folding bike recommendations?
- On Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 9:15 AM, vurt456 <mcgiansante@...> wrote:
> I'm thinking about getting a folding bike. Does anyone have anyHi Michelle,
> specific recommendations?
It depends on what you want to use your folding bike for. There's
actually a pretty huge variety of folding bike styles to suit many
If you plan to use it for multi-modal commuting, you'll probably want
something that folds very quickly and compactly. Check out the Bike
Friday "Tikit" or the Brompton. Those are probably the ultimate bikes
for this purpose.
For travel, touring, and packing a bike up (rather than just quick
folding) you might want to look more towards a Bike Friday "New World
Tourist" or one of their other similar bikes.
Dahon is probably the biggest seller of folding bikes. They have a
huge variety available.
Lots of other options too...especially if you just want a cheaper
"beater" bike for getting around the neighbourhood and folding up for
easier storage at home. If there's a local bike shop that specializes
in folders, drop by and have a look.
My own folding bike experience is with my Bike Friday "New World
Tourist". It's not cheap...but make a great bike for commuting,
travel (I've taken it on work trips and tours, where I packed it up in
its suitcase), towing a trailer-load of groceries, etc..etc.. It's
not the most elegant bike for folding up to take on thus bus though.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- vurt456 wrote:
> I'm thinking about getting a folding bike. Does anyone have anyFor general purpose multi-modal commuting you get the most bang for your
> specific recommendations?
buck with a Dahon Speed D7. They're about $300. Bag extra.
Bromptons are very nice, compact, high quality folders, but they are way
overpriced (over $1,200) and use non-standard parts. Try finding an 18"
tire. Even most bike shops won't have them in stock.
Bike Fridays are nice too, but also way over-priced (over $1,00). Their
commuter model, the Tikit, folds fast, but that is about its only
benefit. It has pothole-swallowing 16" wheels and it's not that compact
when folded. The other BF models are more-or-less "portable" bikes meant
for transporting in airplanes in suitcases and long disassembly and
assembly sessions at airports.
Now that we are confronted with petrocollapse I have serious doubts
about Bike Friday's future viability. Their core business, the
bike-airplane tourism, has essentially died overnight.
I would stay away from the off-brand folders on ebay. KHS is OK and
probably about on par price and qulaity-wise with Dahon.
I'm sure you will not want to carry a folder with you everywhere all the
time and will sometimes want to leave it locked outside your location,
like at a restaurant or theatre. Well in New York or Chicago as soon as
a professional bike thief spots a Brompton or a Bike Friday it will be
gone. There's something to be said for having a cheaper bike. A.) It's
less likely to be a target of professional thieves and B.) If it is
stolen, you're not out that much money.
Founder, Chicagoland Folding Bike Society
"Dedicated to the promotion of folding bicycles
and enhancement of the folding bike experience"
- =v= The Bike Friday is my top favorite for many reasons.
The inventors are also responsible for some top trailer designs
(i.e. the Burley) and the bike is integrated with a trailer,
which is important for carfreedom. The bikes are made of
steel, so they last and can haul things. They are made in
the U.S. with least-toxic manufacturing methods.
=v= The main drawback of quality American-built bikes is the
price, but they actually aren't substantially more expensive
than nonfolding bikes of the same quality. Some economic
considerations, though: (1) Bike Fridays ride so well that
you generally don't need a second bike, (2) because they hold
up so well (see "made of steel" above) you can get a used one
and still reap the benefits of Bike Friday's service, and (3)
they are, of course, a much better deal than a car!
=v= I am also fond of the Swift Folder for many of the same
reasons, but most of their business has shifted to an low-cost
aluminum model built by Xootr. (It is still possible to get
a steel one, but they're hard to come by.)
=v= Dahons are the best sellers because they're the cheapest.
They have improved greatly over the years, but quality varies;
I have had friends who've lucked out with a good bike, but my
own experience hasn't been good. Still, this is the folding
bike brand that most people go with.
=v= An impressive relative newcomer is the fully-suspended
DownTube. These are low-cost, and the suspension makes up
for any deficit in the frame (including an aluminum frame).
Definitely worth checking out!
> The other BF models are more-or-less "portable" bikes=v= Bike Fridays are designed for carfree everyday use:
> meant for transporting in airplanes in suitcases and long
> disassembly and assembly sessions at airports.
Most models feature a "quick fold" to aid with intermodal
journeys (bikes+transit). Unlike other folding bikes, it is
integrated with a trailer system, which enhances carfreedom.
Even the suitcase you mention converts into a trailer! They
are built by a company that was named Green Gear Cycling a
decade before it was trendy to hop onto the "green" bandwagon;
and unlike most of that bandwagon, they actually mean it:
=v= I have an Air Glide, their model which actually has the
least-convenient quick fold, but it works just fine for my
everyday use, including intermodal journeys. I don't know
what you mean by "long disassembly and assembly sessions;"
I can ride right up to an Amtrak station and have the bike
inside the suitcase in 5 minutes. Reassembly is even faster.
=v= It's true that a lot of Green Gear's customers are into bike
touring, but a touring bike is also a good commuter and everyday
bike. Green Gear has made a few bikes aimed at the lower-cost
commuter market (the Metro in paricular), but the market wasn't
there for them. It may be there for them now, though.
