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Folding bike too slow?

Old 04-26-21, 02:03 PM
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PimpMan
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Folding bike too slow?

After riding on 700c retro bike with one speed i went on six-speed mini folding bike 10" or 12" wheels and this thing feels so slow compared to big bike and it does not feel easier to pedal at all or faster to accelerate.
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Old 04-27-21, 02:59 AM
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c'mon, man!
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Old 04-27-21, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by PimpMan View Post
After riding on 700c retro bike with one speed i went on six-speed mini folding bike 10" or 12" wheels and this thing feels so slow compared to big bike and it does not feel easier to pedal at all or faster to accelerate.

LOL. Let's go troll the folding bike peeps.

​​​​I'll race you and your retro 1 speed on this though...


Seriously, if the folder you rode really has 10" or 12" wheels maybe you should try something proper with 20" wheels.

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Old 04-27-21, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by PimpMan View Post
After riding on 700c retro bike with one speed i went on six-speed mini folding bike 10" or 12" wheels and this thing feels so slow compared to big bike and it does not feel easier to pedal at all or faster to accelerate.
I find that taking my fixed frame bike on a bus or so inconvenient, and it simply refuses to fit in the back of my car. What should I do?



Three in the back, and room for more - without having to buy something to hang them outside where they then get covered in road crap - and this is without even trying. We often chuck two in, and all our picnic stuff, chairs and the rest, and off we go for the day or even a weekend!
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Old 04-27-21, 06:55 AM
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It is not the wheel size alone that makes a difference, you need to consider the entire drive train. If you have 12" wheels and a 48T chainring,you are going to be slooooooowwwww. You need to calculate the gear-inch range of the bike and compare that the gear-inch of your 700c, if it's too low you need to make adjustments (or accept that you have a slow bike option).
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Old 04-27-21, 02:03 PM
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PimpMan
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Not trying to offend anyone i love that little bike,

somehow its difficult to pedal and when i pedal it kind of don't go fast enough (my bigger bike rolls way faster with same effort i put in pedaling) i remember when i just built that bike it was more agile, i even race with a kid on mountain bike.

I will try to re-grease the chain and buy 500mm seat post, because 400 is too low for me, i could swear when i built that bike seat height was almost adequate.

Bike has gas shock built into frame and very soft out of sudden, could it have gone bad in just two years being in the storage?
Every time i sit on the bike shock gets compressed like 1/4th of the way and pedals become closer.
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Old 04-27-21, 03:04 PM
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Post a pic of your bike so we can see what up against. I think you should be able to find a folding bike that approaches the speed of your large wheeled bike.
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Old 04-27-21, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by PimpMan View Post
After riding on 700c retro bike with one speed i went on six-speed mini folding bike 10" or 12" wheels and this thing feels so slow compared to big bike and it does not feel easier to pedal at all or faster to accelerate.

I do think 10", 12"are not going to be fast. (Is there even such wheel sizes? )
I have x2 14" bikes and a 16" one.
They never get to the speed that I will consider to use them for speedy riding vs 20" bikes and certainly not 700c ones.
The geometry and gearing type is also not suited for speedy riding (upright and either IGH or 3sp RD )
The theory that work done = distance travelled (ie. gear inches) seems to be missing something for these bikes as they do feel not that easy to crank despite the shorter distance travelled per revolution (ie. less gear inches)

I'd think the reason to be :
1. Geometry
2. Frictional losses in gear system (which remains the same as other bikes if not worse due to the non-standard systems (IGH; 3sp RD) )
3. Rolling resistance of small wheels on imperfect surfaces
4. Low end parts for such bikes
5. The above losses multiplied many more times for the same speed as more rotations needs to be done to get to same speed

Interestingly, I've never had the same issue/feeling with my 18" Tyrell IVE which uses a standard 10sp RD system, good parts and less compromised geometry.
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Old 04-27-21, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
I do think 10", 12"are not going to be fast. (Is there even such wheel sizes? )
I have x2 14" bikes and a 16" one.
Checked and rim ERD measures 16"

btw, i am 5'9" ~ 200lb

Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
Post a pic of your bike so we can see what up against. I think you should be able to find a folding bike that approaches the speed of your large wheeled bike.







Last edited by PimpMan; 04-27-21 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 04-28-21, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by PimpMan View Post
Checked and rim ERD measures 16"

btw, i am 5'9" ~ 200lb




That is quite a handsome machine, in an old-school kind of way.

If it has been in storage for a while it is quite possible that the suspension damper has packed up. As to riding experience it can be quite something to go back to something we used to ride, because we both get used to another layout and improve the new bike. I have four versions of the same model of bike, and I know when I ride them which I have spent time and effort in optimising them because they feel smoother and more put-together. What is more I received two models of a different bike about a month ago, and while one was a little beaut the other felt difficult to ride - until I began to overhaul the wheel bearings, fork bearings and that kind of thing.

So strip it down, do some regreasing and adjustment, and get some miles on it so you feel in tune with it again - and then begin modernising
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Old 04-28-21, 01:43 AM
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looking @ the picture your chainring is too small (mid 40's teeth??? ). you would need a least a 53.

