Wanted: Folding bike

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Neil Brown, Sep 24, 2003.

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  1. Neil Brown

    Neil Brown Guest

    Hello all, de-lurking for a bit, it's been a great summer of 15 mile commute, have worn out many
    pairs of tyres - got quite a lot of train travel looming tho, and taking bikes on trains being a
    minefield, am looking for a little folding bike, doesn't have to be anything flash as long as I can
    turn it from 'transport' into 'luggage' - I'd like to not spend too much if poss.

    neily70 AT hotpop.com

    Thanks

    Neil
     
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  2. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Neil Brown wrote:
    > Hello all, de-lurking for a bit, it's been a great summer of 15 mile commute, have worn out many
    > pairs of tyres - got quite a lot of train travel looming tho, and taking bikes on trains being a
    > minefield, am looking for a little folding bike, doesn't have to be anything flash as long as I
    > can turn it from 'transport' into 'luggage' - I'd like to not spend too much if poss.

    The last issue of Velovision (10) had a folding bike buyer's guide you may wish to peruse. For
    relatively low cost and small fold the Pashley Micro is okay: nowhere near as nice as the Brompton,
    but nowhere near the cost either!

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  3. Johnb

    Johnb Guest

    Neil Brown wrote:

    > Hello all, de-lurking for a bit, it's been a great summer of 15 mile commute, have worn out many
    > pairs of tyres - got quite a lot of train travel looming tho, and taking bikes on trains being a
    > minefield, am looking for a little folding bike, doesn't have to be anything flash as long as I
    > can turn it from 'transport' into 'luggage' - I'd like to not spend too much if poss.

    It really is horses for courses.

    Unless you want to do regular long rides the best is a Brompton. They're a bit on the pricey side
    but it will be money well spent. They pop up quite often 2nd hand in the cycling mags. Nothing beats
    it for its 10 second fold and its size. I regularly use one for commuting. the train can be drawing
    into the station before I've even started folding it.

    If longer rides are the aim and you don't mind a longer fold time and a bulkier package, then the
    Bike Friday or the Birdy are the best choices, the former particularly well suited to sportier rides
    but then its a *lot* more expensive. It also really needs a bag, and takes about five minutes to
    fold and bag.

    I really does come down to your intended use. I use both a Brompton and a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket,
    and both are brilliant rides but for different types of journey.

    I think the Brommie was 'probably' the best buy I ever made where functionality was of prime
    consideration.

    John B
     
  4. Dransfield

    Dransfield Guest

    "Neil Brown" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hello all, de-lurking for a bit, it's been a great summer of 15 mile commute, have worn out many
    > pairs of tyres - got quite a lot of train
    travel
    > looming tho, and taking bikes on trains being a minefield, am looking for
    a
    > little folding bike, doesn't have to be anything flash as long as I can
    turn
    > it from 'transport' into 'luggage' - I'd like to not spend too much if
    poss.
    >

    I bought a Brompton thinking it would be very useful now and again, but after a few months I was
    using it for most errands, school runs (with trailer), and all commuting, and am now wondering why I
    have a car.

    Dranz
     
  5. Stoatboy

    Stoatboy Guest

    I got a Dahon Helios 8 about a month ago - it cost around 400 quid

    The Helios-8 is aluminium framed and low-geared ( I live in Sheffield, so this is crucial ), folds
    quickly and has 20" wheels. The 20" wheels theoreticaly give it a bit more gryoscopic stability than
    16" folding bikes, but not having ridden one of those I couldn't tell you. I wieghs around 10kg, so
    is fairly easy to lug around. And the brakes are rock solid :)

    It doesn't fold up terribly small, though - folds to around 2/5 of it's length. I haven't tried
    trains, but this is easily small enough to get in and out of lifts, up and down stairs, packed cars
    etc without difficulty.

    ... but having said all that, I'd still maybe get a brompton if I was doing it again. It's smaller,
    and it is the de facto king of folders ( although it weighs more and has less gears ) - they're more
    expensive new, but to counter that you can pretty much find one or two on ebay on any given day.

