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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 03-21-14, 02:30 AM   #176
chemeleon26
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Lots of good info here Caterpillar. Thanks for sharing.

You seem to be someone who has followed extensively the folding bike market. Basing on your post, I can't help but think you must be involved in the industry somehow. Either that or you are extremely passionate about folding bikes.

Anyway, it's great that the Philippines seem to have a booming folding bike market albeit the lower end of the spectrum. Bike Friday, Moulton, Mezzo/Ori and several other well-known folding bike brands are not available here. I'm actually surprised to find out someone is bringing in Birdy and Pacific Cycle IF Mode here. What do you think is accounting for this trend?

Also, I think we are way off topic here. Perhaps you can open a new thread about this so as to avoid being OT? I find your insights very interesting. I'm sure other find it fascinating as well.
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Old 03-21-14, 02:42 AM   #177
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Lots of good info here Caterpillar. Thanks for sharing.

You seem to be someone who has followed extensively the folding bike market. Basing on your post, I can't help but think you must be involved in the industry somehow. Either that or you are extremely passionate about folding bikes.

Anyway, it's great that the Philippines seem to have a booming folding bike market albeit the lower end of the spectrum. Bike Friday, Moulton, Mezzo/Ori and several other well-known folding bike brands are not available here. I'm actually surprised to find out someone is bringing in Birdy and Pacific Cycle IF Mode here. What do you think is accounting for this trend?

Also, I think we are way off topic here. Perhaps you can open a new thread about this so as to avoid being OT? I find your insights very interesting. I'm sure other find it fascinating as well.
That's true... his last few posts deserve to be a topic header. They certainly make for a thought-provoking read.
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Old 03-21-14, 05:07 AM   #178
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Lots of good info here Caterpillar. Thanks for sharing.

You seem to be someone who has followed extensively the folding bike market. Basing on your post, I can't help but think you must be involved in the industry somehow. Either that or you are extremely passionate about folding bikes.

Anyway, it's great that the Philippines seem to have a booming folding bike market albeit the lower end of the spectrum. Bike Friday, Moulton, Mezzo/Ori and several other well-known folding bike brands are not available here. I'm actually surprised to find out someone is bringing in Birdy and Pacific Cycle IF Mode here. What do you think is accounting for this trend?

Also, I think we are way off topic here. Perhaps you can open a new thread about this so as to avoid being OT? I find your insights very interesting. I'm sure other find it fascinating as well.
In our small group, I had become a reluctant folding bike "guru." I don't like being labeled as such. But I suppose the reputation has grown because it has helped a lot finding their first folding bike and guided many to less problematical routes in terms of upgrades or picking succeeding bikes.

As far as being with or in the industry, to an extent, yes, I am. At least locally. I do give feedback and advise to some distributors and that has led to some being able to provide the market with brands and models that our local tastes go for. But I'd say, my participation is just a mere 10-15% of that. But what I am happy to report is even at that small influence, this has brought us positive results in that we saw a prolifiration of new models and brands, something unheard of just 2 years ago. And the vendors and distributors are greatly rewarded for that. Sales are up and we, as consumers do get better choices.

Our market is not big, but it is enough to make a lot here happy. And this is a movement that has impact not just in the folding bike market. Even in the gov't side of things, this has a positive effect that more and more we see our lawmakers pushing for bikes and other human powered machines. Right now, our gov't is into heavy road and infrastructure building and traffic is getting bad. Really bad. Us folding bikers tend to have advantage. We know the best routes, the alternates. We know the terrain, and many of us are urban folding bike commuters. The advantage of our foldies is we can fold them and take them inside malls, the train, MRT, provincial buses, etc. This is not something MTBs or road bikes can do. We do not even need parking, which we are also fighting for for our non-folding bike brothers and sisters.

My passion with folding bike is borne out of the heavy traffic in our cities, and the time lost getting to work or to where one wants to be. And since we are a poor country, we cannot afford to do experiments or trial and error in bike selection. We had to be sure of what we get as best as we can.

