Folders that ride like a normal bike

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Freddie
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Re: Folders that ride like a normal bike

Postby Freddie » 8 Jun 2014, 5:52pm

Zanda wrote:Not sure I'd choose to ride 40 miles on any of the small-wheel folders I've mentioned, though I'm told the Moulton TSR is suitable for this kind of distance.
What do you consider the limitation? The small wheels, the frame?

RJS
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Re: Folders that ride like a normal bike

Postby RJS » 8 Jun 2014, 10:42pm

I'm not trying to talk you into a Airnimal, but I have 4 friends who have one amongst their stables of bikes, and they really like them, they take them on tour in Europe and the USA, and do, in some cases, a lot more than 40 miles a day. A fifth had one and never really liked it, he recently sold it to another friend, who is over the moon with it. We have a (little used), TandemTwosDay, made by Bike Friday, there is no problem with the steering, at high or low speed, no drama with a low speed front wheel blow out. That IS a small wheel problem on a tandem, over heating the rims. I think if the surface is really bad small wheels are a disadvantage, they will drop into pot holes. Tyres, a lot of choice generally available I think for 20", but as said the 24" Airnimals are limited, and not available everywhere, make sure they are good before you leave home, or take a spare. Not the only alternative at all, but I do think they are bikes, on road, that are capable of the same miles as a bigger wheeled bike, some say they find the Airnimal with its rear suspension more comfortable than their big wheel bikes, lots of choice out there, cost is possibly a deciding factor.
Cheers, Rob

ElCampesino
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Re: Folders that ride like a normal bike

Postby ElCampesino » 9 Jun 2014, 3:07pm

The Airnmial Chameleon rides as well as most proper (700c) bikes, if not better.

The problem is the design and the fact that they break. I know a number of people whose Chameleon collapsed under them without warning.

The same happened to me a few weeks ago and if I'd been going any faster or been on a busy road I probably wouldn't sit here writing this.

I understand that they have made some minor improvements but, personally, I don't trust the design anymore.

The 5-year warranty period says it all, really.

EC

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NUKe
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Re: Folders that ride like a normal bike

Postby NUKe » 9 Jun 2014, 3:20pm

I have a dahon espresso which has 26 inch wheels and folds. rides like any other bike. MIne is a medium ( I am 5'8'') but they do larger size. Rides just like a normal bike. Doesn#'t fold particularly small, but will go it the boot of the Xsara Picasso.

http://www.foldingbikeguide.co.uk/dahon-espresso
NUKe
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Si
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Re: Folders that ride like a normal bike

Postby Si » 9 Jun 2014, 4:43pm

ElCampesino wrote:The Airnmial Chameleon.....

The same happened to me a few weeks ago and if I'd been going any faster or been on a busy road I probably wouldn't sit here writing this.

.....

The 5-year warranty period says it all, really.

EC


What year was yours made? My last one was about 2004 and broke in 2005, at which point I gave up.

I wouldn't see the 5 yr warranty as an indicator of quality.....lots of Alu bikes have short warrantys these days.

Freddie
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Joined: 12 Jan 2008, 12:01pm

Re: Folders that ride like a normal bike

Postby Freddie » 9 Jun 2014, 5:29pm

Scary stuff all these frames failing. If I were you ElCampesino, I'd stick a video up on Youtube showing what happened to your frame and start a thread on prominent forums, that might get the attention of someone at Airnimal. Frames shouldn't be catastrophically failing (and doing so for many years, according to some posters here) should they?

Isn't there ground for litigation?

iandriver
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Location: Cambridge.

Re: Folders that ride like a normal bike

Postby iandriver » 9 Jun 2014, 6:46pm

Here is my very heavily modded Tern Joe
Image

It rides like an ordinary bike, but no fast lightweight. It rides like a beefy town bike.

I found the inability to turn the bars made it difficult to accommodate in the car. I have added wider bars than the std, but even as standard I found the width didn't allow me to close the boot on a mk4 Mondeo without bending the parcel shelf:

Image

I solved this with an n'lock swivelling stem, but that's another £40.00

Image

It's still a pretty chunky package.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

Brucey
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Re: Folders that ride like a normal bike

Postby Brucey » 9 Jun 2014, 8:46pm

OT I know, but is that one of those bargain P-X Minoura carriers on the back there?

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

iandriver
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Location: Cambridge.

Re: Folders that ride like a normal bike

Postby iandriver » 9 Jun 2014, 9:26pm

All £9.99 pounds worth from plannet x http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/FSMI5000R/ ... nnier-rack
I top it off with one of these http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BASMGBORC/ ... bags--pair That's why the bungee strap is cabletied on there (and to help the bike stay folded on the train)

Collectively I refer to this as my gentlemens bicycle. Everyone should have one :D

Edit. Worth noting with the rack that to fit the b&m rear light, I needed to use my imagination with a stainless t piece and a drill. P clip was not included.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

Brucey
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Re: Folders that ride like a normal bike

Postby Brucey » 9 Jun 2014, 10:19pm

nice one!

