Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

· Banned
Joined
·
7,191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Kinda thinking about building/buying a folding bike, mainly out of curiosity. Plus, I hate trying to take a full sized bike with me when I travel.

Thinking pretty hard about a xootr swift- I like that it uses pretty standard components (standard hubs, etc). I'd probably be building this up from leftover parts.

Also looking at the Dahon Speed Pro TT- similar price, slightly less standard parts, but lighter and yellower...

Looking at the above due to price- both can be had for under a grand. As nice as the bikefriday looks, I can't justify that kind of expense.

So, tell me your thoughts, good and bad. I'm looking for something that will be most similar to a road bike- I won't bother with fenders or racks. Just something for getting out some nice quick miles. Needs to be reasonably easy to put in a suitcase without costing extra.

If y'all have better ideas, lemme know.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
7,191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, this is the first time I've ever been told to use the search function on a different forum... :D

I've looked there, but the posters tend to be kinda folding bike nuts and I'm looking for the opinions of more casual users.

It'd be like going into PO and asking if Obamas make good presidents.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,844 Posts
My brother has owned a Bike Friday for years. He has his equipped with pretty standard Shimano components and uses it mainly when traveling on business trips. I've ridden with him while he's been riding the BF, and he is able to ride almost as fast as he would on a normal bike. Takes him about 30-45 minutes to pack up the bike and/or assemble it.

It has a few quirks, the main one being the tendency of the headset to loosen. He always carries a headset wrench, just in case.

The folders I've been most impressed with were Moultons, but they aren't cheap.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,679 Posts
My Bike Friday was a bit under a grand.

A Pocket Companion. I've taken it to New Zealand and Mexico in the past year for some credit card touring with bus rides between short tours. With airline bike charges going up and up, it will probably pay for itself in 4 or 5 years.

I can break it down and put into a bag (for bus rides) in under a minute, and put it back together in 3 or 4. I have to take the rear rack and fenders off to fit it in its suitcase, which I leave at the hotel I'm spending the last night in. For that it takes about 15 minutes to take apart or put together.

The ride is decent, and I've taken it on dirt. It's great to have a bike to explore on.
 

· rider of odd bikes...
Joined
·
163 Posts
All of the bikes that fold are full of compromises... weight/folding size/proprietary components/equipment. I've had a Bike Friday, a Giant Halfway, and now two Trek F600s and an F400. The Treks are Dahon frames with mostly off-the-shelf components (save the 74mm front hub and fork). For casual riding and travel, the Treks are amazing. but I like the idea of the box-stock component Xootr...

Folding bikes are a lot of fun, and you'll get a LOT of attention and comments when you ride one. I prefer the 406mm wheels over the 421s, as tires are a lot easier to find.

You'll have a ball with a folder.

(actually, I've got one of the F600s for sale... ;) )
 

· redline09
Joined
·
30 Posts
I have a Dahon Eco 7 and can hardly stop riding it...

I bought a Dahon Eco 7, for $349 from Performance Bike, and only intended to use it for traveling.
But it's so darn much fun to ride, I use it almost every day to commute a few miles to work.
The bike is small enough that I can keep it in my studio apartment (where I stay part of the week) and not have to fold it.
I installed a rack and a set of panniers on the back and often use the Dahon for hauling groceries. I also put on lights, front and back, a mirror, and a bell for riding in city traffic.
My longest ride on the folder has only been about 25 miles. I could easily go much farther, but for longer distances I turn to a full-size road bike or my trike that's set up for touring,
The folding bike is somewhat heavy -- about 24 pounds, and the gearing is a bit limited.
If I could do it over, I would have spent a little more for a Dahon model with higher quality components. But this bike, with entry-level parts, has performed very well and has exceeded my expectations.
Ride safe,
Redline
 

· Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
my last folder wasn't much of a compromise...

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/rmplum/3528587756/" title="CIMG1273 by rmplum, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3369/3528587756_27d6460553_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="CIMG1273" /></a>

actually it was my only road bike at the time....

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/rmplum/768718842/" title="CIMG0223 by rmplum, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm2.static.flickr.com/1342/768718842_999bbaff06_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="CIMG0223" /></a>
 

· duh...
Joined
·
9,749 Posts
well most if not all folders use standard parts- hubs, etc. it's just that the smaller wheels use smaller rims and bigger gearing. if you want it to ride similar to a 700c/bigger wheel bike, a small wheeler might not be for you as they tend to be more reponsive, some say twitchy, altho it is something you adjust to quickly. used BFs are out there on the BF site and sometimes on the 'bay
 

· Banned
Joined
·
7,191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
rmp said:
my last folder wasn't much of a compromise...

