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Andrew Ritchie pattern tri-folders

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Andrew Ritchie pattern tri-folders

Old 12-13-21, 09:33 AM
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Andrew Ritchie pattern tri-folders

Back in March, in answer to the inquiry "why isn't the Brompton ever copied?", I pointed to the 3sixty, B-bike, Backer Gravity, Beiou, Burke 20, Camp Royal, Chedech, Cigna, Crosshead, Dahon Curl, Element Pikes, Flamingo, Fova, Groo M3, Iruka, Java, Jcat, Kreuz, La Bici, MIT, Neo, Pico, Sanye, South Point, United Trifold, Viking X and Week 8 folders - plus all those titanium jobs - that are based on or inspired by the Andrew Ritchie 'tri-fold' design.

I'm 16,000 km away from most of these and honestly don't know if they come out of five factories with different decals or 29 unique manufacturing operations. Are some of them double counted under brand & model name? Don't know. Anyway, I was surfing around over the weekend and found more Andrew Ritchie pattern folders labeled Aceoffix, Aleoca, Alps, Billiton, Crius, Mobot and Movebike.

At some point it might be easier to list SE Asian bicycle manufacturers that don't build an Andrew Ritchie pattern folder!

Anyway, Brompton's new lightweight model has a 4-speed freehub - Billiton has a 7-speed.
Mobot is offering from the factory a 3 cog X 3-speed Sturmey drivetrain.
United Trifold's top offering features a Shimano Alfine 11-speed hub gear and disc brakes.
Dahon is showing off an E-Curl with disc brakes - and what looks like some chunky, e-bike rated 305s.



"The best defense against copying is innovation.” Will Butler-Adams

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Old 12-13-21, 10:30 AM
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The question was rather: "Why aren't there legal and cheaper Brompton-like folders in the West — where, unlike Asia, just selling a copycat will land you in court and possibly in jail?"

The answer was: The market is too small to justify designing a frame that would be different enough to pass legal muster.

Too bad, because a lot of people could use a Brompton-like compact folder for the 2-3km they have beetwen their home/office and the nearest station but can't/aren't willing to spend the money required to buy a Brompton.

https://www.farrer.co.uk/news-and-in...-not-over-yet/
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Old 12-13-21, 10:42 AM
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Does anyone make a 20" version and, without QR-disc brakes?
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Old 12-13-21, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
The question was rather: "Why aren't there legal and cheaper Brompton-like folders in the West...
Here's the thread I referenced with my in-line answer:

Brompton and copies - Why aren't there more???

What March, 2021 thread were you thinking of?

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Old 12-13-21, 10:50 AM
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BTW, "The case will now return to the Belgian court for a judgment..." What ever happened with this?
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Old 12-13-21, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
The answer was: The market is too small to justify designing a frame that would be different enough to pass legal muster.
DahonEU will be happy to fix you up with a Curl.
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Old 12-13-21, 11:10 AM
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I didn't keep the URL.

Appparently, the legal procedure is still ongoing.

The Curl doesn't cut it:
  1. No carrier block in the front (backpack, yuck)
  2. Not much cheaper than a Brompton; €$500-800 is what those people are willing to spend, not more
I've yet to see a Curl on the street. Dahon can't even make up its mind (4/7/8 gear hub).
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Old 12-13-21, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
The Curl doesn't cut it:
No carrier block in the front (backpack, yuck)
Hmph! I could have sworn that I'd made a couple of short tours on my Curl with commonly available KlickFix front luggage.






Dahon can't even make up its mind (4/7/8 gear hub).
You're suggesting that offering customers a choice in gearing (the Curl's 3, 4, 7, 8 speed models, much like Brompton's 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 speed offerings) is actually a negative?
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Old 12-13-21, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Hmph! I could have sworn that I'd made a couple of short tours on my Curl with commonly available KlickFix front luggage.
That won't do. I'm talking about frame-mounted carrier blocks, like on the Brompton and most Dahons. Doesn't affect steering. Too bad the Curl doesn't have that important feature.

Originally Posted by tcs View Post
You're suggesting that offering customers a choice in gearing (the Curl's 3, 4, 7, 8 speed models, much like Brompton's 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 speed offerings) is actually a negative?
No. I'm suggesting they don't seem to know what they're doing with that bike that came out six (!) years ago.

