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  1. #1
    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    Folding bike travel speed

    When I got my first folding bike a few months ago I was shocked at how slow I travelled. Now I'm only 2mph slower than a full size bike. Is that about average?
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You are still a body of the same size pushing against air resistance, that has not changed.
    you can make up the 2 Mph by just pedaling harder, .. you are slacking and blame it on the bike..
    or you can ignore the Speed data input, and just enjoy the ride.

    as far as average, wait till a hundred or so reply , and do the Math ..

  3. #3
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Ah, tally-ho, yippety-dip and zing zang spillip! pretty soon you'll be keeping up with the big boys!

  4. #4
    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    I knew I was asking for trouble.
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

  5. #5
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    I think my speed would actually increase if I went from my Flying Pigeon to a Moulton Speed.
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
    I think my speed would actually increase if I went from my Flying Pigeon to a Moulton Speed.
    Yeah but you wouldn't look nearly as good.
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

  7. #7
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebuddha View Post
    Yeah but you wouldn't look nearly as good.

    Did we not decide some time back that we look great in any situation and on any bike (but of course best on a folder)??
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  8. #8
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I don't notice any speed difference between my folders and my full sized bikes, but then again I am a slow rider...on purpose!

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  9. #9
    Idealistic Troublemaker bjorke's Avatar
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    Did you say your usual non-folder riding speed was 6mph?

    Actually according to my GPS my fastest flat rides in the past year or two (as long as I've been tracking) have all been on my Bike Friday. But only marginally. If you do the gear-inch math you might find that the difference in distance per # of cranks per minute accounts for any variation you perceive. Just gear up!
    My Cycling Log: http://www.endomondo.com/profile/202754 BikeForums Cycling Team on Endomondo: http://www.endomondo.com/teams/1747411

  10. #10
    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke View Post
    Did you say your usual non-folder riding speed was 6mph?

    Actually according to my GPS my fastest flat rides in the past year or two (as long as I've been tracking) have all been on my Bike Friday. But only marginally. If you do the gear-inch math you might find that the difference in distance per # of cranks per minute accounts for any variation you perceive. Just gear up!
    I won't lie there have been a few rides where I've averaged 6 mph but my usual speed is at least twice that.
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Are your tires properly inflated? what wheels are they?

    [All too common to always drag out sufficient information over 2 or 3 pages of Q&A

    before the punchline comes out.]

  12. #12
    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Are your tires properly inflated? what wheels are they?

    [All too common to always drag out sufficient information over 2 or 3 pages of Q&A

    before the punchline comes out.]

    It's not the bike it's the engine. Also I'm almost always riding a laden bike.
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    It's not the bike it's the engine.
    Hurrah

  14. #14
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebuddha View Post
    It's not the bike it's the engine. Also I'm almost always riding a laden bike.
    Which bike did you get?
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  15. #15
    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
    Which bike did you get?
    I'm still riding the cheap secondhand citizen but it's convinced me of the utility of folders so I'm saving for a brompton.
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

  16. #16
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    Ah... have the wheel bearings and BB been lubed and adjusted? They're usually over-torqued and under lubricated which creates a great deal of drag.
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  17. #17
    Tourer
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    "as far as average, wait till a hundred or so reply , and do the Math .."
    15/100: I am on the slow side. I do have a 10-mile route I test myself on. My Bike Friday is as "fast" as my regular bikes. My Bike Friday time is .9mph off of my best time which was on my fixed gear bike.

    Maybe I can shave some time off this year on the Bike Friday. I have upgraded my tires to Greenspeed Scorchers.
    Last edited by SparkyBeacon; 03-07-13 at 08:19 PM. Reason: forgot to comment on Scorchers

  18. #18
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    Most answers seem a little cagey as to actual numbers

    On mine I plan 10 mph incl. photo/cigarette breaks, so probably a realistic 12 mph average. I do like to ride fairly undemandingly. I used to average 18 on a road bike many years ago.

  19. #19
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
    Ah... have the wheel bearings and BB been lubed and adjusted? They're usually over-torqued and under lubricated which creates a great deal of drag.
    Exactely I have seen some cheapo bikes (and medium priced also) with wheels that would hardly spin one round. Remembe that the true feeling of the BB you only get if the pedal arms is remowed. The long arm of the crank arm can cheat you.

    You can "listen" to bearrings to get an idea of the situation. Use a long screwdriver or similar. On the BB put the flat end on the Bb shell or cups. Listen with your ear onthe handle like a stetoscope. On the wheel you put the flat part on the axel and rotate so you can listen.

    Do not forget pedal bearrings. Those can steal energy too.

    ........

    My spelling is horrible today. Three edits so far. Almost as bad as this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOhsHRLX7fw think I`ll go do something else.

    While you are at it you could remowe the V brakes and lube the piviot area too. Report back what you found.
    Last edited by badmother; 03-08-13 at 02:45 AM.
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  20. #20
    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elvis Shumaker View Post
    Most answers seem a little cagey as to actual numbers

    On mine I plan 10 mph incl. photo/cigarette breaks, so probably a realistic 12 mph average. I do like to ride fairly undemandingly. I used to average 18 on a road bike many years ago.
    Yeah, I've noticed that once I was over 35 I cared a lot less about getting places in a hurry. Now that I'm over 40, I'm ok with whatever pace I set.
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

  21. #21
    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
    Ah... have the wheel bearings and BB been lubed and adjusted? They're usually over-torqued and under lubricated which creates a great deal of drag.
    I checked the mechanicals pretty thoroughly when I got the bike, the biggest issues are me adjusting to pedaling more and the cheapo tires it came with which don't roll worth crap.
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

  22. #22
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    I don't see any difference in speed between my 1974 Paramount and my 1994 Bike Friday Pocket Rocket which was built with the same measurements in mind. If anything the Bike Friday might be slightly faster than the Paramount because it is about 1 pound lighter. Roger

  23. #23
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    My Dahon Mu SL seems to be 1-2mph slower than my 29er MTB (both on Big Apples), but my commute involves very rough expansion joints every 5m, so the 29er is bound to have a much larger than normal advantage. That is also why I bought it, I felt the constant pounding I received from the road was tiring.

  24. #24
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    it seems my speed is in direct relation to how much force i apply to the pedals .... no matter what bike :-)

  25. #25
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    it seems my speed is in direct relation to how much force i apply to the pedals .... no matter what bike :-)
    O.k. So Thor's being a little bit of a smart@$$, but he's basically right.

    Let's look at this. There are basically only a few things that can make a difference:

    * Does position on the bike affect the rider's power output?

    * Rolling resistance/transmission losses.

    * Aerodynamics.

    * Gearing.

    These are basically what affects how fast you go. Smaller tires do have slightly more rolling resistance than larger ones, but less aerodynamic drag. If you can get the same body position on your folding bike as your large bike and decent high(ish) pressure tires and the same (ish) gearing, and you have the same quality transmission/hubs, you'll find you got the same speed.

    Cheers,
    Charles
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

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