Recommend/advice on folder

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by Mr_Ed, 11 Sep 2015.

  1. Mr_Ed

    Mr_Ed Regular

    Rugby, UK
    hey all

    So new to the forums but looking for advice or recommendations on a foldable bike. I guess best is if I state my needs/situation then hat should help eh?

    I need it to be a foldable for a few reasons...I live in a flat, I have nowhere to store it at work (other than under my desk) and my commute involves a train journey in the middle!

    My workplace is doing the cycle2work scheme so tbh I will get everything need through this. That gives me a limit of £1000 for the bike AND all accessories I need.

    What accessories should I get? Needs and nice to haves!

    The actual journey is relatively short. A matter of miles either side! I just don't want to walk it. This being the case, tbh the foldingness and lightness of the bime is probably more important than the ride comfort.

    Saying that though I learned to ride when I was young and have maybe spent an hour on a bike in total in the last 25-odd years. So something controllable is important

    Hope that's enough to start with and please get back with any questions!

    Thanks in advance!
  2. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Could have a look here and at other threads in the Folder section

    Go to Evans and have a play and some testrides perhaps, or another retailer with a stock other than Brompton (which are too much given the budget I think)
  3. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    I might be wrong, but if your taking it on commuting trains (buses and underground) then I think you may have to get a Brompton due to the small folded size and that the oily chain is on the inside if the fold mostly out of harms way. Weight wise all decent folders are pretty similar.
    Bromptons are pricey but good* Unless you are expecting a lot of hills then a 2 speed with rack and easy wheels is the most transportable option.

    *i confess to being a recent convert .... Out if a garage full of very lovely bikes the Brompton would be the first one I'd save in a fire! It's a great all-rounder, fast enough, good over long distances, good for touring, goes easily on a plane and gives me the greatest smile. It's an addictive little beast.
    MossCommuter and GrumpyGregry like this.
  4. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    The OP location says rugby so presumably not going on the tube but on trains where there should be more space
  5. OP

    Mr_Ed Regular

    Rugby, UK
    Yes I have a feeling a Brompton is going to be a bit much really!

    I'm only commuting on mainline overground trains so as long as it slides in front of my feet and the seat or can sit out the way in the doorway area then that should be aright.
  6. annedonnelly

    annedonnelly Girl from the North Country

    Worth checking how small you need it to fold. Depending on the trains you use you may not need to fold it. How far do you need to carry it? I'm like @Fab Foodie and love my Brompton but it does get a bit heavy if I have to carry it up flights of stairs. But it's a smaller fold than most of the others.

    I think you can get a Brompton from about £800 so could fit your budget. As far as accessories you will need something to carry your stuff - you might be happy with a rucksack or you might want something that fastens to the bike - a pannier on a rack or Bromptons have bags that fit to the front. You may choose to use a helmet or not. If commuting in the dark you'll need lights - if the route is well lit you don't need to pay much. If you need lights to see where to ride you'll pay more.

    You can get other things like gloves & specialist clothing but for a couple of miles ride you'd probably manage without.
  7. smutchin

    smutchin Cat 6 Racer

    The Red Enclave
    Brompton Brompton Brompton Brompton Brompton Brompton Brompton Brompton Brompton...

    Best grand you will ever spend.

    Some other folders may ride better, but given that folded size is a key factor for you, it's your only real option.

    As for accessories, get a decent set of cheap lights (eg Lezyne Femto), a pump and puncture repair kit and that's all you really need. Maybe get a helmet as well if you feel the need for one but no need to spend more than £30-£50 on one. And maybe a cycling-specific rain jacket.
    srw likes this.
  8. smutchin

    smutchin Cat 6 Racer

    The Red Enclave
    Good call. I have a front-mounting S bag and it's brilliant. Much more convenient than a rear rack mounted bag and much less sweaty than a rucksack.
  9. shouldbeinbed

    shouldbeinbed Rollin' along

    Manchester way
    Your apparent principal need for compactness for storage and multi modal travel do logically say Brompton as first choice, irrespective of hype and me being another having warmed significantly to their charms as a riding bike after being compelled to buy one for multi mode travel.

    The storage argument is a winner for the Brommy and I am sure you will find the ride surprisingly refined and fast.