They could start by making it half the price of a Brompton. Then some people who find the Brompton useful but too expensive might take a look (if they can actually find it in a store; Dahon is very badly distributed in Europe.)
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Old 12-13-21, 08:30 PM
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Even though I live nearer to the source of these bikes and have easy access to them from the local market, I really can't be bothered to buy into the hype of owning one.

A bi-fold really does the same thing getting from A-B via multi-modal transport.
The ease of pushing after fold is really over rated as the Bi-fold pushes even easier (and even my 8 and 10yr old sons do it by themselves )
I don't even buy into the front carrier block "advantage", since many bi-fold model have them too (esp the 20" models) and I don't even know what the B owners carry in them since its really a 10-40km ride on park connectors here. They don't need to carry work materials, cargo, tools, food, etc... so what we have here are B-riders with fancy front bags just for the sake of it (and looking the part).


So nothing really lost for people in EU or US with access to these B-copies, just get a decent bi-fold and enjoy riding.
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Old 12-14-21, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
I'm talking about frame-mounted carrier blocks, like on the Brompton and most Dahons. Doesn't affect steering.
Of course adding weight to the front of a bike affects steering. The steering head of bicycles is angled, so when the bars are turned the front end drops - this is known by the inelegant name of 'wheel flop'. Adding weight has the effect of speeding up the handling by accentuating wheel flop.

So nearly all bikes in the world add the weight to the bars/stem. The weight adds inertia to the steering axis, slowing down the handling, and counteracting the accentuated wheel flop.

Winfried is perhaps a lost cause, but everybody else go look at touring bikes: the front dunnage is attached to the bars and forks - like the Curl.
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Old 12-14-21, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
...just get a decent bi-fold and enjoy riding.
Yep. Even going back to the days of the Puch Pic-Nic and Raleigh Twenty, on through the Bickerton to the Dahon and it's many, many, many copies, the bifold seem to be the optimum design compromise for most of the world's folding bicycle riders.

That said, I still find the Asian explosion of Andrew Ritchie pattern folder models notable.
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Old 12-14-21, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
...bike that came out six (!) years ago.
The very first Dahon Curls were delivered to customers in August, 2017.
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Old 12-14-21, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
Even though I live nearer to the source of these bikes and have easy access to them from the local market, I really can't be bothered to buy into the hype of owning one.

A bi-fold really does the same thing getting from A-B via multi-modal transport.
The ease of pushing after fold is really over rated as the Bi-fold pushes even easier (and even my 8 and 10yr old sons do it by themselves )
I don't even buy into the front carrier block "advantage", since many bi-fold model have them too (esp the 20" models) and I don't even know what the B owners carry in them since its really a 10-40km ride on park connectors here. They don't need to carry work materials, cargo, tools, food, etc... so what we have here are B-riders with fancy front bags just for the sake of it (and looking the part).


So nothing really lost for people in EU or US with access to these B-copies, just get a decent bi-fold and enjoy riding.
Perhaps bad luck on my part but I owned two Dahons in the past and found the ride flexy which I attributed to the hinge position in the middle of the wheel span. The position is optimum for the fold but the poorest position for stiffness. I do like the ride of 20 inch wheels.
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Old 12-14-21, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Of course adding weight to the front of a bike affects steering. The steering head of bicycles is angled, so when the bars are turned the front end drops - this is known by the inelegant name of 'wheel flop'. Adding weight has the effect of speeding up the handling by accentuating wheel flop.

So nearly all bikes in the world add the weight to the bars/stem. The weight adds inertia to the steering axis, slowing down the handling, and counteracting the accentuated wheel flop.

Winfried is perhaps a lost cause, but everybody else go look at touring bikes: the front dunnage is attached to the bars and forks - like the Curl.
I fully agree with Winfried: having the front block attached to the frame is much better and one of the biggest advantage of the Brompton.

The comparison with a touring bike with big wheels isn't valid because on such bikes its possible to have rear big rear pannier and the front bag is only for lightweight small objects.

