Folding bike train commuter?

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
slowster
Posts: 1719
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby slowster » 23 Jun 2020, 11:36am

I've only looked at the SJS website, and even that has an S6L demonstrator for £1190.

I think there is currently quite a long lead time to order a new Brompton, given that they are assembled to order. I don't know how much that is due to increased sales of bikes generally during the lockdown, but there seems to be a widely held view that a significant percentage of recently purchased new bikes will end up on ebay etc. as some people find they do not like cycling or are not prepared to commute on a bike in winter. Even if far fewer of those new bikes that end up on the second hand market are Bromptons, it might nevethless be worth waiting until autumn and keeping a close eye on ebay.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16366
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby mjr » 23 Jun 2020, 11:40am

JakobW wrote:AFAIK the only folder that meets the letter of the national rail conditions of carriage is the Brompton; when folded you can take it on any train, any time. Other small-wheeled folders - Tern, Dahon, etc. - I'd expect to be able to get onto most commuter trains un-bagged, but they may be a bit unwieldy to stow in a luggage rack.

No, a Dahon 20" wheeled fits fine in all floor luggage racks I've tried so far, including the Networker and Electrostar/Turbostar families which have smaller racks than Sprinters.

If it was for near daily use, I'd get a Brompton if possible because the double fold means a smaller size, longer wheelbase and some suspension. And hub gears are far better that close to the dirt.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

User avatar
simonineaston
Posts: 3796
Joined: 9 May 2007, 1:06pm
Location: ...at a cricket ground

Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby simonineaston » 23 Jun 2020, 12:14pm

I used the train for ages. 3 miles cycle ride from home to station, one mile walk from station to work. For a long while, I simply rode a beater to the station in the morning, locked it up, hopped on the train then walked at the other end. Worked really well until a minor tweak in my working hours threw a spanner in the works, because I could no longer leave in time to get the evening train...
Save a lot of money on an expensive folder (Moulton not folder, mind...).
byyeee,
SiE

whoof
Posts: 2519
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby whoof » 23 Jun 2020, 12:50pm

I bought a second hand Dahon D7 for £45. It needed a new tyre, seat post, saddle, a new spoke and some work on greasing the hubs and adjusting gears and brakes.
Including buying a rack (from Decathlon) the on the road cost was £90.

I bought it use on the train. It folds into a bag, bought from EBay and fits into a the luggage rack on the train. I've tried various panniers including Ortlieb Roller Classic fronts on the rack but I hit my heels on them. I carry enough stuff for a week in; rack top bag, barrel bar bag (Planet X), bike packing seat pack and small back pack. It's a bit of a pain putting all this on and taking it off again to go in the bag but my journey is five hours so not that bad.

In terms of riding. I can sit on it and it gets me from home to the station and back.

Tangled Metal
Posts: 7284
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby Tangled Metal » 23 Jun 2020, 12:57pm

I noticed folding bikes in Brittany and Belgium were more common than up here at least. In one of those countries the trains seven had signs up telling you where you put your folding bike. There were a few Bromptons but equally common are terms and Dahon brands. They all fitted under the seats on the trains in Brittany and Belgium where they're supposed to be.

The home station had no bike lockers and Lancaster station, last time I was there, was taking ba load out. Plus the ones that were there is were taken and it's virtually impossible to get one. It seems you have to apply to the council and if one came up free good get it if you're at the top of the waiting list. I'm possibly years away from reaching the top of that waiting list. More chance of getting an allotment here!!!!

Getting a cheap one for trial doesn't appeal to me. If it's really cheap it could put me off folders and besides I don't agree with causing another cheap and nasty BSO out there. It's consumerism too far for me sad I like things that can last and work well whole they're lasting. But it was a different idea I never thought about. Made me wonder if I could borrow my dad's to try it out. Could get train to where I'd commute from, take a nice 2 mile walk to my parents then ride back to the station to trial commute. Work out well if he'd let me borrow it. No guarantee there!!!

