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Help Needed from Folding Bike Users

Robert B 2Robert B 2 Posts: 17
edited August 2009 in Commuting chat
I'm off to Edinburgh bikes tomorrow to set up my bike to work package. And I've decided to get a folder for the following reason.

I was cycling 7.5 miles each way into Leeds from Bradford on a mountain bike, and whilst it was fine on the way in, on the way home it was just an absolute killer with all the huge hills. I also caused some temporary soreness to my genitals and am now a bit unsure about cycling long, hard distances. I want to have kids one day after all.

So my plan now is to travel in with the missus each day in her car until she goes off towards another direction. If I get a bike that can fit in the boot of her car then I could get out and cycle where there is approximately 3.5 miles to work and all flat. It will also mean I have the option of taking it on the bus when I need to, and a shorter more leisurely ride will mean I can just cycle in my work clothes without the hassle of showering and changing at work.

Here is my question.. Are folding bikes cut out for doing up to 4 miles each way on flattish ground (by road)? Or are they a bit weak and really designed for short trips around city centres? This is crucial as once I commit to the scheme I will be stuck with the bike. The one I want to get is the Ridgeback Attache 09. Also, are folders comfortable to ride for a man?

Here is a link to the bike

I'd be seriously grateful for any help. Many thanks in advance.



  • stuaffstuaff Posts: 1,735
    The Attache (a rebadged Dahon) is more than up to the job you want it to do. And as for folders being a bit weak etc, get one with the right spec for its intended use and you can do anything on one that you could on a regular bike. This year I've done London to Brighton twice, round the Isle of Wight, and I'm doing London to Bognor, and then back home to Pompey, all on my Jetstream XP (20" wheels). Bromptons did both the L2B runs.
    Dahon Speed Pro TT; Trek Portland
    Viner Magnifica '08 ; Condor Squadra
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  • landrewlandrew Posts: 69
    I work with someone who has this bike and he is very happy with it. It is good value for money and should easily cope with the distance. Go for a test ride and you may be pleasently surprised by how well it rides. You can basically put any saddle on it you want to make sure it is comfortable.

    The bike does not fold up as small as you may think though and some busses will refuse to take folding bikes. Check out the folded size at the shop. If folded size is improtant you may be better off with a 16" wheel such as a Brompton or Mezzo.

    Also if you struggle with the hills on a MTB they will be a lot more difficult with a 7 speed hub gear if you ever plan to cycle the whole way home.
  • AidyAidy Posts: 2,015
    As far as strength goes, 4 miles each way really isn't that far, it's probably about an optimal distance for folders (further, and advantages of non-folders kick in, shorter and walking involves less faff). You shouldn't need to worry too much.

    As far as comfort goes, it's a bit personal - you need to spend the time setting up a bike to figure out what works for you. Simple things such as changing the saddle height can make the world of difference, as can a different saddle, or raising/lowering the bars.
  • Robert B 2Robert B 2 Posts: 17
    Thanks guys, much appreciated.
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    Get a road bike with appropriate gearing; keep riding and get some strength into your legs.

    Get a proper saddle as well.

    Then hop onto your bike and ride: no one ever got good at climbing hills by only riding down them....
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • coffeecupcoffeecup Posts: 128
    I often drop my daughter off at my mum's in the car, leave the car and then cycle 4 miles or so to work on my Dahon. It copes easily with the distance.

    My Dahon's got 20" wheels and 9 gears. Don't know what a 16" wheel bike would be like with only a few gears... ???
    Time you've enjoyed wasting, hasn't been wasted

    Bianchi L'Una, Bianchi 928 C2C 105, Dahon MU SL
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