On most folding bikes with small wheels, its not possible to use rear pannier because they will be hit by the heels when pedaling so with he Brompton the front bag is the main bag and is often heavily loaded (the BIrdy folding rear rack is an exception).
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Old 12-20-21, 09:18 PM
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If the luggage-truss (or whatever Brompton calls their system) was better than a fork-supported rack, then specialty loaded-touring bicycles would be using them. I use a fork-supported rack on my 20" bi-folder, instead of a luggage-truss, for several reasons. The rack has a much higher weight-capacity. The rack keeps the weight lower. The rack doesn't preclude the use of drop-handlebars.

As for rear-panniers working with a folding bicycle, some people have had success with this, some haven't. There are a couple of anecdotes of the former, posted in another thread.
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Old 12-20-21, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
Does anyone make a 20" version and, without QR-disc brakes?
Even though I previously expressed interest, regarding tri-fold bicycles, in this thread, I really am not interested, for the same reasons that Pinholecam cited. For me, a properly-equipped (CrMo f/f with drop-bars) 20" bi-folder is better than any tri-folder.
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Old 12-23-21, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
If the luggage-truss (or whatever Brompton calls their system) was better than a fork-supported rack, then specialty loaded-touring bicycles would be using them.
There are many touring and cargo bikes that have a rack (or have mounting points for an optional rack) mounted on the front of their frame!

Like the very popular Tern GSD, several Riese & Müller bikes, several Moulton bikes, the latest Moustache cargo, several Yuba cargo bikes... impossible to list them all.
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Old 12-23-21, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
20" bi-folder is better than any tri-folder.
The only thing right about this post is 20" wheels ride better, which is something nearly everyone is agreed on.
. Is any bi-fold Dahon 16" better than a Brompton?
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Old 12-23-21, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
There are many touring and cargo bikes that have a rack (or have mounting points for an optional rack) mounted on the front of their frame!

Like the very popular Tern GSD, several Riese & Müller bikes, several Moulton bikes, the latest Moustache cargo, several Yuba cargo bikes... impossible to list them all.
Of those bicycles that I can find info on (which Riese & Müller bikes and Moulton bikes are you refering to?), they are cargo bicycles rather than loaded-touring bicycles. Also, I thought I was addressing a comparison of fork-mounted racks with Brompton's cargo system, specifically. That is what I named, not the system of a cargo-specific bicycle such as the Yuba.
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Old 12-23-21, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
The only thing right about this post is 20" wheels ride better, which is something nearly everyone is agreed on.
. Is any bi-fold Dahon 16" better than a Brompton?
Huh? You are omitting the first part of my sentence, the part which qualifies it as my own preference, and then trying to question me about a notion which I never made.
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Old 12-23-21, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
Huh? You are omitting the first part of my sentence, the part which qualifies it as my own preference, and then trying to question me about a notion which I never made.
Yes I saw that, but I disagree with your preferences. Nothing wrong with that. The statements we make here are preferences. I wish there were steel tri-folders out there in 20 inch. I wish Brompton would make one. It would be expensive, but I would likely buy it. The problem with tri-folders is that they are expensive.

I did not quote the part about front rack placement, but that stikes me wrong as well. For front carry, support from the frame works better for smaller wheel bikes (16 and 20 inch). It should go without saying that I am posting my opinions.
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Old 12-23-21, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
I wish there were steel tri-folders out there in 20 inch.
Tern BYB?
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Old 12-23-21, 11:18 PM
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Most Moulton bikes have frame mounting points for a front rack.

Moulton has two types of front rack, one for a bag:





And one for front pannier:


Last edited by Jipe; 12-23-21 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 12-24-21, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by CEBEP View Post
Tern BYB?
No, I would call that a bi-fold with an extra hinge. The ideal would be not having a hinge in the main beam or triangle (if there is one). If you look at the bicycle as a structure, the wheels are its supports. The bi-fold is like a beam spanning wheel to wheel with a hinge in the middle. Structurally, that is the worst spot. For cost of production and practicality, it may be the best spot. Can you overcome that shortcoming? Yes. The only folder I had that was a bi-fold that was stiff was the Raleigh 20. it was way heavy, had a huge fold, and it had an antique threading system. I had had two Dahons. Both were relatively cheap and both way too flexy. I had two Moultons. I liked them, but they are not folders. On balance, I do like front wheel shocks (just my opinion but too much compromise). My current 20" bike is a Xootr Swift. I love the ride, but the fold is huge. That is its only downside. Later this year I will try another folder, maybe a bi-fold.
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