Folding bike query

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Public Transport & Cycling
15 replies 1.8K views
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Public Transport & Cycling
I went into a cycle store today (a big chain - parden the pun) and was advised not to buy a Tern as they are poor quality, and to buy a Brompton instead. The cost of a Brompton would be £200-300 more but I understand they are probably excellent build quality.

However not only this, but the sales assistant recommended that I go to a bike shop around the corner to see their selection of (funky) folding bikes. I did I they were expensive and cumbersome looking.

I don't understand - why would they store so many Terns if they are not good quality, or does it sound like this sales assistant is getting commission for certain types of sales? It is has left me confused as to know who to believe. I was interested in a particular Tern with full size wheels that also folds for the train. Now I don't know what I want. Was this good advice?

What annoyed me a bit is that the shop he referred to me was full of girlie annoying bikes with baskets etc..so patronising!

This one:

http://www.ternbicycles.com/bikes/eclipse-x20

Thanks.
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  • MS1950MS1950 Forumite
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    I went into a cycle store today (a big chain - parden the pun) and was advised not to buy a Tern as they are poor quality, and to buy a Brompton instead. The cost of a Brompton would be £200-300 more but I understand they are probably excellent build quality.

    However not only this, but the sales assistant recommended that I go to a bike shop around the corner to see their selection of (funky) folding bikes. I did I they were expensive and cumbersome looking.

    I don't understand - why would they store so many Terns if they are not good quality, or does it sound like this sales assistant is getting commission for certain types of sales? It is has left me confused as to know who to believe. I was interested in a particular Tern with full size wheels that also folds for the train. Now I don't know what I want. Was this good advice?

    What annoyed me a bit is that the shop he referred to me was full of girlie annoying bikes with baskets etc..so patronising!

    This one:

    http://www.ternbicycles.com/bikes/eclipse-x20

    Thanks.

    I don't know much about Terns but the bike you've linked to is a very different beast to a Brompton being it seems virtually full size with 24" wheels as compared to the 16" wheels of a Brompton - so that it's folded size would be correspondingly larger. And at only £200-300 less than a very expensive Brompton it's still going to be quite costly.

    Depending on what you want a folding bike for you might consider something like a Dahon Vitesse:

    http://dahon.com/mainnav/folding-bikes/single-view/bike/vitesse_d8-1.html

    With 20" wheels it's a size between the Tern and a Brompton. Check around for prices but from what you say it should be cheaper than the Tern and is a good commuter folder.

    I have a Brompton and a Dahon.
  • Fen1Fen1 Forumite
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    What are your parameters? How you live and how you will use the bike should be the major deciding factors. Getting a bike that is too big, cumbersome etc will cancel out the benefits of a folder.
    What is the maximum folding size you can have e.g fitting into the boot of a car or a work cupboard?
    Are you going to be carrying the bike at all, up and down stairs at a train station etc, so what is your maximum weight?
    Do you need quick fold/unfold?
    How much cycling on what terrains?

    A Brompton is comfortable for paths and roads on quite long distances. Some people even tour on them
    !. The cheapies are certainly not that good so you won't get flexibility for terrain and distance.
  • AliceBannedAliceBanned Forumite
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    Thanks. The 24" wheels appealed to me - I was hoping it would work as a commuter bike to take on the train, and also a leisure bike. I already have a Trek hybrid which I love riding, doing 30-40 miles at the weekends; but I have to store it in my bedroom.

    I thought the Tern might be a way to serve both purposes and I liked the way it looked. I hate those small wheeled ones.

    The main thrust of my post was that the sales assistant's approach seemed a little strange - I didn't know what to think..why don't they just help the customer to get what they want?

    He did say they do 24 hr test rides with the Brompton, which is quite a good idea. I tried one for five minutes once and hated it. I think they must take time to get used to.

