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Best Folding bike for a hilly commute?

Short Round StanShort Round Stan Posts: 20
edited January 2013 in Commuting general
Hi

My commute would be 3 and a half miles with a couple of steepish hills involved.The bike would be bought on the ride to work scheme so I could go up tp about £800-£900 for the right bike-something that would be ridden in all weathers.
storage is a major issue and the bike will be taken on and off trains as well. I'm not bothered about the amount of gears as long as the ones I have are useable.

So what does everybody recommend?

Posts

  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    If you're using the train then the brompton is really your only option.

    Choose gearing etc. to suit budget.
  • I could put the bike in the bike carriage,I'm not going on the train everyday
    its the hills and storage that are the problem really :D
  • The Tern Link D7i is good value at Evans at the moment.

    http://m.evanscycles.com/products/tern/ ... e-ec032583

    With the rack, dynamo hub and lights already fitted you're good to go!

    p.s. actually it looks like those are extras not included, but even so it's worth a look at that price.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Brommie is the best folder for crowded commuter routes but not all trains are as manic as the main commuter routes.
    Look for a lightweight folder with low enough gears.
    16" wheels for crowded trains, 20" if you have more space.
    I have a 26" folding bike but there is no way it is small enough for a busy route.
  • MichaelW wrote:
    Brommie is the best folder for crowded commuter routes but not all trains are as manic as the main commuter routes.
    Look for a lightweight folder with low enough gears.
    16" wheels for crowded trains, 20" if you have more space.
    I have a 26" folding bike but there is no way it is small enough for a busy route.

    stupid question time-how do I know if the gears are low enough,all the numbers they quote are just that to me, numbers :?: :oops:
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    You measure gears in "gear inches". try the hills on a normal bike, see what gear inches you need. Folding bikes are lighter weight so usually you can use a bigger gear.

    No-one can tell you what gear you need.
  • robbroorobbroo Posts: 42
    I use a Brompton and love it! It goes all over the country with me including some pretty steep hills in Worcester and in Newcastle without any bother. I have the 6 gear version and while it isn't the same as my other bikes i am comfortable tackling just about any hill. I hope this helps
    Robbroo
  • I have an Oyama Thingy I got from Chainreactions sale earlier in the year, it/I go up the New Forest's steepest hill just fine, in fact better than any of my other bikes.
  • bromyGbromyG Posts: 59
    I too ride a six gear Brompton and have no problem with hills. It's also the ideal folder for my daily train ride.
    The six gears give you a wide range, but if you go down this route and still find the hills too hard to manage, you can always ease the gearing by changing to a smaller chain ring.


    Red Brompton S6L
  • danny1cdanny1c Posts: 38
    What about an Airimal?
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I have use of a Dahon folder for work - it has Shimano Nexus 8 speed gears and I have used it in hilly areas. My conclusions are 1) a derailleur geared bike would probably be better - the bottom gear of the Nexus is too high and the top gear too low. I expect derailleur mechs would have a bigger range. 2) The small wheels make it really hard work. There is no momentum in the wheels so the bike needs constant pedalling to keep at any pace at all. The larger the wheels the better the experience is likely to be.

    Ultimately it depends on what you describe as hilly - the hills I mostly ride this bike on are SE of Nottingham. Rolling, not that high but fairly steep in places.

    But then again, I once met an old bloke on Mt Evans in Colorado on a Brompton. That was at 14,000 feet :lol:
    MichaelW wrote:
    Folding bikes are lighter weight so usually you can use a bigger gear.

    Lighter than what? A mountain bike indeed but a road bike probably not.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • IanLDIanLD Posts: 423
    Just got a Tern Verge P18 from Evans reduced from £900 to £675.

    Has 18 gears as the name suggests and a wide range that should get you up virtually anything. No mudguards, lights or rack, so needs a few bits added.

    I've also bought a pair of Schwalbe Winter Marathon 20" tyres just in case the weather switches, but the Schwalbe Kojak tyres have coped fine with wet roads so far.

    Have had to get a folder due to a change in where our office is located and the lack of space to take any of my road, hybrid or mountain bikes in, but pleasantly surprised so far.
  • ricky1980ricky1980 Posts: 891
    You want something that's light weight for those hill climbs. I think one of the dohan variant is around 9.5kg which is a very light weight.
    Road - Cannondale CAAD 8 - 7.8kg
    Road - Chinese Carbon Diablo - 6.4kg
  • IanLDIanLD Posts: 423
    30 miles on the Tern Verge P18 yesterday which was 7 miles to station in the morning then 23 from office to home at night.

    Surprised at how well it coped with some of the rougher sections of the cycle route beside the Clyde and at how easily it would pick up speed. Desperately needs mudguards though and I'm fitting a set today.

    Coped fine with the climbs I had but not as well as full size bike. Part of that was down to me though with the Christmas excess effect and also finding not have my feet clipped in akward.
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