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Why choose a folding bicycle over a regular bicycle?

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Why choose a folding bicycle over a regular bicycle?

Old 12-26-18, 01:08 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I know this will be entirely subjective, and be difficult to give a concrete answer, but which do you like best, one of the Bike Fridays, or the Brompton, and why?
My Bike Friday pocket Llama is a 20" wheel, has disc brakes, Rohloff Hub (53;16 gear) and Schmidt dynohub .. It's my Rain bike Pannier rack has rain cape in 1 side ... its a rainy place , this coast

in the summer Brompton M3L with a MD Crank , and front bag mount, it is a small folded package , when needed... rim brakes added a SQR Carradice bag on the seatpost..


You kids go all obsessive over speed .. performance , personally , I got over that decades ago..







....

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-27-18 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 12-26-18, 01:22 PM
  #27  
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Folders are great if you need the advantages that folding offers, e.g. storage, carrying on public transit, etc. but it's pretty silly to say they outperform full size non-folders. Can you tour on them? sure. Can you use them every day? sure. Can you go as fast or as far as you could on a comparably priced standard bike? No way.
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Old 12-26-18, 01:35 PM
  #28  
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Own a Brompton but never a Bike Friday

Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
yeah...the only rub is that Dahon, Brompton or BF make do not make 700c folders. Were I a knowledgeable foldie blogger I would have suggested instead a ChangeBike out of Taiwan.

Enjoy the BF & Bromptom monologue. There's a whole dedicated channel for that, in fact. It's this forum's Folding Bike channel. Knock yourselves out.

Over & out.
I currently own a Brompton and can say that itís a very solid folding Bicycle that rides very well. Iíve never owned a Bike Friday but have heard great things about them. Iíd definitely give one a try because I think every folding Bicycle has its strong points.
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Old 12-26-18, 01:46 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Andy Thousand View Post

All this changed when I got a folding bike.
And when did you get this bike?
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Old 12-26-18, 02:56 PM
  #30  
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From the beginning of 2004 I worked on a project in Taiwan for 6 of the next 8 years. Shortly after I arrived I bought a full size Giant road bike. We were allowed to return to the US for 2 weeks every 2 or 3 months. It quickly became obvious that traveling with that bike was going to be difficult as taxis in Asia tend to be Toyota Corolla size and smaller. After a year I decided to sell it and look for alternatives.

I had ridden a few small-wheel folders and didn’t like the feel. It is a very subjective thing and it just didn’t work for me. Ultimately I hit upon a 2005 steel Ritchey Break-Away and had it built up with a 10-speed Campagnolo Centaur drivetrain. The Break-Away doesn’t fold. It is a full size road bike with 700c wheels. The frame separates into 2 parts and fits into its own piece of luggage. I continued to ride this bike until 2016 when it was stolen. I replaced it with a 2016 carbon Break-Away.

As I said, ride feel is very subjective. It has been a long time since I rode a small wheel bike, but going from memory, I think it felt a bit more twitchy than I was comfortable with. Anyway, the important thing is to based our choices on actual experience rather than published reviews. To me those are only starting points...
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Old 12-27-18, 09:57 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
...Can you go as fast or as far as you could on a comparably priced standard bike? No way.
well, people have crossed continents on folders. I myself traversed an entire country on a folder, so this "no way" business displays bias, ignorance, or plain physical weakness.
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Old 12-27-18, 10:18 AM
  #32  
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I mean, you could cross some countries by bicycle within a few hours. See, e.g., Lichtenstein.
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Old 12-27-18, 10:35 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
My Bike Friday pocket Llama is a 20" wheel, has disc brakes, Rohloff Hub (53;16 gear) and Schmidt dynohub .. It's my Rain bike Pannier rack has rain cape in 1 side ... its a rainy place , this coast

in the summer Brompton M3L with a MD Crank , and front bag mount, it is a small folded package , when needed... rim brakes added a SQR Carradice bag on the seatpost..


You kids go all obsessive over speed .. performance , personally , I got over that decades ago..


