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  1. #1
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    Folding bikes need sub-categories of their own

    The best comparison I can think of is laptops: You certainly won't handle a gaming Alienware Notebook the same way you'd handle a Toshiba Ultralight. They're laptops, but designed for totally different day-to-day uses.

    The same applies to folders (and bikes in general).

    Unfortunately, in most cases, Montagues and Bike Fridays and Bromptons and Terns and so on don't have their own types. Most people simply refer to them as folders, then proceed to explain what kind.

    If you were to divide them into categories, how would you do so? By weight? By use? By portability? By wheel-size? Or am I missing something?
    Last edited by keyven; 03-23-14 at 09:14 PM.

  2. #2
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    What are you trying to accomplish? Correct, there are different types of folding bikes. And road bikes. And especially recumbent bikes.

    But so what?
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  3. #3
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    All you would accomplish is a smaller pool of knowledge from which to draw. The whole point of a forum is to share and interact with people with different knowledge and experience than your own to solve issues or share valiable information. I would not be too quick to narrow the scope of any forum unless the traffic is overwhelming, as is it takes days or as much as a week for a topic to get pushed off the first page

  4. #4
    Senior Member downtube's Avatar
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    I would prefer to keep it as one....no reason to fragment the topic.

    Om,
    Yan

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by thugpipe View Post
    All you would accomplish is a smaller pool of knowledge from which to draw. The whole point of a forum is to share and interact with people with different knowledge and experience than your own to solve issues or share valiable information. I would not be too quick to narrow the scope of any forum unless the traffic is overwhelming, as is it takes days or as much as a week for a topic to get pushed off the first page
    Actually, I'm not asking the forums to be split up. I'm just wondering out loud if folders should have universally agreed-upon subcategories.

    Just like sedans aren't just sedans anymore - you got:


    When people refer to "folders" as if they're all largely the same when they're extremely different bikes. A mountain bike and a road bike have relatively narrow definitions in terms of design and expectations (emphasis on RELATIVELY), but folding bikes come in an incredible array of unique shapes, sizes, folds, etc. Think Strida and A-bikes.

    Just that when people ask about folding bikes, it actually covers "folding mountain bikes (Moultons)", "folding ultraportables (Brompton)", "folding commuters (Dahon P8, Stridas), "folding hybrid (Tern X20)" and everything else inbetween. Of course many brands cover some or all of the above categories. Models can be as different as night and day.

    But yeah, I guess you guys are right. It just crossed my mind.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    A genus and then a species break down is basically what each topic within the section is, currently .

    just a sedimentary collection as newer is laid down over the older topic.

    some Digging may be required.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    When I first came to this part of the forums, it was because I had picked up an old, Sears, split-apart bike that I wanted to play with, fix up, etc. If the forum had had a subforum just for my bike, there would have only been 2 or 3 of us in there, so not much knowledge to draw from. By throwing everyone together, I was able to get info on different aspects of fixing up my bike that weren't specific to my model. I was also able to learn about the other types of folding bikes available how they might or might not suit my needs.

    It's easy enough to start a thread saying, "I have a Dahon, here is my issue, any solutions?" And it's going to attract people with Dahon knowledge, but other people still might have relevant information from dealing with their own brand of bike, and they'll see the thread.

    These sub forums divide things out so that you can get specific enough to address your topic with some degree of focus, but broad enough to have a large group of people to provide input. I think "Folding bikes" is a small enough subgroup. Any specific model with a large enough following to merit their own subforum probably already has a dedicated forum somewhere.

    Plus I don't want to be put into a subforum where there's just two of us swapping stories about our Sears Tote/Cycles, especially since mine broke.

  8. #8
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    I'd say the vast majority of folding bikes fall into the very general "hybrid" category, with rare outliers in the drop bar road bike or fat tire mtn bike categories.

    The term "Hybrid" used to mean something, but has now been further and further split by bike companies into narrower niches designed to appeal to different buyers.

    I work in a Trek shop, so while they do have a specific bike line with the title "hybrid," when a customer asks for a hybrid bike, I need to further narrow it down a bit. Could be asking for more a dual sport (DS), fitness bike (FX), hybrid (Verve), or comfort bike (Shift).

