Folding bikes are pretty straight forward for the most part. They ride just like regular bikes, shift just like regular bikes, brake just like regular bikes. But if you’ve never heard of them before or have only just started to research them, they can seem very new and a little overwhelming.
Here are a few tips of the trade that will help you avoid the classic folding bike missteps.
1) Choosing your Brompton Accessories
Brompton bikes are known as some of the best riding and smallest folding bikes in the world. Basically, if you buy one you’re home free. Learning to fold and unfold only takes a second, and there are plenty of youtube tutorials to help you along the way, and the bike itself will last forever, and will have very few maintenance problems.
1) If you get a bag, make sure to get the carrier block, or you won’t be able to attach it. Not a big deal, but if you forget, you’ll have to make a trip back to the shop, or place another order for delivery, so it’s always best to do it up front.
2) If you decide to get the S bar (the flat one), and also want to attach a bag, make sure to get either the S bag, or the mini O bag. All others are too high for this particular handlebar and will get in the way of the brake cables when you make sharp turns.
2) Rotating the handlebars on full-sized folders
Some folding bikes with full sized wheels will be shipped with the handlebars rotated 90 degrees for shipping purposes. The bike is completely tuned up and ready to ride, but before you head out on the road you’ll need to loosen the handlebars using an allen wrench, rotate them into the correct position, and then tighten them again. If you’re not quite sure how to do this, don’t try to be a hero, it’s always best to give us a call so we can talk it through with you, or follow an online tutorial.
The Tern Airporter is a case which fits Dahon and Tern folding bikes and which can be checked on an airplane. When purchasing the airporter case, keep two things it mind. 1) Folding bikes with 24 inches or larger will require some dissassembly to fit. 2) If you have had a Tern Luggage Truss installed for the purposes of attaching front bags, you’ll have to remove it before you place the bike inside the case.
4) Avoid twisting cables while folding bike
When folding or unfolding a bike for the first few times, it can be easy to accidentally rotate the handlebars 360 degrees, which will put tension on your brake cables and shifting cables, and make it seem as though the brakes and shifters are not working. If this happens, don’t panic, all you need to do is rotate it back the other way and you’ll be ready to go.
So those are the most common easily avoided trip ups for those just entering the wonderful world of folding bikes. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be folding like a pro in no time!