Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Folding Bikes
Reload this Page >

Folders Up to $1,000

Notices
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.

Folders Up to $1,000

Old 06-16-20, 02:33 PM
  #1  
BezO
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
BezO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 140
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Folders Up to $1,000

Based on just a couple of requirements, I've come up with a short list. I'm still learning what makes for a good folder, so hopefully this can be informative (the stickied post has been helpful) as well as helping with a selection.

I'm looking for his & hers, both of us falling within the height & weight limits for any bikes I've come across. These will be for 5 & 6 mile daily commutes and leisure rides around the city. We're in Washington, DC, so relatively flat, but some occasional challenging hills here & there.

So far, I'm looking for at least a 7 speed IGH (considering 3 speeds) and at least 20" wheels (opinions on 20" vs 24" welcomed). A bit over $1,000 is ok. I've come up with:

Brompton B75 (only 3 speed)
Citizen Barcelona (only 3 speed)
Downtube 8H
Tern Link D7i
Tern Node D7i (24' wheels)
Dahon Ciao D7
Oyama Skyline In7B

Thanks!
BezO is offline  
Old 06-16-20, 04:11 PM
  #2  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,861

Bikes: 2017 Bike Friday PakiT. Dahon Mu Uno (trailer bike) Sold: 2003 Bike Friday NWT, 1997 Trek 720, 1993 Trek 520)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1105 Post(s)
Liked 96 Times in 83 Posts
Brompton is 16" wheels. Unless fold is paramount, you'll get more for your money with a 20" wheel bike. I'm not at all impressed with Citizen's quality. Downtube is a good bike; lots of reviews here. Some folks won't consider Tern because of the frame issues they've had (just search this forum). My suggestion: contact Thor at thorusa.com. He will steer you into the right bikes. Before you call him, consider whether you will be carrying the bikes up stairs, or onto trains. That bit of info will help him along with knowing the distance/terrain you mentioned.
linberl is offline  
Old 06-16-20, 05:21 PM
  #3  
12boy
Senior Member
 
12boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: casper wy usa
Posts: 446

Bikes: brompton sl, surly steamroller, fuji track, gary fisher bmx minivelo etc

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 5 Posts
I have to disagree with linberl. I have a Mercier Nano, a Xootr Swift and a Brompton.the Nano and the Swift have 20 inch wheels, the Brompton 16.The Brompton B75comes with a close ratio Sturmey Archer 3 speed, reputedly one of the most trouble free internal gear hubs ever. It is adequate for small hills, headwinds and can tool along at 15 mph if you are in decent shape. On Monday I rode mine for about 20 miles, including some hills and headwinds, but it is a little modified. Besides the fold it excels as a mini cargo bike, carrying big loads on the frame in front, which actualky improves handling. My favorite among 6 I ride regularly. My Swift cost 800 new and has also been modified a bit. It's quick and agile, uses standard parts and has 8 speeds with a derailleur. I like it a lot but the Brompton is more useful and takes a 2x2 x1 ft space in my little cars. The Nano has the same high gear as the Swift but has 2 chainrings and goes much lower so climbs besl, and only cost 300 new. Takes a lot less room than a regular bike but doesn't fold, so not as great for buses, subways and little cars. I have commuted over 30 years by bike and have had fixies, mountain bikes, and road bikes and the small wheel bikes are the most fun. Except for snow and ice the Brompton has been the best commuter, hands down. I can store it in the office, it can easily, with the right bag, carry a weeks worth of clothes and food, and let's me beghin and the work day with a smile. My last advice is ride the bikes before buying. I had always lusted after Bike Fridays and had never heard of Bromptons, but after riding both one day the Brompton felt great from the beginning. Someone else might feel the opposite.
12boy is offline  
Old 06-16-20, 06:07 PM
  #4  
BezO
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
BezO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 140
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the feedback! Yes, I forgot some info.

Folding is important as far as fitting 2 bikes in a mid-size car trunk on road trips and having to store them in our offices. My wife may initially be carrying hers on the train until she's comfortable completing the commute both ways, but it wouldn't be long. Both commutes are on city streets with a trail option for part of the ride. My commute is 5-6 miles depending on the route, my wife's is 6-7 depending on the route. Our commutes are a slight & steady uphill most of the way on the return trip. 3-speed is a slight concern here, though I've pulled it off on a single speed for a while. We likely wouldn't be doing distance rides on these, but there's a chance they could see some gravel on trails once in a while.

