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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 04-08-13, 02:53 PM   #1
Moe Swift
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Fast Commuter for Around $800

I plan on bike commuting to work (on days when it isn't freezing cold, snowing or raining) once I move back to my old neighborhood, right across the East River from Manhattan. I'm willing to spend a bit more if necessary (no more than 1K). I want something light and fast with a compact fold but doesn't have to be Brompton small. I was looking at the Xootr Swift for a while but the large fold size killed it for me. There's actually a Swift in "great condition" on Craigslist now for $500 and the owner said he'll go as low as $450, if anyone is interested. It's in Corona, Queens. Anyway, I was looking at the Vector P8 but I'm not crazy about the Color Scheme. I like the Tern link P9 (the white one) but I'm not crazy about the frame. I would like something with a newer frame design if possible. My Dream bike is the Tern Verge X10 but I can't afford it and I'm not sure I would spend that much on a bike even if I could (I'm lying, I would). I also like the Dahon Speed P8 but apparently it isn't so fast and probably not so light.

About me:
  • male
  • early 30's
  • pretty athletic
  • 6' 0"
  • 183 lbs
  • 32 inch inseam
  • want to use the bike for commuting but also for recreational riding and may even use it for a side gig as a process server

any suggestions?
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Old 04-08-13, 03:00 PM   #2
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By the way, I'm not moving back to my old neighborhood until September so if there are new models on the horizon in that price range please let me know.
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Old 04-08-13, 04:00 PM   #3
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x10 should be back available in June ... Link P 9 is black not like the pic on my site in white .... the Dahon Vector is a deal if yiu can get over the color ... :-)

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Old 04-08-13, 06:03 PM   #4
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The Vector x10? Oh man that would be perfect for me I think, how much does it retail for?
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Old 04-08-13, 07:12 PM   #5
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1800..... :-(
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Old 04-08-13, 07:37 PM   #6
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Yikes, not so perfect for me than. I guess it comes down to the Vector P8 or Link P9 for me, as of right now. Aesthetics aside, which bike would you recommend for commuting and joy riding in NYC? What changes can I make to the either bike to make them lighter and faster?
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Old 04-08-13, 07:56 PM   #7
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dude..

http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/bik/3726539038.html

http://newyork.craigslist.org/lgi/bik/3722517013.html

http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/bik/3730120241.html
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Old 04-08-13, 08:11 PM   #8
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Thanks, smallwheeler. I'm looking for a folder with 20 inch wheels. I think I came across that Bike Friday listing a couple of days ago. I just don't like how you have to completely remove the handle bars when unfolding. Not a deal breaker though. Do Bike Friday frames have lifetime warranty? Is it easy to get these bikes serviced and find replacement parts? I'm not all that knowledgeable about the mechanics of bikes so I'm a bit hesitant to purchase a used bike. Can anybody tell me about the BF model in that listing? Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-08-13, 08:18 PM   #9
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I also don't want to purchase a potentially stolen bike. Anyway to avoid this without insulting the seller?
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Old 04-08-13, 08:22 PM   #10
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I also need something that folds/unfolds relatively quickly in case I do decide to work as a process server.
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Old 04-08-13, 08:25 PM   #11
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Ok so that BF is a pocket nomad? I'm going to search the forum for info on that model.
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Old 04-08-13, 09:16 PM   #12
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I also need something that folds/unfolds relatively quickly in case I do decide to work as a process server.
My suggestion would be to find another line of work. More important than your choice of bike.
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Old 04-08-13, 09:19 PM   #13
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My suggestion would be to find another line of work. More important than your choice of bike.
Thanks for the wonderful advice, sir. I have a job, just something I do/have done on the side for extra money.
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Old 04-08-13, 09:33 PM   #14
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You know society is ****ed when you even have trolls on bike forums, lol.
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Old 04-08-13, 09:42 PM   #15
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... Aesthetics aside, which bike would you recommend for commuting and joy riding in NYC? What changes can I make to the either bike to make them lighter and faster?
IMHO in terms of commuting and joyriding you're putting too much emphasis on "light" and "fast" at the expense of an increased price tag with very little performance return for the average avid cyclist. Usually commuting involves carrying stuff with you in a pack or bags/panniers which pretty much negates any weight savings you're concerned with in a folding bike and "fast" is a matter of the motor propelling the bike. As for joy riding, even if that means spirited riding in a paceline with weekend warriors, a lighter folder isn't going to be the difference between staying in the mix or getting dropped... there are many more factors involved than mere weight.

As for the Bike Friday, keep in mind that the bike was designed with ride/handling as the main concern with fold time/convenience taking a back seat. It's not necessarily a folding bike in the typical sense rather a performance oriented small wheeled bike that can be broken down to be easily transported in a suit case, so it isn't really an ideal bike for people who need a quick fold (something BF attempts to address with the Tikit). I commute daily on a relatively heavy steel framed Citizen Miami (only modified for taller gearing) and (when stripped of baggage) it only begins to feel slower than, say, my training bike once I intend to maintain any speed above 20mph for longer distances. My Bike Friday NWT, on the other hand, is considerably lighter than the Miami yet it doesn't necessarily feel faster, it's just a far more comfortable and efficient ride (it was, after-all, made according to my ergonomic requirements). I can travel further more comfortably with slightly less effort than with the Miami.

