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Easy to handle folded bikes

Old 07-03-14, 01:05 AM
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Easy to handle folded bikes

I bought my first folding bike, an Oyama East Village, online. Prior to buying I did not think to check on the mobility of the bike after folding. Fortunately the thing folded in such a way that the two main wheels end up side-by-side, neatly aligned straight, so that I could just simply push it around by holding the seat, sort of like a stroller.

I later discovered that this was quite an unusual feature. Apparently not many other bikes do the same. The Brompton just trundles along on those small trolley wheels. Having compared this with my own I'm not really a fan.

The advantages of the main-wheel fold are many. The weight of the bike is much less relevant as you aren't lifting it about. Big wheels easily take on road and pavement imperfections and the bike is most easily maneuvered in its folded configuration. When in the company of non riders I sometimes stroll with them for miles while pushing my folded bike along in front of me.

Descriptions and reviews of folding bikes on the internet speak very little of what the bike is like to handle after folding. Most talk of performance in the unfolded configuration. This is very important too of course, but for some of us the management of the bike in its folded form can be more important.

This post is just to gather information about bikes of this type. The community knows better than just me searching on my lonesome. Please therefore share if you know of any bike brand or model that is convenient to handle after folding. Actual experiences are also greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-03-14, 05:45 AM
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I just tried pushing my folded Tern Link D8 around the living room. It's possible, but clumsy. I'd much rather unfold it and push by the handlebars if I was unable to ride (or carry it folded if it a short distance).
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Old 07-03-14, 06:50 AM
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With my Downtube 9FS, if I fold it all the way down and hold the hinge to pull it, it bounces left and right on the tires until it falls over. If I leave the seat up and backwards and pull by the seat, it has a much lower tendency to fall over. I cannot push it, can only pull it, because the pedals start to rotate backwards and get stuck. I haven't tried a "long distance" roll but I don't think I'd be wandering around for hours with this thing trailing behind me - just long enough to board the train.
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Old 07-03-14, 08:46 AM
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the only bikes that i know that was specifically designed to be rolled on the main wheels when folded are the strida, and the IF mode, move and the entire IF series that pacific cycle makes. but to roll something like that for a long period of time and for long distances I would just roll it on in it's unfolded form which would be ALOT easier.
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Old 07-03-14, 09:10 AM
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Bike Friday Tikit rolls on its front wheel when folded , the rear portion then presents a handle.
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Old 07-03-14, 09:20 AM
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My Dahon folds well enough, but after folding, moves around clumsily .
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Old 07-03-14, 09:57 AM
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All Origami bikes roll well when folded. We considered this in the design process.
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Old 07-03-14, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Shahmatt
The Brompton just trundles along on those small trolley wheels. Having compared this with my own I'm not really a fan.
Well... I think a few of us Brompton owners would beg to differ... the "just trundling along" means we don't ever have to set down the bike if we're pulling it along in the semi-folded position with the handle still up: I just let go of the handle and the bike remains freestanding in the same folded position. In addition, if leave the handle up with the bag attached the semi-folded bike becomes, for all intents, a "shopping cart" that you can wheel around while browsing. Finally, several of us have replaced the stock wheels with aluminum ones or roller blade wheels, making it even more manageable and stable. I'd argue that the Brompton is the most maneuverable and versatile bike when folded.
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Old 07-03-14, 11:28 AM
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The 4 EZ wheel R Bromptons with a rack , roll easier than the 2 wheel with 1 on the mudguard L models
every thing is relative .. not absolute ..

put it under the shopping trolley in the store is probably simpler way to shop .

have the checker fill your B Front Basket at the cash register.

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Old 07-03-14, 01:32 PM
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In my experience I find that in practice a rolling rack is over rated.


I own a mezzo and I have owned brommies. The brompton has a full rolling rack. The standard mezzo has just the rear. Both bikes can have larger wheels fitted, and both benifiet from the upgrade not to catch on cracks in the pavement etc.

I have upgraded one of my mezzos to full rolling rack. Thanks cpq.

I find that when I wheel the folded bike you need to bend down to push it. It's all so harder to steer around corners with all four wheels on floor.
Therefore, I tilt the bike back on to two wheels like pushing a wheeled luggage bag.
If you extend the seat post both bikes can unfold over bumps etc.

So two rear wheels needed really, ie like mezzo.

Maybe not....

I find that rolling on both rear wheels I am too close to the bikes path and it's not easy to hold the bike further away and push it straight.
Therefore, I find most pushing of the bike is done on one wheel.
I have one small standard wheel and one large wheel fitted to my gold mezzo. It means it stands up more stabily also.

Fascinating....

I think you are pretty much correct a bike that wheels well on the main wheels is preferable (not many do), as long as it stands up well also.

