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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 06-06-14, 03:52 AM   #1
bikehog164
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How sturdy is a folding bike?

How sturdy is a folding bike? Could it go on a bumpy road? I don't mean like a mountain bike trail, just a pot hole ridden road. Thanks guys.
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Old 06-06-14, 04:10 AM   #2
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It depends on the bike, how well it's made and what it's made of (steel, aluminum, or plastic) Also how large the wheels and the distance between the wheels. There is no easy answer except try a bike out on a bumpy road and see how it rides.
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Old 06-06-14, 05:38 AM   #3
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How sturdy is a folding bike? Could it go on a bumpy road? I don't mean like a mountain bike trail, just a pot hole ridden road. Thanks guys.
For that use, skip the cheap bikes, and consider a good quality folder with suspensions and/or that comes/can take thicker tires.

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Old 06-06-14, 06:49 AM   #4
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I've ridden my Bike Friday on many technical mountain bike trails without any problems. I've also ridden my Breezer off road, as well as lots of bumpy roads. I would not be so quick to take one of the very inexpensive, tiny wheel bikes in those conditions.
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Old 06-06-14, 08:41 AM   #5
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Advantage, quick steering small wheels are not only stronger because they are smaller ,

but the geometry reacts well so you can ... go around potholes . if you pay attention ...

want to just plow through it all ? .. get a 29er mountain bike.
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Old 06-06-14, 10:10 AM   #6
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Pot holes can damage even the best of bikes - folding or non-folding - cheap or expensive - small or even larger wheels (to a varying degree). It can pop tires, dent rims, snap spokes. As fietsbob suggest, if you are constantly riding through a pothole minefield, a 29'er with good tires will smooth out your travel with less hassles.

I've popped tires and spokes on my 20, and 26 wheels. My buddy with his 29 often giggles at my misfortunes.
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Old 06-06-14, 02:38 PM   #7
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My Brompton has been through a fair amount... but I wouldn't want to ride it on a genuine mountain trail. A gravel road is probably the roughest it can go.
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Old 06-07-14, 04:28 AM   #8
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Any recommendations?
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Old 06-07-14, 05:32 AM   #9
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My Brompton has been through a fair amount... but I wouldn't want to ride it on a genuine mountain trail. A gravel road is probably the roughest it can go.
I agree, I wouldn't hit the trails on my Brompton, or any bike with 16" wheels. If they make folding mountain bikes with larger wheels that's probably the first bikes you should take a look at.
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Old 06-07-14, 05:33 AM   #10
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If it has to be a folder, I would recommend a BikeFriday. Pocket Llama, if they still make that model.
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Old 06-07-14, 05:47 AM   #11
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Any recommendations?
If you're worried about pot holes but still want a folder, get a 20" at least, or 26" even - though the sacrifice would be all-round portability.

My friend bought a 26" Montague Paratrooper for doing trails and it handled pretty well.

That's the extreme of course - if you're looking at commuting, even some Dahons would be fine if you don't run full speed over every pothole you see. Preferably you look for well-established brands like Tern, Dahon, or on the more expensive end, Bike Fridays and Birdys.
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Old 06-07-14, 07:19 AM   #12
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I received my xootr swift yesterday, and I assembled it in the evening. It's the second folding bike I've owned. The first was a Melon Slice folding bike. Excellent bike, but I was 30lbs+ heavier and the city streets I commute aren't in the greatest repair. I sold the Melon Slice, and now I'll test my new ride either tonight or tomorrow the latest.

The xootr swift is known for it's strength & stability, but it's fold is lacking. When traveling I'll remove the seat post, wheels, and handlebar. It suits my needs.

As for gearing, I purchased the single speed. I was converting my Lombardo Power2000 MiniVelo to a NuVinci hub, but I'm converting the xootr swift instead. I'm removing the quick releases and putting bolts in their place. Folding this isn't a priority.

This bike is known for being rock-solid. Strength and ride quality are what owners all rave about. But, I'd recommend getting just a xootr swift frameset. The extras (seat, pedals, brakes, grips, handlebar, tires) aren't the best. I already changed out the riser (I believe that's what you call it) for the handlebars. The seat will happen before the first ride).
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Old 06-07-14, 04:29 PM   #13
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I do alot of off road on a birdie, but mt downtube fs8 is more sturdy. I have been on a bmx track on many 16" folders and not brokwn any, but not recommended. My dahon curve took plenty of air and tricks!!
It depends on what you want from a bike.

20" with wide tyees will cope with alot.
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Old 06-07-14, 06:42 PM   #14
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How sturdy is a folding bike? Could it go on a bumpy road? I don't mean like a mountain bike trail, just a pot hole ridden road. Thanks guys.
How tall are you? I believe ThorUSA.com has a few small Dahon Matrix 24s. See:
Dahon Matrix 2010

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Old 06-07-14, 07:27 PM   #15
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How sturdy is a folding bike? Could it go on a bumpy road? I don't mean like a mountain bike trail, just a pot hole ridden road.
I did Puerto Rico on a Brompton, very rough roads and forest trails there, pails of mud and water and sand. Some sizable potholes were as deep as wide. The bike did fine and in some ways I felt more secure than on a more sizable bike, given the rather low center of gravity.
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Old 06-08-14, 12:42 PM   #16
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Any recommendations?
Bike Friday Pocket Llama or Silk. are able to use rugged 406 BMX type wheels

with any of an abundant list of rims hubs and tires.

unlike most folding bikes the Bike friday company offers 8 sizes ..
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Old 06-11-14, 05:44 AM   #17
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black Friday llama I think it will be.
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Old 06-11-14, 09:36 AM   #18
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Bikehog164, I've had the Xootr Swift since the first generation, 2005 or 2006, and it's still going strong. I commute to work through pothole-riddled streets, gravel paths through a wooded preserve, and in summer, across a tamped-down path through a field. I have Big Apple tires and a sprung saddle which take some bite out of the potholes and makes the ride easy on me. I'm sure the Bike Friday is a great choice too, however. Happy trails.
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Old 06-11-14, 10:06 AM   #19
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black Friday llama I think it will be
Black Friday is the day after US Thanksgiving Day, in November .. it's Shopping Mayhem Then
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Old 06-13-14, 11:25 AM   #20
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Black Friday is the day after US Thanksgiving Day, in November .. it's Shopping Mayhem Then
Whats that got to do with folding bikes?
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Old 06-13-14, 11:40 AM   #21
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Spell check doesn't help if you use the wrong word but spell that wrong word properly .

Company name is Bike Friday.

But the company has the option of buying a Black one.
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Old 06-13-14, 02:22 PM   #22
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Any recommendations?
Depends on what you plan on doing with your folding bike.

I see that you're interested in the Llama. Great bike and it can fit somewhat wider tires than my NWT. There are some subtle differences between the two: the Llama's bottom bracket is a bit higher and it's generally a bit heavier. But I don't think you can go wrong between them. FWIW, here are my recommendations for Bike Friday bikes.
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Old 06-13-14, 04:03 PM   #23
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Spell check doesn't help if you use the wrong word but spell that wrong word properly .

Company name is Bike Friday.

But the company has the option of buying a Black one.
And recently they've been having specials on Black Friday involving discounts on black bike fridays.
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Old 06-19-14, 07:20 AM   #24
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I personally wouldn't use a folding bike. Had one bad experience and can't bring myself to use another.
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Old 06-19-14, 11:05 AM   #25
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Bikerbob, why bother posting that on a folding forum?
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