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Re: Folding bicycles
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i just wanna say i love all this bike talk.

it's just great to hear people thinking of alternatives with transportation. most young people who live in a city don't even need a car, assuming you don't have to cart kids around.

i love the youthful attitude! keep it up, JC.

oh, and the foldable Cannondale, haha, that thing is great. what a good idea. I own a Cannondale mountain bike myself, Lefty fork, hardtail, ELO, frame is amazingly responsive, ultra-light weight. oh, and it's in this ridiculous booger green color!

keep pedaling, JC.

Posted on: 2008/3/5 14:50
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Re: Folding bicycles
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Quote:

Christine16 wrote:
As for bikes, I'm afraid to go full on road bike. Was thinking with the city roads that a hybrid may be a better way to go. Thoughts?


Hybrids: more relaxed geometry (more upright position with slacker angles), thicker tires, usually a flat/upright handlebar, thicker seat. The upright position will mean you're more visible to traffic, but some folks will say that it's not as suitable for longer distance charity rides, etc (though if you go on any of the charity rides, you'll see that it doesn't really hold back riders who choose this type).

Road: There are sub-categories - performance, sport, etc. Fairly versatile with the ability to customize for racing or touring. More aggressive geometry.

Mathias makes a good suggestion of using a cross bike outfitted with slicks (skinny road tires). But knobbies won't hold you back if I understand your intended use. May is bike month and there'll be a lot of activities/promos coming on. Watch out for 'em since you might be able to score some good deals. Also, the bicycle buyers guide for Velonews, Bicycling, Cyclesport and ProCycling magazines usually come out around now, and you can get some tips about finding the right bike. One tip - unless you're buying a high end bike (> ~$4K or so), most bikes are made in China and Taiwan, and re-badged with the different brands. Take a look at bikesdirect.com for some good deals online, also roadbikereview for useful opinions from experienced riders.

See you on 9W.

Posted on: 2008/3/5 13:03
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Re: Folding bicycles
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Quote:

nafco wrote:


so, just wondering, is there any bike shop in all of JC currently as that will be good to know?


When I first moved here (8 years ago) there were two bike shops in the heights. One on Palisade Ave and another on Kennedy Blvd.

Both closed around the same time a few years ago because the neighborhood was changing and could no longer support a bike shop.

There is a bike shop in Hoboken, it looks small and every time I have passed by it's been closed.

I go to James Vincent in North Bergen

Posted on: 2008/3/5 0:07
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Re: Folding bicycles
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i would def be down for this as one who has recently moved from a much larger biking community (brooklyn) and commute to hoboken everyday now from JSQ. someone set up a link or send me an email, and id love to be part of this group too.

so, just wondering, is there any bike shop in all of JC currently as that will be good to know?

Posted on: 2008/3/4 22:49
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Re: Folding bicycles
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COUNT ME IN! Earlier in the post i mentioned trying to organize a tour de JC or even Hudson... something that other cities do as part of their plans for increasing general tourism. Send me a PM if you want to talk more.

As for fold ups... would love to hear your friends advice! I've been trying out some of the ones people in my office ride to work and was going to check out a bike store this weekend. After some research and trying some of them out, i'm leaning towards a Dahon, but would love all recommendations, opinions and stories.

Also, I do a lot of the charity tours that come around. It would be so much fun to start a Jersey City team. We've been riding as "Team Powered by Natural Gas" which consists of 5 members with the same potty humor as me. May be nice to be a bit more "adult" hehe

Posted on: 2008/3/4 21:40
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Re: Folding bicycles
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It?s really great to hear (read) all of this bike talk!

While, our planned bike shop, Self Propelled City is once again postponed for many reasons, my partner in the project is a big proponent/fan of folders and I am sure he would be happy to give advise on them if anyone has interest/questions, though its looks like there are already many folder people out there.

As previously talked about, Jersey City is long overdue for a bicycle advocacy group to further the interests of and promote bicycling. While no one as yet stepped up to take the lead, perhaps an informal meet up to talk about the ?state of bicycling? in Jersey City.

JC HEDC has even identified some grant money that could be applied for to start up such group.

There are things happening in JC where bicyclist representation is important-

- the recently competed downtown traffic study recommended a number of bike features including putting stripped bicycle lanes back in the bicycle master plan.

- the city is beginning a city-wide traffic circulation study that will also look at bicycling. This study will include a steering committee that should have a bicyclists represented.

let me know-

Posted on: 2008/3/4 21:13
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Re: Folding bicycles
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Quote:

Christine16 wrote:


As for bikes, I'm afraid to go full on road bike. Was thinking with the city roads that a hybrid may be a better way to go. Thoughts?


three thoughts

1. Most people i know, including myself, started out with a mountain bike or a hybrid. They then try a road bike and rarely if ever go back to the others.