In short, if you can test ride a bunch of folding bikes for comparison, base your judgement on that. Otherwise use the advice of knowledgeable people (there are plenty here in this sub-forum) but don't make the mistake of basing a decision solely on specs, ads (ie NYCEWheels vids) or commonly accepted misconceptions/rhetoric. Even if you're riding a Tern Verge X30 chances are you could get trounced by some inexperienced 16yo riding his/her dad's/mom's 30yo Nishiki... wouldn't that ruin your day if you put a lot of credence in all of the weight/speed/cost/performance hype.
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Old 04-08-13, 09:48 PM   #16
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You know society is ****ed when you even have trolls on bike forums, lol.
Dude, maybe you need to redirect your bike related effort to something more attitude oriented and lighten up.
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Old 04-08-13, 09:59 PM   #17
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IMHO in terms of commuting and joyriding you're putting too much emphasis on "light" and "fast" at the expense of an increased price tag with very little performance return for the average avid cyclist. Usually commuting involves carrying stuff with you in a pack or bags/panniers which pretty much negates any weight savings you're concerned with in a folding bike and "fast" is a matter of the motor propelling the bike. As for joy riding, even if that means spirited riding in a paceline with weekend warriors, a lighter folder isn't going to be the difference between staying in the mix or getting dropped... there are many more factors involved than mere weight.

As for the Bike Friday, keep in mind that the bike was designed with ride/handling as the main concern with fold time/convenience taking a back seat. It's not necessarily a folding bike in the typical sense rather a performance oriented small wheeled bike that can be broken down to be easily transported in a suit case, so it isn't really an ideal bike for people who need a quick fold (something BF attempts to address with the Tikit). I commute daily on a relatively heavy steel framed Citizen Miami (only modified for taller gearing) and (when stripped of baggage) it only begins to feel slower than, say, my training bike once I intend to maintain any speed above 20mph for longer distances. My Bike Friday NWT, on the other hand, is considerably lighter than the Miami yet it doesn't necessarily feel faster, it's just a far more comfortable and efficient ride (it was, after-all, made according to my ergonomic requirements). I can travel further more comfortably with slightly less effort than with the Miami.

In short, if you can test ride a bunch of folding bikes for comparison, base your judgement on that. Otherwise use the advice of knowledgeable people (there are plenty here in this sub-forum) but don't make the mistake of basing a decision solely on specs, ads (ie NYCEWheels vids) or commonly accepted misconceptions/rhetoric. Even if you're riding a Tern Verge X30 chances are you could get trounced by some inexperienced 16yo riding his/her dad's/mom's 30yo Nishiki... wouldn't that ruin your day if you put a lot of credence in all of the weight/speed/cost/performance hype.
Thanks for the advice Bass. When I say fast, I'm not necessarily trying to win any races but more so want a "fast" and light bike because of the way I like to ride bikes. For example, the other day I test rode a Swift and a Tern Link D7 and while both offered an impressive and comfortable ride, the Swift felt much more responsive. That's the type of ride I'm looking for. So that when I'm not commuting, I can use the bike to go out on a nice day and amuse myself. As far as weight goes, I wouldn't put any luggage on my bike, maybe just a water bottle. May carry a small backpack for my commute, that's about it. Thanks again.
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Old 04-08-13, 10:02 PM   #18
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Dude, maybe you need to redirect your bike related effort to something more attitude oriented and lighten up.
But I had the "lol" in my response and you all didn't? So who needs to lighten up? I came on here asking for advice on a bike but I'm getting career and life advice, lmao. Odd.
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Old 04-08-13, 10:06 PM   #19
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well said bassman. i pulled those three bikes from craigslist for these reasons:

the dahon dove is the lightest well-made folding bike you will find anywhere and damn rare to find and the price is oh-so-right. if i was in town i would buy it on general principle. single speed. agile. folds in seconds to very small dims. on and off the trains in seconds. upgradeable.

soma mini velo. high quality frame. shimano tiagra (good quality) components. doesnt fold. but, is definitely a performance bike. agile and upgradeable and 350..

the bike friday. as bassman said, its a very good quality bike that folds when needed, but performance is the main concern. no proprietary parts. can be serviced in any bike shop. its an older bike. maybe 10 years old(?) worth a test ride and then some bargaining.

tl;dr:

dove= smallest well-made bike that can go anywhere.

soma= small wheel performance bike. non-folding.

bike friday= performance. folds when needed. seriously well-made in the good ole US of A
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Old 04-08-13, 11:10 PM   #20
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You know society is ****ed when you even have trolls on bike forums, lol.
Please tell us more about your opinion of society
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Old 04-09-13, 08:00 AM   #21
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lol, is he always this annoying?
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Old 04-09-13, 10:09 AM   #22
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The Dahon Formula seems comparable to the Verge/Vector x10 and a few hundred dollars cheaper. Still much more than I would like to spend on a bike .
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Old 04-09-13, 12:28 PM   #23
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lol, is he always this annoying?
...beware the gender trap...
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Old 04-09-13, 01:16 PM   #24
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Fast? the wheels are the part you roll on.
Look for those with wheels with narrow Higher pressure Tires, 20" that is 451, but rarer for spares than 406.

16": 349 vs 305,, NB: the rim bigger tire thinner Vs Fatter tire and smaller rim.
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Old 04-09-13, 01:30 PM   #25
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Fast? the wheels are the part you roll on.
Look for those with wheels with narrow Higher pressure Tires, 20" that is 451, but rarer for spares than 406.

16": 349 vs 305,, NB: the rim bigger tire thinner Vs Fatter tire and smaller rim.
Just to add more noise:

Bigger diameter tires have less rolling resistance than smaller diameter tires (assuming material, width, and pressure are all the same).

That being said, a 20" (406) 100 PSI tire will roll quite well and won't cause to to be much slower than a regular bike.

Your aerodynamic position is probably the biggest thing that will affect how fast you ride a folder. If you have high pressure tires and the same position as on a road bike, you can ride pretty much as fast.

p.s. For the same diameter and pressure, wider tires have less rolling resistance than narrow tires. The wide tires have more aerodynamic drag, so it depends on your speed what you want to do...
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