I thought the tires on the Brompton looked smaller but missed they were 16". And I've been reading conflicting opinions on tire size. I was happy to see the Tern had a 24" tire bike, but I'll read up on the frame issues. Thanks for the heads up! And I will contact thorusa once I know a bit more what I'm talking about.

Neither of us have experience with folders, but they do seem like fun. And being able to take them on the road without the need for racks will allow us to still ride when we go see our parents and such. Folders were the furthest thing from my mind until my wife saw her cousin on one and wanted one for her new commute, though it may be months away. Next thing I know, I wanted one and had reasons we "needed" them.

Thanks again folks! Off to do more research.
BezO is offline  
Old 06-17-20, 09:40 AM
  #5  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,861

Bikes: 2017 Bike Friday PakiT. Dahon Mu Uno (trailer bike) Sold: 2003 Bike Friday NWT, 1997 Trek 720, 1993 Trek 520)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1105 Post(s)
Liked 96 Times in 83 Posts
There's nothing wrong with Bromptons but the simple fact is that a 16" wheel is less comfortable than a 20" in terms of ride quality. I own both - a 16" Bike Friday and a 20" Dahon. While I absolutely love my BF pakiT (because it is super light weight and rides great), hitting a pothole or a bump on 16" wheels is definitely more jarring than on 20" wheels. So consider the terrain you will be riding. There are things you can do to a 16" bike to make it ride "softer" (like thud busters, fatter tires) but if you do the same things to a 20" it will ride more comfortably than the 16". It just simple physics.
Most 20" folders will fit 2 in a decent sized trunk. Websites usually have the folded specs so you can measure your trunk. I've also fit a folder behind a front seat on the floor as well. If you have designated space at work for your folding, measure that. For some people, the folded size becomes the more important factor and they need to find a bike they like within that spec. Nothing folds better than a Brompton. There are many folders which you may decide ride better than a Brompton, or not, depending on what you like. You'll have to decide what matters most to you.
For me, since I knew I was going to be carrying my bike up stairs a lot, the total weight was a major factor. So I got a Bike Friday pakiT which only weighs 19lbs, folds very quickly, but doesn't fold as compactly as the Brompton - it is longer but narrower. For me, 19lbs compared to 26lbs was a major factor and more important than the folded size. There were other reasons as well - Brompton uses many proprietary parts and it's up to you whether you want to be locked into their system. I prefer the ability to upgrade and install any part I want, but many Brompton uses are fine with the aftermarket offerings and prices on Brompton parts - and there are plenty.
Dahon's are sort of the middle ground. Limited proprietary stuff, reasonably good fold, and moderately priced.
If you can wait until shops open up, it would make sense to get some test rides.
linberl is offline  
Old 06-17-20, 02:22 PM
  #6  
BezO
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
BezO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 140
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Tires are a big deal to me. I'm also looking to replace my "regular" bike because of the restricted tire width. I'll be mostly on city streets, but potholes and debris are norms. So I'll very likely stick with 20", and I'm disappointed in Tern's frame issues. The Node is/was a strong contender because of the 24" tires.

I've been taking note of the folded specs and need to measure my trunk. My guess until then is that fitting these in a trunk won't be an issue. Office storage won't be an issue for me, but my wife hasn't seen her future office space yet.

Unfortunately, my favorites are all heavy; 30+lbs. Not the most important factor as we won't be carrying these much. But like I said, my wife will be splitting her commute between bike & train initially. There will be stairs as not every station has elevators. I've seen rollers & backpacks for folders and will investigate this more.

I actually didn't think about proprietary parts. I'll need to look into this. At minimum, I'll likely want to swap comfort parts like bars & saddle.

And yeah, getting test rides will be ideal.

Thanks again!
BezO is offline  
Old 06-17-20, 03:41 PM
  #7  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,861

Bikes: 2017 Bike Friday PakiT. Dahon Mu Uno (trailer bike) Sold: 2003 Bike Friday NWT, 1997 Trek 720, 1993 Trek 520)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1105 Post(s)
Liked 96 Times in 83 Posts
Keep in mind whatever weight the bike is, you will probably add accessories and a little more weight. Brompton has limited options for handlebars because of the way they fold, but if you're going 20" it's a non-issue. The fewer proprietary parts a bike has the easier it will be for you to reduce weight as parts wear out - you'll have more options for lighter better quality replacement components. Fatter tires will also add some additional weight to factor in. Whatever you get, make sure you can still pedal it home/back to the car if you run out of juice. You don't want to be stuck with a heavy anchor on a hot day, lol.
linberl is offline  
Old 06-17-20, 05:55 PM
  #8  
drzdave58
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: ontario
Posts: 71

