Folding Bikes

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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TT
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby TT » 11 Mar 2009, 9:40am

Thanks for the heads up on the Air Friday Stephen - I'm certainly tempted - not sure I would recommend it for commuting - the Tikit is the prime Bike Friday commuting folder

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stephenjubb
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby stephenjubb » 11 Mar 2009, 10:51am

wow, yeah you're right not really suitable for commuting on train, forgot about your original requirements! Whoops! Sorry. I've taken a bike friday on a train and they ain't small!

I have seen people with bromptons, they do fold small and many people in london use them.

Sylvestor
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby Sylvestor » 11 Mar 2009, 1:12pm

I have several commutes depending where I'm working, 5 mins to train station then anything from one to five miles to the office from the destination station. I looked carefully at the various folder options and eventually chose a Brompton. These are amazing bikes. They are comfortable to ride, are nippy in and out of traffic, the large front bag can take most loads. In a rush I've seen the train pulling into the station and had the bike folded before it's come to a complete stop. With bikes as with most things you get what you pay for. They can fit into any luggage compartment of any train. Get a saddle bag to cover the bike and you can take it absolutely anywhere. Don'y worry about it being stolen, you can take your Brompton anywhere with you! Get a Brommie and wonder why you ever considered anything else!

Check out the Folding Society http://www.foldsoc.co.uk or AtoB http://www.atob.org.uk websites for further information. But buy a Brompton anyway :wink:

Happy commuting!

Sylvestor
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby Ivor Tingting » 11 Mar 2009, 2:01pm

Sylvestor wrote:Don'y worry about it being stolen, you can take your Brompton anywhere with you! Get a Brommie and wonder why you ever considered anything else!


I agree 100% but take issue with not worrying about it being stolen. My first L6 was stolen as I couldn't take it into my graduation ceremony at Senate House, Mallet Street in London. I locked it up with a Kryptonite D-lock outside the building to a cycling hoop under a CCTV camera and it was still taken. Very very upsetting. I did the Cols of the Pyrenees on it just before it was stolen in summer '04 in London. Bromptons are a great talking point and very desirable. Even when in a train luggage rack I keep a beedy eye on other passengers going past it. I too have a neat black bag in which to put it but have never had the need to use it.

I too tried all the others before buying a Brompton but all the others seemed to be too much of a compromise in one area. The Brompton was the one for me and I have enjoyed every moment of ownership. Would never part with it. Having had one nicked my replacement never leaves my sight.

Ivor
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TT
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby TT » 11 Mar 2009, 2:38pm

Ivor Tingting wrote:
Sylvestor wrote:I too tried all the others before buying a Brompton but all the others seemed to be too much of a compromise in one area.


Not sure I agree with this. The Bromption folds smaller than the Tikit, but in hilly Sheffield where I live the wider TIkit gear range and stiffer frame more than compensates for a larger folded size.

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essexman
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby essexman » 11 Mar 2009, 5:22pm

The decider is how crowded is your train? Is it a stadning room only, sardine special? if so you want the most compact bikes which is basically a brompton or a strida (which has a kind of umbrella fold).

If its a train that gets busy, but no-one will mind a folded bike in the gangway , then one of the fold in half bikes will be fine eg dahons, tickit and all the very nasty and cheap competitors in this market. A birdy or airnimal sounds overkill for this journey.

If it was me for the money you initially quoted, i'd go for a second hand brompton (any model) or a cheap dahon.
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby jake » 11 Mar 2009, 7:42pm

A friend has a 9 speed Mezzo as his commuting folder and he really likes it. The fold probably isn't as good as the Brompton but it looks a decent machine. They are on Ebay for £375 at present, which sounds a good deal. I'm tempted.
Wondering if anyone out there's got one and what do you make of it?

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timmitchell
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby timmitchell » 11 Mar 2009, 10:46pm

I think I am between a second hand brompton and a new dahon. It will be used only for the commute from a crowded train (no seats at my stop) and a run out of and back into MCR. Hub gears seem a better choice.

So some more questions - whats this brompton front bag thing ? how much are they ?can you add a rear rack (i note the rear pannier might not work) and how much is a decent rack top bag?

ta again

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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby geocycle » 12 Mar 2009, 10:01am

Definitely worth having a ride on both. I was very close to buying a Brompton but the handling on a test ride really put me off. I ended up with a Dahon mu which has slightly bigger wheels, may be a tad lighter and IMO rides better. The fold is not quite as good as a brompton or a mezzo but I've used it on trains into London no problem. It cost £399 which is pretty good value for a decent specced bike.

