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prando

Potential Folding Bike Newbies with questions

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Posted (edited)

We are keen Road cyclists (both just the wrong side of 70) but have never taken our bikes away in the van, preferring to walk.

However, we are now considering buying a couple of folding bikes (apparently cheap at £450 !) and have some questions.

There is a localish Evans cycle shop where we will visit and inspect.

 

1) Once on site, what are the recommended methods of security ? We were thinking of a decent bike security cable/padlock, but unsure of the best place on the van to ‘tie up’ ?

2) As an alternative, is the folding process easy enough to keep/store the bikes in the back of the vehicle. ? We have a Hyundai i35 and, as there are only 2 of us, could keep them permanently in the back of the car with rear seats down. We certainly propose transporting them that way when towing.

3) Any other salient tips and recommendations?

 

Thanks.

Edited by prando

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I would keep them in the back of the car so they are available if you go out anywhere and more secure .

 

 

 

Dave

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if as stated you are keen road cyclist I would strongly suggest you both road test any contender folding bikes before purchasing, they can be very different.

Even at a budget of £450 I would be very tempted to add a bit more and seek out some secondhand Bromptons, after a test run on some new ones first.

We dumped our Dawes folders way back and reverted to taking proper semi carbon bikes with front wheels removed for space, with one vehicle also removing the  bike's rear wheels to make more compact.

I secure ours when in use frequently by a high quality cable through the spokes of the caravan's off side wheel.

Or overnight put them back in the car.

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Thanks JTQ buddy. 

I cycle 3 -4000 miles a year, so have a decent feel for a bike.  However, our plans with the folding bikes are to do shortish (maybe 20/30 miles round trips)  in a gentle fashion.

I have no knowledge of the quality and durability of folding bikes, but I take it you get what you pay for?

What were the issues with yours persuading you to get rid ?

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Posted (edited)

Fundamentally because they did not offer a “rewarding” ride; expedient enough to pop to the newsagents rather than walk but 20 miles, no thank you despite being good examples of the folders of their day.

I realised that with quick release wheels and seat post, plus easy dropping and turning the bar, and a box of disposable gloves, I could take a pair of lighter much more enjoyable to use bikes, with very little hassle. By that time there was only the two of us and we could cope and in a few minutes have two put together to ride.

Quite recently I had a play with a Brompton, and left feeling, “I like that”, probably its charisma shadowing its riding limitations.

Which returns me to my first point, you really need to try these things with a critical view to their suitability and fun to use, as fun is what we really wanted out of our bikes.

 

Once on site then for days out I have used a tow ball mounted Thule Hang-on, so could carry bikes fully assembled. Even that Thule rack can be removed in seconds and secured in the car so avoiding its theft.

 

 

 

Edited by JTQ

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Posted (edited)

We bought ordinary bikes to enjoy in our retirement, my bike was used quite a bit as we lived next to a country park but the OH '  bike stayed in the garage  as  he had to have his hips replaced .  We wish now that we had bought electric bikes as we would have had more use out of them.   However we probably wouldn't have had enough payload spare to be able to take the bikes with us in the caravan. 

Edited by joanie

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We have folding Bromptons.

Mine is a 5 speed(hub) rarity bought 2nd hand for £300

The Wife s is a much newer-and easier to use 3 speed bought 2nd hand for £300.

Both have required very little looking after over the years.

The quality of these machines is 1st class.

They fold up in a minute then go into their Brompton bags.

The wheels are under 20 inch diameter and tyres are skinny so they cope not at all well with anything other than hard core or tarmac and are useless on sand and gravel.

We travel with them in the car and secure them with a multi strand cable about 2 metres long looped through the caravan Alko chassis using their covers to protect them in the rain.

 

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Posted (edited)

I have found folding bikes tend to be too short in the frame to be comfortable to ride so it’s imperative that you “road test” one before parting with your money. 

 

As for security a decent cable looped through something solid is whats needed, a rear mounted cycle rack isn’t secure enough. Something like a towbar is better (if fitted) Most road wheels van holes in them so feed the cable through one of them.  Or of course through the caravan chassis rail.