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/rmplum/3528587756/" title="CIMG1273 by rmplum, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3369/3528587756_27d6460553_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="CIMG1273" /></a>

actually it was my only road bike at the time....

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/rmplum/768718842/" title="CIMG0223 by rmplum, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm2.static.flickr.com/1342/768718842_999bbaff06_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="CIMG0223" /></a>
Gorgeous. Love it, but It needs to fit in a suitcase and not cost extra.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
7,191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dave Hickey said:
Check out the Swift folder. I've owned various Dahon and BF models...

I bought a Swift folding frame and added my own parts...

I only use my Swift for traveling.. It has the best "big" bike feel IMHO
Good to know!

I'm hopefully going to try a Dahon this weekend, but the swift is looking pretty good right now- it's cheap, it's well reviewed and it's simple to build.

If you don't mind me asking, how hard is it to get the swift into a suitcase? I've heard some suggest the frame needs to be taken apart, others say less.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
buck-50 said:
Gorgeous. Love it, but It needs to fit in a suitcase and not cost extra.
Came with an airline size friendly soft case from Pika Packworks and went back and forth to Cali and Colorado a few times with no extra charges. When they asked what it was, I said "bike parts". Airline guys didn't blink. To the untrained eye it looked like bike parts.

That was probably one of the last US built Slingshot road bikes too if I had to guess. It was made for Dan Koeppel to ride for an article, I bought it from them after he sent it back. I never could find the article that was "supposed" to exist.

rmp
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
20,696 Posts
buck-50 said:
Good to know!

I'm hopefully going to try a Dahon this weekend, but the swift is looking pretty good right now- it's cheap, it's well reviewed and it's simple to build.

If you don't mind me asking, how hard is it to get the swift into a suitcase? I've heard some suggest the frame needs to be taken apart, others say less.

As long as you take off both wheels; the folded frame, wheels, etc... fits into my Bike Friday suitcase( Samsonite F'lite) The case is right at the size limit.. I don't have the exact dims but it's the 30" F'lite case. It's tight but I could do it without removing the fork. Others have said the fork needs to be removed but I think it depends on the case used...
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
20,696 Posts
buck-50 said:
Good to know!

I'm hopefully going to try a Dahon this weekend, but the swift is looking pretty good right now- it's cheap, it's well reviewed and it's simple to build.

If you don't mind me asking, how hard is it to get the swift into a suitcase? I've heard some suggest the frame needs to be taken apart, others say less.
Here is my Swift in Florida last year. It was set up as fixed but the frame is very versatile. The bike is a blast to ride.. I should also add that I'm running larger 451 size wheels rather than the 20" standard of 406 and I can still fit everything in the case
 

· Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
+1 on Swift

Like Dave H I also have a Swift FG folder. I recommend talking to the inventor, Peter Reich, who still builds the original Swift from steel in his Brooklyn shop. He licensed the design to Xootr who manufacture their version out of aluminum in Taiwan. You can email him via a link on the Xootr site ([email protected]).

I wound up getting the Xootr frame built up by Peter as a fixed gear with my choice of components, plus I had him delete a few items from the build that I already had (pedals, bars, stem, saddle). Total cost was around $750 with some nice components and Peter's handbuilt 406 wheels.

You can buy the Samsonite suitcase from ebay for around $130 or so. You do have to remove the wheels--I have mine on QR so no tools required. The Xootr has all matching special QRs for the frame and steerer column which makes the breakdown quick. In case you didn't see it, here is the link on their website showing the step-by-step to pack it:
http://www.xootr.com/swift-suitcase-packing-instructions.html

Attached is a photo of me on the Xootr--I call it my clown bike. It weighs around 20 lbs. and rides surprisingly similarly to my regular FG, a Surly CrossCheck. In fact in some ways it's better--the light wheels and tires spin up amazingly fast!

Also attached a photo of my bike packed into the case. I recommend adding a crush tube. Mine is made out of plywood ends plus a section of PVC pipe.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
7,191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Pretty certain I'm just gonna go with the swift frame- The more I see, the incredible flexibility of the swift just makes sense for me.

Figure I don't really know what I'm doing, so a bike I can try many different setups on makes a lot of sense.

Probably start building in August.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
7,191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
yeti said:
Check out Strida Bikes.
Yeah, not so much what I'm looking for- thanks for the idea.

The reviews I've read on the Stridas is that they're OK for a couple miles, but nothing you'd want to spend a couple hours on.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top