Folding bike train commuter?

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Tangled Metal
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Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby Tangled Metal » 24 Jun 2020, 12:09am

Just read that thread on London commute with a folder. Someone recommended a beater at Paddington. How many people working in London have bike storage at work? Really don't know. I have plenty of places to safely stash a full sized bike at work but I work on an edge of town industrial estate with employers who don't mind where bikes are stored as long as they don't get in the way of production. All inside security gates too.

I can see folders as being more useful in the centre of a big city where rigid bike storage isn't easy to find where you need it and secure.

PH
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Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby PH » 24 Jun 2020, 12:19am

Tangled Metal wrote: How many people working in London have bike storage at work? Really don't know.

Plenty of people in London and many other cities leave their bikes parked in the street while they're at work.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby Tangled Metal » 24 Jun 2020, 12:25am

PH wrote:
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.

That's snipped quote was in response to the comment below from Cyril Yearn.

Seriously, it should not make sense financially and otherwise to travel further, 200 days a year
What if everybody did it?


I was thinking of the old days when lots of communities worked for larger employers in the area near where they lived. Where people cycled to work or walked if the couldn't afford a bike. I work at a place where pretty much everyone could get on their bike and cycle the mile or so to work with many walking to work. There's a lot who work 5 minutes walk from home. About 75% of people at work cannot drive and have no intention to learn. A very unusual and unfortunately uncommon thing to see.

IMHO the ideal situation for work is as follows. Working from home, working near your home, working within 30 minutes reasonable pace cycling distance and down the list is motorized, personal transport of any kind. I currently live 30 minutes cycle commute but I'm thinking of moving to an area where I'll have a 30 minutes mixed mode commute using train and bike. Still better than an ICE moped or car IMHO. If this view isn't correct from your pov then we'll agree to disagree.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 24 Jun 2020, 9:55am

A three part journey train bike train could be unreliable, what if the train is late or cancelled?

Your journey does not seem so bad, but lots of people travel long distances because it is easy, cheap fast, bet lots of Manchester people work in Liverpool and vice-versa
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Tangled Metal
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Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby Tangled Metal » 24 Jun 2020, 11:29am

But a bike, train, bike commute is reliable when I need it. The morning train in is late so very rarely is not an issue when it does happen. The return train is so unreliable I can actually really on it to be late to give me time to catch it. The few times it's on the and I miss it I won't be that bothered.

It' bad when you rely on a train being late to catch it and you're rarely let on an empty platform but good at the same time. You know where you are but when it's randomly late to don't. I digress, surprisingly but I do!!!

djnotts
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Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby djnotts » 25 Jun 2020, 1:47pm

Normally I would say a second hand Brompton, but with a near 6 mth wait list for new, used ones are fetching very silly money. Try Tern or Dahon on eBay - postage often offered for folders.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby Tangled Metal » 5 Oct 2020, 7:24am

I'm 6'5" tall. Even tern main dealers won't sell me them because of the height issue. It seems they have experience of issues with fit on people above the often quoted 6'3" max recommended rider height and don't want unsatisfied customers. It seems there's something special about brompton bikes that make them work for tall people.

Perhaps a halfords teenager might sell me one but would you go against the specialist folder retailer to take the advice from halfords?

I've been looking into Brompton bikes a bit more. I reckon 6 speed with extending seat post. A plain colour saves a little over raw lacquer. I'm not sure of the benefit of a rack over just the mudguards option. I think I'll save money and use a rucksack. I've got loads of them and it'll be a quicker way to transition from cycling to wheeling it as luggage. Important if the train is slightly late and I need to rush the last stage of my journey.

My question really is about bars now. I like the sound of sportier S bars but being tall would that put me into too extreme a cycling tuck? Anyone ride a brompton who is close to my height with experience of S & M bars to offer an informed experience? I've read that being tall might make the S bars a little too wobbly handling wise. The M bars might give me a better position. Any opinions or advice?

