Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Human
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    102
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Whats up with folding bikes?

    Can someone explain why people buy folding bikes? They just dont seem as cool as regular bikes. Are they easier to ride, more comfortable, harder to ride?

  2. #2
    Bike touring webrarian
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    My Bikes
    I tour on a Waterford Adventurecycle. It is a fabulous touring bike.
    Posts
    1,581
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't have a folding bike. I have a coupled bike that can be uncoupled and put in a suitcase for travel. I have it because I want to be able to fly or drive with my bike without all the hassle. I'm sure this is the same reason people have folding bikes. Also, not all bike riders are concerned with not looking dorky.

    Ray
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  3. #3
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    My Bikes
    Surly Krampus, Surly Straggler, Pivot Mach 6, Bike Friday Tikit, Bike Friday Tandem, Santa Cruz Nomad
    Posts
    5,237
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)


    I have two folding bikes and the rest of my bikes are "full size". Although the folders are not quite as efficient as the bigger bikes I find myself riding my Bike Friday Tikit more than any of my other bikes. It is just a lot of fun to ride, more than fast/efficient enough for trips in the 5-15km range. Best of all when I get to my destination I just fold it up and take it in with me.

    I'll probably tour on my Tikit this summer, but I'm not selling my LHT or Thorn Sherpa!

    Folders make a lot of sense for commuters who ride public transit, folks with storage issues and people that travel a lot.

    BTW - "cool" is relative...I get way more positive attention from cyclists and non-cyclists when riding my Tikit than I do when I am riding any of my full size bikes. So far 3 of my friends have bought folders once they saw how useful/fun mine are...a couple more are on the fence and likely to get one this summer.

    BTW2 - I should point out my Tikit is meant as a commuter short haul bike - although you can tour on it. Bike Friday makes a whole range of folding touring/travel bikes designed specifically for full on long distance touring just like a full size bike.
    Last edited by vik; 04-22-08 at 09:37 AM.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,291
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I couldn't care less if my BIke Friday New World Tourists doesn't "seem as cool" as a regular bike. Anyway, cool is in the eyes of the beholder. I have received many favorable comments about my bike while touring or simply riding around town. It not only flies for free, it flies will far fewer packing hassles (see the current thread about flying with your bike). I think I've already saved the cost of my Bike Friday with airline fees I've avoided, not to mention the hassle factor I've avoided. You can also take it on transport that normally doesn't allow bikes. Like vik, I find it fun to ride. And to be honest, I haven't noticed any loss of pedaling efficiency. I've got a couple of "cool", "regular" bikes gathering dust in my basement.

  5. #5
    Human
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    102
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Im glad to hear everyones opinions, it's changing the way I think about folding bikes. Using the word 'cool' in my original post was not a good word choice. I have just always thought of folding bikes as being like a chihuahua, while am more drawn towards bigger dogs (and bikes).

  6. #6
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    On the water in Western Washington
    My Bikes
    More than a few.
    Posts
    861
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by maidenvoyage View Post
    Can someone explain why people buy folding bikes? They just don't seem as cool as regular bikes. Are they easier to ride, more comfortable, harder to ride?
    People at the destination airport think it's really cool to see someone...

    1) Put their Samsonite suitcase down, open it and pull a bicycle out.
    2) Put their other checked bag in the now empty suitcase, which they've also now added wheels to.
    3) Ride away from the airport about 30 minutes from the time they get their luggage.



    In 2006 we flew to Switzerland with our Bike Friday NWTs and spent about a month riding through the Alps. You can see more images of the bikes on that tour in this JOURNAL.

    In any case, quality and capability are things I base our touring bike selections on.

