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26 inch folding bikes, budget range?

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26 inch folding bikes, budget range?

Old 03-29-15, 07:17 AM
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26 inch folding bikes, budget range?

I've been looking to get a 26 inch wheeled folding bike - I've read the intro thread, and while I'm tempted by some of the six hundred quid bikes or so, I'm looking to start with something a bit cheaper. Eg, this one.. Buy Challenge Folding 26 Inch Trekking Bike - Unisex at Argos.co.uk - Your Online Shop for Men's and ladies' bikes. - which seems to get fairly decent reviews. Has anyone got their hands on one of these? I'd try one in store but it comes with assembly needed.
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Old 03-29-15, 11:19 AM
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Funny, but the first review was bad. It broke almost immediately. It's not worth it IMO.
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Old 03-29-15, 01:53 PM
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I wouldn't touch it.
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Old 03-29-15, 01:57 PM
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What's your application for a folding bike? According to one of the quest/answers the folded dimensions are 39" x 33" x 24" which is still rather large.
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Old 03-29-15, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann
What's your application for a folding bike? According to one of the quest/answers the folded dimensions are 39" x 33" x 24" which is still rather large.
Ideally, being able to fit in a car with the back seat down. I did see the bad reviews, but the others seemed okay.. or maybe they didn't own it long enough for it to break..
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Old 03-29-15, 04:47 PM
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I don't think breakage is the major problem here. To me the major problem is the extreme bottom of the range componentry and frame. This bike will be a dog to ride. It depends much on how serious you are about riding regularly. If you are only going to make a very occasional trip, and as the novelty wears off, perhaps even fewer rides, well then maybe this is the bike to go for. However, the bike as easily may put you off riding entirely due to the low quality, and that would be a great pity as riding is such a great activity. A klunker reduces or removes the pleasure.

But it is also true that beginners will go through a process of learning about bikes, as I did, and the process of buying better bikes is part of that learning procedure. So it is really hard to call for me. That prticular one is absolute bottom dweller material. I would strongly recommend a 20" wheel size, there is a much bigger range to choose from, at better quality for the budget-conscious buyer.
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Old 03-29-15, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by RafeDonson
Ideally, being able to fit in a car with the back seat down.
I'd expect that to work ok with just about any regular (non-folding) bike just by removing the front wheel which only takes a few seconds. Any of my regular bikes (except the tandem) will fit in the trunk of my Corolla with the back seats left up if I remove both wheels - which still only takes a few seconds and is the way I usually transport the bikes.

As jur said above, the bike referenced is toward the bottom of the quality scale. At that price point I've found that it's best to get as simple a bike as possible - i.e. non-folding and without any suspension components. That way you at least can have a good solid frame for stable and predictable handling. Trying to add a hinge in the frame for folding and a front suspension fork while keeping the price so low is very likely to result in the frame and fork developing excess flex over time and a far less satisfactory ride experience.
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Old 03-30-15, 05:28 AM
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Look out for a second hand Dahon Jack, Dahon Espresso or a Montague Bi-Frame (often sold as a Rudge Bi-Frame in the UK). They will be much better than the bike you linked to.
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Old 03-31-15, 03:33 PM
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You may find that on this budget bike you end you replacing the cheap tyres and forks within a year and being disappointed with the false economy. That said you don't get much for 100 pounds and it's good value. Budget bikes are often a false ecomony. A friend of mine bought a "top of the range " Apollo and the cassette cogs fell off within a month.

General consciences here is a full sized bike with quick release wheels is a better option. Else go for a 20 inch dahon or simular. I got a new curve d3 for 289 a few years ago. Bargins are out there if you look around.
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Old 03-31-15, 08:29 PM
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What Jur said.

And I'd say get a good second-hand branded 20" bike. Second hand as you can get some great prices for "pre-loved" bikes with a bit of luck, branded as they are less likely to fail on you, and 20" because it's a great compromise between portability and ride-ability. 20" folders are also common enough that component options are comparatively cheap and varied.

Your first bike (ever or in a while) will generally determine if you continue to ride, or quit out of disgust. It will give you a good sense of what to look out for, your personal preferences, and whether you love riding enough to buy a long-term, higher-end bike, or be happy with your folder.

Last edited by keyven; 03-31-15 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 04-01-15, 01:03 PM
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A few years ago I bought a used 26 inch Montague X for $250 off Craig's List. No regrets.
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