 

If away from the MH always lock themTO something solid and immovable like a lamp column or railings, not themselves or another bike. It too easy to pick two bikes up, take them away and spend a bit of time defeating any lock somewhere private. 

 

We have a couple of (cheap Chinese) folding electric bikes. Brilliant bits of kit, they make hills disappear.

 

Andy

Edited by Mr Plodd

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Thanks again. More research methinks. I’ve spotted a pre owned Brompton eBay seller, interesting.

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Brand link to your Chines bikes please Mr Plod.

 

Thank you. 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Sea&Sand said:

Brand link to your Chines bikes please Mr Plod.

 

Thank you. 

 

Sorry but I bought them about 8-10 years ago now. 

 

They APPEAR to be identical to the Mk3 ones sold by 

https://www.asbikes.co.uk/

 

I think I paid about £650 each for the ones I bought. 

 

Others on a MH forum speak very highly of them as a company to deal with.

 

Andy

Edited by Mr Plodd
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Are you still using your bikes Mr Plod.

 

Have you had to replace the batteries?, any maintenance issues over the period?

 

Thanks again.

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Yes I still have the bikes and yes we still use them fairly regularly. 

 

Yes I have had to buy new batteries for both (not unexpected really) easily sourced. The new batteries have lasted longer than the originals. 

About the only maintenance issues has been the chain guards tend to work loose.

 

Having said that I did have a puncture in the back tyre. Getting the back wheel out is a right mare of a job! SO my advice would be to do what I have now done. Use some “Slime” which is a proprietary liquid you squirt in through the valve. If you get a puncture the slime seals it! And it seems to work so you DONT have to wrestle the back wheel out. 

 

Another thing you need to be aware of is, because of the smaller wheels, the gearing means you actually pedal a fair bit more than you would if you had full sized wheels. 

 

Andy

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I used a Brompton to hop between the Clapham and various places of work in central London. I can vouch for their quality as mine was used cone rain or shine with little maintenance.

I got it out of the garage last year, have it a degrease, oiled the chain and off I went. The build quality is better than many and the saddle goes high enough for me at 5'10.

I can also vouch for slime. I have had numerous punctures even with supposed puncture proof tyres.

Fitted slime, easily done with the standard valve and no more punctures for years 

The best combo has to be electric Brompton but wow they are pricey.

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Folding bikes have smaller wheels than a road bike and they are terrible on uneven surfaces.  They are also heavy.  A lot of bikes seem to be offered with suspension, but these absorb quite a lot of pedalling energy and should not be required on a road bike.  I have a Halford's electric bike and a spare battery but it IS heavy.  But a breeze in my hilly area.

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Had an AS Bikes Electobike Elite Plus folder with 26" wheels with twin batteries.

 

Due to a problem when I first bought it and couldn't pedal, did 26 miles all on electric.

 

Sold it now as started to do more off road rides and although it had front suspension was a bone shaker on general off road, good on tarmac and canal tow paths though.

 

Both have electric mountain bikes now.

 

Looking at the OP though, don't think electrics are on the agenda.

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I have a Volt Metro LS, it is an eBike. Not cheap, not a lightweight, but its a folder. Volt come standard with an Abus frame lock, I have the extra chain accessory, which makes it Gold standard for insurance purpose's. It has the uprated battery.

I use a  kryptonite evolution and 15mm cable.

I thread the cable through one of the steadies holes loop the eye on to itself so its like a noose, then attach the Abus chain to that. The 'U' lock I secure the front wheel, and forks to the bike frame.

When not in use battery, saddle removed. Overnight the bike is folded and in the car.

I did look at a Brompton eBike, but the hub is in the front wheel. Not recommended, as you get power front wheel slip also when cornering. I have 2 knee replacements, so cannot take a chance of a tumble.

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Our two folding bikes live permanently in the back of the MH together with a couple of sun loungers, in what is laughingly called a garage (it's a big locker really). As the bikes fold, they can also be easily transported in the rear of a car if needed.

To answer the OP's question, I would be inclined to keep them locked in the rear of the car.

Gordon.

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