Folding Bikes

So I'm contemplating buying a folding bicycle. Mostly for storage reasons at home and to be able to bung it in the car for jaunts in the countryside.

Now, I don't know much about the folders out there other than Brompton who, whilst being shiny, are also relatively expensive.

Does anyone know of any other folding manufacturers which provide for the slimmer budget, or is it just best to pony up the cash for a trusted brand?

mr_tom, how's your Brompton working out? Anything you'd change to the spec?
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No help, but I was pondering a foldy-jobby for the Victoria-Bayswater jaunty as part of my commute.

I'll be keeping an eye out for good ideas in this thread.
What I'd really like is somewhere to borrow/hire one for a short while so I can decide if it's worth the investment.
My worry about the 20" wheels is portability, I guess. The reason the Bromptons are so appealing is how compact they become when folded.

I'll have a poke around the range and see how it compares. Thanks. :)
Light, cheap, solid. Pick 2.

My Brompton is going just fine - I've made a couple of modifications to it though. (Tightened up the rear suspension, put a decent saddle on, added bar ends)

Folded size and ride-quality were the most important factors to me, and the Brompton is the neatest folded package, by far. I find that folded Dahons are a bit unwieldy.

If you're not going to be folding/unfolding as part of a multi-modal commute, you could have a look at the Airnimal[1], Moulton, Bike Friday. They won't be much cheaper than a Brompton, but are much more like proper bikes. If you're doing weekend jaunts, that'll be more important. Or you could have a look at getting a proper bike with S&S couplers fitted.

Can you do the Cycle to Work scheme? That's an instant and sizeable saving.

[1] I would have had one of these, if the fold was smaller and quicker
Oh, and have a look at the BikeFix site. They have a lot of folders. And should have one that you can test-drive.

Also: given that you're a *ahem* solidly-built fellow, you might find that some folders won't be sturdy enough. I found that I was on the cusp of some of the upper recommended weight limits.
Given my size the weight of the bike isn't that much if a concern. Percentage wise it is less significant, if you see what I mean. :)
Yes, although folded bikes need to be carried about. Which is where a light, neat package wins over a heavy, fiddly one.
Indeed. I think the toy factor may play something of a role in my choice, when it comes down to it. :)
Aren't you meant to get matching ones, with identical tracksuits, hilarious sloganed hats and spangly bicycle clips so that you can ride side by side around the countryside stopping in local pubs to drink glasses of weak lemon drink?

I bought a bike the other week. I seem to ride it to the farmer's market and Tesco. This combination of activities worries me. I did ride down the canal a couple of times...I need to up my percentage of non-food related rides.
My folks have a couple from here that are really cool and they keep them under the stairs:

In fact i think my mum wants to sell hers. I will try and find out if its a unisex bike if you like - although you might not be interested as its in York!
You really need to talk to andy in the pub in about half an hour. I dont think he would object to being labeled as something of a bike geek and was recently gently looking into this question. Last i heard the brompton was the best and cheapest option he'd found. There was a shop that specialized in them too.
I went for an S6L-plus in the end. Mostly that over an M6 because I found a place with it in stock (I wanted the 6 speed system in case I actually have to deal with terrain). Thus far most enjoyable. :)