    I would be getting it on the cycle to work scheme so it is easy to get tempted to pay too much. The Tern is around £600, so about £380 I would estimate after cycle to work etc. I thought they were a good quality bike, but I don't know what to believe now. Tern is the same make as Dahon - or bought out Dahon, not sure which.
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  • Indie_KidIndie_Kid Forumite
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    Being expensive doesn't mean it's good quality. I am looking at a Brompton too. Either that or a Pashley, I think they're called.
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  • AliceBannedAliceBanned Forumite
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    Fen1 wrote: »
    What are your parameters? How you live and how you will use the bike should be the major deciding factors. Getting a bike that is too big, cumbersome etc will cancel out the benefits of a folder.
    What is the maximum folding size you can have e.g fitting into the boot of a car or a work cupboard?
    Are you going to be carrying the bike at all, up and down stairs at a train station etc, so what is your maximum weight?
    Do you need quick fold/unfold?
    How much cycling on what terrains?

    A Brompton is comfortable for paths and roads on quite long distances. Some people even tour on them
    !. The cheapies are certainly not that good so you won't get flexibility for terrain and distance.

    I posted my previous post before seeing this, so was responding to previous poster.

    I have a small car (a Ka) but my hybrid fits in the boot of that with the front wheel taken off. A folder would need to fit in the boot, and wouldn't be carried up many stairs. I guess 20kg or so max - is that reasonable?

    If I buy a folding bike in addition to my current bike, the folding one would be used in London only, for 15 mins each way. If I can manage to find something which combines and is good to use for touring (and keep up with an average group of cyclists - doubtful) i would be doing my average weekend mileage and more, around 30 miles, plus using it in London 30 mins a day.

    I may be better off sticking with the Barclays bikes in London, and not getting either - I've used them and they are fine for that purpose, though not reliably as available as I'd like. I enjoyed using them generally, for a quick journey in the west end etc.
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  • AliceBannedAliceBanned Forumite
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    I quite like the look of these.

    http://www.mezzobikes.co.uk/d-9c.html
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  • Fen1Fen1 Forumite
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    OH regularly cycles 20 miles each way on his Brompton on paths and busy roads. However, they are not speedy gonzales bikes. You may struggle keeping up with a pack, but it does depend on how fast you go.
    Do you know of anyone with a folder so that you could borrow one for a week to see if it suits?
  • Mids_CostcutterMids_Costcutter Forumite
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    We have Brompton pool bikes in my office and I've used them for many trips including in conjunction with public transport.

    If comparing with other folding bikes, I'd consider how quick and easy the bike is to fold and unfold, so definitely try this before you buy. I think that the Brompton is very good in this respect and when folded is a very compact size. If you're lifting on and off buses or trains weight may also be an issue to consider.

    To ride the Brompton isn't of course as fast as a fixed frame bike (energy lost where parts of frame meet and smaller wheels) but for shorter journeys it's fine. Also when descending at speed with one hand off the handlebars to signal it can be a little unstable, again due to the small wheels.

    But in general in my opinion Bromptons are quality machines which last and are worth paying more for.
  • AliceBannedAliceBanned Forumite
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    Think I am going to get a Mezzo. :)

    I particularly like them in pink. :D. There have been some on Ebay but I don't have the funds yet. I don't need a new one really, only doing 5 miles a day on flat ground. At the moment I'm walking that distance 3 days a week to and from work, on top of other exercise, so hope am going to get fitter.
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  • InsideInsuranceInsideInsurance Forumite
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    I went into a cycle store today (a big chain - parden the pun)
    <snip>
    I don't understand - why would they store so many Terns if they are not good quality, or does it sound like this sales assistant is getting commission for certain types of sales?

    There is a whole host of possible reasons. Assuming he is only a sales assistant then who says he has any say or input into which bikes the store stocks? Particularly if its part of a big chain then even the store managers may only get the stock that HQ think they should have.

    It could be there is difference in commission that they earn by bike/ brand/ price bracket but if anything in this vein I'd have thought it was a simple up selling to a higher/ more expensive item rather than really brand specific.

    Could be he love/ hates one brand, rationally or irrationally.

    Could be he/ his mate wants the one you were eyeing up and they dont have any more in stock.

    Could be he was genuinely trying to give good advice, though if the advice is good or bad again is another matter.
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