Which folder?

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Jojoba86
Posts: 3
Joined: 23 Jun 2012, 4:21pm

Which folder?

Postby Jojoba86 » 23 Jun 2012, 4:28pm

Hi,

I am looking at getting a folding bike for a 12 mile/day commute in London. My previous bike got nicked, so I need to get something sorted with the Olympics coming up and the fact getting the tube drives me mad! My reason for going for a folder is so I can store it inside my flat and office at either end, and not end up with a nicked bike again (my last one was taken from the boot of my car).

Given my budget, I was looking at the Mu P7 2011from Evans, and was going to get the Tern traveller rack to go with it, as I have this bag.

Does anyone have any thoughts to whether the bag I have will go well with the traveller rack, without me kicking it all the time? Or any better suggestions on a ~£500 budget?

Cheers,
Ian

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Which folder?

Postby thirdcrank » 23 Jun 2012, 6:09pm

With many folders you need either a rack made specifically for that bike, or a lot of good luck. I had a quick look at your links and I cannot see if that applies here.

The things to check with the retailler, unless you get a clear OK from a satisfied user are

Has the bike got fixing points for a rack?
If so, will the propsed rack fit?
Will that rack interfere with the fold or be inconvenient once the bike is folded?
That particular rack looks to have higher side-rails which should help with my final point which is will the propsed bag fit the rack without scraping the floor?

============================================
PS There are forums eg AtoB specialising in folders. You may get a user on there if nobody replies here.

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squeaker
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Re: Which folder?

Postby squeaker » 24 Jun 2012, 9:59am

Bike looks good to me (I have a Vitesse with 5-spd SA hub: 7-spd Shimano would be nice), but I would fret about the lack of a rack - maybe one from here might be better than the Tern one? (Note the comments about the different rack designs w.r.t. using panniers.)
HTH
"42"

geocycle
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Re: Which folder?

Postby geocycle » 24 Jun 2012, 10:46am

I have a dahon mu p8 from about 2008. It is good bike that rides well with great gearing for a folder. It has a rack but it is pretty useless for anything other than a rolled up coat or similar. Anything that hangs at the side will be in the way of your feet. There is a touring rack that may be better. The bike rides best with some weight on the front. I bungee a briefcase to the bars. Newer models have a place where you can attach a bracket to the frame that would take a range of Brompton style bags. IME dahon style 20 inch folders ride better than Bromptons, are cheaper but are not as good to carry or as small to fold.

BearOnWheels
Posts: 46
Joined: 12 Mar 2011, 7:10pm

Re: Which folder?

Postby BearOnWheels » 24 Jun 2012, 11:17am

I have a Ridgeback Attache which I use for various rides (pubs, car servicing, getting about London when I have to visit). My view is its a re-badged Dahon. It comes with a rack and mine came with a bike bag for storage / transport when its folded. Its a comfortable ride and with 7 hub gears has a goodly spread of gears that can cope with most things. It is not the quickest thing to fold, but I have now got it down to a fine art - about 90 seconds. Its a bit over your budget but you won't need to buy a rack. My rides on it are around 3-4 miles maximum and I ride in ordinary clothes so the soft, well padded saddle is fine. I know saddles are a personal thing, but I would probably fit a more rigid saddle if I was commuting 12 miles twice a day!

mr_mark_sid
Posts: 76
Joined: 8 Mar 2011, 4:13pm

Re: Which folder?

Postby mr_mark_sid » 25 Jun 2012, 2:33pm

If your employer does the bike to work scheme you can pick up a Brompton on that budget. Definitely worth it for the sort of distance you are looking at...

m

iviehoff
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Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 4:38pm

Re: Which folder?

Postby iviehoff » 25 Jun 2012, 3:05pm

I have used full-size (commuter/tourer) bikes in central London, locked through the day at outdoor bike racks (and overnight at Marylebone station), for many years. I have even regularly used bike racks where I can observe that bikes are regularly stolen, but mine never was (nor other well locked bikes). The difference is that my bike (1) had a proper lock (2) was old and not worth very much. But there were also abandoned bikes at those racks, which were there for years, indicating that a bike of insufficient quality a thief cannot be bothered bringing the heavy cutting equipment to break a proper lock.

I bought such bikes second hand on ebay, and did a bit of improvement work on them. I never paid more than £150. Buying a second hand bike of reasonable quality, but still good ride quality, is a little tricky, it usually took me a little while when I did need to replace a bike from time to time to find the right one. But it is possible. It helps to be able to maintain bikes yourself and have a shed full of part used hand-me-down bike parts for fixing bikes up. But if that sounds tricky you can get pretty good new bikes in the £250 range these days, and the thieves usually know they are only £250.

byegad
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Re: Which folder?

