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Has folding bikes replaced normal bikes for anyone?

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Has folding bikes replaced normal bikes for anyone?

Old 08-09-17, 07:01 PM
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Hisamatsu
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Has folding bikes replaced normal bikes for anyone?

Looking at BikeFriday Pocket Rocket Pro it seems to do everything beside serious road racing. Uses regular std bike parts, but just with smaller wheels and foldable. Folding bikes are a compromise, but has anyone completely forgotten about their normal bikes after getting one?

Got a carbon gravel/adventure/cyclocross bike this year that I commute and done some light weekend touring with. I've been been happy, but can't take it easily while travelling on vacation. It is making me rethink a folding bike would be better.

Should I
  1. Supplement my existing bike by buying a Brompton for travel. I like it's ability to fold small and fast for city commute, but it won't be as comfortable or versatile for touring.
  2. Sell my bike and replace it entirely with a Pocket Rocket. Give up a bit on folding speed, ease and size. This is under the assumption the pocket rocket could come close to replacing my normal sized bike.

Last edited by Hisamatsu; 08-09-17 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 08-09-17, 08:33 PM
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Can't tell you what you should do, but I sold all my other bikes after I had my BF a few months. Never picked them to ride, always picked the BF. I had fully restored two 90's Trek bikes, a 520 and a 720. Until I got my Friday, I loved them both but I realized I kept choosing the Friday all the time so it wasn't a hard decision to let them go. The little bit of speed I gave up was more than made up for by the added nimbleness and convenience.
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Old 08-09-17, 09:12 PM
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Same here. I had a top XTR spec'ed MTB when I got my Swift folder, and rode it ONCE when I had to after getting a puncture on me Swift while completing a big training ride. It felt like a truck, slow heavy steering. I never touched it again until the day I sold it. Also sold my other big-wheelers.
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Old 08-09-17, 09:27 PM
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I used to race MTB's and toured across the country with big wheeled bikes. That changed, I don't have any more big wheel bikes.

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Old 08-09-17, 09:43 PM
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I reread your two options you posted, and I recommend a third. Keep your existing bike (for now) and instead of adding the Brompton, add the Bike Friday. The BF will cost you around the same as a 6 speed Brompton. Then, after you've had the BF a little while you can decide whether to sell your other bike. If the BF isn't blowing your mind, then you can sell the BF (you'll get back most of what you paid, good resale). People do tour on Brompton's but that's not where they excel, it's a compromise.
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Old 08-09-17, 10:19 PM
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I use my folder for commuting and touring, a shopping bike for running errands, and a road bike for participating in group rides. If the mountains were more convenient to get to, I would probably have a mountain bike as well. I used to do all of my commuting on my road bike, but the folder was easier to park, and I could bring it to the office.
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Old 08-09-17, 10:24 PM
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Keep your carbon bike and supplement it with a folder of your choice.

When I purchased my Brompton my idea was this was going to be my only bike but after a few commutes, I knew this was never going to happen. I bought a pair of Rivendell's for my wife and even bought a roof rack for the car to carry the bikes. I would rather go through the hassle of mounting the bikes on the roof rack rather than throw the Bromptons in the back. The reality is the full size bikes do everything better except fold.

But lets face it a Brompton is no Bike Friday. As was said to me and it is my mantra now, "you buy the Brompton for the fold, you buy anything else for the ride".
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Old 08-09-17, 11:17 PM
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To counterbalance others here, I have all kinds of bikes and favor 700 over 26 over any folding bike. One factor is that I tend to carry a lot of junk and this is far easier on a bike with large than small wheels. Even without load, though, large wheels allow for a more steady riding.
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Old 08-10-17, 06:39 AM
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When I bought my first folder late last summer, I didn't touch my Trek road bike for 6 months. Now, for context, I'm not exactly a high mileage cyclist. I was using my Dahon as a mini-velo town ride. Plus, it had fenders and wider tires which I prefer for the winter. I thought I was going to be 100% foldie for life...

