Northern rail folding bike options?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Re: Northern rail folding bike options?

Postby RickH » 8 Sep 2020, 3:59pm

Tangled Metal wrote:@rickh
The route I take also takes full sized bikes, but really only in theory. The practicality of getting a full sized bike onto a train that's already standing room only means it really isn't a possibility. Some people do however and that really goes down well. Personally just because you can doesn't mean you should. Especially when that involves pedals and other bike parts hitting other people in your attempt to squeeze on and stand holding your bike on a moving train.

Don't get me wrong, it's possible and indeed it's not always that busy. You just cannot be sure on a bike day it'll be quiet enough to fit a bike on.

I suppose I my point was, maybe rather long-windedly & not very clearly, that if you want to take a folder on a Northern train it doesn't really matter what sort it is as long as you are happy with it.

As far as being allowed on the train is concerned, anything goes (subject to space). A bike that is reasonably stable free-standing when folded, or that you can leave the saddle up to act as a handle while it sits on the floor, is probably better than not if you are likely to be standing with it.

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Re: Northern rail folding bike options?

Postby geocycle » 8 Sep 2020, 6:36pm

If you are regularly using busy commuter trains then I’d agree with the Brompton consensus. Northern rail are pretty good for bikes but on that route you’ll often want to take one of the other two franchises who have stricter rules. I have a dahon mu with 20 inch wheels. It just about folds into the racks on most trains if they are empty, but it is a big lump of bike to have to stand with in a crowded train. I bought it as I preferred the ride to the Brompton and I knew it would only get occasional use, even in normal times. It’s also good value with 8 gears and a rack although I prefer a saddlebag. I think someone of your size would struggle with it as the front end flexes quite a bit for me and I’m much shorter than you.

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Re: Northern rail folding bike options?

Postby jawaka » 9 Sep 2020, 2:10pm ... -bike.aspx

You may like to check this out, a 26" folder, It folds with a small locking mechanism for rear wheel against the front and handlebars turn thru 90 degrees, so it's not small, but as it is a folder they should let you on if the bike spoaces are occupied. I find it a nice ride, could be commuter/ touring/and off road abiilty.

I haven't put it on a train as I bought it to fit in the boot of the car when going on holiday and my wife didn't want to drive with a rack. I'm not so keen on a rack either and it is safer in the boot than on the outside of the car

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Re: Northern rail folding bike options?

Postby asinus » 14 Sep 2020, 9:44pm

I'm 6'5" or so, and have a 26" folder - an ancient Phillips (Dahon rebadged), which does just about fit in the new Northern rolling stock without obstructing the gangway too much on a train that isn't crowded. The seatpost is at the max and the reach shortish, and so I'm not sure that you'll get that good a ride if you can find e.g. a Dahon Espresso, which is the more modern version. I don't think they're still made, so you'd have to look in the second-hand market. The Phillips and Dahon Espresso fold at one hinge, and don't need the front wheel removed but differ with respect the bars - for my wife's Espresso you have to undo the Aheadset, and they're not particularly easy to bag up or manhandle.
An alternative might be a Montague - no personal experience - but I think you have to take the front wheel out again