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Old 11-15-13, 10:37 AM   #1
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if you had to have only one bike and it was a folder which would you choose

So, I know this is a problem of the affluent. I have too many bikes, but some garden maintenance has temporarily cut of access to the place I keep them. All I have had access to is my Brompton S2L-X. And you know, life has been quite happy without the other bikes

Where I live is quite flat, so I might like more gears for when I go further afield. I might need a rack, for credit card touring. But, if I - or you - were going to commit to only one bike for the rest of your life, and it would have to be a folder, obvs, which would you choose, and why ? Full specification in terms of model, accessories, please.

Throwing it out there for the weekend, which starts in 20 mins in my mind where I am.
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Old 11-15-13, 10:45 AM   #2
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So, I know this is a problem of the affluent. I have too many bikes, but some garden maintenance has temporarily cut of access to the place I keep them. All I have had access to is my Brompton S2L-X. And you know, life has been quite happy without the other bikes

Where I live is quite flat, so I might like more gears for when I go further afield. I might need a rack, for credit card touring. But, if I - or you - were going to commit to only one bike for the rest of your life, and it would have to be a folder, obvs, which would you choose, and why ? Full specification in terms of model, accessories, please.

Throwing it out there for the weekend, which starts in 20 mins in my mind where I am.
I have a Brompton and I'm very happy with it. Its difficult to say which one out of the many out there that I would prefer simply because folding bikes are not that available in stores to see and try, well at least where I live. I did look at a few Dahons and a few Terns, but many of the models were not available. Road bikes and Mountain bikes are a plenty in all the stores to see, but unfortunately folding bikes aren't. So unless one can get their hands on what's available its pretty hard to give a proper evaluation.

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Old 11-15-13, 10:54 AM   #3
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Between Brompton and my Bike Friday Pocket Llama , I'd keep the Llama.

It's features: Disc Brakes , Rohloff hub . iTM Freetime Trekking bars , thudbuster seat post.

Dyno hub and wired lights .. front Racks + a Trailer..


Though the BF Silk was created since, Id build on that , and get to eliminate the chain tensioner.

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Old 11-15-13, 11:02 AM   #4
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only one bike .... it doesnt exist ...yet
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Old 11-15-13, 11:05 AM   #5
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No expense spared: Bike Friday custom, not sure on frame but Pocket Llama, NWT, or Silk. W/ Rohloff & disc brakes, riser bar with pullback, f/r racks, fenders, SON dyno hub w/ B&M lighting. 1.5" Marathons when I want to make time; 2.0" Big Apples if I just want to mess around.

Expense spared: Xootr Swift w/ 2x10 derailleur system, mtn cassette and der in back. Set up much the same as above, except with a Shimano dyno hub and rim brakes. Maybe Sturmey Archer 3x9 drum setup out back and drum/dyno up front. 2.0 tires.

What I got: Birdy w/ soon to be installed 3x7 Sachs dual drive. And I'd probably rig it up with fenders, rack(s) and rechargeable lighting before I went in deep on any other new setup.

Edit, dream bike:

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...Bike Friday Pocket Llama....

It's features: Disc Brakes , Rohloff hub . iTM Freetime Trekking bars , thudbuster seat post.

Dyno hub and wired lights .. front Racks + a Trailer..

Though the BF Silk was created since, Id build on that , and get to eliminate the chain tensioner.
With the Silk frame...
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Old 11-15-13, 11:07 AM   #6
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Easiest question ever and for a good long time this was the only bike I rode because I could not get a leg over anything else.


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Old 11-15-13, 11:35 AM   #7
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Drop bar conversion Espresso.

I used to think about adding a freeradical to it, but then Xtracycle took my idea.

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Old 11-15-13, 11:39 AM   #8
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I think my answer will surprise many people.

Without a doubt my Bike Friday NWT is my all time favorite (folder or non-folder) for covering miles however it's 'fold' is awkward so it's difficult to take into shops, bars or into the office with me. I would have to lock it up and risk having it stolen... that would be a traumatic event. My Brompton, on the other hand, comes with me everywhere... that's where it really shines. I never have to worry about it getting stolen. I'ts a joy to ride but it's nowhere near as good as the BF. My third favorite bike is actually a mix between the BF and Brompton in usefulness/functionality. I like it's ride more than the Brommie but not as much as the BF. It folds smaller and is easier to transport than the BF yet not on the same level of awesomeness as the Brommie. It's a jack of all trades but certainly not a master of any and I can get 8 of them for what my Brommie or BF cost.

