Folding Bike Advice

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by odieboo, 11 Apr 2010.

  1. odieboo

    odieboo New Member


    Need some advice please.

    Looking at getting a folding bike as I will be moving into a new place with limited space.

    It will also be handy if I can take it on the tube/buses from time to time and I am a bit of a weakling so not too heavy, although it will mainly be folded for storage at home.

    I am on a bit of a budget so will possibly consider 2nd hand unless I can get my work place to do the tax free bike scheme.

    Now, I need some advice as I am new to folders. Dahon, Raleigh, Ridgeback ugggg.

    Is there much difference in riding a 20" wheeled bike when used to a full size ?

    What is the Raleigh Boardwalk Lite like ? or should i be looking at something else.

    Any advice, help is appreciated.


  2. palinurus

    palinurus Guru

    What budget?

    Small folded size will be important if you want to take it on the tube and buses- if this is an important aspect then take a look at Brompton.

    For storage at home small folded size may be less important. I'd recommend you try out a few folders, including seeing how they fold and what they are like to carry when folded. Test rides will give you an idea as to how they compare to a full-sized bike.

    Lightweight folders- as with other bikes- tend to be more expensive.

    Have a look at the reviews here: A to B magazine
  3. OP

    odieboo New Member


    Thanks for quick reply and advice. Bromptons are a bit too steep in price for me.

    My budget is probably around £350-400 tops if new, and less for 2nd hand.

    I will need to carry upstairs each day so not too heavy.

    I need to find somewhere to test ride. I am in North London but can hop on the tube if theres a shop that I can test from.


  4. RecordAceFromNew

    RecordAceFromNew Swinging Member

    West London
    They are probably the biggest folder retailer in London. You will be able to try out full size as well as smaller folders within your budget.

    These people on the other hand are probably the cheapest folder mail order retailer, with the associated challenges re set up upon arrival etc.
  5. ufkacbln

    ufkacbln Guest

    You need to play with them!

    Handling is different with each model dependent on wheelbase, wheel size and rider position.

    Equally some like the Brompton can be wheeled in the folded position, whilst others have to be carried.

    Best bet is to get to a shop, look around and see what suits you best
  6. I know I am biased but a Brompton is your best option if using the Tube is on the agenda. A 15 second fold is a real bonus compared with many other makes and carrying a Brommie around the system is a breeze. Look at it a a once in a lifetime purchase and the steep initial lay out makes more sense. Bromptons are quality, pure and simple.
  7. Crankarm

    Crankarm Guru

    Nr Cambridge
    I would just add that the only bike you can be fairly sure of still being allowed onto public transport in rush hour with, is a Brompton, simply because it folds so compactly and quickly. There have been reports of cyclists with other folders being prevented from boarding trains. I declare an interest as I have one. However I have never taken it on a bus or the Tube preferring to ride it instead. I have climbed Crouch Hill both sides on it carrying a full front touring pannier with ease. I think you should be able to ride a bike from North London into Central London without difficulty. Bromptons are very capable.

    One curious point. Why does your budget decrease if buying 2nd hand :biggrin:? Surely buying 2nd hand means you can potentially buy a better bike such as a Brompton that you would not be able to afford new. Just be careful it isn't nicked like my first one was. Go for the 6 spd. You will need it if going over any hills in North London.
  8. chap

    chap Senior Member

    London, GB

    A lot of people like the Dahon Vitesse / Speed, it has 20" wheels, and these are supposed to be more akin to riding a full sized bike, in that the 'twitchiness' is reduced.

    Fortuantely, there seems to be a fair few folders coming out at the moment, many from established non-biking companies (Land Rover) which will use a Dahon, or similar, and re-badge it. However, I would recommend sticking with the Dahon; as usual, insist upon a test ride.

    If you can stretch your budget further, then I would thoroughly recommend a Brompton, very sturdy, beautiful ride, fantastic engineering, good resale value (not that you would wish to sell); then again, I am smitten with my model so rather biased :ohmy:
  9. chugsy

    chugsy Senior Member

    Another vote for Dahon here - very happy with my Speed P8. A pity there's such a premium between it and the D7 but that should serve you well too (i see the 2009 model is 350 @ Fudges).

    The Raleigh Boardwalk models seem good value too - frame looks like the old Helios?

  10. mr_cellophane

    mr_cellophane Guru

    Decathlon have just started to sell one for £249.99. Don't think much of the colour, but it looks like it folds similar to a Brommie.

  11. chugsy

    chugsy Senior Member

    very much a dahon style clone but with suitcase wheels bolted to the rack! Doubt it will roll like a Brompton though...
  12. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    Hawk Cycles outlet had a little folder for fifty quid.

    For commuting, it may pay to get two bikes. A cheap heap for the days when the weather is utterly lousey.
  13. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Resistance is futile! Moderator

    Still has the oily bits on the outside though. It looks like yet another one made by Dahon.
  14. OP

    odieboo New Member

    I got my folder, Dahon Vitesse and it's perfect for my needs. I must say I am shocked at how nippy and quick it is. Brought it home on the tube and allready had someone admiring it :-) 2nd hand , in as new, almost pristine condition. Cost me £150 and if I decide to upgrade later on, I should be able to get back a big chunk of that. Okay, I am a bit of a weakling so the public transport thing , carrying isn't that easy but it is doable on the odd occasion. If I change jobs and need to do more tubing/busing with it then I'll upgrade to something lighter. Thanks everyone.
  15. palinurus

    palinurus Guru

    Sounds good!
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