Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Addition! Welcome to folders.

I see a lot of people talking about folding bikes in the blogosphere. I've never saw a real use for myself personally. I have a fair amount of storage at my parents house to keep all bikes in sheds, or garages or stuffed in my room closet. I also have a big basement office to myself, a luxury few grad students have. I think it's just cause they forgot I'm down there alone. This leaves lots of room for me to bring my bike in there instead of locking it outside for 8 hours unattended on a big campus.

While recently perusing canadiantire.ca looking at bikes for a friend I cam across a crappy tire folding bike. I drove him to a store to get some bookshelves and we checked out the bike section. Just for giggles I asked to look at the folder. What a piece of junk. Especially for $200 or whatever it was. A drum brake in the rear? really?

Furthering my search for a cheap (but ideally decent bike) for my friend who is thinking of getting into cycling this summer I came across an ad.

FS: 20 in 6 speed folding bikes. $60 each.
(note he had the other one there too but has removed it since my purcahse).

"Is that a price tag?" I thought. So I called him up and went and looked at them this evening. They are Wal-mart or equivalent bikes but I figured, what the hell.

The gold one was kind of heavy and cheap feeling. Shifter, grips, quick releases all felt and looks like garbage.
The red one however... well, lets just say she is part of the fleet now.

The "Campus" folding bike. Couldn't find anything about it online. It had a Shimano Revo grip shifter, shimano cheap-o 6 speed derailleur and the rest it pretty no name. I spent the evening adjusting the brakes, the derailleur, and making sure everything was snug and comfortable. These bikes were BRAND NEW! He said he got them from some clearance sale at walmart or something. All I know is the cardboard price thingy was still inside the wheel and the thing looked like it had never been ridden.

$60 for a $189 bike ain't bad in my books (not to mention I managed to talk him into letting me take the rack off the other bike).

Coming full circle, I still don't see a "real" purpose for myself. For the sake of $60 I figured it would be neat to try a different type of bike. What I think I might do is keep this one in my office at university. If I ride into school on my Surly LHT or Giant FCR2 and want to leave and go out for the night. I wouldn't take either one of those out and leave it locked up around town for too long, so I can take the folder bring it inside with me where I go, so lock it up outside somewhere and if it gets stolen, meh it's only a cheap-o. Same thing if I get a drive in, bike is ready to buzz around town.

All in all I'm pretty pleased with it. Cheap, comfortable, compact, the front end is not real solid feeling but what can you do. Might even take it out for a buzz on my lunch break tomorrow.

What do you guys think? Good purchase? Or waste of money?

[EDIT:] All ready for commuting!

Lights, air horn, tool roll and bungies!
Also turns out my headset was loose. Tightened it and the front end feels MUCH better. :)

1 comment:

  1. I just found someone selling the same bicycle on kijiji.ca and am intrigued. I've never tried the fold-ups and want to see how it feels. Thanks for the post as i couldn't find anything else online about it!