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What folding bike for target price £400 ?

Posted: 15 Mar 2019, 7:13pm
by vat1666firerates1
Comments appreciated

I know somebody who is thinking of buy a bicycle to be pooled among various individuals.

Target price is £400
They are toying between a second-hand Brompton at least 3 speed
Or
Raleigh Stowaway 7

https://www.raleigh.co.uk/stowaway-7-stw720bk

Re: What folding bike for target price £400 ?

Posted: 16 Mar 2019, 11:21am
by John dn6
I've got a used Raleigh stowaway 7 bought last year.

£100 buys it based in Doncaster.

Probably done 30 miles. Like new. It is dark grey.

Re: What folding bike for target price £400 ?

Posted: 16 Mar 2019, 12:15pm
by steelframe
vat1666firerates1 wrote:Comments appreciated

I know somebody who is thinking of buy a bicycle to be pooled among various individuals.

Target price is £400
They are toying between a second-hand Brompton at least 3 speed
Or
Raleigh Stowaway 7

https://www.raleigh.co.uk/stowaway-7-stw720bk


There is no useful answer possible - it all depends from the needs of the users and the real world usage of the bike. Bromptons tend to last and they are unbeaten regarding the fold. So if the folded size is critical possibly a Brompton is hard to beat. If folded size does not matter another bike may be in the lead. If the persons intended to ride the bike are of vastly different size a Brompton may also not be optimal as the height of the bars is fixed (though an M model may be a fair compromise for most riders). If the roads to be ridden are rough a Brompton may be the wrong way. And so on and so on. In general I'd say a Brompton is rarely totally wrong (and often very good) and if it turns out to be the wrong bike for the needs it is normally easy to sell it w/o loss in case of a used bike. Other brands may be (far) worse regarding that. Trouble with cheaper/older used Bromptons in the uk is that they often seem to be pretty beaten up and a bit neglected mechanically, thus in need for extensive maintenance that is not difficult to perform in most cases but adds to the cost. The fact that it is often possible to buy other folders that are barely used for cheap may make one think that there may be a reason for that...

So find out about the needs and it may be possible to give a more useful answer. Still in most cases it is in the end a matter of taste I'd say.

Re: What folding bike for target price £400 ?

Posted: 16 Mar 2019, 12:29pm
by reohn2
As stated,without knowing who,how far,and what useage a recommendation cannot be made.

Re: What folding bike for target price £400 ?

Posted: 16 Mar 2019, 12:33pm
by S2L
You will struggle to find a Brompton for 400 pounds... last time I looked, 600 was the starting price for most auctions. That said, if you could stretch the budget a bit, it's money in the bank... it won't depreciate and will serve you well...

Not a big fan of cheap folders... they don't fold well

IMO in the < 1,000 market, you can't beat a Brompton

Re: What folding bike for target price £400 ?

Posted: 16 Mar 2019, 5:24pm
by UpWrong
I find Bromptons to be a twitchy ride making signalling difficult. I much prefer Dahons and Terns.

Re: What folding bike for target price £400 ?

Posted: 16 Mar 2019, 7:18pm
by Richard Fairhurst
My Bike Friday was £350 second-hand - a superb bike for touring and train-out-bike-home, but too unwieldy for day-to-day commuting. I've occasionally seen other "premium" folders go for under £400 (including, once, an Airnimal Chameleon - an absolute steal!) but you have to scour the various auction/second-hand sites...

Re: What folding bike for target price £400 ?

Posted: 16 Mar 2019, 8:25pm
by S2L
UpWrong wrote:I find Bromptons to be a twitchy ride making signalling difficult. I much prefer Dahons and Terns.


The S bars are very stable... the M less so

Re: What folding bike for target price £400 ?

Posted: 16 Mar 2019, 8:30pm
by UpWrong
S2L wrote:
UpWrong wrote:I find Bromptons to be a twitchy ride making signalling difficult. I much prefer Dahons and Terns.


The S bars are very stable... the M less so


That's what I had, along with the titanium bits including titanium seat post.

Re: What folding bike for target price £400 ?

Posted: 16 Mar 2019, 8:55pm
by pjclinch
UpWrong wrote:I find Bromptons to be a twitchy ride making signalling difficult. I much prefer Dahons and Terns.


It seems it takes some folk a little while to "dial in" (most often measured in minutes), but this doesn't seem to be a general long-term problem. I've taught people to ride (children and adults) on Broms, and while I'd agree it's not the best machine to ride no-hands on, as long as I've got at least one hand on the bars the handling is fine.

It is different, and it's easy to think of that as "worse", but once you're used to it then it goes from "twitchy" to "responsive" and is a feature, not a bug. Same goes for Moultons.

Something I find overseeing riders new to recumbents, or teaching new cyclists to ride one-handed, and may be the same thing: handling is different than they're used to, so they tense up and grip tightly. Most steering is unconscious, and gripping the bars tightly (particularly one handed if there is any weight on the bars) interferes with that. Stay relaxed and a Brom handles fine, including typical tracks without too much in the way of big bumps.

Pete.

Re: What folding bike for target price £400 ?

Posted: 16 Mar 2019, 9:00pm
by TrevA
We have a Giant Halfway as a pool folding bike at work - similar to a Stowaway. It's not too bad to ride, but it's a bit of a lump to carry when folded. I delay folding for as long a s possible when taking it on a train or even try to travel with it unfolded. It's also quite a bit wider than a folded Brompton.

Re: What folding bike for target price £400 ?

Posted: 16 Mar 2019, 9:48pm
by drossall
pjclinch wrote:It seems it takes some folk a little while to "dial in" (most often measured in minutes), but this doesn't seem to be a general long-term problem.

I agree. In fact, I find that with many bikes, which makes reviews, test rides, or any relatively short-term assessments, slightly unreliable!

I found my Brompton a bit nervous on corners at first. After a few months of riding, it turns out that it wasn't nervous at all, but I perhaps was. Now I throw it round them as happily as any machine.

Re: What folding bike for target price £400 ?

Posted: 17 Mar 2019, 7:25am
by S2L
I would say my Brompton corners better than my road bike by quite some margin.
I've reached 35 mph downhill and it was still very stable.

As per above, I can't really go no hands, which I can on big wheeled bikes... anything else is absolutely fine

Re: What folding bike for target price £400 ?

Posted: 24 Mar 2019, 9:45am
by GrumpyGit
John dn6 wrote:I've got a used Raleigh stowaway


Just to note that Raleigh buy the folding frames from Dahon (largest folding frame manufacturer in the world). Tern was set up by the ex wife of David Hon (with her son) in competition to her ex (sounds like a messy divorce!). I've had a 7 speed Dahon Jack for 11 years, sadly they're no longer made.

Jack.jpg
Jack.jpg (22.55 KiB) Viewed 1486 times


The O/P could do worse than take a look at the offerings from Decathlon, they seem to manage a reasonable balance between decent quality & reasonable prices.

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/C-847975-folding-bikes

I'm definitely loving the Brompton experience, after a couple of minutes I couldn't tell the difference between it and one of my "grown up" bikes!

Re: What folding bike for target price £400 ?

Posted: 24 Mar 2019, 4:06pm
by Freddie
UpWrong wrote:I find Bromptons to be a twitchy ride making signalling difficult. I much prefer Dahons and Terns.
The fork has too little trail for the wheel size, if it had a straight fork it would handle better (not require so much user input to hold a line).