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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 07-02-13, 06:01 PM   #1
chaadster
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How fast are you willing to go on a folder?

Okay, so I'm lifting this topic directly from the notoriously knuckleheaded Road Forum, but indulge me a bit here, because as I was reporting in the 'What's your top speed' thread on a new top speed attained on my Dahon Mariner, it occurred to me that going fast on a folder is a whole different game from a traditional, full sized diamond frame.

So, that speed for me, was 37mph, reached the night before last while I was visiting in Pittsburgh. The Dahon wasn't bad, but confidence inspiring it wasn't. Some of it is my fault, for not keeping the brakes in tip top order, but also there was quite a bit of it was the bike just being unstable at those speeds. I'd probably have gone faster had I had more brake power, but it wouldn't have been the smartest thing, I don't think.

And what about you guys, the experienced small-wheelers...how fast would-- have-- you gone on your folding bike?
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Old 07-02-13, 06:11 PM   #2
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Downhill excluded?
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Old 07-02-13, 07:30 PM   #3
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Coasting downhill in a tuck: 56 mph, Air Friday.
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Old 07-02-13, 07:41 PM   #4
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I have had my Raleigh Twenty up around 30mph on a downhill, my old BF NWT well into the 40's on a long down hill on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I have a Dahon Classic III that I don't think I would want to ride much over 20mph.

Every bike has it's own limits as do different riders.

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Old 07-02-13, 08:48 PM   #5
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Maybe if it hadn't been midnight, the roads totally foreign, and I had better lights I could have wrung more speed out, but really there's just so much room for error with a folder that I'm not wholly confident in them, the mariner especially. BTW, is there a different braking dynamic between 20" and 700c wheels?
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Old 07-02-13, 08:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
BTW, is there a different braking dynamic between 20" and 700c wheels?
The heat of braking is partially dissipated by the hot rim surface and smaller wheels have less rim surface so they would be more prone to overheating. But that's more of a problem on slower, winding mountain descents where you have to brake for an extended period. On fast downhills almost all the energy is lost to air resistance. Fastest descent on my BF was 50 mph. It seemed nice and stable at that speed and could certainly have gone faster with a little more slope or tailwind.
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Old 07-04-13, 05:18 PM   #7
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I have set off those 30 mph speed warning signs on the flat on both my S-Type Brompton and the Bridgestone Moulton I owned.

Don't forget that in the Autumn of 1985, at the International Human Powered Speed Championships, a fully-faired Moulton ridden by Jim Glover broke the 200 metres flying start speed record, at 50.21mph (80.79kph). Then on August 29th 1986, at the same event, he broke his own record at a speed of 51.29mph (82.54kph) which still stands today for the conventional riding position. The Moulton ridden was an AM SPEED with the fairing designed by Doug Milliken of Buffalo, NY.
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Old 07-04-13, 07:56 PM   #8
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Same rate as the Boeing or Airbus carrier, I might be flying in, level flight, and no faster..

747-400 & A380 are good for about mach 0.85, or about 570 mph..

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-04-13 at 08:14 PM.
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