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Alternative folding bikes lightweight

Old 01-24-20, 06:15 AM
  #1  
weight4it
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Alternative folding bikes lightweight

Have been dreaming of getting a Brompton for occasional weekend use and have come to realise that I'd need to spend strong money to get a sub 10kg model. As I'm fairly obsessed with saving weight, I've come to realise I'd need to double my spend to shave a further 1-2 kg off, with diminishing bang for buck.

Bromptons hold their value well but I noticed there are many more alternatives than there were 10 years ago. I used to have a Tern Link P9 that was customised, whilst looking very cool it still weighed 11kg and I didn't get on with the fold. The chain ring sticking out when carrying folded up, and it falling over on the tube.

Has anyone got experience with Bromptons and any lighter alternatives? Keen to see what I can get for my budget.

A) I noticed something called a 3SIXTY Chrome Steel Folding Bike - is this compatible to be retro-fitted with Brompton bits?

B) Fnhon Freedom Aluminum Folding Bike -this is clearly smaller than a Brompton but it only weighs (7.1 in one description) 8.5kg (in another). Still very light! Anyone got one of these?

C) Fnhon Gust - Shimano Sora 9 speed, 8.5kg. I like that it shares the commonly used Shimano Sora components, very interesting.

Thanks

Last edited by weight4it; 01-24-20 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 01-24-20, 07:53 AM
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Zizzo Liberte is 10.43kg (23#) out of the box. I bet that a nice set of wheels would get it close to your 10kg threshold.
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Old 01-24-20, 08:37 AM
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Thanks, I'm learning lots on here, will always be swaying towards a Brompton unless the compactness of fold can be rivalled...
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Old 01-24-20, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by weight4it View Post
Thanks, I'm learning lots on here, will always be swaying towards a Brompton unless the compactness of fold can be rivalled...
Pretty much the ONLY bike that folds as compact as a Brompton IS a Brompton. Nothing will beat it for it's portability, compactness, and stowability. Low weight can be matched, or surpassed by modifications on other brands of bike. Nothing beats a Brommie fold.
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Old 01-24-20, 02:26 PM
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+1 tds101 If you buy a bike for the fold, the buy a brompton. Someone said you can have light, cheap, quality, as long as you only want two of those at a time. Throw in perfect fold and you still only get 2. So light and perfect fold means NOT cheap. My Bike Friday pakiT is definitely light, definitely quality, but wasn't cheap and doesn't have a "perfect" fold. But the fold is fast enough and compact enough for everything I do and I spend more time riding than folded, lol. Make your choices and live with them.
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Old 01-24-20, 05:05 PM
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Had not heard of these titanium folders until this thread...

Seattle Cycles Burke

open up your wallet...
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Old 01-24-20, 08:51 PM
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Vilano Urbana - 22lbs. I put a thread on the forums. It's light, cheap, (frame nice), components are crap. Two out of three.

Do some test rides on folders on Craigslist/ebay. Get some hands-on experience. Maybe you'll find some old weird guy like me who has half a dozen folders lying around.

Good Luck, have fun.
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Old 01-24-20, 10:09 PM
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Really you don't need to spend a lot to get to a 10.65kg. folder. 23.5 lbs. is where my Raleigh Folding Twenty is at.
I suspect if I threw some more cash at it, I could get those numbers lower. I just might. Call me crazy.
Titanium is the material of choice for a folder and Brompton is the best fold, but I need 451 wheels and Ti does have a few drawbacks :
Expense and ...well....expense ...you don't really want to street-lock that kind of beauty, whereas a Raleigh Twenty
can be locked over night on a London Street with all their crappy petty crime only my lights and bell were stolen.


