folding bikes

14 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

I did a search here - not much.

Anyone have any input on a low to mid level folder. I'm thinking Dahon (Speed, Vitesse, Helios) or maybe Trek (F400). Bike Friday and Brompton seem great - but too much for the needs - a commuter/errand bike where you don't have to spend time parking, locking and unlocking and worrying if it's still there. Sheesh, I've heard of pedals being stolen, skewers, bars and stems, chainrings. How do you lock a chainring or a stem??

Also, folders are very mass-transit and office friendly.

I am talking a max 10 mile commute and maybe a road jaunt once in a while.


Anonymous's picture
Michael Steiner (not verified)

I wouldn't discount a Brompton only due to its price. From what you will safe on MetroCards (and once you have one, you really will safe), you can buy one every two years. And given that they are built very sturdily (more sturdy than most other folders), you will start saving in the third year ... :-)

Also, in particular from a commuter perspective, the brompton (un)folds very fast, gets very small (i put it easily in a shopping cart when i'm getting my groceries), is easy to carry around, even in crowded spaces, and as a plus, is one of the few which folds such that the chain is inside and not exposed (your fellow commuter and whoever makes your laundry will appreciate that).


Anonymous's picture
Stanley Greenberg (not verified)

Check out Swift Folders, designed in Brooklyn, and available at Recycle-A-Bicycle in Dumbo.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Aluminum Swift

"I have traded in my steel Swift for the new aluminum model (sorry Mordecai! but another new steel bike is on the way!). Took it on its second voyage last week in San Diego, so here's a report.

It's really a fun, zippy little bike, a high-performance, sturdy hybrid suitable for touring. The total weight of the 24-speed bike is now about 23 pounds, as opposed to 26, which makes a difference in both riding and travel. It folds into a 32-inch off-the-shelf hardshell suitcase, which with a little gear weighed 45 pounds.

It folds quickly to put in a car trunk, but still might be a bit awkward on Amtrak; a nylon laundry bag would cover it sufficiently. It can also be folded into a large duffel bag, which I find awkward to carry. So I haven't figured out how to easily get it to the train or bus station short of riding it there. I hear it's much easier to pack than a Bike Friday, and less compact than a Brompton or Dahon, which have 16-inch wheels versus the Swift's 20-inch.

Hills are more of a challenge for me on the Swift than on a road bike with drop bars, partly because the engine has been in the shop for three months (I had bronchitis). I got the Swift up Mohonk and Minnewaska last fall, but one smallish hill in SD made me despair.

The Swift is a quality bike I have had enough confidence in to take on tours (Ireland and France). It's not a pocket-size, so it depends on what you want a folding bike for. The new 8-speed aluminum Swift is under $700--excellent price. And designer Peter Reich in Brooklyn is one of the nicest people on Earth.*

The aluminum frame is not on the Web site yet, you have to call Peter for info. Xootr is also marketing the bike; they make the frames in Korea. Peter's steel frames are still available and made in NJ.

For tooling around town, I'd get a fixed-gear Swift, nice-n-simple, and extra sweet. You could have parts bolted on rather than skewered, which would help with if not solve the theft problem. Would also be cheaper and lighter without the gears.

*disclosure, he also gave me a ""guinea pig"" discount on my trade-in, for which I paid full price several years ago."

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
Brompton all the way

As a former Brompton owner, I fully agree with Michael's comments. (I sold my Bromton to a club member after I moved.)

Additionally, it's the most compact folder, is well made, and has nimble handling which is a bonus while riding in congested traffic. Taking the bike into stores while shopping or office building was nota problem. It's definitely the best folding bike to use around NYC.

As for riding outside the city, I did the ENY century on a it a few years back. It was a wet day; the fenders came in handy.

Anonymous's picture
sitz (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)

Very similar to Brompton, is Birdy. Folds in a similar way, and has a front suspension. Comes in aluminum.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
"And also comes with 18"" wheels..."

"..which severly limits your choice of tires (to like 1, last time I checked) and availability of tubes. That's a deal braker in my opinion. Folding bikes typically come in 16"" and 20"" wheel sizes."

Anonymous's picture
PLee (not verified)
Test ride in NYC?

Anybody know where you can find a Brompton or Dahon in New York to take for a test ride?

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Bicycle Habitat
Anonymous's picture
Lynn (not verified)

for the purposes you describe, there is simply no beating the Brompton. i have one and i am going to marry it

Anonymous's picture
An anonymous cow! (Christian Edstrom) (not verified)

Well, if you love it so much, why don't you maaaaaar...

Oh, never mind.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Article in BusinessWeek Online

"You have to click a few links to get to the article.

BTW, the Xootr Swift is the version of the Swift Folder marketed by Xootr. (They make the frames, alumininum, in Taiwan, I believe.)

You can test ride a steel or aluminum Swift in Brooklyn (or order a custom job) by calling the designer, Peter Reich. See his Web site."

Anonymous's picture
E. Novélo (not verified)
"smallest, cleverest, smoothest, most ""real"", fastest, best va

"Business Week ""A Commuter's Secret Weapon"" 6/12/06

MOST LIKE A ""REAL"" BIKE--> The Xootr Swift
FASTEST--> The Dahon Speed Pro TT
BEST VALUE-->The Dahon Speed D7

Transportation Alternatives ""The Folding Bike Solution""
...Bike Friday
...The Brompton
...The Birdy
...Dahon Folding Bikes
...The Swift

Anonymous's picture
sitz (not verified)
cycling trips