....
Not I, I'm with you there. I was just curious about the differences between the two. Thanks for your insight.
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Old 12-27-18, 10:40 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
well, people have crossed continents on folders. I myself traversed an entire country on a folder, so this "no way" business displays bias, ignorance, or plain physical weakness.
I like folding bikes, as you know, Abu, but my experience is limited to Brompton and one other brand. They are highly manouverable, easy to take where you want on the planet, but you do pay for it. Given rough or unmade roads, they quickly make walking a better option, and at speed they can be downright dangerous. Now that airlines have cottoned on and are charging for them, I'm seriously thinking about taking my Bianchi next time I visit SE Asia. You always deny it, but I and others get the feeling you haven't tried a 700C size wheel touring racing bike.

Last time I went to Bali I used my old and sadly long gone drop handle barred Peugeot, and it was much better than the others who had foldng bikes and whatever, if only for the gears. But you, of course, would think that impossible.
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Old 12-27-18, 10:45 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
Folders are great if you need the advantages that folding offers, e.g. storage, carrying on public transit, etc. but it's pretty silly to say they outperform full size non-folders. Can you tour on them? sure. Can you use them every day? sure. Can you go as fast or as far as you could on a comparably priced standard bike? No way.
mmmmmmmm....I have to disagree about speed being an issue.
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Old 12-27-18, 11:02 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
I like folding bikes, as you know, Abu, but my experience is limited to Brompton and one other brand. They are highly manouverable, easy to take where you want on the planet, but you do pay for it. Given rough or unmade roads, they quickly make walking a better option, and at speed they can be downright dangerous. Now that airlines have cottoned on and are charging for them, I'm seriously thinking about taking my Bianchi next time I visit SE Asia. You always deny it, but I and others get the feeling you haven't tried a 700C size wheel touring racing bike.

Last time I went to Bali I used my old and sadly long gone drop handle barred Peugeot, and it was much better than the others who had foldng bikes and whatever, if only for the gears. But you, of course, would think that impossible.
Of course, I've tried, ownned big wheel bikes, mostly though not exclusively 26" MTB. In fact, one if my builds in progress is a 29er. Here is the wheelset...


Now as for your folder experience, by your own admission you've only used a 349-wheel Bromptom and Brompton clone (with tires pumped to triple digits, again by your own admission. Brompton & Bromoton clone, really extensive experience there), so frankly you have little perspective on the gamut of the segment.

As for your Bali posirive experience with a big bike, I l am confused because by your own admission elsewhere you failed to make it up to Kintamani and ended up taking the bus, yet I have pedalled up there on a folder, and here you claim that your big bike has better gearing. It is the smaller, not the bigger wheel that is at an advantage when it comes to lower gearing which is what is needed for the volcanic inclines of Bali. I should know for I live and cycle there. So, hard to believe you, yes, with so many inconsistencies flying around, sorry.

Last edited by Abu Mahendra; 12-27-18 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 12-27-18, 01:23 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by kayakindude View Post
mmmmmmmm....I have to disagree about speed being an issue.
That would have been on my list of travel bikes along with a Moulton. Nether would sacrifice speed to a standard road bike
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Old 12-27-18, 01:37 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
That would have been on my list of travel bikes along with a Moulton. Nether would sacrifice speed to a standard road bike
Agreed and more to the OPs question, I think a lot of misconceptions are out there because of the smaller tires. In the past 2 years I've gone from none to 4 folders for my family. They are quite addictive. The rider adaptability is much better than a regular bike and even my low end Dahon Vybe has never failed with anything I've attempted and my wife would kill me if she saw some of the things I've put that bike through. Racing down from the Griffin observatory while bouncing off speed bumps is one of the most thrilling descents I've ever done.
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Old 12-27-18, 02:14 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by kayakindude View Post
Agreed and more to the OPs question, I think a lot of misconceptions are out there because of the smaller tires. In the past 2 years I've gone from none to 4 folders for my family. They are quite addictive. The rider adaptability is much better than a regular bike and even my low end Dahon Vybe has never failed with anything I've attempted and my wife would kill me if she saw some of the things I've put that bike through. Racing down from the Griffin observatory while bouncing off speed bumps is one of the most thrilling descents I've ever done.
My post was to attempt to show that the perception that small wheel bikes offer a harsh ride on bad roads is not necessarily the case. The Airnimal has rear suspension and 24" wheels. Moultons have 17-20" wheels and full suspension. They both provide a fast bike that can be folded down into a compact package for travel
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Old 12-27-18, 08:28 PM
  #40  
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@abu - admit it, you are fanatically keen on folders ! I think they serve a purpose, mostly based on their size. When was the last time a folder won the Tour de France?
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Old 12-27-18, 08:33 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
My post was to attempt to show that the perception that small wheel bikes offer a harsh ride on bad roads is not necessarily the case. The Airnimal has rear suspension and 24" wheels. Moultons have 17-20" wheels and full suspension. They both provide a fast bike that can be folded down into a compact package for travel
Sorry, folders on unmade roads are accidents waiting to happen, and your picture shows a decent road surface.
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Old 12-28-18, 12:14 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
Sorry, folders on unmade roads are accidents waiting to happen, and your picture shows a decent road surface.
A good part of my daily Brompton commute is on gravel and part is on pretty rotten city streets. I havenít run into a problem yet. Overall, I find the Brompton (m6r) to be excellent for what it is. Although Iíve been able to set up the grips, pedals and saddle locations pretty close to my Rivendell, it is an entirely different experience. Initially, I thought it was rough and twitchy to ride. Eventually, you kind of adapt a slightly different riding style for the Brompton. Turning is all about the lean rather than excessive turning of handlebars. The suspension smooths things out a bit but itís very bouncy. I use a firm cushion tighten down and that helps.
Positives:
- folds up easily to go anywhere (grocery carts, buses, coat checks, under tables, car trunk, etc)
- the touring bag holds a lot which makes it great for running errands such as grocery and hardware runs
- the low bar makes it really easy to get on and off of.
- broad range of sizing so my wife and houseguests can borrow it.

