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Wanted: Multi-speed Foldable w 16" wheels

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Wanted: Multi-speed Foldable w 16" wheels

Old 10-17-19, 05:32 PM
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Luckyword1
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Wanted: Multi-speed Foldable w 16" wheels

I'm in the market for a 6-speed folding bike with 16" wheels and am looking for suggestions/advice.


For years, I had a very old Dahon Mariner with 20" wheels that was a blast. I recently sold it on Craigs because it was somewhat cumbersome to pack and unpack into a 29" Samonsite suitcase before trips on Southwest to various conventions around the US.


I'm looking for something that I'm going to lock outside convention centers (during the day) with several locks. I do practice good lock etiquette -- I usually use two U Locks that lock the bike to a solid pole, with as minimal wiggle room as possible, looped through the frame and both wheels.


I'll keep it indoors at night, of course.


It's not realistic to roll it into convention centers, given the airplane style cramped seating at these conventions...


I like Brompton but they look like thief magnets when parked outside, and are pretty darn expensive compared to other options.


Citizen Bike looks really good, and I've been surprised to see posts complain about the weight of the bike -- because, unless I'm overlooking something, Citizen Bikes are only about three pounds heavier than many Bromptons and Dahons.


I'm open to any suggestions, new or used, and have been scouting Craigslist and EBay. Only requirements..


16" wheels and multi-speed (so I can go fast).


If you know of good new or used models that are 16" and multi-speed, please do share what model(s) you can recommend. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.


Happy Wheeling!
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Old 10-17-19, 05:54 PM
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Old 10-17-19, 06:29 PM
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GOOD LOCK?

The Bike Friday PakIt comes with 16" wheels, and is deasigned to be packed rapidly. I assume the backpack is airline appropriate.

You can get it with an IGH multi-speed, also a belt drive.

Prices do add up.

There is a guy on this forum working with Oragami, although I'm not sure what they offer.

There should be quite a few other options.
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Old 10-17-19, 07:12 PM
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Pretty happy with my Bike Friday pakiT:
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Old 10-17-19, 07:23 PM
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Dahon Curl i8 - has 8 speeds, I know that is more than 6 but it is better to have more than not enough.

https://usa.dahon.com/bikes/curl-i8-2/

Depending on your price point - anything is possible. I just came across the following bike from a thread several years back here on BF. It is a 20" wheel bike with a TON of gears and breaks down pretty darn small. As the disclaimer alludes to - it is a pretty complicated build. Look at the pictures of it collapsed, though, and you can see just how much ingenuity went in to it (and apparently there were lots of "learning" projects to dial in the details in other frames that didn't quite make the grade).

One note I will throw out there - if you simply just scan the pictures and don't read it - the bike doesn't simply "fold" like a lot of the commercial ones (like the Dahon you had). There is only one part that folds - the rear wheel along the chainstays. The rest of the small package of the bike is from components that come apart entirely, then re-attach to attachment points for stowage. I don't think that should be a deterrent to anyone that wants as compact of a package as possible - by having parts that break apart like that it actually should be seen as a huge benefit because you gain another world of what is possible. You aren't held back from the limitations of geometry that fixed hinges hold you to.

I presume you could adopt the same theory to a 16" wheel if you really wanted that specific wheel size. Then again, going full custom like this you could do all kinds of neat stuff.

https://drewdevereux.wordpress.com/2...portable-bike/
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Old 10-17-19, 08:02 PM
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I got the Dahon Curl i8 in June. I really enjoy riding it. I've been a road bike guy till recently. After some tinkering and minor adjustments, it is now my go to bike for casual rides under 20 miles. And I've traveled with it in a suitcase on one business trip and one fun time to Aruba. Both trips were hassle free and very enjoyable.
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Old 10-17-19, 08:39 PM
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Look at https://www.downtube.com/downtube-mi...-folding-bike/ and https://www.greenzonebikes.com/commuter-bikes

Prices on Downtube fluctuate
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Old 10-17-19, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Luckyword1 View Post
For years, I had a very old Dahon Mariner with 20" wheels that was a blast. I recently sold it on Craigs because it was somewhat cumbersome to pack and unpack into a 29" Samonsite suitcase before trips on Southwest to various conventions around the US.
Even though the bike folded is notably larger than carry-on allowance, members of the Brompton Mafia carry on their Bromptons on Southwest flights. If they allow that for Bromptons, they should allow it for Dahon EEZZ D3s (folds to a different shape but about the same size as a Brompton) or a Dahon Curl (folds smaller).

Both the EEZZ D3 and the Curl will drop into an airline 'legal' suitcase with no disassembly - but you'd want to pad them inside the suitcase, of course.
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Old 10-18-19, 09:18 AM
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Downtube Mini

Dahon Curve

Dahon Eezz 16

Origami Wasp

I own a Dahon Curve, Downtube Mini, and an Origami Wasp. All good bikes,...
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Old 10-18-19, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Luckyword1 View Post
I16" wheels and multi-speed (so I can go fast).
Yeah, thing is, many of the suggestions are more expensive than I'd feel comfortable locking up outside in public for a day. Shrug, maybe that's just me.

So, multi-speed, right, but run the numbers on the top gear ratio of some of the lower-cost options. These 16" wheel bikes typically aren't' geared very high, so no 'going fast'.

Hmm. That Downtube Mini with the Sturmey-Archer 8-speed hub doesn't list the chainwheel and cog size but claims a 91 gear inch top gear. Hmm.
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Old 10-18-19, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mirfi View Post
That's a silly marketing game.
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Old 10-18-19, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Yeah, thing is, many of the suggestions are more expensive than I'd feel comfortable locking up outside in public for a day. Shrug, maybe that's just me.
Keep an eye out on the used market.