My 20" is on 53/39 x 11-25 which is ~29 to 90 gear". My grave 650b is on 38 x 10-42 which is about ~24 to 102 however, on gear 2 (12T) it gives 85. As the 20" is on slick and the gravel on MTB XC tyres, the 20" is faster.

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Old 04-28-21, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by PimpMan View Post
Checked and rim ERD measures 16"

btw, i am 5'9" ~ 200lb




When I look at your bike, besides a possible problem with the rear shock, I see that the transmission is very short, too short.

The cassette is a normal one without a very small cog and the chainring is very small, something like 44t.

For 16" wheel, a much bigger chainring 60t or a small 10t or 9t cog is needed to obtain the same as with a big wheel road bike.

Typical transmissions are front 52t or 54t and rear smallest cog of 9t. Or 60t - 65t front and 11t rear.

The tires are also important, from your picture, I guess these are old slow tires.

You should check the ETRTO size of your bike (with 16" ERD probably ETRTO305, ETRTO349 or ETRTO355) and buy new tires.
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Old 04-28-21, 09:57 AM
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After giving it some thought, its not my main ride so i don't want to upgrade it just keep it as-is, but re-grease and make sure seat is adjusted properly to my height.

Besides Putting bigger faster transmission will mean slower acceleration as side effect and this is the main function of this bike to accelerate fast.

Day when i called this bike slow i used it as emergency replacement for my main bike to go 10 miles without even properly adjusted seat. It was windy just after rain and could not wait to get home faster, this is why i judged its performance so low.

Realistically i only got this bike to sometimes ride in the city e.g. going grocery shopping or something 1-3miles the most, for anything longer i use my main 700c bike.
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Old 04-28-21, 02:12 PM
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I think he's complaining of lost efficiency. I don't think he's complaining about topping out at maximum gear. Or is he?

Telling him to get bigger chainrings won't help him if he isn't able to utilize past the maximum gear range possible.

He should inspect the moving parts to see if worn out parts are reducing the efficiency.

I have 44t chainring with 12t smallest cog with my 20 inch wheels. I don't need a 53t chainring. I would never use the top of the gear range and it would be a waste. I have 14-72.6 gear inches. I'm only on the top gear for less than 1 minute every 30 minutes. I could use 76-80 gear inches but probably for less than 20 seconds for every 30 minutes.
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Old 04-28-21, 04:43 PM
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You might also want to check for something as simple as a brake shoe dragging on a rim.
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Old 04-28-21, 08:02 PM
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That chain ring is teeny weeny! If you want speed, upgrade to a 52, 53, or 56T chain ring.
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Old 04-29-21, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by PimpMan View Post
....... and this thing feels so slow compared to big bike and it does not feel easier to pedal at all or faster to accelerate.
I bought my first folder in January of this year and after almost 500 miles of riding, I have realized that I'm consistently slower on this bike vs my road bikes. I have adjusted my geometry as much as I can to match my road bike's riding position as well as modified the gearing to give a better range and yet I still don't feel as efficient as I do on my road bike. Actually, I feel pretty much the same as when I ride my 29" Specialized mountain bike on the road and my average speed tells the same tale. It's not particularly upsetting though, as I'm enjoying the ride on the folder. I think it is a combination of less than ideal body position, harshness of the smaller wheels, slightly heavier weight, and possibly less efficient drive train that add up to a slower ride. My takeaway is that I don't see myself doing a century ride on the folder, but for short to moderate rides it is fine. Considering its convenience factor for travel, it definitely fills a niche and I'm glad I have it.
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Old 04-29-21, 07:04 AM
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There are many very different folding bikes.

The differences between models of folding bikes is much bigger than between different models of road bikes or mountain bikes or gravel bikes.

Its not possible to draw any general rules for the performances of folding bikes vs. road bikes.

Some are indeed slower, some others not.
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Old 05-04-21, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Fentuz View Post
looking @ the picture your chainring is too small (mid 40's teeth??? ). you would need a least a 53.

My 20" is on 53/39 x 11-25 which is ~29 to 90 gear". My grave 650b is on 38 x 10-42 which is about ~24 to 102 however, on gear 2 (12T) it gives 85. As the 20" is on slick and the gravel on MTB XC tyres, the 20" is faster.

A nice pair of bikes, but what the heck is that car?? Looks awesome! Is it some kind of AC Cobra replica?
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Old 05-04-21, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Barchettaman View Post
A nice pair of bikes, but what the heck is that car?? Looks awesome! Is it some kind of AC Cobra replica?
Austin Healey Sprite

sigh...
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Old 05-04-21, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Barchettaman View Post
A nice pair of bikes, but what the heck is that car?? Looks awesome! Is it some kind of AC Cobra replica?
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Old 05-04-21, 04:34 AM
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Also having the bar so far above the saddle doesn't put you in a very powerful position.
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Old 05-04-21, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Geepig View Post
Austin Healey Sprite

sigh...
a classic. Just as many grins per bhp I imagine!
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Old 06-08-21, 03:15 PM
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folding bikes >>
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Old 06-08-21, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Fentuz View Post
looking @ the picture your chainring is too small (mid 40's teeth??? ). you would need a least a 53.




Eventually I'll make some more changes on the bike (or another one), probably changing it out for a slightly smaller ring and removing the IGH, in part to make it easier to fit a front derailleur.

The 54T ring is hidden behind.... for my climbing gear.
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