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Looking for a faster 20" folding bike

Old 08-09-22, 04:08 PM
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stargazer48
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Looking for a faster 20" folding bike

The last time I was on this forum was back in Dec 2014. How time flies.
Due to a hip issue that I resolved last year, I returned to biking after a 7 year absence and bought a cheap Zizzo 8 speed Liberte last December, just to see how I would do. As I got stronger, I went to a 52 chain ring this past May. I've already clocked over 1500 miles on the Zizzo in a somewhat hilly part of Georgia and find even the 52 ring is still lacking and I feel I may have outgrown the Zizzo. Recently, I started riding with roadies. While I do pretty well on 25 to 30 mile rides, riding 40+ miles with them has been a bit taxing on a the Zizzo. I'm 74 and in top cardio vascular shape and want a 9 or 18 speed folder that will respond more like a road bike. This is not my 1st folder. I bought a fast Swift folder back in 2006 that I brought to Thailand when I moved there. I even bought a 3 speed Dahon in China when I travelled there. Recently, I saw the Dahon Dash 18 and 20 which looked sweet but unfortunately has been out of production for a while. I would like to keep the price under $1000 if possible.

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Old 08-09-22, 05:08 PM
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It's a big price jump from the Zizzo, but with a 52t chainring, 10-tooth small cog, and 451 wheels the Tern Verge x11 might get you there.
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Old 08-09-22, 05:49 PM
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Did you enjoy your old Swift?
Maybe buy one second hand and adapt it to the spec you want?
Origami may also release a new Swift soon, probably disc brake equipped version. Could be an option soon.
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Old 08-09-22, 05:57 PM
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Would something like this interest you?

37-451 x 56t x 11-34t ~ 33-103GI
.
I used to own a Dahon Dash. Great bike, wish I hadn't sold it, but it would be heavier and a bigger folded size than something like this.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 08-09-22 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 08-09-22, 05:57 PM
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Another US-based option (although they have *very* long lead times and are quite pricey) is Bike Friday. They'll essentially build a bike to the spec you want them to.
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Old 08-09-22, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
Another US-based option (although they have *very* long lead times and are quite pricey) is Bike Friday. They'll essentially build a bike to the spec you want them to.
stargazer48 "I would like to keep the price under $1000 if possible."
Unfortunately the OP has a budget that leaves Bike Friday out of the equation. I'm unable to provide any suggestions, with the exception of getting a nice folder and modding the heck out of it, OR going crazy with mods on the Zizzo.
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Old 08-09-22, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by joey buzzard View Post
Did you enjoy your old Swift?
Maybe buy one second hand and adapt it to the spec you want?
Origami may also release a new Swift soon, probably disc brake equipped version. Could be an option soon.
The new Swift will will have a 58T chain ring and a 11-40 10-speed cassette for a 28 to 102.5 gear inch range. It will be plenty fast without sacrificing low-end hill-climbing ability. I should have photos of the prototypes in a few weeks.
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Old 08-10-22, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
Unfortunately the OP has a budget that leaves Bike Friday out of the equation. I'm unable to provide any suggestions, with the exception of getting a nice folder and modding the heck out of it, OR going crazy with mods on the Zizzo.
Oh yeah that's a good callout. I missed that sentence and the Tern I suggested doesn't fall in the price range either. Sorry OP! I think getting a Zizzo or Origami or another budget brand and upgrading is probably the best path forward.
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Old 08-10-22, 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
... and modding the heck out of it, OR going crazy with mods on the Zizzo.
I would go for that with the given budget; there is no point buying a new average/budget bike.

It is probably better that the OP actually pin point what is not quite right with the current bike, what he wants to do and will want to do. Then, check what the upper range folders are fitted with. Once the research is done, the OP will be able to spec upgrades.

Starting with better tyres, a bit of lightening and upgrade the groupset. With a 8 speed Altus, you can got either 1x9 or 2x9 without changing the derailleur (only the shifter(s)). or 2x10 with tiagra or 1x10 with Zee.
If the use is pure road, I'd go 2x with slicks (28-406 or 35-406).
If the use is hard pack, dirt road etc., I'd go 1x with large tyres like big apple 50-406 if it fits.

Then, Shifter choice depends of the type of bars: flat of drop.
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Old 08-10-22, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Fentuz View Post
I would go for that with the given budget; there is no point buying a new average/budget bike.

It is probably better that the OP actually pin point what is not quite right with the current bike, what he wants to do and will want to do. Then, check what the upper range folders are fitted with. Once the research is done, the OP will be able to spec upgrades.

Starting with better tyres, a bit of lightening and upgrade the groupset. With a 8 speed Altus, you can got either 1x9 or 2x9 without changing the derailleur (only the shifter(s)). or 2x10 with tiagra or 1x10 with Zee.
If the use is pure road, I'd go 2x with slicks (28-406 or 35-406).
If the use is hard pack, dirt road etc., I'd go 1x with large tyres like big apple 50-406 if it fits.