    Dahons/Terns and Birdy are your next most compact, D/T cheaper than a Brommy, basic Birdy £1000 and upwards from there but they are a bloody good bike.

    Assuming Brompton, I would suggest front luggage block and appropriate bag, it looks weird and like it can't possibly work but it makes a decent handling bike even better, fitting your bill too.

    You'd hit £1000 with an off the shelf Brommy & front bag option, I concur totally with the others, it'd be £1000 less C2W tax break very well spent.

    Otherwise for carrying stuff. Rucksack or you can get rack bags that have folder wheel size fold out panniers that will take a pair of shoes or decent size butty box and such. Many now are velcro/clickfix on and off so don't slow up or foul an up & under Brommy type fold.

    Necessities, lights, a couple front and rear: Decathlon do a very good rear light & reflector unit for approx £15 that will replace the rear reflector and not scrape on the ground folded.
    If a Brommy, a better pump than the factory supplied one would be useful along with very basic toolkit if you fancy roadside repairs, but joy of folder is if you have an issue, you can bus or taxi it home.
    A buff or two is an essential IMO, particularly if you are riding in the winter as they're versatile warm head and neckwear also a pair of gloves, helps the hands carrying the bike and if you do have an off.
    Nice to have: assume Brommy again, switch the foam grips for even cheap and cheerful rubber ones and consider ezy (easy) wheels to help its folded rolling capability.
    Last edited: 11 Sep 2015
  10. OP

    Mr_Ed Regular

    Rugby, UK
    Thanks for all the replies so far!

    I definitely will look into bromptons but I have to say, part of me is galling at going for the whole 1000!

    I mean yeah, the folding size and lightness is one of the main factors but I am literally talking about maybe 10miles of cycling per day (round trip). I've been walking it quite easily, but I guess it's just a speed thing.

    I guess the other thing is whether i would get any use of it outside of commuting. It's hard to know and even then I suppose the danger is that i assume a folder is going to be a bit restrictive on what I can tackle
  11. annedonnelly

    annedonnelly Girl from the North Country

    If you get a Brompton you'll love it so much that you find reasons to take it everywhere!
    Pale Rider and smutchin like this.
  12. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    As @annedonnelly says, you find reasons to take it everywhere. It's great for errands runs to the shop as you can carry it in or as I often do, put it in a trolley and roll it round.

    In terms if distances I've done over 60 miles a couple of times in one go and it's no big deal even using rough tracks for part if the way.

    A cheap way to carry luggage on the front block is to buy the bag frame only for £20 and then lash a regular saddle bag or other bag into it. Here's mine loaded for my camping trip:

  13. shouldbeinbed

    shouldbeinbed Rollin' along

    Manchester way
    People have done pan-continental and world tours on Bromptons

    10 miles a day is further than many people spend £20,000 on a car to do

    I've ridden other folders on 60 - 100 mile rides and invariably see Bromptons on the charity 50- 60 milers too, I've happily and comfortably done decent jaunts on mine and as my knee gets stronger have absolutely no qualms on riding ever bigger miles on it.

    I think almost all of us in the 'now got a Brommy' gang started with the assumption like you seem of have that it is something between trendy gimmick and expensive toy that you can have a mess about on or have for train days and then use our proper bikes for real riding.

    And almost all of us have been exceedingly pleasantly surprised and totally won over by how good a ride it gives, not perfect but very good and far far better than the look and associated expectations suggest.

    It is a proper bike that can be properly ridden & +2 to Anne and Foodie, you will find reasons just to ride it.
    Last edited: 12 Sep 2015
    smutchin and annedonnelly like this.
  14. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry Here for rides.


    Plus a pair of gloves are a must; first time you come off on tarmac without them you'll wish you were wearing some. Way more important than an 'elmet.
  15. srw

    srw It's a bit more complicated than that...

    I've had Bromptons for nigh-on 20 years - 2 of them. That's about £100 a year on the bike plus perhaps the same again in maintenance.

    In all that time the most common journey I've done is less than 5 miles each way - from Marylebone to the City. The journey at my home end has been no more than a mile. It's worth it, even for a relatively short journey.

    Having said that, I've also sometimes used my Brommie for a trip of about 10 miles to our training centre, most of which is over fairly rough tracks. They're incredibly versatile.
    Fab Foodie likes this.
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