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Old 08-03-17, 10:23 AM   #1
IchbinJay
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Best Off Road 20" Folder

Does anyone have any great suggestions for a 20" folding mountain bike? I'm really looking to find something compact rather than a full size folder. I've seen the Dahon Jetstream (which doesn't seem to be in production anymore) and the Downtube FS. Any other bikes out there that people can recommend for trail riding? TIA
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Old 08-03-17, 10:34 AM   #2
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Any other bikes out there that people can recommend for trail riding? TIA
Airnimal Rhino: Rhino White | Airnimal
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Old 08-03-17, 11:12 AM   #3
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About the only folder that I'd actually recommend for real off-road is the Pocket Llama, and possibly not even that one. I suspect on pretty much any other folder available you're basically voiding the warranty. Gravel or dirt roads are fine. For real singletrack, you're probably gambling.
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Old 08-03-17, 11:43 AM   #4
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+1) Bike Fridays Pocket Llama is their off road, higher BB , model .. IGH will need to have a Chain tension er,
but it will be higher off the ground than a long cage RD for MTB like drivetrains..

I have a disc Rohloff Llama.

but you may find the 20" 406 wheel even with BMX tires, less than great on rocky single track.
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Old 08-03-17, 12:31 PM   #5
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Jetstream is a current available Dahon model. I would not do downhill with it but light trails are no problem. Anything crazy is not advisable as the 20 inch wheels will hook on every rut
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Old 08-03-17, 01:03 PM   #6
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Can you define what you mean by "off road"? If you are talking about dirt roads and rail trails, any bike will handle those conditions. If you are talking about storming downhill through rutted paths at 20 mph, a folder may not be the best choice.
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Old 08-04-17, 04:36 AM   #7
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Make your own by maybe combining a strong steel 20" folding frame possibly with rear suspension with some BMX wheels and perhaps adapting a front suspension fork. Admittedly its a bit of a project. There are also many listed on aliexpress but knowing the quality of the bike is extremely difficult and high risk.

As already pointed out its not going to be ideal because of the wheel size with even 26" nowadays being moved away from with 27.5" and 29" wheels. However you can still make something that is a lot of fun and pretty much fit for purpose if you are aware of its limitations. You certainly won't want fold down front handlebars and stem though when you are going over jumps I can imagine them working free and collapsing at an unfortunate moment. You'd definitely want to make sure they are always corrected adjusted at their optimium settings before going off road if you used them.
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Old 08-04-17, 09:00 AM   #8
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Birdy???
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Old 08-04-17, 09:00 AM   #9
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+1) Bike Fridays Pocket Llama is their off road, higher BB , model .. IGH will need to have a Chain tension er,
but it will be higher off the ground than a long cage RD for MTB like drivetrains..

I have a disc Rohloff Llama.

but you may find the 20" 406 wheel even with BMX tires, less than great on rocky single track.

Chain tensioner? on IGH?
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Old 08-04-17, 09:02 AM   #10
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Montague makes several different folding Mountain bikes 26", 27.5, 29 also I think---not 20" wheels but quick efficient folding Mountain bike.
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Old 08-04-17, 09:04 AM   #11
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Chain tensioner? on IGH?
It's a folding bike. Look at the BF-website, maybe you'll find out why it has a chain-tensioner... https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-b.../pocket-llama/
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Old 08-04-17, 09:07 AM   #12
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Birdy???
Some people in the US seem to use the Birdy in some off-road way. However, I would definitively not recommend this. It is definitively not designed for that kind of use. You will not only void your frame warranty but risk to hurt yourself badly. I know of more than one birdy that suddenly broke apart just by using it on the road as intended.
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Old 08-04-17, 09:12 AM   #13
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About the only folder that I'd actually recommend for real off-road is the Pocket Llama, and possibly not even that one. I suspect on pretty much any other folder available you're basically voiding the warranty. Gravel or dirt roads are fine. For real singletrack, you're probably gambling.
The Rhino should be fine. On Airnimal's webpage you can find i.e. this picture:



It is not a cheap bike but seems to be very solid, high quality and very well made (I never rode one but at least saw one in a shop). And I own an Airnimal Joey, so I can judge on the general quality of the brand which is excellent. There's even the black Rhino which in opposite to the white Rhino lacks a chain-tensioner due to the Rohloff hub. Unfortunately it is even more expensive.
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Old 08-04-17, 09:27 AM   #14
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Jetstream is a current available Dahon model. I would not do downhill with it but light trails are no problem. Anything crazy is not advisable as the 20 inch wheels will hook on every rut
On the German version of the Jetstream there is a sticker on the frame that says that it is a road bike only and any offroad use is explicitly forbidden by Dahon. So it seems to be much like an SUV that looks like offroad but is not designed for that.



I agree that people have used it for lighter mountain-biking and it can handle that. But if something breaks you are out of luck (not only regarding warranty) as the availability of parts seems to be the usual Dahon-nightmare, especially (bot not limited to) parts of the expensive German-Answer-licensed fork of the Ex-version: No exchange parts available, neither from Dahon nor from German-Answer (as it is just a design that dahon has licensed, not a German-A product). Therefor I'd not recommend it apart from if you are finding a cheap used one and are willig to risk having a brick in your garage after some time of use.


PS: According to the Dahon-webpage the Jetstream seems to be gone. And the better EX version with the Kilo-fork has AFAIR been dropped already a while ago. So either the Dahon webpage is wrong (which is not uncommon) or you are.
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Old 08-04-17, 09:48 AM   #15
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berlinaut... well. how many current jetstreams you would like ?
As I wrote. downhill is not allowed, fire roads and paths and stuff is very fine.


