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What is the most annoying thing in your folding bike?

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What is the most annoying thing in your folding bike?

Old 11-29-19, 03:28 AM
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Bezrenki
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What is the most annoying thing in your folding bike?

Hello all, I would like to design and make a prototype of a new folding bike.

If you have some comments about what you don't like in some of the folding bikes you had come across in the past it would be really nice of you to share in comments.

When designing a new one I will do all I can to make sure I don't include features that people don't like.

For me, one of the things I want to improve is how easy it is to actually fold it (how quick you can do it) because I have found it can be awkward in some of the folding bikes.

So what other things can you suggest?

Thank you a lot in advance,
Lukasz
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Old 11-29-19, 05:58 AM
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Indigo82
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The only thing I don't like about my folder is that it's not Brompton.
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Old 11-29-19, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Indigo82 View Post
The only thing I don't like about my folder is that it's not Brompton.
Yeah Bromptons are great. I would like to have one too.

But for the one I will be designing I didn't want to copy Brompton. Bromptons are great, but Brompton copies are just Brompton copies.

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Old 11-29-19, 10:42 AM
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The only thing I don't like about my folding bike (Bike Friday pakiT) is that it keeps costing me money - because I keep buying accessories and upgrades for it, lol. No, seriously, the only thing I don't like is that.....well, it could have a folding stem but that would add to the weight of the bike which is more important to me for my uses, so there's nothing I don't like. My "perfect" folding bike would fold like a brompton, ride like my Bike Friday, weigh less than 18 lbs, and be priced like a Citizen, lol.
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Old 11-29-19, 12:05 PM
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Most annoying? Squeaks.
Then in order: weight, folding mechanism, frame material, small wheels
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Old 11-29-19, 04:03 PM
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I like the support bar from the BB to the top tube feature. I dont know why...


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Old 11-29-19, 07:42 PM
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I can give you a couple of specific complaints, but they're specific to models:

Raleigh Twenty:
  • "You call that folded?"
  • 165mm cranks by default

Birdy BD-1
  • Flat handlebars. Can't someone invent a North Road that folds in half?
  • Not an IGH. Derailer system turns into a mess when folded.
  • I don't mind the 18" wheels - they're a fair compromise to get good handling with smaller-than-20" wheels - but frame needs to be designed to take 18" tires that are larger than 1.75" - if only for emergencies (if you're lucky enough to find an LBS with 18" tires, what happens if they turn out to be 18x2.0 kiddie tires?)
  • I want the frame to lock automatically when folded, not when I shove the seatpost down.
  • Darn thing isn't designed to roll without aftermarket bits.
  • Aftermarket bits are ridiculous in price.
  • Feels a bit noodly - I'd sacrifice a bit of weight for a slightly stiffer frame.
  • Achieving non-standard design by making really weird engineering choices, resulting in parts that look like pieces from a bicycle shaped object, but were actually built to quality bike specs.
  • If you put one zinc plated bit of anything on it, you don't deserve to build a bike. For crying out loud, dockless bikes have all-stainless hardware. No quality bike should ever be caught dead without this.

-Kurt
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Old 11-30-19, 12:43 PM
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The flex and squeaks, which is why I just bought a minivelo.
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Old 11-30-19, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Indigo82 View Post
The only thing I don't like about my folder is that it's not Brompton.

Also offered in black and white, depending on the color of your current folder.
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Old 11-30-19, 05:08 PM
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-Compromised riding position
-Frame flex
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Old 11-30-19, 07:12 PM
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I'm still apprehensive about riding one handed for more than 2 seconds. I also can't help but always think what if I got a Brompton instead.
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Old 12-01-19, 04:39 AM
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Hello all, thank you so much for replying to my post.



Originally Posted by linberl View Post
... My "perfect" folding bike would fold like a brompton, ride like my Bike Friday, weigh less than 18 lbs, and be priced like a Citizen, lol.


Hi Linberl. Thank you for your answer. It seems you value:

- ease of folding

- being comfortable

- weighting less than 18 lbs

- and being inexpensive



Originally Posted by spambait11 View Post
Most annoying? Squeaks.
Then in order: weight, folding mechanism, frame material, small wheels


Hi Spambait. It seems you, like many others that replied here find squeks to be quite annoying. It means I will need to focus on the frame a lot.