Postby byegad » 26 Jun 2012, 12:39pm

I've owned 4 Dahons, two cheaper than the one you are looking at and the others more expensive by a chunk! All were great to ride, but the 20" wheels and general design make them a fair hand full to carry far folded. If you are lifting through a door and up stairs you'll soon be fed up of the stairs!
The ride of even the cheapest ones we had, Boardwalk 6 speed from 2000AD are a much better ride than a Brompton. But carrying far or wanting to use bus or tube? The Brompton is 'the one' to beat. I used my folders in the car and the Dahon 20" wheel fold, on both the Speed-Pro and Boardwalk made dropping two into even a small car easy to do.

I'd suggest trying to lift and move the folded as part of your try before you buy. If you go for the better ride of the Dahon buy their quick cover, a bag with a draw string over the open end you drop it over the folded bike and pull the stings, the saddle sticks through a slot in what would be the closed end of the bag and you lift the bike with the saddle. It'll go over a bike with rear rack with ease.
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[XAP]Bob
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Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Which folder?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 26 Jun 2012, 12:48pm

byegad wrote:I'd suggest trying to lift and move the folded as part of your try before you buy.


+1

If you go for the better ride of the Dahon buy their quick cover, a bag with a draw string over the open end you drop it over the folded bike and pull the stings, the saddle sticks through a slot in what would be the closed end of the bag and you lift the bike with the saddle. It'll go over a bike with rear rack with ease.

That sounds like an excellent accessory. I could do with a brompton version for when I borrow that!
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SJSBrompton
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Joined: 3 Nov 2011, 4:48pm

Re: Which folder?

Postby SJSBrompton » 27 Jun 2012, 4:19pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
byegad wrote:I'd suggest trying to lift and move the folded as part of your try before you buy.


+1

If you go for the better ride of the Dahon buy their quick cover, a bag with a draw string over the open end you drop it over the folded bike and pull the stings, the saddle sticks through a slot in what would be the closed end of the bag and you lift the bike with the saddle. It'll go over a bike with rear rack with ease.

That sounds like an excellent accessory. I could do with a brompton version for when I borrow that!


+1

I saved up to buy a Ti Brompton as I did love my M3L, was fine with the ride quality, but struggled with the folded carry weight sometimes.

Now I have an S2LX and the difference is shocking - no more sore muscles in the bit at the side of my neck and on the top of the shoulder.

I use the cover and keep it in its pouch attached to the saddle when not in use. It is always covered on the train as it makes it blend in with the luggage that is usually on there too (my local train station is the closest to Heathrow).

Jojoba86
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Joined: 23 Jun 2012, 4:21pm

Re: Which folder?

Postby Jojoba86 » 3 Jul 2012, 4:06pm

Thanks for the replies everyone, bee distracted from decision for a bit, but tried the Tern Link D7i last night and was impressed with it. As the main problem for me is storing overnight, and a Dahon will sit in my flat fine, the very compact folding of the Brompton is not enough of an advantage for me to spend the extra cash (and seeing the Dahon/Terns and Bromptons side by side it is a big difference).

I am going to try and check out the Mu P7 tonight too, though currently they are pretty comparable in price at Evans, and I really liked the D7i...

atoz
Posts: 356
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 4:50pm

Re: Which folder?

Postby atoz » 5 Jul 2012, 5:51pm

I'd also appreciate some advice on this one. My needs are a little more complex. Because of the area I live in, the normal range of gearing you usually get on folders is inadequate- I live up on a top of a hill which has three roads accessing it, 2 of which are 1 in 6 gradients. I need a folder because my work takes me to different sites using train, but the train won't accomodate standard bikes in peak period- no chance. My employer is thinking of ditching Cycle to Work scheme because of "cost" and the provision of secure cycle parking currently is non-existent.

I enquired about one of the Dahons listed on the CTC shop website- the Dahon Mu P24 2012- see http://www.ctcshop.org.uk/dahon-mu-p24-2012/#buyitem . It emerged that despite the picture which clearly shows mudguards and a rack, the bike doesn't come with them. In my area a bike without mudguards in winter is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard, and I don't fancy those rucksacks you often see people using. This bike has the clear advantage of ridiculously low gearing, which in my area is extremely useful. Mind you, it is expensive.

