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Old 08-08-2009, 09:28 PM   #43
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hi, we just bought folding schwinns, comfortable and affordable
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:24 AM   #44
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This is great, I'm learning a lot and thanks for jumping in with the Schwinn info. The bikes on my short list have been Dahon (various models in $400 range) and Downtube. I looked on line at Schwinn's, they are heavier, but that may not be a problem. Bike Fridays are out of our price range. Since I've been really happy with my Specialized bike I think I'd be ok with the "low-moderate" folders. Going from a really low end bike to the Specialized, the shifter made the biggest difference for me - I will be checking that out carefully on a folder.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:11 AM   #45
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Just FYI, Tom Richey bikes made a folding full size cyclocross bike about a year ago that looked pretty sweet. This would be for a smaller target audience but an additional idea to think about.
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:52 PM   #46
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First: small wheels.
I don't think it's that important. I've a recumbent with dual 20" wheels, and (when I was riding it regularly) would hit 32mph on level ground very consistently if it was necessary. I'm not in the shape I was in 20 years ago, but 20 miles round trip in 1:03 was very much within the bike's capabilities.

It is, as has been said, purely a function of gearing. You can do some calculations, and for semi-performance riding, I've always found best power comes in between 90-110 RPM. Gear inches (front ring * wheel diameter/rear sprocket) * 0.00275 (or thereabouts) * cadence gives speed in MPH. For an internal hub, you have to modify the formula slightly but there you go.

Small bikes are serious enough. Every year people ride Bike Fridays from coast to coast, all over Europe, and other places. Bromptons have successfully completed Paris Brest Paris, a 750 mile ride which must be completed in 96 hours or less. It is enough bike for that, at least.

The Brompton and the Tikit fold fast and they fold small. The Dahons are somewhere in the middle, while the larger bikes either fold (or disassemble) more slowly or do not fold very small.
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:52 PM   #47
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What ever bike you get (expensive or cheap), make sure the frame size is correct for you - saddle-to-bottom bracket (the bearing set that the pedals spin around on) and saddle-to-handlebars are the 2 most important dimensions I've found for those of us over 50. Are you comfortable in Lance's bent-over racing profile, or do you like to sit up and see what's going on around you like those large groups of retired Germans I've passed riding along the Rhine? If you don't have a good fit on whatever bike you buy, you will ride it less and less until you get to the point of just trashing it or giving it away, as well as complaining about what a piece of junk it is. This means for you folks that are, for example, 5'10, don't expect to enjoy sharing/riding your significant other's bike if they are 5'2; and the same works the other way around. To get a good fit, you may need to get a shorter frame, a longer seatpost, and an adjustable handlebar stem in order to raise the bars. ASK QUESTIONS of the bikeshop folks - that's what they are there for.

Crank lengths are important as well - if you have longer legs, then a longer crank will be easier to turn than shorter ones which you will spin like crazy. If you get longer legs for your short legs, you risk injuring your knees. I'm 5'10 and use 175mm cranks; Sandy is 5'7 and uses 170mm cranks - I overspin when on her bike.

Go to a couple of good bike shops and get sized in a general sense as noted above; you don't have to buy what they sell. But with the information you gain, you can go to Camping World, Wally World, or Joe's Discount Used Bikes and get the right size inexpensive bike you want (or to the competing highend shops if you get a good deal there). That way you will have years of good riding, provided you keep them serviced properly and regularly as you do your TVs and A/Ss (all 5 of our 20" wheeled Bike Fridays have thousands of miles each on them, the oldest 2 being over 15 years old none of them has ever let us down).

See you on your new 2 wheels soon!
Hugh
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:41 AM   #48
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ASK QUESTIONS of the bikeshop folks - that's what they are there for.

Go to a couple of good bike shops and get sized in a general sense as noted above; you don't have to buy what they sell. But with the information you gain, you can go to Camping World, Wally World, or Joe's Discount Used Bikes and get the right size inexpensive bike you want (or to the competing highend shops if you get a good deal there).

Hugh
Here I have to put a plug in for your LBS (Local Bike Shop). If you patronize your LBS, not only will you get a bike you'll enjoy riding that is sized properly and equipped for your riding style, you'll likely make some good friends. Your relationship with your LBS will be one of the most important relationships you can foster. Not only can they size your bike properly to fit you, but they'll maintain it for you. And even if, like Hugh, Aaron and myself, you have your own bike shop and can do the majority of the work, you'll still need the occasional part on short order, and someone to get firsthand advice from. And when something goes really wrong with the bike you bought from your LBS, like the frame cracks, or a crank breaks, you're not on your own trying to figure out what to do with it next.

Their prices may be a little higher, but you'll get more than what you spend back in service.

Roger
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:33 AM   #49
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Folding Bikes,Folding Canoe,Folding Book's?

We have Dahon's, an 8 & 24 Speed. We use to carry Standard Bikes on a front rack. One day the rack fell forward. So now we fold and lay them on the bed during travel.The bikes have been great. No problem's.
We also have a folding canoe "Pakboat" and "Kindles" for our book's.Were
always looking for ways to carry more, or carry it better.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:48 PM   #50
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I just found this thread. A number of years ago I was riding my son's Wal-Mart mountain bike and would get worn out after about 10 miles of riding on flat ground. I purchased a Specialized cross bike with 21 speeds and could ride it 40 miles or more with the same effort I used with the cheap mountain bike for 10 miles. I rode that bike up to 70 miles in one day. That sold me on the more medium priced bike instead of the cheapo discount store bike. Since that time I have had a used Trek road bike and now still have a LeMond road bike and a Cannondale cross bike. These bikes are all easy to ride and worth the additional cost over the discount store bikes.

