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Folding Hybrid Bikes

hambohambo Posts: 49
edited November 2011 in Commuting general
Hi All

First post so hope this is in the right forum. I'm a complete novice to biking and last time I rode a bike regularly was about 20 years ago on a Grifter if anyone remembers that and then a short stint on a mountain bike which weighed a ton and was really hard work to ride. Read through the beginners sticky which was really useful.

The thing is I need a folding bike that will fit into the boot of a VW Golf that I will then use to commute between different venues that I work at so in all 8 mile daily journeys (four miles to and from).

Looking at hybrid because of it's upright position. Only bike manufacturer I can find of hyrbid folding bikes is "Montague". Are there any others?

Tried to do a search on this forum but can't find anything. Tried riding a brompton bike the other week and it didn't inspire me with great confidence (although I know it has a somewhat loyal fan base). So just after bikes to research. Currenly only one I can find that would be suitable due to the pannier rack, folding and hyrid is the one below:

www.montaguefoldingbike.co.uk/uk/2011_f ... /navigator

So any suggestions gratefully appreciated.

Posts

  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    if you want a full size folder as opposed to a Brompton type - see also Dahon and Arnimal who both do some bigger wheel stuff - 24" and 26". Never come across Montague before. the fact that it has 700cc wheels probably makes it a bit unique , but no significant differance over 26" equipped with the right tyres
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    Dahon Cadenza is a good foldable full-sized bike. 26" wheels are fine and the size is OK for storing in a car boot.
    I dont fold mine very often but ride it at least 10miles/day for 4 years.
    You do need an allen key to lock the hinge.
  • hambohambo Posts: 49
    Thanks for the suggestions. I came across these previously on my search but my guess is that they are more like mountain bikes compared to the hybrid type so generally quite slower than a hybrid with their smaller tyres. Unless there's something that I'm missing with that.
  • I'm not sure why you need a hybrid-a-like. Most folders are pretty much sit up and beg and geared to happily compensate for having smaller wheels. You need to be thinking more of how important cost v ridability v foldability is and considering a proper folder. I've had several golfs and the sort of fold in half full size bike I think you mean, I fear you're still going to struggle somewhat, particularly if you need to keep anything else in your boot. If I recall, Giant do a 26 inch wheel MTB that folds.

    Halfords (apollo?) Dahon, Brompton, Birdy, Airnimal, Moulton pretty much ascending price wise. Brompton is a great fold and an ok ride, Dahon is a good compromise, and both are under £1000 then you get to big money, Birdy is a great ride and a viable but bigger fold, Airnimal is more what you describe & Moulton is a rare piece of engineering.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    Efficiency vs wheel size:
    Larger wheels have lower rolling resistance.
    A constant pressure, wider tyres have lower rolling resistance.
    Narrower tyres have lower air resistance and are lighter
    Smaller wheels are lighter and accelerate faster but are affected more by big bumps.
    In practice, the bicycle speed record is held by a full suspension 20" Mouton
    26" wheels are comparable to 700c is you select a suitable fat slick tyre
    Rolling resistance does not vary with speed so has most effect at low speeds.
    Air resistance varies with speed and has most effect at very high speeds.
    If you are Just Riding Along for 4 miles, then a medium tyre 700c or 26" wheel is most efficient but smaller wheels are OK.
  • hambohambo Posts: 49
    Thanks for the feedback guys. Shouldbeinbed – did the measurements and it should fit in the boot when folded up. Plus the addition of a hybrid over the smaller bikes is ease of riding which is really important to me. Don’t won’t to be a sweaty mess by the time I get to work (well not too much anyway) :cry: .

    MichaelW – quite technical all that for me but I gather the narrower the wheel the easier to ride.
    For me though with a bike is having mud guards and pannier that can take a fair bit of weight (e.g. 15kg approx) and hybrid makes sense. Only Montague Navigator is the only one that seems to pick most boxes. Just wish it had less gears, lower maintenance.

    Thanks again!
  • hambo wrote:
    Thanks for the feedback guys. Shouldbeinbed – did the measurements and it should fit in the boot when folded up. Plus the addition of a hybrid over the smaller bikes is ease of riding which is really important to me. Don’t won’t to be a sweaty mess by the time I get to work (well not too much anyway) :cry: .

    MichaelW – quite technical all that for me but I gather the narrower the wheel the easier to ride.
    For me though with a bike is having mud guards and pannier that can take a fair bit of weight (e.g. 15kg approx) and hybrid makes sense. Only Montague Navigator is the only one that seems to pick most boxes. Just wish it had less gears, lower maintenance.

    Thanks again!

    Narrower wheels generally means a harsher ride as the tyre pressure will be higher & less rolling resistance as there is a smaller patch of contact with the ground. Good for road commuting. Albeit narrow wheels can feel a bit skittish until you get used to them.

    I own a hybrid, road bike & folder currently, I've had other hybrids, MTBs & CX whilst owning folders & the difference is often negligible compared to the look. How much test riding have you done so far on small wheel bikes?

    The front chainring is set to mitigate smaller wheel size, I can ride my birdy all day long quite happily on charity rides or just following my nose up and down the pennines. I commuted a 15-20 mile daily round trip on small wheels for a decade & did so with suspension, mudguards & hanging various types of bags off the rack often using it for meetings in work clothes where a sweaty mass was not an option. I've taken an awful long time to recover from a serious neck injury & am trying to get back into riding road bikes or I'd still be riding my folder far more than I am doing. There's people riding Bromptons round the world.

    It's your choice & money to spend but look at the bikes people are actually riding and buying, these type of full size folders are barely in evidence at all. That is very telling.
  • hambohambo Posts: 49
    Thanks again. I have extremely little experience of test riding on small wheels, only a two hour cycle safety session on one which was the Brompton M3L. I really really wanted to like the Brompton but it felt very skittish which made balancing quite tricky particularly when the instructor gave the exercise of cycling foward and trying to look over my shoulder when making a turn or raising an arm for a few seconds to signal turning intent. Plus I found myself worrying when approaching potholes in the road wondering if I would end up coming off the bike and the suspension was so springy I found myself bobbling up and down quite a bit which compounded things for me. Even simple things like steering in a circle I found hard to do without the need to take a wide berth :(

    The other thing is that part of my ride to and from work normally means cutting through a park with is a mixture of pathway and some gravel and I wasn't too sure how the brompton would do. So all these things got me looking at foldable hybrids. Also pedals were quite narrow but that's minor issue though. Although thousands of satisfied brompton users can't be wrong so maybe it is just me and I have to try to get used to it, not sure though...

    But the one thing I did like was its compact folding ability and the standard seat that comes with it is extremely comfortable, funnily enough the one thing I was most concerned about before riding one.

    Perhaps it could be I just need more practice on one :(
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    The S-type brompton (straight flat bars) is I find a much better ride than the M type. I found the handlebars flex too much on the M type and its more sit up and beg riding position. See if you can get a test ride on an S type. they also do differnet stiffness suspension blocks, it shouldn't be bouncy, its just there to cushion the bumps a bit. Also how much of the skittishness was getting used to cycling again vs being on small wheels?

    Brommies do take a little bit of getting used to, but I'd happily do a long ride on mine and the odd gravel tow path or similar shouldn't worry it.

    I've also found mine handled better on Marathon plus tyres than the standard Bromptons, although that wasn't major change. Potholes aren't that great on any bike, but yes, they are worse on 16" wheels. best avoided!
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
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