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.

Is it worth buying?

Reply

Old 12-06-17, 05:20 AM
  #1  
AndyV
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Is it worth buying?

Looking for a reasonably priced folding bike. Have seen a B'Twin tilt 500. Are they any good. From what I have seen, wheels & brakes are really not fit for purpose. If I can upgrade these two items would it be worth a purchase
AndyV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-17, 06:09 AM
  #2  
Bonzo Banana
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Merry Old England
Posts: 567

Bikes: Muddyfox Evolve 200, Bicycles4u Paris Explorer, Raleigh Twenty Stowaway, Bickerton California, Saracen Xile, Kona Hoss Deluxe, Vertigo Carnaby, Exodus Havoc, Kona Lanai, Revolution Cuillin Sport, Dawes Kingpin, Bickerton, NSU & Elswick Cosmopolitan

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
How much will you weigh with clothes and any stuff you are carrying? The reason I ask is normally btwin bikes have low weight limits. 100kg minus the weight of the bike which means you are looking at 85kg or less and even someone who weighs 75kg may not be within those weight limits by the time they are clothed and the stuff they are carrying especially if they have added other accessories to the bike.

If you are within the weight limits then I think its reasonable value for the components featured. Which country are you in? If the UK look at the Carrera folding bikes from Halfords which have much stronger frames and better components or maybe the Go outdoor compass folding bike. Seems good value with a cassette based drivetrain.

Compass Fast Forward Folding Bike | GO Outdoors
Bonzo Banana is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-17, 09:07 AM
  #3  
tudorowen1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cleethorpes..the last resort..UK
Posts: 326

Bikes: Brompton S6L ,Bike Friday NWT, Phillips 8 speed folder, Trek 930, Thorn XTC

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)
The Raleigh Stowaway from Halfords is an excellent buy at 250..7 speed,mudguards ,rack and the handlepost folds to the outside and not the middle so you can leave it adjusted to suit yourself and not lengthen it everytime to fold..All this bike needs is a cassette hub on the back and in my opinion would be the best value one on the market.

Last edited by tudorowen1; 12-06-17 at 09:10 AM.
tudorowen1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-17, 11:08 AM
  #4  
AndyV
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Thanks for the replies & advice. I am resident in France so no Halfords . Decathlon are the only ones who have serious folding bikes. There is no chance of testing one without buying.
AndyV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-17, 11:59 AM
  #5  
Bonzo Banana
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Merry Old England
Posts: 567

Bikes: Muddyfox Evolve 200, Bicycles4u Paris Explorer, Raleigh Twenty Stowaway, Bickerton California, Saracen Xile, Kona Hoss Deluxe, Vertigo Carnaby, Exodus Havoc, Kona Lanai, Revolution Cuillin Sport, Dawes Kingpin, Bickerton, NSU & Elswick Cosmopolitan

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Originally Posted by AndyV View Post
Thanks for the replies & advice. I am resident in France so no Halfords . Decathlon are the only ones who have serious folding bikes. There is no chance of testing one without buying.
No options on Amazon or ebay in France? The bike actually looks quite nice a big step up from their very entry level models but the basic Shimano derailleur and freewheel are a weak point for long term reliability and all weather riding. It looks like a bike designed for fairly light use. Definitely worth checking out before purchase even if you can't test ride it.

The information on frame weight limits is in the manual here.

http://www.btwin.com/notices/wp-cont...5V_EN_PE12.pdf

If you are capable of adjusting and maintaining a bike yourself it may be worth consider getting from a high value box shifter who pretty much operates on a slim margin but can do little more than post the bike to you. You will need to do careful final assembly and all the safety checks.

Good value model below which I believe is available across Europe as someone bought one from Germany and was very pleased with it. Also listed on ebay and amazon. Instead of the low end components of the btwin you get some decent wheels, claris derailleur, casette rather than freewheel and a pretty premium spec for a folding bike. I don't know its weight limits on the frame but will certainly be better than the btwin.