    Tailwinds,
    Ron - Washington
    The Loaded Touring Bike - Photo Gallery
    Since 2005 - Worldwide - No Ads - Just Inspiration

  7. #7
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    My Bikes
    Jamis Nova, Bike Friday NWT, STRIDA, Austro Daimler Vent Noir, Haluzak Horizon, Salsa La Raza, Hollands Tourer, Bike Friday tikit
    Posts
    5,223
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In addition to avoiding air surcharges, folding bikes are better for multimodal transport. For instance, when we travel, we can fit both of our bikes in a small rental car and join local club rides. Often one can carry a bag and bring a bike onto trains, cabs, and so on too.

    It isn't clear to me that big wheels are more efficient either.

    http://www.hadland.me.uk/page15.html

    One that that does hurt small wheel bikes is the available gearing and super-high-end components like factory wheel sets. For most people, these considerations really have little impact.

  8. #8
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    YEG
    My Bikes
    See my sig...
    Posts
    26,414
    Mentioned
    21 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    This bike gets more attention than anything I ride save for my 1940 CCM "Scorcher" bike.



    It's a little bigger than a chihuahua and more like my Miniature Pinscher and has no problem running with the big dogs.

    Also... since I have some trouble swinging my leg over a regular bike at the moment this folder and it's sister (they were identical twins) is what has kept me riding.

    The sister is a little more practical...

    Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 04-24-08 at 10:54 AM.

  9. #9
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    My Bikes
    Jamis Nova, Bike Friday NWT, STRIDA, Austro Daimler Vent Noir, Haluzak Horizon, Salsa La Raza, Hollands Tourer, Bike Friday tikit
    Posts
    5,223
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Oh ... I should point out that small wheels are considerably stronger than big wheels. Probably a big advantage for touring.

  10. #10
    Senior Member 82times's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Eau Claire, WI
    Posts
    84
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a Bike Friday "Pocket Rocket" (the unfortunate shared namesake for their road bike model that also refers to a popular model of vibrator) and love it. It's my "fast" bike for real. I keep up with all the venture capitalists riding carbon fiber on local weekend routes. They're not cheap (all models except the aforementioned Tikit are custom built in Eugene, OR), but they also don't feel like they're cheap. I've tried out cheaper models that are designed specifically for quick-folding or multi-modal commuting and they felt...cheap. Very useful, but not something I'd want to ride 70 miles on.

    Something others have not yet mentioned is that there is some getting used to the way bikes with smaller wheels handle. In general, the handing is "quicker," which some folks might call "squirrelly" before growing accustomed to it. Once you get used to it, though, the handling is great. I'm generally a chicken on descents, but I've noticed I'll do the same runs quicker/more confidently on my folder.

    I take it with me when I fly on business trips and also like riding 40-50 miles to a good state park to meet my girlfriend for some hiking. After some nature-walking and a picnic lunch, I just fold it up and stick it in the trunk of her compact car. I haven't toured with it yet, but foresee using it for shorter trips overseas.

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I commute on one. I fold it up and bring it into the office, no one can steal it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,329
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Couple of reasons...it travels well, you don't have to wait for the next bus if the racks are full, it is easy to "conceal" or put away so it doesn't get stolen... I am 6'2" 200# so I push the envelope on the folders, but they work for me. Currently I have a ancient "sort of a folder" 1968 Raleigh Compact RSW. I am working on getting a Brompton.

    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.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Out there, on my bike
    Posts
    5,420
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a Bike Friday road bike (Pocket Rocket Pro). It's very cool. I take it places that my full-size bike cannot go conveniently, like Europe and on trains. It rides as well as my custom full-size bike, but it's a little bit heavier.

    I don't understand why more folks don't have folding bikes. If I had to choose just one bike, I'd choose my Bike Friday.

  14. #14
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    YEG
    My Bikes
    See my sig...
    Posts
    26,414
    Mentioned
    21 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    More points for the small wheels...

    Rode 20 miles in really wet weather yesterday and went through sections where there was both water and potholes that look like puddles... the bike took some pretty massive hits when avoiding the potholes was not an option and the 20 inch bmx wheels handled them fine.

    When I was dodging potholes the small wheels really make for some nimble handling and great stability.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •