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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 04-27-14, 10:43 AM   #151
overbyte
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Swapping the brake levers, left and right.

Normally, in the US and I assume in other countries which drive on the right side of the road, the left arm is used for hand turn-signals. Since bike braking is more stable when just the rear brake is applied than when just the front brake is applied, the US regulations and practicality require that the right brake lever controls the rear brake so the left hand is free to signal. For some reason that I can't understand, the FreeRide bike from mainland China comes set up with the right brake lever controlling the front brake. I don't understand this because China (other than Hong Kong and Macau) drives on the right, and the big market for this bike is mainland China.

So, I set out to swap the brake levers to the US standard. I'm writing this to explain how I got around the problems encountered in what seemed to be a simple operation. First, getting the grips off was difficult. They wouldn't budge. What worked was that I first warmed the grip with a hot-air gun (like a hair dryer) to give it more stretch ability, then I worked a thin screwdriver under the edge for about 1" and sprayed into the gap some Windex window cleaner (which is alcohol, water, and detergent, mainly). Then I was able to gradually work the screwdriver around the circumference of the bar under the grip, squirted a little more Windex in, and got the grip to turn on the bar. Then it was easy to slide it off. Getting the brake levers to budge was difficult after loosening the set screw, so I had to use a flat blade screwdriver to slightly pry the brake lever clamp open enough to move it. More Windex on the bar helped lubricate. The Windex was my choice because when you wipe it off it leaves no residue.
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Old 04-27-14, 01:38 PM   #152
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Swapping the brake levers, left and right.

Of course if you realize the strongest sword wielding hand is the right one, for most people , then a country evolving

to have the motor traffic , as it was in the medieval ages , passing ready to stab or behead your opponent coming at you , it all makes sense ..

be it Knights of the round table or Samurai ..
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Old 04-27-14, 04:52 PM   #153
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Of course if you realize the strongest sword wielding hand is the right one, for most people , then a country evolving

to have the motor traffic , as it was in the medieval ages , passing ready to stab or behead your opponent coming at you , it all makes sense ..

be it Knights of the round table or Samurai ..
So that speaks in favor of the knight or soldier riding on the left and using the right hand for the lance or sword while controlling the reins with the left hand, as the British Commonwealth countries adopted and the medieval knights jousted. Yet most countries adopted the opposite, driving on the right side, signaling with the left, controlling the vehicle with the right hand. China used to have regional differences in which side of the road was used, but that was eventually unified, except in the remnants of the British colonialization which China has taken over. So now, China drives on the right.

It's strange that human development is asymmetrical, with most people being righties and only a minority developing as lefties.
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Old 04-27-14, 05:37 PM   #154
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Adjustable trekking handlebars and bar-end extensions.

I tried on my new adjustable handlebar today. This was somewhat involved. I had to figure out how to remove the steering post, which stopped coming up at its maximum allowed extension. Turns out that there is a screw in the steering post near the bottom end, which acts as a stop by hitting against the plastic shim sleeve. Getting around that required removing the shim, but it was locked in by a bump of the plastic which engages a hole in the QR clamp. With a little excessive force, I was able to twist and shear off the bump, then the post and sleeve came up and out. I probably shouldn't have done it that way, but instead tapping the quick release clamp upward to get it off of the steering tube with the shim sleeve and all. When I put things back together finally, I'll probably have to install a stubby set-screw in the hole to keep the shim sleeve from turning, which was the function of the bump I sheared off. The sleeve has a vertical rib inside which fits in a vertical groove of the steering post and keeps the post from turning independently.

I then was able to slide the steering stem onto the bottom of the steering post. Unfortunately, the stem I ordered said it fits a 25.4 mm post but it's for a 31.8 mm post, so I need to get the appropriate shim before I can make the installation permanent. (You can't always trust the specs printed in the product ads.) Temporarily I used a rubber shim from a different thing I had, just to see if I liked the configuration. The handlebar itself fits the 25.4 clamp on the new stem. I left the integrated handlebar clamp on the top of the post, which I intend to use for an accessory mounting device by adding a short piece of tubing. I had to use a new stem because the handlebar won't slide through the handlebar clamp that comes with the bike on top of the steering post. The new stem has a front load configuration. I got a 50 mm length stem because it is short enough that won't interfere with the handlebar bag I have. Someone could give up on the front-mount handlebar bag and use a longer stem for longer reach.

I installed the Humpert Ergotec AHS handlebar which I bought from an online shop in Taiwan. This is a well-made, rather complex handlebar of German design, with trekking-style ends and adjustable hinges. By loosening set screws with Allen wrenches, you can change the amount that the handle bar is swept back and the angle of the end extensions for different height and reach. There is no quick release, so when the bike is folded up, you'd need to loosen the screws, move the bar to its back-swept position, and slightly tighten the screws to hold it there. When you unfold, you'd reverse the process, using the angle scale on the hinges to get it back to your favorite (most ergonomic) position. The up-swept trekking ends are removable to let you slide accessories like the brake levers onto the straight section. This is an aluminum 6061 T6 alloy stem. The package instructions advise that aluminum handlebars should be replaced after 10,000 km or 3 years of riding due to the fact that aluminum fatigues. Aluminum frame bikes similarly have a limited useful life due to fatigue. (Most of this bike is made of steel, which has a very long life span.)