We should all live in the neighborhood of work IMHO but reality is nobody does. The new location adds 15 minutes journey time by car or train. It is too far for me to commute full distance though. Cost will not be much more than the cost of the train from where I live now and I'd get a monthly or season ticket which I never did here. My walk to station here is 5 minutes or 10 minutes home. The journey to station where we're thinking of moving to would be 5 or 10 minute drive tops. I can walk the with leg in 15 minutes at a push but cycling in 5 which means I can catch the earlier train home. It would mean I'm home nearly an hour earlier.

Train is virtually empty in the morning but full coming home. I could take a folder and there isn't any restriction on size that I know about. Certainly nobody to bother enforcing it. There's usually full sized bikes on it anyway even outside of bike areas but they don't get kicked off. Train time now is 8 to 9 minutes. It's another 9 minutes. Hardly moving that far away from work! But for all that it means nearer the lake District where we go most weekends. If not the lakes were mostly walking locally to where we want to move. We're moving from an area without a good primary school option ,(issues with current school) to an area with a good, forward thinking school with good ideas. There's no houses in our price range worth getting here, unless you like living in a goldfish bowl cramped in with your neighbours. Where we're moving to means garden, garage, extra bedroom and overall better standard of living. All at the cost of being unable to fully cycle commute or an extra 9 minutes train journey. I'll not want to use the van and or car will be sold shortly anyway so I'll not have the use of car or van.

Tangled Metal
Posts: 7284
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby Tangled Metal » 23 Jun 2020, 1:08pm

Beater isn't an option. I could walk both ends of the train journey but not make the earlier train coming home. Walking the bike end and using a beater the work end isn't am option since all secure bike lockers fit removed last year and nothing put in their place AFAIK. Even if there was it's a long wait for one to free up. The station is not safe to lock bikes up. People there nick bikes just to get home from the pub or scoring a couple of wraps I believe is the vernacular. I know people who've had bikes nicked then seen some scrote riding it past him na couple of weeks later? He got the bike back bit not the next time it fit nicked.

A few years back a Bulgarian gang was arrested with £80,000+ of bikes and bike parts in two houses in that area. The ones doing the stealing are still around, it was just the distributors who got arrested.

Any bike I get stays with be and gets locked up at work in the security gates, preferably in my office next to me. I don't like losing even scrap bike money to these people. All for a tenner fix!! That's despite there being a few decent secondhand bike shops in the area which don't deal in stolen bikes and have policies in place to reduce the risk of getting sold one. One even told a police superintendent to go away and come back with photo ID and proof of address. He came back in uniform with warrant card!! :lol:

John Holiday
Posts: 516
Joined: 2 Nov 2007, 2:01pm

Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby John Holiday » 23 Jun 2020, 4:29pm

You would not regret buying a Brompton, & they can always be resold.
If money a problem, buy second hand.

drossall
Posts: 5018
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby drossall » 23 Jun 2020, 9:09pm

I started with a Dahon Vitesse seven-speed. I liked it a lot, and folding on the train was no issue. I originally bought it (second-hand) because it was a lot cheaper than a Brompton. Unfortunately the frame broke near the hinge. I now have a six-speed Brompton, which is excellent.

I'd say the Dahon/Tern family if you can't afford a Brompton. Dahons and Terns do fold a little larger, but not by much. Never had any issue with train staff. There was one occasion, maybe two, when I couldn't get in a carriage (could barely have done so without the folded bike), but the model of bike made no difference then either.

Tangled Metal
Posts: 7284
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby Tangled Metal » 23 Jun 2020, 10:44pm

Tern BYB P8 or S11 look good bikes and only slightly bigger when folded than a Brompton.

Saw a folder today and thought "what small wheels, must be a Brompton". A minute later I saw a folder with caster wheels!! It was a Brompton! I'm thinking if I got one or son's old balance bike might provide emergency tyres for it!! :lol:

Seriously though the Term folders look good bikes based on how they fold, how the joints are made and other details. Not least the accessories look good. The way it can be rolled along inside the pop cover like a piece of luggage looks good. It comes with a lot of these things that are extras on a Brompton. Not seen any prices yet and nowhere near me seems to stock them. Accusing to Tern UK website leisure lakes do but they became exclusive Brompton retailers years ago. If these are even a few hundred less than an M6L Brompton in basic spec I think I'd consider one.

