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I'm finding varying info on frames vs height; advice?

Old 07-13-16, 05:39 PM
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I'm finding varying info on frames vs height; advice?

Hello!

I apologize if this has been answered elsewhere, I did run a search but didn't find anything that seemed to help.

I am interested in buying this bike: https://www.amazon.com/Folding-Bike-...dp/B01CHMQLAQ/

Many of the folding bikes I've looked at have had 26" frames and they seem to suggest that they work perfectly for someone my height (5'3"-5'4"). However, when I do additional research just to be sure, other websites say that size frame is for someone 6' or over! Others say it's irrelevant for folding bikes. I don't want to goof up and buy a bike for someone almost a foot taller than me, could someone explain the discrepancy I'm finding?
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Old 07-13-16, 05:46 PM
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The bike you linked has 26" wheels, that is not the frame size. I would contact the seller and ask the actual frame size. I'm 5'4" and, when I ride a 26" wheeled bike, I need a small frame, 15-17 inch size.
Can I ask why you want a full sized folding bike instead of one with 20" wheels? It is probably going to be pretty heavy and only fold in half so not all that space-saving.
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Old 07-13-16, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl
The bike you linked has 26" wheels, that is not the frame size. I would contact the seller and ask the actual frame size. I'm 5'4" and, when I ride a 26" wheeled bike, I need a small frame, 15-17 inch size.
Can I ask why you want a full sized folding bike instead of one with 20" wheels? It is probably going to be pretty heavy and only fold in half so not all that space-saving.
Argh, I'm so glad I asked, I was so confused.

I am not sure, I don't suppose I understand the various types and their pros and cons yet. I only just discovered the existence of folding bikes yesterday and was super excited because I have an apartment and while I could fit in a full sized bike in the winter (which lasts 6-8 months here...), I'd rather not. I wasn't sure how a bike like the one I linked to would fold either, they didn't include a photo so I've been trying to figure that out. Now I know, haha!

Initially, I'm just going to be riding it around, building up stamina, getting into shape. If I get strong enough, I might like to ride to work which is about 4-5 miles away. Are folding bikes restricted to how far they can go? Not that this would be an immediate problem, I am obviously a total newb so I won't be going 10, 15, 20 miles anytime soon.

Sadly, my limit is about $200 so I can't go super fancy. =(
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Old 07-13-16, 06:01 PM
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I suggest you to make some more research before buying a bike.
When you get in shape you will be able to ride a folder for several hours or 30 and more miles.
With such the small budget GL is your friend.
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Old 07-13-16, 06:07 PM
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Where do you live? You want to go try some bikes. As a height challenged person, I actually find the 20" wheels a LOT more enjoyable for riding. They accelerate faster, it's way easier to stop and put a foot down, and they are more nimble for city riding. A 20" folder will also occupy a lot less space than a 26". Do you have any dealers nearby? In your price range, it will either be a used bike or maybe a basic Dahon or Citizen Tokyo. Not sure if Downtube has a model in that price range. Do you have stairs to your apartment so you'd have to carry the bike? Then weight might be a factor.
Folding bikes will ride as far as any other bike - assuming it fits you well enough. As a new rider, you want to avoid department store bikes or anything that is made so badly you won't enjoy riding it. Will you be riding flats or hills? That will also impact what you get. If you shop around, you can get a Dahon Boardwalk (single speed) new for around $200. Citizen Tokyo has some multi-speed bikes around that price range. You can get a Downtube for around $250 with multiple speeds. You need to find a place to try some bikes first, though.
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Old 07-13-16, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by shrooms
I suggest you to make some more research before buying a bike.
When you get in shape you will be able to ride a folder for several hours or 30 and more miles.
With such the small budget GL is your friend.
GL? You mean CL? Or am I unaware of a resource I could be using?

If you mean CL, I've checked and there isn't much there. I've mostly been looking at Amazon and since my limit of $200/$250 won't likely go up anytime soon, my options seem to be rather small there. =(

Originally Posted by linberl
Where do you live? You want to go try some bikes. As a height challenged person, I actually find the 20" wheels a LOT more enjoyable for riding. They accelerate faster, it's way easier to stop and put a foot down, and they are more nimble for city riding. A 20" folder will also occupy a lot less space than a 26". Do you have any dealers nearby? In your price range, it will either be a used bike or maybe a basic Dahon or Citizen Tokyo. Not sure if Downtube has a model in that price range. Do you have stairs to your apartment so you'd have to carry the bike? Then weight might be a factor.
Folding bikes will ride as far as any other bike - assuming it fits you well enough. As a new rider, you want to avoid department store bikes or anything that is made so badly you won't enjoy riding it. Will you be riding flats or hills? That will also impact what you get. If you shop around, you can get a Dahon Boardwalk (single speed) new for around $200. Citizen Tokyo has some multi-speed bikes around that price range. You can get a Downtube for around $250 with multiple speeds. You need to find a place to try some bikes first, though.
I live in Rochester, NY; I hadn't considered going somewhere to try any because when I've searched locally before, they've usually been way out of my price range but I can probably go try them out if there are any places with folding bikes nearby.

