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Most Compact Bike?

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Most Compact Bike?

Old 05-29-19, 09:54 AM
  #1  
ImplodingVoice
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Most Compact Bike?

Hi, I'm starting a new thread because I couldn't find my answer by searching the archive on BikeForums.
I'm interested in the most compact bikes, whether they don't fold at all or they do fold or break apart (such as the Moulton).
My purpose is to have a bike which I can occasionally bring inside a music club or possibly onto a train, to avoid bringing my car into New York.
I've never driven a bike in New York, but I'm ready to do it because walking takes such a long time between, for example, Penn Station and the subway, then from the subway to the final destination. I do know some clubs which will allow me to bring a small bicycle inside, but not a full-sized frame.

In my research, the vintage DiBlasi was the smallest practical bicycle, but I can't locate a used DiBlasi here in the US.
I'd like to be able to load a small bag somewhere; otherwise I'll need to wear a backpack which I understand is less comfortable than a rack.
I tried the Brompton and I'm too long and feel cramped. I may have to sacrifice comfort to be compact, but I'm open to hearing suggestions here.
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Old 05-29-19, 09:58 AM
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What is your budget? Dahon has the Jifo and Curl that have a smaller fold. Bike Friday Tikit has pretty good fold.
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Old 05-29-19, 11:14 AM
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If you're going to stick with mostly subway riding I honestly think your best option is an electric scooter. They're technically illegal here at the moment but I see plenty of people riding them and expect the micro transport companies will shove legality through the legislative process. If it has to be a bike and compact fold is the only quality then I think a Strida or a CarryMe is most compact? I believe the Brompton, Dahon Curl, and Ori C8 are the next step up and the Bike Friday Tikit, Birdy, and most fold in half models are the next size up after that.

The quickest way to work through your bike options would be to talk to David at bfold by Union Square. He's been in the folding bike business for a long time and carries a wider model selection than anybody else in the city. I don't mind meeting up in a park if you're in the UES area and want to try my lightly modified Birdy.
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Old 05-29-19, 11:32 AM
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'lightly modified'!

I too would offer such a gesture; but I'm typing from Edinburgh...
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Old 05-29-19, 11:34 AM
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Bike Friday hasn't made the Tikit for a few years now. They make the pakiT. It folds longer but narrower than the Brompton. I found the Brompton did not fit me well - but have been assured by many that the aftermarket options can make big adjustments. If $ isn't a big deal and folded size is paramount, you might consider a Brompton with some aftermarket tweaks to make it fit you better. The P bars flipped out might work, too. Did you ride one with the extra long seat post? If you can't get comfortable on the Brompton, then you can consider the pakiT which will be custom sized to you. Also try the Dahon Curl...I believe it is more adjustable than the Brompton in stock mode. There's also the Birdy which is very compact (but some say costly to maintain). If you don't feel stuck with 16" tires and can accommodate 20" tires, there are a ton of options. My Dahon Mu folds just about as small as my Bike Friday pakiT - in terms of length - because of the frame hinge.
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Old 05-29-19, 11:47 AM
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I tried the Brompton and I'm too long and feel cramped. I may have to sacrifice comfort to be compact,

but I'm open to hearing suggestions here.
which variation did you try? the H steering mast is the tallest the 2 part telescopic seat post the highest extension..

frame length is like 60cm ..

My purpose is to have a bike which I can occasionally bring inside a music club ** or possibly onto a train,
...
** for that you may need a cover bag to put it into , to even get admitted.. with it.. I'd call ahead first.
Do they have a luggage check to keep it safe for you?






.....
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Old 05-29-19, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by foldupJim View Post
'lightly modified'!
I'm on a quest to go faster on my Birdy. I've swapped out the suspension since I'm too heavy for the default suspension at 85kg. I've also replaced the handlebars with a loop bar and that gets me into a reasonably aerodynamic position when I'm on the front at the cost of being a couple centimeters wider when folded.

I spend most of my time in the highest gear so I also have the parts to do a drive train swap from a 10 speed 11-32 trigger shifter to a 11 speed 9-32 thumb shifter. The holdup is that it's nice riding weather and I don't want to have the bike out of commission if it winds up taking longer than expected. Once I do that it'll be a modified Birdy.
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Old 05-29-19, 01:06 PM
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I agree with grayrest. Check in with David at bfold.

To your specific question regarding the Ti Swift from the other thread. This bike is only really available as a custom order. You can order a steel Swift from Story by sending them an email.

The other bikes which are widely available in the US are Brompton, Dahon, Bike Friday, Downtube, Montague, Birdy, Origami. There are others, but these are fairly available and good quality. The budget option among these is Downtube and Origami. Montague and Dahon are the middle range (with Dahon having several high end models too). Brompton, Bike Friday, Birdy are the high end.