Around here, Bike Fridays show up from time to time. I don't think I've seen the Pakit yet, but the Tikit bikes pop up from time to time.

https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/...997415408.html

Drop bars are likely an end user addon.

Bromptons show up periodically. I don't see any around here at the moment, but this one has a similar fold to the Bromptons.

https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/b...988543604.html

Of course, other used sources too.
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Old 10-18-19, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post

So, multi-speed, right, but run the numbers on the top gear ratio of some of the lower-cost options. These 16" wheel bikes typically aren't' geared very high, so no 'going fast'.

Hmm. That Downtube Mini with the Sturmey-Archer 8-speed hub doesn't list the chainwheel and cog size but claims a 91 gear inch top gear. Hmm.
Downtube website pic looks like a large chainring. A 52/25 with the the SA 8spd on 305 tires gets you 28/91gi .. seems reasonable.
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Old 10-18-19, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
So, multi-speed, right, but run the numbers on the top gear ratio of some of the lower-cost options. These 16" wheel bikes typically aren't' geared very high, so no 'going fast'.
There are a few options.

I run a relatively large chainring on my Pocket Rocket. Actually, too large for my rear-end on the bike, but I was having fun experimenting.



20" (451) wheels, of course. The ring is still smaller than the cranset, and the bike packs into my suitcase just fine.

The other option is the Dual Drive. I think Sachs/SRAM is discontinuing theirs, but there is a Sturmey Archer version.

Sturmey-Archer | CS-RK3 Silver

Center direct drive.
First gear, 75%, 3rd gear, 133%.

It more than makes up for having a single front chainring, and gives good overall gearing.

Most internal gear hubs will also give a similar gearing range.

Couple that with say a 11/25 or so cassette, and one is doing well.
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Old 10-18-19, 02:22 PM
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One of the issues with folding bikes is there are few stores that keep them in stock (not counting NY). So for any new one we end up ordering it off Amazon.

For one to actually buy one after touching it is usually off of Craigslist.
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Old 10-18-19, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
...but this one has a similar fold to the Bromptons.

https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/b...988543604.html
So, $600 for a three-speed Brompton knock-off of unknown pedigree and providence?

For some on the list that will be the greatest thing ever, but I'm not feeling it. $60~$70 more will get you a three-speed Dahon.

Last edited by tcs; 10-18-19 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 10-18-19, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
Downtube Mini

Dahon Curve

Dahon Eezz 16

Origami Wasp

I own a Dahon Curve, Downtube Mini, and an Origami Wasp. All good bikes,...
Hey TDS101, would you be able to do a post comparing the pro's and con's of the 3 bikes?
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Old 10-18-19, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Luckyword1 View Post
I'm in the market for a 6-speed folding bike with 16" wheels and am looking for suggestions/advice.
I'm looking for something that I'm going to lock outside convention centers (during the day) with several locks. I do practice good lock etiquette -- I usually use two U Locks that lock the bike to a solid pole, with as minimal wiggle room as possible, looped through the frame and both wheels.
16" wheels and multi-speed (so I can go fast).
If you know of good new or used models that are 16" and multi-speed, please do share what model(s) you can recommend. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.
Happy Wheeling!
If you are interested in a project, you could always buy a Dahon Curve D3, then upgrade it to 8 gears with a Sturmey Archer X-RF8. Here is mine. It is plenty fast at over 98 gear inches in top gear.
https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-b...8-120-old.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-b...tes-later.html

Doing the same project, but with an S-RF5 would give you a quieter hub with a nice range of gear inches.

Although I've never ridden a Downtube mini, it is similar to a Dahon Curve and comes with X-RF8
https://www.downtube.com/downtube-mi...-folding-bike/
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Old 10-18-19, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
So, $600 for a three-speed Brompton knock-off of unknown pedigree and providence?

For some on the list that will be the greatest thing ever, but I'm not feeling it. $60~$70 more will get you a three-speed Dahon.
Hmmm...
https://jcat.bike/

It looks like that points one right back to Seattle.

It apparently has an aluminum frame, but does the double fold of the Brompton, and thus is more compact than the Dahon... I think. Small and fat?

It does have the 3 speed. I didn't realize the Bromptons required a chain tensioner.
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Old 10-19-19, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
...but does the double fold of the Brompton...
The jcat folds with the drivetrain to the outside, not the inside like the Brompton.

...is more compact than the Dahon...


Sometimes an actual comparison yields different results than comparing spec sheets. I'd like to get a real, in the metal Brompton and a real, in the metal Dahon EEZZ D3 next to each other to ascertain the validity of that statement.

Last edited by tcs; 10-19-19 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 10-19-19, 03:11 PM
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Downtube Mini Folding bicycle

From our very own Jur.
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Old 10-19-19, 05:49 PM
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The adjustable handlebar seems an improvement but how flexy is it?
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Old 10-25-19, 04:20 PM
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The BF with a carbon drive and 11 speed will be the best bike you can buy. Cost a little more than others but it will also ride better and you don't HAVE to leave it outside if you don't want to. Travelled a few times with a pakiT and it worked perfectly!
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Old 10-25-19, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarlybart View Post
The BF with a carbon drive and 11 speed will be the best bike you can buy. Cost a little more than others but it will also ride better and you don't HAVE to leave it outside if you don't want to. Travelled a few times with a pakiT and it worked perfectly!

Thanks.

What is a "BF with a carbon drive," please? What is the make and model of the bike you're referring to, please. Thanks.
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Old 10-26-19, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Luckyword1 View Post
..What is a "BF with a carbon drive," please? What is the make and model of the bike you're referring to, please...
See post no. 4.
Bike Friday pakiT with a Gates carbon drive.
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