2. A road bike offers three different riding positions which is useful if you plan on being on the bike for more than an hour and a half.

3. I understand you being worried about switching to a road bike considering how skinny the tires are and how rough the roads can be. When i first started riding in 05 on a big old mountain bike i would see people on road bikes and think they were crazy and must flat all the time.

There is another option which is better than a hybrid or mountain bike and that is a cross bike. A cross bike has a geometry that is basically the same as a road bike but comes with wheels that are about the width you would see on a hybrid.

In fact during the winter I ride a cross bike since roads tend to be horrible with much more debris and potholes from salt trucks.

With a cross bike you get the stability and extra clearance you need for urban roads but also the options and performance of a road bike. As you become more comfortable with the geometry of the bike you could always get a a set of road wheels and voila it converts into a road bike

Posted on: 2008/3/4 15:13
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Re: Folding bicycles
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companies like Dahon have been producing folding bikes for years now and their possibly some of the best bikes around for getting around the city.

Posted on: 2008/3/4 15:07
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Re: Folding bicycles
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there's always a track bike/fixed gear ;) less moving parts, in turn, less maintenance... and very light depending on components used...

however, this would depend on ones riding skills and physical stamina...

Posted on: 2008/3/4 3:38
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Re: Folding bicycles
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On weekends I like to ride on the greenway path so I usually go in through WTC. It's not so bad b/c they have the handicap turnstiles, but it is a bit of a pain... part of the work out I suppose! During the week, I'm thinking the ferry is best because I know the PATH gets really crowded and I don't know if I feel like dealing with dirty looks so early in the morning, whether the fold up is in a bag or not. :)

From the GWB! EEEK! my coworkers would hate me! I'd smell so bad! Also, I don't think i'm that fast of a rider so it would take me a while. Last time I took that ride it was a saturday and more leisurely so it took me about 3 hrs with stops (i know, i'm slow!)

As for bikes, I'm afraid to go full on road bike. Was thinking with the city roads that a hybrid may be a better way to go. Thoughts?

Posted on: 2008/3/4 2:36
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Re: Folding bicycles
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The W.T.C. has elevators from the PATH trains all the way up to Church St. I responded to this same thread last year so look for it. I recommend Dahon it's a good starter folding bike I have one, I also have the Brompton. I use the Brompton in the summer time when wearing shorts, the Dahon when I'm suited up with colder weather garb. Plus the Dahon is comfortable with a big cushey seat, rack bag, and little gadgets to make the commute much better. The Brompton is just a bounce around bike. There is also Bike Friday which is good if you want to replicate your road bike, good for distance/road racers that travel. If you are willing to pay twice at the turnstile then just drop the bars send the bike through then put yourself through.

Posted on: 2008/3/4 1:39
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Re: Folding bicycles
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Quote:

Christine16 wrote:
I'm on 51 and 6 so my goal was to take the ferry to WTC and then ride the greenway path into the 50s and then cross down to 6th. I want to buy a new full sized bike (ALL SUGGESTIONS WELCOME!!) because I love touring, but would also want a cheapo folder for my commute. YAY! So excited for the warm weather... even tho the cold hasn't really stopped me yet :)


Christine, I would suggest you check out James Vincent Bicycles on Bergenline Ave in North Bergen (ask for Dave). They have lots of different bikes and great prices (& only 3.5% tax) and are great at helping people pick the right bike for them.

If you love riding you shouldn't spend less than 1200 on a full sized bike. Cannondale makes some great bikes with feminine geometry like the synapse and six13

Resized Image

I would love to see more folks doing a full commute into Manhattan via the GWB

Posted on: 2008/3/3 23:54
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Re: Folding bicycles
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You cannot bring a full size bike on the PATH from 6:30am to 9:30am and 3:30 to 6:30pm. Folding bikes if they are folded can be on the train during those times. They might have to be in bags. I don't commute those hours so I am not sure. Any other time you can have your full-size bike or unfolded bike on the train. Taking the bike on the train is free. Taking the bike on the ferry costs you an extra $1 unless you fold it.

Bringing a bike up from WTC is a pain, especially a full size. Once out of the train you have to go up narrow steps. Then go through the turnstiles. Then go up another set of steps. Then the steep escalators. Then walk it to the other set up steps where you finally will be on the street level. Getting to the greenway takes a few minutes once on street level because you have to ride a few blocks and then cross the west side highway. Riding on the greenway can be fun, but can also be windy.

