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Folding-Bikes 10-02-09 12:49 PM

Solved! Proud owner of a Pacific Reach, Thank you all for your help!! Pictures in P.3
New to the forum here! Hello BikeForumer's or should I say FoldingFanatics?

I am a new university graduate who managed to get a job in London, ufortunatelly I cant afford to live in the city so I need to travel for about 1:30 hours every day..

Here is what I do now:

7:30 5miles drive on a crappy moped(no place to park car in station for free)
8:10 park bike, get on the train
9:10 arrive to station, get on the tube
9:20 arrive destination
9:30 run to work!

And the same comming back, except the mopped doesnt normally work and I end up having to push it home or leave it there and call girlfriend to pick me up :crash::notamused::twitchy:

Now.. Why I think a folding bike is the way forward:

1) Getting rid of my crappy moped
2) Avoid having to get the packed tube
3) Get some much needed cardio..
4)Save money on the tube!

The answer? A FOLDABLE BIKE! and here is where I need your advice guys :thumb:

Its 5miles to get train, and 6miles from train station to work.

So every day I will be doing 22miles. PERFECT!;)

I have 300 for a bike, here is what it should have:

1) Be foldable
2) Reasonable wheel size so it doesn't take me hours and hours
3) Have space to keep my change of clothes (I could bring a backpack but not ideal)

Note: I have showers etc at work.
I do a lot of long distance cycling on the weekends so fitness is not an issue(yet)
Im male
only 5"7 (hope thats an advantage on folding bikes!)

What do you guys this I should get? Any comments/Advice would be amazing! :love:

I look forward to your comments and being part of this community

Thanks for reading

Carlos71 10-02-09 01:40 PM


2) Reasonable wheel size so it doesn't take me hours and hours
Wheel size is not the issue, maybe the gearing...

Folding-Bikes 10-02-09 01:48 PM


Originally Posted by Carlos71 (Post 9786788)
Wheel size is not the issue, maybe the gearing...

Buenas Carlos,

Hmm interesting I average on a 60mile ride about 23miles/hour

Size is not the biggest issue for me as I will be using the train and as long as the bike is folded and protected .

Thinking 20" wheels?

old and new 10-02-09 02:45 PM

Try DAHON. They're sold in the UK.. I have a Helios model, I can vouch for it.
Takes moments to fold and unfold; sensible riding possition, being Al., mine's light.
DAHON has many modelss, incl. 20" a good choice for you. I'd written a paragraph but it got zapped, I suspect it was the site I was trying to enter. Anyway you should CK out the brand. Foolishly the sites don't list wh. size in most cases so you'll need to eye it out by comparisons and through what they do list clearly. The accessory section of the site shows fenders for a 20'" bike, use it as a guage.
DAHON is hard to beat. Also use the search the Forums option above, using loose perameters, "Curve" will even lead you there. You're no stranger to "odd" possitioning being a Triathelete , not that you'll feel awkward either so rest assured you'll be pleasantly surprised. Even the less fancy models work well, I've ridden the too.

Folding-Bikes 10-02-09 03:27 PM

Thanks old_and_new, you are right, like the wiki says "dahon is the Ford of foldables" so I will go with them, theres alot on ebay, Ive found a dahon cadenza in good condition seems like the sensible way forward.

Will keep looking and learning till I find the perfect one, thanks guys

Dahon.Steve 10-02-09 06:15 PM

I think you have a very long commute that takes three hours from door to door. Bicycling will only make it longer which would mean you would have to factor an additional 40 minutes more! The five mile commute will take about 25-30 minutes depending on the hills. The six mile commute will take 30-35 minutes and I consider this too much when you factor the long train ride.

I would only bike the first five miles to the train station replacing the moped. This way you don't burn yourself out doing this long commute each morning. After work, you can bike the 22 miles at your pace but there is no way I would stop using the tube in the morning.

As for the bike, I would look at the Brompton but you would have to spend more than 300 Sterling.

SesameCrunch 10-02-09 06:33 PM

Hmmm. If you can average 23mph for 60 miles, you may appreciate a more sporty bike. One that has less flex, puts you in a less upright position, has the gearing you're used to. At the price limit you mentioned, be prepared to have to make "sacrifices" to a pure road riding feel. Most folders in that range are more like hybrid bikes.

If you can spend more, try the Dahon SpeedPro , or maybe the Xootr Swift.

TheChap 10-03-09 02:28 AM

Try a Dahon Vitesse, I have not ridden one - and suggest you try before you buy - but I have heard that they are good. Avon Cycles are offering it for 340 - a bit over but might be worth it if you can.

Folding-Bikes 10-03-09 02:45 AM

The SpeedPro is my dream (folding) bike after spending hours looking at them last night.

Im going to this shop now:

To try as many bikes as I can and check prices

jur 10-03-09 07:00 AM

Make sure you try a Xootr Swift. They are absolutely ACE (even as tri bikes)! I do all my long distance fast riding on mine, check my sig linky for a clue. They don't fold small viewed sideways, but they fold flat and occupy little floor space. As a tri-athlete a Dahon may be a little too flexy for your likes.

Plus, they have track ends so are very versatile for choosing either a derailer, hub gears or singlespeed. Hipster fixie!