So you dont like (correct me if Im wrong):

- squeaks

- being too heavy

- having an awkward folding mechanism

- having poor quality frame material

- having wheels that are too small



Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
I like the support bar from the BB to the top tube feature. I dont know why...


Hi 3speedslow. Awesome pictures, thanks a lot. I will make the frame look like you have suggested.



Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I can give you a couple of specific complaints, but they're specific to models:...


Hi Kurt. Thank you for your extensive list. It looks like you would like a folder to have:

- compact size when folded

- Not flat handlebars

- Have a drive system that doesn't turn into a mess when folded

- Have wheels that are accessible in LBS. (Would you rather have 20 or 16)??

- Automatic locking frame

- A bike designed to ride without need of adding aftermarket bits

- Stiff frame

- No zinc plated bits all have to be stainless steel



I have a question about IGH. Would you be willing to buy a folding bike that is a little bit heavier and a little bit more expansive but with IGH or would you prefer to have something lighter and cheaper but with a derailleur? Thanks.



Originally Posted by tdonline View Post
The flex and squeaks, which is why I just bought a minivelo.

Hi Tdoline. Thanks for the comment. It looks like you too find frame flexing to be annoying. It looks like it will be my most important concern.


Originally Posted by zebede View Post
-Compromised riding position
-Frame flex


Hi Zebede. Thanks for the comment. You too, find frame flex to be annoying. I will add a compromised riding position to my list.



Originally Posted by BCATC View Post
I'm still apprehensive about riding one handed for more than 2 seconds. I also can't help but always think what if I got a Brompton instead.


Hi Bcatc. Thanks for the comment. So why do feel apprehensive about riding one-handed? Is it because it feels wobbly? Is it not sturdy enough? Maybe, can you tell me what should I do in my bike to not make you feel apprehensive about riding one-handed? Is it the shape of the handlebar, riding position? Can you please elaborate on this one a little bit?



Thanks
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Old 12-01-19, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Bezrenki View Post
I have a question about IGH. Would you be willing to buy a folding bike that is a little bit heavier and a little bit more expansive but with IGH or would you prefer to have something lighter and cheaper but with a derailleur? Thanks.
IGH.

If you must put a derailer on it for cost purposes, design the frame with sliding vertical dropouts (reliable ones with tensioner bolts, I might add - don't cheapen out here) so it is possible for end users to convert it to IGH and tension the chain properly. 135mm spacing would also be necessary, as it'd allow hubs including the Shimano Alfine to fit without playing around with the locknuts.

Come to think of it, it'd be nice if it could be offered as a frameset via special order. Frame + fork + stem/neck. Make sure replacement parts have a good dealer network to order from, and are broken down enough that someone can buy any of the specialized parts without having to buy half of a bike just to do a repair (and spend 75% of the bike's price just to get 20% worth of the bike's parts).

-Kurt
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Old 12-01-19, 08:27 AM
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Owner of a Brompton, despise the wheels size but love the folded size. 16" wheels are just too small for any bike. The bike is twitchy when you ride it but this can be traced back to the smaller wheels.
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Old 12-01-19, 10:14 AM
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My Bike Friday does not flex. There is no hinge in the frame itself. The fold is not quite as neat as the Brompton as a result, but the ride is markedly better, more rigid. A bike which somehow folds more square than rectangular but still does not have a hinge in the frame would be ideal. Not quite sure how one would do this in terms of engineering, but perhaps look at the Helix for ideas. Hinges are the primary reason for squeaks as well.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...t-folding-bike
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Old 12-02-19, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
IGH.

If you must put a derailer on it for cost purposes, design the frame with sliding vertical dropouts (reliable ones with tensioner bolts, I might add - don't cheapen out here) so it is possible for end users to convert it to IGH and tension the chain properly. 135mm spacing would also be necessary, as it'd allow hubs including the Shimano Alfine to fit without playing around with the locknuts.