Negatives:
- feels like it is about 10-20% more work to pedal. However, the 16Ē wheels take off fast from a light but once you get rolling, itís more work.
- Shifters feel cheap. I would love to machine some nice aluminum shifters for the Brompton (think Paulís)
- the rear tire is a little more challenging to change

Iíve also ridden Bike Fridayís NWT and Tikit and found them to be a little smoother ride. When it came to buying, I went with the Brompton for the much tighter fold.

john
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Old 12-28-18, 12:57 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
...the focus, the conversation narrows down to Bike Friday and Brompton, when the world of folders is so more varied and interesting. Cheap Dahons, and over-priced BF and Brompton is all people know. Bias and ignorance pervades the segment.
I guess it depends where you are though. Here in the UK perhaps not surprisingly Bromptons seem the most common folding bike you see out and about. I've never seen a Bike Friday on the roads and I'm not sure I've ever seen a modern Dahon bike on the road although did see one of their classic bikes recently. Most other folding bikes I've seen are vintage like Raleigh Twenties or just entry level models. I would say the majority of bicycles you see out and about on the roads are often mountain bikes closely followed by typical road bikes and hybrids. Many might say the most interesting road or mountain bikes are high end models too but I'm fairly sure the vast majority of bikes sold in the UK are quite low priced with Brompton being a rare exception.

Amazon best sellers shows most folding bikes they sell are bottom end models but I don't think they represent high sales compared to normal bikes and as you get down the list sales dramatically drop off in comparison to those at the top.

This being a bicycle forum with people very enthusiastic about bikes are more likely to understand the perils of such cheap bikes and set their sights a little higher.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Seller...orts/550030011

My point is where you are in the world might dictate your perspective on folding bikes to some degree. Dahon means very little over here and Bike Friday even less so. Realistically over here with very limited spaces for full size bikes on trains and no space at all for such bikes on buses Bromptons really dominate as folding bikes for commuters.
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Old 12-28-18, 01:59 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
Folders are great if you need the advantages that folding offers, e.g. storage, carrying on public transit, etc. but it's pretty silly to say they outperform full size non-folders. Can you tour on them? sure. Can you use them every day? sure. Can you go as fast or as far as you could on a comparably priced standard bike? No way.
This.
The folder fanbois are in rare form lol.
Apparently folders accelerate like jack rabbits, regularly pass larger bikes with all of those useless extra gears, are amazing conversation starters, and riding them has been proven to cure cancer.
One person even rode a whole ten miles on one

Last edited by downhillmaster; 12-28-18 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 12-28-18, 03:05 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by surlyprof View Post


