a nice folding bike for commuting in london

careta

New Member
Hi,

I'm looking for a good folding bike for my commute inside London. I've been looking at a few and the Apollo Transition and the Raleigh Swift look nice (I want something below the 200 pounds range).

What do you guys think about those - or should I consider other ones?
I'm somewhat tall and strong (1m85) so it does not need to be super light. I would prefer foldable as I will probably want to take them into a bus. I would like it to have a few gears, but nothing special because I don't need to go too fast or too steep.

Oh and something else I'd like to ask you guys: I never used a folding bike before - in fact its been about 10 years I've actually used a bike - so what are its shortcomings vs a normal mountain/hybrid bike?

Thanks!
 

marinyork

Resting in suspended Animation
Location
Logopolis
:ohmy:
The shortcomings are when you have to carry it, it does weigh a fair bit, but that's not all the time obviously.

I get a very similar speed on my brompton to the hybrid, almost identical infact, so for short journeys - 2-3 miles I'd say there aren't really any downsides apart from people want to nick them.

You should definitely consider other makes but they are more. Other than tikits, airnimals and bromptons I don't know a great deal about any others - not that I know a huge amount about those.
 

summerdays

Cycling in the sun
Location
Bristol
I use a work one rarely and I'm only 5'6 - but if I remember correctly the seat post only goes up a tiny bit more than I use - so it would be worth checking that before you buy.
 

chugsy

Senior Member
Location
Nottingham
Dahon twenty inchers can easily accomodate a 6 footer - although there is a weight limit of which I am borderline (15st+) My speed p8 has a big chainwheel and can keep up with a 'regular' bike up to 20mph - it's all down to the engine at the end of the day! If you're strapped for space they can live indoors.
 

ChrisKH

Veteran
Location
Essex
If you want to take a folder on a bus, I would say you really are restricted to a Brompton or something similarly small (ie not very many) as all other folders are just too big to get on a bus as their fold is so poor. Or is it just me who thinks so?
 

palinurus

Legendary Member
Location
Watford
Even a Brompton on a bus can be an issue if you don't bag it. Sometimes you'll encounter a jobsworth (although the one time it happened I argued my case and got on with no real hassle). Not sure what the policy is in London- best find out first though.
 
If it has to go on the bus check the bus rules first. IIRC Stagecoach (who rule the roost up here) allow folders, but the folded package is restricted in size, effectively preventing anything that's not a Brompton from being allowed on board.

I only ride a Brompton, don't have a full size bike, and started on it a year ago now as my first bike since I was a kid. So, can't comment too much on ride vs a 'normal' bike but I would hazard that the steering is vastly more direct than you might expect. I haven't yet managed to ride no-handed (although I can now, after a year, ride with one hand quite comfortably, but even that was hairy at first).
 

StuartG

slower but further
Location
SE London
Brommies are made in London for London. Tube, train or bus is no problem - you can even sneak it on the tram. If you have a problem with jobsworths elsewhere then an IKEA Dimpa bag (£2.95) is a perfect fit and folds up into something you can stuff into a bar bag.

Only problem is they are the wrong side of £600. Expensive but I've never seen anybody regret the purchase. But then a small car will cost you £6000 and is of less use in London.
 
OP
C

careta

New Member
Thanks for all the replies.

I ended up buying the Apollo Transition. Apparently Apollo is Halfords own brand, but I guess this bike is manufactured by a third party.
The quality seems pretty good...

After my first day biking in 10 years, all I can say is: this is awesome, but my ass hurts.
 

battered

Über Member
Good news. When you've got the hang of it, your arse will man up and take the beating. To an extent. Saddle design is key. It's not about padding but shape. Paradoxically an overpadded saddle creates more problems than a harder one of the right shape. The key is that you sit on your sit bones and not your testicles or anything else that shouldn't be sat on.
 

CharlieB

Junior Walker and the Allstars
battered said:
Good news. When you've got the hang of it, your arse will man up and take the beating. To an extent. Saddle design is key. It's not about padding but shape. Paradoxically an overpadded saddle creates more problems than a harder one of the right shape. The key is that you sit on your sit bones and not your testicles or anything else that shouldn't be sat on.
Exactly. I was explaining this this morning to a guy who lives near me who's just bought an MTB with a very padded saddle complaining of a sore @rse, and pointing to my very hard Brooks, asked how in earth I stood it.
 
OP
C

careta

New Member
Its a small seat, and I think it's appropriate as I have a skinny ass. The bones that hurt are on the inside of the ass, but I have no pain anywhere else.
 
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