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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 03-24-14, 12:51 AM   #1
Mad D
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aluminum frame and other entry level questions

I'm still deciding which folder to purchase but I have questions about aluminum frame regarding how they ride. Is the stiffness/roughness that I've been reading about an over exaggeration? Also with a wheel size of 20'' won't the ride be rough regardless?

I don't think I'll be pushing the bike to it's max speeds or go on some long distance rides. My girlfriend and I are just getting into biking and I'm pretty sure we will keep things more leisurely explorative pace along the numerous American River bike trails (no spandex and shades touring for us).


EDIT:


The bikes I'm looking at is Nova 7sp 2014 and the Origami Cricket 7.

Alternatively higher priced Dahon Vybe C7A (from ThorUSA) and a Dahon Speed D7.

EDIT2:

Argh reacted too slow for the Speed D7 for $420 shipped lowest I've seen. I see ThorUSA has it for $450 though.

Last edited by Mad D; 03-25-14 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 03-24-14, 09:29 AM   #2
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IDK Aluminum survives, structurally , by not flexing , look for something like a Birdy with dual suspension.
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Old 03-24-14, 09:45 AM   #3
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99% of perceived roughness on a bike is due to the tires. Even on a supposedly "cushy" steel-framed bike, the flex is mostly in the fork (which is not made of aluminum in 99.9% of bikes), and that's only a mm or two. The best way to tell if a bike will be too harsh is to ride it and see.

20" tires, for the same tire inflation pressure and size, will feel rougher than 700c or 26" tires. That's because the tire has a slightly harder time going over a bump than a larger tire- and it transfers the bump into more forward-back force. But 20" wheels come with larger tires with lower inflation pressure, so it ends up being more about exactly the bike rather than generally about wheel size on pavement.

So, if folding and comfort are the most important things, then FietBob's suggestion is a good one- get a birdy with front and ear suspension. If you want to try it and see, then a reputable bike shop (maybe City Bikes in Sac, although they might be more specialized in road bikes) should have a loaner or two. If folding is less important, then maybe a comfort-hybrid might be more appropriate.
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Old 03-24-14, 01:32 PM   #4
bhkyte
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Possibly consider that sprung seat and seat post as components that can reduce harness
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Old 03-24-14, 01:54 PM   #5
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yeah there is this old folklore around that alloy frames are harsh .... which was true 30 years ago, I was selling big diameter tubing Kleins and Cannondales in Germany at the time. And yes they were harsh ...lol

But in todays world ...... forget about it.
Lets start with a nice and solid frame, than add good quality tires ( like schwalbe ) and than have somebody with their eyes closed tell the difference ... whooaa that doesnt work ..riding with eyes closed aint so sporty ...
I will bet that 5 lbs more or less in the tires will make a bigger difference than alloy or steel ...

this will upset some of our prophets, its almost as "religious" as Internal or Derrailleur transmission ..lol

Steel is real, was a very good marketing hype from a manufacturer who by the way today has more alloy frames in his repertoire than steel frames.... they dont say that no more lately ...

STeel frames are nicer and easier to make than ALloy, if you have small numbers of frames, custom geometries and such, thats why smaller frame builders prefer it...

All the best
Thor
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Old 03-24-14, 04:10 PM   #6
Mad D
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Thanks for the replies so far. I will look at Birdy's to see if they are in my price range.

I should have specified that I'm looking at entry level folders (so no custom Bike Fridays, Aw dang). This will be my first bike since middle school, it's been more than a decade since I've had access to a bike regularly.


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yeah there is this old folklore around that alloy frames are harsh .... which was true 30 years ago, I was selling big diameter tubing Kleins and Cannondales in Germany at the time. And yes they were harsh ...lol

But in todays world ...... forget about it.
That's what I was starting to think but I couldn't find much to whether or not that was an outdated way of thinking. I'm guessing if I keep an aluminum bike as a weekend rider and well maintained I shouldn't have to worry about the other "it will only last five years but steel is forever" stereotype. Thanks Thor.

I think I've been spending more time doing research these past couple of weekends when it could be spend actually riding something

Last edited by Mad D; 03-24-14 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 03-24-14, 07:18 PM   #7
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I have a Dahon D7 and a MU P8. I can't say one is a harsher ride than the other. The ride is different but that has more to do with geometry and tires I would say.

I bought the MU from Thor and would recommend him.
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