Budget Folding Bike

locutus243

New Member
Hiya guys,

I've been toying with the idea of a folding bike for a while. I want to use it so I can park a little bit further away form work and avoid horrible parking charges and cycle down the canal into work (less than 1 mile).

So really it doesn't need to go very far, I just want something that will fit in my boot, fold up and down pretty easily and get me short distances.

Because its got a simple use and I'm still not 'sold' I was looking at budget options. Saw an Apollo in Halfords yesterday and also the Challenge Holborn from Argos for £130.
I'm determined not to pay more than £200 ...but was wondering if there was any thoughts on the best option under this price point?

I realise that I'd be better spending a little bit more for longevity and that ideally I should be getting a Brompton or Dahon, but as I'm not quite convinced about the whole idea that's why I'm shopping at this value.

Thanks for any help you can give
 

Cycleops

Guru
Location
Accra, Ghana
I should look second hand to get the best value. Plenty of stuff that's maybe seen little use:
https://www.gumtree.com/bicycles/uk/folding+bike
 
I'd look at decathlon. Definitely stay away from Argos for bikes, though last I checked @Justinslow loves his Argos road bike.

Second hand you should definitely look at Mezzos (I own one). They were very good and competitive with the Brompton, but they couldn't defeat the giant, so have been discontinue. If you could pick one up in your budget in good condition, you'd be doing brilliantly, though gumtree looks like they go for a bit more than that.
 
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locutus243

New Member
Thank you for all your responses. I did try the Argos one...alas, it ended up too big for my boot (and larger than the dimensions they posted on their website). So while Argos bikes may be more durable than we thought...their website was a little misleading. However, they were great at giving me my money back without quibble.

So now I have a somewhat limited choice from these four options:

Apollo Tuck
http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/folding-bikes/apollo-tuck-folding-bike
Ford B Max
http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/folding-bikes/ford-b-max-16in-folding-bike-unisex
Kingston Freedom
http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/folding-bikes/kingston-freedom-20-inch-folding-bike-6-speed
Orbita Eurobici
http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/folding-bikes/orbita-eurobici-6-speed-folding-bike-with-20in-wheels-black

Wondered if anyone had any experience of any of them?
 

kingrollo

Über Member
For that sort of budget go used.
The thing is with folders a decent one is a totally different proposition to a budget one. I got a tern link n8 reduced from £600 to just over £400 - my colleague brought a £150 from amazon. (very heavy)

My colleague hurt her shoulder getting hers in and out of the car - and found folding it to much bother.

Mine is quite a bit lighter and folds pretty good, and rides nice as well - Im still using it 6 months on. This is one of the few areas where you do need to invest a decent wedge to make the whole think viable. Believe me a budget folder will make you groan at the thought of folding unfolding - you might not think it it now - but it does. Like yourself mine is to make life a bit easier so I am only riding about 5-10 mins twice a day- but thats only a fraction of the considerations when buying a folder

downsides of the tern ? the folded package is still quite large - and the idea of securing the package with a magnet doesn't work - I use an extra strap - also the chain is exposed meaning you have to adopt a pretty strict handling routine to avoid oil getting on you clothes. A more expensive brompton would solve all these issues - if I were buying again thats what I would buy (and I am by no means a rich bloke)

You can get a used Tern on ebay for £200-£250 if you must stick to that budget.

A budget folder doesn't work - thats why Brompton are selling loads at £1k per bike. Harsh reality I wouldn't bother with any of those listed. .....Sorry....
 

Jason

Senior Member
Location
Carnaby Street
no experience with this, but had the Triban T3 a few years back,and have only praise for Decathlon and the bikes they sell.

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/tilt-120-folding-bike-red-id_8378488.html

I currently have a Dahon Mu P8 which i absolutely love, the fold isn't as small as a Brompton, but then it has 20" wheels, which i found ride much better than the Bromptons I tested. It easily keeps up with Boris bikes and MTB commuters
My advice would be go try a few out, as i was sold on a brommie until I tested some alternatives.
 
For less than a mile on a tow path, the B-Max bike may be the best.

Single speed for light weight and simplicity, and the 16" wheels will give a smaller folded package than 20".

It looks tolerably well made - for a £200 bike.
 

clockworksimon

Well-Known Member
Here's a link from earlier this year on the same question.
https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/decathlon-btwin-hoptown-320-folding-bike.212283/page-2
I am still using my 'supe'd' up decathlon Btwin Hoptown 300. Used it yesterday to avoid car parking charges to get in and out of Chester city centre. Unless you have lots of spare bits and enjoy fettling I would go for the hoptown 320 which has gears, folding pedals and mudguards. I was initially fine with single speed on the cheaper hoptown 300 but preferr to have higher gear inches. It is about 54 inches and the standard freewheel can only be destructively removed.

Contrary to earlier comments in rhe thread the frame is not flexible and it has a lifetime guarantee. The fold is okay and fits easily into the boot of my MPV. Earlier in tbe summer I rode mine up Kirkstone pass on tbe Lake District after fitting a double chainset. Got some fumny looks from other cyclists!

If you dont have a Decathlon near by, I reckon that the Halfords folder will be decent too. I was looking at them too.
 
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locutus243

New Member
Once again thank you all for your comments.

I had just about plumped for the Ford B-Max (and yes, I realise this process seems awfully drawn out for a £200 bike!)...when I found an advert on eBay for a used Dahon. Bearing in mind the comments earlier in the thread I wondered if this might be a better option. It's described as a Dahon Speed. But I'm not sure how old it is.
Has anyone any experience of this model?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dahon-Speed-Folding-Bike-/132303297983?hash=item1ecde41dbf:g:sKMAAOSwl0tZm947

Thanks

Mark
 

Jason

Senior Member
Location
Carnaby Street
The brackets and levers are identical to my 2013 Dahon Mu P8 ,but the V frame at the bottom of the seat post is different. If I was to hazard a guess .... Maybe 2010 ish
 

bonzobanana

Senior Member
The best value folding bike I've seen for a long time is the Greenway. It's got some high quality components and is lightish. More expensive but very good are the two Carrera models at Halfords.

http://greenwaycycles.co.uk/folding/27-greenway.html

It's also available at ebay and Amazon if you prefer to buy through those.

The 2 sub £200 models at Decathlon are terrible. The Argos bikes are generally poor and have very low rider weight limits for some reason. Most of the online bikes sub £200 are basically very entry level components with low end freewheels etc. There has been many recalls on Tern and Dahon folding bikes, I'm not a fan of their entry level bikes and their weight limits are lower than some other brands.

Another option is the bicycles4u direct seller. They do some good quality entry level bikes. Still freewheels etc but generally better made and a bit cheaper. The Oslo Explorer is a good budget option.

https://bicycles4u.com/collections/folding-bikes/products/oslo-explorer?variant=836214267

My last suggestion is a sports direct bike. Generally not a company well regarded with many due to the way they have treated their staff but this bike is superb for the money featuring a nexus 7 hub.

http://www.sportsdirect.com/muddyfox-evolve200-folding-city-bike-938023?colcode=93802330

Really though the Greenway bike is the best value here. They've had a range of great value bikes at very competitive prices recently and as they have sold out they have replaced them with inferior models. The Greenway folding bike probably once sold out will be replaced by something much worse that is only slightly cheaper going by what has happened with their other models. The current model is exceptional value.
 

jgillich

Member
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