So I would have to say that my Citizen Miami is the one I would choose if I could only have one folding bike.
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Old 11-15-13, 11:52 AM   #9
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So I would have to say that my Citizen Miami is the one I would choose if I could only have one folding bike.

Does your answer change if you only have one bike (so, no non-folders allowed)?
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Old 11-15-13, 03:22 PM   #10
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Does your answer change if you only have one bike (so, no non-folders allowed)?
I prefer my folding bikes over all others from a practical "do-it-all" standpoint so I would still choose the Miami as my one and only bike.
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Old 11-15-13, 04:23 PM   #11
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I prefer my folding bikes over all others from a practical "do-it-all" standpoint so I would still choose the Miami as my one and only bike.
Wow, I'm impressed, and a little shocked really. You probably remember my escapade a few months back with the Adventure bikes I bought from Camping World. I would have thought that the Miami, being around the same price ($199) would be of similar quality, but judging from your positive comment I can only conclude that it isn't at all like the Adventurer bikes I returned.

I am still looking around for a folding bike for my wife, but its become a daunting task. What is available around where we live, she has tried. She's looked at the Dahon Mariner, Tern C7, and a few other Dahon models, one being the XL Sport if my memory serves my correct. All of these she just didn't feel comfortable with -- but of all, she liked a Brompton model with the straight handlebars. Can't remember the model. Well if she has her heart set on that, I will get it for her, but it will be a long wait unfortunately. My wife, is not an accomplished rider. She's only been riding for a few years, and in that space of time, her riding time has been rather sporadic. So based on all of this, I'm a little reluctant to order something for her online, and then be faced with the problem of returning it.

So what can you tell me about your Miami that might convince me to go that route? Now she does like the appearance of the Citizen Barcelona, which has an internal geared hub.

Cheers
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Old 11-15-13, 06:18 PM   #12
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[/URL]

My Xootr Swift is the only folder I've had but, like the original poster I do have other more conventional bikes - including a really nice Bianchi dripping with Campagnolo! However, if I could only have one bike it would be the Swift. It rides like a large wheeler, can be customized and is just so much fun to ride.
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Old 11-15-13, 08:15 PM   #13
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Wow, I'm impressed, and a little shocked really.
Don't be impressed and I understand your shock. Although the basic design of the Miami is sound the execution is lacking and the bike is chock full of bargain basement parts. Everything about the bike is low grade however it is serviceable albeit more maintenance intensive than a quality bike like my BF and Brommie. But with a little skill and a few modifications to ease maintenance it has proven to be a decent, reliable and functional bike.

The hub bearings and bottom bracket aren't of the cartridge variety so they will need to be serviced (lubed and adjusted) regularly. One thing I did was drill a 1/16" hole in the center of each hub so that I can use my bullet tipped grease gun to squirt grease into the hubs until it squeezes out of the bearings. I then clean the outer hub shell near the hole and wrap a strip of electrical tape one full turn around the hub to cover the hole. Now I don't have to take the bearings apart to relube them. It's a quick and dirty hack but a major time saver.

I had two Miamis (one I gave to a friend) and both came with an aluminum folding handlebar stem with the same problem. The stem is a nice design however the holes that were drilled to accommodate the hinge pin bolt were slightly oversized so the bolt was a loose fit and right off the bat there was a lot of play at the hinge unless you really tightened down the hinge pin bolt... not really an adequate solution for me. So I drilled the holes slightly larger and pressed in bronze bearing sleeves. I reamed out the inside of the sleeves just enough so that the hinge bolt could be pressed through with just a little force. Now the stem hinge functions beautifully and there is absolutely no play even when the hinge isn't locked into position with the clamp.

The other stuff like the twist shifter, brake and shift cables, derailleur, brake shoes, etc. are cheap but again they will function just as long as everything is clean and lubricated. Shifting can get finicky after awhile but I attribute that to the company's use of a brake cable housing instead of a proper shift cable housing. At first I would routinely clean and relube the shift cable and derailleur and everything would be fine for awhile but I eventually replaced the shift cable housing with a proper one and it's been shifting great since.

I've done many other things to the bike but they were more for personal reasons rather than for the sake of reliability or function.

