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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 03-17-05, 09:03 AM   #1
akira
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Best Folder On A Transit Bus

What would be the best folding bike to take on a transit bus? After the bus ride, I'd have to pedal 10 more miles. Thanks
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Old 03-17-05, 09:38 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akira
What would be the best folding bike to take on a transit bus? After the bus ride, I'd have to pedal 10 more miles. Thanks
A 20 inch Wheel multi speed dahon or a Brompton. In my opinion if you reside in the u.s get a Dahon.
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Old 03-17-05, 05:31 PM   #3
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The bus creates many problems because you never know what kind of driver you're going to get. Some bus drives will allow you to board with a bulky package and others will get angry. Not all bus lines are the same and some have more space inside the cabin than others. The package has to be as small and light as possible and in my opinion, there are only two bikes that fit this bill. The Brompton and Dahon Presto.

You could probably include the Strida but since your're going 10 miles, this may not be the best choice. If Strida ever gets it's act together and make it a 3 speed, it would be the best choice of all.

You might be able to get a 20' inch folding bicycle aboard the bus but this is really pushing to the limits what a driver will allow. I've heard stories of Bike Friday owners bringing their cycles inside the cabin so it can be done.

The problem is as follows.

1. The drivers' attitude - Will he/she let you board with a rather large package inside the bus. Keep in mind that you have to cover the bike with a bag or they won't even think of allowing you to boad. If the bus driver sees you're bringing a bicycle uncovered, you'll be left out in the cold. Unfortunately, the package gets much larger than a suitcase once the bike is inside a bag

2. Is the bus crowded? -- If the bus is jammed with people, I doubt you'll be allowed to board with the bag. I may be wrong but a very large package like a Presto/Brompton inside the bag would block the lane. I doubt the driver will allow you to put the bike on the seat next to you since your fare covers one chair. Passengers will complain. I doubt you can put the bike on your lap because that would be painful and a little embarrasing.

3. Is there room to place the bike where you can stand -- You will not be allowed to put the bicycle in the handicap spot because that requires taking two or three chairs! There is also no room underneath the chairs so where can you park the bike? I usually find a spot next to the rear door or I'll go all the way to the back of the bus and stand there next to the bike. Hopefully, there will be enough room where people can walk around you to exit.
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Old 03-17-05, 07:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akira
What would be the best folding bike to take on a transit bus? After the bus ride, I'd have to pedal 10 more miles. Thanks
If cost is not a big consideration, I'd recommend a Brompton, next Dahon's Presto Lite. If you want the best dollar value, I'd have to highly recommend Dahon's Piccolo.
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Old 03-17-05, 08:42 PM   #5
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Many bus systems have installed bike racks on the front of the bus. Check the busses where you live for these racks. If they have them, you won't need a bike that you can bring on the bus (although folding bikes are great fun anyways).

If you do get a folding bike to bring on the bus, you should also get or make some sort of bag. Many bus systems require the bike to be in a bag, if they are allowed on at all.
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Old 03-17-05, 09:46 PM   #6
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I can't answer your question until I know where you live and what the bus regulations are as they pertain to bikes. A 20 inch wheel folder would be my recommendation if it is possible to bring it on. I think 10 miles is a little far to go on a 16 inch wheel, especially if some of the roads are bumpy.

Find out what the policies are for the public transit system where you live, and we can give you a better answer.
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Old 03-18-05, 12:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony King
I can't answer your question until I know where you live and what the bus regulations are as they pertain to bikes. A 20 inch wheel folder would be my recommendation if it is possible to bring it on. I think 10 miles is a little far to go on a 16 inch wheel, especially if some of the roads are bumpy.

Find out what the policies are for the public transit system where you live, and we can give you a better answer.
Guys I may be in the minority here, but I have to disagree on this one. I have no trouble going long distances on the Brompton.
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Old 03-18-05, 12:45 AM   #8
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where i live i can bring a full size mountain bike on the bus but i have to sit at the back
and buses by virginia tech have mounts on the front where u can slap your bike in
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Old 03-18-05, 09:09 AM   #9
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I did a lot of research before I bought my Bike Friday Crusoe, and the best bike for multi-mode commuting is the Brompton. Bike Friday just came out with a new commuter bike that folds a little smaller than other BFs; however, you might not be able to get it for several months.
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Old 03-18-05, 11:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpflem
Guys I may be in the minority here, but I have to disagree on this one. I have no trouble going long distances on the Brompton.
But wouldn't you say the Brompton is a different class of bike that the Dahon Presto Lite or Piccolo? Have you tried a 16-inch Dahon over 10 miles? Just curious. I have a Dahon Classic III and a Matrix. I only use the Classic III when space concerns force me to, the seat is very unforgiving over road bumps. I'm thinking the Brompton's curved toptube would help soak up road vibrations. I don't take my Classic over 4-5 miles, and, like I said, will take a normal sized tire bike if space isn't a concern. The knee clearance on the Classic III bugs me. I'm slightly tall (6ft) and my knees just about hit the handlebar. I sure woldn't want to climb a significant hill on the bike, because when I stand to pedal, the handlebars are uncomfotably close to my body.