    Whatever you get, I hope you thoroughly enjoy it. I think folding bikes are cool :)

    "Neil Brown" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hello all, de-lurking for a bit, it's been a great summer of 15 mile commute, have worn out many
    > pairs of tyres - got quite a lot of train
    travel
    > looming tho, and taking bikes on trains being a minefield, am looking for
    a
    > little folding bike, doesn't have to be anything flash as long as I can
    turn
    > it from 'transport' into 'luggage' - I'd like to not spend too much if
    poss.
    >
    > neily70 AT hotpop.com
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > Neil
     
  6. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Stoatboy wrote:

    > The Helios-8 is aluminium framed and low-geared ( I live in Sheffield, so this is crucial ), folds
    > quickly and has 20" wheels. The 20" wheels theoreticaly give it a bit more gryoscopic stability
    > than 16" folding bikes, but not having ridden one of those I couldn't tell you.

    IME the wheel size is less important than the general geometry. The Micro is twitchier than my
    champion bird-spotting uncle JocK McTwitchy, where the Brompton can be ridden no-hands without too
    much trouble.

    > It doesn't fold up terribly small, though - folds to around 2/5 of it's length. I haven't tried
    > trains, but this is easily small enough to get in and out of lifts, up and down stairs, packed
    > cars etc without difficulty.

    For trains it would go in the luggage area, *if* someone hasn't beaten you to it. But a Brom will
    fit between back-to-back train seats. If you don't need to optimise space then the Dahons give you a
    good range and from what I've seen excellent value for money, but where you *are* short of space
    (and commuter trains you often are) then that extra fold efficiency can be a real bonus.

    > ... but having said all that, I'd still maybe get a brompton if I was doing it again. It's
    > smaller, and it is the de facto king of folders

    It is the de-facto Prince of its particular corner of the folders market, at least, but Dahons will
    ride better for less, and Birdys will ride better and fold almost as well, though for more money.
    The new GoBike (reviewed in VeloVision 11) fits in somewhere between Birdy and Brompton. No regrets
    about my Brom, but I want something that will give a quick and convenient fold: for Serious Trips
    I'll use the recumbent tourer as I've got one, and somewhere to put it. If it was one bike to do
    everything I'd probably have a Birdy, or if I wasn't that rich then the Dahons would at least be
    carefully auditioned.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  7. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Stoatboy wrote:
    >
    > > The Helios-8 is aluminium framed and low-geared ( I live in Sheffield, so this is crucial ),
    > > folds quickly and has 20" wheels. The 20" wheels theoreticaly give it a bit more gryoscopic
    > > stability than 16" folding bikes, but not having ridden one of those I couldn't tell you.
    >
    > IME the wheel size is less important than the general geometry. The Micro is twitchier than my
    > champion bird-spotting uncle JocK McTwitchy, where the Brompton can be ridden no-hands without too
    > much trouble.

    By you maybe! But then I'm not a natural no-handed rider myself.

    FWIW I found the Brompton twitchy when I first started riding it and I find it twitchy if I return
    to the Brompton after a week or two on another bike---a recent touring holiday reminded me of this.
    Of course it could be that the Brompton can't forgive me for the infidelity but after the first ride
    we are best pals again.

    Colin
     
  8. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Colin Blackburn wrote: [no hands Brom]
    > By you maybe! But then I'm not a natural no-handed rider myself.

    I'm not great at it, and I won't ride the Brom more than a few meters no-handed (or anything else,
    Muni excepted), but it can be done and there is the feeling that I'll need to take the bars back to
    stop it veering off rather than to stop it jack-knifing, which is what a truly twitchy machine will
    do. The Streetmachine, by contrast, makes it quite apparent to the rider that although one finger is
    enough to control it completely, you will *not* let go!

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  9. Neil Brown

    Neil Brown Guest

    natural no-handed rider myself.
    >
    > I'm not great at it, and I won't ride the Brom more than a few meters no-handed (or anything else,
    > Muni excepted), but it can be done and there is the feeling that I'll need to take the bars back
    > to stop it veering off rather than to stop it jack-knifing, which is what a truly twitchy machine
    > will do. The Streetmachine, by contrast, makes it quite apparent to the rider that although one
    > finger is enough to control it completely, you will *not* let go!
    >

    Many thanks for the good advice all! It looks like I may be saving up for a second hand Brom

    Cheers and happy cycling

    Neil
     
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