This spring, with the warmer weather, I upped the mileage and also started commuting to work and turned to the road bike. My used Dahon isn't enough bike for me to comfortably commute almost 20 miles round trip. Now I'm riding primarily on the Trek and using the Dahon when appropriate--running errands around the neighborhood, taking it on the train, picking up/returning a rental/friend's car, etc.
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Old 08-10-17, 06:53 AM
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I bought a BF Pocket Rocket in '94 and for a number of years it was my primary bike used for everything from commuting to shopping to quick club rides. But the smaller wheels go through tires significantly faster so I added a used Cannondale 700c bike and now use the BF mainly for travel.
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Old 08-10-17, 07:06 AM
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I have a Xootr Swift, a 3 speed Brompton S, a Mercier Nano minivelo, a Surly steamroller and an '82 Holdsworth Special.It would be a tough call to get rid of any of them. The Surly and Holdsworth are a little faster and more comfortable than the folders, but I really like putting the little Brompton in my car when traveling and I can carry more stuff on it than the others, so it is good for commuting. The bigger bikes are better for snow and ice. The Swift,Nano and Brompton are easily adjusted for taller or shorter folks who need something to ride when they visit. They are all paid for, all tuned in perfectly for me and all work flawlessly. I don't plan on getting rid of any of them and I enjoy them all for variety in riding.
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Old 08-10-17, 09:16 AM
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I still have some big-wheeled bikes (like my bamboo-framed 26"), but my go-to bike is a 20" folder. I prefer the responsiveness, and the convenience, of a folder.
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Old 08-10-17, 09:21 AM
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For OP: N+1, add a new bike, keep the other.


I got out my Trekking Bike With the Racks on it, for my Grocery store Trip, with empty panniers the food came back in.
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Old 08-10-17, 07:49 PM
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Ultimately, you know that you'd want more than one bike.


Keep the current full sized bike and get the BF PR to supplement.


I have tri-bike and small wheeled bikes, for the fastest of rides, fast group rides and any ride that requires the speed/efficiency, I will use my tri-bike.
For travel, multi modal commute or just proving to ppl that a small bike can also make it (eg. 200km brevet), I use the Tyrell IVE.
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Old 08-10-17, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
For travel, multi modal commute or just proving to ppl that a small bike can also make it (eg. 200km brevet), I use the Tyrell IVE.
Tyrell IVE looks like a cross between a brompton and BF. Where are they available to purchase?
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Old 08-10-17, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Hisamatsu View Post
Tyrell IVE looks like a cross between a brompton and BF. Where are they available to purchase?

I live in Singapore where its available with the local distributor here.
Its also available in Thailand (Bangkok), HK, Malaysia and Japan.

Sorry, but I don't know about the US.
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Old 08-10-17, 09:57 PM
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N==1

All I have is my Montague Swissbike X50 --- almost have it set up as I'd like (just want one more tail light, and debating on the brake lights which tie into the brakes (but looking at my bike from here, I think the racks/panniers would obscure them, so that's that).

That said, I am planning on some more replacement parts:

- I'd like to replace the current modest steel rack w/ a Montague Rackstand
- nicer wheels and Serfas Drifter tires (I'd keep the current tires for winter use)
- debating on replacement handlebars --- I'd like something straighter, and am curious if any of the folding options would be viable
- a nicer saddle
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Old 08-11-17, 01:38 AM
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I have close to a dozen bikes and room to store them. As they age they are not worth much on the market. I started buying folders last year with a Swift and then I bought a Dahon MUd10---I bought some old Rolf wheels and durano 1.1 tires---the bike is almost 2 pounds lighter and significantly faster. I also bought a electric mid drive kit from Luna and put it on one of my old mountain bikes. Most of the riding I do is on the folders----they are addicting.

However I put close to 40 miles on my ebike today running errands. 20 mph with virtually no work on my part is kinda fun.

How many bikes is enough? One or two more than you have right now.

I packed my Swift up once for travel and I had to take it down to nothing left together---fork off even.