If you work up on 51st and 6th, while it is not much of a workout, it is fast when you take the PATH to 33rd. When taking the PATH to 33rd I recommend exiting with the bike near the rear of the train (south side). That stairway is less crowded and you're not getting caught up with everyone else exiting the north. There is also a bike lane on the left hand side of 6th ave.....it is narrow. Just be careful after passing 34th street because after that island it shifts left and the car lane on your right shifts also and people try to cut you off to turn left on 35th street. Also riding past 42nd the bike lane ends. The construction of the Bank of America building after 42nd can be crazy sometimes also. I work in the same area as you and ride that way. On the way home I ride down Broadway through Times Square. It is better then riding down 5th Ave, which is downhill and has a bus lane. Cars go faster on 5th ave and the busses just get in the way.

I rode my folder which is a Dahon MUXL on the Bike NYC ride last year and had a great time. I averaged 17 mph with no problem. I am a leisure biker, not Lance Armstrong. I plan to do it again this year. Most of the ride is flat. The largest hills are riding up and over the 59th street bridge and Verrazano. Just remember with uphill riding comes downhill riding.

Some good links are
http://www.transalt.org/
http://www.bikeforums.net

Posted on: 2008/3/3 23:36
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Re: Folding bicycles
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I'm on 51 and 6 so my goal was to take the ferry to WTC and then ride the greenway path into the 50s and then cross down to 6th. I want to buy a new full sized bike (ALL SUGGESTIONS WELCOME!!) because I love touring, but would also want a cheapo folder for my commute. YAY! So excited for the warm weather... even tho the cold hasn't really stopped me yet :)

Posted on: 2008/3/3 22:40
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Re: Folding bicycles
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+1 Farfromit

I am surprised I don't see more XootScoots on the streets of NY. It is incredibly fast, easy to balance and steer, and so portable.

Christine--if you do get a folder, I recommend the ferry over the path 100%. Tons of personal space, outdoors, and no dark underground pressing against flesh. I don't know where your office is, but if you feel like a longer or shorter ride, you can take the midtown or WFC ferry. Plus, the free midtown crosstown bus is so convenient--you never actually have to ride in traffic.

Posted on: 2008/3/3 22:29
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Re: Folding bicycles
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I'm doing the 5 Boro again this year and wouldn't mind training a bit. I'm traveling a ton in the next couple months, but would love to sneak some wheel time in.

What sort of a pace do you normally go at? I either ride a mountain bike or road bike, so can mix it up a bit.

Posted on: 2008/3/3 19:01
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Re: Folding bicycles
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It's not a bike, but I really like my Xootr Scooter. It's fun and cuts 20 mins off my commute

Posted on: 2008/3/3 19:00
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Re: Folding bicycles
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Wow! That's pretty cool!

I'm toying with the idea of a folder b/c I want to ride to work. Unfortunately, they don't allow you to bring your full sized into the building so we have to lock it up outside. A few colleagues have gotten their rides stollen, even on the "secure" designated bike rack. We can bring folding bikes into our offices.

On a separate note... is anyone riding in the 5 boro bike tour in may? Would anyone want to train together now that the weather is getting warmer?

Posted on: 2008/3/3 18:33
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Re: Folding bicycles
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Just be sure you try to fully imagine all the situations for which you anticipate needing a folding bike before you purchase. I too was captivated by the Swift--not only for its design, but because I have an amazing Xootr scooter and really like the company. All the research I did on folders pointed me toward the Brompton, but I ended up buying a Giant Halfway because someone was selling it at a good price. The Halfway rides great, folds up easily enough-- to a size comparable to the Swift. However, what I discovered after a few trips commuting from JC to NYC and into my office building is that a bike the size of the Halfway/Swift is only marginally better than a full size bike when maneuvering through turnstiles, up and down subway stairs, or up the elevator. So my Halfway sat in the basement from the second week on. For my purposes, I really should have bought the Brompton--it is truly an engineering marvel, having subsequently gone to NYCE bike shop to sample and drool over them. If you just want a bike that you can easily throw in the car, and wont take up much space in your apartment, and you don't think you will take it on public transportation during rush hour, then I do think there are many great folder options out there. Otherwise--check out the Brompton.

Posted on: 2008/3/3 18:00
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Re: Folding bicycles
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Sharp ! but how does it ride ? I can't wait....for it

Posted on: 2008/3/3 14:22
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Re: Folding bicycles
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Quote:

eggzbenedict wrote:
I just hope this thread doesn't lead to a "I Got Beat Up For Riding A Folding Bicycle" thread.

As Mr. Wonka (Gene Wilder) himself stated at the end of the movie Willy Wonka "be careful what you wish for"

Posted on: 2008/3/3 14:16
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Re: Folding bicycles
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I just hope this thread doesn't lead to a "I Got Beat Up For Riding A Folding Bicycle" thread.

Posted on: 2008/3/3 2:24
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Re: Folding bicycles
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Cannondale is now producing a collapsible commuter bike that is as close as you can get to a normal sized mtn/hybrid bike.

