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Do all folders wobble? First time rider.

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Do all folders wobble? First time rider.

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Old 05-19-18, 07:12 PM
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Squeeto
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Do all folders wobble? First time rider.

I just started to realize the advantage of a fold-able bike. Funny that it took all this time.
So I am quite interested in picking one (or two) up.

My first trial was at Canadian Tire with the cheap Schwinn Tango that they sell.
Because I am used to only triangle frames, I found this bike quiet unstable (flexible).
Is this the typical feel for most folders?

I think that I am taller and heavier than the Tango wants to bear.
Would something like the Dahon Classic III or Bike Friday heavy rider versions have more of a stable cruiser feel for me?

Thank you for suggestions.
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Old 05-19-18, 07:38 PM
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Abu Mahendra
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Originally Posted by Squeeto View Post
I just started to realize the advantage of a fold-able bike. Funny that it took all this time.
So I am quite interested in picking one (or two) up.

My first trial was at Canadian Tire with the cheap Schwinn Tango that they sell.
Because I am used to only triangle frames, I found this bike quiet unstable (flexible).
Is this the typical feel for most folders?

I think that I am taller and heavier than the Tango wants to bear.
Would something like the Dahon Classic III or Bike Friday heavy rider versions have more of a stable cruiser feel for me?

Thank you for suggestions.
i am a bit punctilious about what i ride. I have never experienced flex on the folders I've ridden.* Schwinn Tango? Never heard of it. Possibly a bottom-feeder.

Not all folders fold in the middle, or with a single hinge in the middle. The folder below has a traditional geometry, and two hinges.






* Disclosure - the only single-tube folders I've ridden are FSIRs.

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Old 05-19-18, 07:53 PM
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What else is available that you can test ride where you are?
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Old 05-19-18, 07:53 PM
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They'll all feel weird to you at first because of the small wheels and quick handling. You'll need to try a few to see what works, I've been happy with the ride and handling of numerous Dahons.
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Old 05-19-18, 08:01 PM
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There are two things at play in your experience. One, anyone riding a small wheeled bike the first few times is going to oversteer and that can be interpreted as "wobbly". It takes getting used to and then it isn't noticeable at all to the rider. Two, a cheap bike is going to ride badly regardless of size, but a cheap folding bike (assuming it has a hinge design) is going to magnify all those issues. Find a bike shop that carries a name brand or two and ride them for more than 10 minutes.
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Old 05-19-18, 08:25 PM
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No! A folding bike should never feel wobbly. If it does, the hinge latch may need to be adjusted. If it feels wobbly, it may not be safe to ride. Contact the seller of manufacturer for assistance.
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Old 05-20-18, 12:38 AM
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My wife's aluminum (non folding) step through has the same wobbly feel to me. She thinks so too so she usually rides her Cannondale.
Locally there are some options. I guess that I should just keep trying them out.
Thank you for your input.


Abu Mahendra, I know this Dahon. Really quite expensive. I will look for a cheaper alternative.
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Old 05-20-18, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Squeeto View Post
...


Abu Mahendra, I know this Dahon. Really quite expensive. I will look for a cheaper alternative.
it's actually quite affordable, if you can find one. It's a fraction of the price of, say, a Brompton, Bike Friday, Tyrell or Moulton.
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Old 05-20-18, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Squeeto View Post
Schwinn Tango
Well there is your problem... Clown bikes are for clowns

But seriously look at the design of that frame, of course its not going to be remotely strong. Try a more standard folding bike. I have owned two folding bikes, they have issues but stiffness isnt really one of them unless riding hard. Like punning hard on the bars while accelerating can cause flex in the handle stem which is annoying, but I have never really felt frame flex.
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Old 05-20-18, 11:10 AM
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I am not familiar with the bike you tried.

But I can say that my folder (Airnimal Joey) has a very tall seatpost and seatpost extension. At first I noticed a lot of fore and aft flex at the saddle that made me somewhat concerned. But after several hundred miles on the bike I do not notice that at all.
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Old 05-20-18, 11:27 AM
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The trail length , steering geometry, of small wheel bikes is pretty short.

but front loading , weight in panniers or a low mount front bag,
steadies that light front end nicely ..
(Brompton puts it on a headtube QR mount),

+ you get to bring useful things with you..






....
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Old 05-20-18, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeeto View Post
My wife's aluminum (non folding) step through has the same wobbly feel to me. She thinks so too so she usually rides her Cannondale.
Locally there are some options. I guess that I should just keep trying them out.
Thank you for your input.


