Sunday, September 21, 2008

Folding bicycle adventures

The folding bicycle has turned out to be quite useful in this post-Ike time when I don't want to take journeys on the open road with traffic signals broken. I have been riding 3 miles to a meet-up point, then carpooling the 40 mile round-trip with a woman who works two blocks away from my workplace. We're both getting points. I just redeemed some points today for free food coupons; coffee, kolaches, chocolate, smoothies.

I love the small footprint of folding bikes, even when fully deployed.

I also used the folder on METRO on the Thursday before the storm hit. I took it on the #216 Park & Ride bus, which uses buses without bike racks or storage bins, so folding bikes are the only ones that work on those currently. I also took it on the light rail during the hours when regular bikes are forbidden, but folders are allowed. It's a nice way to get around these restrictions.

On the #216 bus, bike folded and crammed in front of my knee

Bike on light rail, folded and crammed behind a seat near the door


Folding Bike Destinations said...

How do you like the Dahon? Had any problems? I'm pasivly thinking about updating my folding bike but I need something that can stand a beating.

Peter said...

I have the Dahon Speed 7 / Vitesse 7.

I think it's a great bike, especially given the low price ($400 through Performance Bicycle).

I upgraded the saddle, and put non-foldable SPD pedals on for more efficiency, and a water bottle cage (the frame can hold 1). I put on lights. It comes with fenders and a rack already.

At some point, I'm going to put on better tires, like Schwalbe Big Apples, after the current ones wear out.

I'd like to have 8 speeds instead of 7, but... that's the way things go.

The bike tends to shed it's chain when you shift rapidly. You have to shift one gear at a time carefully, and keep tension in the chain. If it gets slack, it might dump off of the front chainring. That's a minor learning step.

Folding Bike Destinations said...

I just got back from Vegas and my bike is really taking a beating. I’m becoming less and less passive about finding a new folding bike. How often do you commute on your Dahon and have you had any other problems than the chain slipping? It’s a great looking bike and I really like the color. Happy riding Peter!