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  1. #1
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    Commuting and Folding Bikes

    The cummuter Rail where I live is stuck in the dark ages and only allows Folding bikes... Whats the best one... Dahon... I am looking for something in the style of a Cross country bike...

  2. #2
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    The 'best' one might have to be decided by your budget. Dahon and Downtube offer pretty good value for a reasonable price. Dahon probably has the widest product line of folding bikes.

    A lot of folks consider the Bike Fridays to be the best made, but of course there's a price for that.

    The most convenient fold and tiniest size for a really rideable folding bike seems to belong to the Bromptons, but they are also a higher-priced line.

    I won't even discuss the barely-rideable novelties that trade on being the very smallest. They don't serve for more than very short distances on the smoothest of surfaces.

  3. #3
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    Camfan, you`re welcome to ask here, but I think you`ll get more info from the folders subforum on bfnet:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=221

  4. #4
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    I tried a modern Dahon 20" wheeled bike and didn't like it. It felt flimsy, not like it would fall apart, but the rigidity of it while pedaling was poor. It also doesn't have the rolling abilities of a road bike with 700c wheels. In reality, a folding bike is not very portable. It's awkward to carry and there's no easy way to carry it, thus making it feel heavy. I'll stick with a full sized bike for now.

  5. #5
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by newaccount
    I tried a modern Dahon 20" wheeled bike and didn't like it. It felt flimsy, not like it would fall apart, but the rigidity of it while pedaling was poor. It also doesn't have the rolling abilities of a road bike with 700c wheels. In reality, a folding bike is not very portable. It's awkward to carry and there's no easy way to carry it, thus making it feel heavy. I'll stick with a full sized bike for now.
    I would imagine the BF models pretty much take care of that flimsiness- for a price. Crazyguy features several journals with people doing long distance tours on them.
    Yeah, they don`t look like they`re very easy to lug around on and off of commuter busses. Probably more suited to throwing in the trunk of your car (or checked once on a Greyhound) for a weekend getaway. I`ve never tried one at all, but I like the idea for those weekend trips.

  6. #6
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    I have a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket and it is every bit as fast as my Merlin road bike. The thing just screams along. If you didn't look down, you wouldn't know you weren't on a full sized wheel road machine. It looks like a clown bike, but it performs very nicely. The only thing is that if you stand and mash or sit and pull back firmly, there is some flex in the handlebar area.

    They also make bikes that are more touring oriented like the Pocket Crusoe and New World Tourist that use the same effective wheel diameter (both 20 inches: 409c vs 451c) that use V as opposed to caliper brakes.

    Note that none of these would replace a mountain bike for offroad. A 20" wheel just won't deal with offroad obstacles or go up and down curbs like a normal bike. For nomral potholes and the like on a road, basic gravel, or bike path, however they do quite well.
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  7. #7
    weirdo
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    Tscheezy, if you keep talking like that, you`re gonna cost me some money.

  8. #8
    PCC
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    I thought about this bike but it is a bit out of my price range and, for the money, it's really heavy.

  9. #9
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    I fully support folding bike as a commuter use.

    When weather is fine, just cycle on the road. If poor weather, just ride to nearest the train station and fold them up.



    When it's time to go, is time to go.
    Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing

  10. #10
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    The Bike Friday Tikit is worth a look. It's the fastest-folding and -unfolding bike I've ever seen. (Search Youtube for some videos). The Tikit is designed specifically for those who bike to and from a train or a bus.

    I've test-ridden some Bike Friday models, and also a Brompton. I have good opinions about both those brands.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    The Bike Friday Tikit is worth a look. It's the fastest-folding and -unfolding bike I've ever seen. (Search Youtube for some videos). The Tikit is designed specifically for those who bike to and from a train or a bus.

