Foldup Bike

Garthy

New Member
Hi guys,

Need a bit of advice please. I currently have 2 working bikes, a Specialized Rockhopper and a Tricross Sport which I use for leisure rides on the weekend and a bit of commuting.

I have been driving from Worcester to Cheltenham to work, parking in the park and ride and cycling 3.5 miles into work to save parking costs and to get a bit of exercise on a daily basis as I play rugby. I have been carrying the Tricross on a bike rack on the back of my car, however last week as I cycled up to my car I caught someone in the act of trying to steal the bike rack!

Given this, and also the rising cost of fuel (I use a lot more fuel with the bike on the back) I am now looking at driving further into town and buying a foldup bike and cycling about a mile into work each way.

I have done a lot of research on what foldups are available and what functionality they offer and to be homest I cannot afford to buy a Brompton or Dahon which seem to be some of the better makes available. I then started looking at budget foldup bikes on the Internet and have found quite a few sites offering 26" wheel monutain bikes etc etc like Sunlova and Everest. I realise that these are not really considered as bikes - more as BSO's but my question would be if I buy a budget foldup mountain bike for about £100 purely for cycling 1 mile each way to and from my car is it likely to last a couple of years or so? I know that the parts used will be poor quality etc etc but this is literally the only riding I would be doing with it so will it fit the bill for me as an individual or are these bikes really to be avoided at al costs?

I would be very grateful to hear your thoughts, especially if you have any experience with one of these budget foldups.

Thank you and sorry for the long post!
 

RecordAceFromNew

Swinging Member
Location
West London
I don't have one of the mtbs you are contemplating, but I have a Dahon Cadenza, and I have looked at bikes similar to what you referred to having helped friends tuning theirs. So just some thoughts here for your consideration.

IMHO the main disadvantage of the cheaper folding 26" mtbs at ~£100 is that they are heavier. I believe you can get an aluminium one without suspension at around £32lbs, while a steel one with front and back suspension is around 40lbs. Also you need to check the fit, especially the maximum allowable saddle to bb distance with what you have - the retailers' one-size-fits-all "promise" can be grossly exaggerated.

Given the above, I personally don't think they are "to be avoided at all costs". Many on this forum probably would disagree but my view is that as long as cheap bikes are safe and work then they can be good for their purpose. Since these bikes usually come flat packed requiring some assembly their safety/serviceability is highly dependent on whether the owner has the interest and the skill to set them up properly and to address potential component problems. If one does, I think they can be as safe as expensive bikes, and certainly no less safe than buying anything secondhand from e.g. ebay.

One of the special challenges of a folder, is that the cables tend to experience regular manipulation and bending normal bikes don't face. This can play havoc to sweet gear changes if the gear cables are not of good quality.

One other thing is you may want to check if your car boot is large enough for these 26" folders. Because they are not light, you will want to be able to load and unload easily. My car is huge, and I had expected the Cadenza to go into the boot with more space to spare...
 

snailracer

Über Member
I have 2 folding bikes (20") which occasionally go into the boot of my car. For a trip of 1 mile I personally wouldn't bother. It just takes too long to trim QRs, fold up, untangle the cables, reattach lights, adjust seat height, put dropped chain back on, wrestle into the boot, wipe dirty hands, etc. Now for 3 miles it might be worth it.
In terms of exercise, 1 mile of brisk walking = 3 miles of cycling.
 

HelenD123

Guru
Location
York
snailracer said:
I have 2 folding bikes (20") which occasionally go into the boot of my car. For a trip of 1 mile I personally wouldn't bother. It just takes too long to trim QRs, fold up, untangle the cables, reattach lights, adjust seat height, put dropped chain back on, wrestle into the boot, wipe dirty hands, etc. Now for 3 miles it might be worth it.
In terms of exercise, 1 mile of brisk walking = 3 miles of cycling.
What a sensible post. 1 mile = a 20 minute walk. Much easier than messing around with a bike and free!
 
OP
G

Garthy

New Member
Hi guys, thank you for your replies - much appreciated.

I currently walk the distance which does indeed take about 20 minutes. The problem is that I drop my daughter at nursery at 8am (as soon as it opens) and then drive to Cheltenham to work. It is expensive to park in the centre (about £12 per day cheapest option) so I park about a mile away and arrive at approximately 08:45. This only leaves 15 minutes to get to work so most days I am getting to my desk about 5-10 minutes late. I thought if I had a foldup bike which I could unfold in about 30-60 seconds then I would get to the office in about 5 minutes which would solve the problem.

RecordAceFromNew - thanks for the information, very useful indeed. I may look at a 20inch foldup instead as this should go in the boot no probs. I have decided to go for it as I will get it set up properly to start with and if it dies after a couple of years then I will only have spent about £80.
 
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