As for spare parts, what exactly do you want ? Nightmare ? Hardly. EX front shock ?No problem! I sold a bunch and ordered a couple cans just in case .
Its not Dahons fault if regular dealers don't pick up the phone and order parts for you. Maybe its time to find a better dealer who does that necessary service for the customer.
Warranty? What case you can tell me where there was any squabbles about Warranty ?
Of course I can only talk about US .... as I am very involved since years.


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Old 08-04-17, 10:22 AM   #16
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berlinaut... well. how many current jetstreams you would like ?
None. So essentially Dahon's webpage is wrong?

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As for spare parts, what exactly do you want ? Nightmare ? Hardly. EX front shock ?No problem! I sold a bunch and ordered a couple cans just in case .
Its not Dahons fault if regular dealers don't pick up the phone and order parts for you. Maybe its time to find a better dealer who does that necessary service for the customer.
Regarding Dahon in General the spare parts situation here in Germany IS a nightmare. Even Dahon-fanboys here will acknowlege that w/o hesitation. And even very commited Dealers regularly fail with getting parts - not only with the Jetstream. This may be historically caused by the split of Dahon and Tern and by the change of the Distributor but this does not change the situation and therefor a lot of dealers turned away from Dahon because of the lack of sustainability and the more than unsufficient situation regarding spare parts. People over here even tend to buy parts from Taobao because the official and at least European sources are few and the parts availabilty is very limited, even with ordinary parts. So they do not have an alternative. At least that's what they say - I do not own a Dahon, therefor I am not personally involved.
In any case dealers may often be a problem but in Germany it is not only the dealers, it has been (and mayb still is) the distribution and the brand itself. From what users say you get good bang for the buck with Dahon, but quality is sometimes questionable and sustainability more ore less in most cases.

Regarding the Jetstream i.e. spare bushings have been a problem. Which is a pity if you need them after relatively short use and it turns out that there are none available for your 1800 bike.

What happens to a Jetstream if you use it offroad heavily is very well written here:

DEBCAR Story

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Warranty? What case you can tell me where there was any squabbles about Warranty ?
I know some people having i.e. problems with their Dahon frames. One case with a broken frame still was within warranty for that frame but Dahon had no more frames available for the model. Bad luck. One had a bike that went just out of warranty with an unrepairably defective bolt of the main hinge. Both threw their bikes away and turned away from Dahon. And I know a couple more cases like these. Cheap prices do not help if the bike does not last. Warranty does not help if there are no spare parts available. BTW acknowledged officially from Dahon, has nothing to do with the Dealer.
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Old 08-04-17, 10:48 AM   #17
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At that incline, and size of wheels (giving a small angle of attack), this dude needs to be off, below and behind the saddle.
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Old 08-04-17, 12:37 PM   #18
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The Jetstream XP seems to have inspired this company.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/FXSA...304.4.1.L9957j







Plus a low cost alternative here (factory price so allow 2-3x the price for realistic retail price)

https://www.alibaba.com/product-deta....11.qjrNaE&s=p

Obviously the above is more mountain bike style rather than actual mountain bike.

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Old 08-04-17, 12:51 PM   #19
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About the only folder that I'd actually recommend for real off-road is the Pocket Llama, and possibly not even that one. I suspect on pretty much any other folder available you're basically voiding the warranty. Gravel or dirt roads are fine. For real singletrack, you're probably gambling.
Thanks, that's what I'm worried about. Probably why I don't see a lot of folders on the trails.
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Old 08-04-17, 01:03 PM   #20
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On the German version of the Jetstream there is a sticker on the frame that says that it is a road bike only and any offroad use is explicitly forbidden by Dahon. So it seems to be much like an SUV that looks like offroad but is not designed for that.

dahon bikes are "lifestyle products" intended for pootling around on paved bike paths with a lifespan of 3-5 years of gentle recreational usage. take my opinion for what it's worth to you, but when i first got into folding bikes it cost me about 2k and 2 years of frustration trying to use dahon bicycles for urban commuting.

sticker on the dahon boardwalk:

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Old 08-04-17, 01:04 PM   #21
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Thanks for all the feedback so far! I definitely think that the Airnimal takes the cake, although I'd have a hard time finding one in the U.S. Some other great options for more tame riding too.
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Old 08-04-17, 01:23 PM   #22
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At that incline, and size of wheels (giving a small angle of attack), this dude needs to be off, below and behind the saddle.
If you look at the angle the blue sippy tube is hanging at, it appears the picture has been rotated. It's hard to be sure, since some of the vegetation is growing vertically wrt the picture, and some is growing vertically wrt the ground.
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Old 08-04-17, 01:46 PM   #23
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Thanks for all the feedback so far! I definitely think that the Airnimal takes the cake, although I'd have a hard time finding one in the U.S. Some other great options for more tame riding too.
the bike friday llama is the most rugged production folding bike i've ever seen or owned. if differs from other bf models in that it has a higher bottom bracket, heavier gauge true temper steel tubing and double-thickness pivot hinges. they are not suspension bikes, but a significant amount of damping is engineered in the design. i don't know if it's suitable for what you have in mind, but i've used mine for everything from traveling through south east asia to commuting across new york city. a bike you can bequeath to your grandchildren...



they also make a "heavy rider" diamond frame version that's rated to 440lbs (200kg)!

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Old 08-04-17, 02:13 PM   #24
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Thanks for all the feedback so far! I definitely think that the Airnimal takes the cake, although I'd have a hard time finding one in the U.S.
I'd contact Airnimal directly. They are a small company and as far as I know very customer oriented (no personal experience).
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Old 08-04-17, 07:35 PM   #25
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Airnimal | Folding Bikes

https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-bikes/
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