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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 12-31-17, 03:13 PM   #1
crazkt44
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Grow with your bike

Hello all,
I'm sorry to start a new "help me choose" thread, but from my search through other threads (as per the stickied "homework" ) I didn't see anything that quite matched my "growing" question. I did hijack an old "Citizen v. Origami" thread, but then figured this would be easier:

I'm new to this forum and new to folding bikes. I've only ever ridden Walmart specials, but love bike riding and would like a new (better) bike that I can keep in my small home and in my hatchback to ride the paved trails around where I work. I'm looking for a bike that has a good ride for longish (a couple hours) rides, a quality frame that I can build around and easily add upgrades to so I can learn about my bike and have it grow with me. That means (from the little that I've learned so far) as good as Dahon is, I'm shying away from it, because everything is proprietary (right?).

I'd like 20in wheels, no coaster brake, and a multispeed (although, if you have other ideas- throw 'em at me), I'm 5'7", and I'm willing to spend in the $300-$500 range.
I've been looking at Citizen, Origami, Euromini. Is there anyone who has any suggestions?
Thank you for all help. I really appreciate it because there's so much out there and I'm a little lost.
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Old 12-31-17, 03:27 PM   #2
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You'll have a mix of stock and proprietary parts on all the bikes. The frames will be pretty proprietary. Perhaps also the handlebar stems and bars.

Major components like a groupset should be pretty much industry standard.

For vintage bikes, the wheels were probably a mix of road and BMX parts, although, perhaps small wheel bikes are now a genre of their own. Still, if you needed to replace a wheel, it may be a build your own wheel from parts (which is entirely possible).

If you watch the used market, there is a good number of bikes that you can find below, say $600. I've seen the occasional older Bike Friday in that price range, as well as one Brompton, although it could take a little more hunting.

Birdie?
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Old 12-31-17, 03:58 PM   #3
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My favorite upgrade budget folder is the Fuji / Marlboro promotion bike shown here. I believe this example cost me $45 at a thrift store couple years ago.

Now why do I like this bike for upgrades? 1. Mostly non-proprietary parts. 2. Cheap components and wheels originally, but can be upgraded quite easily. 3. Impossible to ride without the seatpost, which holds everything together. If you need to lock the bike, just take the seatpost with you. 4. Cheap on the used market. 5. Even the stem has a quick-release so you can swing the handlebars parallel with the frame. Neat.

There have been many upgraded examples to better wheels, drop bars & STI shifters, etc. Search this forum for details.
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Old 12-31-17, 07:05 PM   #4
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No, Dahons use mostly all standard, non-proprietary parts...

No, Dahons use mostly all standard, non-proprietary parts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazkt44 View Post
Hello all,
I'm sorry to start a new "help me choose" thread, but from my search through other threads (as per the stickied "homework" ) I didn't see anything that quite matched my "growing" question. I did hijack an old "Citizen v. Origami" thread, but then figured this would be easier:

I'm new to this forum and new to folding bikes. I've only ever ridden Walmart specials, but love bike riding and would like a new (better) bike that I can keep in my small home and in my hatchback to ride the paved trails around where I work. I'm looking for a bike that has a good ride for longish (a couple hours) rides, a quality frame that I can build around and easily add upgrades to so I can learn about my bike and have it grow with me. That means (from the little that I've learned so far) as good as Dahon is, I'm shying away from it, because everything is proprietary (right?).

I'd like 20in wheels, no coaster brake, and a multispeed (although, if you have other ideas- throw 'em at me), I'm 5'7", and I'm willing to spend in the $300-$500 range.
I've been looking at Citizen, Origami, Euromini. Is there anyone who has any suggestions?
Thank you for all help. I really appreciate it because there's so much out there and I'm a little lost.
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Old 12-31-17, 09:54 PM   #5
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Bike Friday buys regular components... they build their own wheels, mostly on regular hubs ..

Only the narrow front hubs are different, but not different from other folding bikes ..

Brompton designs many of their own parts, but you can get replacements for any of them, thru your Brompton dealer worldwide..

and the older bikes can take newer parts .. I have done so..





....

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-31-17 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 01-03-18, 06:39 PM   #6
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Many of the folding bikes have taken on some of the Dahon quirks like the 74mm front hub.

I have several folders and love my Mu D10 and my Swift. I owned a shop for 30+ years and I recommend getting the best you can afford right from the start. Rebuilding when something wears out is fine but replacing good functioning items I have more trouble with---I would never recommend getting a bike without an 8 speed cassette or more. Cassettes offer wider gear ratios than freewheels which any 7 speed on the market will be a freewheel.

The only upgrade I would make on most good folding bikes would be

seat,

Pedals (I hate folding pedals and love clipless A530 shimano are my favorite)

Tires--depends on the roads

Wheels---the lighter the faster.

Bar ends--I like flat bars with bar ends, not road bars

In general Gearing is very important to the quality of my ride---my high gear with 406 wheels needs to be at least a 52/11.

There will be a lot of good old folders on Craigslist when spring cleaning comes around.

Good luck
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Old 01-03-18, 07:07 PM   #7
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Rick, what are your favorite bar ends?
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Old 01-04-18, 01:37 PM   #8
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Euromni Liberté

Hello all,
Thank you for all your great suggestions. I got a Euromini Liberté. Seems like a pretty nice starter bike for me (I hope). And there are always garage sales in the spring if I find it to be otherwise ��
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Old 01-04-18, 03:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazkt44 View Post
Hello all,
Thank you for all your great suggestions. I got a Euromini Liberté. Seems like a pretty nice starter bike for me (I hope). And there are always garage sales in the spring if I find it to be otherwise ��
That is a nice bike!!!

https://www.euromini.bike/shop-libere
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Old 01-04-18, 05:54 PM   #10
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That is a nice bike!!!

Thank you! I'm glad to hear it! It's supposed to arrive tomorrow and I can't wait.
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Old 01-04-18, 08:46 PM   #11
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Ergons

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Old 03-01-18, 09:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
My favorite upgrade budget folder is the Fuji / Marlboro promotion bike shown here. I believe this example cost me $45 at a thrift store couple years ago.

Now why do I like this bike for upgrades? 1. Mostly non-proprietary parts. 2. Cheap components and wheels originally, but can be upgraded quite easily. 3. Impossible to ride without the seatpost, which holds everything together. If you need to lock the bike, just take the seatpost with you. 4. Cheap on the used market. 5. Even the stem has a quick-release so you can swing the handlebars parallel with the frame. Neat.

There have been many upgraded examples to better wheels, drop bars & STI shifters, etc. Search this forum for details.
i have two of these and wouldn't mind a couple more. fun to play with commuter/spare /emergency ride ideas (though except for "spare", i don't use them much). switched one to a single speed 700 wheel coaster brake, and the other has 26x1 3/8 three speed coaster brake wheels (got some 700 rims i want to put the hubs in). if i luck across another i want to leave the stock wheel size (maybe even studded, or one studded and one slicks if i found two more), but make it a three speed coaster brake also.
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