    I've test-ridden some Bike Friday models, and also a Brompton. I have good opinions about both those brands.
    Here's the video of the Tikit.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQscBxx7wLE

    The pedals fold up too.
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  12. #12
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    consider the Xootr/Swift

    I ride a Swift folder fixed gear. It took a little getting used to coming off of a 700c fixed gear, but after two years on it I wonder how I ever got along without it. The bike handles a 26 mile RT commute with aplomb, and when the rains start, I fold it up and duck into the subway. You can buy one new (8 speed) for under $700. Or you can do what I did and order the frame/fork/seatpost/stem direct from Peter Reich, then put together a custom project. I looked at a number of folders before going with the Swift: Brompton, Dahon, Airnimal, Birdy, Bike Friday. They each have something different to offer. I new I wanted a bike that used nonproprietary components and that would handle he rigors of fixed gear riding. That left me with the Airnimal, the Friday or the Swift (although Dahon has an option that works, I know now). Requiring the bike to fold easily without tools left me with the Swift. The Swift could easily be set up with off road (BMX) tires and v brakes. I don't know that I would feel comfortable taking any folding bike with a long stempost over the rough stuff, but my Swift is easy to hop up curbs and the like. Good luck with your search.
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  13. #13
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    Fixed Dahon?

    [QUOTE=buddhak I wanted a bike that used nonproprietary components and that would handle he rigors of fixed gear riding. That left me with the Airnimal, the Friday or the Swift (although Dahon has an option that works, I know now). [/QUOTE]

    Which Dahon will take a fixed gear?

  14. #14
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    Dahon Cadenza Solo is a fixed/single speed bike.

    It come with a flip-flop hub and bull-horn handlebar
    When it's time to go, is time to go.
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  15. #15
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    Wow I guess I'm late to the party. I have a few Dahon's two 20 incher's and two 26'ers. My 20 inch Dahon's are a Speed D7 (Dahon's entry model bike) and the Jetstream P8 (a medium grade full suspension bike). The 26 inch Dahons that I own are a Dahon Jack and a Dahon Fuego (a true full suspension portable but not folding bike with a Reba SL fork and a Manitou Swinger shock).

    Here are my impressions of the 20 inch Dahon bikes.

    The Speed D7 is a decent starter bike if you want to pedal it around the city but you'll quickly destroy if you use it to pedal for miles on end. However for 2-4 mile journeys it isn't too bad. If you jump off a sidewalk or meet the occaisional railroad track you'll destroy your Speed D7 in no time.

    The Jetstream P8 is a great bike and is much more durable than the Speed D7. The full suspension on the Jetstream P8 allows you to survive mildly stressful city riding conditions and let's you take potholes and even occaisionally jump off of sidewalks without seriously thrashing the bike. I think the newer ones are $800 however older models can be found for $680+. In terms of portability this is a portable bike so all you have to do is throw it into the trunk and pull it out whenever you feel like like riding. However it's not something that you would simply sling on your back and walk around with.
    In terms of commuting going seven or even ten miles isn't too much of a problem. However I think a 26 incher with a 44 or even 42 t chainring will easily outrun the Jetstream.

    26 inch bikes.

    Fuego. The Fuego has been discontinued but it was Dahon's first attempt at building a proper full suspension mountain bike. I've taken the Fuego down therock garden known as the chutes at Santiago Oaks and the bike was able to handle it with some difficulty,of course I was running 50 psi for the rear shock so that probably has alot to do with it. However the Fuego is doesn't just fold up it actually needs to be disassembled,although it can be broken down into a form that will fit into any trunk.

    The other Dahon I have is the Jack. Dahon's 26 inch folding bike. This thing is a real workhorse and is moderately priced (although it's not as cheap as the Speed D7). You can jump of sidewalks without thrashing the bike too badly,although the front wheel may eventually go out of true. It feels more durable and sturdy than the Speed D7 and even the full suspension Jetstream P8. I've swapped out the rigid fork on mine and added a Fox F80 fork and a code 5 front disc brake. It's a fun bike to ride and it can be easily upgraded with all sorts of crazy hardware.

