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Folding bikes for children

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Folding bikes for children

Old 12-25-18, 03:51 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
Big IT bucks? Not everyone wants to spend tons of $$$ on a kids bike. I really don't understand some of you here on BF,...you recommend stupidly expensive stuff all the time, when an OP will be on a shoestring budget. Then, when they don't follow off-the-wall advice, people get annoyed.

And, the bike YOU recommended above? It's listed as a kids bike, possibly,...but it's a custom Bike Friday built for shorter adults. Ridiculous,...
Kid are in a constant state of flux: physically, socially, and psychologically. Judging by your sig., I'm sure you already know that.

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Old 12-26-18, 02:18 PM
  #27  
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this thread should be amusing until spring..
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Old 12-26-18, 03:48 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
this thread should be amusing until spring..
Or until the kid dumps the bike, whichever comes first. Kids are so persnickety.
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Old 12-26-18, 06:31 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
The Bike Friday that works for kids is the OSATA model because the frame adjusts in length from small to medium to large as they grow. I gave my niece one and now she uses it at college and keeps it in the dorm room under her bed =). She's ridden it more than 10 years, just upgraded components as she got older. Amortized over 10 years, it was a freaking bargain, lol. Sometimes you can find used ones, too.
Good to know,...but the craigslist ad is crazy, and still not what most people would consider for a child. My issue is the way it's being pitched by the poster of the link,...

Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Kid are in a constant state of flux: physically, socially, and psychologically. Judging by your sig., I'm sure you already know that.
I guess the quote in my sig is unfamiliar to you?


Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
this thread should be amusing until spring..
Sometimes you have fantastic recommendations,...hidden inside confused jumbling nonsense,...
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If it wasn't for you meddling kids,...
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Old 12-26-18, 08:43 PM
  #30  
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I just looked at the Ad. I could see spending $750 on it if my kid could get a few years out of it (using different seatposts and stems) and we were into bicycle touring. For touring, you want something well built and comfortable, not something cheap and ill fitting (not necessarily always the case I know). A hardcore cycling family would be a good fit for this bike. But you will note his kid rides the OSATA now....probably should have just started with that in the first place, lol
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Old 12-26-18, 10:10 PM
  #31  
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Some years back, Dahon offered the 14" wheel folding Sweet Pea:



Yeah, no. Didn't sell well. Ahead of its time? Or more probably child's folding bicycle is a niche market inside a niche market, too small to be viable.
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Old 05-24-19, 12:19 AM
  #32  
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I'm new to this forum but have been lurking for a few years. I came here initially to find a folding bike for my son who was a small 9 year old in 2017. After reading all the threads about folders for kids, I reached out to a few folding bike builders like Yan about his Downtubes. I received a lot of helpful advice.

What I ended up doing was buying a used ThorUSA customized Dahon Curve on craigslist. It had a Tern stem with Andros stem version1. Automatix SRAM two speed with coaster brake. Caradice snap on bag with Tern stem carrier rack. No kickstand and no fenders.

I made a few changes:
Removed the rack and water bottle cage.
Flipped the Andros stem to face inwards for better reach. Replaced the Ergon GP2 grips with regular grips for small hands.
Installed crank shorteners to allow for growth. The holes allow you to go from 170mm to 135mm. Uses the same pedals.
Replaced the pedals with MKS FD-7
Replaced the seat post with a Tern Telescopic seat post - ironically it is meant for taller riders but when fully retracted is much shorter than a regular seat post which allows you to have the seat real low and not scrape the ground. I did not want to cut the original seat post because I figured it's still a very viable adult commuter bike when he's older.
Replaced the seat with a kids gel padded seat
Added a kick stand and black fenders.

The changes to the bike allowed my son to gain confidence with the bike. His first ride on the bike was 11.6 miles. He had been riding since he was 4 or 5 but the folder was bigger than anything he's ridden before. I just got tired of buying bigger bikes each time.

Then over a few months, I kept moving the pedals down till it was back to full 170mm.
The bike seat kept getting raised too.
It's two years later and I figure I saved by not having to keep buying a new bike.

I would post photos but I don't have sufficient posts count here but I figured this information might be helpful to anyone thinking of a folder for their kids.
It can be done and it's affordable if you happen to find the right used folder.

We are a folding bike family.
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Old 05-26-19, 12:29 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by gleearch View Post
I'm new to this forum but have been lurking for a few years. I came here initially to find a folding bike for my son who was a small 9 year old in 2017. After reading all the threads about folders for kids, I reached out to a few folding bike builders like Yan about his Downtubes. I received a lot of helpful advice.

