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Cheap Folding bikes - anyone tried them?

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    Cheap Folding bikes - anyone tried them?

    Folding bike for less than £100:
    http://www.riverswayleisure.co.uk/ac...fo_997262.html

    Seems very cheap but are they any good? For that price, if they lasted for a year's worth of holiday, they'd be cheaper than hiring.

    Anyone got any experience of these or similar?

    Doug

    #2
    We haven't tried those bikes but did use some cheap folding mountain bikes for the year we had the demountable romahome. The bikes are my mum and dads, they bought them off ebay new for roughly £100 each I think. I then spent a little on them making the wheels 'quick release' and putting gel seats on etc.

    For what we needed they were brilliant. The only down sides I can think of were, 1) they folded in half but being full size mountain bikes, they were still fairly large. 2) despite being full size, When I added a rear pannier rack my foot caught the pannier when I turned the peddle. This was solved by putting the panniers on Claires bike!!!

    We used them mainly off road on bike tracks, not up mountains and down dales, more disused railways etc to avoid traffic and see the countryside. They did have suspension and had 15 gears I think, but both were not really needed for what we did, I think we used all of 6 gears between us!. They also had full size wheels unlike those in your link but I don't know if that will make much difference.

    They were relatively heavy, cheap bikes usually are in my experience, but they held up perfectly to everything we threw at them, including putting a dog basket on to take Mollie along with us on our rides.

    We don't use them now, only because we both have non folding mountain bikes anyway and our last van and this one have bike racks on the back.


    Hope this was of help, there are a few other 'bikers' on here who no doubt will have more to add.
    Why not have a look at my latest wildlife photos, habitat projects and general natural world related shenanigans? https://facebook.com/Watsonswildlife

    Comment


      #3
      Hi

      We looked into folding bikes but with stupidly long legs we found that most of them were a little small. We now use our own mountain bikes on a towball fitted bike rack which works well for us. Martin has a very nice folding bike.

      No help really !!!!!!

      Gail

      Comment


        #4
        I am considering a folding bike too. My son in law has got a brompton! Fab bike but so expensive. My daughter has just ordered a fold up bike from halfords at the cost of £200. This arrives on friday but she did have a look in halfords as they need lightweight bikes too and she told me it was quite lightweight. (13kg!!)Well, we shall see, I shall try hers out then maybe there could be another customer!! sometimes it's swings and roundabouts with cheap fold ups and I always do a review on items i am thinking of purchasing. Someone said to me the other day, '' buy cheap pay twice'' in some cases i agree but depends how often you are going to use something. Good luck in your search
        Jessie

        Comment


          #5
          http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/s...egoryId_165577


          I'm wondering if this link will work. if so this is the one i believe my daughter has ordered!!
          Jessie

          Comment


            #6
            As in most things you get what you pay for. I am a folding bike enthusiast and have owned many over the years. The two I have now are what I consider the best two in terms of meeting all my different needs. Whilst foldability is obviously an issue there are many other things to consider.Firstly, how do you intend to use the bike ...I don't think you would want to ride far on a cheap bike. If you ride on road then your needs are different to someone who rides off road. If it's used very frequently then build quality and components used are of importance.
            A good source of information is the Folding Society ....www.foldsoc.co.uk and there is a lot of information to help you choose.
            A good folding bike may encourage you to ride more. A poor one may quickly become consigned to the back of the garage. I would look at several and then buy the best you can afford. Like small motorhomes all folding bikes are a compromise.

            Comment


              #7
              As a long term "bicycle hater" as well as a "walking hater", I recently went to look at a selection of electric bikes !!

              I had a test ride on a £1000 one - very nice - but I decided it was a substantial wedge to pay out if I didn't know I would take to it, and indeed use it !!

              I ended up getting an Izip one, with two lead acid batteries - all Chinese, as practically all things are nowadays!! I paid £450 for it.

              I am very impressed with the bike and the concept. It is a heavy, well made bit of kit - it seems the more you pay, the lighter the bikes are - and the more cutting-edge the battery packs are. Indeed, I was quoted about £350 just for a replacement battery for the £1000 model I tried out!!

              They say mine has a range of between 15 - 20 miles and I have done 10 miles in one day without needing to recharge the batteries - but because it was a "get fitter" concept for me, I do peddle as well when I use it - the range would be drastically reduced with my 14 stone on board if I didn't!!

              I did actually go with the intention of trying a folding model - but those 20" wheels didn't look as though they would provide a comfortable ride - so I dismissed that idea.

              So, no regrets so far - it's cheap and chearful compared with others I've seen - but it does the job for me, admirably - but I can't say with hand on heart that I actually feel any fitter yet!!

              Mike

              Comment


                #8
                First of all, to be pedantic, cycles are fitted with

                PEDALS

                and the movement of these PEDALS is called

                PEDALLING

                Peddling is done by those who peddle their wares on the doorstep or on market stalls

                To the important point, it all depends what you want from a folding bike. We have a number, with both 16" and 20" wheels, cheap and expensive. Our children and in-law children also have folders. My conclusions are -

                Cheap usually means poor quality, poor performance, unpleasant riding experience, non-compact folding with bits sticking out to cause damage/injury and an early consignment to the back of the shed.

                The most compact folding bike is undoubtedly the Brompton. These are high quality "properly" engineered machines with excellent components which will last a lifetime. Despite the 16" wheels, they ride pretty well, the only downsides (apart from the price) are the awful standard saddle (memo to oneself - must get a proper Brooks leather saddle to replace the gel instrument of torture) which becomes uncomfortable after about 30 miles, and the slightly cramped riding position for tall or long armed people. They come virtually custom specced, from single to six speed, stripped down or fully equipped. They are expensive but the bees knees if you need compact folding (for taking on trains/busses/inside campervans etc).