ALLOY FOLDING BIKE - Greenwaycycles
Bonzo Banana is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-17, 10:39 AM
  #6  
AndyV
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
At that price, why not

Well this one is. It was luck that I over heard a bloke with a camping car mention that he was looking to going electric as he was finding it a bit hard going on his present bike. Long story short but for 80Eu it had to be a bargain & a good entry level for a folding bike. I couldn't believe it was the very same type of bike I looked at in Decathlon a few days ago. Will look at what I can & need to upgrade. Apart for the wheels & brakes , what I didn't notice until I rode it home (15ks) was the need for better handlebars. Will have to look taking into account that the fold is not compromised. Any suggestions?
AndyV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-17, 12:39 PM
  #7  
Bonzo Banana
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Merry Old England
Posts: 567

Bikes: Muddyfox Evolve 200, Bicycles4u Paris Explorer, Raleigh Twenty Stowaway, Bickerton California, Saracen Xile, Kona Hoss Deluxe, Vertigo Carnaby, Exodus Havoc, Kona Lanai, Revolution Cuillin Sport, Dawes Kingpin, Bickerton, NSU & Elswick Cosmopolitan

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Is it the same Tilt 500 you mentioned in the first post. If so if you are changing the wheels then are you planning to change the rear wheel from a freewheel hub to a freehub? Seems a good upgrade, not only will it give you likely stronger wheels and hub but the gears will be more accurate and easy to adjust and you'll have more flexibility with regard gears depending on the 7 speed cassette you fit. Taylors wheels of Germany do good quality 20" double wall wheels included a rear freehub wheel for reasonable money.
Bonzo Banana is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-17, 04:10 AM
  #8  
AndyV
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Thanks for the heads up on Taylors wheels, looks very reasonably priced. Working on this bike is a nightmare, all the bolts & nuts I have had to undo & then tighten have had to replace because of the soft metal .
I would hate to encounter a back wheel puncture on this bike out on the road, will have to carry one of those foam gel quick fix jobs .
AndyV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-17, 05:11 AM
  #9  
Bonzo Banana
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Merry Old England
Posts: 567

Bikes: Muddyfox Evolve 200, Bicycles4u Paris Explorer, Raleigh Twenty Stowaway, Bickerton California, Saracen Xile, Kona Hoss Deluxe, Vertigo Carnaby, Exodus Havoc, Kona Lanai, Revolution Cuillin Sport, Dawes Kingpin, Bickerton, NSU & Elswick Cosmopolitan

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Not surprised about the bolts. In another forum I saw comments about the basic single speed Hoptown/Tilt and it was very low end. The bottom bracket didn't fit the bottom bracket shell it was loose and the single speed freewheel was a very low grade indian made freewheel normally found on small children's bikes. Very poor quality and constantly clicking. Considering the bike I think was 130 here in the UK and had no fitted accessories and such a simple drivetrain with no derailleur, shifter etc I think they could have afforded to have used better components. The trouble is many people buy and recommend by brand but the reality is most brands have good and bad bikes and that bike was I feel unacceptable quality for the price. Saying that 130 isn't a lot of money for a bike but you do get competing bikes at the same price point with better components all round.

If you did buy the Tilt 500 with 7 speed gears and hate gripshifters like me you can get a simple tourney 7 speed shifter set for low money from ebay.

Mountain Bike SL-TX30 Thumb Gear Shifter 3x7 Speed Shift Lever Set for Shimano | eBay

Unfortunately they come in pairs with the front shifter as well which you won't need but its cheap money. I have big hands and a strong grip and really don't get on with gripshifters and often find I end up changing gear when I don't want to which can be dangerous.