I had a bag built and have flown with my Dahon a couple of times and all I do is fold---remove pedals and derailleur stuff it in and go.---5 minutes. My bag is lined with an old waffle style mattress topper. It is probably oversize but since it is under 30 pounds nobody has measured it, only weighed it as I checked the bag. I might try the Swift in the bag, not sure.
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Old 08-11-17, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick Imby View Post
I have close to a dozen bikes and room to store them. As they age they are not worth much on the market. I started buying folders last year with a Swift and then I bought a Dahon MUd10---I bought some old Rolf wheels and durano 1.1 tires---the bike is almost 2 pounds lighter and significantly faster. I also bought a electric mid drive kit from Luna and put it on one of my old mountain bikes. Most of the riding I do is on the folders----they are addicting.

However I put close to 40 miles on my ebike today running errands. 20 mph with virtually no work on my part is kinda fun.

How many bikes is enough? One or two more than you have right now.

I packed my Swift up once for travel and I had to take it down to nothing left together---fork off even.

I had a bag built and have flown with my Dahon a couple of times and all I do is fold---remove pedals and derailleur stuff it in and go.---5 minutes. My bag is lined with an old waffle style mattress topper. It is probably oversize but since it is under 30 pounds nobody has measured it, only weighed it as I checked the bag. I might try the Swift in the bag, not sure.
Rick, do you still have to remove the wheels for the flight?
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Old 08-11-17, 05:50 AM
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I have the BF NWT and road bikes, mtn bikes, etc. I would keep your road bike. Although I love the BF for almost everything it still doesn't compare to a carbon roadbike at speed. It is great for slower group rides, touring, travel, city and shopping and a fantastic bike........but!!!!
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Old 08-11-17, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by kayakindude View Post
Rick, do you still have to remove the wheels for the flight?
No I got the idea for the bag off this forum. I had the mattress pad ready to throw out.

I don't take the wheels off now. I fold the Dahon up take the pedals off and the rear derailleru. About the only things on the bike that are bendable are the cranks/ chainguard and the rear derailler attachment.

On the outside of the bag I had straps sewn on. They are attached to the bag every 6 inches. I then run rope through the attachments in an x to keep the bike pulled together tight,

Foam pipe insulation on the handlebars and some other parts keep it from getting scratched.

I have flown a few times and never been questioned about the size. I think it is a bit over size but I have not been charged for it.

I fly united all the time. A couple other guys have said they do the same as me. It wasn't my idea.
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Old 08-11-17, 10:45 PM
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I have a half dozen bikes but most ride a Specialized Tricross Comp (gravel/ADV) and Brompton. I may be downsizing from a home to condo soon and will probably get rid of everything but the Brompton. As it is, I split exercise rides pretty evenly between the Tricross and Brompton, but the Brompton is my go to for the city, utility, travel (car), and bicycle touring (I don't commute any more). I've tuned the Brompton to be nearly as comfortable and efficient as the Tricross so the versatility of the fold makes it an easy decision for me.
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Old 08-12-17, 12:43 AM
  #23  
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I have 3 folders, 1 minivelo, and 3 full sized bikes (I would have 4, but my oldest son needed a bike). I'm looking to get a fatbike soon,...

I switch between bikes, depending on where I'm riding, and if I'm traveling. Each has it usage/purpose. I'd say have at least 1 of each type,...you never know what might be down the path/road/trail/beachfront.
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Old 08-13-17, 11:41 AM
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I always had a stable of 5. Then we decided to hit the road in our Motorhome. I left with an Xootr Swift and a recumbent trike. The trike has since been sold. The Swift is about to hit 4k miles for the year. I miss my trike but it is not practical at times. The Swift is great but the super stiff ride and 20 inch wheels are taking their toll. I am now in the market for a full size hybrid that I will carry on the back of my car.
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Old 08-14-17, 02:37 PM
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I have a 20 inch Dahon and a full size bike. I ride both about equally. The Dahon would be punishing to take on a mountain bike trail or on rougher surfaces. The small bike is fine for smooth surfaces....otherwise it's punishing.
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