Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-20-13, 06:46 PM   #1
fauvette
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
First timer: Choosing a lightweight folder for an urban, multi-modal commute!

Yeah, another "help me choose" post! Sorry, but I don't know anyone who rides a folder, I love to ramble, and I am new to cycling! I had a bike as a kid that I rode around the park, but it's been years! I'll definitely need to practice on some quiet trails and streets before I venture out into traffic.
  • Most days the bike will be used for a four mile urban commute. Plenty of potholes, but mostly flat terrain.
  • It needs to be easy to fold and carry short distances, as I frequently need to use the bus, train, or subway.
  • I'm 5'7", 120 lbs., and have a bone condition in my left wrist. The lighter the bike the better!
  • I NEED the bike to have a handbrake! And gears are a nice perk, but ultimately I think I can get by without them for my purposes.
  • I'm an intern, so I need to balance my desires for a portable, pleasant, lightweight, attractive ride with the harsh reality that I make minimum wage. If cycling works out for me, I figure I can upgrade down the line, when I have a "real" job.
I've been strongly considering the Dahon Speed Uno ($402 from Amazon). Only 24.2 pounds! The thing is, I'd need to get a handbrake installed. Is that something I could get a local bike shop to do relatively affordably and painlessly? I realize that the handbrake adds some ounces, but it'll be scary enough adapting to biking in traffic as is, I don't need to get the safety blanket of a handbrake taken away from me too!

The Dahon Mariner ($599) is pricier and is 26 pounds, but has both handbrakes and gears ready to go. The Tern Link D8 ($650) is even pricier and probably the maximum weight I would consider at 26.6 pounds, but it seems to be touted as a really high quality, sturdy bike for the price. Is a Tern worth it?

My favorite thing to lust after is the Dahon Jifo ($899), but I'm not sure I can justify paying that much. I think I'm correct in assuming that the bitty 16" wheels would be more twitchy and troublesome on crummy, poorly maintained city roads? Yes? Somebody talk me down, because the rapid, tiny fold and 20 lb. weight sounds like a dream come true!

The Dahon Curve ($699) is a cute 16" folder that appears more versatile than the Jifo, but at 25.4 pounds and $700, I wonder if I wouldn't be better off getting the cheaper Dahon Uno and putting some brakes on it after all.

Or am I just being a total nutcase about buying my first bike, and would be better off buying one of the 20 year old Dahons I always see pop up on Craigslist for $125ish? I've been stalking my city's listings for a while and the only folders I've seen have been from 1996 or earlier.

Thanks for any thoughts, warnings, or suggestions you have, they'll be much appreciated!
fauvette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-13, 06:55 PM   #2
Pinigis 
Senior Member
 
Pinigis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Henrico, VA
Bikes: Origami Gazelle, Origami Crane 8, Origami Cricket 7
Posts: 638
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
I the owner of Origami Bicycle Company, so my opinion is biased, but you should take s look at the Origami Crane. It is lightweight, compact, has hands brakes, and is cost competitive because we sell factory direct.
__________________
Paul Pinigis

http://www.origamibicycles.com
Pinigis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-13, 07:49 PM   #3
Bill Wilby
Member
 
Bill Wilby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Grand Forks B.C. Canada
Bikes: Strida Day 6 Cruzbike
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Have you considered a Strida? Comfortable upright riding position with little weight on your wrist, quick fold that you can roll, clean with a belt, single or three speed, and light 10kg.
Bill Wilby

I am the Canadian distributor for Strida, my opinion is also biased, I also can not ship to the U.S. www.stridacanada.ca
Bill Wilby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-13, 07:52 PM   #4
HGR3inOK 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Bikes: Brompton H6L-X, Dahon Curve D3
Posts: 714
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fauvette View Post
... I've been stalking my city's listings for a while and the only folders I've seen have been from 1996 or earlier. ...
Where are you located?

-HANK RYAN-
Norman, Oklahoma USA
__________________
DISCLOSURE: I have an ownership interest in a company that is an authorized dealer for Brompton.
HGR3inOK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-13, 08:07 PM   #5
fauvette
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
I the owner of Origami Bicycle Company, so my opinion is biased, but you should take s look at the Origami Crane. It is lightweight, compact, has hands brakes, and is cost competitive because we sell factory direct.
The Crane certainly seems to satisfy my requirements for features at a very appealing price. If I can find some reviews for it, it's definitely going to be a contender.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Wilby View Post
Have you considered a Strida? Comfortable upright riding position with little weight on your wrist, quick fold that you can roll, clean with a belt, single or three speed, and light 10kg.
Bill Wilby

I am the Canadian distributor for Strida, my opinion is also biased, I also can not ship to the U.S. www.stridacanada.ca
Woah! The design makes me smile. In a bright color, no way that drivers would miss seeing me! I am not sure that I would commit to buying one online though. With such a unique shape, I would feel like I'm making a big gamble without going for a test ride. Unfortunately, according to Strida's official website the closest dealer is 160 miles away from me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HGR3inOK View Post
Where are you located?