I would be interested to know what kind of terrain the poster's ten miles covers.
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Old 03-18-05, 01:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony King
But wouldn't you say the Brompton is a different class of bike that the Dahon Presto Lite or Piccolo? Have you tried a 16-inch Dahon over 10 miles? Just curious. I have a Dahon Classic III and a Matrix. I only use the Classic III when space concerns force me to, the seat is very unforgiving over road bumps. I'm thinking the Brompton's curved toptube would help soak up road vibrations. I don't take my Classic over 4-5 miles, and, like I said, will take a normal sized tire bike if space isn't a concern. The knee clearance on the Classic III bugs me. I'm slightly tall (6ft) and my knees just about hit the handlebar. I sure woldn't want to climb a significant hill on the bike, because when I stand to pedal, the handlebars are uncomfotably close to my body.

I would be interested to know what kind of terrain the poster's ten miles covers.
I don't ride the Piccolo as often, but on rides up to 6 miles, I've not noted any problems with ride quality on pavement. I haven't ridden it off pavement. I'm always amazed with the 16 inch wheels, because I really don't think about it unless I look down and remind myself what I'm riding.
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Old 03-20-05, 06:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpflem
I don't ride the Piccolo as often, but on rides up to 6 miles, I've not noted any problems with ride quality on pavement. I haven't ridden it off pavement. I'm always amazed with the 16 inch wheels, because I really don't think about it unless I look down and remind myself what I'm riding.
Now that I think about it, Ithink my comfort issue on the Classic has more to do with the length than wheel size, I would say the 16-inchers do ride quite well.
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Old 03-20-05, 11:04 PM   #13
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Another problem with "small wheel" (under 20") folders is that, unless you get a "custom" model, you need to weigh no more than about 195 lbs! That seems to be the upper weight carrying limit for the small wheel ones--I weigh more than that...significantly more!!

My Trek F400 is probably one of the few reasonably affordable production models which is able to carry "heavier" people--which leads to the "how ya' get it on the bus when the driver don't like "big" packages" problem!! I have NO solution to that...except learn to ride longer distances OR move close enough to your job so that you don't need to use the *&%# bus in the first place!! (Requiring a " bag" makes sense, though!! Other passengers DO NOT LIKE chain tatoos!!! )
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Old 03-21-05, 12:43 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Black Bud
Another problem with "small wheel" (under 20") folders is that, unless you get a "custom" model, you need to weigh no more than about 195 lbs! That seems to be the upper weight carrying limit for the small wheel ones
That's just not true. Almost all the major folders (both 16 and 20 inch tires) are rated at 230lbs. I have yet to see a 16 or 20 inch rated higher.

The small Giatex as rated at 185, but that's been changed to 230 with the new tires. Dahon's Piccolo is rated at only 155lbs, but it is really a kid's bike with 14 inch wheels.

I did a hands on review of folders (16, 20, an 26 inch) this weekend with the question posed in this thread in mind. To me it makes perfect sense to go with a 16 inch due to the small folding size. When placed in a carry bag, I can't image any public transit denial. After all it's about the same general size of a guitar in a case, but shorter. If a wheelchair can go on board then a 16 inch folder should be allowed.

The 20 inchers really are a good bit bulkier and I can see reason for denying them access in the passenger compartment.
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Old 03-21-05, 11:37 AM   #15
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I am 42 years old from my experience, riding 10 miles on a 16 inch folder is doable ,but my best advice is to get a 20 inch folder it will be much more comfortable and efficient.
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Old 03-21-05, 03:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james Haury
I am 42 years old from my experience, riding 10 miles on a 16 inch folder is doable ,but my best advice is to get a 20 inch folder it will be much more comfortable and efficient.
Okay, ya'll are going to force me to do the 15 mile Piccolo test. Yep, I'll try to hit a couple of potholes on the way, little ones of course.
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Old 03-21-05, 08:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james Haury
I am 42 years old from my experience, riding 10 miles on a 16 inch folder is doable ,but my best advice is to get a 20 inch folder it will be much more comfortable and efficient.
I agree. I now have 2 Giant Halfway 20" and a Dahon 16" folders. The Giants are not only more comfortable, they fold faster and neater too. After riding the 20" folders for a while I now love them more than my 700c Klein road bike. I don't know why but I do love the 20" folder. I used to have two Raleigh Twenty many years back but I hate them. They are too heavy!
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Old 03-24-05, 05:33 PM   #18
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Los Angeles Metro buss policy states "Folded bikes can be taken on the bus."

( http://www.mta.net/riding_metro/bikes/bikes_bus.htm )

No conditions, no driver has to be in a good mood.

Nice.
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Old 04-07-05, 10:04 PM   #19
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brompton all the way. hands down superior to all other folders in terms of ease/speed of folding and folded package size.
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Old 04-08-05, 11:30 AM   #20
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If you can obtain one i recommend a Dahon boardwalk 7.It is less expensive than a brompton and the gear range is better.You can spend some of the money you would save on a new saddle and any other upgrades you would like. I have a Boardwalk 6 which i converted to a 7 . I did 20 miles with it on the bike path last week it worked well.If you choose to go single speed or fixed as Mr It recommends get a boardwalk 1 if you can find one.

Last edited by James H Haury; 04-08-05 at 11:36 AM.
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