Come to think of it, it'd be nice if it could be offered as a frameset via special order. Frame + fork + stem/neck. Make sure replacement parts have a good dealer network to order from, and are broken down enough that someone can buy any of the specialized parts without having to buy half of a bike just to do a repair (and spend 75% of the bike's price just to get 20% worth of the bike's parts).

-Kurt
Im liking IGH too and would put up with weight for a straight chain line (even when folded), but too wide of a rear triangle adds to the dimension of the fold. Also vertical dropouts may be out of the question depending on where your bike folds because of needed chain stretch.

Another disadvantage to IGH is that theyre pains in the butt to change tubes for rear flats.

Other thoughts:
- 24 wheels are a good size
- Create a bike which doesnt use chains or belts, but which changes gears from the bottom bracket itself (I think I read Shimano has a new patent out for one of these)
- If your bike uses chains or belts, incorporate e-shifting options and get rid of as many cables as you can (dont know if this is possible using IGH hubs)
- Forget about bikes and create puncture resistant 24 x 1.5 100psi equivalent tires instead
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Old 12-03-19, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
Owner of a Brompton, despise the wheels size but love the folded size. 16" wheels are just too small for any bike. The bike is twitchy when you ride it but this can be traced back to the smaller wheels.
l love my Brompton just the way it is and for what its designed for, its simply brilliant. Does it handle like my LWB recumbent on the open road or on fast down hill descents? Of corse not.
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Old 12-03-19, 09:15 AM
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On my Brompton I would prefer V-brakes, a chrome moly frame and fork for lightness and room for more tire choices. I would also like to have the option for threadless stems, a seat post that does not require a plastic insert and a more easily replaceable bushing for the rear triangle hinge. I like the rear suspension and the long wheelbase and I love its capacity to carry quite a bit of weight low on the headtube, not on the forks.
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Old 12-03-19, 03:41 PM
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For me, as my go - to main mode of transport, the Dahon Vitesse frame seems perfect - no flex or sqeaks, comfortable for someone 6'4'', packs into an airline legal suitcase, rides like a big bike. I've survived quite a number of NYC potholes on the 20" wheels, and the frame is still solid after 6 years .
If there was a way to upgrade the components (bottom bracket and crank especially) from factory, and reduce the weight from 27 to 22 pds. or less, I'd be willing to pay $500 more than the $500 incldg. shipping I paid for it (before upgrades). I've seen no other design that comes close. Pretty much like the Speed frame, but in aluminum. No wonder Dahon discontinued them. They want us to buy new bikes every few years.

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Old 12-03-19, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by spambait11 View Post
I’m liking IGH too and would put up with weight for a straight chain line (even when folded), but too wide of a rear triangle adds to the dimension of the fold. Also vertical dropouts may be out of the question depending on where your bike folds because of needed chain stretch.

Another disadvantage to IGH is that they’re pains in the butt to change tubes for rear flats.
Straight chainline isn't why I'd prefer an IGH. I don't want to worry about a chain developing a stiff link after a single wet commute, or deal with uneven cassette wear. Also, I like to have the ability to shift when stopped, or when freewheeling: I particularly like the freedom to shift up a ratio or two when freewheeling to blind curves or yields. I don't have to think about keeping the chain moving, and can concentrate entirely on the next driver out there that's trying to kill me. Also, I can dump both gears fractionally quicker as well (though nothing beats a 4-speed Sturmey-Archer trigger from the 1950's though).

Vertical dropouts are irrelevant to a folding mechanism. The axle remains in the same location (relative to the dropouts) when the bike folds, regardless where it folds, or what type of dropouts it has (or track ends, or a through axle). If the design requires the chain to extend or contract in length on a non-derailer bike, then the design requires a chain tensioner, not horizontal drops. The dropout design remains entirely irrelevant.

As for IGHs being a PITA for flats: That's a function of failed engineering, not the IGH itself. Sturmey-Archer had quick-release indicator chains in the 1930's. Shimano makes the SM-CB90 cable Q/R, which would be nice if it had a provision to clip to a chainstay or was small enough not to interfere with cable routing. That said, there's no reason an IGH-specific cable Q/R can't be developed.