So in a nutshell my improved Miami is a good enough bike for me to consider it as a "one and only" but it took a little effort to get there.
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Old 11-16-13, 08:59 AM   #14
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Don't be impressed and I understand your shock. Although the basic design of the Miami is sound the execution is lacking and the bike is chock full of bargain basement parts. Everything about the bike is low grade however it is serviceable albeit more maintenance intensive than a quality bike like my BF and Brommie. But with a little skill and a few modifications to ease maintenance it has proven to be a decent, reliable and functional bike.

The hub bearings and bottom bracket aren't of the cartridge variety so they will need to be serviced (lubed and adjusted) regularly. One thing I did was drill a 1/16" hole in the center of each hub so that I can use my bullet tipped grease gun to squirt grease into the hubs until it squeezes out of the bearings. I then clean the outer hub shell near the hole and wrap a strip of electrical tape one full turn around the hub to cover the hole. Now I don't have to take the bearings apart to relube them. It's a quick and dirty hack but a major time saver.

I had two Miamis (one I gave to a friend) and both came with an aluminum folding handlebar stem with the same problem. The stem is a nice design however the holes that were drilled to accommodate the hinge pin bolt were slightly oversized so the bolt was a loose fit and right off the bat there was a lot of play at the hinge unless you really tightened down the hinge pin bolt... not really an adequate solution for me. So I drilled the holes slightly larger and pressed in bronze bearing sleeves. I reamed out the inside of the sleeves just enough so that the hinge bolt could be pressed through with just a little force. Now the stem hinge functions beautifully and there is absolutely no play even when the hinge isn't locked into position with the clamp.

The other stuff like the twist shifter, brake and shift cables, derailleur, brake shoes, etc. are cheap but again they will function just as long as everything is clean and lubricated. Shifting can get finicky after awhile but I attribute that to the company's use of a brake cable housing instead of a proper shift cable housing. At first I would routinely clean and relube the shift cable and derailleur and everything would be fine for awhile but I eventually replaced the shift cable housing with a proper one and it's been shifting great since.

I've done many other things to the bike but they were more for personal reasons rather than for the sake of reliability or function.

So in a nutshell my improved Miami is a good enough bike for me to consider it as a "one and only" but it took a little effort to get there.
Thank you for all that input BassNotBass. When it comes to mechanical work, you might say I'm somewhat challenged. I'm sure that if I had a mechanic do all this for me the price of the bike and the work would put me into a higher quality bike. Too bad you don't live next door . I believe I read that you worked as a mechanic, so doing these mods would be a breeze for you.
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Old 11-16-13, 09:38 AM   #15
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well, this is going well. I have to confess that my original posting was because I was trying to convince myself that all my prayers would be answered if I had my SL2-X converted to 8 gears by this guy here... in recent travels I have struggled on hills (I know, its the engine, etc - and I do know this, because, same hills, same bike, were easier 24 months ago).

Then I woulnd't need my airnimal, which doesn't get much use, or the DT mini, or the surley full size cargo conversion. But then, hang on, would I just be paying 300 for gearing that is not too different to the mini ? Hmmm. But the mini doesn't have the zing of the brommie when I ride it. Maybe I should just use the airnimal more. Hmmm. It seems a shame to lose the weight benefit of the S2L-X. Maybe I should get the Alfine 11 speed... but then I would need a steel rear triangle... hmm.

So, guys, thanks for the input so far. What I would say to all of you - and this is about my needs not yours - is one of the reasons I am still in an upgraded brommie mode is, you guessed it, the fold, and, all of your propositions so far don't come close foldwise (and I see no tikits or curves which would). My house aint small, but we are strapped for storage; and the brommie is just such a great fold and a good ride.... but let's hear more views...

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Old 11-16-13, 10:02 AM   #16
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well, this is going well. I have to confess that my original posting was because I was trying to convince myself that all my prayers would be answered if I had my SL2-X converted to 8 gears by this guy here... in recent travels I have struggled on hills (I know, its the engine, etc - and I do know this, because, same hills, same bike, were easier 24 months ago).

Then I woulnd't need my airnimal, which doesn't get much use, or the DT mini, or the surley full size cargo conversion. But then, hang on, would I just be paying 300 for gearing that is not too different to the mini ? Hmmm. But the mini doesn't have the zing of the brommie when I ride it. Maybe I should just use the airnimal more. Hmmm. It seems a shame to lose the weight benefit of the S2L-X. Maybe I should get the Alfine 11 speed... but then I would need a steel rear triangle... hmm.