-HANK RYAN-
Norman, Oklahoma USA
I'm in Baltimore, MD.
fauvette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-13, 08:25 PM   #6
wernst
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Bikes: 86 Nishiki Olympic Sport, 87 KHS Montana Team, 06 Dahon Mariner
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
F,

I ride a Dahon Mariner every day 4 miles each way as a part of a mixed mode commute. 26 lbs is pretty easy to manage, and the fenders, rack, gears, and handbrakes all contribute to a very nice commuter bike that I can ride in all weather. I've got more than 4500 miles on it and it is a fine ride. If it were to be stolen tomorrow, I would buy another one the next day.

Hope this helps,
Warr
wernst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-13, 08:41 PM   #7
HGR3inOK 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Bikes: Brompton H6L-X, Dahon Curve D3
Posts: 714
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fauvette View Post
... I'm in Baltimore, MD.
Test ride! Test ride! Test ride!

You should be able to get some hands-on experience with Dahon, Tern, Brompton, etc. Hopefully, this forum can provide you with some direct comparisons for those candidates for which a test ride might not be an option (Origami, Strida, Citizen, Downtube, etc.)

Several years ago I faced a similar situation. A couple of reliable sources said, "It's hard to go wrong with a Dahon Speed P8." I bought a clean, used Speed P8, and the rest is history.

Test ride the Dahon Speed Uno, Speed D7, Speed P8 & Mariner D7 and the Tern Link C7 & Link D8 (and, maybe, a Brompton S2L). Then post here what you liked and did not like. The members of this forum can likely provide some priceless input that will help you decide what folder to buy first (and second and third, etc. ).

-HANK RYAN-
Norman, Oklahoma USA
__________________
DISCLOSURE: I have an ownership interest in a company that is an authorized dealer for Brompton.
HGR3inOK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-13, 01:58 PM   #8
Pinigis 
Senior Member
 
Pinigis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Henrico, VA
Bikes: Origami Gazelle, Origami Crane 8, Origami Cricket 7
Posts: 638
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
you can choose to give the Origami Crane a try with no risk. Of you don't like it you can send it back for a full refund. We don't sell through bike shops so this as convenient a test ride as possible for us.
__________________
Paul Pinigis

http://www.origamibicycles.com

Last edited by Pinigis; 07-21-13 at 02:51 PM.
Pinigis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-13, 03:00 PM   #9
Still Pedaling
Senior Member
 
Still Pedaling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Arizona
Bikes: Brompton and Dahon Curve D3
Posts: 751
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
you can choose to give the Origami Crane a try with no risk. Of you don't like it you can send it back for a full refund. We don't sell through bike shops so this as convenient a test ride as possible for us.
Can't ask for better than that. It would be nice to see one first though, but I guess the way you sell them helps to keep the consumer costs at a minimum. One thing I like about your bikes, without knowing much about them, is the name. Very appropriate when you consider Origami involves the act of folding.

Cheers
Wayne
Still Pedaling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 11:07 AM   #10
KlibanQat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Bikes: Origami Crane
Posts: 54
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a Crane but I do not multi-modal commute. I should do a test run with the bike and a bus and a light rail car soon anyway, so think of any questions before I try it.

If you fold the Crane (and secure it with a good bungee cord) and roll it, it will roll forward, so you don't have to lift the bike until the moment you get to the step. Taller people like you seem to like a shoulder strap to lift their folding bikes, no matter what the brand. I'm a shorter person and like to lift it without folding.

How will you secure the bike while you are at work? Leave it folded at the cubicle? If you carry a U-lock with you, know that it might not mount to the bike frame very well especially if the mount would interfere with the fold. My U-lock has an abnormally long shackle, and it happens to nestle atop the rack like they were made to fit together--but that means that nine times out of ten, if I have to turn the bike on its side for any reason, I have forgotten about the U-lock and it slides off and hits my foot. Note to self: try using thick wire twist ties to hold the )#(/# in place.
KlibanQat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-13, 11:52 PM   #11
mlau
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Alameda
Bikes: Xootr Swift
Posts: 101
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Fauvette,

I'd also like to toss in what type of riding you're into, what type of multimodal, etc.
I ultimately chose a Xootr Swift because I wanted a zippy, fun to ride bike, with minimal compromises.
It just barely fits in my Corolla's trunk, but is great on the metro (very thin profile).

On the other extreme, is the Pacific Carryme. It rides surprisingly nice, but is very, very limited in riding. For a lighter rider like yourself, it'd be fine for under a mile. The A bike and Strida were worse for me.

Of the choices, I'd advise against a Strida (too fiddly for me, very stiff in the crotch area).
The Origami looks nice, as does the Downtube (never rode either. Friend has a downtube.)

If you're an intern, have you thought of just looking on Craigslist?
If you know bikes, you will likely score a far better deal (and I don't recommend plunging $2k into a bespoke bike for your first folder).

There are often dahons to be found fairly cheaply.

-Matt
mlau is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:21 AM.