    Everyone who has ridden the Jack likes it best out of three folders (note that I count the Fuego as a portable bike and not a folder). It's just beefier and a little more stable. However the Jack does have it's downsides,first of all it's bigger than the other folders making it harder to accomodate in some car trunks. For example if I ride the Jetstream I can just throw it into my cousin's Lexus IS 350 trunk after I fold it. If I'm riding the Jack I have to take off front and rear wheels before I can put it into his trunk,making it somewhat less convenient.

    If you have the space I would suggest the Jack it's reasonably priced at an MSRP of $521 and it can take some abuse.

  16. #16
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    For fast, simple folding and convenience in packing along on the bus or the train, the Brompton and the Tikit are pretty close competitors. The Tikit isn't cheap, at around $1300 for the bike with front and rear racks; the Brompton is a bit more, and is a little neater fold... virtually turning itself into a rolling briefcase.

    I have a Tikit, which I keep folded under my desk for business trips and errands around the campus...
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  17. #17
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    another vote for the swift.

    i bought the stock bike from xootr, then began replacing some parts like saddle, bar, tires, and a rear wheel to go fixed. fairly light, quite stiff, and fast.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiatkiat
    I fully support folding bike as a commuter use.

    When weather is fine, just cycle on the road. If poor weather, just ride to nearest the train station and fold them up.



    I bought a Dahon Fox folding bike in China (2008), it looks a lot like yours. It came with a Fox suspension fork.



    However, it only has a 6-speed in the rear (freewheel, not casette). Budget Shimano rear derailleur, grip shifters. It looks like you upgraded yours:

    - Scott wheels
    - 8 speed cassette?
    - better derailleurs
    - trigger shifters

    Can you comment more on your upgrades?

    What kind of tires are you running?

  19. #19
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    New here and more or less bike clueless. I can mess with some things and change tires, but custom stuff is not my thing.

    I do have a question...did not know a "commuter folder" thread existed and it prompted me to join and ask. I might be doing this all wrong. If so, sorry, no clue/

    I just acquired a Swift Xooter to replace a CF rig.

    The bike is a 8-speed 20" wheel folder, as most here likely know. The bike is built with a 1 1/8 threaded fork. Apparently the steer tube narrows to 1" for top inch or so, which seems unusual (2-dimension steer tube) to me, but what do I know?

    I have not received the bike yet, but I planned to swap fork for a "suspension" version.
    And, to that end I acquired a new Suntour 20" suspension fork having 1 1/8 threaded fork with 188mm steer tube.

    Anyone do this and can offer advice on what I am in for and/or what to do. Small town and LBS might not be able to help.
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  20. #20
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    I had to google that bike. Had no idea what it was.

    The spec sheet lists the fork as being "straight taper". I have no idea what that is. It's not a standard definition for anything I know. Maybe it is for folding bikes. I have no idea. The fork you bought may or may not work. Maybe it'll need more parts. No clue. Details on the headset would be useful, which the company conveniently doesn't provide.

    FWIW, tapered steerers are not unusual. Most mtb's sold now use a steerer that's 1.5" at the bottom and 1 1/8" at the top. That type of steerer is getting more common on cyclocross and road bikes, too.

  21. #21
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    Harold, appreciate the response. The specs given to me are: 158mm is the length of the steerer. 25.4mm (1-inch) is the OD of the steerer stub that sticks up through the frame (which is likely the headset so 1 1/8" for 120mm and narrows to 1” for the remaining 38mm.

    Might be tapered but have to wait on delivery to judge. Seems logical to be able to alter is needed to match headset, threaded or threadless, but like I implied, no real experience with bikes, just a guess. I expect it to show in next day or so, and will see what is what.