What I ended up doing was buying a used ThorUSA customized Dahon Curve on craigslist. It had a Tern stem with Andros stem version1. Automatix SRAM two speed with coaster brake. Caradice snap on bag with Tern stem carrier rack. No kickstand and no fenders.

I made a few changes:
Removed the rack and water bottle cage.
Flipped the Andros stem to face inwards for better reach. Replaced the Ergon GP2 grips with regular grips for small hands.
Installed crank shorteners to allow for growth. The holes allow you to go from 170mm to 135mm. Uses the same pedals.
Replaced the pedals with MKS FD-7
Replaced the seat post with a Tern Telescopic seat post - ironically it is meant for taller riders but when fully retracted is much shorter than a regular seat post which allows you to have the seat real low and not scrape the ground. I did not want to cut the original seat post because I figured it's still a very viable adult commuter bike when he's older.
Replaced the seat with a kids gel padded seat
Added a kick stand and black fenders.

The changes to the bike allowed my son to gain confidence with the bike. His first ride on the bike was 11.6 miles. He had been riding since he was 4 or 5 but the folder was bigger than anything he's ridden before. I just got tired of buying bigger bikes each time.

Then over a few months, I kept moving the pedals down till it was back to full 170mm.
The bike seat kept getting raised too.
It's two years later and I figure I saved by not having to keep buying a new bike.

I would post photos but I don't have sufficient posts count here but I figured this information might be helpful to anyone thinking of a folder for their kids.
It can be done and it's affordable if you happen to find the right used folder.

We are a folding bike family.
Thanks for posting!
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Old 05-26-19, 01:43 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by icedmocha View Post
Thanks for posting!
You are welcome. I figure once I hit the 10 post, I can post photos of the changes I made to the bike. So that anyone can do something similar.
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Old 05-26-19, 02:41 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by gleearch View Post
We are a folding bike family.
Us too!



-Sean
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Old 05-26-19, 09:21 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Wilmingtech View Post
Us too!



-Sean
I like the rack Sean! Also the variety of colors!
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Old 05-26-19, 10:18 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by icedmocha View Post
I like the rack Sean! Also the variety of colors!
Thanks! Easy to make. (2) 8' 2x4s and cut some cross sections.

Because they are folders I had to use 1"x 1" for the drive side to make clearance for the deraileur.

Its free sitting and can easily be moved. In its current position it allows the bikes to be "semi-folded" and propped against the wall to save on floor space. But it also allows the kids to roll thier bikes up and easily park them without having to fold, lift..etc.

These are folders from Citizen Bike. Far from high end, a little on the heavy side but have 7 gears on the rear with shimano derailleur and affordable (when you have to buy 6 bikes on a budget...). They serve thier purpose in that we can fold up 6 of them and they easily fit into the motorcoachs. They are also a lifetime bike for each of the kids. Our youngest was 6 when he first got his and now he is 11 and still rides the same bike.

-Sean
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Old 05-26-19, 12:19 PM
  #38  
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That's a pretty cool set up. I like the racks and the color range of the bikes. It must make for a really cool procession when all of you are out riding.

Since I can't post pics yet, these are our bikes
Tern Verge D9
Tern Link D8
Dahon Curve (ThorUSA custom & subsequently modified)

The Dahon has been a great bike but the 16" means my son is constantly pedaling to keep up with us. He does a good job but I'm looking for a good used 20" or a deal on a 20" for him. Have an eye on a couple of deals. We'll keep the Dahon as a spare for guests who wants to tag along with us. I don't use bike racks on my suv (had a bike fall off a rear rack on the freeway once. Not a good experience). Keep everything inside now.
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Old 05-26-19, 06:47 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by gleearch View Post
That's a pretty cool set up. I like the racks and the color range of the bikes. It must make for a really cool procession when all of you are out riding.