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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby asr » 12 Mar 2009, 10:57am

timmitchell wrote: - whats this brompton front bag thing ? how much are they ?


Brompton front bags are useful and efficient and I think the best way to carry things on a Brompton. It seems that Brompton handling actually improves with a load in the front. I have the front touring pannier - highly recommended.

Unfortunately, they are not cheap:
http://www.brompton.co.uk/explorer/acce ... asp?view=9

Also, the bike will need to be equipped with a 'front-carrier block' (another 15 pounds, if it hasn't already got one).

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MLJ
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby MLJ » 12 Mar 2009, 12:49pm

Apart from being the neatest folded package, the Brompton rides very well and is the only full-folding bike I would trust to carry a full camping load of 23kg, which I have done on many trips. The newest have a wider gear range better for touring but mine is the earlier 6-speed with the reduced gearing option. I have toured from the Highlands of Scotland to the Vosges as well as places in between, including Wales and more.

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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby 2Tubs » 12 Mar 2009, 12:57pm

I have the Brompton M6+.

It has a rack, mudguards and dyno lighting (tyre driven).

I use it in a similar way to you would plan to use it, though I wouldn't recomaned a 5 minute walk carrying it! Better a 1 minute cycle and another 20 seconds folding/unfolding.

Given the experience I have had, I would recomend a dyno hub rather than the tyre driven lighting.

I suppose the big question is cost.

Brompton's aren't cheap and not good mile eaters (IMHO) but are the best commuting bikes (again, IMHO) for the sort of trip you describe.

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Si
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby Si » 12 Mar 2009, 1:14pm

though I wouldn't recomaned a 5 minute walk carrying it! Better a 1 minute cycle and another 20 seconds folding/unfolding.


Amen to that!

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MLJ
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby MLJ » 13 Mar 2009, 10:15am

2tubs says
Brompton's aren't cheap and not good mile eaters (IMHO)
I must disagree! I have several times done day rides of 100 mile or more on my Brompton 6 speed: it seems to take about 30 mins longer than on the touring bike but always took less than 10 hours, including stops, the fastest being 100 miles exactly in 8h15, including three major climbs from Cernay to the Jura and back during the 2004 semaine federale week.

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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby Ivor Tingting » 14 Mar 2009, 3:37pm

Bromptons are not only the quickest and most compact folder but the safest in that they do not have chainsets sticking out ready to snag on anyone who is passing unlike many other folders I tried and now see as they literally fold in half. Rather impractical really. The design is genius, but that is why they are more expensive and Brompton is very successful. I have never not been able to find space on a train in a luggage rack for it. Why would you want carry it a long distance? You would either ride or wheel it, they are so quick to assemble/dismantle. For the OP you need to try as many folders as you can B4 u buy including a Brompton. You can get only so much advice from a forum. Whatever you choose you will have to be comfortable with it.

It might be a struggle to find a good 2nd hand Brompton. I looked for 2 years, couldn't find one, so bought one new in the end. On reflection I should have bought one new straight away they are so good. Don't be put off by comments about the handling. It's fine. If you're a competent cyclist with reasonable experience you will be fine. BTW if you find a 2nd hand one first be very suspcious of it's provenance and the seller's reasons for selling as they tend to be kept for a very long time. I would never sell mine. Going shopping I just stick it in the supermarket trolley. You couldn't do that with any other folder.

Don't bother with Brompton Dynamo or rear rack they only add more weight. You can't use panniers on the rear rack anyway as it is so low and you have to keep removing them if you fold it just in the upright position as the rear wheel rack goes under the middle of the bike. All you need is the front bag which mounts on a block positioned above the brake caliper. Don't bother with Dyno or hub lights which all add to weight. You can buy decent lights that last ages very cheaply now. You might need a telescopic seat extension depending on your height inside leg measurement which is extra, but don't lose sight of the bigger picture these are excellent little bikes. Go for the Kelar tyres as well. Ditch the folding pedal as well and put a pair of SPds on. It will only stick out a little more than the folding pedal. Obviously they are not as capable as a full touring bike but they are still pretty good. There won't be many places you won't be able to go. But then you might reach other places a tourer couldn't get you to.

http://www.brompton.co.uk/
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