Here are some photos:


To make the width as narrow as possible and lower the height of the bar ends, I had to use a different Allen wrench (6 mm) to loosen the bar ends (through a hole in the curved bottom corner) and swing them down and as close to the centerline as possible: However, that may not be necessary since the ergonomic position put the handlebars at about the same height as the saddle with the 400 mm seat post and the width was about the same as the maximum width of the lower portion of the bike itself.

Since the AHS bar requires tools, I put the original handlbar back temporarily with some old handlebar extensions I had, just to compare. The original handlebar uses bullet latches to secure the handle bar width and rotation, so it's like a quick release with no tools. But the bullets' fit into the latching holes is somewhat loose, which may not feel secure. Here are photos (without the brake levers and grips re-attached):
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Last edited by overbyte; 04-27-14 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 05-11-14, 06:39 PM   #155
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Well my bike arrived late Friday and in great condition. This thing is small. To give an idea of how small it is, here's a series of pictures of it next to my Brompton:













Upon upacking, I had to reverse the left/right brake cables because it's set up for asia / europe (front brake on the right). Didn't need to swap levers. The levers on this bike has slots, so I zip tied the brake caliper mechanisms, and slid the cable off the levers to swap them.

Then after looking at the front brake cable when folded, I realized that the set-up would benefit from a 90 degree brake noodle. My first mod:

Folded:


Unfolded:


Gotta figure out how to get better braking from the rear. I may pull the rear wheel of my kid's 12.5" wheel bike to see if it fits. Other than the rear brake, I really dig Overbyte's folding handlebar idea. I find the stock bars thin, with the clamp all the way down (uses plastic shim on the handlebar clamp, so the open ends of the clamp are touching.

One thing different on my bike than on Overbyte's, is that mine has ergo-type grips.

Last edited by tk1971; 05-11-14 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 05-12-14, 02:01 AM   #156
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Is it an optical illusion or is the front wheel off-sett to one side of the centre line/steerer tube axis?
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Old 05-12-14, 03:44 AM   #157
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To improve the brakes you need a dual pivot caliper for starters.
Then better pads,
Then Teflon cables,
Then better outers.

That's the order I would upgrade, stop when happy with set up.
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Old 05-12-14, 07:53 AM   #158
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Is it an optical illusion or is the front wheel off-sett to one side of the centre line/steerer tube axis?
Optical illusion. There's that funky hinge at the fork for folding. A picture of it from an angle is throwing you off.
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Old 05-12-14, 08:46 AM   #159
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Thanks for clearing my confusion.
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Old 05-12-14, 11:46 AM   #160
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Thanks for clearing my confusion.
It will take more than That! Lol
,
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Old 05-12-14, 02:49 PM   #161
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It will take more than That! Lol
,
It will take more than what?
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Old 05-13-14, 09:37 AM   #162
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The coaster brake idea is a no-go.

Apparently, the rear belt pulley is built into some kind of freewheel that is screwed into the hub. Looking at my kid's "Thomas the Train" bike, coaster brake hubs uses notched gear sprockets, kinda like those for internally geared hubs.

BTW, I also looked at the belt more closely and found that it's an HTD type timing belt that is 760mm long, with 8mm pitch and 10mm wide. So, a direct replacement part number should be: HTD 760-8M-10.

760-8M-10 Black Rubber Timing Belt 95 Tooth

Other than the fact that a normal coaster brake hub (Shimano type) would require 110mm spacing and this bike is just a hair under 100mm, the belt drive in the rear would be problematic for a hub swap.

After some googling, I found a NOS freewheel adapter for coaster brake hubs. That would probably allow the freewheel belt gear to fit (don't know if the thread is the same), but the freewheel would not engage the coaster brake. I suppose I can open up the freewheel and somehow jam / lock it into place. Lots of "what-ifs".

I supposed I can get a 10mm wide "same-number-of-teeth" belt gear and machine it with the correct inner diameter and notches to fit the coaster brake hub.

At this point I'm stuck, so this project is getting back-burnered.
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Old 08-04-14, 09:52 AM   #163
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Well, it's been a little while... I went and got another one of these little bikes for those times when the wife and I don't want to chain our Bromptons out in the front of a restaurant at the beach. Even if these got stolen, their collective value is 10x less than the Bromptons.

Plus, in a few years, my 4 and 6 year old boys could be riding these, while the wife and I ride our Bromptons. I like the idea of having all 4 bikes fit in a vehicle without the use of a bike rack. While in duffle bags, we can easily store the bikes in a hotel room while traveling.

Another technical note: My 2nd bike arrived with better front brake performance. While comparing the two, it was then obvious that the brake on the first bike got bent during shipping. A quick minute on the vice got it back to normal.

