Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
Did my commute on the Lex today - much more comfortable with the BMX tyres on it - it has a 1.75 on the front and a 1.95 on the back. The 1.95 doesn't really allow enough clearance for brakes. The 1.75 I have on the front is a knobblie and boy o boy does it hum at high speed.
I rode it to a mate's place on NYE and it was pretty popular. One of my mates rode it around the block but I think he found it's handling a little unnerving.
I put a bottle cage on it, it takes a bit of getting used to reaching down for the water without wobbling, twitchy as the bike is.
The grips are grotty looking already.
Also, I got out of the saddle today to see how it would go and the handlebars seemed to flex a little at the quick release just below the t-junction bit of metal on the bars . I don't think I can get this QR on any tighter, so I will probably have to stay in the saddle on this bike...
After exclusively riding the folder for a week, I hopped onto my 26" trucker for a wet weather commute - the trucker felt so far off the ground!!! and the handling felt slack.... took me 8ks to get used to it but was cool the next day...
I think this folding bike thing may become addictive. I may be buying a Bike Friday.
And may your internet-speak become TGIBF (Thanks God Its Bike Friday). While you're thinking about a BF keep an eye on this guy's website http://www.thelazyrandonneur.com/
He runs BF Tikit as well as Big Dummy cargo bikes and other candy. He has a folding bike link in his menu on the righthand side.
I had a Moulton spaceframe folder (well, actually it separates, not folds) and found that for the small frame folders you had to learn to 'ankle', apply the pedal stroke while trying to paint circles with your ankles as opposed to being the usual pedal gorilla. That squirrelly motion with the frame and handlebars that everyone complains about with folders is something that you can deal with, you just need to change your pedalling technique and don't move your upper body around much. You really have to do this if you're a tall rider.
Okay, most folders are light on for frame strength and rigidity (it is hard to make a diamond frame folder) and most of the cheaper ones have the one hinge in the middle of the main frame that will fail after a few years but there is still some good bikes out there. Most cheap folders seem to have a 'use by' date rather than a warranty date. I got rid of the Moulton as I didn't like the unique 17" wheels and because it didn't actually fold. I bought an Airnimal Chameleon that uses 24" wheels, really a high performance folder that was at home in the hills around Brisbane as commuting to work on the fast paths of Perth, however for the pricetag I want to keep it for long suitcase trips, not the office bikerack. I really need just a cheap commuter but as I said I don't want something that will just fail at the hinge after regular commuting to work, I looked at all the Oyamas on CRC and Wiggle, including the Lexington you bought, but just couldn't pick something that would survive long on my regular commute. I've decided that I'll go for one of those 16" wheeled Mezzo folders from Wiggle, this might be a winner though not a cheap folder still cheaper than a Brompton or Bike Friday.
What seals the deal on that choice is that if I want to use the train for part of my commute in Perth I can take a folder on in peak hours as long as it can be bagged and fits certain dimensions, they just happen to be 1cm shorter all round on what the average 20" folder can fold to. So this exludes the Oyamas. Transperth don't say they only want 16" folders but they mean it. And they employ specially trained gerbils in rail police uniforms to enforce the very centimetre or minute of the law, as someone who tried to take a non-folder bike onto an empty platform on an off day a couple of minutes before the peak period ended you can trust me on this. And the train was empty but the rule book wasn't. Choose wisely, pleasant journey.
Ahh you beat me to it. There is a bit of a discussion going on on Vik's blog at the moment about the ease of folding a Bike Friday. You can find it here (check the comments).
I still love my Raleigh Twentys, although they are more of a "collapsable" than a folding bicycle in the modern sense. Still, I'll get around to finishing the upgrades. I intend to turn it into a touring bicycle that only needs to have the panniers, and the pedals removed in order to get it into a bicycle box. Much less of a hassle than turning a full-sized touring bicycle into a pile of parts!
I've been following Viks blog for quite a while, I think I originally started following for his big dummy and his surly LHT - if I get a BF I will have a very similar fleet to him!
I really like the fast fold of the tikit but I'm not sure I will like the 16"ers - I looked at the Mezzos but I thought they were a tad too expensive for something that I couldn't find any info about. More info about the Mezzos would be really great! If you had a bag that didn't make it look like a bike could you just say it was a collapsable wheel chair? Or something, anything else, not a bike?