=v= I do want to give Dahon their due. Mr. Hon gave up his job
in high tech and created this bike in response to the oil crisis
of the 1970s. It's made offshore but I'm told they keep to some
ecological standards, but even so those standards are lower (and
they're shipped overseas). I continue to wish the best for them
and they're doing well.
- On Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 2:04 PM, Jym Dyer <jym@...> wrote:
>> The other BF models are more-or-less "portable" bikesHere's my Bike Friday and the Rubbermaid cargo trailer I "built" using
>> meant for transporting in airplanes in suitcases and long
>> disassembly and assembly sessions at airports.
> =v= Bike Fridays are designed for carfree everyday use:
the suitcase trailer frame:
(I'll probably add a wooden platform between the frame and box
sometime, so it handles heavier loads better)
With an additional hitch purchased from BF, I can use this trailer
with our other bikes too:
A load of bricks....more than I really should have put in there, but
it was a very short ride (I was picking up dumped bricks for re-use at
Definitely a very versatile bike. If I was forced to choose only one
bike from my collection, this would be it. Though for day-to-day
riding, I still prefer my HP Velotechnik Streetmachine recumbent.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- "> It depends on what you want to use your folding bike for."
Thanks everyone for all the great replies!
I would most likely just use it around town (I live in a very small
city/or a big town), to commute to work, and for just tooling around
town, maybe some light shopping. I don't have far to travel at all. I
am only about a half mile from work and town & usually walk it.
I thought a folding bike would be a good idea so I can bring it in to
work with me and set it under/beside my desk, so it doesn't get
stolen. This is a college town and I'm pretty sure a chained bike
outside would get stolen.
I am entirely new to biking, so I want something relatively affordable
in case I end up not liking it! :-)
- =v= Well, I saw something amazing yesterday. Warm Planet Bikes
is a relatively new shop in San Francisco, right next to the
Caltrain commuter rail station. They do free valet bike parking
for Caltrain commuters as well as running a bike shop, and they
specialize in folding bikes.
=v= With high gas prices and 14 Caltrain cars out of service,
commuters have gotten squeezed. Folding bike sales are up!
I walked into the shop for a minor repair and there was a pile
of Dahon and Bike Friday boxes in the corner. They're selling
them about as fast as they can be assembled.
=v= They'd sold two of these small-wheeled Dahons earlier that
day (even without the nifty "sage" color of last year's model),
and were in the process of selling the larger Dahon "espresso"
model. Then the sold a full-suspension Downtube while I was
> Here's my Bike Friday and the Rubbermaid cargo trailer Ihttp://vic.gedris.org/pics/2007-03-23/
> "built" using the suitcase trailer frame:
> (I'll probably add a wooden platform between the frame and=v= The BicycleR Evolution "Shopper" and "Heavy Duty" models
> box sometime, so it handles heavier loads better)
were designed around smaller Rubbermaid cargo boxes than that,
and have sturdier undercarriages than the suitcase trailer
frame. You might want to consider that if you expand. :^)
> Now that we are confronted with petrocollapse I have serious doubtsTF: I'm very disappointed in you, Mr. Matter, after taking a closer
> about Bike Friday's future viability. Their core business, the
> bike-airplane tourism, has essentially died overnight.
look at your above paragraph. I was sure, the first time I read it,
that you were gloating about how we're being "comforted" with
petrocollapse. But no; your word was "confronted". Not the kind of
phrasing that one would expect coming from a true believer, that.
But then, I suppose, petrocollapse _does_ "confront", more than
comfort, your C******* M*** organization, due to the presence among
its yuppie-enough-to-afford-Bike-Fridays leaders of "bicoastal" jet-
fuel gulpers such as your compatriate "_Jym_".
--- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Frost Jr." <tomfrostjr@...> wrote:
Whatever your issue is, some of us neither know nor care to know.
Could you please keep it civil?
Even those of us who do not use cars are being "confronted" with the
price increases, as it is causing quite a bit of economic strain.
Expanding food costs, for instance, affect us all.
- --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Justice McPherson" <JusticeZero@...>
> *blinks* Whaat?TF: A certain faction of the list didn't think that it would. Just
> Whatever your issue is, some of us neither know nor care to know.
> Could you please keep it civil?
> Even those of us who do not use cars are being "confronted" with the
> price increases, as it is causing quite a bit of economic strain.
> Expanding food costs, for instance, affect us all.
look through the archives from somewhere several years ago, for
example, in which it was boasted that the price of beer in Mr.
Matter's favorite bar, The Handlebar, would vary in inverse proportion
to the price of gas at the corner gas station, up to and including
having the beer be free for all of the bar's patrons starting around
now or thereabouts.
That sure sounded to me like they thought that they were going to be
more like "comforted", than "confronted", by rising energy costs.
Question for Mr. Matter or Mr. Korn: What's the update on that? Is The
Handlebar's beer free yet? (I've forgotten what the boasted-about-by-
y'all gas-price threshold for that was going to be.)
Let me guess: The beer went back to full price, and it did so because,
as Mr. Matter's language in his post that I was responding to shows,
the "comforted" changed to "confronted" as he and his urban/suburban
compatriots were confronted, in the form of rising food and beer
prices, with a fact that they hadn't known previously, namely the fact
that their easy-to-be-carfree-in locales would not exist without vast
imports from the gun-toting, manure-shoveling, vehicularly-cycling
when we're not driving our CO1800s, "bumpkin" counties that he