Now, I just gotta pull the trigger and replace the 35psi tires with 55psi Big Apple tires.
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Old 11-19-14, 09:48 PM   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
I had one of these for a while until someone begged me to sell it. I know it looks a little unusual, but it was actually ridable (I would not suggest too many miles) and fairly comfortable.

I am thinking about distributing them here in the U.S., and I am looking for feedback. Let me know what you think.
Wow, it folds small!

How do you like your cricket?
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Old 11-19-14, 10:03 PM   #165
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Wow, it folds small!

How do you like your cricket?
The Crickets are fun, a lot more practical the little folder that started this tread.
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Old 12-07-14, 12:42 PM   #166
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I have a question for those that have this bike: Is there any way that it can be to fit into a carry-on sized bag ( 22" x 14" x 9" or 56 x 35 x 23 cm)? I know that the 13" width is the main obstacle, but perhaps if one of the wheels isn't folded, a wheel is taken off, if folding pedals are added, or some combination of these.

Please let me know, I'm not sure if I can justify the purchase without that ability.
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Old 02-02-15, 12:59 AM   #167
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I bought 2

I bought 2 Free Ride folding bikes last summer, one for me and one for the wife as folding cruisers...
I had some friends try them out, they all were surprised how comfortable they were, considering the small wheels. The suspension helps smooth out the ride. Love how we can fit both in the trunk and still have plenty of room.
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Old 02-10-15, 09:14 AM   #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastershake916 View Post
I have a question for those that have this bike: Is there any way that it can be to fit into a carry-on sized bag ( 22" x 14" x 9" or 56 x 35 x 23 cm)? I know that the 13" width is the main obstacle, but perhaps if one of the wheels isn't folded, a wheel is taken off, if folding pedals are added, or some combination of these.

Please let me know, I'm not sure if I can justify the purchase without that ability.
Sorry, no go. I have an Eagle Creek Upright 20". Here are the specs:

[h=2]Eagle Creek Hovercraft Upright 20" Wide Body 20308 Specifications[/h]Capacity: 2750 cubic inches
Dimensions: 16" x 20" x 9"
Weight: 7lbs 2 oz
Fabric: 420D Helix™ Double Diamond, 1260D Helix™ Ballistic





Just a little too tall and alot too wide to fit in the bag.
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Old 02-28-15, 01:00 PM   #169
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Thanks tk1971 for ths update. Upon furter reflection the bike would still be amazing for air travel, such that in a checked bag there is still room for a helmet and other gear.
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Old 03-08-15, 10:52 AM   #170
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Thanks for all the input, guys. I've learned a lot and am ready to get one of these bikes. However the old shop on aliexpress seems closed all of sudden last week: Freeshipping by Fedex/UPS /12'' inch mini folding bicycle/folding bike the special gift/ various color /portable bike-in Bicycle from Sports & Entertainment on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group and the smallest bicycle in the world 12'' with multifunction special bike-in Bicycle from Sports & Entertainment on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group (from the same store: Find All China Products On Sale from Shen Zhen Mountain Top CO.,LTD on Aliexpress.com - and more)

Here is the cheapest deal I could find so far: Fedex /DHL Free shipping 12'' inch Protable/ Mini Folding Bicycle /Folding Bike / Road Bike of Black/Blue /Red /white colors-in Bicycle from Sports & Entertainment on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group Hopefully it can save you some searching time if you are interested in this bike too.

Question as a rookie commuter: Which wheel should I get? the traditional steel wire or better-looking 3-spoke? What's the cons and pros of these 2 types of wheel? which one is a better fit if I want to use high pressure tires as @overbyte did. Thanks in advance!

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Old 03-08-15, 12:55 PM   #171
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You may find it easier to get air in the valves on the three spoke. I didn't like the carry me as I could use a regular end for a foot pump. I had to use a flexible type that fits inside a tradional frame mounted hand pump. Theses wheels are bigger than carrymes but may be easier with the 3 spoke. They can't be trued or other hubs used with them is the cons.
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Old 03-08-15, 04:34 PM   #172
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thanks [MENTION=142940]bhkyte[/MENTION] Someone told me that in general steel wire wheels might be able to handle higher pressures while the fixed 3-stroke ones have lower pressure limits. Don't know whether it's true tho.
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Old 03-08-15, 04:47 PM   #173
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You may find it easier to get air in the valves on the three spoke.
I get alot of kid's bikes at my clinic,so I picked up one of these:


Got it off eBay for like $4 shipped. Works perfect.
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Old 03-10-15, 09:49 AM   #174
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The 3-spoke wheels look like stroller wheels. Check out the large spacers on that front wheel (from the link above). When I had such a stroller, the wheels had a very low pressure rating. The tires slipped on and off easily. On the other hand, if that wheel fit the tires nice and tight, there's a possibility of running tubeless on them. That would be neat.

I'm currently running Schwalbe Big Apples on both bikes, and I run 50-55psi on them.
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Old 03-10-15, 11:59 AM   #175
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自行车车圈 12寸 超轻铝合金一体轮折叠车V刹轮组碟刹轮毂-淘宝网 thanks [MENTION=204828]tk1971[/MENTION] it seems those are not spacers, they are part of the rim...
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