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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 10-01-17, 11:39 AM   #1
Banzai
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20" wheel, belt drive, almost as good fold as a Brompton

There's where it is.

I know the Brompton is the best for the fold, hands down. However, I'm willing to compromise on the fold to get the following:

Belt drive with standard components.

20" wheels so I can run studded Marathons: this will see winter use.

Really just more standard components all around.

Tern looked like a good option, but I've read too many stories about frame failures. Compromising on the fold means obviously not quite as elegant and compact, but still want multi-modal friendly.
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Old 10-01-17, 02:55 PM   #2
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You might like at Downtube. I picked up a Downtube 8H for my wife this past spring. Comes with a 8 speed internal hub and belt drive. Has been a good bike for our camper. The internal hub makes shifting easy and will not be damaged while traveling. No more greasy leg with the belt drive.

The only component that I have issues with is the handle bar lock mechanism. Not easy to use, difficult to engage or release and poorly engineered.

But over all, for the money and what you get I'm very satisfied.
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Old 10-01-17, 02:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banzai View Post

20" wheels so I can run studded Marathons: this will see winter use.
You can get studded 349 tires (that Brompton uses).

(But not 305 tires)
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Old 10-01-17, 07:25 PM   #4
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Definitely look at Downtube. They have a couple of bikes (8H and 11H) that seem to meet your requirements.
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Old 10-01-17, 08:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
There's where it is.

I know the Brompton is the best for the fold, hands down. However, I'm willing to compromise on the fold to get the following:

Belt drive with standard components.

20" wheels so I can run studded Marathons: this will see winter use.

Really just more standard components all around.

Tern looked like a good option, but I've read too many stories about frame failures. Compromising on the fold means obviously not quite as elegant and compact, but still want multi-modal friendly.
How about a Brompton with a Kinetics Belt Drive kit Brompton Belt Drive ? Kinetics
Then use studded Schwalbe Winter in 349 size https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_t...d_tires/winter
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Old 10-01-17, 08:30 PM   #6
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See post #3:
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Old 10-01-17, 10:12 PM   #7
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I didn't know until this thread that Schwalbe makes studded 349 tires. Good to know.

I have a BF Haul-a-Day, and I run 20" Schwalbe Marathon Winters on it during the icy months. Speaking of, I'm a tremendous fan of Bike Friday since acquiring my Haul-a-Day...but not so much a fan of the PakiT. Maybe I would be, but I've seen images and video of the TikiT, and the PakiT seems so inelegant by comparison.

It doesn't have that slick quick-fold. It doesn't roll. The detaching steerer seems both hokey, and a total PITA. Compared to the old TikiT (which I should have maybe looked at when I had the chance) this one seems like an inferior compromise...only an inferior compromise that comes with a hefty price tag. Not impressed.
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Old 10-02-17, 08:00 AM   #8
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I hear you on the Tikit vs Pakit. It seems as though Bike Friday came up with a Brompton alternative with the Tikit, only to discontinue it to gear up production for something else.

I've read that the Tikit was hard for them to produce, which might help explain why BF didn't want to make it anymore, and I'm sure the stem recall didn't help matters any.

I remember when the Air bikes (Air Friday, Air Glide, & Air Llama) were discontinued. I believe the official word was that BF was having trouble sourcing the titanium beam after their Russian supplier pulled out. Funny, there was a recall with those titanium beams (just like the stem recall with the Tikit), so was that the real reason rather than sourcing issues? We'll never know.

I consider myself fortunate in that I got an AirGlide in my size before they were discontinued (but I paid through the nose, $3300 if memory serves), and that I got a Tikit on the used market ($350, but I had to drive 850 mi. each way to get it) before they were discontinued. Love 'em both, very different bikes, but each happily serving its own purpose.
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Old 10-02-17, 09:57 AM   #9
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if you look at the difference in the number of frame parts , the Pak It is much simpler,

they and the redesigned NWT, a 20" wheel. ( there's your 20" wheel belt drive potential )

share the feature of hinging the rear section, ahead of to include the BB, so belt drive is possible..

their Silk was a rear fork , so belt skipped over the open end, ( Da Hon has some rear fork frames, too )
the rear loop stays of the others have an opening that is unbolted to let the belt pass thru..


Brompton has its rear frame section hinge Behind the BB, Bike Fridays Pocket Llama does too.
They have chain tensioners, that take up the slack when the rear fold loosens the chain.


Tikit steerer tube, which was 2 tubes sleeved over each other was replaced by a single thicker wall tube, machined down to similar dimensions..




....

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-02-17 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 10-06-17, 08:39 AM   #10
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Working on a Dahon Mu N360 with Belt right now. One option. Could possibly downgrade to a Sram or Nexus internal tran if you were interested.

You can definitely get studded snows that fit the N360. (406 - 20").

In 451 a Mu Rohloff is an option (or a simple Mu Uno w/ Belt). Both come with belts standard. Not sure about availability of 451 studded tires though.
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