As for the other brands, part of that is the manufacturer themselves. For example, Bike Friday, good as it is, probably does not have enough capital to expand production rapidly and in quantity, much less open markets overseas. This is much less to a smaller market as our country. Brompton's used to be in the same situation, but it's a bit new CEO has moved the firm to a position that now they have a Brompton Phils and cna now sell it in our country. And I heard sales is very brisk. Part of that is their focus on manufacturing and inventory efficiencies. And this is what Bike Friday or Moulton or other brands are going to be missing and maybe needs to do. And it is not just in our country. Imagine being able to sell in Vietnam, or other Asian countries. The time of the folding bike really has come.

But people must also realize that many of the folding bikes we have here are really the same if not similar or very close to the name brands. Dahon is able to come up with over 1-M folding bikes a year not because it has a large plant or many factories it owns. They get to hit those numbers by subcontracting their bikes or some parts of it, especially the frame in China and Taiwan. And by the looks of the bikes we buy, but of another brand unfamiliar to many (Peerless, Crius, Rhine, etc), it is so easy to see that they are using the same frame as that of Dahon or Tern, or even the R&M Birdy. So, we are, in a way, getting a Dahon or a Tern for half the price (sometimes even more) we would pay for a name brand.

Right now, we have so many different kinds of folding bikes that it is just a sheer joy to be able to test ride a friend's bike. This leaves the guesswork out of how a particular model or brand would feel or work. And since many of us are also pushing the limits of how these bikes are used (e.g. 150-200km plus out-of-town trips, with some even 2-3 day jaunts going 500-600km or more), the limits of the bikes and future specs and designs are influenced. For example, there is a new player, the Venzo. It comes with a dual chainring for U$350 or so. In fact, dual chainrings are being requested more and more, as many are now going outside the city to bike. This means, climbing hills and mountains thus necessitating the need for a dual chainring cranks, shifters, and FDs. So, one of the new developments that will likely spur bike makers is to put FD posts in their frames for future upgrades.

Another thing that some of them are doing now are putting extra posts for v-brakes and for disc brakes. This now give 2 options as brakes. It does add to the cost, yes, but many are happy because those who don't like disc brakes because it adds to the weight can opt for v-brakes. Those who like the power and surety of disc brakes, especially on wet days, can opt for it.

These developments are very good as it spurs competition. It also spurs innovation and lowering of prices. In fact, frames and forks, are now being sold, not just whole bikes. Rhine Birdy's, Rhine 2013, Crius Master D, Mars Kingdom, Atomic, etc are a few brands and models that are now being sold as frame or frame and fork combos. That means, one can choose frames. Even forks, stem-post, and now forks with shock absoption like found in MTBs are being sold, not just the limited Suntour Swing Shock forks.

These are clear signs that the market is very healthy, growing, and the folding bike has reached a mass that is sustainable for businesses to bring in more products, accessories, etc.

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Old 03-23-14, 11:49 PM   #179
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I think I've met one of your mates Caterpillar. I saw him in Tryon the other day and he was riding a modded MIT V8 with color combo of Red & Black. You can see the bike has been through a lot. He has really pushed that bike. If I recall, he has at least 4,000km on that bike.

Some of the mods he made made use of Brompton accessories like the L fender and the Front carrier block. He uses an S Bag. Some things he mentioned was that there was chain rub in the chainstays and he had to put a spacer in the bottom bracket. He also put some sort of clamp in the handlebar post to improve stiffness he says. Lastly, he complained that the rear fender seems to be interfering with the rear wheel. He was having his wheel respoked.

Anyway, I find it quite impressive how the folding bike market has grew. Back in 2009, I viewed folding bikes as unreliable. The only ones available were in Toby's sport shops and they were pretty hard to handle. Nowadays, for even less money, you can get better quality folding bikes. How things have changed.
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Old 03-24-14, 06:45 AM   #180
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As for the other brands, part of that is the manufacturer themselves. For example, Bike Friday, good as it is, probably does not have enough capital to expand production rapidly and in quantity, much less open markets overseas. [...] And this is what Bike Friday or Moulton or other brands are going to be missing and maybe needs to do.

