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Old 02-02-2007, 03:20 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
Awww geez... cut Airnimal some slack, willya? You can buy a Chamelion frame for just $900 and build it yourself!

Roger
Hey Roger, to you have to cut it in half or is it precut?

I know [here comes trouble] why don't we all just by some other brand bicycles and I can print a bunch of Airstream decals and we can put them on our bikes? Good idea right?
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:34 PM   #30
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....I think I would rather buy some Toy R Us model and replace it every two years for money like that!
which is exactly the thinking that leads most buyers away from airstreams...

the airnimal is a pretty cool design. the rim size is odd however, so finding tires/tubes while traveling is an issue....

there are very nice stainless couplers (s&s) that are retro fitted into steel/alum/titanium standard diamond frames bikes. these conversions become 'suitcase bikes' and they perform nicely for the occasional vacation via jetliner....

but 30-45 minutes assembly time makes them impractical for daily stowage...l

ritchey also makes a diamond frame bike that splits and packs in a suitcase...

Ritchey Break-Away

the true advantage to small wheel folders is they quickly expand for riding and stow for bus/train travel or rv storage...

alsd they can be kept indoors away from the elements and sticky fingered neighbors and in very small spaces...

birdy, brompton and dahon make very nice bikes in this format.

trek had 2 models (frame from dahon) that are quickie folders with a nice road bike ride...

trekbikes.com: F 600 trekbikes.com: F 400
but they may have dropped them this year from lack of sales...

some of us get into folding bikes or small wheelers or separables for other reasons...

The Folding Society

see, they are unique looking, not common, fun to ride and engineering marvels...

again so much like airstreams....

cheers
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:41 PM   #31
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It loks to me like some company needs to come out with a compact, no frills, easy to use folding bike. The Cannondale Bike Company is right in my town. I wonder if they ever thought of getting into the folding bike business. Sandi and I keep saying we need to get some bikes, but with the expense of them we have other AS things we would rather put the money in, like toasters and shinny coffee makers. I was thinking of building a bike rake that would mount above our hitch. Or we could mount a bike rake on the front of the truck but then there goes another $200 for a front hitch.
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:48 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by rickandsandi
It loks to me like some company needs to come out with a compact, no frills, easy to use folding bike.
it has been done...

they are called dahon!

Folding Bicycles and Folding Bicycle Accessories by Dahon

cannondale is commited to 'large tube' technology and composites...

neither do well as folders...

and the usa market is small for these bikes...

like you, the average buyer wants a bike to cruise around the rv park or on the walking trails...

and doesn't want to spend much for performance or high end features...

that spells dahon, check them out.

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:59 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickandsandi
It loks to me like some company needs to come out with a compact, no frills, easy to use folding bike.
Rick, there are already lots of them, mostly built in China, but they'll do the job for an inexpensive folder. Actually Dahon has some pretty decent entry-level folders as well. The catch comes for those of us who recognize the difference between a mass-produced frame, with cheap components and a nice hand-built frameset with better components. As was mentioned, it's the same philosophy and quality difference in manufacturing and components that drives Airstream sales.

This is going to sound nutty to some folks I'm sure, but contrary to popular belief, there really IS a difference in ride and handling between a Toys-R-Us or Wal-Mart $99 special and a "bike shop" brand bike, and you don't need to spend $2700 to get the quality that makes the difference. There is a price break of around $300-$500 for a "bike shop" brand standard bike that really gets you some really nice components on a nice frame. Obviously, if you want something more exotic like a nice folder, you're going to pay more than that, depending on how it's equipped, but you really don't have to spend a fortune for that quality component ride. You can really get some nice deals, especially at the end of the model year when shops are closing out last years' stock.

Roger
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:14 PM   #34
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I like the Dahons with all of their modern features and configurations but I gotta tell ya I really dig that Raleigh on ebay. It "speaks" to me. Am I the only one?
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:30 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by mistral blue
I really dig that Raleigh on ebay. It "speaks" to me. Am I the only one?
No, it speaks to me too. It says "I'm old, heavy, and clunky."

Hey, if it works for you, go for it! That's what bikes are all about!

Roger
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:31 PM   #36
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but I gotta tell ya I really dig that Raleigh on ebay. It "speaks" to me. Am I the only one?
well the raleigh 20s are nifty bikes, and common enough 2b affordable...

Sheldon Brown's Raleigh Twenty Bicycle Page

and very similar to the beatrice years airstreams...

Moulton Bicycle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

the difference being dr moulton was able to 'buy back' his name/brand and start producing high end small wheelers...

now 83+ he is still at it...

the raleigh 20s are futher like 70s airstreams...

be perpared for frame separation, bent or broken bits and replacement part issues...

cheer
2air'
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Old 02-02-2007, 05:22 PM   #37
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Old, heavy AND clunky?

That' me in a nutshell!

"very similar to the beatrice years airstreams..."?

sounds like it'll match my '77 Argosy 24 beautifully.
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Old 02-03-2007, 05:52 PM   #38
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Since someone mentioned Dahon...
I put about 150 commuting miles on Vitesse last month (Jan) and about 22-23 so far in February. It is my primary bike for rain & snow days. On non-snow days when there isn't too much ick, I ride the recumbent, which is fenderless at the moment. (a fenderless bike is more toy than tool, and this, combined with the price, encapsulates my feelings about the Birdy).
Anyway, the Dahon...
It's the Sturmey Archer 5 speed version (not available in '07). Quite stock. The aluminum frame is good for snow/salt, and the fenders offer decent coverage, and the chainguard is sufficient for all but the hardest rain. However, if there's enough snow, the fenders do get kind of packed after a mile or so.
It's black, and looks a little like a wheelchair when folded; so far nobody's said "boo" when I've carried it into a restaurant for lunch. Combine the hub gear with the chain guard and it really helps keep the ick off me when I carry it to my desk or whatever.

The newer sturmey hubs don't have the oil lube hole but do have better coverage over the indicator chain hole than the older versions. Translation: they may not be as weatherproof, but then again, they may be. The 5 speed Sturmey hub seems to take a little more fiddling than the AW 3 speed or the Nexus 4 speed hubs that I also use regularly. It isn't bad, just takes some attention now and again. I suppose if you just used it recreationally instead of vocationally, you wouldn't notice it much. For the record, I like the AW best. Bought one at a swap meet today for two bucks. :-)
3rd gear is direct drive, but parasitic loss doesn't seem too bad in the other gears... I've had it to 25 on level ground and that's generally enough.
I was concerned that it would get kind of sluggish at cold temperatures, but down to 10f it's been ok. We're supposed to hit zero this week, so I may find out.

The bike itself has fairly quick handling, and isn't what I'd call especially pleasant to ride. That's not to say it isn't fun, because it is. It's just not relaxing. I did a 65 mile ride with it two days after getting it and survived the experience. Actually enjoyed it in a very odd way.

That said, once the Dahon Vitesse gets somewhere between 2000 - 5000 miles on it I may pull it from revenue service. Whether I replace it with a Brompton for a crummy weather bike or some anonymous epicyclic beater remains to be seen.

.
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Old 02-03-2007, 07:51 PM   #39
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That's not a bicycle....

This is a bike mate! It's all aluminum, Ultegra 3 x 9, skinny go fast tires. Affectionately known as "The lead sled." And a seat the allows you to do something at the end of a long day in the saddle.
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Old 02-03-2007, 07:55 PM   #40
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Cute

Those are all cute. But, these don't look as though you would flip over the front wheel if you hit a pot hole. And they can even be ridden off road.

SwissBikes | SwissBike Mountain Bike, full size folding bike

Ed
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