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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 07-26-17, 05:49 AM   #1
jonmanjiro
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Folding bike for tall person

Hello all! This is my first post here. As the title says, I'm looking for a folding bike that would be suitable for me at 184cm tall and weighing in at 80kg. I'm somewhat long legged for my height so that is probably a consideration as well.

I'm a foreigner living in Yokohama, Japan, and being much taller than the average I expect the local bike shops won't have much that would be suitably sized for me, so I'm most likely going to have to order a bike specifically for me or find another tall foreigner who is looking to sell their bike.

The type of riding I'm planning on doing is trips around my apartment and also taking the bike by train in the folded (and covered) state out of the city to ride in semi rural areas. Japan tends to be very mountainous in rural areas so gears would be a must I suppose.

My budget is a maximum of 100,000 yen (approx. US$900) if possible, and my preference would be for a stable and comfortable bike that also folds easily. My knowledge of the options is basically zero, so I'm all ears and eager to learn what you'd recommend and why.

Thanks!

Jon
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Old 07-26-17, 06:02 AM   #2
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Considering you're 6' tall, almost any 20" folder will work for you. I'm 5'11", and I have 2 Dahon Speed's, a TernJoeP24 (26"), and I've had a Xootr Swift, and a melon slice. There's really not too many bikes that DON'T work for you.
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Old 07-26-17, 06:13 AM   #3
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1.84 is not tall where I live, that is even below average.

The things to look for are seatpost length -- and with a 58 cm - 60 cm length you ought to be good, unless you are.a real storch -- and reach. Most folding bikes are too cramped for me, as I am 1.88, and I do not like to ride too upride, but rather ride a bit more bend forwards.

That is why I had to upgrade my folders with new handlebars and stems,

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Old 07-26-17, 01:16 PM   #4
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The Origami Mantis will accommodate riders up to 6'5" and has a maximum seat-to-pedal of 38"
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Old 07-30-17, 05:58 AM   #5
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Hi Jon,

Tokyo here. I've found that the Tern Eclipse has been ok for me, I'm 6'5. They also have 26" wheel models. If you want to choose your own style of drivetrain, maybe internal hub, etc. They have a sale on Amazon at the moment for the Tern Eclipse Uno (Same one I have). I had paid 115,000 yen for mine last year but they are now going for 85,000 yen here.

That would leave you with 20,000 yen'ish to sort out a drivetrain you would like. Or, the also seem to have the Eclipse D16 on sale also for about 113,000 yen here.

You are welcome to come up and try mine out if you like. I'm about 20 mins out from Ueno.

Cheers,
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Old 08-01-17, 07:23 PM   #6
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I'm 6'3" with a couple of Dahon Mu frames and a Swift. Both fit fine however the best thing I did for both of them was add some really comfortable bar ends. Enlarging the cockpit and putting me a little further forward cured my cramped feeling on both bikes.

Good luck

I am not a fan of buying a bike and then changing the drive train---can be way more problems than I want to deal with. I have said this many times in this forum

Buy an 8, 9, 10, or 11 speed ---do not buy a 7 speed which will have a freewheel. The minimum top gear ratio you will need is about 90 gear inches.---
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Old 08-01-17, 09:07 PM   #7
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Thanks for the comments and suggestions everyone! I've done a little more homework since my initial post and am now leaning toward getting a Dahon Mu SP9. Yodobashi Camera has just reduced their price down to 89,790 yen including 10% of that in points which can be spent on other items which makes the effective price a very attractive 80,811 yen (approx. US$730).

RayB, thank you for the very generous offer to try your bikes and links. Much appreciated. I've decided to stick with 20 inch wheels and at least 8 gears as suggested by Rick, though, so the Dahon Mu SP9 looks pretty much ideal.
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Old 08-02-17, 10:10 AM   #8
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Brompton H bar is higher, + their telescoping 2 section seat post..

or a Bike Friday It's Built For You.. they make the bike for the customer as it comes up in the order queue.

both are more money than Dahon. but both are available shipped into Japan.