It's true for any niche manufacturer: As long as it relies on hand-built, custom-made products, it cannot grow. But then, some business owners are perfectly fine with remaining small because they prefer running a small, familial company.


That leaves opportunities for other businesses. Capitalism at its best :-)


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So, we are, in a way, getting a Dahon or a Tern for half the price (sometimes even more) we would pay for a name brand.

Since you're so knowledgeable and well-known here, you should start a business so people in N.A./Europe could order bikes from you. All you'd have to do is buy bikes from local retailers in the Philippines, and ship the bikes through surface mail.
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Old 03-24-14, 08:16 AM   #181
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Since you're so knowledgeable and well-known here, you should start a business so people in N.A./Europe could order bikes from you. All you'd have to do is buy bikes from local retailers in the Philippines, and ship the bikes through surface mail.
Somethings to consider about that idea--
Bikes sold in the US by importers must meet the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's regulations, which provide some degree of testing for strength and safety. The EU has more comprehensive testing standards. China has standards for bikes, too, but I don't know how they compare with the US and EU standards, nor how well are they enforced at the factory. When you buy a bike that was made for the Asian markets, and bypass the normal importing regulations of your country, you don't have those benefits. Even more important, you don't have a warranty and don't have any protection from hazardous defects that arise and that trigger a recall. Recalls of bikes that came through the normal channels into the US happen every year. Not many, but some of them are serious hazards such as frames that break or steering stems that break at the hinge or base weld. As a matter of fact, domestic manufacturers even have recalls, such as the steering stem recall by BikeFriday of their Tikit bikes, replacing the steering stems of Tikits, all of them. If you bought a looks-like-a-Tern or whatever, from a store in the Philippines which imported them from a bike factory in China, who is going to notify you that you're riding a bike with a known defect? Who will replace the parts or refund your purchase price? Recently, West Marine, a nationwide store selling products for boat owners, took back all of two types of folding bikes that they had sold and refunded the full purchase price because the frames of a few of them cracked at the frame hinge. Even if the seller would assure you that you could return the defective bike for repair or replacement or refund, have you looked at the cost of shipping one bike from your country back to Asia? It usually exceeds the cost of the bike. Wholesale distributors get better shipping prices because they buy in large quantities, such as pallet loads or full containers.

Think about safety and warranty, not just price, when buying a folding bike, or any bike for that matter. If the price is cheap enough, you may just absorb the risk of having to make some repairs without a warranty, but what about being notified if you're riding a known time-bomb that may break and injure you? In the US, and probably Canada and the EU, there are strict requirements for sellers and manufacturers and importers to notify those who bought their products, very promptly, when serious safety defects are found in just a few of the same model.
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Old 03-24-14, 08:56 AM   #182
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Bikes sold in the US by importers must meet the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's regulations...
Well, new bikes sold at retail in the USA are supposed to meet CPSC standards. There's no real enforcement and it's shocking/not surprising how many bikes - especially folding bikes - don't meet these requirements.
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Old 03-24-14, 09:48 AM   #183
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Well, new bikes sold at retail in the USA are supposed to meet CPSC standards. There's no real enforcement and it's shocking/not surprising how many bikes - especially folding bikes - don't meet these requirements.
Please provide us with a couple of examples of folding bikes sold at retail in the last three years that do not meet CPSC standards.