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Old 07-03-14, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by bhkyte
I find that when I wheel the folded bike you need to bend down to push it. It's all so harder to steer around corners with all four wheels on floor. Therefore, I tilt the bike back on to two wheels like pushing a wheeled luggage bag. If you extend the seat post both bikes can unfold over bumps etc.
Well... I won't claim that rolling a folded Brompton is the absolute-easiest-thing-in-the-world, but it's pretty easy... but I mostly just pull the Brompton behind me as it rolls along, rather than pushing it. It is a little harder to turn a corner, but not overly so, and nothing that requires excessive force. As for extending the seat post so that it unfolds... uh... just don't extend it (?).
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Old 07-03-14, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Ozonation
. As for extending the seat post so that it unfolds... uh... just don't extend it (?).
..somepeople state they extend the seatpost so they don't have to reach down. If you push the folded bike you need to bend over. It's not really practical in my experience. So I tilt both folders on to their back wheels for most wheeling. In shops I find the four wheel rack does not steer around isles well. The amount of time 4 rather than 2 wheels seems an advantage is minimal. When do people wheel on four wheels for any thing other than a very short distance?

I removed the rear mudguard and rack on my last brompton. I also tended to move this bike on one wheel (rollerblade),

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Old 07-03-14, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bhkyte
..somepeople state they extend the seatpost so they don't have to reach down. If you push the folded bike you need to bend over. It's not really practical in my experience. So I tilt both folders on to their back wheels for most wheeling. In shops I find the four wheel rack does not steer around isles well. The amount of time 4 rather than 2 wheels seems an advantage is minimal. When do people wheel on four wheels for any thing other than a very short distance?
I must be misunderstanding what you wrote. When I roll my semi-folded Brompton, I keep the seat post down to lock the fold in place, but the handle bar and stem stay up up so that I can pull the bike behind me, just as I would wheeled luggage. I don't have to bend over to push anything.

True... turning around isles is harder with four wheels, but when I get to work, because the bike is easily free standing on the rack and four trolley wheels, I can let go of my bike to open doors, readjust my briefcase, etc. and then just grab the handle and keep going. Even if it's only a short distance, I find the Brompton's ability to wheel independently on a rack to be pretty convenient.
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Old 07-03-14, 06:21 PM
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this is all very interesting but, whenever i have any questions about the proper usage of my folding bike in trolley mode, i always reference the definitive guide to such issues. the guide covers virtually every conceivable topic regarding trolleying from how to balance and sort fruit and veg in full trolley mode (you dont want to get the lettuce under the oranges), trolley etiquette (don't trolley in a funeral procession), trolley gear and accessories, and my favorite chapter on technique, "from slalom to free-style". slightly out of date but, still relevant, you may find this title difficult to get your hands on as it has been out of print for 32 years. i found my copy on a bat guano coated shelf in the bell tower of holy trinity brompton church while on a backpacking and cycling excursion some years back. i always carry it in my saddlebag. you never know when it may come in handy.

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Old 07-03-14, 08:14 PM
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They sure don't make them trolley systems like they used to...
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Old 07-03-14, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Pinigis
All Origami bikes roll well when folded. We considered this in the design process.
Thanks for this info. Would there be any videos on your website or elsewhere demonstrating ease of handling whilst in the folded form?
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Old 07-03-14, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Ozonation
I'd argue that the Brompton is the most maneuverable and versatile bike when folded.
I only spent a few days trying out a Brompton. I found it infernally hard to lift the front two trolley wheels and pivot when I wanted to change direction. Also the darn wheels kept getting wedged in between floor tiles. I own a Flamingo NX7. Much the same system as Brompton, and also equally difficult.

I dunno, perhaps there's a trick to it. It just felt much more inferior coming from the Oyama. It was also a bit of a surprise since I expected that a bike so famous and expensive to have superior folding mobility.
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Old 07-03-14, 08:43 PM
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Old 07-03-14, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Shahmatt
I only spent a few days trying out a Brompton. I found it infernally hard to lift the front two trolley wheels and pivot when I wanted to change direction. Also the darn wheels kept getting wedged in between floor tiles. I own a Flamingo NX7. Much the same system as Brompton, and also equally difficult.

I dunno, perhaps there's a trick to it. It just felt much more inferior coming from the Oyama. It was also a bit of a surprise since I expected that a bike so famous and expensive to have superior folding mobility.
According to my experience, pulling it along fully-folded with a C-bag handle is awkward and I'm constantly wrestling it back to 4 wheels when turning because it's hard to 'feel' it. Ideally the front wheels should have a (slight) swivel so a bike can be turned more easily.

However, pushing with handlebar up is brilliant if not something I want to do all the time.
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Old 07-03-14, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Shahmatt
I only spent a few days trying out a Brompton. I found it infernally hard to lift the front two trolley wheels and pivot when I wanted to change direction. Also the darn wheels kept getting wedged in between floor tiles. I own a Flamingo NX7. Much the same system as Brompton, and also equally difficult.