I am wary of non-standard equipment you have to source separately, since the cycle trade is notoriously unhelpful for spares even for standard items- ever tried to get spares for cycle pumps at your local shop- no chance.

The alternative I would like- the Airnimal Joey- is rather pricey and is not as compact to fold.

Any suggestions? Apart from working for someone else who is more cycle friendly (under consideration already, but it's not a good time to be looking..)

Many thanks

anwar.rhm
Posts: 10
Joined: 12 Mar 2012, 10:33am

Re: Which folder?

Postby anwar.rhm » 6 Jul 2012, 9:43am

atoz wrote:I'd also appreciate some advice on this one. My needs are a little more complex. Because of the area I live in, the normal range of gearing you usually get on folders is inadequate- I live up on a top of a hill which has three roads accessing it, 2 of which are 1 in 6 gradients. I need a folder because my work takes me to different sites using train, but the train won't accomodate standard bikes in peak period- no chance. My employer is thinking of ditching Cycle to Work scheme because of "cost" and the provision of secure cycle parking currently is non-existent.

I enquired about one of the Dahons listed on the CTC shop website- the Dahon Mu P24 2012- see http://www.ctcshop.org.uk/dahon-mu-p24-2012/#buyitem . It emerged that despite the picture which clearly shows mudguards and a rack, the bike doesn't come with them. In my area a bike without mudguards in winter is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard, and I don't fancy those rucksacks you often see people using. This bike has the clear advantage of ridiculously low gearing, which in my area is extremely useful. Mind you, it is expensive.

I am wary of non-standard equipment you have to source separately, since the cycle trade is notoriously unhelpful for spares even for standard items- ever tried to get spares for cycle pumps at your local shop- no chance.

The alternative I would like- the Airnimal Joey- is rather pricey and is not as compact to fold.

Any suggestions? Apart from working for someone else who is more cycle friendly (under consideration already, but it's not a good time to be looking..)

Many thanks



Would you consider buying second hand. You would be able to get something on ebay in this price range (£650) or even the CTC sales forum.

How low gears do you need? The Tern Link P9 has a low gear of 32 inches (P24h lowest is 21 inches).

Folding bikes typically do not come with a double (or triple) chainset so something with the sram 3 speed hub with cassette would be good, though your options are very limited. Again on ebay you could find a Birdy tourer for this sort of price, though these do not come up often and you may still need to buy accessories like mudguards/ rack as well.

Alternatively you could swap the chainring on something like the P9 to a smaller ring to lower the gearing. This may be your cheapest/ easiest option though it would also mean that you have no really high gears. I have a two speed bike with a high of 74 which is fine for me (currently I’ve geared it for the high to be 68 inches and although I’m keen to move back to 74 the 68 is also fine).

Considering you would need to fold the bike fairly regularly, personally I wouldn’t like an Airnimal. I feel they are best for users who would like/ need a folding option though would not be doing so often, like when taking it abroad.

Non standard parts is always an issue with folding bikes though I think it’s easier with Bromptons (as they are British). A shop specialising in the make you go for should be able to source parts.

Jojoba86
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Joined: 23 Jun 2012, 4:21pm

Re: Which folder?

Postby Jojoba86 » 6 Jul 2012, 11:04am

Just to follow this up, in the end I went for the Tern Link D7i, the Mu P7 (2011) seemed not quite as nice in terms of engineering and general polish, and a little worse in the ride. Looking forward to picking it up tomorrow :D .

If you need 24 speed why not go for the Tern Link P24h? You can get it for £700 at Evans at the moment, if you use the code PANDT100. It's meant to be £100 of free accessories on bikes over £500, but so long as you put one accessory in (which may have to be Tern or Pinnacle) you get all of the £100 off. You may be able to remove the accessory and the £100 discount will stay on. You may have to order the rack separately though, so that's another £50.

On either the Dahons or the Terns you should be able to order the mudguards and racks separately from whoever you buy from. I assume a compact fold is not too important to you, if it is then the Bromptons are much, much better for that. The Terns and Dahons are a pretty quick fold though.

anwar.rhm
Posts: 10
Joined: 12 Mar 2012, 10:33am

Re: Which folder?

Postby anwar.rhm » 6 Jul 2012, 11:39am

anwar.rhm wrote:

Would you consider buying second hand. You would be able to get something on ebay in this price range (£650) or even the CTC sales forum.


Folding bikes typically do not come with a double (or triple) chainset so something with the sram 3 speed hub with cassette would be good, though your options are very limited. Again on ebay you could find a Birdy tourer for this sort of price,


for example:
viewtopic.php?f=40&t=65429