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"Rolls While Folded"

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"Rolls While Folded"

Old 01-03-10, 04:23 AM
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fongpi
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"Rolls While Folded"

After have gone through the forums, I'm surprised to find one important feature of folding bikes that haven't been scrutinized, which is how well they roll when folded. This is an important feature for me since bikes need to be folded as soon as I pass through to the "paid area" to the train at the BART stations during peak hours. One of the reasons why I decided NOT to go with the Dahon Jack is simply because it doesn't roll while folded and will take considerable effort to lug around when at the station. Does anyone have any thoughs on this? I look forward to hearing all your responses!
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Old 01-03-10, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by fongpi View Post
After have gone through the forums, I'm surprised to find one important feature of folding bikes that haven't been scrutinized, which is how well they roll when folded. This is an important feature for me since bikes need to be folded as soon as I pass through to the "paid area" to the train at the BART stations during peak hours. One of the reasons why I decided NOT to go with the Dahon Jack is simply because it doesn't roll while folded and will take considerable effort to lug around when at the station. Does anyone have any thoughs on this? I look forward to hearing all your responses!
Rolling while folded is more important to some people than others, and I suspect at the moment it is the minority of folder owners that needs that feature. It is low on my list of have to haves. I know that both BF tikit and the Bromptons roll and I am sure there are others. My number one problem is fit.

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Old 01-03-10, 10:45 AM
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Rolling is a very important part for my daily commute! I have same concern here on my daily train ride. This is why I chose Brompton then replaced the original little tiny rolling wheels with the roller blade's wheels that I got them used from a thrift store- cheap and super smooth! ! !
anyone know bike friday rolling well?
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Old 01-03-10, 11:22 AM
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Rolling when folded has been a big deal for me every day: after I commute to work, I have to get the bike through a maze of hallways and elevators, plus my backpack and sundries. This wouldn't be particularly fun if I had to carry a 25-pound bike. Additionally, whenever I take train trips with the bike (inevitably two or three train transfers) I have to get the bike through the various stations, and from track to track, without unfolding it, which is a no-no.

As to rolling: Tikits, Bromptons, Carry-Mes, and Stridas all roll fine when folded. They've got different advantages: for example, the Tikit's better than the Brompton on streets and sidewalks and dirt and gravel; but the Brompton is obviously better for shopping on polished floors.

I think fold-in-half-horizontally bikes (Dahon, Downtube, zillions of chinese bikes, etc.) generally don't roll well enough for reasonable use, despite what various YouTube videos would have you believe. Rolling these bikes requires unreasonable hacks for which the bikes aren't designed. I find that the hacked-up rolling positions aren't comfortable for real use, and (the killer) you can't roll backwards without tilting on one wheel and often accidentally disengaging the magnet. And in the least irritating approach (seatmast up), you can't put the bike down to rest. It's just the nature of the folding design on these bikes.

Last edited by feijai; 01-03-10 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 01-03-10, 12:27 PM
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I'm a regular BART/folder user too. Rolling has been discussed here many times but it doesn't seem to be a key feature for most. Unless you have a physical condition that forces you to need to roll or have really offbeat commute hours, I don't know that rolling is all that great an asset. I spent a lot of time learning to roll my Dahons but almost never have a really need.

Stations are often so overcrowded that carrying the bike is a lot more comfortable for me. It takes up less room on the platform and is easier to navigate crowds carrying it. You are allowed to take your folder on escalators and elevators, so there's really not a huge amount of carrying required (although I can use the workout and prefer to haul it up the stairs). Just make sure you have found the most comfortable way to carry your bike.
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Old 01-03-10, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by fongpi View Post
After have gone through the forums, I'm surprised to find one important feature of folding bikes that haven't been scrutinized, which is how well they roll when folded.
Sure it has. There have been long lengthy discussions on it. Many consider it an important feature.

