folding bikes – again

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  • folding bikes – again
  • Big Dave
    Member

    The Dahon Vitesse has a very similar frame to the Speed 7 which I own. I think it is quite comfy and offers a fairly decent riding position. The only thing that may count against a vitesse is the weight as the frame is fairly chunky and it doesn't fold as small as some folders.

    I'm sure that any Brompton owners will have a different opinion. IMHO you get more kit for your money when buying a Dahon.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    You realise you're going to start changing it as soon as you buy it, don't you?

    In which case go for the cheaper model 🙂

    I have a Boardwalk and a first model Hammerhead. I have done 100 mile rides on both and the Hammerhead is better than the Boardwalk especially for the sort of speeds you will be doing. The Boardwalk has a good fold.

    Current Hammerhead

    I converted my Hammerhead to a single speed from day one. With the external eccentric BBs available now it would be a doddle to add a hub gear. Maybe more than you'd want to spend though.

    If you're coming through Dingwall anytime, you're welcome to have a go on either of them.

    trail_rat
    Member

    This time – more serious.

    Dahon vitesse and MU 7 HG . 600 and 800 quid respectively.

    anyone experianced either of these ? looking for ride 11 miles and 6-10 miles each way(depending on which office im at that day) with a train journey inbetween. But also something that would cope with the entire 35 miles on the ride home if i wish – an thats highly likely.

    Want hub gears thats a given – preferably 7 and i want 20 inch wheels. the above 2 models are the ones that jump out. dahon spec them with an 34-84 gear inch selection – can i just swap out the sprocket/cog to give me more like 100/110" – not too fussed about the bottom end tbh run an 88" on my fixed wheel and find i spin out more often than i strugle to climb something.

    decided im as well buying the right thing first time than essentially wasting 300quid on cheapy ones ….

    If there is anything else you suggest then im open ears . but brompton can go get bent. Too many propriatory parts,too expensive , wheels too small and i dont live in "that london" so will have hard time finding bits – moultons seem popular up here though but not really a folder !

    over to you ! (quit laughing you at the back)

    Btw at the suggestion of the LBS i was in at the weekend perhaps we should open a book on how long a dahon frame lasts with me on it !

    rootes1
    Member

    airnimal Joey? – rides very nice and unfolded is a proper bike. (and i'm saying that as a brompton owner of five years)

    or how about a Swift Folder (you can mail order steel ones from the states, or you can get the alloy Xootr verion in the UK – uses std parts and has 20" wheels – very stiff as well.

    if i only had to get on a train once in a while I would have gotten a joey or a swift.

    rootes1
    Member

    The other once i had a short test ride on was a Pacific Reach (they weld airnimal frames by the way).

    very nice and a choice of drop or straight bars – felt very quick i.e. like a road bike

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    I'd go with an Airnimal if I wanted a "proper" bike that folded to get around train company rules.

    I had the same misgivings about Brompton, but test-rode one and bought it. If it's a regular train commute then something that folds properly and fits in a luggage rack or between back-to-back seats is a godsend – otherwise you're standing by the doors with it. I can forgive the proprietary bits since they support the product well, the bits are all easily available (going way back to the earliest models) including via mail order (SJS and others) and many of them are necessary to get it to fold so well. The ride was nowhere near as bad as I was expecting, and the tyres roll fine at 100psi.

    I'm not some kind of Brompton zealot, but worth giving one a go (and researching spares availability) before discounting them entirely. It certainly changed my mind, and I'm happily doing 16 miles a day on mine.

    rootes1
    Member

    yer a flat bar 6 speed Brompton is very capable bike. and it relation to propriety parts – there are not that many really nor do they need replacing often – SJS is good for mail order as well.

    trail_rat
    Member

    can you get a brompton with a 7 or 8 speed hub gear ? – last brompton i rode had a love of trying to fold when you rode off a kerb …. i believe this has been modified on new ones

    Trail rat – my pals one is 6 speed – a 2 speed dérailleur and a 3 sp hub. I was very impressed with how well it rode for a tiny wheel folder – he often rides 10+ miles on his. i think thats the most gears they do

    http://www.brompton.co.uk/explorer/bikes/index.asp?s=2

    They have a clip now to stop the folding when jumping 🙂

    Gears Ratios (metric) Range Optional higher lower
    1-speed 5.93m n/a NO -7% & -18%
    2-speed 4.45m – 5.93m 133% NO -7% & -18%
    3-speed 3.79m – 6.76m 178% +8% -12% & -18%
    6-speed (BWR) 2.63m – 7.94m 302% +8% -12%

    trail_rat
    Member

    not paying that …. they dont even look good – reminds me of a raleigh 20 or a hercules !

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    Newer ones have the clip to keep the back in place – retrofittable to older ones. You also get a much nicer saddle these days, similar to SDG Bel-Air/Charge Spoon and all the better for it.

    Ben at Kinetics offers an 8-speed hub gear, but it's an upgrade: http://www.kinetics.org.uk/html/8-speed.shtml . The 6 speed Brompton option is effectively a 3-speed with an overdrive (via derailleur) giving 33-100 gear inches.

    Have you had a go on either of those Dahons?

    I really like folding bikes 😳 Especially the Mu range (Mu Uno of course being SSer) I think the Mu's have really good frames and a quality range of parts. Parts you can pick up almost anywhere as apposed to brompton.

