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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.

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Old 09-16-05, 12:25 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Cymru (Wales)
Bikes: GoBike, Long-john, Strida III, Oke Ja recumbent, Brompton, Moulton, BSA, Strida 5
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Ok Guys & gals,

I've had a few weeks to get used to this new beauty/beast and it has a few short comings (hasn't every love affair?)
Apart from the fairly well documented problem of the cables getting pinched while folding/unfolding & having to reposition the cables before you ride (I haven't found this to be too much of a trial) there are a few other niggles :-

The front chain ring has a tendency to rub very slightly on the folding section of the frame ( screws not set back low enough into the rear of the front chain-ring)

The folding section of the frame pivots in front of the bottom bracket, this means that there is a hell of a long distance to the rear spindle, definitely is not the best bike to tow a single wheel trailer with ( I have done quite a few miles towing quite a lot of weight but downhill you have to keep your speed down or you will have a very good chance of falling off!)

The adjustable front stem creaks quite a lot, (I have it set quite high)

The wheels, especially the front 16 spoke one are not as true as they could be (the front is 16 spoke to allow the derailleur to fit in the gap left in the spokes, making a much narrower fold. But once we have our Rohloffs this won't be an issue)

The supply/support is very lax, there are no accessories available yet in Europe, Seppe @ is on the case, but a bike with no mudguards in Europe in winter is a pain (stain?) in the butt! & stuff like the pump (which screws into the bottom of the seat post) and the rack & luggage stuff are..........coming.

But these are very minor niggles, and in the grand scheme of things, I would just put it ahead of the Birdy, but it only costs two thirds of the basic, old model, Birdy Red, and a country mile ahead of a Brompton which is only marginally cheaper than the Gobike and unfolds to a much smaller bike, the GoBike is the same size as a standard mountain bike (seat & handlebar position)
PS (personal opinions only ! Everyone to there own!)

Hope this helps people who are undecided.

Safe riding!
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Last edited by Chop!; 09-16-05 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 09-16-05, 06:13 PM   #2
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Hi Chop. I have a Gobike as well and have been enjoying it the past couple of months. In terms of the few issues you have come across, the only one that I have experienced is the creaking stem. I had a bad experience with an adjustable stem on another model of folding bike, so I was particularly paranoid about this noise. I found that if I really torqued the Gobike stem I could even shift it slightly. As a result, the dealer in Toronto that I bought the bike from requested a replacement stem from Gobike. When I received the new stem (at no charge) I found that the only difference was that the three groves cut into the lower section that allow for the flex necessary to permit for adjustment (similar to the single groove on a typical seatpost system) had been extended to permit more flex when you tighten the adjuster. Each groove (to the bottom of the circular cut) is about 1 and 1/8 of an inch long. I think that's about 1/8 of an inch longer than the grooves on the initial stem were. Problem solved and no more creaking.

In order to address my own paranoia about possible twisting in extreme circumstances, I also borrowed an idea from Birdy, drilled a 1/4 inch hole in the upper section of the stem and inserted a spring loaded pin inside the tube. The pin pops out through the hole in the upper section and (with a very minor amount of filing to smooth things out) locks into one of the 1/4 inch holes that already exists in the lower section of the stem. Probably not the best description, and likely a bit of overkill, but if you're interested send me your e-mail address and I'll forward you a couple pictures. By the way, it also isn't ideal if you like to adjust the stem a lot, which I don't tend to do.

Look forward to seeing what other modifications you make to your bike.
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