/ Recommendations for foldy bike
Thing is, it needs to be capable of doing rides up to around 30 miles but easy to fold down. Booking regular bikes on trains is a bit of an a*se. Obviously we have the Bromptons but any experience on the Tern ones? I hadnt heard of them today cause Ive never been in the market for a foldy.
A brompton or small folder is good in that it is not walking. It is not a bike proper (though you may see many zipping around at quite a pace).
I would not want to do more than about four or five miles on one.
Dahon do a "Cadenza", which is a full sized bike with a hinge in the middle, though unless the quality control has improved or the design improved I must admit the hinge is genuinely the worst thing in christendom, though they are apparently a lot better the posher you go and if you're very careful to maintain them. Having ridden both, this kind of bike is the only one I'd dare do more than fifteen miles on regularly.
There's an alfine cadenza @ 31 lbs
Honestly don't know what they are like to ride but some of these look quite cool , not cheap though .
A cheaper bike here http://www.avonvalleycyclery.co.uk/4108/products/dawes-ace-2010.aspx
Worth a look maybe ?
I've got a Brompton and often cover 30-40 miles with ease. It's a very quick bike due to gearing and less rotating mass on wheels. The folded package is by far the best too. Not the lightest though. Not a problem if you don't carry it any significant distance, but there is the titanium option.
The only other bike I've ridden is the Birdy. It rides better then the Brompton, more akin to a full size bike (though can never really compare). It's lighter too but doesn't pack as compact. The form is also quite beautiful I think.
I chose the Brompton for its pack size, longevity and because I think it's cool. I have the raw lacquer finish with honey Coloured Brooks bits that make it look amazing!
A guy in our office has had an Airnimal in daily use for the past six years and swears by it
I went for a 3 speed because most of my riding is in Birmingham but I've taken it around hillier places and it's been fine. If I was touring, I'd rather have 6 gears.
Test ride a few bikes. Especially with regards to ride comfort and foldability. The styling, price, colour etc are all personal factors.
I think he does about 15 miles each way. He cycles to the station, puts it on the train for a bit and then cycles the rest. It looks seriously good - I keep on meaning to have a go - I just need to have the right bike/shoes with me when I see him and we've both got the time. He's got a Chameleon I think - the 'racing' rather than commuter or MTB one.
I know someone else who was desperate to get one but couldn't fit it in his CTW limit - he settled for a large wheel folding Dahon, but was bitter about it!
The Brompton's smaller wheels make it slightly less good to ride than the Dahon, but if you're sticking to roads or surfaced paths then it's absolutely fine, and I prefer it to my mtb on-road - on unsurfaced paths it's not so good. I went for the 6-speed (3-speed hub with 2 speed derailleur) but then I'm not as fit as I could be. The gear ratios are very good, and provided you're on a good surface I don't see why 30 miles should be a problem, although I've never had cause to ride it that far myself.
The only bike that you can pretty much guarantee to get on a train is the Brompton. Otherwise you are into the vagaries of each train company and each line. I use my full size bike on the trains locally, but those who go just a few stops further are only allowed proper folding bikes - and the only one that fits in the required space is... the brompton. Its the only one I'd consider if I had to go to say London (or any major city) and use it...
An acquaintance has the airnimal and it is off the road a lot it seems for such an expensive bike. I think the major issue for him was getting some REALLY good puncture proof tyres with the given rim size and required width. If he's solved that it looks quite good.. but his doesn't have mudguards, which limits its useful days quite a bit...
Had a Dahon a few years ago until it got stolen and I really liked it, 7 gears and 20 inch wheels, it was great for commuting though I only did 4 or 5 miles at either end. The main reason I got the Dahon was the price as it was half that of a Brompton, but I've heard that it can be a problem to get spares (for the Dahon). That said my old boss used his for 5 years without a problem.
and there's another site specific to folding bikes that I can't find yet... gadget show did some a while back, too.
I tried a Dahon, Birdy and a couple of Bromptons. The Brompton was streets ahead for folding ease & size. Surprisingly quick and stable, good luggage system, you can wheel it along when folded. All at a fair old price!
Eventually I got a Brompton & have done 10 miles on it a few times, no problem (London roads). It was expensive (gears and dynamo lights), but I haven't regretted it. No-one knows you've got it if you put it in a bag :-)
I'm a crap cyclist, for 30 miles, I'd think about having two cheaper non-folding bikes: no carrying required (apart from the first trip and unless they get nicked!). If I could afford it, I'd buy a Brompton again..if you don't get on with it, you can sell it for almost what you paid!
Doubt id be doing 30 miles on it to be fair. Probably about 20 tops and that would only be occasional. Still mulling over my options in what has been a topsy turvy few weeks.
Thanks for all the help guys :)
"Dahon do a "Cadenza", which is a full sized bike with a hinge in the middle"
Those are not popular with people on trains because they take up a lot of space, almost as much as a full sized bike. While they are allowed now, I can see the rules being changed to allow only suitcase-sized folding bikes (Brompton and similar) if they become too popular. So possibly a risky choice.
Even now, if the train is really full you've got a good chance of getting a small Brompton on board by the doors, but not one that big.
I used to have a Dahon, now have a Bromton. The Brompton is a class above the Dahon in my experience. I find it a better ride (bike is stiffer), and the fold is way more convenient. The Dahon wouldn't really fit on all the train luggage spaces, but the Brompton does.
Personally I'd say go for the 3 speed. It's a sturmy archer internal. The single speed isn't really much good for distances, the 2 speed is a derailieur and the 6 speed is just a combination of the two, with 2 gear changers.
If budget is no option, then consider the Titanium frame over the steel. Not so much for riding but for when you have to carry it. They are not light. Really just good for carrying onto the train/putting in the boot of the car, you wouldn't want to carry it for far.
(yes, the Brompton does fit in the boot of my MX5...just)
Brompton's especially. It's quite pointless getting one off ebay, anything you save would be wiped out by the first service.
> Brompton's especially. It's quite pointless getting one off ebay, anything you save would be wiped out by the first service.
Agreed. They're pricey to fix, get a new one. My 6-speed was a special offer, otherwise I'd have gone for 3-speed.
(i don't especially want to big up Evans Cycles over anyone else (because I've not used anyone else), but they gave me test rides and a free first service
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