Folding Bikes

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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timmitchell
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Folding Bikes

Postby timmitchell » 8 Mar 2009, 12:57pm

Thinking of getting a folding bike for my commute on the days I dont cycle.

The station is 5 mins from home (so i might walk and carry) and work is about two miles from the city centre - definite cycle.

So i need a bike that will fit on a train, has mudguards and a rack( for a panier), can take lights. I would also need to carry a helmet and some work stuff so weight seems important.

I notice the Dahon D7 2008 model can be bought for 220 online- my lbs cant match this.

Is it a good deal or has anyone got any ideas?

Thanks

Tim

glueman
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby glueman » 8 Mar 2009, 1:45pm

I bought an EBC folder for such occasions, a Dahon in a different hat. Similar price. 5 miles doesn't demand anything clever and mine's got derailleurs for our hills, guards, prop stand, carrier.
Bear in mind the light folder is a myth, only compactness is worth arguing about.

AMC
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby AMC » 8 Mar 2009, 1:49pm

I've got a Dahon Vittese 5 & have been surprisingly happy with it. However, the rear rack is quite low as the wheels are only 20" which can make it awkward to fit normal sized panniers, although smaller front panniers fit better. You can buy a Dahon Tour rear rack which is set higher allowing for normal panniers http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/-_-/5360028642/ although worryingly Wiggle say this is no longer available.
I did find that the Lidl panniers could be adjusted to fit ok, with the hooks moved forward (so that the panniers sit further back) for foot clearance & to clear the SA chain coming out of the hub on the right hand side.
Seems like a good price to me although others may know more than I do about this.

glueman
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby glueman » 8 Mar 2009, 1:57pm

A large rack top bag makes more sense than panniers on a folder, surely? Bike in one hand, RTB over shoulder, spare hand for tickets, wallet, keys, etc.

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Si
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby Si » 8 Mar 2009, 3:57pm

<note: this was a duplicate topic, both with replies, so we have merged (see, the new forum has its advantages) it all into one thread>

AMC
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby AMC » 8 Mar 2009, 6:39pm

Absolutely glueman, I agree, I used to use one but my trips are multi day & I was having terrible problems carrying everything I neede for staying places & work, especially with the laptop etc. so in the end gave in to panniers. Otherwise a rackbag much easier.

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paulah
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby paulah » 8 Mar 2009, 10:01pm

AMC wrote:I've got a Dahon Vittese 5 & have been surprisingly happy with it. However, the rear rack is quite low as the wheels are only 20" which can make it awkward to fit normal sized panniers, although smaller front panniers fit better..


I use an ortlieb front rollers on my 20" dahon which has a couple of inches clearance above the rear mech, the rear ortlieb panniers would come down too low unless the bike's hubgeared or you're just using one on the left - the hub gear version of the d7 can be got from about £300. But I wouldn't want to carry one to the station as they're not the easiest of packages to carry any distance - wheeling it might be a better option
There shall be only one pannier

PRL
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby PRL » 8 Mar 2009, 10:30pm

glueman wrote:A large rack top bag makes more sense than panniers on a folder, surely? Bike in one hand, RTB over shoulder, spare hand for tickets, wallet, keys, etc.


The Brompton front bag must be the ideal here - carrying the bike , which automatically semi-folds, with the bag in place. I know it is pricier but for compact folding with the oily parts inside it can't be beat.

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squeaker
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby squeaker » 9 Mar 2009, 10:25am

I have an '07 Dahon Vitesse D5 (with hub gear). Been very pleased with it (apart from the bottom bracket bearing, which I replaced with a cassette bearing as it kept working loose), and happy to ride 10+ miles (once I'd changed the saddle). Not sure I'd want to carry it for 5 minutes though....
I use an Agu expanding rack bag (with small drop down panniers) which works well with the Dahon rack.

mgronow
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby mgronow » 10 Mar 2009, 8:05am

Hi,

I recently bought a Birdy which I don't think would suit your needs really however in the process I did lurk on ebay for sometime looking for a folder. Do check this out as there are lots of folders going quite cheaply particularly lower spec'd/priced ones which might suit your needs.


cheers
martin

dewi1
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby dewi1 » 10 Mar 2009, 12:54pm

At the cheap end there is this in Argos at £60 code 332/1360.

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TT
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby TT » 10 Mar 2009, 9:22pm

I say buy the best folder your budget can stretch to - it is likely that you will find you use it many more times a year than your best bike. I also think hub gear folders are worth investigating - if you are using the bike routinely during the winter maintaining the transmission can easily become a chore. I am on my second bike friday and rate them highly, you can read reviews on my blog here: http://combingmyhairinabrandnewstyle.wordpress.com/

thirdcrank
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Mar 2009, 9:31pm

Whenever we've discussed folders before, the consensus has been to identify what you want to do because the expression folder covers everything from the Brompton 'personal transport to the public transport' end of the spectrum right through to Airnimal / Bike Friday 'road bikes which can be packed down for long distance travel'. I have a Birdy which I like to think fits somewhere in the middle, but I'd not want to use it regularly as an aid to commuting by public transport.

Ivor Tingting
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby Ivor Tingting » 11 Mar 2009, 12:30am

I'm biased but if you want the ultimate folder and can stretch to the £580 asking price go for a Brompton. You will not be disappointed. It is the most compact, straight forward, easiest and quickest to fold and unfold. It easily fits in a car boot mine a 205 and in the luggage rack on any train including Eurostar and TGV. The touring front pannier can carry loads of stuff so you don't really need a rear rack which just adds weight. Go for a 6 spd - 3 hi and 3 lo ratios. Oh and it can tour, in the Pyrenees all the famous cols, conquered no probs. Just try one out. You can get various different handle bars and of course colours. Best thing I have ever bought. Has easily paid for itself by not having to pay car parking charges or get stuck in traffic jams or queues. Just park up, open boot and it's up in a matter of seconds ready to ride carrying you on to your destination.
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

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stephenjubb
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby stephenjubb » 11 Mar 2009, 12:38am

you might get this bike friday for £580

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Bike-Friday-Air-F ... 240%3A1318