I only live 8ks from the city so very unlikely I would want to use the bike in peak hour on the trains. It's been months since I caught a train on a weekday but I occasionally use the Mandurah train to get home after a long ride if I want to take the bike up to my office it needs to be bagged, I bought the Oyama because in spring/autumn our bike cage gets overfull and so I have the option of folding it and shoving it in a corner in the cage, or bringing it up to the office with me (in a bag). I don't have a bag yet, was going to make one but haven't found any cheap canvas.
Bike Force in Freo got in one of those Dahon El Boso carry bags that would fit your Oyama, they had someone order the bag then never come back to buy it and it has hung at the back of the shop a long time. Maybe they'll go cheaply on it? I got one on Wiggle for $60 but they don't sell these now. Ebay has them fo maybe $80 sometimes. Work your price down from this perhaps.
Anyhow I just got the Mezzo today, damn quick delivery although in a box made from two boxes taped together that could have fitted another two bikes. They really went overboard on bubble bags to protect the bike, probably had to given the oversized box. Unfolded easily, came with complimentary pedal spanner and 3-way allen tool that I didn't need as the whole bike was set up and locked down before delivery. $730 plus $144 postage but the exchange rates are creeping up again. This price puts it among the reasonable Dahons, way below the Birdys, Bromptons, Bike Fridays and Moultons, not too cheap but reasonable. Last night I also saw that Wiggle had in the Mezzo carry bag so I ordered that, they processed that order within the hour. Are they on steroids right now or what? I'm used to having Wiggle orders wait weeks sometimes. Already whipped off the saddle for a stiffer (no padding) and far lighter plastic thing, threw on lights, ready to rock and roll. Will have to figure out the whole picture-taking and posting bit. Red frame, 9-speed model.
hah maybe they still have extra staff on that they put on over the Christmas period? How wide are the tyres?
I will be in Freo on the weekend so I'll check out TBE for that bag
Yes please do, one is a Raleigh, the other is marked "K" "Made in Germany".
I did the second half of the Tour Down Under Mutual Community Challenge on the Oyama ... from Balhanna to Strathalbyn - 62km...
The bike did admirably. No punctures, no mechanical issues... I ran out of gears on the descents but the ascents were great....
Despite my Brooks B17, nice knicks and 1.95" tyre on the back I had a rather sore butt with 10km to go. Did it in 3 hours, so about a 20kmh average.
I've come across the Oyama Bloomsbury from Wiggle:
It's attractive to me because
a. It has a 7 speed internal Nexus hub
b. It has front and rear LED lighting
c. The weight's not bad at just under 13kg
Question is, do I spend on a cheapie or go for a Hasa which seems to be the only one that sells Ti folding bikes? (one at 9kg)
How are Oyama users finding their bikes? Is it Japanese/Taiwanese? Dahon seems to have a better rep while Hasa is just *out* there. Only ebay seems to have a lot of Hasa bikes for sale. Should I just wait until Ti bike makers start providing better folding bike selections? Anyone else offer alternatives?
Amateur oenologist and green-friendly commuter.
Well I like mine.... there is significant road buzz when descending at 40kmh, maybe Ti would reduce this? I suspect it would handle better if it had a stem instead of a t-shaped bar for handlebars (it's a tad twitchy and there is a knack to taking your hands off the bars for indicating purposes). I am definately going to upgrade to a Bike Friday New World Tourist for overseas bike touring/train trips but the Lexington does quite well. Longest ride I've done on it has been 62kms.
Thanks for posting something interesting Jetski.
I have been thinking about buying a Folding Bike for my sister and I like the look of your Oyama so far. She lives in units in Redfern NSW and there is no room in the lifts for a full sized ladies bike (27 incher).
Can you please tell me how tall and heavy you are? ( if that's not too personal )
Keep up the info. Cheers, Rob.
Oyama also make folders with full size wheels
there are quite a few on evilbay
Thanks CommuRider & jet-ski, yes I've seen the folding bigger bikes, but I put the idea of the folding 20 inch bike when I saw her last and she liked the idea, and (long story short) her place is low maintenance inner city living, i.e. small.
I happened to be in Anaconda the other day and had a look at their folding bike. It is $400 and features a truly horrible looking fold. It's a centre of the frame fold like the Oyama, but the Oyama simply has a big lever, you just press in the safety tab and pull it open, whereas the Anaconda bike has a tiny QR lever like one that belongs on a wheel - I can see why these would break.
Still riding the Oyama, it's really an awesome little go getter, but I haven't commuted on it in the heat because I don't have a rack on it.
I may have to sell it when I get a Bike Friday though, as my SO has decided there are too many bikes in the house.
Got my folder this past weekend with a write up in the single speed/fixie sub-forum. Big 700C wheels.
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