Wondering out loud: We all know that road bikes are weighed w/o pedals, which seems to be common practice,
"the industry standard" and all that... but have you ever tried to ride w/o pedals?....and do manufactures extend this practice to folding bikes?
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Old 01-25-20, 12:13 AM
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I know Bike Friday doesn't include saddle or pedals in their weights - because they are easily customized after purchase (you can buy a BF without them, in fact). Now my pakiT with my choice of saddle and pedal comes in a hair under 19lbs. I could probably drop 3/4 of a pound with a different saddle and pedals, but those are really important to my comfort (and thus how long I ride). I'm more willing to weight-weenie on things my body doesn't actually touch, lol.
And you're right about theft. My Bike Friday doesn't leave my hand. I have a Dahon Mu Uno I ride if I am going to have no choice but to lock up my bike. I don't take a lock when I take the BF. The Mu Uno is 22lbs, not bad at all, but it also only cost me a couple hundred bucks used, so I'm less concerned with theft.
If you're going to buy a titanium or otherwise expensive folder, you should plan on keeping it with you at all times. I see bromptons locked up around here and I am stunned -- bike theft is rampant in the Bay Area. Obviously these folks have more $ than brains.
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Old 01-25-20, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by weight4it View Post
A) I noticed something called a 3SIXTY Chrome Steel Folding Bike - is this compatible to be retro-fitted with Brompton bits?
B) Fnhon Freedom Aluminum Folding Bike -this is clearly smaller than a Brompton but it only weighs (7.1 in one description) 8.5kg (in another). Still very light! Anyone got one of these?
C) Fnhon Gust - Shimano Sora 9 speed, 8.5kg. I like that it shares the commonly used Shimano Sora components, very interesting.
Thanks
A) 3SIXTY is almost fully compatible with brompton parts (which you shouldn't use), which means you can easily shave the weight using lightweight third party wheelset, seatpost, etc
B) Fnhon bikes are very lightweight but has very short wheelbase and top tube. Also it has center-hinged aluminium frame, not a very reliable combination.
C) You can you any groupset for folders - lot of people I know use SRAM eTap on their folders (including bromptons)

If you are fine with only 2-3 speed you may get a cheap used Brompton (or 3sixty if you can get one cheap) and lighten it up. It doesn't cost a fortune to make one as light as 8.5kg!
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Old 01-29-20, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by weight4it View Post
Have been dreaming of getting a Brompton for occasional weekend use and have come to realise that I'd need to spend strong money to get a sub 10kg model. As I'm fairly obsessed with saving weight, I've come to realise I'd need to double my spend to shave a further 1-2 kg off, with diminishing bang for buck.

Bromptons hold their value well but I noticed there are many more alternatives than there were 10 years ago. I used to have a Tern Link P9 that was customised, whilst looking very cool it still weighed 11kg and I didn't get on with the fold. The chain ring sticking out when carrying folded up, and it falling over on the tube.

Has anyone got experience with Bromptons and any lighter alternatives? Keen to see what I can get for my budget.

A) I noticed something called a 3SIXTY Chrome Steel Folding Bike - is this compatible to be retro-fitted with Brompton bits?

B) Fnhon Freedom Aluminum Folding Bike -this is clearly smaller than a Brompton but it only weighs (7.1 in one description) 8.5kg (in another). Still very light! Anyone got one of these?

C) Fnhon Gust - Shimano Sora 9 speed, 8.5kg. I like that it shares the commonly used Shimano Sora components, very interesting.

Thanks
There are many alternatives circa 2020 (esp if you are in Asia)

Tyrell IVE - 11kg stock, which is lighter than a Brompton, easier to fold and has a more gradual spread of gearing with 9sp Challenge will be to go lighter. Maybe wheels, tires, saddle, crank, handllebar changes...
Chedech - not common but basically a Brompton in Carbon. The folding parts are still metal though, so I feel that its overpaying for something that inherently won't be super light despite the carbon. That said, if you want a carbon B, this is it.
Dahon/Tern folders - the high end ones can be made very light at the expense of cost, max rider weight. Most can be pushed around folded when you velcro the fold together. (just go Youtube for examples). The average Asian weight is lower, hence, I've never heard of a frame failure due to stress on the folding joints (very large user community here in Singapore).
Birdy - the higher end ones suped up to the max are light. (but often crazy money)



On the "Fnhon Freedom", I have something rather similar from Crius (Smart 3.0) with 14" wheels.
~7kg iirc.
The amazing thing is that is so light that handling is a breeze. This is somthing that has to be experienced to appreciate, because it may fold similar to any other Dahon/Tern folder, but its less clunky to handle the folding of the bike due to the lighter weight.
It also can be pushed on its wheels when folded (actually most Dahon/Tern folders can be ); You just need to velcro the fold together.
The downside is that gearing will never be too high and hence speed is limited.
Also, light parts can be harsher (ie. thinner saddle, shorter bars)

I'd consider 14" wheel bikes to be more of a 'last mile' bike that a road machine that challenges roadies on the weekend (which is how I use my foldies)
With the 16" Fnhon Freedom, you may get a bit more out of it...


Generally though, if you don't need the fold, a mini velo offers better return for the money in terms of performance / weight / $$$ .

I have a BF Pocket Rocket Super Pro that is about 8.3kg.
But its crazy money and a mid end alu road bike (eg. Cannondale Caad 13) is a fracton of the price but as light and faster.
Even a Ritchey Breakaway 700c steel bike can be 9,xkg for less.

Up to a point, I'd have to say that the return of investment may not really make that much sense anymore unless the folding is an absolute requirement.

Last edited by pinholecam; 01-29-20 at 03:20 AM.
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