A good part of my daily Brompton commute is on gravel and part is on pretty rotten city streets. I havenít run into a problem yet. Overall, I find the Brompton (m6r) to be excellent for what it is. Although Iíve been able to set up the grips, pedals and saddle locations pretty close to my Rivendell, it is an entirely different experience. Initially, I thought it was rough and twitchy to ride. Eventually, you kind of adapt a slightly different riding style for the Brompton. Turning is all about the lean rather than excessive turning of handlebars. The suspension smooths things out a bit but itís very bouncy. I use a firm cushion tighten down and that helps.
Positives:
- folds up easily to go anywhere (grocery carts, buses, coat checks, under tables, car trunk, etc)
- the touring bag holds a lot which makes it great for running errands such as grocery and hardware runs
- the low bar makes it really easy to get on and off of.
- broad range of sizing so my wife and houseguests can borrow it.

Negatives:
- feels like it is about 10-20% more work to pedal. However, the 16Ē wheels take off fast from a light but once you get rolling, itís more work.
- Shifters feel cheap. I would love to machine some nice aluminum shifters for the Brompton (think Paulís)
- the rear tire is a little more challenging to change

Iíve also ridden Bike Fridayís NWT and Tikit and found them to be a little smoother ride. When it came to buying, I went with the Brompton for the much tighter fold.

john
The Brompton is my bike in daily use, no question, I took it to SE Asia mostly because it folds small. That's going to change, as AF have put a hefty price on carrying folding bikes, as have some bus companies. It isn't the money, but I might as well take the Bianchi in future, which is much more suited to touring and unmade roads. It is also a faster bike. Great for Eurostar, but that too becomes problematical at the end of March 2019.

Your assessment is spot on, by the way

The unmade road comment was mostly aimed at the dirt roads you find in Australia, Asia and parts of Europe. Will post some photos probably in the Touring thread.
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Old 12-28-18, 04:17 AM
  #46  
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Because it folds.

/thread
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Old 12-28-18, 04:34 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
@abu - admit it, you are fanatically keen on folders ! I think they serve a purpose, mostly based on their size. When was the last time a folder won the Tour de France?
There you go again. You are notorious for changing the conversation when I got you cornered. And predictably, you always change it so the object of discussion is not the issues, but rather my person. I've got your number.
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Old 12-28-18, 04:36 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
Sorry, folders on unmade roads are accidents waiting to happen, and your picture shows a decent road surface.
Well, yes. When you've got skinny Kojaks with triple digit psi on 349 hoops, yeah.
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Old 12-28-18, 04:39 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Bonzo Banana View Post
I guess it depends where you are though. Here in the UK perhaps not surprisingly Bromptons seem the most common folding bike you see out and about. I've never seen a Bike Friday on the roads and I'm not sure I've ever seen a modern Dahon bike on the road although did see one of their classic bikes recently. Most other folding bikes I've seen are vintage like Raleigh Twenties or just entry level models. I would say the majority of bicycles you see out and about on the roads are often mountain bikes closely followed by typical road bikes and hybrids. Many might say the most interesting road or mountain bikes are high end models too but I'm fairly sure the vast majority of bikes sold in the UK are quite low priced with Brompton being a rare exception.

Amazon best sellers shows most folding bikes they sell are bottom end models but I don't think they represent high sales compared to normal bikes and as you get down the list sales dramatically drop off in comparison to those at the top.

This being a bicycle forum with people very enthusiastic about bikes are more likely to understand the perils of such cheap bikes and set their sights a little higher.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Seller...orts/550030011

My point is where you are in the world might dictate your perspective on folding bikes to some degree. Dahon means very little over here and Bike Friday even less so. Realistically over here with very limited spaces for full size bikes on trains and no space at all for such bikes on buses Bromptons really dominate as folding bikes for commuters.
Well, that's exactly it, ain't it? Most people here live in a region of the world with extremely limited knowledge, acceptance and availability of folders, yet they lack the self-awareness of that fact, and pontificate as if they are authorities on folding bikes, when all they know is Brompton (and Brompton clones in the case of Avole) and Bike Friday.
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Old 12-28-18, 02:49 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
Well, yes. When you've got skinny Kojaks with triple digit psi on 349 hoops, yeah.
No. I'll meet you in Oz, if you like (6hr flight for you) and we'll have a go in the foothills of the Great Divide.

P.S Take out decent medical insurance.
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