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Thread: Folding Bikes

  1. #1

    Folding Bikes

    I was looking at the biking thread recently and think I need to get on a bike and do some exercise.

    Space is limited and only recently became aware of folding bikes. I would be looking to buy through a work cycle scheme and have looked at Free Spirt or Ammaco folding bikes. I have looked at Dahon, Tern and even Brompton which are more than I would like to spend.

    I am envisaging only light cycling on flat routes to see how I progress as my asthma has increased in recent years and topped up with WFH eating.

    Does anyone have any experience or recommendations?

  2. #2
    Brompton are expensive, but for a reason. Smallest folded size and great build quality really boost the residuals.
    Andy

    Wanted - Damasko DA38 or DC80 Green - not the black versions. Bell & Ross BR03-92 Nightlum

  3. #3
    Brompton. Also they hold their value really well. So should you want to change/upgrade you can sell your old one and recoup a lot of the cost.

  4. #4
    Master
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    A third vote for Brompton here.

    Bought mine in 2002 and used it for five years commuting Padd-EC1A with no bother and a lot of fun.

    Two London to Brighton rides too, and it happily made it up Ditchling when a lot of mountain bikes were struggling - and down the other side too.

    If I had to have just one bike, it'd be the Bromp.

  5. #5
    Master
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    What is your budget?

    The Brompton is the best option if your priority is size when folded - e.g. to meet requirements to bring it on the tube. That’s one reason why their resale value is so good. However, they aren’t that great to ride (IMO) with their small wheel size, and the rear triangles rust like billy-o.

    If you don’t want to spend much at this stage, the B’Twin folders from Decathlon get good reviews. Halfords do a Raleigh Evo for about £300. Both of those have 20” wheels, slightly larger than the Brompton’s, which tend to ride better on today’s clapped out roads.

  6. #6
    Thank you all.

    Bromptons do make sense from holding their value perspective. However I’m currently envisaging spending less than £400 RRP which equates to £270 payment. A Brompton B75 at £850 RRP would be £570~.

    I would not require taking the bike on public transport but would be stored indoors. I did have a bike many years which was stored in the shed and required emptying the shed to get the bike out. And not to mention spiders setting up home on it.

    I did look at a BTwin at Decathlon but it is not a provider on my work scheme.

  7. #7
    Master
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    If you don’t need to use it on public transport, folded size isn’t that important so that negates one of the big advantages of the Brompton, even if it was within budget.

    Is Halfords on your work scheme? I can see a couple that might be within budget:

    https://www.halfords.com/bikes/folding-bikes/

    Second-hand outright purchase would be another way of getting something decent for your money, especially if it needed a bit of work that you could do yourself, but on the assumption that you want to buy new via your work scheme, that is all I can see right now.

  8. #8
    Craftsman
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    I had a Dahon folder for a while,not bad for the money.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by prexelor View Post
    A Brompton B75 at £850 RRP would be £570~.
    I think from this you are a higher rate 40% taxpayer. If so, the maths is slightly better if the scheme is salary sacrifice, as you save on 2% NI too.

    So, it will cost you around £552 all in, with £41 nett deducted each month from your salary for 12 months, and a final one off payment of £60 to own it later. You’ll barely notice £41 out of your monthly salary.

    Go for the B75, it is a cracking folder. Although I am biased as I have a M6L and the wife’s got a M3L.

  10. #10
    We have a Brompton m6 and b75 here. Great bikes
    Last edited by tz-uk73; 9th May 2021 at 22:20.

  11. #11
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    I started with a Carerra Intercity. Didn't last long before I bought a Brompton. The Carerra was awful to fold and actually use. The Brompton is worth the extra.

  12. #12
    Master
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    I think it is fair to say that if you can see a way to increase your initial outlay, it will save you grief in the longer run. A Brompton for £570 is pretty good...

    Something like the B-Twin would be ok, but anything cheaper and you are looking at very low end components, lots of weight, and not much fun to ride.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by tz-uk73 View Post
    We have a Brompton m6 and b75 here. Great bikes
    Check out eBay, those b75’s are selling above rrp. If you can get one tax free it’s a money maker.

  14. #14
    There really is only one answer - Brompton. You’ll still have a smile on your face long after the pain of the purchase cost has gone, and if you buy on the cycle scheme you’re quids-in from the start.