So, guys, thanks for the input so far. What I would say to all of you - and this is about my needs not yours - is one of the reasons I am still in an upgraded brommie mode is, you guessed it, the fold, and, all of your propositions so far don't come close foldwise (and I see no tikits or curves which would). My house aint small, but we are strapped for storage; and the brommie is just such a great fold and a good ride.... but let's hear more views...
I wish my Brommie came with an 8-speed internal hub. It would alleviate all the flipping back and forth between the two shifters. The gearing range, for me at least, is fine, but to have all gears in one hub with one shifter would be awesome. That said, I think I will keep it as is though. For one thing, I don't know that there are many around where I live that could work on a Brompton, let alone know what a Brompton is.

If you are in the NW part of England, you would be on the opposite end to Newcastle -- Go Newcastle United!!

Time to get ready for my daily ride. Have a good one.

Cheers
Wayne
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Old 11-16-13, 10:26 AM   #17
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a Glasgow Scotland UK Brompton dealer offers a Modified rear end, Wayne,
to get you that [edit] S-A, not Simano, 8 speed

Its buying retail from overseas .. he can ship a whole bike ..

so you might be riding your wife's future bike then getting ..


http://www.kinetics-online.co.uk/fol...n-8-speed-kit/


Penzance is the opposite end of England from Newcastle ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-17-13 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 11-16-13, 10:35 AM   #18
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a Glasgow Scotland UK Brompton dealer offers a Modified rear end, Wayne, to get you that Shimano 8 speed

Its buying retail from overseas .. he can ship a whole bike ..

so you might be riding your wife's future bike then getting ..


http://www.kinetics-online.co.uk/fol...n-8-speed-kit/


Penzance is the opposite end of England from Newcastle ..
That looks sooo tempting. Something for future consideration. Yes, Penzance is at the opposite end -- but what I should have said to gringo_gus was opposite side. Ooops!
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Old 11-16-13, 10:47 AM   #19
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Riding only Brompton S6 in the last two years and the only upgrade I fancy is that magnetic bottle holder so I guess this is my answer.

At this point, folding bikes for me are more about pedaling and less about buying/tinkering, and I like it this way.
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Old 11-16-13, 10:50 AM   #20
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I wish my Brommie came with an 8-speed internal hub. It would alleviate all the flipping back and forth between the two shifters. The gearing range, for me at least, is fine, but to have all gears in one hub with one shifter would be awesome. That said, I think I will keep it as is though. For one thing, I don't know that there are many around where I live that could work on a Brompton, let alone know what a Brompton is.

If you are in the NW part of England, you would be on the opposite end to Newcastle -- Go Newcastle United!!

Time to get ready for my daily ride. Have a good one.

Cheers
Wayne

I am more on the left hand side of England, while Newcastle is on the right-hand side and up a bit. Great city tho - ha'way the lads (which is their local lingo for 'Go Newcastle United'

Thanks too for the the kinetics link this looks really cool I want I want
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Old 11-16-13, 12:10 PM   #21
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I am more on the left hand side of England, while Newcastle is on the right-hand side and up a bit. Great city tho - ha'way the lads (which is their local lingo for 'Go Newcastle United'

Thanks too for the the kinetics link this looks really cool I want I want
You're welcome, but the pat on the back belongs to fietsbob. He was the kind soul that provided the neat link. "Ha'way the lads" it is then.

Cheers
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Old 11-16-13, 12:16 PM   #22
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Xootr Swift would be mine
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Old 11-16-13, 08:28 PM   #23
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Bike Friday, Pocket Llama, no question ab out it. Rides quite nicely, really well made and it folds. It's not prefect, but it is as close as I have found.
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Old 11-17-13, 01:20 AM   #24
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I think my answer will surprise many people.

Without a doubt my Bike Friday NWT is my all time favorite (folder or non-folder) for covering miles however it's 'fold' is ...
been riding my vintage (new to me) NWT this week after a good cleaning and overhaul (tires, cables, pads, etc). I've been inwardly grinning and marveling at the smooth, comfortable, nimble little bike. It's just a kick to ride! A bonus is that it's lighter than anything else in my vintage stable.

So, if I had to pick and outfit just one bike, I think I'd have to take a pilgramage up to Oregon and see what Bike Friday has been cooking up in the last 20 years.

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Old 11-17-13, 09:15 AM   #25
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The Bike Friday Tikit has become my goto ride. Its a sweet ride. Folders were originally viewed as supplements to my regular bikes. The tikit has moved into the primary position. Versatile quality bike...BF is generating some new exciting designs....while they might not fold to the smallest package for storage. The tikit folds fast, and small enough, and rides great.
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