If you don't change the rear wheel and keep with stock a hardened chromoly rear axle would be a good upgrade. The type often used on bmx bikes. Just means you can eliminate or improve many of the issues with freewheel hubs. By preventing the rear axle getting a slight bend by using a stronger axle you can improve shifting, braking and reduce bearings wear plus have the ability to do pavement drops etc. If you have soft axle nuts you probably have a soft weak axle as well that they are attached to and such low grade components are a liability. A decent rear axle isn't hugely expensive but can make huge improvements to the bike in how it functions and its long term reliability. You don't normally have to upgrade the front axle as there is far less weight on it.
Bonzo Banana is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-17, 10:25 AM
  #10  
AndyV
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Thanks again Bonzo B . I am certainly pleased I did not pay for a brand new one at the equivalent of 260. What I have to decide is what to upgrade at what cost & is it really worth it. I haven't folded it down & taken it on a bus/train etc yet. Testing the purpose of this bike will take place when I have peace of mind with using some of the components. Probably change the rear axle for starters. Have to be a mail order as almost all the stuff for this type of bike around here will be the low end.
AndyV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-17, 03:54 PM
  #11  
Bonzo Banana
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Merry Old England
Posts: 567

Bikes: Muddyfox Evolve 200, Bicycles4u Paris Explorer, Raleigh Twenty Stowaway, Bickerton California, Saracen Xile, Kona Hoss Deluxe, Vertigo Carnaby, Exodus Havoc, Kona Lanai, Revolution Cuillin Sport, Dawes Kingpin, Bickerton, NSU & Elswick Cosmopolitan

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
A good source of high quality good value chromoly axles in the UK is weldtite but I don't know their availability in France. I'm sure there is a similar company over there. You'll need to measure your existing axle.

Bike Bits | Weldtite

Over here the difference between a high quality and lower quality axle can be as little as a pound.

There are uk companies that I think have free postage to France over a certain value which isn't too high if you are struggling to source in France. Some of the specialist bmx bike shops have the best axles though.
Bonzo Banana is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-17, 04:05 AM
  #12  
AndyV
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Thing with this bike is almost everything on it is lower end stuff. What seems good is the frame which comes with a life time guarantee, so that might prompt a slow change for upgrades. Get the essentials done first.
AndyV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-17, 04:10 AM
  #13  
Bonzo Banana
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Merry Old England
Posts: 567

Bikes: Muddyfox Evolve 200, Bicycles4u Paris Explorer, Raleigh Twenty Stowaway, Bickerton California, Saracen Xile, Kona Hoss Deluxe, Vertigo Carnaby, Exodus Havoc, Kona Lanai, Revolution Cuillin Sport, Dawes Kingpin, Bickerton, NSU & Elswick Cosmopolitan

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Originally Posted by AndyV View Post
Thing with this bike is almost everything on it is lower end stuff. What seems good is the frame which comes with a life time guarantee, so that might prompt a slow change for upgrades. Get the essentials done first.
Surprised how low quality the bike sounds. That is Decathlon's mid price folding bike and was expecting it to be a good step up from their base models although saying that its a very nice looking frame so perhaps that is where the bulk of the money went. If you spin the rear wheel and the freewheel wobble is excessive then you may want to upgrade the wheel. Many of the cheaper hubs have poor inaccurate machining of the threads into the freewheel hub which can cause such wobble and mean setting the derailleur needs a tighter tolerance, add to that the basic tourney derailleur and you have many factors that can make shifting poor before you even add in a slight bend to the axle. The tourney derailleur is not great performing when wet and dirty. A upgrade to a Altus or Acera derailleur taken from Shimano's mountain bike range can improve reliability and resistance to the elements.

For me I tend to upgrade to mean less maintenance in the future and smoother operation, many others upgrade for speed or bling from the outset. However the real necessary upgrades will be revealed as you ride the bike.
Bonzo Banana is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-17, 06:55 AM
  #14  
AndyV
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
I forgot to mention this bike is the Tilt 500 & I believe is the top range of folders from Decathlon. There is a Hoptown model & as far as I know is a E bike which is obviously more expensive. Lucky I got mine for just 80 quid , can't moan at that price but to make it fit for my purpose I need to change components.
AndyV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-17, 02:22 PM
  #15  
Bonzo Banana
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Merry Old England
Posts: 567

Bikes: Muddyfox Evolve 200, Bicycles4u Paris Explorer, Raleigh Twenty Stowaway, Bickerton California, Saracen Xile, Kona Hoss Deluxe, Vertigo Carnaby, Exodus Havoc, Kona Lanai, Revolution Cuillin Sport, Dawes Kingpin, Bickerton, NSU & Elswick Cosmopolitan

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
There used to be a Tilt 700/900 model with an instant fold it was their high end model and a unique design to Decathlon.