...
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Old 08-02-17, 01:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayB View Post
Hi Jon,

Tokyo here. I've found that the Tern Eclipse has been ok for me, I'm 6'5. They also have 26" wheel models.
I've been eyeballing the tern 24' also. I'm only 6'1 but my limbs just go everywhere. As such most folders cause neck, back and leg cramps. The old stiff body just can't stretch. I bought a coupled bike 15 years ago but they are a pita to collapse down.

Note: Bromptons were -really- close to fitting.

As one bikeshop guy said to me as I hopped on a traditional straight top tube 25 in frame. "I thought that bike was too big for you and then I saw you unfold."
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Old 08-06-17, 06:47 PM   #10
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Update: not a test ride as I haven't found a shop where I can do that, but I did try sitting on a Dahon Mu SP9 at a local shop, and the cockpit felt quite cramped unfortunately. I felt like I needed the handlebar a little further away and higher. So now I'm eyeing off a Dahon Speed D8. Its handlepost is angled at 12 vs 8 on most of the other Dahons available in Japan including the Mu SP9 and Dahon Speed Falco which shares the same frame. Seems like it would be just enough to put the bars where I want them. I tried sitting on one and it did feel a bit better, but would that 4 make much difference in actual use? Guess there's only one way to find out...

On a different note, it took me a while to figure out there's two different lines of Dahon bikes available in Japan: one from Dahon International and one from Dahon Japan. And on top of that, the available models differ from models available outside Japan

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Old 08-07-17, 12:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
... but would that 4 make much difference in actual use? Guess there's only one way to find out...
That alone tells you nothing becouse the angle of the head tube also matters. A bike with a 4 could have the handlebar at the exact same distance from the saddle as a bike with a 12 or a 8. Find a page that have pictures of several different folders, take a close look and compare: Dahon Radius -V Comfort Handlepost Lower 11/8" 09 - On Black - C H WHITE & SON

Also it is possible to put a stem with a different angle than the one the bike came with for example on a MU and thereby get what you want. You need to find a shop that knows what they are doing.
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Old 08-07-17, 11:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Update: not a test ride as I haven't found a shop where I can do that, but I did try sitting on a Dahon Mu SP9 at a local shop, and the cockpit felt quite cramped unfortunately. I felt like I needed the handlebar a little further away and higher. So now I'm eyeing off a Dahon Speed D8. Its handlepost is angled at 12 vs 8 on most of the other Dahons available in Japan including the Mu SP9 and Dahon Speed Falco which shares the same frame. Seems like it would be just enough to put the bars where I want them. I tried sitting on one and it did feel a bit better, but would that 4 make much difference in actual use? Guess there's only one way to find out...

On a different note, it took me a while to figure out there's two different lines of Dahon bikes available in Japan: one from Dahon International and one from Dahon Japan. And on top of that, the available models differ from models available outside Japan
I am going to restate my point.---I was not comfortable at all until I installed bar ends. The narrow bars are part of it and the distance from the seat.

You will be amazed at the difference in the feel of your bike with bar ends....

You can also play with the seat location you can slide it forward or back to significantly change your position.
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Old 08-21-17, 01:38 AM   #13
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badmother, Rich, thanks for your posts.

badmother, looking at photos on bike websites it seems that most Dahon bikes sold in Japan are fitted with a head tube that positions the handlebars closer to the seat than bikes available in the USA or elsewhere. Makes sense since the average height is definitely not as tall as most other places. I'm not particularly tall back home in Australia, but I tower over most people here.

Anyway I can see by flicking through photos of the locally available Dahon Speed D8 and the Dahon Speed Falco that the Speed D8 has a similar headtube to the one in the forward position as shown at the link you posted and the Speed Falco has a similar headtube to the one in the position further back.

