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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 12-11-17, 06:35 PM   #1
superzxq
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Is sharing bike getting more popular in your country?

I am living in China where sharing bikes are everywhere especially in the tier 1 and tier 2 cities. Equipped with huge funds from Internet Giants and Investors, they are going out of China and expanding globally ( Mobike and OFO entered EU and US market). I am sure sharing bikes are an important alternative and rival products for folding bike. What do you guys think? Will folding bike become a smaller nich product in the future?
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Old 12-11-17, 06:56 PM   #2
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Where I live, bike share is taking off. But I don't see a significant decrease in folding bike sales anytime soon.

Bike share is great if you're in a major city, but if you want to travel outside a major city, you're going to need your own bike. Plus bike share bikes tend to be one-size-fits-all, which for many folks (myself included) just doesn't work. I need a bike that is sized to my frame, is relatively lightweight and has the gearing and features I want. No way can bike share bikes approach that.
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Old 12-11-17, 07:23 PM   #3
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We have both docked and dockless bike-sharing in my city. I never used the docked bikes but have used the dockless bikes. The dockless and 1/2 price cheaper aspects were really persuasive. They are great for when I want to mix and combine different modes of transportation--granted this only happens on an occasional basis. I don't want to and can't carry my Dahon around (it's used almost exclusively as a minivelo).

Bike sharing has definitely decreased my desire and urgency to buy a lightweight folder.

The dockless bikes are completely crap though. Good for about 2-3 miles at best which is fine for my city and especially since cost is based on 30 minute increments. If I'm riding more miles, I use my own bikes.
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Old 12-11-17, 11:16 PM   #4
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Bike share is everywhere in my location, dock and dockless. But I don't see it eliminating folding bikes because they are heavy as heck and single speed and slow and cumbersome to ride. My location is not flat (SF Bay Area) so their utility is limited to selected areas. Fine if you want to hop on one to get lunch on your lunch break. Great if you are a tourist. But for commuting to work or riding for pleasure/exercise, they are not desirable. I've actually seen a lot more folders lately, more e bikes, more personal bikes in general.

Share bikes will get you around downtown but they won't get you there and back without a lot of hard work. Too hilly.
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Old 12-12-17, 06:11 AM   #5
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I'm out in the sticks, rural area in England. I've seen a few bike share bikes in some cities I've visited, Bristol, Bath etc but imagine it will be a while before Yeovil gets a bike share system. I read recently of the large collapse of OFO bikes in China and ebay uk has many bike share bikes from 'getb' going cheap to purchase at 45 delivered which is an amazingly low price for such a bike delivered. I assume that scheme has collapsed and assets are being sold off cheap. I couldn't resist buying a bike as I had vouchers and stuff to use so ended up costing me less than 40 delivered. I thought I might raid it for parts and also wondered if the wheels would fit an old Raleigh Twenty with a bit of effort. They are solid tyres and drum brakes. The frame has been reinforced for the european market with a large extra welded section at the base of the frame above the bottom bracket. Taking the weight limit from 85kg to 100kg but to be honest it looks like it would be capable of well above that 125kg seems possible for the frame. The wheels may be the weak point. Especially as the solid tyres have less give so the wheels will get more abuse by any rider. I was expecting the saddle to be really soft/springy to compensate for for the ride on solid tyres but it is not. An uncomfortable bike that really needs a suspension seat post and softer saddle.

Slow, heavy, strong, simple, reliable, easy are words I'd associate with the bike definitely not the words comfortable or fast.

If such bikes are going to make up many of the cycle share schemes they could give people a poor impression of cycling. The city of Bath has some fairly old bumpy roads, cobblestones etc. I would not want to ride a getb bike on such roads. The getb bike as far as I can tell is very typical of such chinese made share bikes no better or worse.

A folding bike has many great features, fits in a flat easily, whole family practically can ride the same bike (not at the same time of course), easy to carry and transport in a vehicle. They are nippy around traffic with small wheels and easy mounting on and off.