Since I can't post pics yet, these are our bikes
Tern Verge D9
Tern Link D8
Dahon Curve (ThorUSA custom & subsequently modified)

The Dahon has been a great bike but the 16" means my son is constantly pedaling to keep up with us. He does a good job but I'm looking for a good used 20" or a deal on a 20" for him. Have an eye on a couple of deals. We'll keep the Dahon as a spare for guests who wants to tag along with us. I don't use bike racks on my suv (had a bike fall off a rear rack on the freeway once. Not a good experience). Keep everything inside now.
Why not put a bigger gear on the Dahon? Also, maybe you can reply in a few posts so you can post pics!
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Old 05-26-19, 06:59 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by icedmocha View Post
Why not put a bigger gear on the Dahon? Also, maybe you can reply in a few posts so you can post pics!
I thought about it but when I put in a bigger sprocket, the chain started to bite into the frame. Then I thought about going with a 6 speed and swapping out the internal hub but wasn't sure if I could do that. Not a lot of room. Besides I need an excuse to get a new bike, so I can justify doing the research, reading reviews and have fun searching for deals. I just lost out on an auction for a Tern Verge X10. Winning bidder way outbid me but because I know that Tern sold those at a huge discount when they discontinued it, I wasn't about to bid above that. I can wait for more discontinued sales when and if they happen. I'm fairly patient.
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Old 06-08-19, 12:10 AM
  #41  
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Here's the original Dahon Curve before I started making modifications to it to fit my son.



The original used Dahon Curve with Tern Andros stem v1.


Remounting the stem to reduce the length between the seat and the stem. Swapping out the GP2 grips for standard locking grips.
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Old 06-08-19, 12:10 AM
  #42  
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Added a kick stand and crank shorteners.
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Old 06-08-19, 12:14 AM
  #43  
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Final bike with adjustable Tern seat post, so the bottom of the post would not catch when lowered while riding. Kids gel seat, the seat is horizontal, was angled when fitting. Fenders and later on MKS 7 folding pedals replaced the Suntours.
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Old 06-08-19, 06:13 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by gleearch View Post


Final bike with adjustable Tern seat post, so the bottom of the post would not catch when lowered while riding. Kids gel seat, the seat is horizontal, was angled when fitting. Fenders and later on MKS 7 folding pedals replaced the Suntours.

This is brilliant! I also wondered about a kids folding bike as my five year old really likes my Dahon Mu SL. My have to see if I can pick one of these up on Craigslist
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Old 06-08-19, 08:37 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by 2bridges1bike View Post
This is brilliant! I also wondered about a kids folding bike as my five year old really likes my Dahon Mu SL. My have to see if I can pick one of these up on Craigslist
That's the good thing about having so many Dahons out there. Usually a good set of pickings on Craigslist. Ebay usually has a few too. Just don't get caught up in the bidding that you end up paying more than it's really worth, since there will usually be something else that will come along.
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Old 08-16-22, 09:25 AM
  #46  
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how tall is your kid?

Hi,

I like the idea of folding bike for kids as interchangeable with adult.
May I know how tall your kid is that he can fit with the 20 inch Dahon?
My kid is 130 cm, I wonder if she can fit as well.
Also, I wonder if the steering stem can be adjusted to make it closer to the seat direction so kids' shorter arms can reach the handle bars easily.
THanks

Originally Posted by Tony Marley View Post
Depends on their age and size. I had good luck several years ago with a 20-inch Dahon 7-speed for my fairly tall 8-year old daughter. Another option might be a 16-inch Brompton.
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Old 08-16-22, 11:33 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by andiratih View Post
Hi,

I like the idea of folding bike for kids as interchangeable with adult.
May I know how tall your kid is that he can fit with the 20 inch Dahon?
My kid is 130 cm, I wonder if she can fit as well.
Also, I wonder if the steering stem can be adjusted to make it closer to the seat direction so kids' shorter arms can reach the handle bars easily.
THanks
I solved the reach issue by installing a 2" riser bar and canting it back 90 degrees to reduce the reach. The, I just rotated it up as he grew.
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Old 08-16-22, 12:17 PM
  #48  
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Thank you. To which bike you install this? Or can it be installed to any folding bike? Or do we need to do match making?
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Old 08-16-22, 12:34 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by andiratih View Post
Thank you. To which bike you install this? Or can it be installed to any folding bike? Or do we need to do match making?
It should work on any bike.
I couldn't find a good photo, but you can kind of see how it was done here.


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Old 08-18-22, 06:45 PM
  #50  
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Cool to see this thread updated. I still have my modified Dahon Curve but thinking of selling it. I bought a used Birdy 3 used at a very good price and with some slight modifications gave it to my son to use. He's 14 now and the Birdy is growing with him. Just switched out the seat for a Poloqo. He's faster on it than I am on my Tern these days. Waiting to see if I can get my hands on a used Helix.
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