Full size folders?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
ZenKiddo
Posts: 1
Joined: 18 Jul 2019, 9:49am

Full size folders?

Postby ZenKiddo » 18 Jul 2019, 10:22am

Hi, wonder if anyone can help. I’m not a cyclist (yet!) and don’t know much about bikes in general tbh so any advice is appreciated!

My partner has recently been diagnosed with epilepsy and as such has to give up her driving license for the next year. Fortunately we live in a coastal town where small shops are within walking distance, but supermarkets and whatnot are a bit further away. We’re now looking to get a bike so that she can still get around quite freely without relying on lifts. Trying to find a bike though that fits our needs is proving challenging! We are seriously limited in space as we live in a flat with no secure communal facilities, so a full size bike isn’t an option. We have loads of cycling paths but these aren’t exactly ‘flat’... they’re gravel in parts and fairly pot-holed in others, so a 16/20” folder wouldn’t be the most comfortable or practical ride either. In terms of options available, we’ve been looking at the following:

Montague Urban
Montague Paratrooper Express
Tern Node D8
Tern Joe C21
Bickerton Docklands 1824

I bought a £700 CycleScheme voucher so would need to purchase from a retailer which accepts it... we’re also happy to pay a bit more to get the right bike. The problem I’m finding with these models is firstly – availability in the UK at the moment and secondly, there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of info on how these bikes will perform both on the road and the types of cycle-paths I’ve mentioned. I’ve been swaying recently toward the Node D8 (which has a smaller 24” wheel) because it seems to be available *now* unlike the others, it seems most reviews talk about how it performs as a commuter on fairly flat roads.

Can anyone help/give advice at all or have experience of the above bikes? We’re at a bit out of our element!

Thanks

Zx

Brucey
Posts: 35610
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Full size folders?

Postby Brucey » 18 Jul 2019, 12:46pm

in this case the primary requirement seems to be to be able to store the bike. Folding bikes can help but the volume of the package often isn't a lot smaller than that of the bike, unfolded. This means that if you put your mind to it you can store a conventional bike as easily as a folder and it might not take up any more space. The space it does take is space that you might not otherwise use.


For example a bike fitted with folding pedal(s) and handlebars that turn sideways (you can buy a special stem that makes this easy) can be hung from a wall and will only stick out a tiny bit more than (say) a radiator does. It can be placed high up on the wall or even hoisted up to the ceiling. There may be a solution of this type that could work for you at least as well as a folding bike?

Also some bikes (eg Dutch style ones with chaincases and hub brakes) are very practical and are designed to live out of doors. Maybe you could do that.

Regarding suitability, folk ride roughish trails on a wide variety of different bikes and say it is OK (or not). This probably means that only you can decide what is likely to be acceptable or not. This is mostly down to the wheels and tyres so if you can try a bike (any bike) with the same size wheels and tyres on such a surface you will learn plenty.

cheers
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gazza_d
Posts: 85
Joined: 30 Oct 2016, 8:20am

Re: Full size folders?

Postby gazza_d » 18 Jul 2019, 1:02pm

In 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

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 9569
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Full size folders?

Postby horizon » 21 Jul 2019, 7:14pm

Based on your needs, I would strongly recommend a Node. I have a Node D16 and would normally say go for the 20" Tern Link but you don't talk about using it with the train or buses. That jump to 24" turns it into a fully performing bike IMV. It stores well, has nice big tyres and reasonable gears (you can even get a fully geared 27 speed from White's if you prefer).
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

gbnz
Posts: 1578
Joined: 13 Sep 2008, 10:38am

Re: Full size folders?

Postby gbnz » 21 Jul 2019, 7:58pm

ZenKiddo wrote:Hi, wonder if anyone can help. I’m not a cyclist (yet!) and don’t know much about bikes in general tbh so any advice is appreciated!

My partner has recently been diagnosed with epilepsy and as such has to give up her driving license for the next year. Fortunately we live in a coastal town where small shops are within walking distance, but supermarkets and whatnot are a bit further away. We’re now looking to get a bike so that she can still get around quite freely without relying on lifts. Trying to find a bike though that fits our needs is proving challenging! We are seriously limited in space as we live in a flat with no secure communal facilities, so a full size bike isn’t an option.


Zx


Are you sure a full size bike won't fit (In the flat?). I'm in a similar situation, I've lived in a couple of temporary flats, no communal storage facilities, yet even with three full size bikes it hasn't proved a problem (NB. Easy enough over winter to store two bikes not being used, hanging one up in a built in wardrobe, the other under the bed with pedals removed). And once you become accustomed to having a bike in the hallway, bathroom or whatever, it's not difficult to deal with.

On the plus side, I'm sure you're aware your partner will be fully entitled to free bus transport and a disabled rail pass (NB rail pass may require proof she / he is actually taking anti seizure drugs)