Author Topic: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle  (Read 5836 times)

Gattopardo

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Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« on: October 21, 2009, 10:52:08 pm »
Looking at one and was wondering what I should be looking at and what problems they could have or what I should be looking at.

Thanks

Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2009, 11:00:23 pm »
Used to have one years ago. Very light, but also very flexible which was a bit odd to start with. The handlebars move a lot too whilst you're riding, which is a bit disconcerting!
Abnormal for Norfolk

Wowbagger

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Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2009, 11:03:18 pm »
I'd say that the only possible reason for buying one these days is because you were a collector of such items. I think it would have no use as a bicycle.
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Gattopardo

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Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2009, 11:13:41 pm »
I'd say that the only possible reason for buying one these days is because you were a collector of such items. I think it would have no used as a bicycle.

Really were/are they that bad as I'd like to  have a folder and one of these are cheap.  Also as they were the first folder.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2009, 11:16:48 pm »
Yes, they are terrible.  Wobbly as a clown bike made of rubber.  Steering vaguer than Frank Spencer on a bad day.

It is reputed to be the inspiration for Andrew Ritchie to design a folder that was actually rideable.
We are all just prisoners here of our own (mobile) device.

Gattopardo

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Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2009, 11:38:32 pm »
Isn't it character? ;)

Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2009, 11:47:00 pm »
A friend of mine rode one of my hilly 100s on one. It became more and more flexible as the hills came and went. I then had the opportunity to examine the thing more closely. It is a truly fascinating piece of bodgery. Riding it was both hysterically funny and terrifying.

Gattopardo

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Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2009, 11:51:59 pm »
Riding it was both hysterically funny and terrifying.

Is what appeals to me for some reason

Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2009, 10:32:51 am »
A few years ago, a bunch of us thought it would be fun take turns doing progressively larger jumps on a a Bickerton (stupid, beer fuelled). We barely got started before the handlebars and hinge went simultaneously. I think a decent pothole could write one off.

BTW - the ad is pure win - <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/shxHFCi673A&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/shxHFCi673A&rel=1</a>

Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2009, 10:38:01 am »
was that a nun?

Charlotte

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Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2009, 10:38:39 am »
Riding it was both hysterically funny and terrifying.

Is what appeals to me for some reason

Then go for it.  Paint it a lurid colour and wrap tinsel round the ridiculous ape-hanger bars.  Fit spokey dokeys.  Bolt on at least seventeen bells, one of which should be a ladybird that flaps its wings when you ring it.  Try to use them all every time you ride it.  See if you can get one of those twistgrip motorcycle engine noise-makers, too.  They're ace.

This may at least detract from just how execrably bad it will be to ride.
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Salvatore

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Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2009, 10:46:35 am »
Take no notice of the naysayers.

I've had one for 27 years and still use it from time to time. Ideal when your destination is more than walking distance from a station.



I've seen another one in regular use round here.

Perfectly OK once you get used to its foibles, and don't use it for anything it wasn't intended for.
Quote
et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2009, 10:50:12 am »
...don't use it for anything it wasn't intended for.

Like cycling. ;D
We are all just prisoners here of our own (mobile) device.

robgul

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Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2009, 10:56:14 am »
I did have one but found that at 15 stone or so, and 6'4" I was waaaay too big for it.

The foldability was pretty good but the "bolted together" spars meant it was very flexible - all that said it could be argued that the Brompton design sprang from the Bickerton.

Rob

Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2009, 11:00:20 am »
...it could be argued that the Brompton design sprang from the Bickerton.

Rob

The prototype shows that.

Torslanda

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Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2009, 11:03:04 pm »
. . .  go for it.  Paint it a lurid colour and wrap tinsel round the ridiculous ape-hanger bars.  Fit spokey dokeys.  Bolt on at least seventeen bells, one of which should be a ladybird that flaps its wings when you ring it.  Try to use them all every time you ride it.  See if you can get one of those twistgrip motorcycle engine noise-makers, too.  They're ace.

This may at least detract from just how execrably bad it will be to ride.

I'm getting the impression that Charlotte doesn't like Bickertons. It can't be anything to do with that post, can it?
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Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

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Re: Anyone got a bickerton folding cycle
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2009, 07:53:44 pm »
I have one, heavily modified, which I keep partly for its novelty value.
It is certainly a bike for gentle pootling rather than serious riding.  The comments upthread about its flimsy build are fair.  I wouldn't pay more than £50 for a second hand example.  A serious limitation is that the headset contains nylon components and these are the old standard thread pitch and so they are difficult to upgrade.  

Modifications: I hacked the handlebars to create a conventional stem and flat bar arrangement then upgraded the apalling brake levers.  To lighten it, I swapped out the 3 speed steel rimmed rear wheel for a modern alu rimmed single speed wheel.  (I rode it as fixed gear for a little while using a 12 tooth sprocket).  It is fun to ride though and remarkably smooth.  My next job will be to rebuild and reinforce the head 'tube'.   It was, and is, remarkably light for a folding bike, at around 10kg.  I keep it for train journeys that will have a short cyle ride the other end.  


History: Bickerton attempted to market in USA where his original design fell foul of a law that required bicycles sold in the US to have a top tube.  Bickerton retrofitted a very short tube to triangulate the seat tube and the main tube, to meet this requirement.  Later a design overhaul was undertaken by a Californian man by the name of David Hon who constructed his bike from steel and named it the Dahon Bickerton.  A generation later his design has droped the Bickerton suffix.  
Or something like that.  

Design: the component that connects the handelbar tothe steerer is very interesting.  It is a peice of machined aluminium bolted directly to the steerer, the other end of which grips the handlebar.  Nowadays we recognise a stem like this as the basis of the threadless headset... but this was 25 ish years ago.

Another good feature is that the hinge is on the right of the main tube which means the drivetrain ends up up the inside of the folded package, a feature that Dahon has not retained on its modern bikes, unfortunately.

The Bickerton design allows the bike to be set up with a long reach, something I value.  A too short top tube is a failing of the modern Dahon and IIRC the Brompton.