                Next best are the lightweight Dahons which ride better, reasonable quality, but do not fold anywhere near as compactly. Son in law used one (forget which model) on daily commute, integrated with a car journey for half the distance before the driver went off to a different destination.

                Finally, the cheapos. OK if you only want to go a mile or so down to the shops for a newspaper. But don't expect to enjoy much further. We used our very cheap folders before we splashed out on the Brommies, and they were OK after a fashion. We were happier leaving them parked up in a town centre, since no-one in their right mind would have wanted to nick them.

                Ultimately, you pays your money and takes your choice.

                Personally I still prefer my full size touring bike, much more comfortable, faster and easier to load up with touring gear or shopping than any folder.

                Barry

                Comment


                  #9
                  What can you do with a Brompton folding bicycle

                  Just to show the "other" side of Brompton riding

                  http://www.brompton.co.uk/bwc/2009/

                  You need to play the video

                  I would not suggest trying to ride a cheap substitute like this

                  Barry

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Folders

                    As a long time cyclist - but not a particular fan of the folding variety, they have one particular advantage, which is train companies will carry them! Agree with Barry on practically every point! I use what appears to be k...d old iron framed old slogger for commuting... The truth is somewhat different You can buy also buy folding motor bikes too! Practically got a folding camper!
                    Last edited by jolmartyn; 09-04-2012, 00:31.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I bought a folding bike a few weeks ago. I looked at the cheaper 'Gateway' (also stocked by Riversway) range with steel frames but didn't like build quality and one 16" model fell apart while I was trying it in-store in Towsure where it's stocked at a higher price. BTW These bikes are available for £79.99 from: https://www.limeshop.co.uk/p-3505-6-...ano-gears.aspx

                      I also went along to Halfords where I'd had my eye on the Apollo model jessiem mentions. It sounded good on paper and in the reviews but was too small for my 34" legs.

                      I bought the Carrera Transport and am very pleased with it. It has an alloy frame, build quality is good, has adjustable-height handlebars, smooth gears (8, not 6), runs smoothly and is fairly lightweight 12.7kg incl pannier rack. Equally importantly, it folds easily and will fit between the Romahome benches for travelling and on the folded passenger seat at night. I'm very happy with it and would buy the same again.

                      http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/s...k&iozone=PDPz1

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Have you tried 2nd hand?

                        Carole and I thought long and hard, having bought shopping folders years ago and been disappointed. We concluded the answer was Brompton Bicycle but the prices new! Wow! So I tapped Brompton Bicycle into e-bay and was startled at the selection. Maybe we were lucky but we found a gent who wanted to sell 2 now unused identical Bromptons, about 10 years old. The quality showed in that they were virtually unmarked, nothing going rusty, and they came with front carriers and carrying bags. Even the tyres were usable although one has since blown, not unexpectedly. We have owned them 6 months and now cycle nearly every day. We try to go on tracks instead of the road and have surprised many a hardened rider by doing so. They are well up to anything you can throw at them. Well worth searching e-bay for that bargain.
                        Graham (and Carole)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by barry5 View Post
                          First of all, to be pedantic, cycles are fitted with

                          PEDALS

                          and the movement of these PEDALS is called

                          PEDALLING

                          Peddling is done by those who peddle their wares on the doorstep or on market stalls

                          To the important point, it all depends what you want from a folding bike. We have a number, with both 16" and 20" wheels, cheap and expensive. Our children and in-law children also have folders. My conclusions are -

                          Cheap usually means poor quality, poor performance, unpleasant riding experience, non-compact folding with bits sticking out to cause damage/injury and an early consignment to the back of the shed.

                          The most compact folding bike is undoubtedly the Brompton. These are high quality "properly" engineered machines with excellent components which will last a lifetime. Despite the 16" wheels, they ride pretty well, the only downsides (apart from the price) are the awful standard saddle (memo to oneself - must get a proper Brooks leather saddle to replace the gel instrument of torture) which becomes uncomfortable after about 30 miles, and the slightly cramped riding position for tall or long armed people. They come virtually custom specced, from single to six speed, stripped down or fully equipped. They are expensive but the bees knees if you need compact folding (for taking on trains/busses/inside campervans etc).

                          Next best are the lightweight Dahons which ride better, reasonable quality, but do not fold anywhere near as compactly. Son in law used one (forget which model) on daily commute, integrated with a car journey for half the distance before the driver went off to a different destination.

                          Finally, the cheapos. OK if you only want to go a mile or so down to the shops for a newspaper. But don't expect to enjoy much further. We used our very cheap folders before we splashed out on the Brommies, and they were OK after a fashion. We were happier leaving them parked up in a town centre, since no-one in their right mind would have wanted to nick them.

                          Ultimately, you pays your money and takes your choice.

                          Personally I still prefer my full size touring bike, much more comfortable, faster and easier to load up with touring gear or shopping than any folder.

                          Barry
                          NO NEED TO SHOUT!!!!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I had an inexpensive folding bike given to me, one of the pedals broke off! have you ever tried riding a bike with one pedal!?
                            derek b and Babs

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Oh yes! Riding with one pedal

                              It can be done. Its even worse when you are off to work and the nut unscrews itself on the mainbearing and your foot is still clipped in. It is also the the side I nearly always put down when stopping. Think fast.... It is impossible to gracefully fall off and look like that's what you intended. However able to get it fixed in my lunch break. But not quite cleaned up in time for the next lesson. "Sir did you know that you have got oil on your shirt!" - Yes you little oik- Why are they always polite when they are speaking the obvious! Not allowed to beat them any more...

                              Seriously this website has got loads of useful information and its a seriously good read too. Sheldon Brown is probably the font of all knowledge. RIP. you still ride...

                              Comment

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