I dunno, perhaps there's a trick to it. It just felt much more inferior coming from the Oyama. It was also a bit of a surprise since I expected that a bike so famous and expensive to have superior folding mobility.
Well... to each their own I suppose. I won't claim that wheeling the Brompton around is the easiest thing in the world, but I sure don't seem to have the concerns you experienced, and this is after using the bike for the last couple of years in a variety of scenarios.

Enjoy the Oyama!
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Old 07-04-14, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Shahmatt
I only spent a few days trying out a Brompton. I found it infernally hard to lift the front two trolley wheels and pivot when I wanted to change direction. Also the darn wheels kept getting wedged in between floor tiles. I own a Flamingo NX7. Much the same system as Brompton, and also equally difficult.

I dunno, perhaps there's a trick to it. It just felt much more inferior coming from the Oyama. It was also a bit of a surprise since I expected that a bike so famous and expensive to have superior folding mobility.
I own both a brompton and a citizen Miami,both are easy enough to fold and roll once you get used to them.The citizen's wheels fold parallel to each other and you just leave the seat and the handlebars extended.Right hand fingers grip under the back of the saddle,left hand grips the handle bar on the left side,tilt it back and push away.Turns left or right very easy,going backwards you just tilt the bike to run on the one wheel that will rotate both forward/backward.
The brompton I have has the rack with four rollers,I leave the seat up and the handlebars up and then push it with the bars.Taking corners is easy once you get the idea to lightly lift the handlebars so only the front rollers are making contact and will turn easy,also works the opposite way ,push down on handle bars to raise front rollers and turn.It rarely comes apart because you soon learn how much to lift with out the folding seperating.
All folding bikes are a compromise and both of mine do well,my favorite is the brompton,bigger wheels on the rack would improve it alot but I want to get my money's worth out of the EZ wheels first.As is, I see no problem with rolling it folded as long as the floor is smooth enough,in rough conditions I would just roll it unfolded.The only place I do find it difficult is when I go to a movie and have to roll it on the carpet,larger wheels would help.
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Old 07-04-14, 12:25 PM
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over answered re: FLAMINGO NX7 w/ inline skate wheels modifications

1) Folded sitting in room - 2.5/5
2) Rolling completely folded (holding by extended seatpost) - 3/5
3) Using in shopping cart mode - 3/5
4) riding as a bicycle - 4/5
5) carrying raw - 1.5/5
6) carrying in soft padded case (Bickerton) - 2.5/5
7) rolling in Vicente solid bottom bag - not yet tested
8) carrying with bungy cord - 2.5/5
9) carrying in very light zip bag - 3/5

Too heavy, rolling wheels unbalanced, too many sticking out bits. Next folding bike will be a 1-speed titanium Brompton with rack, customized for maximum ease of use.

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Old 07-04-14, 12:30 PM
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over answered re: FLAMINGO NX7 w/ inline skate wheels modifications

1) Folded sitting in room - 2.5/5
2) Rolling completely folded (holding by extended seatpost) - 3/5
3) Using in shopping cart mode - 3/5
4) riding as a bicycle - 4/5
5) carrying raw - 1.5/5
6) carrying in soft padded case (Bickerton) - 2.5/5
7) rolling in Vicente solid bottom bag - not yet tested
8) carrying with bungy cord - 2.5/5
9) carrying in very light zip bag - 3/5

Too heavy, rolling wheels unbalanced, too many sticking out bits. Nd t bike will be a 1-speed titanium Brompton with rack, customized for maximum ease of use.
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Old 07-04-14, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Shahmatt
I only spent a few days trying out a Brompton. I found it infernally hard to lift the front two trolley wheels and pivot when I wanted to change direction. Also the darn wheels kept getting wedged in between floor tiles. I own a Flamingo NX7. Much the same system as Brompton, and also equally difficult.

I dunno, perhaps there's a trick to it. It just felt much more inferior coming from the Oyama. It was also a bit of a surprise since I expected that a bike so famous and expensive to have superior folding mobility.
One thing Brompton has is a fair amount of third-party support - the brand is common enough now that people are developing commercial workarounds to some of their more vexing problems - previously unfixable thanks to their proprietary mindset. Kinda like how Apple spawned a massive third-party industry doing nothing but churning out hundreds of thousands of colorful covers for one or two phone models.

I found this weight-saving solution from NOV Design somewhat intriguing - just mudflap and a block that holds an axle with 2 wheels. It negates the need for a 'heavyish' rack just to hold the extra two wheels, which is what I believe most Brompton owners use it for.

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Old 07-05-14, 03:44 AM
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Just to clear up my imperfect post, one of many, I was referring to the fully folded bike. Personally I have never had much success with the brommie in trolley mode. However, I haven't really tried to adjust items mich to get it right like wheel size etc.
Something I often suggest is worth a go ......
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