We now have 3 Bike Friday's and are completely sold on them. We purchased 2 demo bike friday metros from a dealer that decided to quit trying to sell them because they were a bit expensive. They had an 8 speed derailleur and worked flawlessly for us for over 10 years. Last year I decided to get a Bike Friday New World Tourist bike with 24 speeds. The big difference with the new bike is that it is really much faster and it has enough gears to be able to go up the steepest hill with ease. I have been able to keep up with other bike riders that have been riding the big wheel bikes with no more effort than when I am riding one of my big wheel bikes.

We also have racks, panniers and packs for the racks so we can bike to the grocery store or wherever we want to go and do not need to drive our tow vehicle. These bikes fold up really small and we have suitcases to put them in that meet the requirements of the Airlines for standard luggage.

Bike Friday is a bike that will stand up to a lot of use without breaking down since it is made with high quality components and are made in America by Green Gear Cycling in Eugene, Oregon. When I have had any question about my bike, they have always been very helpful and had a suggestion for anything I might ask about my Bike Friday.

It is real fun to have a product that is well made and fun to ride.

Dennis
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:15 PM   #51
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I just found this thread...

...It is real fun to have a product that is well made and fun to ride.

Dennis
hi dennis nice report...

sure hope u r helping 2 keep austin weird.

U might find some of these threads and PHOTOS enjoyable also...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f483...his-40092.html

bf makes a nice bike, i've got one 2...

but only the tikit is a true compact folder.

the other models DO have small wheels but are partial folders or better called "packable" bikes...

since some DE/assembly is required.

it's good to have a domestic brand with a loyal customer base and bf clearly has that.

but only the FRAME is domestic (and perhaps the 2 piece handle bars)...

all of the components are from the typical asian suppliers and assembled here.

the beaver state has got double digit unemployment now and bf has cut back on staffing some...

but one nice thing is an ample supply of USED bf bikes,

in fact the FACTORY buys back and REsells used bikes which is pretty neat.

they've got that whole mac/stream cult like thing going too...

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:51 AM   #52
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We have had BF's for 15+ years. We have owned a total of 10. Presently we have 6; 3 Air Glides, 2 Original Diamond frame, and 1 Tandem. We have taken many self contained tours, mostly in Europe and absolutely love the trailer option. The last tour we took in Italy we also added panniers. It's nice to be able to ship them at no additional cost on the plane. My husband has a wonderful way of identifying the contents so that the airline inspectors can do their job without completely destroying our bikes. We are getting ready to take another tour in France, 2010.
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:40 PM   #53
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Tell all ...

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My husband has a wonderful way of identifying the contents so that the airline inspectors can do their job without completely destroying our bikes.
OK - I can hardly stand the suspense: what is his "wonderful way" ?????

Inquiring minds want to know!


Ryanh
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:49 PM   #54
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Welcome Silver Sandy

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver sandy View Post
We have had BF's for 15+ years. We have owned a total of 10. Presently we have 6; 3 Air Glides, 2 Original Diamond frame, and 1 Tandem. We have taken many self contained tours, mostly in Europe and absolutely love the trailer option. The last tour we took in Italy we also added panniers. It's nice to be able to ship them at no additional cost on the plane. My husband has a wonderful way of identifying the contents so that the airline inspectors can do their job without completely destroying our bikes. We are getting ready to take another tour in France, 2010.
Hi, Welcome to the forums silver sandy. With your biking experience in Europe you should receive a lot of questions. Sounds like a great adventure.
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:55 PM   #55
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Old 10-30-2009, 04:27 PM   #56
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tell all - okay, i will

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver sandy
We have had BF's for 15+ years. We have owned a total of 10. Presently we have 6; 3 Air Glides, 2 Original Diamond frame, and 1 Tandem. We have taken many self contained tours, mostly in Europe and absolutely love the trailer option. The last tour we took in Italy we also added panniers. It's nice to be able to ship them at no additional cost on the plane. My husband has a wonderful way of identifying the contents so that the airline inspectors can do their job without completely destroying our bikes. We are getting ready to take another tour in France, 2010.



Quote:
Originally Posted by AirsDream View Post
OK - I can hardly stand the suspense: what is his "wonderful way" ?????

Inquiring minds want to know!


Ryanh
So my bride of almost 25 years has me answering for her on this one (yes, we have separate log-ins to the forum). First, I took photos of the bikes before, during, and at the final completion of packing. Second, I used the before (completely unfolded and assembled, trailer included) and after (fully packed into the case before shutting) and printed that on one side of a full sheet of paper. Third, I took the 4 best 'packing' pics, placed them in order of packing, and printed these on the back of the same piece of paper. Lastly, I laminated the page.

Also included are name and phone number to call/page if there are any issues. And I included descriptions with the images for any extras like racks, trailer frame, tires and tubes. Cases have been opened and inspected, but with the laminated sheet on top of the packed bike, inspectors can see what is what. After 15 years of travel with the BFs in the USA and to/from Europe, the only thing lost/damaged was a pair of straps that went around the case which, I think, was thrown away by a lazy inspector in Paris.

Hugh
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