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  1. #1
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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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  2. #2
    Senior Member Ed in Toronto's Avatar
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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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    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehog164 View Post
    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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  4. #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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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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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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    Senior Member badrad's Avatar
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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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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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.
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

  8. #8
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    Any recommendations?
    Perfect little place for cyclists in Mallorca. http://www.yourplacetostay.com/

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    Senior Member Ed in Toronto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
    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.

  10. #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.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehog164 View Post
    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.

  12. #12
    Portable Audio/Bike Lover tds101's Avatar
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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).
    Fitness is only a side effect,...I feel alive when I ride!!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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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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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehog164 View Post
    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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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehog164 View Post
    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.

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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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 ..

  17. #17
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    black Friday llama I think it will be.
    Perfect little place for cyclists in Mallorca. http://www.yourplacetostay.com/

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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.

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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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

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Black Friday is the day after US Thanksgiving Day, in November .. it's Shopping Mayhem Then
    Whats that got to do with folding bikes?
    Perfect little place for cyclists in Mallorca. http://www.yourplacetostay.com/

  21. #21
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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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.

  22. #22
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehog164 View Post
    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.

  23. #23
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    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.

  24. #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.

  25. #25
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    Bikerbob, why bother posting that on a folding forum?

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