Then, Shifter choice depends of the type of bars: flat of drop.
Let em' get busy then. Honestly, with the budget and requirements, upgrades are all that's needed. The Liberte' framework is a fine canvas to start working on.
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Old 08-10-22, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
The new Swift will will have a 58T chain ring and a 11-40 10-speed cassette for a 28 to 102.5 gear inch range. It will be plenty fast without sacrificing low-end hill-climbing ability. I should have photos of the prototypes in a few weeks.
That does sound like it's worth waiting for. After you are satisfied with the prototypes, how long til it comes to market?
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Old 08-10-22, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
That does sound like it's worth waiting for. After you are satisfied with the prototypes, how long til it comes to market?
Probably 4 months.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
The new Swift will will have a 58T chain ring and a 11-40 10-speed cassette for a 28 to 102.5 gear inch range. It will be plenty fast without sacrificing low-end hill-climbing ability. I should have photos of the prototypes in a few weeks.

The gearing choice sounds superb. Fast and super capable in the hills.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
Another US-based option (although they have *very* long lead times and are quite pricey) is Bike Friday. They'll essentially build a bike to the spec you want them to.
Yes, I am quite familiar with BF.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by joey buzzard View Post
Did you enjoy your old Swift?
Maybe buy one second hand and adapt it to the spec you want?
Origami may also release a new Swift soon, probably disc brake equipped version. Could be an option soon.
As I mentioned, I was using it primarily while I lived in Thailand. I put in between 20K to 30K on it. Unlike most who used a motorcycle to get around, Yes, I enjoyed riding it a lot but for the life of me, I can't remember why I stopped riding it after 6 years and purchase a used trek mountain bike even though I didn't use it off road. Go figure.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
It's a big price jump from the Zizzo, but with a 52t chainring, 10-tooth small cog, and 451 wheels the Tern Verge x11 might get you there.
Been looking for an 8 or even a 9 speed cassette with a 10 tooth cog but haven't found any.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
The new Swift will will have a 58T chain ring and a 11-40 10-speed cassette for a 28 to 102.5 gear inch range. It will be plenty fast without sacrificing low-end hill-climbing ability. I should have photos of the prototypes in a few weeks.
Sounds great. Btw, I purchased my used Swift from Peter Reich back in 2006.
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Old 08-10-22, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by stargazer48 View Post
Been looking for an 8 or even a 9 speed cassette with a 10 tooth cog but haven't found any.
Edit: I did a bit of research and it seems like cassettes with 10-tooth cogs require a non-standard freehub body, so that's why you aren't finding any 8/9 speed cassettes with 10-tooth cogs

Have you tried just buying a 10 tooth cog and replacing the smallest cog with it?

Last edited by willydstyle; 08-10-22 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 08-10-22, 01:03 PM
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Changing some of the components would be a good exercise to test it out. That upcoming Swift bike with the 58T chainring is also interesting for increased speed.
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Old 08-10-22, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
Edit: I did a bit of research and it seems like cassettes with 10-tooth cogs require a non-standard freehub body, so that's why you aren't finding any 8/9 speed cassettes with 10-tooth cogs

Have you tried just buying a 10 tooth cog and replacing the smallest cog with it?
A 10t cog cannot be mounted on the standard Shimano/SRAM freewheel body, its too small for the diameter of the freewheel body.

The best solution to have a cassette with a 10t (or even 9t) cog because there is a relatively wide choice of cassette sizes is the SRAM XD/XDR freewheel body. All those cassettes are in 11s or 12s (Shimano has the microspline MTB freewheel body with also cassettes with a 10t cog but only in 12s for XTR. XT, SLX and Deore and a very limited choice of cassettes with on 10-45 and all other 10-50+).

But its an expensive transmission because hub, cassette and derailleur are relatively expensive, probably much too expensive for the price goal of the Origami Swift.
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Old 08-10-22, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jfouellette View Post
Changing some of the components would be a good exercise to test it out. That upcoming Swift bike with the 58T chainring is also interesting for increased speed.
I thought about putting either a 56T or 58T chainring on the Zizzo Liberte but the i bike unfolded Youtuber put a 58T on the Zizzo Forte and had chain problems which he could not figure out and went to a 52 so I'm not sure if getting one is worth while.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:27 PM
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Changing some of the components would be a good exercise to test it out. That upcoming Swift bike with the 58T chainring is also interesting for increased speed although Iím more of a smaller type since I ride in the city. You canít benefit from this size of chainring as red lights are close.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by stargazer48 View Post
I thought about putting either a 56T or 58T chainring on the Zizzo Liberte but the i bike unfolded Youtuber put a 58T on the Zizzo Forte and had chain problems which he could not figure out and went to a 52 so I'm not sure if getting one is worth while.
But he had changed cranks, bottom bracket, dersilleur, shifter the works. He kept those and went back to the original size chain ring.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jfouellette View Post
Changing some of the components would be a good exercise to test it out. That upcoming Swift bike with the 58T chainring is also interesting for increased speed although Iím more of a smaller type since I ride in the city. You canít benefit from this size of chainring as red lights are close.
I prioritize climbing so top end gear-inches in the 80s is perfectly fine for my terrain and riding style. Ergo, 50t is as big as I would need and install on a 406er. I once had a folder with 120-odd gear inches at the top. That was a total waste so I went to 1x and a more limited gearing range.
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Old 08-11-22, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon View Post
Would something like this interest you?

37-451 x 56t x 11-34t ~ 33-103GI
..i guess the numbers are not about the picture. It would appear very different in 37-451. But i would love to know how the owner managed to prepare the fork steerer tube to work with that short-clamping handlebar stem. I did that before, so i know about but i'm very curious how others did.
..sorry for OT
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