    Twenty-inch suspension or BMX sized forks appear to be rare, so I just bought was matched the listed specs and above the closest. But, seems to me I should be able to cobble up something that functions.
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  22. #22
    weirdo
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    I kind of doubt you`ll be able to get a suspension fork to fit that frame, hopefully I`m wrong about that. Your best resource will probably be the folders subforums on bikeforums.net. If you don`t end up managing a boingy fork on there, you might find fatter tires to be a good compromise- Big Apples are available in 20 x 2.0 (406 sizing, which the Xootr specs imply). I have used them on a BikeFriday Llama and found them to be quite comfy. Just make sure before ordering that they will physically fit the frame and that your rims are in fact 406 bead diameter, not 451. Since the bike uses V-brakes, fit is probably okay, the Kwest tires that come on the bike (decent tires also, BTW) will be marked with the "official" metric sizing, should say "38-406" or something very similar. The 406 part is important. If they say "something-451", it`s skinny tires only for you.
    Recalculating....

  23. #23
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    Outstanding and I thank you. I thought about 2" Schwalbe BAs or Marathons, if the shock fork was snafu. I have no idea, but seems to me I should be able to install a threadless headset (I guess this Sun fork works with both ?).

    But do prefer the original quill, tube etc, even with balloon tires.

    Interesting project that is a must, as I just sold my 26" bike a few minutes ago...

    Then there is a hope I might be able to install a front hub e-motor at some point. I live on a half mile uphill grade which makes is a PIA for me.

    The folder might be a well made and practical compromise.

    Love to tinker and most appreciative of your kind help...most appreciative.

    I am learning.
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  24. #24
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    I have received the bike and crazy but the fork I was advised as being threaded, is threadless 1 1/8 up and down. I would guess

    I should be able acquire a threadless fork and cut it to match (has a notch in top also also) or use the current fork i f long enough and cut to match, and install with some sort of adapter to add to threaded section to strengthen. Unless there is a better means. I know I can buy a threadless fork that is longer than I need and may be best in long run, if just cutting to match is all it will take.

    I understand it will take up to 2" adding link to chain and filing rear dropout a bit to make room...but I will max with 1.75 Schwalbe tires. With th

    Am learning...as I said. If I am off base, don't hesitate to boot me.
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  25. #25
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    when i lived in L.A I commuted on a Brompton and a Montague Paratrooper. i prefer the Brompton it can take mild curb props all day long, folds fast+easy and so compact, it can fit under seats, or between your legs on trains and buses, allowing one to cover great distances. The rear suspension allows for higher pressure narrower tires. Also, it can instantly be adjusted to fit your smaller/bigger spouse/partner/friend. The Monty Troopers are a blast on/off road and are tuff-as-nails..they are lightweight, but a large awkward size/shape when folded, and front tire must be removed.

  26. #26
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    I really checked around and pinged lots of people before I bought this bike, and I believe it to be a very fine piece of machinery, and low cost.

    I am still fiddling with assembling the Xootr Swift...

    Looking hard at the fork etc as I am taking my time and learning. Trying to follow manual exactly.

    I had planned to add a shock fork. Seller said bike had threaded 1 1/8 with 1-inch upper...manual says 1 1/8 threadless and that appears wrong.

    The upper steerer at 1 inch sticks up a few inches to let the riser slip over it and be clamped.

    What I have not done is disassemble the headset assy to see how the tube goes from 1 1/8 to 10 inch...if steel, I suppose it is a weld but wonder about the threads etc and size.

    Probably best I just sell the new SCT SR Sun suspension fork and just install a 2-inch 406 tire for ride and cushion and a 1.75 on rear...likely Schwalbe tires, and use current tubes.

    I get assembled later and weather prevents me from sailing...looking gloomy...will report more.

    Like I said, am learning...a lot...about bikes.

    Cannot comment more on bike as it is still unassembled, save it seems very well made, and folds up fairly small.

    The idea it will fit inside a Samsonite Pullman with the rear wheel on seems quite a plus!
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  27. #27
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    Things work out in spite of all.

    I did get the shock fork. 1 1/8 threaded, with 88mm steerer. Should do trick.