Bikes: Ruff custom build..Electra mulholland 3i..vanmoof S3..1947rollfast...felt happy hour..focus planet..Dahon curve d3 41 Schwinn custom..Moulton tsr

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 9 Posts
I’ve had bikes with 16 and 20 inch tires. I prefer the ride on the 20 inch. The dahon bikes fold ok but not as easy as a brompton. I love the 8 speed internal gear hubs as well that many dahons have. If I was going to be folding the bike up 3 or 4 times a day I would choose the brompton tho. Good luck
drzdave58 is offline  
Old 06-17-20, 09:27 PM
  #9  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,861

Bikes: 2017 Bike Friday PakiT. Dahon Mu Uno (trailer bike) Sold: 2003 Bike Friday NWT, 1997 Trek 720, 1993 Trek 520)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1105 Post(s)
Liked 96 Times in 83 Posts
It's out of your budget but just for kicks check out the Pacific Reach Birdy. Folds very nearly as small as a brompton, has slightly bigger tires, and has suspension. Nice bikes. https://www.pacific-cycles.com/birdy The other bike that meets your criteria is the Helix (search threads here). But at $3500 it's definitely over your budget - although it has the bigger 24" wheels you want. https://www.helix.ca Don't hate me - lol.
linberl is offline  
Old 06-19-20, 04:38 AM
  #10  
kayakindude
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: New England
Posts: 264

Bikes: 1987 Cannondale SR600/BioPace, 1991 Cannondale Road Tandem,1994 Giant Iguana MB, 2009 Airnimal Chameleon, 2016 Dahon Vybe C7A

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 11 Posts
Another thing to consider, make sure the headset has threads that you can add a Brompton adapter, then you can add the brompton block and carry everything on the front of your bike. No more backpack.


The other newbie thing to look for is an adjustable stem, so you can adjust the handlebar height. There is always a lot of focus on the fold and weight. You can get a bike well under your price range that satisfies all of the above. Want either the lightest or smallest folding? Then the price gets crazy. Want one the works for the majority of riders...in your budget.

Last edited by kayakindude; 06-19-20 at 04:47 AM.
kayakindude is offline  
Old 06-19-20, 09:30 AM
  #11  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,861

Bikes: 2017 Bike Friday PakiT. Dahon Mu Uno (trailer bike) Sold: 2003 Bike Friday NWT, 1997 Trek 720, 1993 Trek 520)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1105 Post(s)
Liked 96 Times in 83 Posts
If you find a bike you like that doesn't have an adjustable handlebar height, there's always the Aber Hallo adapter. The cool thing about folders is that pretty much any issue you might encounter has already been discovered and dealt with in some fashion. Personally I think folder riders are a more creative bunch than roadies (sorry, could not resist). My point is there are a lot of clever solutions for pretty much any issue since the majority of folders are one-size-fits-all and we know that's not true - so folder folks have come up with many brilliant solutions. Just ask. For example, if you can't put a front block for luggage on your bike (or don't like that solution, as I do not), there are lots of adapters from Klick Fix that will let you mount your stuff wherever on the bike you like.
linberl is offline  
Old 06-19-20, 02:37 PM
  #12  
1nterceptor
LET'S ROLL
 
1nterceptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NEW YORK, NY - USA
Posts: 4,773

Bikes: 2014 BMC Gran Fondo, 2013 Brompton S6L-X

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 304 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 25 Posts
You can do a lot of research online; reading reviews, asking questions, etc. - but
the bottom line is that's a limited way of finding out if the bike fits your needs. You
really have to own the bike for a while to see if it's a match.

Lots of riders have pre conceived notions when it comes to wheel size; "20 inch
wheels will ride better than 16" wheels". Without regards to wheelbase, frame material
and design, head tube angle, etc. Bromptons for example have a longer wheel base
than a lot of folders. But a smaller fold.

My advice whatever you end up choosing; just buy one. try it out for a while to see
if you like it. Then if you feel it fits the bill; buy another one.
__________________
One day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20X43026ukY&list=UUHyRS8bRu6zPoymgKaIoDLA&index=1
1nterceptor is offline  
Old 06-20-20, 06:50 PM
  #13  
P.L.Jensen
Member
 
P.L.Jensen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 27 Times in 17 Posts
Consider a Zizzo... I love mine...
P.L.Jensen is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.