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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 06-29-13, 07:32 AM   #1
Still Pedaling
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New to folding bikes with a few concerns.

Hi Folks. I have enjoyed cycling for many years and just recently my wife and I thought it would be a great idea to purchase a couple of folding bikes to take along with us on road trips. I like the idea of being able to put both bikes in the back of our station wagon instead of hanging bikes on a rack. Being on a fixed income, didn't allow us much room price wise, so we ended up buying two bikes form Campers World (Adventure brand). After riding mine I find I enjoy it more than my mountain bike, but being an inexpensive bike at less that $200, one can't expect any sort of quality with components. As much as the bike handles nice and it's fun to ride, I can see right away that components are going to need swapping out sometime soon. Perhaps new wheels, rear sprocket and new derailleur. My question to you good people is -- any suggestions, without breaking the bank? One thing I have noticed while riding is that after awhile I hear a slight knocking sound coming from the rear assembly. Pedaling backwards for a short time and then resuming the ride the sound goes away. I'm thinking that it might be the cheep Shimano derailleur. One thing for sure, the wheels are in need of truing. Spinning the rear wheel on its stand, the bike vibrates like crazy and while slowing down one can hear slight knocking sounds. At the price I paid for the bikes I had an idea that I would experience slight annoying component issues. If you can suggest inexpensive but relatively decent components that I can eventually swap out I would be grateful.

Thanks folks
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Old 06-29-13, 07:42 AM   #2
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It will be cheaper in the long run to sell your bikes on CL or EBay and just get a better bike. If the components are cheap in all probability so is the frame. Individual replacement of components gets expensive in a hurry. Also many cheaper folders use components that are specific to that bike alone. Unless you are enjoying doing it for a hobby I wouldn't recommend it. Roger
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Old 06-29-13, 07:50 AM   #3
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Since you now know a folder works for you, you might consider watching your local Craigslist for a better-quality folder. You probably can't get anything for any components you take off of the Adventure. But you should be able to sell the complete bike and apply those funds to a better-quality folder.

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Old 06-29-13, 08:55 AM   #4
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It will be cheaper in the long run to sell your bikes on CL or EBay and just get a better bike. If the components are cheap in all probability so is the frame. Individual replacement of components gets expensive in a hurry. Also many cheaper folders use components that are specific to that bike alone. Unless you are enjoying doing it for a hobby I wouldn't recommend it. Roger
To both Roger and Hank.

Yes, I have to agree with you both and thank you for your advise. I did look through Craigslist as an example and couldn't find anything, at the time, that was worth while. I check out local bike shops that carry folding bikes and the price was beyond my budget. Perhaps if I was purchasing just one bike it would be OK, but I needed two. I will keep my eyes open for any bargains that come up then, and just enjoy what I have in the mean time. Besides they do work at least and most of the riding my wife and I will be doing is just short rides around the neighborhood and any location we visit.

Thank you both for your help.
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Old 06-29-13, 09:00 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Still Pedaling View Post
To both Roger and Hank.

Yes, I have to agree with you both and thank you for your advise. I did look through Craigslist as an example and couldn't find anything, at the time, that was worth while. I check out local bike shops that carry folding bikes and the price was beyond my budget. Perhaps if I was purchasing just one bike it would be OK, but I needed two. I will keep my eyes open for any bargains that come up then, and just enjoy what I have in the mean time. Besides they do work at least and most of the riding my wife and I will be doing is just short rides around the neighborhood and any location we visit.

Thank you both for your help.
Also keep an eye open for 20" childrens bikes or other bikes to use for donors. I do that all the time.
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Old 06-29-13, 11:10 AM   #6
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... Perhaps if I was purchasing just one bike it would be OK, but I needed two. ...
I would watch Craigslist for better-quality folders. I would not expect to replace both bikes at the same time. One good thing about most folders is that they are very adjustable. You and your wife should be able to adjust almost any folder to fit each of you.

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Old 06-29-13, 11:38 AM   #7
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My question to you good people is -- any suggestions


I suggest Internal Gear hubs are much better for folding bikes than derailleurs ..
because, the knocking about while folded and in transport ,
Potentially bends the external rear gear shifter.

Brompton's 6 speed derailing mech switches between 2 cogs , but its all within the chainstays.
it combines with a 3 speed IGH..

cheaper is using regular derailleurs made by the millions , but, as I say that's Vulnerable./.

Suggest : Brompton or Bike Friday 'season' or nu-Vinci hub Tikit .. one UK made The other in Oregon..

Tern , ROC , & DaHon, PRC have their fans, seems a lot of lookalikes of those made too.

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Old 06-29-13, 12:31 PM   #8
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Welcome!

Since you know you like to use folding bikes and your need-to-fit inside your auto are really good reasons to look around on Craigslist. Since you said that you live in AZ, I took the liberty to go on the Phoenix Craiigslist pages and spotted some rather good candidates. I chose the metro Phoenix area as it's the biggest one for your area and better the chances to find one or more that is perfect for you. Yes you probably have to drive pretty far to see/buy these beauties, but I have done so myself-one hundred miles one way to an unfamiliar city-to buy my own Brompton.

Some Ideas hovering around $100 dollars:

1970'S LIZENZ PLETCHER *20* ROYCE UNION FOLDING BIKE made in german - $95 (7 street and bell road )
http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/bik/3858742666.html

Old Triumph City Star German fold up bike - $100 (Surprise)
http://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/bik/3898021363.html

Folding type Bicycle - $65 (Morristown AZ 85342)
http://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/bik/3854221441.html

I have a Raleigh Twenty myself (just like the Morristown AZ one) and I suggest you really look into that one. The other 2 are not as popular with bike collectors, but still should be looked into as well as I also have a German made folder dating from the early 70s as well. Both were purchased used within the past 3 years.

Good luck!

Below are my Raleigh Twenty (with some of it's own bags) & the copper color German-made folding bicycles:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1960s Classic Mini Cooper Lucky Find With My Twenty.jpg (102.1 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg New Bike.jpg (51.7 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by folder fanatic; 06-29-13 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 06-29-13, 12:49 PM   #9
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Don't buy new stuff, just fix them up. All the tech in those bikes can be fixed with home tools and an oil can. Take pix, post them here, and ask questions, read Sheldon Brown.

Next, buy a spoke key, two gear cables and four brake cables.
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Old 06-30-13, 09:59 AM   #10
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Don't buy new stuff, just fix them up. All the tech in those bikes can be fixed with home tools and an oil can. Take pix, post them here, and ask questions, read Sheldon Brown.

Next, buy a spoke key, two gear cables and four brake cables.
Your are right, but for me, I'm not into doing a lot of work on a fixer-upper. I much prefer the "sparkle" from a new machine . I have been looking at many of the available brands, and there are some very nice reasonably priced Dahon models. I think I will save up for one. It will take some time, but at least I have a couple of bikes to use in the mean time. I'm sure they will last for quire awhile considering the amount of time riding them. The time needed to save for a Dahon, for example, will be a good measure of my interest in riding one. If, by then, I am as enthused as I am right now, then it will be a good investment for sure.

Thank you all for your assistance.
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