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Old 03-24-14, 10:32 AM   #184
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Well, new bikes sold at retail in the USA are supposed to meet CPSC standards. There's no real enforcement and it's shocking/not surprising how many bikes - especially folding bikes - don't meet these requirements.
When an importer submits paperwork for the shipment to be cleared through US Customs and Border Protection, a legal document that must be included is either a statement certifying the compliance with US CPSC regulations for that product or a URL linking to the certification document. Anyone submitting a false certification is guilty of a crime and the products are subject to seizure and destruction by CBP at the port. I guess this rarely is enforced by CBP, since I agree that a lot of bikes advertised on the Internet by dealers don't appear to meet the basic requirement for a proper full-length chain guard (like to ones commonly on cruiser bikes) on all bikes that have a single front and single rear sprocket, which includes fixies, single-speed freewheeling, and IGH bikes. The little chain ring guard is not sufficient to meet the standard 16 CFR 1512 for that kind of bicycles sold in the US. The chain ring guard is sufficient if there are multiple sprockets in front or rear. I've asked dealers how this occurs and they say to ask the manufacturer. Anyone just looking at the bikes like this can see that they don't meet that regulation without actually delving into the truth of the certification statement. I am only aware of a single product recall, decades ago, which required that such a chain guard be added to a line of bikes that failed to meet the requirement.
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Old 03-24-14, 06:41 PM   #185
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The bike features often missing from bikes I see advertised, which are required by CFR 1512 (CPSC regulations for bicycles), are: colorless front reflector, red rear reflector, wheel side reflectors on the spokes (colorless or amber on front wheel, colorless or red on rear wheel, or an abrasion resistant stripe on the wheels in lieu of spoke reflectors), guard between rear cassette sprockets and the spokes so that a malfunction of the derailleur can't cause chain to interfere with wheel rotation by getting tangled in the spokes, on bikes with a single front sprocket and single rear sprocket there shall be a chain guard covering 90-degrees of the front sprocket and along the top of the chain to within 3.2" of the center of the rear axle. There are many specific details in the regulations about these and many other requirements dealing with strength and safety.

I feel that some of the requirements go into excessive detail about such simple things as the optical requirements of reflectors and their strength. Yet, some obviously important issues with bicycle safety are completely omitted, such as any sort of fatigue testing. It's well known that aluminum tends to fatigue much more easily than steel. Yet, there's no fatigue test. (The EU requirements do include fatigue tests, which is one reason why the testing labs charge so much more to test for the EU standards than for the US standards.) Fatigue is the tendency of some metals to develop micro-fractures in their structure, which continue to grow as the bike part is repeatedly flexed by usage, until the fracture propagates to the point where the part suddenly comes apart. A famous early case of fatigue failure involved the De Havilland Comet airplanes, the first commercial jetliners, built at the end of the 1940s and early 1950s, before fatigue was fully appreciated by aircraft engineers.

There's no testing of the folding hinges of folding bikes. One failure mode seems to be at the welds of the hinge devices to the frame or steering stem or at the hinge itself, especially on aluminum bikes. Yet, that's not tested.

The latest revision of CFR 1512 was just a few years ago, yet these issues were not added. This makes the US tests sort of weak standards for bicycle safety, yet they are the law of the land and the CPSC and Customs and Border Protection should be enforcing them. I suppose, when a failure of a bike leads to serious injury, the plaintiff's lawyer will be sure to check the bike for conformance with the standards, so it is prudent for bike manufacturers and importers and sellers to sell bikes that meet the standards.
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Old 03-24-14, 09:48 PM   #186
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In addition to overbyte's concise and well written summary, there's the 'no frame protrusions' provison. That's the requirement that the Raleigh and Peugeot folders of ~40 years ago ran afoul of. A great many of today's folding bikes have something along the main frame and I certainly haven't a clue how the CPSC would rule on this should they once again take an interest. Clearly a bike like a Mobiky wouldn't meet the provision - although, as the requirement is defined, I think a Strida would! LOL!



PS - Don't get mad at overbyte or me - we're not the US government.
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Old 03-25-14, 12:29 AM   #187
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I think I've met one of your mates Caterpillar. I saw him in Tryon the other day and he was riding a modded MIT V8 with color combo of Red & Black. You can see the bike has been through a lot. He has really pushed that bike. If I recall, he has at least 4,000km on that bike.

Some of the mods he made made use of Brompton accessories like the L fender and the Front carrier block. He uses an S Bag. Some things he mentioned was that there was chain rub in the chainstays and he had to put a spacer in the bottom bracket. He also put some sort of clamp in the handlebar post to improve stiffness he says. Lastly, he complained that the rear fender seems to be interfering with the rear wheel. He was having his wheel respoked.