Here is a recent pic of mine:

And here I'm doing the Australian Alpine Classic 200km on mine:

Folding-Bikes 10-03-09 10:06 AM

jur, ive used forums for years, and your signature is by far the most impressive I have ever seen!!! I really enjoyed your ride's and pictures and how organize you are! a true inspiration, thank you!

I will consider building my own foldable in the future like you have, once I know exactly what I want!

I went to a London shop today,fudges cyclestore, I tried the Dahon's of different price ranges, and I didnt see much difference between the Vitesse models, I actually prefered the cheaper heavier versions., the expensive versions didnt have adjustable handlebars height...

I didnt buy one because I want a secondhand one first, and because the guys there were far from nice!

Folding-Bikes 10-03-09 10:12 AM

Ok Jur, ive fallen in love with your Xootr Swift!! Where do I buy the frame?

Folding-Bikes 10-03-09 10:47 AM

Good News! Found out why the Xootr Swift is not popular over here... because the exchange rate is not so good, the only company that does it has stopped importing them

but... I found 1! the last one! in blue.. the only problem is, they dont know what "size" it is! they think its 1size fits all.

But on the official website: there is different sizes for different heights, I need Medium size one, but I thought folded bikes didnt have size?

I asked the guy to measure the bike:

Seat to bottom Bracket: 36.5cm or 14.4inch
Centre seat to Centre head: 55cm or 21.7inch

Can anyone tell me if there are different frame sizes? and if so, what size is mine?

I managed to bring the price down from 680 to 500 because its the last one and they have stopped importing them..

So excited!

Folding-Bikes 10-03-09 10:59 AM

Ha! Found out myself hehe

Size M - You are between 5′5″ (1.65m) and 5′10″ (1.78m) tall.
No changes are made to the Swift. The stock seat post and stem are used.

Hehe guess what Size I am? So perfect!

Except, how much is a Sootr Swift normally? am I paying over the odds?

jur 10-03-09 09:19 PM

Sorry, I'm not that frequent on the forum these days... but you have found what you were looking for anyway. Almost all folding bikes except Bike Friday are size medium, that is 55cm effective top tube length. To improve Xootr fit, different stems are fitted.

$#500 for the Swift may be a bit on the higher side but not excessive. (Just never tally the cost of upgrading the various bits if you ever do!)

Just one Very Important Thing, make SURE the seat post can be very securely clamped by BOTH quick releases. Failure to verify this will lead to frame failure. The seatpost is an integral part of the frame strength and secure clamping by both clamps is essential.

PS see if you can find some posts by rickybails, he races his Swift in and around London. Couple years ago he won the Smithfield Nocturne on his Swift.

Jerrys88 10-03-09 10:03 PM

Triathelete - I'd think twice about getting a Swift. They are among the largest of the folding bikes when folded - I wouldn't want to take one on a crowded tube during rush hour. Just something to consider.

Folding-Bikes 10-04-09 12:54 AM

Jur- Dont worry about it, yeah I did find it! you are right, 500 is $800 usd, not so good, so emailed them saying I would buy it for 400, see what happens. I

also emailed Peter (I read a lot of posts!) Ideally, it would be amazing be to be able to buy the frame without any paint, just the tubes, so I can do my own paint job and with your bike as an inspiration(and hopefully the help of forumers) start building it from scratch with quality components.How much will the frame cost? is the myth of a steel frame real? Did I email David to the right address?
If I can paint it myself, I will paint it like this:

Jerrys88- The reason I want a bike is so I can go from spending 100 a week to 80 a week by avoiding the tube, in the train it doesnt matter if its big (even thou its not so big anyway) I just need the moody train staff see that the bike is indeed folded, If I could carry a full size bike on the train I would! But thanks for letting me know

IslandHopper 10-04-09 02:44 AM

As no one has said it yet : have you actually tried borrowing a small wheeled bike such as the ubiquitous London commuter's favorite Brompton ?

You will not loose as much performance as you think or be that much slower in typical stop-start traffic conditions;
absolutely no hassle on the trains;
no security worries : no need to lock it outside just put it under your desk;
The front clip-on bag meets your daily kit requirements;

Folding-Bikes 10-04-09 05:42 AM

Im thinking of simply buying this one while I wait for my other,

99, cant really go wrong?

jur 10-04-09 06:19 AM

I would recommend against it. With folding bikes there is the temptation to go really cheap... and that is what you get. Better to save up or to look out for something of quality,,, many Brommies out there too... but try to test ride.

Folding-Bikes 10-04-09 06:37 AM

You are right, Ill just wait.

How much is the frame bought directly from David? does he really sell them or is it just a myth?

jur 10-04-09 04:00 PM

Pete Reich does sell frames, I contacted Xootr and they put me on to him. IIRC they are somewhere between $400US and 500.

Lalato 10-04-09 08:05 PM

I think this is Peter Reich's current website. You can click on the link on the left for details on the Swift. I think you would have to contact them directly for a bare frame though.

If you have the money, it might be perfect for you. If not, you might consider a used Brompton. I don't think it will be that bad overall... and it will allow you to ride the tube on bad weather days.


Folding-Bikes 10-05-09 05:01 AM

Thanks a lot! sent them an email, will call them when later in the day!


Dynocoaster 10-05-09 12:27 PM

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