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Help! Folding Bike for Commuting, Light Trails, and Maybe More?

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Help! Folding Bike for Commuting, Light Trails, and Maybe More?

Old 04-21-21, 10:04 PM
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jkolade936
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Help! Folding Bike for Commuting, Light Trails, and Maybe More?

Hey all, first time on the forum. I'm looking to buy my first bike as a folding one with a budget of $1400.
I need a folding one because my parents can't be bothered to get racks even though we always drive, and I usually live on my urban college campus (def don't want to leave it outside somewhere, even locked).

I want to go for long paved and sometimes gravel trail rides because I love hiking and I like biking... might as well bring them together, haha. However, this would make up about 40% of my riding; I'll likely be biking around my city areas 60% of the time. Because of this, I was looking into the new Montague Paratrooper Pro so that I would have the versatility for my use cases, longevity, and the possibility to get into rougher trails in the future without needing real upgrades.

I've been trying to stick to full size bikes because I know that even when I go on paved trails, I'd rather be comfortable if I go biking the whole day (there's a few 11 mi+ trails I have my eyes on). I've only really looked at Montague's Paratroopers and the Change 809 bike.

What's Montague's rep around here? Any thoughts or recommendations?

I appreciate it!
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Old 04-22-21, 04:15 AM
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Welcome to the forum and, much more importantly, the world of folders...

The Paratrooper seems a good choice, and at least it looks right enough that you will not have to put up with the usual comments. I take my step-thru folders on long trips off road, and doing as many crazy things, but one has to be prepared for the curling lips, the negative comments, blah, blah, blah...
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Old 04-22-21, 06:05 AM
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The Birdy does that very well, including trails. Its also very comfortable and folds almost as compact as a Brompton.

If you are looking for a much ore compact folding bike than a Montague, the Birdy is the solution.

https://www.pacific-cycles.com/birdy...=comp-jxnakj2o
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Old 04-22-21, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jkolade936 View Post
Hey all, first time on the forum. I'm looking to buy my first bike as a folding one with a budget of $1400.
I need a folding one because my parents can't be bothered to get racks even though we always drive, and I usually live on my urban college campus (def don't want to leave it outside somewhere, even locked).

I want to go for long paved and sometimes gravel trail rides because I love hiking and I like biking... might as well bring them together, haha. However, this would make up about 40% of my riding; I'll likely be biking around my city areas 60% of the time. Because of this, I was looking into the new Montague Paratrooper Pro so that I would have the versatility for my use cases, longevity, and the possibility to get into rougher trails in the future without needing real upgrades.

I've been trying to stick to full size bikes because I know that even when I go on paved trails, I'd rather be comfortable if I go biking the whole day (there's a few 11 mi+ trails I have my eyes on). I've only really looked at Montague's Paratroopers and the Change 809 bike.

What's Montague's rep around here? Any thoughts or recommendations?

I appreciate it!

I have a write up on all my impressions on using the Change Bike here :
Change Bike 650B

It handles and "works" exactly like a normal triangle full sized bike as its main advantage.
That also means mounting points, racks, panniers, frame bags, road/mtb gizmos, etc.
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Old 04-22-21, 01:54 PM
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You all responded so fast! Not sure how replying works.

Thanks for the welcome and the suggestions! I'm not too worried about what others might think of my bike, haha.
I didn't realize there were bikes as crazily outside of my budget as the Birdy, so I think I'll hold off on those, lol.
I think the folding part isn't as important as far as fitting it in a car trunk or stashing it in my dorm/apartment. Plus, I worry that the smaller wheels would be a bother... I've only ever ridden bikes that were full size, and I hear that small wheels aren't the best for long rides.