    I also found out the fork on the stock Xootr Swift is tapered but is turned that way...threaded...bottom is 1 1/8-inch top is 1-inch. Sharp change in OD and defined radius at joint, turned or welded, with 400mm thread. I do not know length of sections but that may not make difference.

    Material is 4130 steel. I figure to insert .800 OD tube into the current fork, using epoxy to fasten it (if works for golf clubs...) and threading top...still might remove stock fork to measure...but that too may work out to be not needed.

    Interesting project.

    If you can suggest a source for heavy duty shock springs that will fit the XCT Suntour fork, I would be grateful if you posted or PM'd to me.
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  28. #28
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    I finally got to ride the Xootr Swift. Different than 26 rig. Way lighter and almost too nimble, but that may be due to being unaccustomed to the new ride. The geometry is very near Mtb but 406 is different.

    BTW, the Swift frames are all the same...if you think you want upright ride position, order the xxl version...get the longer riser for free.

    I had to buy longer riser and add 1.75 rear tire...and included the Cane Creek Thudbuster as it is mounted to very wide diameter seat tube...price seems right.

    Ride is fine so far, though have to get used to smaller/lower wheel set. Still, well designed and sturdy rig. Simple. And it does fold in a snap.

    I also like the 36 spoke wheels, and heavy rims.

    I had planned to add a suspension fork...xct jr (406) SR Suntour suspension fork...not many 406 forks around...to match the seat thingy.

    But, need to add slightly stiffer springs...SR Suntour was helpful, but do not have specs on hand to offer sizes etc...

    So, any hints as to replacing the springs? Or, am I screwed and should just sell...the little fork is new etc?
    Last edited by bobbill; 10-19-2016 at 10:28 AM.
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  29. #29
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    Glad you have the bike now and have gotten to try it out. That "too nimble" feeling goes away pretty quickly (did for me, at least).

    Strangely, one of the more curiouser aspects of riding a folding bike was totally unexpected, and really drove me nuts. That`s the missing top tube. I never paid much mind to it, but they come in handy way more often than you`d think until you don`t have it any more. Trying to dig around in a front bag while straddling the bike and it suddenly slides out and falls between your legs, hop off and go to grab the TT to hoist the bike up a set of steps and you only get ahold of a handful of air, even stopping at a signal and having nothing to lean against your leg. I never got used to that part!

    I have no idea about the springs for your fork. One other resource you might try for things related to small wheels is bentrideronline.com Most recumbents use at least one sub-26 wheel, and that particular forum is by far the most trafficed for `bents. Their classified section might also be an outlet for you if you decide to sell the fork. Also, be sure to check in with the folder subforum on bikeforums.net- a lot of other Swift pilots out there to hit up for model specific needs or just to yack with.
    Recalculating....

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Glad you have the bike now and have gotten to try it out. That "too nimble" feeling goes away pretty quickly (did for me, at least).

    Strangely, one of the more curiouser aspects of riding a folding bike was totally unexpected, and really drove me nuts. That`s the missing top tube. I never paid much mind to it, but they come in handy way more often than you`d think until you don`t have it any more. Trying to dig around in a front bag while straddling the bike and it suddenly slides out and falls between your legs, hop off and go to grab the TT to hoist the bike up a set of steps and you only get ahold of a handful of air, even stopping at a signal and having nothing to lean against your leg. I never got used to that part!

    I have no idea about the springs for your fork. One other resource you might try for things related to small wheels is bentrideronline.com Most recumbents use at least one sub-26 wheel, and that particular forum is by far the most trafficed for `bents. Their classified section might also be an outlet for you if you decide to sell the fork. Also, be sure to check in with the folder subforum on bikeforums.net- a lot of other Swift pilots out there to hit up for model specific needs or just to yack with.
    Thanks.

    Exactly my feeling. Standing over it, just enough to hold up...no leaning against a post or tree for a second...but added a two-legged kickstand and hope it helps.

    Still, with narrower grips, it is different ride, but that is not a complaint. Just different.

    Will try the bent site, but seems they are not big on shock forks, as I recall.
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