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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 02-14-14, 06:00 PM   #1
Niles H.
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Help Choosing a $1000- Folder?

What I'm looking for is the best choice for me under 1000 USD.

Don't need it to fold fast.

Don't need it to fold small -- just small enough to be accepted by airlines as non-oversized.

Want a good quality ride, or minimal compromise on ride quality -- like the Swift, perhaps -- but also quite open to other bikes, like various Dahons, and others.

Probably 20" wheels, but open to larger as well (wanting to stay away from smaller wheels, but still open to them too; have owned and ridden many 26" and 700C bikes, but never smaller wheels, and may use it at times off-road, though not extremely rough off-road).

Looking for light weight. The lighter the better.

Open to buying used.

Would much appreciate any helpful feedback from folding bike community.
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Old 02-14-14, 06:30 PM   #2
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http://www.montaguebikes.com

I don't know the prices, but they look pretty.
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Old 02-14-14, 06:33 PM   #3
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$1000 for a folder is a nice budget. If you don't mind used, CL is your friend. I've picked up Brommies, Dahons, Bike Fridays and the like there.

I can understand the reluctance to use small wheels, but it's really hard to design a compact folder around, say, 26" wheels. So I think you're right to stick with 20" wheels to start.

Go out and ride as many folders as you can, because they tend to be idiosyncratic with regard to design, features, fold time, etc. Ex: I once bought a Giant Halfway used, but sold it because the saddle position was too far over the rear wheel - I kept doing unintentional wheelies, no joke. Not what I wanted a folder for!
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Old 02-14-14, 06:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
What I'm looking for is the best choice for me under 1000 USD.

Don't need it to fold fast.

Don't need it to fold small -- just small enough to be accepted by airlines as non-oversized.

Want a good quality ride, or minimal compromise on ride quality -- like the Swift, perhaps -- but also quite open to other bikes, like various Dahons, and others.

Probably 20" wheels, but open to larger as well (wanting to stay away from smaller wheels, but still open to them too; have owned and ridden many 26" and 700C bikes, but never smaller wheels, and may use it at times off-road, though not extremely rough off-road).

Looking for light weight. The lighter the better.

Open to buying used.

Would much appreciate any helpful feedback from folding bike community.
what you want is a Bike Friday.

depending on your measurements, this might be the one for you:



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Old 02-14-14, 06:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Open to buying used.
I found a 2nd hand Brompton twice.

1st one A Mk2 3T (m3r like) had a 94 AW3 hub in it
resold it after I got a Mk4 M3L

the last buy at $900, was $300 more than I got reselling the other one.

good luck with your shopping ..

Quote:
Don't need it to fold small -- just small enough to be accepted by airlines as non-oversized.
yea a Bikefriday travel bike , then you can stow it in a Suitcase.. that's what they do ..


$ 1K, basic parts , will get you a New one. off the shelf , or on the build Queue,
Also check their "preloved" re sales section on their website .

http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/pre-loved ...2 pocket companions listed at present..

Bi Fri Yak forum on Google has people posting their for sale notices there too ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-14-14 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 02-14-14, 07:40 PM   #6
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I recommend the Bike Friday too. It should be easy to find one for under $1,000.
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Old 02-15-14, 01:30 PM   #7
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I agree with smallwheeler and graycenphil, Bike Friday. People who've tried my folding bikes are amazed with the handling and performance of my Bike Friday NWT but are meh about my Brompton and Citizen Miami.

Although it's hard to find the page on the Bike Friday site they offer the basic 8 spd Pocket Companion (three frame sizes, 13 colors and 3 crank lengths to choose from) that starts at $798 and the Pocket Sport (drop bars) starts at $860.
http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/models?select=17551

I just checked again and it looks like Bike Friday now have their OSATA Pioneer 8 in production, a variable size framed 8 speed that also fits into the travel case like other BFs and starts at $679.
http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/configure/1451

Last edited by BassNotBass; 02-15-14 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 02-15-14, 03:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
...
Don't need it to fold fast.
Don't need it to fold small -- just small enough to be accepted by airlines as non-oversized.
...
AFAIK, a Brompton is one of the few folding bikes that will fold small enough to fit into a case that is <=62 linear inches. Most Bike Fridays, 16" and 20" Dahons and 20" Terns will, with some disassembly, pack into a case that is <=62 linear inches.

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Old 02-15-14, 04:36 PM   #9
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I find it hard to figure out the models on the Bike Friday site.

Roughly, what's the difference between the different types?
http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/commuter
http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/mountain
http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/road
http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/touring

Thank you.
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Old 02-15-14, 07:03 PM   #10
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Commuter .. Id say Go.. Tikit, It is a quick fold, same wheel size as Brompton
different fold.. seat height is a fixed mast folds over ..

doing that fold releases a cable that holds the folding handlebar mast , lock , when seat is pulled back up.
(released it folds down easily ..

can be ordered as a belt drive..

Mountain, My Pocket Llama falls in that niche, higher BB.. disc brakes.. takes a 2" wide tire.


Road , those are built around the narrow 451 rim wheels .. drop bar, Di2 if you wish ..


Touring the NWT and those , a bit lighter , built around the 406 1.5" wide wheel..

Racks an all that for them. [& the Llama]

Silk is their Other Belt compatible design, for 20" disc wheels.. capable to run either 20" wheel.

A the company builds bikes as they come up in the order Queue,
you have size and component choices.
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Old 02-15-14, 07:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
I find it hard to figure out the models on the Bike Friday site.

Roughly, what's the difference between the different types?
http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/commuter
http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/mountain
http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/road
http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/touring

Thank you.
seems they've redesigned and updated their website. some much needed improvements there. i think the differences are self-explanatory, ya? use the bike configurator to find out what bike best suits your needs.

http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/search
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Old 02-15-14, 07:17 PM   #12
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If you don't need a lot of gears, the Bikefriday Pocket Companion 8 can be had for as little as $798 BRAND NEW. If you add just $2 more (Yes that sounds silly!), you can upgrade the rear cluster that comes with a 32 tooth granny gear for those climbs, and you're still looking at $800!

http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/commuter/1450

Just a thought.
Ed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
What I'm looking for is the best choice for me under 1000 USD.

Don't need it to fold fast.

Don't need it to fold small -- just small enough to be accepted by airlines as non-oversized.

Want a good quality ride, or minimal compromise on ride quality -- like the Swift, perhaps -- but also quite open to other bikes, like various Dahons, and others.

Probably 20" wheels, but open to larger as well (wanting to stay away from smaller wheels, but still open to them too; have owned and ridden many 26" and 700C bikes, but never smaller wheels, and may use it at times off-road, though not extremely rough off-road).

Looking for light weight. The lighter the better.

Open to buying used.

Would much appreciate any helpful feedback from folding bike community.
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Old 02-15-14, 07:31 PM   #13
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HGR3 is right that the Bike Frriday does require some disassembly to fit it in the suitcase. I don't find it a problem, but it does take some time and a few tools.
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Old 02-16-14, 07:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
use the bike configurator to find out what bike best suits your needs.
http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/search
Thanks for the tip.
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Old 02-16-14, 10:55 AM   #15
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As I see main functional difference.. All 20" wheel bike frames other than the Silk
the fold hinge is behind the BB...

Silk and Tikit, the whole rear section including the BB folds as a whole.. so makes fixies +

IGH without a spring tensioner, and the Gates belt drive, a possibility..
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Old 02-16-14, 04:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
Thanks for the tip.
Jeez... shoulda put BF's beta search on a gilded platter.
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