I do have stairs to my apartment, and while they're sort of steep, it's just maybe a dozen steps and it's additional exercise I could use. I will initially be riding mostly flats, maybe an occasional hill if I happen to come upon one.
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Old 07-13-16, 06:40 PM
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Cheap folders are an exercise in frustration.

It's difficult enough to design and spec a non-folding bike in a size to fit you and keep it relatively inexpensive. Add the complexity of a folding mechanism, and what typically happens is that most of the $ go into the frame and leaves almost nothing for components and wheels, meaning you get the bottom-of-the-barrel parts spec and a pretty heavy bike. Not exactly conducive to riding, folding and owning one. Lots of people give up entirely on folders at this price point, which is a shame.

On a cheap folder, the parts are usually heavy (stamped steel in some cases) and don't work well and/or go out of adjustment easily. So then the frustrations begin: folding hinges that have all kinds of play with minimal use, squeaks and rattles galore, derailleurs that protest shifting or stop shifting entirely, brakes needing constant adjustment, wheels that go out of true at the drop of a hat....you name it.

Before you drop a couple hundred into a folder that fits the above category, see if there's a small non-folding bike that might work for you at that price point. Used, you could probably find a Trek, Giant or Specialized hybrid in 15" size that wouldn't be terribly difficult to tote around. I refurb bikes, and my bread-and-butter is completely refurb'd bikes that I sell in the $150-200 range.

Increase the budget past $200 and you start getting better options in a folder. But unless you're willing to put up with the problems of cheap folders - like doing all the maintenance yourself, because folders tend to require more maintenance than non-folders, best to stay away from cheap folders for the time being.

Last edited by bargainguy; 07-13-16 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 07-13-16, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy
Cheap folders are an exercise in frustration.
Thank you so much, that was a fantastically easy to understand post. I think I'll keep the $200ish I have now and add to it over a few weeks' time. Maybe I can sell some stuff off that I'm not using, push up to $300 or even $400. If I don't get much use out of it before the winter hits, oh well, because I'm not a handy person so if things start going wrong and I can't afford to have it repaired, that's just kinda it for me. Thank you for taking the time to write all that. =)
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Old 07-13-16, 07:17 PM
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Give this some thought. Downtube is active on this forum so you can ask any questions you might have.
Downtube Nova - Lightweight Folding Bicycle

I wouldn't spend a lot if this is your first bike, but enough to get something that rides acceptably. Personally, I would consider it a semi-disposable purchase...buy it, use it, thrash it. Then, if you find you actually do like and will continue to ride, save up for something halfway good. You will have a better idea then what your needs and wants are, anyway.

Last edited by linberl; 07-13-16 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 07-13-16, 07:23 PM
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I've had good experience with my entry level and first folder.
https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bikes/1019002-durban-bay-pro-7-review.html

They are on sale for $200 at target with free shipping.
https://m.target.com/bp/durban

That being said, at some point I will be getting a nicer (more expensive) folder. I have found folders to be very useful.
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Old 07-13-16, 07:24 PM
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Downtube is a fantastic option. The bike you'd buy from them is spec'd below it's value IMO.

Downtube Nova - Lightweight Folding Bicycle
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Old 07-13-16, 09:05 PM
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It looks like the Durban Pro 7 is out of stock, as Target doesn't have it right now and Amazon doesn't have it on sale.

I think I'll go with the Nova. I found a Downtube 9 on Ebay for $260 used but the S&H is $60 bringing the total to $320, at which point I may as well step up what I'm willing to pay for new. I get why he'd want $260 but the $60, which I also get, just totally sucks and makes the Nova, new, without the S&H, more appealing for what I need.
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Old 07-13-16, 09:12 PM
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But oooh just looked at this one: MILAN Citizen Bike 20" 1-speed Folding Bike with Step-thru Frame

I kinda like it. But maybe I'm just being childish because it appeals to my immature side. lol

You guys have all been a fantastic help and are really inspiring me to turn this into a full blown hobby. But I agree that starting small is the best way to go until I prove I will stick with it!
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Old 07-13-16, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by RaeK
GL? You mean CL? Or am I unaware of a resource I could be using?