Wheel size is important. Whether it rolls on the front or rear wheel or third set of wheels -- roller blade wheels -- also matters. How well it stays folded while rolling also matters.
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Old 01-03-10, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by folderster View Post
Stations are often so overcrowded that carrying the bike is a lot more comfortable for me. It takes up less room on the platform and is easier to navigate crowds carrying it. You are allowed to take your folder on escalators and elevators, so there's really not a huge amount of carrying required (although I can use the workout and prefer to haul it up the stairs). Just make sure you have found the most comfortable way to carry your bike.
You must have really small stations then. When I lived in Chicago, rolling was a really important to me. From street to train could be a long walk in a crowd. I loved the ease with which I could maneuver around with the Bike Friday Tikit. When I had to carry the bike, I had to be extra careful not to bump into people. With the bike on the ground I found it easier to move without bothering anyone.

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Old 01-04-10, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by folderster View Post
I spent a lot of time learning to roll my Dahons but almost never have a really need.
What kind of Dahon do you have?
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Old 01-04-10, 09:08 AM
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I have a Speed P8 and a Boardwalk. To roll you leave the handlebars up, fold the rest, and roll on one wheel. It's awkward, but practice it and you'll find it doable. Not easy and not pleasant, but doable. If you have a long straightway to roll on it would not be so bad, but then if you want to switch modes and carry it any distance you have to stop and complete the fold to carry comfortably.
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Old 01-05-10, 06:31 AM
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One of the easiest for rolling is the Strida & I see from Weakling's recent post that the new 5 links folder rolls similarly to a Strida.
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Old 01-05-10, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by feijai View Post
I think fold-in-half-horizontally bikes (Dahon, Downtube, zillions of chinese bikes, etc.) generally don't roll well enough for reasonable use, despite what various YouTube videos would have you believe. Rolling these bikes requires unreasonable hacks for which the bikes aren't designed. I find that the hacked-up rolling positions aren't comfortable for real use, and (the killer) you can't roll backwards without tilting on one wheel and often accidentally disengaging the magnet. And in the least irritating approach (seatmast up), you can't put the bike down to rest. It's just the nature of the folding design on these bikes.
I think having a telescoping/rotatable handlebar like a Downtube helps a lot for rolling fold-in-half type bikes because it allows you to rotate/orient the handlebars to fine tune the steering of the rolled/folded bike (to toe in the wheel so the magnet doesn't disengage when pushing forward, etc...it's simpler than it sounds). Rolling with the seat is like trying to ride a bike by the stem instead of the handlebars and not rotating/orienting the handlebars is like trying to ride a bike with the handlebars off center.

Also IMO rolling backwards is completely unnecessary for this type of bike because it's so easy to pivot in place. In fact, I think pivoting in place is easier with this rolling design than any other because the rolling-wheels don't have to turn (as with the Brompton or Carry-me) and the bike can remain balanced without arm strength (unlike the tikit or Strida).

Plus the rear rack actually remains usable (unlike the Brompton or Tikit or Carry-me which all turn their rear racks 90 or even 180 degrees or the Strida which can't be set down without also tipping its rack over) and I get many compliments when I use mine for grocery shopping ("great idea", "I bet you don't have to deal with traffic", etc). Sure many of the other bikes have alternative methods (front racks, panniers, etc), but they can't beat the simplicity and cost efficiency of a milk crate on the rear rack.

The main disadvantage of the fold-in-half design for rolling is, IMO, that it only rolls in the partially folded position. While the Brompton shares this weakness, the tikit, Carryme, and Strida do not. But even this isn't all bad because it's a necessary tradeoff between having a longer fold vs a squarer fold and a squarer fold has it's advantages for packing a bike in a trunk or suitcase. Besides supermarket isles have plenty of room.

Not saying the fold-in-half design is ideal for rolling, but I think it's a good example of the fact that marketing has such a grip on our society that things advertised as being designed for a purpose are seldom actually designed to be a superior solution for that purpose. More often than not manufacturers/suppliers simply look at what they can produce and then simply claim optimization/design after the fact, with the result that often the worst tools for the job are the ones which are advertised for that job.

Originally Posted by folderster View Post
I'm a regular BART/folder user too. Rolling has been discussed here many times but it doesn't seem to be a key feature for most. Unless you have a physical condition that forces you to need to roll or have really offbeat commute hours, I don't know that rolling is all that great an asset. I spent a lot of time learning to roll my Dahons but almost never have a really need.