It really wouldn't surprise me if a bike share system starts using folding bikes in the future. The storage in our cities could be much easier especially on the eyes. They could actually be stored in metal lockers with 2 vertical levels for storage. Protecting them more from the elements.

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Old 12-12-17, 06:22 AM   #6
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In my region I've seen few bike share. But they are unpopular, because people think, that everybody should have his own bike.
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Old 12-12-17, 10:16 AM   #7
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Here in Denmark, share bikes are mostly for tourists. We use our bikes every day, so sharing doesn't make sense.

It's also possible to bring your bike on the trains and busses, so we always use our own bike(s).
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Old 12-12-17, 11:02 AM   #8
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Certainly not in small US towns.. only a couple massive cities, I don't live in, those.
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Old 12-12-17, 03:53 PM   #9
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A good step won for cycling in Madrid

Here in Madrid we have an almost new dock electric bike sharing system. It has won many new cyclists and it is growing slowly, but growing. Main problem for me is that the docking stations are far from the border line of the city. Some years ago i was the only ciclist in my commute. Today i counted more than 40 in a 16 min ride. Sharing electric bikes has changed the face of the city.
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Old 12-12-17, 04:07 PM   #10
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Citi Bike in New York City publishes its data here. There are millions of trips made every year. The city has a population of about 8 or 9 million people.

Use of bicycles is increasing, and use of this bike share company's service is also increasing.
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Old 12-12-17, 05:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pampera View Post
Here in Madrid we have an almost new dock electric bike sharing system. It has won many new cyclists and it is growing slowly, but growing. Main problem for me is that the docking stations are far from the border line of the city. Some years ago i was the only ciclist in my commute. Today i counted more than 40 in a 16 min ride. Sharing electric bikes has changed the face of the city.
One of the new dockless companies here is Jump which offers e-bikes. I downloaded their app and have a $10 credit but have yet to ride one. Their fleet is still tiny but I'm excited to try one out. I think e-bike sharing may be a game-changer. Obviously it's a big advantage for hilly terrain. I see it as a way to utilize e-bikes without shouldering all the burdens of owning an expensive e-bike: the cost of buying one, keeping it secure and storing a heavy bike.

Jump, though dockless, requires its bikes to be locked to something not just to itself. Quite sensible as their bikes are no doubt much more expensive than the typical dockless bike. It may be solution the other dockless companies consider as vandalism and theft are big issues. The problem is that means the city needs to substantially increase the number of bike racks. Still incredulous when I pull up to a business area or building with many commercial businesses and I can't find a rack for my bike.

Last edited by tdonline; 12-12-17 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 12-12-17, 07:12 PM   #12
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...iders-deposits

Uh oh ....
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Old 12-13-17, 12:38 AM   #13
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I always thought the Chinese model of dockless sharing was crazy. Human nature is to abuse the system and that happened in China with bikes being left out where no one would ever find them again.

In Chicago, it's a docking system and if you're a user, you like that because your credit card is out a thousand bucks if you lose a bike. I've no need to rent in CHicago as I have seven bikes in my garage, but I have rented a similar bike in Minneapolis and found it quite reasonable as a tourist. If I lived there and commuted, I figure lower cost options would apply.

These bikes are still heavy, although I must confess that younger folks in Chicago run away from me on those "heavier" bikes.
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Old 12-13-17, 05:51 AM   #14
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They are in various Australian cities where abuse often happens. There is even a youtube channel or something where a guy fishes these bikes out of the river. But in Australia you have the much hated helmet law which interferes badly.
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Old 12-13-17, 06:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superzxq View Post
I am living in China where sharing bikes are everywhere especially in the tier 1 and tier 2 cities. Equipped with huge funds from Internet Giants and Investors, they are going out of China and expanding globally ( Mobike and OFO entered EU and US market). I am sure sharing bikes are an important alternative and rival products for folding bike. What do you guys think? Will folding bike become a smaller nich product in the future?
I've never seen a share bike i world like to ride. They are for the most part clunkers beneath my station. I have my standards, you know. Sorry.
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Old 12-13-17, 01:00 PM   #16
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We have an infestation of the dockless ones here in Parts Unknown. The latest models feature generator hubs, LED lights, drum brakes and seven speed Shimano Nexus internal gear hubs - pretty spiffy. They also have near-zero maintenance airless tires fitted, which is a drag - literally.

