Folding Bikes

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

Postby TT » 14 Mar 2009, 5:47pm

Ivor Tingting wrote:Bromptons are not only the quickest and most compact folder but the safest ...


Personally I think it is unreasonable to expect there to be a best folding bike. There is no such thing as a best road bike or a best touring bike, there are such things as a road bike which is really suited to you and your style of riding. There are lots of good folding bike designs and you tend to get what you pay for. Like for like you will always pay more for performance on a folding bike rather than a satandard bike, but in my opinion it is worth the flexibility.

And anyone with any doubts about the distance tou can ride on one might like to have a go at the folding bike challenge ride in September http://www.foldingbikechallenge.com/

gilesjuk
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby gilesjuk » 14 Mar 2009, 9:14pm

Even the best folding bike is sub-optimal in terms of performance compared with a full size one.

The difference between them boils down to ease of folding, weight and the folded size.

I bought a Dahon Speed 2008 model from ebay for £199. It does the job very well. I don't see the point in £500-1000 on a folder when it's not the main bike.

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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby Ivor Tingting » 15 Mar 2009, 12:17am

gilesjuk wrote:Even the best folding bike is sub-optimal in terms of performance compared with a full size one.

The difference between them boils down to ease of folding, weight and the folded size.

I bought a Dahon Speed 2008 model from ebay for £199. It does the job very well. I don't see the point in £500-1000 on a folder when it's not the main bike.


You're entilted to your opinion but I don't think you're right in this instance. Even by your own cirteria the Brompton is the best folder on the market period. I agree it is considerably more expensive than other folding bikes but that is obviously because it is in a league above it's rivals. The only other folder I can think that might be on a par or better is a Moulton but does that not really occupy the same market as the Brompton? Perhaps a different market altogether. Check this article out.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/th ... 26741.html
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

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TT
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby TT » 15 Mar 2009, 7:51am

The article does little to convince me I am afraid. Will Self as a bike tester? He has riden a Brompton and liked it. That's great but it is hardly a comparative test. I'm glad you like your Brompton and others like their Dahons. Personally I love my Bike Friday. Last year I did more miles on my road bikes but used the Bike Friday on more days. However you look at it, I am convinced multi-modal journeys (eg bike - train - bike) are way better than commuting by car.

Maybe this is one for a CTC Magazine review - Chris?

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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby rogerzilla » 15 Mar 2009, 8:33am

I did 36 miles on the Brompton yesterday, and apart from the not-quite-broken-in Brooks saddle it was no more punishing than on a normal bike. At one point I had a bit of a tailwind and spun it out in top gear (69" in this case), which is about 30mph on the flat. Best thing...at the pub stop I just hid it under a table rather than locking it up outside.

Mine is somewhat modified though; bar-ends, locked-out rear suspension and, most importantly, a closer-ratio hub.

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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby professorlandslide » 15 Mar 2009, 10:44am

Bromptons have the 'best' fold, no question - as in the smallest and easiest to lug around when folded. At the other end of the scale are airnimal and montague. Take too long to fold for a day to day commute but ride like a full size bike, because they are. I get on well with my Dahon Jack, but the trains i commute on aren't generally mega crowded and i have a 6 mile each way commute, with stupidly steep hills and the occasional off road shortcut...

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paulah
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby paulah » 15 Mar 2009, 11:15am

Ivor Tingting wrote:the Brompton is the best folder on the market period. I agree it is considerably more expensive than other folding bikes but that is obviously because it is in a league above it's rivals. The only other folder I can think that might be on a par or better is a Moulton but does that not really occupy the same market as the Brompton?


I don't think anyway would deny it's the best folder, but not everyone needs the smallest package. Some like the op do need a small folder for crowded trains but other people have different requirements that bromptons don't meet. :shock: I needed one as a main bike because I have to keep it indoors. My dahon has a far wider gear range than any of the bromptons, can take ortlieb panniers and unlike bromptons the riding position doesn't affect my dodgy shoulder. Even when I do take it on the train there's plenty of room for full sized bikes and I've taken it on buses several times. If I upgrade I might get a Bike Friday.
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby gilesjuk » 15 Mar 2009, 12:44pm

Ivor Tingting wrote:You're entilted to your opinion but I don't think you're right in this instance. Even by your own cirteria the Brompton is the best folder on the market period. I agree it is considerably more expensive than other folding bikes but that is obviously because it is in a league above it's rivals. The only other folder I can think that might be on a par or better is a Moulton but does that not really occupy the same market as the Brompton? Perhaps a different market altogether. Check this article out.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/th ... 26741.html


If you live in a flat then or need to use a crowded train on your journey then a folder is required. In every other instance you're better on a normal bike with nice fast rolling 700c wheels.

Everyone has a price in their head when they look for something. We don't all own the best car, house etc.. on the market. People have priorities.

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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby rogerzilla » 15 Mar 2009, 1:47pm

Brompton have sort of solved the gear range thing with the new Sturmey-Archer BWR hub, which (with a 2 speed derailleur) gives a range of 302%. Big jumps between the gears though - I'm happier with the 133% range of my 3-speed AM hub, because there's always the right gear available (and if there isn't, I just have to stand up).