Anyway, I find it quite impressive how the folding bike market has grew. Back in 2009, I viewed folding bikes as unreliable. The only ones available were in Toby's sport shops and they were pretty hard to handle. Nowadays, for even less money, you can get better quality folding bikes. How things have changed.
That's probably, Edward. That's our group member. We just rode together last Sunday. Covered about 100km from Quezon City to San Pablo, Laguna (about 5+ hours). Then did another 20km within the city of San Pablo. Visited the famous lakes of the place. As you can see, that's how much that bike gets a log in mileage. I wouldn't be surprised his 4,000km is probably more than that. Those guys log in 400-600km a week. They use the bike to work and almost anywhere they go.

This April, Holy week, they plan to bike from QC to Matnog, Sorsogon in about 5 days. They say it's just 588km. I'd say it' s more like 700-750km. And once they reach there, Edward is recruiting others to cross the sea to Samar and maybe up to San Juanico bridge. We'll be going bimodal and meet him at Sorsgon City and escort him to Matnog. I am a native of Sorsogon so we have our ancestral house there where we can stay. But who knows? I might just go with him to Samar just for the heck of it. It would be a treat to cover 150-200km going to the Samar. Then bike again on the way back and go RORO to cross the channel back to Matnog!


That effort alone is probably going to be close to 1,000km. So, the bikes we're using here (V8, Firebird, Storm, Light Storm, Enda Glide, Giant Expressway) shows you the true mettle of these bikes.

BTW, he said that v2 of the V8 is in the works. It should correct all the problems of v1. But we'll wait and see about that.
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Old 03-25-14, 07:06 AM   #188
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That leaves opportunities for other businesses. Capitalism at its best :-)

Since you're so knowledgeable and well-known here, you should start a business so people in N.A./Europe could order bikes from you. All you'd have to do is buy bikes from local retailers in the Philippines, and ship the bikes through surface mail.
I could imagine Breezer/Citizen/Downtube/GreenZone/Melon/Mobic/Origami/Schwinn picking up some of the new and more innovative bikes from Chinese/Taiwanese manufacturers and folding - pardon the pun - them into their existing N.A. importation/distribution/marketing system.
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Old 03-25-14, 10:21 AM   #189
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In addition to overbyte's concise and well written summary, there's the 'no frame protrusions' provison. That's the requirement that the Raleigh and Peugeot folders of ~40 years ago ran afoul of. A great many of today's folding bikes have something along the main frame and I certainly haven't a clue how the CPSC would rule ...
Here are the exact words of the "excluded area" requirement in eCFR 1512 Code of Federal Regulations:
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(g) Excluded area. There shall be no protrusions located within the area bounded by (1) a line 89 mm (312 in) to the rear of and parallel to the handlebar stem; (2) a line tangent to the front tip of the seat and intersecting the seat mast at the top rear stay; (3) the top surface of the top tube; and (4) a line connecting the front of the seat (when adjusted to its highest position) to the junction where the handlebar is attached to the handlebar stem. The top tube on a female bicycle model shall be the seat mast and the down tube or tubes that are nearest the rider in the normal riding position. Control cables no greater than 6.4 mm (14 in) in diameter and cable clamps made from material not thicker than 4.8 mm (316 in) may be attached to the top tube.
The regulation 1512 does not include a diagram of the excluded area, but the guidance article on the CPSC website has this diagram to help explain the regulation:

What is that extra tube between the top tube and the downtube? Maybe it's supposed to represent an alternate position of the top tube, where the body tube of a folding bike would be, or where the top tube of a mixte bike would be. (Maybe that's what the regulations mean by "female bicycle model", which is undefined in the regulation's definition section.)

Folding bikes that lack the typical top tube of a diamond frame bike may resemble the so-called female bicycle design, so perhaps that part of the regulation would apply to them. But it doesn't explicitly say so. Folding bikes with typical main-tube hinges have protrusions into the excluded area (the hinge) that exceed 1/4", so I guess they all would fail the detail of this regulation even though the tube "nearest the rider in the normal riding position" is very far away from the rider's body. Also, many folding bikes have braze-ons for mounting water bottle cages in the excluded are. The regulation is silent about them.