  15. #15
    The scheme is through Halfords and tredz.co.uk. Through Halfords site, you can search for independents who are on the same bike scheme as there are a few schemes. I am on Cycle 2 Work scheme.

    The B75 is sold out in Halfords and therefore I will look at independents. But having visited an independent last week to look at folding bikes, the only one was Brompton which was out of stock.

    I have contacted HR for the relevant code to start the process and hopefully I will hear back before Xmas.

  16. #16
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Brompton are incredibly well made, and brilliant when you are going to use several modes of transport, or keep it by your desk at work, etc.

    But a full size bike has many advantages over a Brompton, if you can find the space.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by prexelor View Post
    The scheme is through Halfords and tredz.co.uk. Through Halfords site, you can search for independents who are on the same bike scheme as there are a few schemes. I am on Cycle 2 Work scheme.

    The B75 is sold out in Halfords and therefore I will look at independents. But having visited an independent last week to look at folding bikes, the only one was Brompton which was out of stock.

    I have contacted HR for the relevant code to start the process and hopefully I will hear back before Xmas.
    Add yourself to the waiting lists now. I think you may have to pay a 10% deposit which is refundable when your voucher arrives. It may take many weeks/months to source one given the very high demand.

  18. #18
    Master Tokyo Tokei's Avatar
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    Adding yet another Brompton fan. I owned one for a decade or more (it was stolen last year 😫) and I grew to really like it. They cost around £1400 here for a basic one, so your price looks very good to me. Only worth it though if you do need to fold it for some reason, there are other bikes that are much cheaper that work as well for general fitness and mobility if folding isn't needed.

    If I understand it, Brompton's patent expired recently so there are some "homages" such as the Dahon Curl around that should be cheaper and may work almost as well. But the made-in-England Brompton is the original and a classic. Very much the Rolex Submariner of the folding bicycle world and seemingly as good for value retention.

    I knew some fool would get Rolex into this somehow.

    An old review, and a follow up about my adventure fitting it with dynamo lighting.

  19. #19
    Grand Master
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    Brompton are OK to ride and fold really sweetly, Dahon are nicer to ride but the fold is a bit of a faff. Personally, if you are not going for the commuting fold but just want something you can fit in a boot or in limited space in a flat, I'd hugely recommend a Moulton, which split in half in an operation that 'gets quicker with time'... but once on the road they are incredibly nice to ride and infinitely better at everything. Moulton hold the world bicycle speed record and are acclaimed as the finest touring bicycle in the world.

  20. #20
    Craftsman
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    Brompton 👍👍

  21. #21
    Master Harry Smith's Avatar
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    However good a Brompton is it's still a folding bike with little wheels, great for commuting and handy. But for the larger or unfit/unwell person (not saying you are op-just making a point) who needs to get out and exercise a folder is not the best, imo.

  22. #22
    Thank you all and for review link.

    A valid point has been made that a folder not being the best for exercise. My thinking for a folder was due to lack of space, given that there are two children’s bikes in the utility. If I do not enjoy cycling, I can ‘gift’ the bike to my wife.

    There is also the potential for a house move, which if happened I could buy a better/normal bike.

    My heart is saying a Brompton and my head, the cheaper bike. There is certainly the perspective that the Brompton will hold its value.

    There is the issue that voucher is issued and you can only spend the amount specified. You cannot top up and if you spend less, you are still charged the full amount. I will have to make some visits and hopefully find a bike shop that has a Brompton or otherwise to try.

    I will update when the decision is made.

  23. #23
    To update, I have ordered a Tern B7.

    I typed a previous response which then deleted as I attempted to edit a spelling after posting. Let's hope I am better at riding than I am at spelling.

    The Tern is readily available in comparison to the Brompton and think summer would have past by waiting and waiting.

  24. #24
    To update further, the Tern arrived and was subsequently returned. It did not meet expectations finishing wise and was somewhat underwhelming.

    I have managed to buy a Brompton B75! The weather has been rubbish and will hopefully venture out at the weekend.

    My plans are adding mudguards and changing the pedals.

    Any suggestions for bike and chain cleaners, degreaser and lubricants are welcome. I have also seen a chain cleaner ‘box type’ mechanism - is this worthwhile?

  25. #25
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by prexelor View Post
    To update further, the Tern arrived and was subsequently returned. It did not meet expectations finishing wise and was somewhat underwhelming.