If you mean CL, I've checked and there isn't much there. I've mostly been looking at Amazon and since my limit of $200/$250 won't likely go up anytime soon, my options seem to be rather small there. =(
My bad it's CL.
It takes a while but good deals come up. I bought my Nova like new for $120.
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Old 07-13-16, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by RaeK
But oooh just looked at this one: MILAN Citizen Bike 20" 1-speed Folding Bike with Step-thru Frame

I kinda like it. But maybe I'm just being childish because it appeals to my immature side. lol

You guys have all been a fantastic help and are really inspiring me to turn this into a full blown hobby. But I agree that starting small is the best way to go until I prove I will stick with it!


The Citizen bikes aren't the best quality, and they're heavy as all heck. The Downtube is better across the board, and the owner in on this site to help if you have any problems/issues.
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Old 07-13-16, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101
Downtube is a fantastic option. The bike you'd buy from them is spec'd below it's value IMO.

Downtube Nova - Lightweight Folding Bicycle
I think you meant it is spec'd above it's price.

Thanks,
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Old 07-13-16, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101
The Citizen bikes aren't the best quality, and they're heavy as all heck. The Downtube is better across the board, and the owner in on this site to help if you have any problems/issues.
Wow....Thanks

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Old 07-13-16, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101
The Citizen bikes aren't the best quality, and they're heavy as all heck. The Downtube is better across the board, and the owner in on this site to helps if you have any problems/issues.
Thank you, I'll stick with Downtube. =)

Would there be any reason to save up for, say, the 8FS, or just go with the Nova? I'm paging back and forth between the various models and searching for as much as I can but it's hard to determine on my own, how to gauge price vs. what the differences are/mean.

Originally Posted by downtube
Wow....Thanks

Yan
lol and now it's been decided, Downtube it shall be.
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Old 07-13-16, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by RaeK
Would there be any reason to save up for, say, the 8FS, or just go with the Nova?
The Nova is smaller and lighter....that is probably what you are looking for.

Thanks,
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Old 07-13-16, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube
The Nova is smaller and lighter....that is probably what you are looking for.

Thanks,
Yan
I'm just starting out so I'll have to build up stamina. For now, I'll just be riding around my city which is mostly flat, with some odd hills here and there but we can avoid those until I'm not so sluggish. =) But I'd like to be able to eventually go further, tackle a bit more difficult journeys, nothing crazy. But small and light is great so it sounds like it'll allow me to expand out to what I want to do eventually anyways. Thank you for your advice, and thank you to everyone else who helped as well!
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Old 07-13-16, 09:56 PM
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Oh, one last Q - is it possible to install a simple rear bike rack? If I do eventually ride it to work, I may have to strap a small bag to the back, and it would be great for quick trips to the store. Sorry to still be posting, I couldn't find anything on it and I didn't want to assume anything. =/
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Old 07-13-16, 09:56 PM
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I think the Nova is a great starting point for you, and you will really like the smaller wheels. Now, don't blame us if you get "folderitis" as it is a common problem, once you start with one. Get a good lock and a good helmet and have fun!
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Old 07-13-16, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl
I think the Nova is a great starting point for you, and you will really like the smaller wheels. Now, don't blame us if you get "folderitis" as it is a common problem, once you start with one. Get a good lock and a good helmet and have fun!
Thank you! I'm so excited. =D The last bike I bought was years ago and it was a dinky Walmart bike I bought sort of on a whim. I think I rode it half a dozen times before I tired of it. Frankly, once my moment of "OMG GIRLY BIKE" madness passed, I didn't want to be seen on it anymore. lol

Do you know anything about the rear bike rack situation though? If I wanted to strap my backpack to it for a trip to work, would that be possible with the Nova?
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Old 07-13-16, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl
I think the Nova is a great starting point for you, and you will really like the smaller wheels. Now, don't blame us if you get "folderitis" as it is a common problem, once you start with one. Get a good lock and a good helmet and have fun!
I agree about "Folderitus", as it's a dangerous addiction. Healthy in the long run,...but it gets expensive!!! LOL!!!
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Old 07-13-16, 10:25 PM
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There are several solutions for carrying stuff. Perhaps Yan can chime in on whether the Nova has a front luggage attachment. Folders tend to like extra weight on the front, so it is a good place to carry stuff. Plus you can keep an eye on it. If not, you could get a Xootr Crossrack (which I use) that also allows very quick detaching for folding and carrying. CrossRack Bicycle Rack | Xootr Urban Transport
Finally, you can put a rear rack on it, you just need one that fits it and, again, Yan might be able to guide you.
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