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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    369

    Does anyone have a folding bike?

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    I have recently gotten into biking and am riding a Dahon folding bike. I bought the folder because I wasn't sure how much I would ride and folders are easy to store and can be transported easily. I do not have a rack on my car and like the fact that it can fit in the trunk of my car. Eventually I will get a road or hybrid bike, but for now, I am enjoying having my folder.

    My folder has 20" inch wheels and its not the fastest. So far I have only been riding up to 12 miles a day (work schedule/ lack of time). I would like to try longer/faster rides but I am wondering if I can keep up with all the people on their road bikes with my little folder. I was going to join a local bike club so I can start joining some rides but I am wondering if I should wait until next year, buy myself a faster bike and then join. What do you think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,619
    my DH and I have matching dahon folders. they are not the fastest bike but they are great for putting into your car or bus or train and going places. My husband did a 100 mile ride a year ago in Arizona on his. You might have trouble keeping up with faster riders on faster bikes. depends on the group, i think.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,645
    If someone other than me were riding it, my Dahon would be pretty darn fast.
    2014 Bobbin Bramble / Brooks B67
    2008 Rodriguez Rainier Mirage / Terry Butterfly Tri Gel
    2007 Dahon Speed Pro TT / Biologic Velvet
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    127
    Yup, you can go pretty fast on a Dahon speed pro TT and some of its other models. My Dahon, which is on permanent loan to a friend, is a fun little bike for leisurely commuting and cafe rides - not fast. I can go a fair clip on my Brompton though and overtake many full size bikes on my eight mile ride to work. But that's a short ride with traffic light stops. So, as was said earlier, it depends on who you're riding with but also what folding bike you ride. The ones that are built for speed tend to be pretty pricey though.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    369
    Thanks! I have a Dahon Speed P8 - not as fast as a TT but better than some of the lower end models. I am definitely not fast so I'm probably better off joining the "D" level rides (Rides are categorized from A to D).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    Or when you really like cycling will get another 2nd bike.

    Having a folding bike is so convenient at times. Ride it everywhere for regular cycling several times per week.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,162
    Check out Laura and Russ's blog the path less pedaled. They are touring on Brompton's at the moment
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    328
    I have 3 folding bikes-a vintage 1982 single-speed Dahon Da Bike, a 7-speed Dahon Speed D7, and a Worksman Port-O-Trike adult trike.

    Here's the Dahon Da Bike on a very hilly ride in Amador County.

    creek crossing on Amador Creek Road by kittyz202, on Flickr

    Dahon Da Bike at top of School St climb in Amador City by kittyz202, on Flickr

    Here's the Worksman Port-O-Trike being used to take the Dahon Speed D7 home from REI when I bought it back in May. I am car-lite.

    Worksman Port-O-Trike carrying Dahon Speed D7 by kittyz202, on Flickr

    Worksman Port-O-Trike carrying Dahon Speed D7 by kittyz202, on Flickr

    Here's the Dahon Speed D7 on its first real test ride after doing my usual tweaks.

    Dahon Speed D7 by kittyz202, on Flickr

    Since then, it's been to the summit of Kingsbury Grade

    Dahon Speed D7 at Daggett Summit by kittyz202, on Flickr

    Kingsbury Grade 9% grade sign & Dahon Speed D7 by kittyz202, on Flickr

    Dahon Speed D7 with mountains in background 7-9-11 by kittyz202, on Flickr

    Geiger Grade

    Dahon Speed D7 at Geiger Summit by kittyz202, on Flickr

    Monitor Pass

    Dahon Speed D7 at top of Monitor Pass 8-6-11 (other side of road) by kittyz202, on Flickr

    Dahon Speed D7 at top of Monitor Pass 8-6-11 by kittyz202, on Flickr

    view from top of Monitor Pass by kittyz202, on Flickr

    and Mt. Rose.




    After suffering up Kingsbury Grade and Geiger Grade with stock gearing, I put a mtb crankset on, which helped immensely on Monitor Pass. The stock chainring is a 52. This crankset is a 47-37-27 (odd tooth numbers, huh?). Since the Dahon's drivetrain isn't designed for any kind of front shifting, I shortened the chain and put it on the middle ring.


    I have ride videos and Garmin data of all the climbs mentioned on my YouTube channel.
    Last edited by luv2climb; 09-30-2011 at 10:22 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    Well, luv2climb you certainly gave us many examples.

    I can understand if one rides with a group that tends to be fast, to want to use a bike with larger wheels.

    However if it's going on trips with one other person or solo around town, even your own trip, there's no point getting overly concerned about getting a bike with bigger wheels at this time.

    Take your time to get into cycling regularily, often and build up the total mileage, then you will understand your cycling nees re: type of bike.

    I miss my folding bike..it's in a different city. (I have to have a bike in current city and my 2nd home city to save delivery costs of bike.) And yes, I did several 100+ km. trips each on the folding bike with loaded panniers.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    127
    l2c, I like the picture of the trike with the Dahon in it!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Dang, you do love to climb! What a great series of pictures, and yeah, I too especially love the pictures of taking the bike home on the trike.

    But couldn't you find a single crank to fit?



    ETA - you could always shift the front with your hands the way my grandfather used to before ol' Tullio invented the derailleur - provided your RD cage is long enough to take up the slack.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 09-30-2011 at 02:45 PM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    369
    Thank you for the sage advice. Luvtoclimb-your pictures are amazing and inspirational. I love seeing your folders, the vintage is a beauty! I will continue riding my folder recreationally and keep an eye out for sales in the winter or the spring. Maybe by the springtime, i will have a full size bike and can join a club then. For now, I will just continue to putz around on the local trails and build up stamina. Thanks for the encouragement.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    328
    Thanks all!

    I'm strictly a recreational/transportation/utility cyclist too. I don't race. I just love climbing.

    I tried to get a single crankset, but the LBS didn't have one. I needed the lower gearing right away, so I didn't want to wait for one to be ordered for me.

    I thought about shifting with my hand, but the rear derailleur isn't designed for use with a front derailleur. I tried putting the chain on the small ring and it sagged. The rear derailleur didn't self-adjust to take up the slack in the chain.

 

 

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