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New here- would you help me choose a folder?

Old 07-27-08, 09:13 PM
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dschwarz
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New here- would you help me choose a folder?

Hi everyone,

I'd appreciate your advice. I'd like to start commuting to work by bike + train, and I'll need a folder to do that. Some details:

I've been away from cycling for 10+ years. Not in great shape. 5.5"/ 195lb. Live in Manhattan, work in New Jersey. I plan to bike about 5mi. down the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway to the WTC PATH station, take the train across the Hudson River, and arrive at work. In order to take the bike on the PATH train at rush hour, I'll need to fold it and bag it. I'll need to carry my work clothes and laptop with me on the commute.

I'm looking for a folding bike that is comfortable and durable. Should fold quickly and without tools into a bag that I can bring on the train. Does not need to fold extremely compactly, as long as I can get it inot a bag. My budget is about $650, and it'd be nice if that price includes the accessories I need (mudguards, rack?).

I look forward to hearing your recommendations.
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Old 07-27-08, 09:21 PM
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Downtube Mini , 8 speed internal hub, 16' tires, small fold. approx $500 shipped to your door. I have one and it is nice to have the gears, has a rear suspension for comfort. There are some accessories on the Downtube.com site for a rack that could double as a mud guard. Dahon curve is also cool, has a three speed. lots of accessories , check out thorusa.com. I dont work for either but the owners are on the site here and great to work with. There are others on the site here that live in NYC and could also steer you towards some LBS local bike shop there. Welcome to the site and good luck.
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Old 07-27-08, 09:24 PM
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I've never tried other folding bikes except for the Downtube Mini that I have. I'm also 5'5". It fits me perfectly. I'm not sure about your riding position but I like mine to be a little upright. The handle bar height on my mini is about an inch or an inch and a half above my saddle. This handle bar height is at its minimum also which is perfect. This way, I don't have to fiddle with it anymore. All I have to adjust when I unfold it is the seat post. It's a great bike. Not the fastest but it's a lot of fun. Five miles shouldn't be really a problem but, then again, that depends on your stamina/overall health. A lot of people like this folder. Lot's of review about it here on this forum. Good luck!
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Old 07-27-08, 09:37 PM
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Does the train take you right to your office? Why not get a full size bike and lock it at the PATH station? You can get a cheap bike and an expensive lock if you are worried about theft. Save you the hassle of lugging a folding bike on the train.
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Old 07-27-08, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
Downtube Mini , 8 speed internal hub, 16' tires, small fold. approx $500 shipped to your door. I have one and it is nice to have the gears, has a rear suspension for comfort. There are some accessories on the Downtube.com site for a rack that could double as a mud guard. Dahon curve is also cool, has a three speed. lots of accessories , check out thorusa.com. I dont work for either but the owners are on the site here and great to work with. There are others on the site here that live in NYC and could also steer you towards some LBS local bike shop there. Welcome to the site and good luck.
Thanks. I see a lot of references to the Downtube on here. I've never ridden a bike with 16" tires so I'd like to try before I buy. If I can find a local dealer who carries them, I'll give one a try. My local bike shop carries Dahons (although they are continually out of stock) so when they get one in, I'll try the Curve.
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Old 07-27-08, 10:09 PM
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re: expensive lock and cheap bike

Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Does the train take you right to your office? Why not get a full size bike and lock it at the PATH station? You can get a cheap bike and an expensive lock if you are worried about theft. Save you the hassle of lugging a folding bike on the train.
Could do, but this is NYC so it'd have to be a junker to survive on the streets. The train ride is quick and the train is relatively empty (reverse commute), so I'm not worried about squeezing on the train. Also a folder would save room in my apartment. Even with all that in mind, should I be having second thoughts about the folder? Hm...
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Old 07-27-08, 10:24 PM
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re: expensive lock and cheap bike

Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Does the train take you right to your office? Why not get a full size bike and lock it at the PATH station? You can get a cheap bike and an expensive lock if you are worried about theft. Save you the hassle of lugging a folding bike on the train.
Could do, but this is NYC so it'd have to be a junker to survive on the streets. The train ride is quick and the train is relatively empty (reverse commute), so I'm not worried about squeezing on the train. Also a folder would save room in my apartment. Even with all that in mind, should I be having second thoughts about the folder? Hm...
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Old 07-27-08, 11:17 PM
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Welcome to the forum, you'll never want to leave.

I think a folder will definitely meet your needs. From what I've seen and heard, the mini would be a great choice. You'll be pleasantly surprised by what little difference there is compared to a bigger, non-folding bike. And the internal hub is great, using it is very intuitive, feels more natural (can't explain it, you just have to use one).
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Old 07-28-08, 12:36 AM
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couldnt you get a merc for that price? might be a better option because of the smaller fold maybe?
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