Friday, March 16, 2012

Folding Bikes

I admit when I first saw people riding around on these funny looking contraptions, I thought they were the most ridiculous things I had ever seen - But everyone’s entitled to change their minds aren’t they? Now that I understand what a folding bike is (having never seen one before moving to Oxford), I almost wish I had bought one. 

Ridgeback Folding Attache, Matt Black - Approx £599.99
Advantages of Folding Bikes 
·       folding bikes are perfect for space-challenged urban commuters 
·       are ideal for multi-modal travel, i.e. cycling to the station and catching the train
·       can be taken on all forms of public transport for free
·       will fit in the boot of your car, so there's no need for car racks
·       can easily be stored inside, under a desk or in the corner, reducing the risk of theft
·       are generally sold in one size only that can be adjusted to suit the whole family
·       have a high re-sale value, so make good investments

Ridgeback Folding Rendezvous, Matte Grey - Approx £279.99

Disadvantages of Folding bikes
·       they are more expensive than conventional models
·       designs are more complicated, which means that more parts can go wrong 
·       the short wheel base can translate to a rougher ride on bumpy ground 
·       wide wheels and suspension are a must if you are riding any distance

How much do Folding Bikes cost?
Although the most popular type of bike ridden in Oxford remains the Hybrid, I'm sure you'll agree that "folders" have much to offer. Favoured brands amongst Oxford cyclists include the Ridgeback and Brompton and cheaper "quality" models start at around £250. From here, prices can range up to around £1000, but as with conventional bikes, the higher the cost, the better the components and the lighter the bike.

When it comes to buying a bicycle, whatever shape it may be, you'll save yourself a whole lot of time, money and frustration if you get it right the first time, so it's important to do your research. For lots of great tips on buying a bicycle and riding in Oxford, check out:
The Oxford Fresher's Guide to Buying a Bicycle.

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