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Seattle Cycles Burke

Old 01-24-20, 09:52 AM
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Pahana
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Seattle Cycles Burke

Yesterday I was riding around and stopped by PortaPedal in Tempe AZ. When I went inside there was a guy talking to Al the owner with a Burke. We got friendly and he only wanted me to try his bike. I never asked to try the shop in stock model because I knew I wasn't going to buy one and wanted to keep the bike looking new. After he asked me like 3 or 4 times to take out the bike I said alright. I figured that this bike was just an over priced beautiful toy and no big deal. I admit to being very wrong about my prejudices about this bike. I've tried 3 Bike Fridays 2 Moultons owned a Tern X10 and still have 2 Bromptons a Dahon and a CarryMe. This bike was at a different level than all the folding bikes I've rode before. This bike was so solid and fast you wouldn't know you were riding a folding bike. I put this out there for anyone thinking of buying a Burke. I admit to feeling a little less enthusiastic about my Bromptons after that ride. If I had the money to burn on a Burke I'd go for it. I can't stress how solid a ride the bike felt underneath me. As I told him it felt like a full size road bike and better than most.
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Old 01-24-20, 01:23 PM
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If I could afford a Burke folder I'd have 1. Their bikes look amazing, and your ride impression proves it to me.
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Old 01-24-20, 03:01 PM
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I have no doubt that it ride fast.

But what about the comfort ?

The frame seems ultra stiff, there is no suspension and tires are narrow high pressure.
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Old 01-24-20, 03:29 PM
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A pic to go with the story...
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Old 01-24-20, 03:39 PM
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All I can say is the bike felt really solid. I see your point. I think most of us are looking for a bike that folds and rides fast and has a stiff frame. I love riding my Brompton but this was very different. Brompton is a great folding bike. The Burke was a great bike. The problem I found with the soft ride of the Moulton was that standing on the pedals the bike was bobbing like a cheap mountain bike. I like to ride out of the saddle from time to time and the Brompton doesn't do this. Anyway you can do a lot playing around with the tire pressure. Two weeks ago I took out my Dahon Eezz d3 for a long ride. I only use it for 1 mile for work. I made the mistake of pumping up the pressure to 85 lbs. After 45 minutes I stopped and let air out making a big difference in the ride. My point being that most bikes can be made to ride soft even a hard ride like the EEZZ.
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Old 01-24-20, 03:47 PM
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HA, I had to laugh! My messenger bike has 23mm tires and beats me up on the job. When I first got my Dahon boardwalk I had to check a few times cause I knew the tires were losing air. Nope! Just cushy riding !
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Old 01-25-20, 11:14 AM
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Old 01-25-20, 04:23 PM
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If it didn't have that hinge in the main tube, I'd love it. I do not like hinges on the frame, maybe that's just me.
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Old 01-25-20, 08:00 PM
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That 8 inch is just crazy. They look like the same wheels as on a CarryMe. Great video. Thanks.
I went to their website and can't find a price on the 8. Why would they spend time on a bike like this? There are times that I love riding a CarryMe but 8 inch wheels suck.

Last edited by Pahana; 01-25-20 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 01-26-20, 01:01 AM
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I do not think that a well designed hinge in the main tube is a problem. Brompton has it and its not a problem at all. The lack of stiffness of the Brompton comes mainly from the high stem, not from the main frame.

My main concern for the Burke 20 is ride on bad road and especially cobbles where the Brompton also performs quite poor (bad comfort but also slower). Small wheels are stiff and a bike without good suspension is a problem.

I haven't fount any information about the maximum tire width for the Burke. Nor information about the frame geometry (only the wheelbase is mentioned, what is the reach ?, when I see the video it seems short).

Last point what about the real availability of the Burke bikes ?

The website "shop" page gives the prices but doesn't give the possibility to buy a Burke.

There are few dealers and when going on their websites, only Portapedal and Flyingball have it on their website.

Portapedal says "pre-order" (+ a pre-owned one, probably the one displayed in the shop ?).

Note that the weight of the pre-owned is 22 lbs. 6 oz. = 10.2148kg far from the announced 8.9kg for the Shimano XT version !?

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Old 01-26-20, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Pahana View Post
This bike was at a different level than all the folding bikes I've rode before. This bike was so solid and fast you wouldn't know you were riding a folding bike.
Burke is still a standard 406 wheeled folder with low grade components, only vastly more expensive.
Obviously It should be much better than Brompton but I don't think it will be any better than Bike Friday or Moulton.

Originally Posted by Pahana View Post
As I told him it felt like a full size road bike and better than most.
Even non-folding small wheeled bikes (Moulton, Tyrell, and other custom mini road bikes) feel very different from full sized road bike.

Originally Posted by Pahana View Post
The problem I found with the soft ride of the Moulton was that standing on the pedals the bike was bobbing like a cheap mountain bike.
Moulton bikes are not well suited for stand up pedaling or high-rpm pedaling. You need to sit down and pedal slowly (at higher gear) to fully enjoy the smooth ride.

Originally Posted by Pahana View Post
I figured that this bike was just an over priced beautiful toy and no big deal.
I still think so. I'd rather get JAVA neo carbon for ~$800 and deck it out with premium components.
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Old 01-26-20, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Raxel View Post
I still think so. I'd rather get JAVA neo carbon for ~$800 and deck it out with premium components.
I'd prefer a Java FIT over 'em all,...and I plan on getting 1 by summer!