I saw two teenaged boys riding a couple of the bikes recently. They, or someone before them, somehow removed one of the wirelessly linked rear wheel locks, turning the machine into a free use bike. The other had been converted to free use by the application of a large pair of bolt cutters to the rear wheel locking bar. I'm watching the evolving business plan for this venture. So far it seems to be based on the underpants gnomes model.
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Old 12-13-17, 01:11 PM   #17
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These companies are burning through huge amounts of cash. At least one has thankfully gone bust.
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Old 12-13-17, 09:23 PM   #18
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When I was in Shanghai three years ago, I didn't see many share bikes at all, but two weeks ago when I visited Shanghai again, they were everywhere in the thousands. They've become a huge public nuisance, clogging the sidewalks and streets, with damaged and abandoned bikes to be found everywhere. Seems like a good idea that got waaaaay out of control.
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Old 12-13-17, 09:30 PM   #19
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Uh oh ....
There was another recent article on share bikes in The Guardian titled Chinese bike share graveyard a monument to industry's 'arrogance' dated 25th November, 2017 (I can't post the actual link because I don't have enough posts yet) which is even more especially the photo of the huge pile of dumped share bikes the size of a football pitch.
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Old 12-13-17, 09:46 PM   #20
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As for folding bike shares ..no .. too much liability risk, and no need to add more complexity to a machine that will be abused by customers.
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Old 12-13-17, 10:53 PM   #21
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The Guardian pics are astounding... I have seen pics of these bikes forming huge piles on sidewalks and in alleyways but nothing like that.

Crappy economics. Use dollars to build a bike and get only pennies of earnings.

Clearly a funded form of pollution. Recycle that!
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Old 12-14-17, 04:55 AM   #22
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As for folding bike shares ..no .. too much liability risk, and no need to add more complexity to a machine that will be abused by customers.
I think there is a Brompton share scheme in the UK. A folding bike would have to be returned to a locker and storage would be less of a nuisance. It would be more compact. Yes folding and unfolding the bike could be more of an issue. To be honest I see folding bike share schemes as more premium, used in places where they want more concealment of the bikes, maybe more historic places. I guess it would be more like a share scheme for a day rather than a short trip. I.e. hire a folding bike lets say for 5 for the whole day. Wherever you go you take it with you either inside or locked outside and at the end of the day return it to its locker. You would prebook it its collection locker and possibly a return locker. If sharing bikes becomes popular then I suspect it could fragment slightly into different quality levels with basic single gear bikes at the bottom and more premium e-bikes at the top.
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Old 12-14-17, 09:45 AM   #23
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I think there is a Brompton share scheme in the UK.
Yep, Brompton Bike Hire. Given their rental terms, I get the impression its more of a 'see how a Brompton fits into (and improves) your life for a day or several and maybe you'll like it and buy one' rather than an A-to-B transportation rental. Ideally this would be done at a store where a trained salesperson could talk to the rentee rather than at a vending kiosk, but Brompton has only one (pretty cool!) company store in all of the UK.

At his talk at the London Business School earlier this year Andrew Ritchie indicated he felt the bike hire effort was the wrong direction for Brompton, but if he elaborated on reasons they've escaped my memory.

Dahon partnered & prototyped a similar system several years ago, but I'm not aware it was ever implemented anywhere.

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Old 12-14-17, 10:37 AM   #24
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The B dealer in PDX has a rent one in the summer , sell them off in November, thing going on for several years..

not a share run by the city-state.
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Old 12-14-17, 11:59 AM   #25
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Coincidentally, my wife was talking to her friend in sunny Santa Monica, California, who was upset because she just witnessed a young man on a BIRD scooter cross an intersection and hit the side of a car.(No one died) BIRDS are electric scooters that rent for $1 plus 15 cents per minute.

I have nothing against electric scooters. My wife loves her electric folder. I just would not invest in a company that rents them out of docks and kiosks.

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