Abu Mahendra, I know this Dahon. Really quite expensive. I will look for a cheaper alternative.
You can't base your opinion of all folding bikes based on riding a cheap Schwinn folder that's designed to be bottom of the barrel. If you stated height, weight, and your location, maybe we could help you locate some places for you to test ride a real, quality folding bike.
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Old 05-20-18, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
You can't base your opinion of all folding bikes based on riding a cheap Schwinn folder that's designed to be bottom of the barrel. If you stated height, weight, and your location, maybe we could help you locate some places for you to test ride a real, quality folding bike.
6'3"
210lbs
Vancouver Island Canada
Fairfield Cycle has Brompton and Tern but are closed tomorrow for the stat holiday.
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Old 05-20-18, 10:05 PM
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I see that MEC has some Origami folders to check out as well.
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Old 05-20-18, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeeto View Post
6'3"
210lbs
Vancouver Island Canada
Fairfield Cycle has Brompton and Tern but are closed tomorrow for the stat holiday.
Then, after the holiday, start test riding. You should be able to notice a difference,... That schwinn you rode is considered one of the worst folding bikes.
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Old 05-21-18, 07:39 AM
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Try a Brompton, Birdy, Bike Friday or Moulton if you can just to feel what the top end can be like. These 4 can't have any frame play by design; just make sure the clamps are tight and feel the stiffness. A side folder like a Dahon/Tern that isn't set up correctly might have some hinge play or 2 piece stem flex. Side folders can be adjusted stiff, but you wouldn't know unless you ask the dealer to test ride it before you and they are competent enough to recognize the hinge adjuster is loose. I can't see any flex in the BB on my Birdy, but my classic 700c road bike's BB sways a few mm under power.
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Old 05-21-18, 12:24 PM
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Both of my steel Dahon (P8 & Speed 3i custom) folders have no flex/play whatsoever. The Dahon Curve has a small bit in the telescoping handlepost. None of them wobble,...
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Old 05-21-18, 02:23 PM
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Very familiar with the CTC Schwinn Tango. A few years ago my wife and I used them on our camping trips. They are not great bikes and use the cheapest parts available. We sold them to some occasional users and purchased a Giant "Expressway" and Giant "Halfway" (now out of production) What a difference, after 6years they are still one of our favorite rides. Last year my Halfway saw 500 miles in March alone. The only upgrade was to Schwalbe Marathons to prevent the flatting problems with the Kendas. I'm 6' 205 lbs and the bike is very stable.
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Old 05-21-18, 05:19 PM
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My full sized folding bike (TernJoeP24) rides like any full sized bike as well. And it has a higher weight limit,...I believe 264lbs. My Dahon's all have a 230lb weight limit,...but can easily handle more.

PS: I weigh 230lbs,...I would definitely know if my bike was wobbly or flexing.
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Old 05-28-18, 11:32 AM
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Thank you for all the responses.
I stayed away from any bike $1800+ (sorry Brompton).
MEC store was sold out both times that I went. They build them up and sell them out usually on weekends. They will give me a call when one is built.
That leaves Tern Link.
As soon as I got on it and powered in I could feel a slight flex and with each bump that I hit.
The weird thing though is that after 45 seconds of riding I didn't notice it anymore. Maybe I just got accustomed to the different feel.
Rides fine.
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Old 05-28-18, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeeto View Post
That leaves Tern Link.
As soon as I got on it and powered in I could feel a slight flex and with each bump that I hit.
Just make sure the frame latch and handlepost are properly adjusted. I have a Tern Verge, which has a similar latch; there is no flex when I ride. The bike has stiffness similar to my full-size road bike. Every now and then the handlepost gets a little loose, and I will notice flex. Luckily, it's easily corrected.
I also have an older Dahon Mu XL, which has a remarkably stiff frame. The only flex is from the handlepost which is an extendable type.
FWIW, I'm around 210 pounds and carry a backpack.
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Old 05-29-18, 06:45 PM
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My Brompton is sold as heck and I'm close to its weight limit.
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Old 05-31-18, 10:24 AM
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Mine has flex

I have a 3speed workman with no flex at all.
I also have a UNIS,has flex on trails and makes for a softer ride,I love it.
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Old 06-03-18, 06:41 PM
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I took the wife to try out the MEC bike. 34 lbs and the steering geometry seems wrong.
The wife said the same.
We both liked the Tern Link.
I think that the MEC bikes, which also have Tern parts, are popular because of price.
Still looking though. Probably need 2 now.
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Old 06-12-18, 12:28 PM
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OP
I bought a Dahon Vitesse i7 20inch, 26lbs, Shimano Nexus 7-speed.
This seems to be a quality product. It is also nice that a tall guy like myself and a short gal like my wife both can ride this comfortably.

Actually perfect for her. I could use just a little higher handlebar.
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