JAVA FIT-18-D Aluminium Adult Folding Bike 20? 406 Wheel 18 Speed Mechanical Disc Brake Foldable Uniex Urban Bicycle ? Cycling Equipment Store

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Old 01-26-20, 06:49 PM
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Not all carbon fiber is alike. There's cheap carbon and high quality. I'll take Ti over carbon fiber any day. I remember a guy telling me how great his carbon fiber bike is and then told me that the frame cracked on a ride and he walked home. That guy will be riding that Burke 20 years from now. Good luck riding carbon for 20 years. I own a BMC and Felt carbon fiber bikes and I'll can't imagine riding them 10 years from now.
The bike I rode must have been $ 7000 or more. I've seen the crank online for over $1000. Everything was the best. I asked if the bike weighed about 17 lbs. and he said 18. If he told me 15 lbs I would have believed him. This is an American made bike. I'm not going to get into difference between imports and American made but I know I feel better buying from my fellow citizens.
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Old 01-27-20, 04:05 PM
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Portapedal is selling a pre-owned Burke 20 that with the listed components seems to be the Shimano XT Burke supposed to weight 8.9kg but Portapedal gives a much higher weight of 22 lbs. 6 oz ?
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Old 01-27-20, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
Portapedal is selling a pre-owned Burke 20 that with the listed components seems to be the Shimano XT Burke supposed to weight 8.9kg but Portapedal gives a much higher weight of 22 lbs. 6 oz ?
So,...let me get this straight. A PREOWNED Burke is a MASSIVE $150 off??? GTHOH!!!
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Old 01-28-20, 05:30 AM
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Its indeed almost the same price as a new one. But also it seems like new and Portapedal says "This bike was purchased new here at our shop. Has been ridden less than 20 miles."

If you look at the pictures, it looks like new.

Those many pictures also show that the bike is beautifully made and its a titanium frame hand manufactured in the US by an experienced titanium frame manufacturer with expensive workers.

So for me the price seems to me normal even if some components aren't high end nor lightweight.

The problems I see are :
- weight: its far above what Seattle Cycles announce for the model with the same components.
- the reach seems to me short, too short for big cyclists.
- this bike must be very uncomfortable: very stiff frame, stiff small wheels, relatively narrow tires (from the pictures, 1.35 seems the maximum tire width), straight fork, no suspension.
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Old 01-28-20, 10:06 AM
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I'm curious about Burke's mounting of the front brake on the rear of the fork. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such mounting? (If there were a lot of advantages, I'd think more bike makers would do it that way. )
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Old 01-28-20, 01:43 PM
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I guess that like the special caliper of the Brompton (down left cable output) it has something to do with the folding of the bike and the front bag.


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Old 01-28-20, 03:29 PM
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Brake calipers at the rear of the fork are better aerodynamically, as they slip in behind the rounded fork blades.

But I don't like the way this makes the front brake housing run directly against the head tube in wrap-around fashion. I don't like housing looping around a head tube if at all possible.
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Old 01-28-20, 06:37 PM
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I think you guys are being overly picky. Yes the bike is expensive, but they are built by Bilenski (sp) or in his shop, one at time. So for a hand made titanium bike, by a well known maker, you're talking bucks.

Looking at the pictures I think it would take wider tires. For a 20 inch bike, I don't think you need suspension and it is ti after all. No one criticizes the Swift for being too stiff and I doubt that is as stiff. I like that the stem appears to be adjustable, and it appears that you can set curve in, like the one for sale at Porterpedal, or outward to gain more reach, without effecting the fold.

I would not mind having one but I would not buy it either. I can't justify spending that kind of money for bike.
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Old 01-28-20, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Bostonwheeler View Post
I'm curious about Burke's mounting of the front brake on the rear of the fork. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such mounting? (If there were a lot of advantages, I'd think more bike makers would do it that way. )
one big advantage is to allow use of front rack for panniers, like spartan rack.
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Old 01-29-20, 03:32 AM
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The Burke is foreseen to mount a front bag block like the Brompton (but obviously not the one of Brompton)

This requires to have the front brake cable close to the frame an the front brake mounted on the back of the fork (Brompton solved this by using a front brake with the cable output down on the left side)

I do not know if this Burke proprietary front block really exist ?

For the tires maximum width, when looking at the picture below, I doubt that wider tires can be mounted at the rear ?


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Old 01-29-20, 07:40 AM
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You likely right. I did not see how close the chain stays are.
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Old 01-29-20, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
I think you guys are being overly picky. Yes the bike is expensive, but they are built by Bilenski (sp) or in his shop, one at time. So for a hand made titanium bike, by a well known maker, you're talking bucks...

I would not mind having one but I would not buy it either. I can't justify spending that kind of money for bike.
That's the main issue with the Burke. Can't be too many people willing to spend such big bucks on a folder, regardless of how well made it is. My full size titanium Litespeed didn't cost me nearly as much as that Burke is selling for.
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Old 01-29-20, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
Yes the bike is expensive, but they are built by Bilenski (sp) or in his shop, one at time.
Lynskey.
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