Rich, after reading your initial comment about bar ends and then seeing them on a few bikes in the Tokyo shops, I will be definitely getting bar ends. I have my eye on the various Ergon models. The GP3 or GP4 models look good.
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Old 08-21-17, 07:32 AM   #14
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I bought a BF Pakit and added bar ends. It fits very close to how my road bike does, which is comfortable for me. I'm 6' 1", 175 lb
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Old 08-21-17, 08:15 AM   #15
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Generally the folding bike companies make one size product.. Brompton has the taller mast for bars and seat, but one frame.
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Old 08-24-17, 01:18 AM   #16
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Maybe a Brompton on a special discount

It is possible to buy a Brompton with a special stem for tall people. Take a look at their site. The problem will be to find one in your budget. But it is possible...
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Old 08-24-17, 02:39 AM   #17
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Generally the folding bike companies make one size product.. Brompton has the taller mast for bars and seat, but one frame.
As you mentioned above, Bike Friday does customize their bikes. At least some. Different seat mast for different sizes. I assume they have a couple of lengths of top tubes that they use, and stems of your choice.

Several different models depending on compactness or how racy the bike is.

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Old 09-07-17, 07:50 PM   #18
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Buy an 8, 9, 10, or 11 speed ---do not buy a 7 speed which will have a freewheel. The minimum top gear ratio you will need is about 90 gear inches.---
Thanks for this advice. I followed it and got a Dahon Speed D8. Makes perfect sense now that I have a clue about possible future upgrade routes to the gear train. I think a 10-speed setup is on the cards eventually. Regarding this, if I was to swap the rear cassette, rear derailleur, shifter, and chain to a 10-speed setup, would I also need to change the 53T front chainwheel? Or could I use it as is? Just curious as I'll use the bike as is for a while and see how I go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Imby View Post
I am going to restate my point.---I was not comfortable at all until I installed bar ends. The narrow bars are part of it and the distance from the seat.

You will be amazed at the difference in the feel of your bike with bar ends....

You can also play with the seat location you can slide it forward or back to significantly change your position.
Bar ends added. Seat moved backward. Riding position much improved. Thanks for the great advice Rick.
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Old 09-08-17, 01:24 AM   #19
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badmother, Rich, thanks for your posts.

badmother, looking at photos on bike websites it seems that most Dahon bikes sold in Japan are fitted with a head tube that positions the handlebars closer to the seat than bikes available in the USA or elsewhere.
Not head tube- stem. The head tube is the part of the frame that the stem is atatched to. Head tube has the same colour as the rest of the bike frame. The stem can be changed for a different one with a different angle (or colour)
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Old 09-08-17, 09:38 AM   #20
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Dahon's good for Tall folks

Stated earlier, look at the stem angle. It does vary in different markets.

Bikes in the USA Market that work well for tall people:

Jetstream (very high seat) can be modified with a riser handlebar. I was working on this yesterday in fact. 25.4 Handlebar Attachment

Visc SL Disc (has a very adjustable Stem Top adjustment. Can get you out forward. Also since it provides a 31.8mm Handlebar several different Handlebars can also be used to modify even more.

I've got both of these bikes at my shop at nomadic (dot) net

The Visc's are available in Japan but I don't know about the Disc/and Stem arrangement.
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Old 09-09-17, 05:06 AM   #21
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Thanks for this advice. I followed it and got a Dahon Speed D8. Makes perfect sense now that I have a clue about possible future upgrade routes to the gear train. I think a 10-speed setup is on the cards eventually. Regarding this, if I was to swap the rear cassette, rear derailleur, shifter, and chain to a 10-speed setup, would I also need to change the 53T front chainwheel? Or could I use it as is? Just curious as I'll use the bike as is for a while and see how I go.

The 53 you have will possibly work with the 10 speed chain.---Trial and error. I would give it a 50/50 chance There are so many versions of Dahon bikes in different markets. If you are going to have a shop do the work you could stop by and ask them---they can take a 10 speed chain and put it on the ring---if it seats fine you should be fine.



Bar ends added. Seat moved backward. Riding position much improved. Thanks for the great advice Rick.
Awesome
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