Stations are often so overcrowded that carrying the bike is a lot more comfortable for me. It takes up less room on the platform and is easier to navigate crowds carrying it. You are allowed to take your folder on escalators and elevators, so there's really not a huge amount of carrying required (although I can use the workout and prefer to haul it up the stairs). Just make sure you have found the most comfortable way to carry your bike.
Like a rolling suitcase, while I guess it's true that I don't really need to roll it, I would never ever choose not to roll a folding bike if I can help it, especially not on an escalator where I might not be able to put down or pick up the bike quickly enough if my arms tire.

And I think crowded stations are the most useful place to roll a bike because it's much easier to maneuver your bike in the available space independently from your body than to try cumbersomely maneuvering your torso effectively expanded by 12 inches and 30 pounds. I agree, however, that rolling doesn't help much on a crowded train where there isn't much maneuvering or moving at all (just file in and sit tight). Although I could see how you might feel differently if your bike is much lighter.

Last edited by chucky; 01-05-10 at 10:48 AM. Reason: post chopped off by forum bug or troll
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Old 01-05-10, 10:10 AM
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I should also mention that I've taken the roller wheels off my Carryme because I discovered how heavy microbearings are when I went to upgrade the stock ones (which were bearingless and noisy). I also found that the bike stands better (less likely to tip over) on the rack directly (I guess similar to how a kickstand works much better if you rubber band the brake levers). So since my Carryme is down to about 15 pounds now I figured I'd try carrying it over my shoulder Xootr Scooter style.

I haven't really tried it much yet cause my brakes went from very poor to extremely dangerous last winter and I'm still working on upgrading them (a woeful tale of small wheel technicality which I'll tell once it's over), but it's not a high priority since I don't live in the city anymore (although it's higher now that the roads are salted which is terrible for inline skates).

Not to knock the Brompton, but you guys using 4 full size rollerblade wheels must be adding a lot of weight (in addition to the "rack" which is actually a stand). Just seems like a lot of trade off when the end result can't even roll over the train/platform gap. How much do those rollerblade wheel clad Bromptons weigh?

Last edited by chucky; 01-05-10 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:28 AM
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Also IMO rolling backwards is completely unnecessary for this type of bike because it's so easy to pivot in place.
Wow, that is utterly not my experience. Getting around in tight places with lots of people (subway tunnels, escalators, buses, TRAIN AISLES, and ELEVATORS) pivoting in place is usually absurd.

In what world are fold-in-half bikes balanceable on their wheels without arm strength? I think you're mistaking something.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by feijai View Post
Wow, that is utterly not my experience. Getting around in tight places with lots of people (subway tunnels, escalators, buses, TRAIN AISLES, and ELEVATORS) pivoting in place is usually absurd.

In what world are fold-in-half bikes balanceable on their wheels without arm strength? I think you're mistaking something.
I find escalators to be one of the most important places for pivoting in place because if I don't turn the bike sideways then it will protrude onto more than one step (but it has to roll forward...so I roll it onto the escalator step, pivot sideways, and then step on myself). In fact I always do this even if there's plenty of room so that the bike doesn't go rolling down the escalator if it somehow gets snagged and pushed out of my grip. This is mostly on escalators in NYC subway system.

I can also balance my fold-in-half bike on it's wheels and walk away from it (well sorta...doesn't work all the time...so let's say I can do it on the equinox ). No mistaking, I'm talking a Downtube folded in half, handlebars and seat up, only thing touching the ground is the tires, no hands.

Don't know what's wrong with the forum but my posts are being deleted. I think some malevolent troll has my account password because I don't see any chopped off posts other than my own.

Last edited by chucky; 01-05-10 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
Not to knock the Brompton, but you guys using 4 full size rollerblade wheels must be adding a lot of weight (in addition to the "rack" which is actually a stand). Just seems like a lot of trade off when the end result can't even roll over the train/platform gap. How much do those rollerblade wheel clad Bromptons weigh?
Interesting point.