Here is the article


Resized Image

not the prettiest thing you've ever seen but it's a step in the right direction for folding bikes.

Posted on: 2008/3/3 1:45
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Re: Folding bicycles
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Quote:

Mathias wrote:
There is also an awesome park that many don't know about under the GWB that runs 9 miles north along the Hudson river.


It is a great park with an interesting history.

http://www.njpalisades.org/

Posted on: 2008/2/3 20:42
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Re: Folding bicycles
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all this bike talk, i was wondering if you all knew about that bike path down Jersey ave. Its the short cut to LSP. If you dont know about it, its totally worth checking out.

I have heard that its really sketchy at night, i've never had a problem tho.

take Jersey Ave, (opposite direction from the turnpike), all the way to the end, go over the little walking bridge and through the parking lot and your in. Its really a beautiful ride.

Posted on: 2008/2/3 20:37
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Re: Folding bicycles
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Not too many people seem to be familiar with the Swift Folder which is manufactured in Brooklyn: http://www.swiftfolder.com

Or its counterpart, the Xootr Swift: http://www.xootr.com/xootr/swift/bikes.shtml

They're essentially the same bike; Xootr licenses the design from the Brooklyn company. I own the Xootr version and thoroughly enjoy it; several of my co-workers own and love the Swift Folder model. Its wheelsize makes it one of the fastest folders available, and for my money it looks better than the Dahon and Brompton bikes. It doesn't fold as compactly as some of the others mentioned here, but it's a joy to ride. I take it on the ferry to midtown and ride to work on the West side bike path. In fair weather it's the perfect (if a little costly) commute.

Posted on: 2008/2/3 19:06
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Re: Folding bicycles
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A lower Hudson bike tour would be great for Jersey City for a number of reasons (promote cycling, fitness, introduce new and older residents to a lot of forgotten and neglected places - people tend to never venture out of their little neighborhood).

There's a ton of great sights (Reservoir, LSP, Fisk Park, Hoboken Waterfront, Bayonne Park on Newark Bay etc.

Anyway...if you bike to the GWB via Hoboken it is about 8 miles mostly flat until you get to the hill taking you up to the bridge. It takes me about 35 or 40 minutes. There is also an awesome park that many don't know about under the GWB that runs 9 miles north along the Hudson river.

Posted on: 2008/2/3 18:14
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Re: Folding bicycles
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THanks! I had looked into the ferry too... even 2 times a week would be worth it and probably cheaper than a gym membership.

How long does it take to go all the way up to the GWB? I've done it on weekends for more of a leisurly ride and it takes me quite a while (i'm not the fastest rider).

Would anyone be interested in organizing local weekend rides? So wish the tourism board would do a tour de hudson (or even JC) kind of like how they do in the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Posted on: 2008/2/3 17:53
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Re: Folding bicycles
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Folding bikes can be brought on buses and the Path during peak hours. They would never let you on at that time with a full size bike and you would also feel the wrath of other Path customers.

Biking is without a doubt the way to go. Especially as Mediavid says, the bus service in the Heights has become awful, less buses and more overcrowding. Taking the 87 to the Path is torture and easily takes 5 or 6 times longer than biking there.

As an invitation....I bike to work (unless there is snow or heavy rain) from the Heights all the way into Manhattan. I go up river road in Hoboken to the GWB and then down the West Side bike path to Mid-Town. Anyone who wants info about the route or would like to join me just send a PM.

Posted on: 2008/2/3 17:45
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Re: Folding bicycles
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I had the same idea when we first moved to JC - I work in Manhattan and when we lived down by Battery Park, I used to ride my bike to my office in Midtown. So I bought a Dahon Piccolo (the smallest frame Dahon makes, and one that came highly recommended for city commuting because of low weight and small size when folded), thinking it would be good to take on the PATH, even during rush hour, and I'd still get to have my riding commute to work. It didn't work out as well as I thought. First, Dahon quality has really gone downhill. On my first three rides, I got a flat tire (VERY cheap Chinese innertubes are stock on the bike), had hub/shifting difficulties (stuck gears, etc.), and finally had the chain snap on me. It was also a lot heavier than I expected and unlike a Brompton, doesn't have built in rolling wheels to roll it around like luggage when folded. The Dahon was also really a pain to fold and unfold for the PATH. Between the weight, the difficulty, and the quality problems, I sold my Dahon on Craigslist within a month of purchasing it.

I did find a solution, though: I just continued riding my regular Cannondale, but instead of taking the PATH, I switched to the Ferry. Yes, it's a more expensive commute, but they let you bring your FULL SIZED bike on even during rush hour, and there's no need to compromise with a folder.

Posted on: 2008/2/3 17:43
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