For that matter, complicated IGH cables are a recent phenomenon. Used to be that you could unscrewing an old AW (or Shimano 333) indicator (or bellcrank) and put it back on easily. Now we have the rotary design which is nice and smart, but a PITA to service. For the few legacy hubs with classic indicator chains, Sturmey now putts a crap ton of chingaderas in the way which make pulling the wheel more difficult than it has to be.

I will say one thing though: Rear-facing ends and chaincases combined with poorly-fitting fenders that don't allow a tire to clear...now that's a pain I don't want to discuss.

-Kurt
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Old 12-03-19, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by wesgreen View Post
For me, as my go - to main mode of transport, the Dahon Vitesse frame seems perfect - no flex or sqeaks, comfortable for someone 6'4'', packs into an airline legal suitcase, rides like a big bike. I've survived quite a number of NYC potholes on the 20" wheels, and the frame is still solid after 6 years .
If there was a way to upgrade the components (bottom bracket and crank especially) from factory, and reduce the weight from 27 to 22 pds. or less, I'd be willing to pay $500 more than the $500 incldg. shipping I paid for it (before upgrades). I've seen no other design that comes close. Pretty much like the Speed frame, but in aluminum. No wonder Dahon discontinued them. They want us to buy new bikes every few years.
See if you can find a used Dahon Mu. Without the seat pump post (ebay has aluminum replacements) it will be around 22-23 lbs. I've got the single speed but they also made 8 and 10 speeds I believe. Incredible bike for the $,, came with some quality kinetix parts, too.
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Old 12-03-19, 06:31 PM
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The biggest complaint I've had with 'modern' small wheeled bikes(folders and mini-velos)

- Frames are not accommodating to taller riders, I've have to build a few seatposts (Thank you Metal Superstore).
- Gear inches are not high enough, I've replaced a few chainrings with ones in the 54+ range.

This doesn't apply to everybody, just my experience.

Thank you for listening
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Old 12-03-19, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
See if you can find a used Dahon Mu. Without the seat pump post (ebay has aluminum replacements) it will be around 22-23 lbs. I've got the single speed but they also made 8 and 10 speeds I believe. Incredible bike for the $,, came with some quality kinetix parts, too.
linberl, I think your suggestion is a good one for someone who doesn't need an igh, and is a little shorter than I am. The reason I haven't replaced the Dahon seat post with one of those lighter models is that their saddle clamp design would move the seat forward, and shorten the seat to handlebar distance. Thanks anyway!
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Old 12-03-19, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by wesgreen View Post
linberl, I think your suggestion is a good one for someone who doesn't need an igh, and is a little shorter than I am. The reason I haven't replaced the Dahon seat post with one of those lighter models is that their saddle clamp design would move the seat forward, and shorten the seat to handlebar distance. Thanks anyway!
Hmm....I didn't notice any difference in reach after I switched out the Dahon post, actually since I have "t-rex" arms that would have been nice, lol. But my Fizik saddle has long rails. Maybe there's a setback post that would work, if you want to get lighter, I think the Mu is about as light as a Dahon makes.
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Old 12-04-19, 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 12boy View Post
On my Brompton I would prefer V-brakes, a chrome moly frame and fork for lightness and room for more tire choices. I would also like to have the option for threadless stems, a seat post that does not require a plastic insert and a more easily replaceable bushing for the rear triangle hinge. I like the rear suspension and the long wheelbase and I love its capacity to carry quite a bit of weight low on the headtube, not on the forks.
LOL, to start with are you sure you have a Brompton? Brompton does have a Chrome Moly frame and forks!

Tiny wheels make for a tiny fold package. That is the main reason I and many other people buy the Brompton. If you want fatter tires you have other choices on folding bikes. I have a pair of old Dahon TR 24 that have 20x2.0 Big Apples also Bike Friday Lama will take 20x2.1 tires. Will they fold down as small and as fast? NO!

What is this plastic insert seat post thing? I own two Bromptons and nether one have a “plastic insert” that I can see. Are you sure you have a Brompton?

Last edited by tim24k; 12-04-19 at 04:19 AM.
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