Best folding bike for me?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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horizon
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Re: Best folding bike for me?

Postby horizon » 17 Jul 2019, 10:20am

Jules_London wrote:I'd like a full size hybrid with quick and easy folding system. I'd go on rough tracks and the park sometimes so figure full size is best (otherwise I'd go for a Brompton).


That's two bikes, or an extreme choice. I think you've got some more thinking to do on this.
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

LollyKat
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Re: Best folding bike for me?

Postby LollyKat » 17 Jul 2019, 11:13am

S&S couplers are another possibility for full-size bikes, but they are expensive, you can't fit them on just any bike, and assembling/disassembling is hardly quick and easy! You could take it on the train in its case, leaving the case in Left Luggage, but that would limit you to circular trips.

I've used my old Brompton on tow paths and tracks but it's not my first choice. Heaps better than no bike at all, though.

Jules_London
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Re: Best folding bike for me?

Postby Jules_London » 17 Jul 2019, 1:14pm

Thanks for continuing suggestions, figured this may be a bit tricky. Bike looking best so far is a Montague so I'm going to find a retailer and give them a look over.

gazza_d
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Re: Best folding bike for me?

Postby gazza_d » 18 Jul 2019, 2:04pm

n an ideal world I'd suggest a Moulton TSR or APB.

20", but with short travel suspension so very comfortable and rides much more like a conventional bike than a folder
As they are 20" they are not as long as a conventional bike so take up slightly less space.
They are separable so can take up even less room and be placed in a corner
the frame is a step through so again that may be a good point.
Good luggage capacity as they can be fitted with front and rear racks. TSR is a little odd as the rear rack is narrow, but the large back has a metal subframe which really braces it. I often use mine for shopping.

As new they start at about £1600 for either 8 speed hub gear or a 9 speed derailleur. You can find them cheaper on ebay etc ( but be careful and check one isn't nicked etc)

As for mixed surface use, I use mine on a variety of surfaces as I mainly ride traffic free paths. my commute to work has a few sections that are just packed stone. Moultons, like any small wheeler, are not as good on soft stuff such as deep gravel or sand as a big wheeler but I rarely have issues

slowster
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Re: Best folding bike for me?

Postby slowster » 18 Jul 2019, 3:07pm

Jules_London wrote:I'd go on rough tracks and the park sometimes so figure full size is best (otherwise I'd go for a Brompton).

Jules_London wrote:regarding Bromptons, I really want one but I know it is the wrong bike unfortunately otherwise I'd be down there choosing my spec already.

Kinetics in Glasgow sell Bromptons which they have custom modified to take Schwalbe Big Apple tyres, disc brakes, and even a Rohloff hub gear, all of which (but especially the wider Big Apple tyres) make the Brompton far more suitable for tracks*. Examples of some of the builds here. The owner of Kinetics himself has said that the result is to make the Brompton more like a Riese & Muller Birdy (which Kinetics also sell). The Birdy folds down to a slightly larger size than the Brompton, but I think that the speed of the fold is similarly quick.

Fudges are in Paddington and Epsom, and they sell Brompton, Birdy and Montague amongst others, so would probably be a good place to start. If you like the Birdy's wide tyres, disc brakes (and possibly the Rohloff option too), but really want that on a Brompton, then you can get one from Kinetics.

* Bear in mind however that there is a limit to how much wider tyres can improve the ride of small wheels off-road. For serious rough bumpy off-road, bigger diameter wheels will roll better over the bumps. For gravel tracks, canal paths and easy bridleways small wheels won't be so much of a handicap, especially with wider tyres.

Obviously a modified Brompton fitted with these components will weigh more. How much that matters will depend upon you, i.e. how much/far/often you carry the bike folded and how strong you are. The other side of the coin is that with a Rohloff etc. you will have low enough gears to ride up any hill, rather than being forced to get off and push if/when the gears on a lighter ordinary Brompton are not low enough.

PH
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Re: Best folding bike for me?

Postby PH » 18 Jul 2019, 3:38pm

I've known two owners of the 20" wheeled Airnimal Rhino - one took it on a tour in Asia (Sorry forget where) and everyone else on the tour was on MTB's or expedition style tourers, he said it managed to find every single hole on the unmade roads that the tour consisted of and he felt at a big disadvantage to the others. The other (Who might have bought it from the first) absolutely loves it, and has taken it down some trails I wouldn't attempt on any bike. It's another one you might look at if you're considering that wheel size.
I have the 24" wheeled Airnimal Joey, it's a lovely bike to ride, the wheel size does make it feel a bit harder work than my other bikes, but it's handling suits me and it's capable of any riding I'm ever likely to do. It's a bit unwieldy folded and folding it isn't something I'd like to do too often, but as I said before my train use doesn't require a folder. The op mentions taking a bike on the tube, I wouldn't like to do that with the Joey unless I absolutely had to.

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Best folding bike for me?

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 18 Jul 2019, 3:51pm

There's a 26in Joey now as well as the 24in models: http://airnimal.eu/products/joey/endurance/
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Jules_London
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Joined: 16 Jul 2019, 12:09pm

Re: Best folding bike for me?

Postby Jules_London » 18 Jul 2019, 4:32pm

Thanks Slowster, Will try Fudges at the w/e and also will read about the Kinetics brompton

Brucey
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Re: Best folding bike for me?

Postby Brucey » 18 Jul 2019, 4:39pm

slowster wrote: ….. Bromptons which they have custom modified to take Schwalbe Big Apple tyres....


….Bear in mind however that there is a limit to how much wider tyres can improve the ride of small wheels off-road. For serious rough bumpy off-road, bigger diameter wheels will roll better over the bumps. For gravel tracks, canal paths and easy bridleways small wheels won't be so much of a handicap, especially with wider tyres.



even so my Moulton APB felt incredibly sluggish on 20" big apples. Probably better on towpaths etc than it would have been with narrower tyres, but still nowhere near as easy-riding as almost any bike with bigger wheels.

cheers
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gazza_d
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Joined: 30 Oct 2016, 8:20am

Re: Best folding bike for me?

Postby gazza_d » 18 Jul 2019, 8:00pm

Moultons for me seem to work best with the 1.35 M+ I find the 1.75s more sluggish. I could well imagine one being terrible on something like big apples.
They work best with tyres that can be inflated hard. lower PSI tyres just seem to work against the suspension.
Oddly I trie 28mm Duranos and found the APB felt like they were a bit narrow but that was probably perception. Kojaks are good on roads. Terrible on paths that get a bit mucky