-inches) than other common folding bikes.
    The website of NYCeWheels, an online bike store featuring folding bikes, says that these one-speed bikes have these gear-inches:
    Dahon MU Uno: 65"
    Dahon Speed Uno: 64"
    Tern Link Uno: 61"

    An online gear calculator for the Brompton bikes http://xldev.co.uk/bgc.html shows the following for the 2-speed with no internally geared hub and the factory standard 50-tooth chain ring sprocket:
    Derailleur Setting Hub Ratio Gear Inches
    100%
    Rear sprocket-Low: 51.7
    Rear sprocket-High: 63.7
    Some more gear-inches of single-speed folding bikes (crank teeth/ rear teeth/ wheel diameter):
    Origin8 F1 Select: (52T/19T/20") 51.1
    Strida LX: not available
    Tern Link Uno 2013 specs: (46T/16T/20") 53.7
    CarryMe 1 speed: (100T/16T/8") 50
    Airnimal Chameleon: (53T/16T/24") 79.5

    As I calculated above, the Free Ride has gear-inches 46". The shorter the gear-inches, the easier it is to climb hills but the slower you go when cranking at a certain number of rpm. So, I conclude that the Free Ride will climb steeper hills than any of the one-speed bikes I listed above, and than either of the gears in the 2-speed derailleur Brompton, but you'll cover flat distances slower at the same cranking rate. Nevertheless, my riding experience feels that it is fast enough for casual riding, touring through a town, or riding from the bus stop to your destination.
    Last edited by overbyte; 04-15-14 at 03:32 PM. Reason: Added more bikes' gear-inches

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    Senior Member overbyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpg View Post
    Yes, I doubt that the folding bard would be suitable for use with your bar bad. Looking at the plan view photos it appears that the pedals and bars stick out a couple of inches beyond the wheels, this might be an optical illusion of the perspective in the photos.
    Yes, you can't rely upon the appearance on the photos for size comparisons of objects not in the same plane because of parallax and short focal length lens (which exaggerates size difference between objects near and objects far from the camera).

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    Gearing can be measures with a chalk mark and a tape measure also!!
    Lol
    What about fitting.......wait for it.......
    Bullbars to extend cockpit space and improve steering + arodynadnics. They look like they might fold compactly either side.
    Sorry to be so "bhkyte".
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8.

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