    I have managed to buy a Brompton B75! The weather has been rubbish and will hopefully venture out at the weekend.

    My plans are adding mudguards and changing the pedals.

    Any suggestions for bike and chain cleaners, degreaser and lubricants are welcome. I have also seen a chain cleaner ‘box type’ mechanism - is this worthwhile?
    Will be interested to see what pedals you going to change to?

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Pretzel View Post
    Will be interested to see what pedals you going to change to?
    The B75 comes with both pedals fixed, and one of the pedals sticks out of the bike when folded. Unlike a standard Brompton where one pedal folds for neat storage.

    I imagine the fixed pedal that sticks out on folding will be replaced by a folding pedal.

  27. #27

    Folding Bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by prexelor View Post
    I have also seen a chain cleaner ‘box type’ mechanism - is this worthwhile?
    Congrats on the B75. It’s a great bike.

    I have a couple of Bromptons and just use a pair of chain pliers to remove the chain and soak it in degreaser.

    For some reason lubricants and degreasers are a complete rip off for bikes.

    If you are smart you can buy bucket loads of the stuff very cheaply, e.g. https://www.screwfix.com/p/no-nonsen...ser-5ltr/88668

    I have many bikes, and so do the family so bulk buying of degreaser is ideal for me. It’ll probably last you with one bike 50 years!

  28. #28
    Master Tokyo Tokei's Avatar
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    A tour of the Brompton factory and a quick ride of the electric version...



    Still miss mine 😔

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Pretzel View Post
    Will be interested to see what pedals you going to change to?
    Both are black plastic non folding pedals. I will replace with metal pedals of which left hand pedal is folding.

    Of course I did not know this in my purchasing haste but otherwise aware that B75 owners replace/add parts such as pedals, mudguards, seat etc.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by noTAGlove View Post
    Congrats on the B75. It’s a great bike.

    I have a couple of Bromptons and just use a pair of chain pliers to remove the chain and soak it in degreaser.

    For some reason lubricants and degreasers are a complete rip off for bikes.

    If you are smart you can buy bucket loads of the stuff very cheaply, e.g. https://www.screwfix.com/p/no-nonsen...ser-5ltr/88668

    I have many bikes, and so do the family so bulk buying of degreaser is ideal for me. It’ll probably last you with one bike 50 years!
    Thank you for link.

    My two children have a bike each and a quick look at the reviews, people use the degreaser for BBQs, ovens etc. So this may last only 25 years.

    But I was surprised at bike product prices. Whilst collecting the bike I saw muc-off cleaner at just £20! I thought car cleaning stuff was expensive.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    A tour of the Brompton factory and a quick ride of the electric version...



    Still miss mine 😔
    Thank you. I will watch that today.

    On YouTube I saw Brompton world championship racing. Amazing fun.

    I did watch a Brompton set up video and all was well in setting up. Then at the point of unlocking the back wheel, no joy. Lots of sitting on the floor, scratching my head and looking for something apparent. A quick look on Google and realise I did not raise seat enough!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    A tour of the Brompton factory and a quick ride of the electric version...



    Still miss mine 😔
    Thank you. I will watch that today.

    On YouTube I saw Brompton world championship racing. Amazing fun.

    I did watch a Brompton set up video and all was well in setting up. Then at the point of unlocking the back wheel, no joy. Lots of sitting on the floor, scratching my head and looking for something apparent. A quick look on Google and realise I did not raise seat enough!

  32. #32
    I don't think it's been mentioned, but for anyone thinking "electric", a cheaper option is the Switch kit. I've ordered it for my S3. And they have another 50% offer day coming up on Tuesday 1st June | 1pm BST / 8am EDT.

    The kit is a new front wheel, cables and a battery in a bag which either clips onto the front carrier block or handlebars.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGCNW2KOtIE

    Due to receive mine in the next month. Will finally make the local hills do'able.

  33. #33
    Master pacifichrono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHooky View Post
    I don't think it's been mentioned, but for anyone thinking "electric", a cheaper option is the Switch kit. I've ordered it for my S3. And they have another 50% offer day coming up on Tuesday 1st June | 1pm BST / 8am EDT.

