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Old 03-07-13, 02:51 PM   #1
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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?
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Old 03-07-13, 03:17 PM   #2
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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 ..
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Old 03-07-13, 03:17 PM   #3
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Ah, tally-ho, yippety-dip and zing zang spillip! pretty soon you'll be keeping up with the big boys!
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Old 03-07-13, 03:20 PM   #4
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I knew I was asking for trouble.
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Old 03-07-13, 03:40 PM   #5
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I think my speed would actually increase if I went from my Flying Pigeon to a Moulton Speed.
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Old 03-07-13, 03:45 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 03-07-13, 04:14 PM   #7
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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)??
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Old 03-07-13, 05:27 PM   #8
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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
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Old 03-07-13, 05:52 PM   #9
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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!
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Old 03-07-13, 05:55 PM   #10
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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!
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.
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Old 03-07-13, 06:18 PM   #11
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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.]
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Old 03-07-13, 06:25 PM   #12
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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.]

It's not the bike it's the engine. Also I'm almost always riding a laden bike.
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Old 03-07-13, 06:36 PM   #13
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It's not the bike it's the engine.
Hurrah
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Old 03-07-13, 06:46 PM   #14
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It's not the bike it's the engine. Also I'm almost always riding a laden bike.
Which bike did you get?
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Old 03-07-13, 06:59 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 03-07-13, 07:25 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 03-07-13, 09:13 PM   #17
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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 09:19 PM. Reason: forgot to comment on Scorchers
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Old 03-08-13, 02:11 AM   #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.
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Old 03-08-13, 02:41 AM   #19
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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.
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.

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Old 03-08-13, 07:12 AM   #20
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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.
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.
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Old 03-08-13, 07:14 AM   #21
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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 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.
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Old 03-08-13, 08:41 AM   #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
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Old 03-08-13, 09:24 AM   #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.
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Old 03-08-13, 09:49 AM   #24
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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 :-)
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Old 03-08-13, 11:51 AM   #25
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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 :-)
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,
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