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  1. #1
    Member cybermike's Avatar
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    Road Geometry Folding bike on LIRR for a daily commute --- any recommendations ?

    Hi,
    I am new to the folding thing and generally ride a CAAD9 road bike on my daily 24 mile commute. However this is about to change and we will be moving to a different area...


    Could anyone recommend a folding road geometry bike that i can take on Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) every day?

    The reason I want the road geometry is that I think it cured my back problem and if I do not ride my bike the pinching nerve pain goes back + it prepares me to longer weekend rides.

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Mike

  2. #2
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    If you take LIRR to the city, definitely check out Bfold bikes at www.bfold.com. They have very good selection of folding bikes that will fit your need. I bought my Birdy disc there recently and it is an excellent bike. Bike Friday is also a good choice. Look for Peter or Dave at the shop.

  3. #3
    Member cybermike's Avatar
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    Thank you , I will check bfold out...

    I was looking at Bike Friday's Pocket Rocket -- online only, I am a bit worried as far as quickness of folding to lirr acceptable specifications.
    Seems like Tern Verge x30h could also be an option ...

    Am i missing any other models that can fit the bill ...
    I would like to stay in ~2K cheaper is better of course ...

  4. #4
    Member cybermike's Avatar
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    Bruce, CAN'T PM yet ---

    Thank you this looks very interesting. How old is this bike ? Was it used before (how many miles) ?
    How fast it is to fold ?
    What is the level/year of shimano componentry you have installed on it (Tiagra, 105) ?
    How does the result compares to regular folding bike? -- I am worried of being kicked out from the train for not meeting some mysterious folding bike criteria ...

    Thank you

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cybermike View Post
    Bruce, CAN'T PM yet ---

    Thank you this looks very interesting. How old is this bike ? Was it used before (how many miles) ?
    How fast it is to fold ?
    What is the level/year of shimano componentry you have installed on it (Tiagra, 105) ?
    How does the result compares to regular folding bike? -- I am worried of being kicked out from the train for not meeting some mysterious folding bike criteria ...

    Thank you

    Nice big train, can't imagine what kind of rules are in place.. I would probably want to know guidelines before embarking on the great folder hunt.. bike has Ultegra rear der and the rest is Tiagra .. you can just email me at brucemetras over at yahooooooo! period com so as not to bore the faithful for more info..

  6. #6
    jur
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    Bike Friday's main business is making bikes EXACTLY as you want it, geometry-wise.

  7. #7
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    I take the LIRR often. I have a Tern 7i and a Brompton. The Brompton is much easier and lighter. Here's a link to Brompton Folding Bike, our most compact bicycles I visited both places and was not comfortable at Bfold -- that's just me. I wound up getting the Brompton on craigslist for a great price - really like it. And the Tern is nice too, has 7 speeds and 20 inch wheels. With the Tern, the fold is so much larger than the Brompton, that you want the LIRR seat that's a three across and opposite a 2 across and on the aisle because there's a space behind to fit the Tern or a Dahon 20 inch. I think the Tern is a bit better ride -- and it's nice to be able to put the bike inside my Subaru. I have back issues too. I also like Zen Bikes on 26? th st -- their very friendly. NYCE has a Dahon Formula that is a fast bike. Some of the more expensive Terns are very light for a 20 inch. There's a 6 speed new Brompton on craigs ny asking $1,400... Definitely visit NYSE they will let you test drive -- and their site has great videos of all the owner riding all the models...

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    The only folding bike rules I saw were:
    "Folding Bicycle Policy
    Folding bicycles may be brought on board train cars as carry-on baggage at all times except major bicycle events, such as the Montauk rides, when all bicycles are prohibited. Only true folding bicycles (bicycles specifically designed to fold up into a compact assembly, not exceeding 32 inches in width) are acceptable. Generally, these bicycles have frame latches that allow the frame to be collapsed, and small wheels. Regular bicycles of any size, with or without wheels, are not considered folding bicycles, and may not be stored as folding bicycles on board trains. The bicycle must be folded in the most compact position before boarding the train. Bicycles must be clean and free of excessive dirt and grease at all times. Folding bicycles may not be placed on seats and must not block aisles or vestibules. Folding bicycles do not require a permit."

    The Bike Friday Pocket Rocket would certainly comply with the above specification although it doesn't fold as quickly or compactly as a Brompton (or Bike Friday Tikit). But if you're particularly concerned about having a bike that mimics the geometry and position of your regular road bike I'd recommend the Pocket Rocket and accept that it'll take an additional minute to fold. With the Pocket Rocket you can send Bike Friday the dimensions of your current bike that helps your back issue and they'll make the bike as similar as possible.

  9. #9
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    The Bike Friday Pocket Rocket would certainly comply with the above specification although it doesn't fold as quickly or compactly as a Brompton (or Bike Friday Tikit). But if you're particularly concerned about having a bike that mimics the geometry and position of your regular road bike I'd recommend the Pocket Rocket and accept that it'll take an additional minute to fold. With the Pocket Rocket you can send Bike Friday the dimensions of your current bike that helps your back issue and they'll make the bike as similar as possible.
    top tier bike suggestion.