    So "Folding Bike" is fine because it generally separates them from regular, upright bikes, and because most of them actually do fit into the very general hybrid category.

    After than, it's really up to the consumer to examine the finer details and pick one right for them, or ask those in the know for direction and possibilities for their particular needs.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  9. #9
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    Part of me would like to see the mini velos get their own subforum but I fear it would suffer from too small a following and I have found that having them covered in the folding bike forum to be valuable. Though they are not folders, most folders when unfolded have mostly the same considerations and small wheeled multi speed folders have been around a good bit longer. I think I some cases we benefit more from fewer divisions.

  10. #10
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I wonder if we would get more traffic if we changed the forum name to "Clown Bikes"?

    I think the classification for folders pretty well exists, it just isn't documented. My tastes run to the classics, and low end ones at that. I can appreciate what goes into something like a Brompton or a Moulton, as well as the lower end U-folders. My accumulation includes; early Dahon Classic III's, Raleigh Twentys, Raleigh Compact RSW, 3-4 U-frames as well as an oddball Columbia separable. Eventually I want a Brompton or a Bike Friday.

    Aaron
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  11. #11
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    I wonder if we would get more traffic if we changed the forum name to "Clown Bikes"?
    Are you proposing we merge folding bikes with recumbents and unicycles?
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  12. #12
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    Are you proposing we merge folding bikes with recumbents and unicycles?
    Actually I was thinking Road Forum.... they are already dressed for it!

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  13. #13
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thugpipe View Post
    I think in some cases we benefit more from fewer divisions.
    Words to live by...
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  14. #14
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    If you are interested in a specific type of folding / compact bike there are other forums dedicated to their fans like Home - THE RALEIGH TWENTY and Moulton Bicycle Club and http://www.londonbromptonclub.com/while our forum is a catch all for all of these wonderful bicycles.

    It is nice to be able to see the wide range of options that are available for those who are seeking information and reviews on a broader range of bicycles.

    Moultons don't actually fold but compose such a small segment of ownership that they do not warrant their own forum here... their price is many times that of what most people ride so that means there are less of them out there.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    If you are interested in a specific type of folding / compact bike there are other forums dedicated to their fans like Home - THE RALEIGH TWENTY and Moulton Bicycle Club and http://www.londonbromptonclub.com/while our forum is a catch all for all of these wonderful bicycles.

    It is nice to be able to see the wide range of options that are available for those who are seeking information and reviews on a broader range of bicycles.

    Moultons don't actually fold but compose such a small segment of ownership that they do not warrant their own forum here... their price is many times that of what most people ride so that means there are less of them out there.
    Yeah I was actually referring to Montagues lol. Doh

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Theres the folding bike society UK, too .. The Folding Society

  17. #17
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    We do have threads trying to be an" offifical " brand threads

    Ie the swift thread
    Birdie thread
    Mezzo thread
    Dahon curve thread

    Maybe we need more use of these.

    It doesn't take long to work out which usage a brand or model is intended or suitable for.

    Dahon curve is the best folding bike for cycle trails when you remove the seat? !!!!!
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Still Pedaling's Avatar
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    I love it the way it is. There's so much to learn when reading about other brands/types. I enjoy the diversity.
    "It's best to remain silent and be thought the fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt" -- Mark Twain

  19. #19
    Bicycle Rights MattCycle's Avatar
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    I personally classify folding bicycles in to these subcategories:
    1. Bicycles that happen to fold.
    2. Mainstream folding bicycles.
    3. Experimental/near experimental folding bicycles.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattCycle View Post
    I personally classify folding bicycles in to these subcategories:
    1. Bicycles that happen to fold.
    2. Mainstream folding bicycles.
    3. Experimental/near experimental folding bicycles.
    That makes sense.

    - Ultracompact (16" and below) - Most suitable for fuss-free multi-modal transport
    - Portables (16+ to 20") - easy storage and vehicular transport
    - Foldables (above 20") - near full-sized bikes that happen to fold

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