    The vitesse is again a very good bike, Give them a go and take you pick

    rootes1
    Member

    7-8 speed not officially, but there are aftermarket Alfine and Rohloff conversions – but = megabucks and involves reworking the rear triangle.

    not worth the bother really

    the 6 speed is a combined 3 speed hub gear with a 2 speed dérailleur – works well .

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    The nice thing about the Dahons is that they ride like proper bikes with fast steering.

    Bear in mind any bike with a long steerer tube which folds is going to have some flex and you have to modify your riding style to accommodate that or you'll end up hating it – which is why I suspect you'll prefer the minvelo style like the Hammerhead.

    All my Dahons have been pressed into mtb mode from time to time – both have been round the 'Puffer. A real hoot on the Boardwalk – the gears make it easier, but 20" wheels make it more exciting 🙂

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    If you can find anything suitable that's not folding you could take a leaf out of Scott Forbes' book.

    Folding Inbred

    Relatively unlikely with 20" wheels, but may be worth thinking about.

    Edit: just noticed how much it adds to the cost of the frame too, scratch that!

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Shame On-One didn't make a folding version of this

    trail_rat
    Member

    haha nick – one of my old customers had a merlin road bike and a ti tandem with S&S couplings in .

    fine for airplanes not suitable for trains though – that on-one is an abomination brian !

    trail_rat
    Member

    my lbs is on the task of finding me an airnimal joey alfine as we speak …. lets see what they come back with !

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    trail_rat – Member
    …that on-one is an abomination brian !

    Yeah, I know – it's got gears and suspension.

    Better keep it locked up in my attic then 🙂

    rootes1
    Member

    one thing to note about joeys, is that there are different rim sizes for between different models… one rim they use is much harder to get tyres for..

    i.e. Joey Commute uses etrto 507 rims whereas the Joey Sport has etrto 520

    both are nominally 24" 507 is easier to get tyres for and wider choice

    Macgyver
    Member

    If you go down the joey route, make sure you get one with a front disk. In order to fold them you have to take the front wheel out – makes room for the back wheel when it folds. Having a disk should mean you don't get your hands as mucky from the winter goop you get from rim brakes.
    Also whilst you can get proper mud guards for a joey, i thing it buggers up the folding.
    I did think about the Joey but for my commute the combination of distance/folding size/permanent mudguards swung it to the Brompton. That said, I managed 17 miles in an hour and 10 minutes on a twingle speed brommie last week when the trains were knacked!!

    Randall
    Member

    Dahons are awful imo. I've seen so many come through my workshop with failures due to rubbish design and materials. Brompton every time for me

    trail_rat
    Member

    why is nothing ever simple …..

    wish i could weld well!

    rootes1
    Member

    joey mudguards..

    frame mounted crud catcher solves issue – though is a shame you have to take the front wheel out to fold

    or get cut down guards and rotate the forks to accept the rear wheel in the fold

    That said, I managed 17 miles in an hour and 10 minutes on a twingle speed brommie last week when the trains were knacked!!

    is it hilly round your way? 😉

    to Trail Rat

    just get a brompton and get with the programme 😉 the are more capable then people make out and you get used to them – did the coast 2 coast on my 2 speed brompton inc 6kg of luggage

    worth a go on a Swift as well..

    not a great fold, but simple and they ride well – you can get a steel version frame only from the US

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Randall – Member
    Dahons are awful imo. I've seen so many come through my workshop with failures due to rubbish design and materials.

    Could you give a few specifics? eg all models, or a specific problem with a particular model.

    My Dahons would have disintegrated by now if they were fragile.

    I have always liked the look of those Swifts.

    No one mentioned Mezzo yet? Awesome bikes.

    woffle
    Member

    My Dahons would have disintegrated by now if they were fragile.

    +1.

    I started with a commute of 6 miles each way – got a Mu XL on cycle2work. It lasted about 2 months before things started to fall off it despite daily fettling and maintenance. The fold was great but no good for longer commutes IMO.

    If you go down the joey route, make sure you get one with a front disk. In order to fold them you have to take the front wheel out – makes room for the back wheel when it folds. Having a disk should mean you don't get your hands as mucky from the winter goop you get from rim brakes.
    Also whilst you can get proper mud guards for a joey, i thing it buggers up the folding.
    I did think about the Joey but for my commute the combination of distance/folding size/permanent mudguards swung it to the Brompton. That said, I managed 17 miles in an hour and 10 minutes on a twingle speed brommie last week when the trains were knacked!!

    I've changed the wheels on my Joey to 520's running Durano narrow wheels. Means I can pop the front wheel out from the Magura's without using the quick releases.

    . Joey Commute uses etrto 507 rims whereas the Joey Sport has etrto 520

    I've moved from 507s to 520's without issue. Not sure you could go the other way though – not sure the 520 sized bikes have the clearances for Marathons (pretty much the only 507 tyre you can get).

    I've had the Airnimal Joey for about 2 years now – the rohloff model. Done thousands of miles on it (30 to 50 miles a day) and I love it – as close to a 'proper' bike as you can get if it needs to fold. Yes, the fold could be faster but it's sufficient for the train company and for the distances I'm just not sure I could do them on a Brompton.

    I was thinking of an Airnimal Chameleon for the summer months but can't afford it this year.

    You can usually pick them up on fleabay for between 500 and 800 dependent on model.

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