In design the BWR is almost the opposite of an AM. An AM uses a tiny 15T sun machined directly onto the axle and compound (i.e. double-ended) planets where the 25T end engages with the sun, the 14T end engages with the annulus and the sun and annulus aren't actually in the same plane. The BWR keeps everything in the same plane like an AW, but uses a huge 34T sun and tiny 12T planets. Whether they'll be durable in that size remains to be seen, but presumably metallurgy has come on a bit since the 1930s.

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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby gilesjuk » 15 Mar 2009, 2:11pm

Sturmey Archer were bought by SunRace. The quality has improved since SunRace took over.

Read Sheldon's write up

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/sturmey-archer.html

The section Taiwan vs England.

Personally, unless your commute has some epic climbs I'd do without gears altogether. The weight and efficiency savings are noticeable.

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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby PaulB » 15 Mar 2009, 6:25pm

It depends why you want a folder and whether the fold or the ride is the most important. As previous posts have stated, when it comes to folding the Brompton has no equal but it's perhaps not first in line as a tourer. I have a Xootr Swift folder which I bought for its ride and the fact that it folds small enough to fit into the back of my small car. It has 20" wheels and 8 gears and rides very much like a large wheeled bike. The fold is nowhere near as neat as the Brompton but it works well for me. Unless you are using the bike on trains and busses etc. it may well be the one for you. At £500 it is also much cheaper than many Bromptons and Birdys. It has become my first choice for riding - it is such a great little machine!

Image

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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby PaulB » 15 Mar 2009, 6:38pm

Image

Xootr, folded.

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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby Ivor Tingting » 15 Mar 2009, 8:53pm

timmitchell wrote: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


Weh he.....y........! Do I detect some hostility here?

Looking at the requirements of the OP it would seem that the Brompton would meet the requirements quite well. I was in exactly the same position as he when I was looking for a folder. Those of you who have other makes and who clearly love them brilliant. The pics are brilliant, they are after all bikes as well. But with the OP's requirements in mind try to justify how YOUR model of folder can assist him. Some folders provide totally different capabilities and great but they would not be much use in a crowded mass transport system in rush hour where you cannot afford to be spending ages dismantling or assembling something or for some one to injure themselves on something sticking out or falling over because it is unstable or other passengers' luggage becoming damaged. As stated above the Brompton folds compactly and neatly. It is not a slight on non-Brompton owners it is just what will work best in the conditions the OP has says he will need to use the folding bike. My only concern would be the cost of a Brompton with respect to the budget he has indicated. That is something he will have to decide is a price worth paying or not. I believed it was so bought one.

FWIW I have never had a problem with the sealed gear rear hub on my Bromtpon. Infact I have never had a problem with the hub gears (never even had to adjust them) at all in 7 years of ownership and two Bromptons - the first stolen. (See previously). It has a range of gears (Hi or Lo ratio) that will enable you to tackle pretty much anything. Maybe you fancy a fixed wheel with out the hub, great, as did Will Self. They are great bikes for what they are. Mine only takes up less than half my boot space (Pug 205) when it is in the car and sits neatly under the stairs. Kids often say "Wow.........can you do that again....put it up again and down. Let's time him..." The quickest I saw was a chap on KIngs X station in rush hour who literally had his up in 2.5 seconds. One and two and hey presto....All the clamps done up as well.
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

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essexman
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby essexman » 16 Mar 2009, 10:16am

if hes on a no seat train he needs a brommie ( is there any competition in this zone apart from mini folders?). I used to have this commute and i had a brommie. When i moved to a line that was less crowded i got a larger folder that had more all-round capability, to be fair the new brommies could probably replace my birdy as they now have a wider gear range, better brakes, better handling etc

basically no seat trains can squeeze in a fold-in-halfer like a dahon, but when the train is delayed or cancelled and the next train takes 2 traisn worth of people, its eitehr impossible or very rude to get on with a fold-in-halfer.

Get a 2nd hand brommie with a gear range appropriate to your journeys. You may also be able to get some 2nd hand brommie gear as well eg front bags (which are gerat and do imporve handling, thats why they made one for the birdy!), the cheap cover that comes in a small bag and hangs off the rear saddle etc Check out ebay, ctc, velovision, a2b magazine for ads.

When your wealthier, buy better brakes, and better lighting and maybe better tyres and then titanium extras, then a titanium bike and all the other cool stuff they make for bronmmies.

Your 2nd hand brommie will probably have a better resale value than a new dahon as well. Its well known that brommies run forvever with minor repairs only required.
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essexman
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Re: Folding Bikes

Postby essexman » 16 Mar 2009, 10:19am

and ps the brompton is not the fastest folder by a long way. Its eclipsed by the tikit . Any folder owner cannot fail to be impressed by that now sets the benchmark for speed of folding.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQscBxx7wLE&feature=related
I hate snow.