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PaulB
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Re: Folders that ride like a normal bike

Postby PaulB » 9 Jun 2014, 11:21pm

SSCN5101.JPG


SSCN5012.JPG


You could try the Xootr Swift which has 20" wheels and eight gears. It can be adapted to suit your riding style and uses standard cycle parts. Not the smallest fold but it rides very well.


Image

Image

AMC
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Location: Y Canolbarth (Mid Wales)

Re: Folders that ride like a normal bike

Postby AMC » 10 Jun 2014, 9:17am

Another vote for Bike Friday and Airnimal: I have a BF New World Tourist, my wife has an Airnimal Chameleon. Both terrific bikes in their way, both have a quick fold that'll easily get them into a car boot or a shoulder bag, and both are available in sizes to suit 6ft+.
+1 for Bike Friday. I've ridden my Pocket Llama on many tours with mine, fully loaded & including Vietnam with all its unsealed rocky mountain passes. (It is also fantastic in busy SE Asian cities where you need to e able to see in the flow of traffic & be really manoeuvrable.) I can't speak highly enough of it. More expensive but you can find them second hand in good nick, totally worth it imho

Zanda
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Re: Folders that ride like a normal bike

Postby Zanda » 10 Jun 2014, 1:30pm

Freddie wrote:
Zanda wrote:Not sure I'd choose to ride 40 miles on any of the small-wheel folders I've mentioned, though I'm told the Moulton TSR is suitable for this kind of distance.
What do you consider the limitation? The small wheels, the frame?


On the Brompton and the Dahon small-wheelers, I feel I use much more energy to keep moving than I would on a touring bike. Perhaps that's not surprising, but the extra effort is enough to make me avoid those bikes for my mildly hilly 10-mile commute. Small wheels are the root cause, I reckon.

It's not that small wheelers are 'bad'. However, they're not right for everything. I've tried to outline their advantages and disadvantages here.

Furthermore, I think that the attempts to mitigate some of the disadvantages can cause other issues. For instance, a bike designer can compensate for the harsh ride by specifying wider tyres, or suspension, or both, but I'd expect this to have knock-on effects for efficiency or, in the case of suspension, climbing performance, cost or reliability. You could call it 'the small wheel dilemma'.

Given that, I'm interested to see that Dahon's current range includes bikes with 24" wheels, which looks like a sensible compromise. (It's no coincidence that 24" is the solution that Airnimal settled upon.) I've ridden none of these 24" wheelers, though I'd like to. And I think the best advice for a prospective user of folding bikes is "ride some". I imagined I'd become a Bromptoneer after reading great things on forums. It was only when I actually rode a Brompton that I knew the bike was wrong for me and my 20-mile round trip.
Last edited by Zanda on 10 Jun 2014, 5:27pm, edited 6 times in total.

BE1
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Re: Folders that ride like a normal bike

Postby BE1 » 10 Jun 2014, 3:17pm

pete75 wrote:Of bikes made by major manufacturers and thus, presumably, easily available and not too expensive the Dahon Tournado may be your best bet if you don't want a small wheeler http://www.dahon.com/mainnav/folding-bi ... rnado.html
A few months ago someone was selling new ones for around £500 on Ebay - don't know if they still are



By a strange co-incidence I just poped in my local bike shop to shelter from teh rain and came across a Tournado. It looks like the picture in Pete75's link but does not match the specificaton, , Tiagra STi's, Tektro caliper brakes, 105 mechs, moreover is silver not caramel and does not have a Brooks saddle. Nor is it only £500 :(

I have looked on-line but can not find one like it: any ideas anyone? I feel that it is a sign but would like to be sure before commiting :?

hercule
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Re: Folders that ride like a normal bike

Postby hercule » 15 Jun 2014, 6:02pm

Zanda wrote:
Freddie wrote:
Zanda wrote:Not sure I'd choose to ride 40 miles on any of the small-wheel folders I've mentioned, though I'm told the Moulton TSR is suitable for this kind of distance.
What do you consider the limitation? The small wheels, the frame?


On the Brompton and the Dahon small-wheelers, I feel I use much more energy to keep moving than I would on a touring bike. Perhaps that's not surprising, but the extra effort is enough to make me avoid those bikes for my mildly hilly 10-mile commute. Small wheels are the root cause, I reckon.


The furtherest I've done on my Brompton is 13 miles. It was a much slower experience than I expected but doable. For flexible Iocal transport it's very good but it wouldn't be my first choice for long rides. The 1960s Moultons (same wheel size) are much more pleasant to ride long distances, a bit quicker, and far more comfortable.

On the other hand my Moulton AM is faster than the Brompton by several country miles and rides as good as if not better than my normal touring bike. I've ridden it extensive distances and never felt that the 17" wheels held me back. Whilst new ones are rather more pricey than the TSR series, there seems to be little in it for ride and handling and the TSRs at least give you a choice of tyres (Kojaks only in 17" at present) and less need for expensive proprietary parts to get reasonable high gears. There are some fixed frame TSRs but I've never understood why you would buy a Moulton and miss out on the splitting frame. My AM has ended up in some strange places including half in the boot of a Mazda MX5 (the front end sat belted in on the passenger seat) and hidden in a wardrobe when I was in dodgy lodgings. Not a fast fold like the Brompton and you wouldn't want to do it several times a day but when you have that facility it opens up opportunities.