There are several others which are available too. The options are nuts... but if you start with the above you'll probably be able to winnow things down to a bike that works for you. Good luck!
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Old 05-29-19, 02:13 PM
  #9  
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Your thread title asks for the 'Most Compact Bike'.

There's the Qbike (although I'm not sure if this bike is still available):


Definitely still available is Pacific Cycles' CarryMe:



The Strida is quite compact in two dimensions, relatively large in the third. This can work great or not at all depending on one's needs.


Last edited by tcs; 05-29-19 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 05-29-19, 03:09 PM
  #10  
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Inexplicably left out of the suggestions so far is the market-proven Dahon Curve D3 (shown here in gray), which hits a size/cost/quality/versatility/availability sweet spot for some:



Also shown in gray is the Dahon EEZZ D3, a small, light offering available at a good price these days.


Last edited by tcs; 05-29-19 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 05-29-19, 03:17 PM
  #11  
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Per the dimensions linberl provided, the BikeFriday pakit's fold is an inch longer than the BikeFriday tikit shown here on the right. On the left is a Dahon Curl, which folds a bit smaller than the Brompton.

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Old 07-20-19, 09:38 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Per the dimensions linberl provided, the BikeFriday pakit's fold is an inch longer than the BikeFriday tikit shown here on the right. On the left is a Dahon Curl, which folds a bit smaller than the Brompton.

When the Dahon Curl first came out they were known to break the chain idler when folded because of the clearance of the folded. Did Dahon get that issue fixed?
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Old 07-20-19, 01:35 PM
  #13  
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What are the roads like? Tire size would be my 1st criteria. I think you will endo on a Carryme.

If the trains aren't crowded then a 20" fat tired bike would probably be best since it will ride better; Tern, Dahon, BF, etc.

If the train is packed then a Brompton rides like a lawn chair, but its small fold and the frame is steel/durability. Birdy, side folders, and 20" are too wide for a crowded train IMO; you can't stand over the folded bike so it's like a piece of luggage that others don't want to rub against and you become the jerk taking up the space of 2 people. You can easily stand over a folded Brompton. Strida is good for trains but a weird riding posture. Possibly a Helix can be straddled in a train, but I have no experience with it.

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Old 07-20-19, 02:45 PM
  #14  
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I have recently discovered (out of necessity) that my pakiT is actually quite small and you can stand over it on a crowded Bart train. The trick is to quick fold, then grab and rotate it vertically like a unicycle. It sits fine on the front tire, and actually rolls well like that, too. Stand over with the saddle in front of your crotch and hold the saddle. You can rubber-band the front brake lever to prevent rolling if your train lurches a lot.
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Old 07-23-19, 07:31 AM
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The new Tern BYB seems like a good option for the taller person. If the Brompton was too tight a fit then 20 inch wheels are best and the BYB has a small footprint.
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Old 07-23-19, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Pahana View Post
The new Tern BYB seems like a good option for the taller person. If the Brompton was too tight a fit then 20 inch wheels are best and the BYB has a small footprint.
That one looks quite nice, but $1.2k is a spicy bite for their lower-end version. That might be a candidate for my next folder, though, sometime in the next year or two.
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Old 07-24-19, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ImplodingVoice View Post
Hi, I'm starting a new thread because I couldn't find my answer by searching the archive on BikeForums.
I'm interested in the most compact bikes, whether they don't fold at all or they do fold or break apart (such as the Moulton).
My purpose is to have a bike which I can occasionally bring inside a music club or possibly onto a train, to avoid bringing my car into New York.
I've never driven a bike in New York, but I'm ready to do it because walking takes such a long time between, for example, Penn Station and the subway, then from the subway to the final destination. I do know some clubs which will allow me to bring a small bicycle inside, but not a full-sized frame.

In my research, the vintage DiBlasi was the smallest practical bicycle, but I can't locate a used DiBlasi here in the US.
I'd like to be able to load a small bag somewhere; otherwise I'll need to wear a backpack which I understand is less comfortable than a rack.
I tried the Brompton and I'm too long and feel cramped. I may have to sacrifice comfort to be compact, but I'm open to hearing suggestions here.
I'd have thought the Brompton would be top choice, but you say its too cramped.
There are quite a few options for handlebars and such for the Brompton for taller/shorter riders.
So maybe its just a matter of the one you tried not being customized to you?

I'd be hard pressed to recommend another bike if the Brompton is considered too cramped. (with the right fit options and your needs to have a small fold size)
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