  10. #10
    BWP
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    Some data points to add:

    I have a Bike Friday Tikit that has met and exceeded my requirements for multi-modal commuting and that, with bar extensions, can give me nearly the same reach/stance as a road bike. My routines don't require a fold as compact as a Brompton's and never needing to fiddle with seat and bar adjustments has been a huge plus versus Dahons and Terns, etc. Wicked fast fold. The Tikit was my one-bike-to-rule-them-all except that kitted out for all-weather commuting and hauling it was okay but not great for longer and faster rides.

    I now also own one of Bike Friday's 451-wheel bicycles that I had expected to use mainly for fast road riding and centuries but that now regularly subs for the Tikit as a commuter. Key discovery: excepting the stem, folding is almost as fast as for the Tikit. For 95% of my folding situations this gives me a small-enough package for doormen and conductors. Might be sufficient given the LIRR's guidelines. If I get the evil eye then I pull the stem out. Still not that time intensive... 2 minutes maybe. About the same as for a Dahon I once owned.

    For what it's worth! Good luck with the decision.

  11. #11
    Member cybermike's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for all the advise. I like the fact that you can get Bike Friday to your exact specs. Do they actually do a proper fitting? I actually never did a fitting on my road bike, it seems to work -- but probably not an ideal . Is it a worthwhile proposition to do a fit at place like signature bicycles first ?

  12. #12
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cybermike View Post
    Thank you very much for all the advise. I like the fact that you can get Bike Friday to your exact specs. Do they actually do a proper fitting? I actually never did a fitting on my road bike, it seems to work -- but probably not an ideal . Is it a worthwhile proposition to do a fit at place like signature bicycles first ?
    No. Bike Friday will take your specifications and build it those specs.

    It depends on whether you need or want a "proper fitting". If you feel fine and are happily moving towards your goals, then it seems like a waste. Although I know several people that felt much better after a fitting and saw performance gains as well. But given your history, I would be hesitant to go to any fitter that wasn't a PT or similar since pinching nerve pain is no joke.

    If you're really concerned about fit, then I'd recommend you look at the fit stem that I link on my page.

    The part-time epistemologist: If you're interested in a Bike Friday ...

    FWIW, I believe Bike Friday can fit either the 20" -- NWT, Crusoe, PR, PR Pro, Silk -- or their 16" -- tikit -- model well. Given that you have a full sized road bike, you might think about the tikit since it fills a more different niche than the road bike.

    Good luck Mike.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Bike Friday build to Order, to the customer's desires .. measure your CAAD9 road bike, for seat height and top tube length etc ..

    and call them up on the phone .. it's a toll free number.

    the curved handle bar mast is the result of a couple steps .. they ship an adjustable mast with the bike, you ride it and adjust it till you are comfortable

    then un plug it leaving the adjustments as is ,and they fabricate the curved one to match the adjustments you chose , by riding the Bike awhile.

    the building jigs are not adjustable in some things seat angle and head-tube/fork , but top tube length is made in 8 options ,
    and the seat mast and steering one are interchangable parts .

    the Tikit is their fast fold 349 wheel , pocket rocket folds a bit more stiffly as Its more to pack small for travel ,
    but the hinge at the base of the seat post lets the rear portion Fold.

    Pivot for that near,behind , the BB. their Silk is the 20" wheel and it and the Tikit have the BB as part of the rear section.

    so Gates belt drive is an option ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-13-14 at 10:38 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Hi you could also check out some of my mods where I fit bullbars to compact folders. Ie brompton with dahon androes stem, mezzo upgrade thread ect. The brompton had a really good riding postion done tbis way and the mezzo great speed with tiagra road shifters. Dahons and downtubes can also be "roadied" well in my experience.

    Personally I find for commuting fitting cut doan upsidedown drops with road race levers transforms folders in to very competentbikes that hold up to rigid bikes fine.
    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.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Sangetsu's Avatar
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    I was able to duplicate the settings of my 56cm road bike to a Birdy folder. It is the most "road-like" folder I have tried. The Birdy folds well, though not as tightly as my Brompton, but the Birdy weighs less. I have ridden both folders a lot, and commuted with them on buses and subways. The Brompton is a good sidewalk bike, the Birdy is more comfortable on the road.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
    I was able to duplicate the settings of my 56cm road bike to a Birdy folder. It is the most "road-like" folder I have tried. The Birdy folds well, though not as tightly as my Brompton, but the Birdy weighs less. I have ridden both folders a lot, and commuted with them on buses and subways. The Brompton is a good sidewalk bike, the Birdy is more comfortable on the road.
    On the recent 5 boro bike tour in NYC, I rode my birdy disc bike instead of my Specialized road bike. I was able to keep up with my road bike friend and he was a bit surprised. It is definitely not as fast a road bike but faster than most folding bikes.

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