The Change bike looks great in that thread! The 809 is definitely at the higher end of what I hoped to spend, but seeing as it includes pretty much everything I'd want, it's great to consider. I might be buying a little later if I go for those; the website is all out of stock.
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Old 04-22-21, 03:22 PM
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The changebike is the only choice to me.
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Old 04-23-21, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jkolade936 View Post
I didn't realize there were bikes as crazily outside of my budget as the Birdy, so I think I'll hold off on those, lol.
I think the folding part isn't as important as far as fitting it in a car trunk or stashing it in my dorm/apartment. Plus, I worry that the smaller wheels would be a bother... I've only ever ridden bikes that were full size, and I hear that small wheels aren't the best for long rides.
I suggest that you see in real both a folded small bike like a Brompton, Birdy and a folded big bike like a Changebike, Paratrooper...

And try to carry it, in stairs for instance.

To put it in the trunk of a car... it depends of the car ! I can put my Hase Pino tandem in the trunk of my car without dismounting anything. A folded Changebike won't fit in the trunk of a Fiat 500 or Porsche 911.

You should also try a small wheel bike especially a suspended one like the Birdy. They provide another type of pleasure of riding than big wheels bike.

Don't rely only on pictures and technical specifications to make your choice.

FYI, there is a much cheaper Birdy: Birdy New Classic
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Old 04-23-21, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
And try to carry it, in stairs for instance.

To put it in the trunk of a car... it depends of the car ! I can put my Hase Pino tandem in the trunk of my car without dismounting anything. A folded Changebike won't fit in the trunk of a Fiat 500 or Porsche 911.

You should also try a small wheel bike especially a suspended one like the Birdy. They provide another type of pleasure of riding than big wheels bike.
I can try to get hands on a Paratrooper or a Dahon next month to compare the weights and sizes. That's a solid point you make; I need the bike to fit, at smallest, in the trunk of a Nissan Altima.

However, a friend recently recommended the ZiZZo Forte to me as a great starter frame that's easy to convert to an e-bike later on if I want. The cheaper $400 starting price is really good looking to me, and I might stick with the 20" wheels.
I'm currently weighing the ZiZZo against the Origami Eagle and Hawk, and I might switch to the newbie masterthread because I just noticed it xD
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Old 04-23-21, 09:16 AM
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One thing you should know about the 20" bicycles is that there are two different sizes which fall under that classification. The 406, which uses BMX tires (capable for gravel) and the 451, which tries to emulate a 700c road bicycle with narrow tires (typically 28mm) and would be torture on a gravel path IMO.

Also, stay away from bicycles that have disc brakes, unless the frame/fork have what's known as thru-axles. Disc brakes do not live up to their hype if they are on a frame/fork that's designed for QR-skewers, and can lead to disappointment for the life of the bicycle. Rim brakes still work fine, and are what I chose deliberately for my first folding bicycle because I already knew that thru-axles were the only way that disc brakes would be worthwhile.
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Old 04-23-21, 09:40 AM
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You are right, there are indeed two sizes called 20".

But the ETRTO406 isn't only BMX, there is a wide choice of tires from high performances road tires (Schwalbe Pro-one for instance) to balloon tires (Big Ben/Big Apple), to touring tires (Marathon) to MTB tires.

Which isn't the case in ETRTO451 where only few tires are available, mainly narrow road tires.
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Old 04-23-21, 10:16 AM
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jkolade936
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Yeah I'm planning on sticking to wider tires, around 1.75" to 2". My parents are Costco members, so the ZiZZo Liberté (currently at $359) sounds like a decent option, but I know it's a stiff aluminum frame with 1.5" tires.
Others have recommended I have at least 1.75" tires for gravel and off road paths if I'm riding without suspension.
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Old 04-23-21, 03:05 PM
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I would also recommend wide tires, 2"/50mm.

Its also the reason why after reading your request I was mentioning the Birdy: front+rear suspension, tires up to 50mm with mudguards installed (a little more without mudguards).
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Old 04-29-21, 05:05 AM
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Something like a Dahon Espresso or Dahon Jack would fulfill this brief.

I have an Espresso, currently set up as a road/commuter, but it would work well on light trails. Easy to set up with a suspension front fork, although I wouldn’t do anything too extreme on it.

it has the older style 26“ rims.

best of all, these things are really really cheap.


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