The hinge latch of the Dahon Jifo, for example, lies in the excluded area:

Perhaps (just a guess) why the Jifo hinge was replaced with a concealed hinge in the EEZZ which has a similar fold:


Are these CFR 1512 regulations chaotic and in many ways ridiculous, with little relationship to the true hazards of bicycles? Yes. They remind me of the proverb: A camel is a horse designed by a committee.
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File Type: jpg dahon_jifo18.jpg (67.9 KB, 16 views)
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Old 03-25-14, 10:37 AM   #190
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Just curious. Supposing that the Brompton folding concept was used on something other than a regular bicycle, say a tandem, would Brompton still have a say in its protection? :-o
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Old 03-25-14, 10:57 AM   #191
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Just curious. Supposing that the Brompton folding concept was used on something other than a regular bicycle, say a tandem, would Brompton still have a say in its protection? :-o
I presume you're talking about patents. I'm not a lawyer, but I know that patents make specific claims that define the scope of the invention protected by patent. If someone else, either knowingly or inadvertently, creates a product that uses something covered within the claims of a patent, that is per se an infringement. So, yes, if someone makes a full-size tandem that has a patented feature of the folding design of a Brompton or a Smartcog Mint (like the Dahon Jifo), that person could be sued by the patent owner. The infringer could try to defend itself by attempting to invalidate the patent itself or by showing that the tandem does not infringe; or the infringer could settle with the patent owner by paying a license fee or trading some other patent to the infringed patent owner in exchange for license to use the patent.

Some products are protected by trademarks as well or instead of patents. For example, if a soft-drink manufacturer put the liquid into a bottle which resembles a classic Coke-Cola bottle with the ribs and curvy waist design, that would be an infringement. If Brompton has a trademark on the way it looks when it folds up, that would also be a potential lawsuit.
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Old 03-25-14, 01:01 PM   #192
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I presume you're talking about patents. I'm not a lawyer, but I know that patents make specific claims that define the scope of the invention protected by patent. If someone else, either knowingly or inadvertently, creates a product that uses something covered within the claims of a patent, that is per se an infringement...
...during the term of the patent. As we've discussed many times, the original Brompton U.S. patent was filed in 1977 and granted in 1980. It's now been expired for about as long as it was in effect.

So the answer to Jimmy2Wheels' question: in theory, what overbyte said. In practice, not any more.

Last edited by tcs; 03-25-14 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 03-25-14, 01:07 PM   #193
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Are these CFR 1512 regulations chaotic and in many ways ridiculous, with little relationship to the true hazards of bicycles? Yes.
In the USA bicycles are regulated as children's toys by the CPSC rather than as vehicles by the DoT. The industry seems to be satisfied with that, and given the CPSC's lax oversight, why wouldn't they be?
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Old 03-25-14, 02:20 PM   #194
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It would be interesting to see what legal hurdles they face trying to bring the MIT V8 to Europe and the USA. I'm sure the guys in the UK are just waiting to pounce all over them for some infringement or another. FWIW, if there is truly is no infringement of intellectual property & this can be deemed a new design, I would be all for buying one of these.
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Old 03-26-14, 02:44 AM   #195
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That's probably, Edward. That's our group member. We just rode together last Sunday. Covered about 100km from Quezon City to San Pablo, Laguna (about 5+ hours). Then did another 20km within the city of San Pablo. Visited the famous lakes of the place. As you can see, that's how much that bike gets a log in mileage. I wouldn't be surprised his 4,000km is probably more than that. Those guys log in 400-600km a week. They use the bike to work and almost anywhere they go.

