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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Imspired by an earlier thread on Heinz Stucke. Dave Hickey mentioned that Heinz Stucke now rides a Bike Friday. Now I am thinking hard about getting one. Before I take the plunge, here are the pros and cons that I can think of.
Pros
1. Very convenient for travelling by air/bus/trains, just fold it up and off you go.
2. Small 20" wheels will be strong and indestructable.
3. Low C.G. of your luggage if you put it over the back wheel.
Cons
1. Very high/long stem. Looks very odd to me, would it flex or even break. Is that save, will I break my bone again because of this.
2. Small wheels, will it handle well at poor road conditions, i.e. bumps, obstacles, or even off road/cross country.
3. How slow will that be compare to a MTB.
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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I encourage you to get a folding bike so that you will keep posting ride reports!

I have a Bike Friday pocket rocket, and it's really as good as any "normal" bike, but it happens to travel well. They make some models that would be better suited to rougher roads, or even off road, so you'll want to check that out at the bike friday web site. There is no flex in the bike friday stem...well no more than any other bike, and it's not on the radar as somethig to think of.

http://www.bikefriday.com/

Also, at the risk of mentioning another cycling web site, this one has a section devoted to folding bikes, and I found it a great source of information. Our own Mr Hickey even posts there.

http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=221

As you will soon discover, no one folder covers all uses. A pocket rocket is a great ride-fast bike, but it takes a little effort to put into the suitcase. At the other end of the spectrum is a Brompton; it will fold to a tiny package in 10-15 seconds, but it's not as fast as a good road bike. Nothing wrong with the Brompton, mind you, but I'd take the Bike Friday on long rides. I'd take the Brompton on the bus/train zip around a city ride.

Let us know what you find...
 

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Here's a tour I did on a Bike Friday Air Glide

I did a motel based short tour last September on my Bike Friday in Colorado through Rocky Mountains National park. Here's a link:
http://tedcamp.crazyguyonabike.com

It was very convienent to take the suitcase with bike inside to the airport(also no extra fees) and also later when I used a shuttle service. I left the suitcase at the hotel that I started at and then picked it back up when I got back.

I was using some Primo Comet 1 x 3/8 inch tires. Mostly I was just riding on smooth roads but on one occasion went down a dirt road for a ways. They worked out pretty good, the wider tires really helped out.

I found that when climbing mountains that I rode about the same speed as with my 700c road bike, in other words slow is slow!. But on the downhills I was going a few mph slower due to the wide tires.

As far as bumps in the road I usually just do my best to avoid them. The small wheels do make bumps harsher but its not really that bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
jplatzner said:
I encourage you to get a folding bike so that you will keep posting ride reports!

Glad you like me to keep on posting my ride reports. China will be getting warmer and wetter in the coming months which I find it hard to cope with, I am now planning a bike tour in September.
This is the first time that me and Chi-ming may try a folding bike, we may therefore try a cheap Dahon to see if we like the idea and will go from there. I will keep you updated on this.
 

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Tires aren't really a problem... I buy mine online but I've seen skinny 406 and 451 size tires in bike shops I've visited. 406 is the standard BMX size so they can found anywhere. Most folders(including Bike Friday touring models) use 406 size tires.. High performance Bike Friday models use 451 size tires. This size is used on BMX mini , jr, and some recumbents.


My first folder arrived one year ago this weekend. I now own 4 of them.. If you travel for a living, they are a necessity.
 

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kai-ming said:
Dave, why would you need 4, are they different ? Are you using them for different specific tasks ? Tell me more about them, photos ?
I have an addictive personality:p

I have a multi geared and single speed Bike Fridays. I have a Swift folder that is set up as a single speed with flat bars and platform pedals and a Dahon Boardwalk. Now that I think about it, I have a Schwinn Qualifier that isn't a folder but it has 20" wheels

If I only could keep one, it would be my Ultegra equipped 9 speed Bike Friday.

Here are my Swift, Schwinn, and Bike Friday single speed
 

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The Boardwalk is a fine bike. Just remember that it's a $200 bike so don't expect top tier parts...In that price range, it is the best folder.

I should point out that only Bike Fridays fit in an airline legal suitcase without a lot of dis assembly. With my BF's, I remove the front wheel, pedals, stem, seatpost, and fold the frame. This fits in a standard Samsonite F'Lite suitcase..

Dahons, Swifts and others require much more dis-assembly to get in a legal case. These bike are more for commuting than traveling. They fold very quickly and easily but they don't pack as compactly as a BF.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
jplatzner said:
I encourage you to get a folding bike so that you will keep posting ride reports!
..........
As you will soon discover, no one folder covers all uses. A pocket rocket is a great ride-fast bike, but it takes a little effort to put into the suitcase. At the other end of the spectrum is a Brompton; it will fold to a tiny package in 10-15 seconds, but it's not as fast as a good road bike. Nothing wrong with the Brompton, mind you, but I'd take the Bike Friday on long rides. I'd take the Brompton on the bus/train zip around a city ride.

Let us know what you find...
Just to keep you update, we have decided that Chi-ming to get a folding bike for tour trial. This is what he brought, a Dahon Vitesse, for HK$1,800(US$225). I picked up a pannier for HK$10(US$1.25) from a bargain store, not bad, doesn't it ! I have test riden it for about an hour. It is quite stable when I got use to the steering. However, since I am still having the shadow of my broken collar bone incident, I feel very uneasy to ride it at high speed. We will probably need time to build up the confidence.
 

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I heart team Zissou!
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Dave Hickey said:
I have an addictive personality:p

I have a multi geared and single speed Bike Fridays. I have a Swift folder that is set up as a single speed with flat bars and platform pedals and a Dahon Boardwalk. Now that I think about it, I have a Schwinn Qualifier that isn't a folder but it has 20" wheels

If I only could keep one, it would be my Ultegra equipped 9 speed Bike Friday.

Here are my Swift, Schwinn, and Bike Friday single speed
Dave -- and/or other BF owners

What chainring/rear cog and crankarm length combo's do you use. I find that I am very under geared on my BF and am thinking about changing any one -- or all -- of these to get gears that are more comparable to my road bike.

Suggestions?

Philippe
 

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I have a BF Air Glide. I'm using a modified Ultegra triple crank with 32x44x53 chainrings. The 44 and 53 are TA rings. I use a Capreo 9-26 cassette. This gives me a gear that's as high as my 50x12 on my 700C bike and some fairly low gears for touring with.
 
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