There also used to be a Btwin model 500 which was clearly a badge slap on a chinese designed folding bike. Good solid bike although some low end components. Similar to the Carrera model in Halfords for the frame but with a much inferior freewheel based drivetrain.


Then Decathlon bought out a sort of Tilt inspired model to match the 700/900 series models but without the special fold and using lower end components than the standard 500 which is the model you have.


Clearly not a badge slap but their own unique design and maybe that unique design introduced additional costs which further reduced the quality of some of the components they could fit on it.

80 is a huge bargain though for what it is. I personally would never have paid full price for one. Just looking at that video above at 1:20 into the video the derailleur looks like Shimano's worst derailleur the one they won't even show on their website and on the cheaper folding bike it only has an even worse sunrace derailleur. This is like the components you see on toys r us children's bikes. They seem like very low end bikes for me. The Tilt 700/900 was quite a classy folding bike though that didn't look compromised by poor components.

The 900 is still available over here at 400 although the image shows 700 on the bike. I believe its also the only btwin bike that has a decent rider weight limit which doesn't surprise me looking at that chunky frame and the large spoke count of the wheels. In fact that rear wheel looks seriously weird the way the spokes go to alternate sides on the rim, haven't seem that before. Actually ignore that bit I can see now that the wheels are actually both completely inline with each other so it looks like one wheel from the camera angle.

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/tilt-900...d_8328461.html

Last edited by Bonzo Banana; 12-21-17 at 02:34 PM. Reason: update
Bonzo Banana is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-17, 03:19 AM
  #16  
AndyV
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
The wobble test on the freewheel was done as you suggested & it does wobble about a bit , so it will be a wheel set change & fit a cassette. The bike is fitted with btwin's own tyre brand which is supposed to have puncture resistance. No idea if it really is what is says, will take them of to have a look when I get the Taylor's replacement. The derailleur will be next on the list. Once again thanks for all your help & suggestions
AndyV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-17, 05:49 AM
  #17  
Bonzo Banana
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Merry Old England
Posts: 567

Bikes: Muddyfox Evolve 200, Bicycles4u Paris Explorer, Raleigh Twenty Stowaway, Bickerton California, Saracen Xile, Kona Hoss Deluxe, Vertigo Carnaby, Exodus Havoc, Kona Lanai, Revolution Cuillin Sport, Dawes Kingpin, Bickerton, NSU & Elswick Cosmopolitan

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
There are reviews on the tyres on the Decathlon site and some of them don't seem that positive. I personally wouldn't change them unless I had to though, its really down to whether they are an acceptable quality for you. Fitting a 7 speed cassette on a modern 8-10 speed freehub will require a 3-4mm spacer I think. Cheapest source is often aliexpress. You'll need to reset the derailleur high and low limiters etc. Your existing derailleur will be compatible unless you go for a cassette with a very wide granny gear. I suspect your existing granny gear is 32t on your freewheel and so ideal to match that for the new cassette. Amazon can be cheap for cassettes in my experience definitely worth considering them along other shops. Here in the UK it looks like you can get a altus derailleur, 7 speed cassette and spacer for about 25 delivered from amazon with the derailleur and cassette both being warehouse deals perhaps something similar is available at Amazon france. You may find cheaper especially with the January sales coming up.

Note if you end up with a spare freewheel hub 20" rear wheel, freewheel, derailleur and gear selector you basically have a kit you can sell on ebay etc as a single speed to 7 speed conversion perhaps aimed at those who bought a Hoptown 300/Tilt 100 and decide single speed isn't for them. Especially as they were parts originally fitted to a Decathlon bike and are actually superior to the derailleur and gear setup on the geared basic Hoptown which is a more basic 6 gear setup with non-Shimano derailleur. Just an idea.

Last edited by Bonzo Banana; 12-24-17 at 06:17 AM. Reason: Update
Bonzo Banana is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Terms of Service