Roy A
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Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby Roy A » 5 Oct 2020, 7:46am

Try and find a Brompton dealer where you can try the bikes. For taller riders there is the H bar (same as M but with an extended stem) and a telescopic seat post/ S bar is lower so may be too short, only a test ride will tell. Also check out the Brompton luggage fitted to the front block, it avoids using a rucksack.
King of Mercia, Giant Defy, Raleigh MTB, Brompton M3L & S6L

Tangled Metal
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Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby Tangled Metal » 5 Oct 2020, 1:24pm

No retailer near me has any demonstration brompton bikes and I doubt there's any in the UK that's any different. That's the issue. H is too high I'm certain. I am used to a road bike position and never got on with fiat bar hybrid/my more upright position. M as the highest but there's a possibility I will get on with S bar.

I could play safe with M bar then get aftermarket version of a bar later on when I'm used to it.

drossall
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Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby drossall » 5 Oct 2020, 1:39pm

For a very tall rider, of course, the issue is also the length of the bike, which tends to be one-size-fits-all (or not) on folders. I'm possibly a bit less than average height, and I've got aftermarket bars on my Brompton, set to lean forwards as far as possible without preventing the fold, to maximise reach.

But many folders will have this issue for a taller rider.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby Tangled Metal » 5 Oct 2020, 3:50pm

I think the issue with dahon and tern is reach rather than height. Bromptons apparently have a longer frame as I once got told by a retailer of most folding bike brands available in the UK.

It's why Brompton bikes are suitable up to my height and the other two main brands aren't.

Roy A
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Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby Roy A » 5 Oct 2020, 4:06pm

If you bought one with M handle bars then you could replace these with Joseph Kuosac versions (see SJS website), which come as flat or mid rise - both would be between M and S. They are marked for cutting to the width of your choice, mid rise could be used with the existing cables.

Since buying my S I've bought mid rise for my M but not yet fitted them, I plan to do so when it next has a service and I also replace the usual parts that wear with use - chain/sprocket, brake blocks and the rear tyre.
King of Mercia, Giant Defy, Raleigh MTB, Brompton M3L & S6L

JakobW
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Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby JakobW » 5 Oct 2020, 5:18pm

I'm 6'5", and with M bars I end up with the bars just below the saddle. The S bars are a bit low for me on a bike with a shortish reach like a Brompton - I can ride an S-type, but end up getting stiff shoulders if it's more than a short journey.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby Tangled Metal » 16 Oct 2020, 8:20am

JakobW wrote:I'm 6'5", and with M bars I end up with the bars just below the saddle. The S bars are a bit low for me on a bike with a shortish reach like a Brompton - I can ride an S-type, but end up getting stiff shoulders if it's more than a short journey.

Thanks for that. I've decided m bars, telescopic seat and 6 speed is best. No rack just guards. Most seem to sell with three block now too so not an extra anymore.

The only issue is getting one. I've heard there's been a few times superlights went for sale on their site for about 5 minutes before selling out. Other than those I'm going to have to wait.

A local brompton dealer has my details. She told me she's not allowed to order anything even with a long lead time. Some time before xmas she'll be allowed a small number of brompton bike orders with long lead time but no more. Apparently she's been treated poorly as a customer of Brompton, but that's purely down to demand and an inability to scale up due to deliberate UK build policy. You can still buy brompton clones because they can outsource to get more made.

The local retailer has my details so I'll get a call and opportunity to place an order when they can. Basically I can be one of the few customers she can order bromptons for.

Is having full control over the manufacturer by making everything in house a good or bad decision? In light of current demand, when other brands are starting to fill retailer's displays again, brompton are not supplying even slightly to the demand that's out there. How many are buying other brands right now?

Personally I'm holding off but I might decide to go with bike Friday if it takes too long to get back on track.

SA_SA_SA
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Re: Folding bike train commuter?

Postby SA_SA_SA » 16 Oct 2020, 2:48pm

Andrew Ritchies view was that the Brompton required closer manufacturering tolerances and attention to detail than others : he tried outsourcing to neobike and viewed it as a failure, and they didn't return equipment.

Perhaps, modern offshore companies would be better but is expanding in Uk going to be any slower to set up than distant manufacture by remote control?
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