This April, Holy week, they plan to bike from QC to Matnog, Sorsogon in about 5 days. They say it's just 588km. I'd say it' s more like 700-750km. And once they reach there, Edward is recruiting others to cross the sea to Samar and maybe up to San Juanico bridge. We'll be going bimodal and meet him at Sorsgon City and escort him to Matnog. I am a native of Sorsogon so we have our ancestral house there where we can stay. But who knows? I might just go with him to Samar just for the heck of it. It would be a treat to cover 150-200km going to the Samar. Then bike again on the way back and go RORO to cross the channel back to Matnog!


That effort alone is probably going to be close to 1,000km. So, the bikes we're using here (V8, Firebird, Storm, Light Storm, Enda Glide, Giant Expressway) shows you the true mettle of these bikes.

BTW, he said that v2 of the V8 is in the works. It should correct all the problems of v1. But we'll wait and see about that.
It's very impressive how you guys are pushing your folding bikes. Just goes to show how well made the MIT V8 is.

Still it would be good to see the version 2 of this bike. Now I wonder if Grace Gallant will be changing the name again.
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Old 03-26-14, 05:30 PM   #196
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Picture of the V8 from Edward's trekking at Batanes, Philippines.

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Old 03-27-14, 05:08 AM   #197
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Technically, the bike sounds good, although I'd rather they ditched the stickers and offer a plain paint job. It'd look slicker.

It's like a Macintosh vs. a PC with all its ads stickers.
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Old 03-27-14, 06:06 AM   #198
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Definitely, lose the ugly graphics. Prior to the Dahon/Tern split Dahon had been incrementally cleaning up the look of their bikes; MIT V8 looks like Dahon circa 2006. Ugly. (Or perhaps Dahon post 2012... a move back towards ugly.)
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Old 03-29-14, 05:16 PM   #199
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Here are the exact words of the "excluded area" requirement in eCFR 1512 Code of Federal Regulations:


The regulation 1512 does not include a diagram of the excluded area, but the guidance article on the CPSC website has this diagram to help explain the regulation:

What is that extra tube between the top tube and the downtube? Maybe it's supposed to represent an alternate position of the top tube, where the body tube of a folding bike would be, or where the top tube of a mixte bike would be. (Maybe that's what the regulations mean by "female bicycle model", which is undefined in the regulation's definition section.)

Folding bikes that lack the typical top tube of a diamond frame bike may resemble the so-called female bicycle design, so perhaps that part of the regulation would apply to them. But it doesn't explicitly say so. Folding bikes with typical main-tube hinges have protrusions into the excluded area (the hinge) that exceed 1/4", so I guess they all would fail the detail of this regulation even though the tube "nearest the rider in the normal riding position" is very far away from the rider's body. Also, many folding bikes have braze-ons for mounting water bottle cages in the excluded are. The regulation is silent about them.

The hinge latch of the Dahon Jifo, for example, lies in the excluded area:

Perhaps (just a guess) why the Jifo hinge was replaced with a concealed hinge in the EEZZ which has a similar fold:


Are these CFR 1512 regulations chaotic and in many ways ridiculous, with little relationship to the true hazards of bicycles? Yes. They remind me of the proverb: A camel is a horse designed by a committee.
I just went out and measured my Brompton and the front hinge is not in the "excluded area", interestingly enough.
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Old 05-21-14, 06:16 PM   #200
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Online Brompton Sales

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On the question where to buy a Brompton for less, the answer is nowhere. Brompton have always had the strictest pricing policy that no shop may sell the product for less than the price set by Brompton. Very early in the company's history, only a few small shops were willing to support them. Then when the product took off, larger chains wanted to offer it at a discount, but they decided that this would put the smaller early supporters at a disadvantage. So now they have the policy that anybody can sell Bromptons but if they are caught selling them at a discount, their license to sell is revoked. Also, no online sales. You can pay for one online but you have to go and pick it up.

So the other side of the coin is, because there is a waiting list, some operators can opt to charge more especially if everyone in a small country does the same thing. You can't buy online so they can't be bypassed.
I live in California but brought my Brompton from a store in Arizona. That store offered (still does) FREE shipping in the US. So it doesn't discount the product but provides a great deal on shipping. It also unpacked the bike and inspected/tuned it before shipping it to me.
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