Generally, I don't recommend the rear rack anyway. I would go with the front mount/bag, fenders, and the roller blade wheels in the rear.

Regarding rolling bikes that fold in half -- I have a DT Mini -- it was never much of an issue with me. Certainly an issue that one should consider; but I think that a little practice goes a long way.
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Old 01-05-10, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
Generally, I don't recommend the rear rack anyway. I would go with the front mount/bag, fenders, and the roller blade wheels in the rear.
Don't you need the rack to mount the wheels? I'm kinda confused about this. If not then I guess it's not that bad, but I was just thinking rack + skate wheels must be a couple pounds at least.
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Old 01-05-10, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
Don't you need the rack to mount the wheels? I'm kinda confused about this. If not then I guess it's not that bad, but I was just thinking rack + skate wheels must be a couple pounds at least.
Nope. See the following ...

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-on-a-Brompton

Note that I would only go with two skate wheels where one would tilt the bike to roll while folded.
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Old 06-24-16, 01:09 PM
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Bump! Been doing research on a rolling folding bike for my double-commute (bike/subway).

This thread mentions.
Strida
Tikit
Brompton
CarryMe

Bikes I've found are
Tern Link w/ trolley rack
Dahon Qix https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bi...ting-fold.html

Any models I've missed?
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Old 06-24-16, 01:31 PM
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Lets read your research thesis..
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Old 06-24-16, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonah Complex View Post
Bump! Been doing research on a rolling folding bike for my double-commute (bike/subway).

This thread mentions.
Strida
Tikit
Brompton ...................

Any models I've missed?
My solution so far, not even just rolling, but can be used as light shopping cart....



Brommie Shopping Cart in Action

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Old 06-24-16, 02:17 PM
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how to roll a dahon folding bike:
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Old 06-24-16, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonah Complex View Post
Bump! Been doing research on a rolling folding bike for my double-commute (bike/subway).

This thread mentions.
Strida
Tikit
Brompton
CarryMe

Bikes I've found are
Tern Link w/ trolley rack
Dahon Qix https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bi...ting-fold.html

Any models I've missed?
Downtube was also mentioned.
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Old 06-24-16, 02:46 PM
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Yes, but not as one that rolled well. Same with Dahons - the one model I listed is new and still hasn't been released.
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Old 06-24-16, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by vmaniqui View Post
how to roll a dahon folding bike:
Oh, for goodness' sakes. Without a special rack, fold-in-half Dahons and Terns generally do not usefully roll when folded. (1) They can only be rolled forward *forward*, otherwise the cranks will turn and hit the frame; this makes them of very limited use when manipulating tight spaces. Elevators are especially fun. (2) Most of them have delicate locking mechanisms, often magnets, which fairly easily pop open, particularly when tilting the bike in an attempt to roll on the front wheel only. And (3) the wheels are often not parallel. The same applies, I would presume, to most if not all Downtubes, Citizens, and the like. And I say this as a proud owner of several Dahons.

What you're showing here is a hack, and a not very useful one at that. A far cry from a tikit or Brompton.

Last edited by feijai; 06-24-16 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 06-25-16, 11:08 AM
  #25  
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I had a Strida for a few years; now my friend has it. It is probably the easiest bike for trains and escalators since it is a narrow stick that you can hug next to your body. It also rolls the easiest folded with it's parallel 16/18" tires, but you have to get the magnets just right and I added a velcro strap to eliminate the wheels coming apart when turning. The only drawback is you can't ride it fast due to its lawn chair posture and no standing on the pedals.

I use a Brompton often and it is OK for trains and escalators. I put 2 huge 4" roller wheels on it and pivot/move it by the raised seat. With a raised seat the bike will unfold so a velcro strap locks the front tire to the frame and all is kept tight rolling around, but since half the bike is offset, it always wants to tip over. You could get the roller wheel axle extender to solve this but I don't intermodal my bike enough to want to buy such an overpriced item. Seriously that thing probably costs $10-20 to make depending on volume. I don't want to roll by the bars because it is too big in a crowded train.

I do have a Dahon Dove (side folder) but I never use it anymore since a Brompton is better for me.
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