    The kit is a new front wheel, cables and a battery in a bag which either clips onto the front carrier block or handlebars.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGCNW2KOtIE

    Due to receive mine in the next month. Will finally make the local hills do'able.
    Yes, I'm looking at electric, but a folding fat tire ebike. I can't hassle with a conversion or kit types of ebikes. I'm currently comparing the specs and costs of about ten alternatives under $1,500 or so.

  34. #34
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacifichrono View Post
    Yes, I'm looking at electric, but a folding fat tire ebike. I can't hassle with a conversion or kit types of ebikes. I'm currently comparing the specs and costs of about ten alternatives under $1,500 or so.
    As much as possible, try them first, and of different types (including more narrow tyres) because only this way will you know what is right for you.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  35. #35
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by prexelor View Post
    To update further, the Tern arrived and was subsequently returned. It did not meet expectations finishing wise and was somewhat underwhelming
    May i ask what the issues were the Tern? I was thinking of getting one cos of the 20” wheels, but not really for commuting.

    Thanks

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by bins View Post
    May i ask what the issues were the Tern? I was thinking of getting one cos of the 20” wheels, but not really for commuting.

    Thanks
    Visually the Tern looked like a big boys BMX, which I liked. Apart from the mainframe hinge, it did not look like a folder and it looked good. However close up, it did not provide great confidence in build quality. As an example, there was spiral bound tape/plastic around cables to hold together and this was just slightly coming undone. The quick releases were not that quick and required the strength of Geoff Capes. These are minor points and can be rectified but may be my expectations were too high. The welding of joints seemed slightly ‘messy’. I thought they should look, well a bit tidier.

    The weight was slightly heavier that I expected. The bike was returned without adjusting or riding.

    I based my purchase on website photos and online videos and did not see it in a store. I think I should have made the effort to do this.

    During my search, I read about folding bikes and Brompton was mentioned everywhere. Reading about people with bikes with 15 years service filled me with confidence. The battle was my expectations, whilst trying to spend less rather than more.

    I wanted to like the Tern. If I had any skill (ie I have never even fixed a puncture) I may have kept the Tern knowing I could fix any minor issues.

    The above is my opinion as a complete novice and such as, someone with bike experience may totally disagree.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    A tour of the Brompton factory and a quick ride of the electric version...
    I just watched and enjoyed that. Thank you.

  38. #38
    Master Rod's Avatar
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    Mrs. Rod has the Brompton B75 which she loves😍. I've already put mudguards on it and a folding pedal bought from Brilliant Bikes who are great to deal with.
    It's great to put both in my car boot (I have the SL6) wizz off somewhere new to explore.
    Your B75 will fit in the IKEA Dimpa bag to carry.

  39. #39
    I had a Brompton a few years back - couldn’t tell you the model - and used to ride into Soho from the train station. The very first time I folded it outside a coffee shop I was approached by a ridiculously hot young lady who asked me all about the bike and we had a lovely chat - it was like I’d rolled up in a new Ferrari! This happened a few times over the next couple of years, the folding mechanism really impressed people (you get very quick with a bit of practice) - for some reason often attractive women, I was out with friends a few times and they couldn’t believe something so nerdy was a bit of a f**** magnet :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Mrs. Rod has the Brompton B75 which she loves. I've already put mudguards on it and a folding pedal bought from Brilliant Bikes who are great to deal with.
    It's great to put both in my car boot (I have the SL6) wizz off somewhere new to explore.
    Your B75 will fit in the IKEA Dimpa bag to carry.
    I have watched online videos by BB and hope to buy mudguards but out of stock at the moment.

    I read somewhere that the Dimpa bag designer was a Brompton fan. Further more Ikea has furniture which just the right size for a folded Brompton.

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by RobDad View Post
    I had a Brompton a few years back - couldn’t tell you the model - and used to ride into Soho from the train station. The very first time I folded it outside a coffee shop I was approached by a ridiculously hot young lady who asked me all about the bike and we had a lovely chat - it was like I’d rolled up in a new Ferrari! This happened a few times over the next couple of years, the folding mechanism really impressed people (you get very quick with a bit of practice) - for some reason often attractive women, I was out with friends a few times and they couldn’t believe something so nerdy was a bit of a f**** magnet :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Well my folding skills are less than impressive but getting there. The handlebar is a bit stiff at the moment and may loosen up after a few outings.

  42. #42
    PSA - The B75 is in stock at brompton.com

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