Tern say they're good for up to 6'5" tall, my height fortunately. Has anyone seen what maximum height of user Bromptons are good to? I can't see it on any website including their own. It doesn't give me confidence I will fit it.

reohn2
Posts: 40129
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby reohn2 » 23 Jun 2020, 10:56pm

I have this for sale for £350, it comes with the original folding pedals but not the front bracket or bottle cage in the picture,however it does come with a topeak mini pump and bar ends and is registered with Tern warranty.
The second photo shows how I've extended the reach,the bike has seen less than 100 miles,so almost as new.It came with a 48t chainring but I fitted a 39t one on the inside position for a lower gearing set.
I'm selling due to lack of use :-
20190722_195059.jpg

20190722_195132.jpg
Last edited by reohn2 on 23 Jun 2020, 11:00pm, edited 2 times in total.
-----------------------------------------------------------

User avatar
gaz
Posts: 14111
Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 12:09pm
Location: Kent, lorry park of England

Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby gaz » 23 Jun 2020, 10:59pm

Missing, presumed fed.

fastpedaller
Posts: 2672
Joined: 10 Jul 2014, 1:12pm
Location: Norfolk

Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby fastpedaller » 23 Jun 2020, 11:17pm

In the back of my mind I'd remembered a 'cheaper' Brompton (yes, I'm sure I'd seen it) and here it is on Brompton's site The B75

https://www.brompton.com/brompton-gbr/u ... -77/p-6818

maybe a possibility?

User avatar
TrevA
Posts: 2555
Joined: 1 Jun 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby TrevA » 23 Jun 2020, 11:29pm

slowster wrote:I've only looked at the SJS website, and even that has an S6L demonstrator for £1190.

I think there is currently quite a long lead time to order a new Brompton, given that they are assembled to order. I don't know how much that is due to increased sales of bikes generally during the lockdown, but there seems to be a widely held view that a significant percentage of recently purchased new bikes will end up on ebay etc. as some people find they do not like cycling or are not prepared to commute on a bike in winter. Even if far fewer of those new bikes that end up on the second hand market are Bromptons, it might nevethless be worth waiting until autumn and keeping a close eye on ebay.


If you are not too fussed about colour, then you can go and buy a Brompton tomorrow if you want. This is what me and my wife did. It might be a bit more difficult post-lockdown, but should still be possible, if you go to a specialist Brompton dealer. We went to Rutland Cycles in Peterborough, test rode a few and bought there and then - me an M3L and my wife an H3L.
A cart horse trapped in the body of a man.
http://www.jogler2009.blogspot.com

PH
Posts: 9608
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby PH » 23 Jun 2020, 11:42pm

Tangled Metal wrote:We should all live in the neighborhood of work IMHO but reality is nobody does.

That plain and simply isn't true.
If you've created a situation where a bike doesn't work, do something else, they're a great form of transport, but nobody thinks they'e the answer to everything. When I chose to live out in the sticks and work 18 hilly miles away, I bought a moped. If you wanted to hold onto some green credibility you could make it an electric moped, a bigger outlay but then you have the train fare to offset it against.

JakobW
Posts: 416
Joined: 9 Jun 2014, 1:26pm
Location: The glorious West Midlands

Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby JakobW » 24 Jun 2020, 12:03am

Tangled Metal wrote:Tern say they're good for up to 6'5" tall, my height fortunately. Has anyone seen what maximum height of user Bromptons are good to? I can't see it on any website including their own. It doesn't give me confidence I will fit it.


I'm 6'5" and fit my Brompton fine with the telescopic seatpost. I went for M bars, which come up to just below the level of the seat; I tried S bars, but they were way too low.