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Thinking to get a Montague bike for mountain biking. The reason for a folder is easy storage and transportation. And reviews I read all say good things about their bikes. There are these models available:

http://www.montaguebikes.com/compare-mountain-folding-bikes.html

I have almost 0 knowledge on MTB, but based on my experience with other bikes, these frames are probably the same, only different components (except x50, which uses v brake so the frame/fork maybe different). So I am thinking to get the second least expensive paratrooper then buy a good fork later when needed. So what kind of fork can I put on this bike? Please let me know the points to consider (e.g travel, wheel size, etc etc remember I have almost 0 knowledge). I will be using this bike on off road, trails, etc but nothing too rough(jumping etc) in my mind. Or is the stock fork (SR Suntour. Suspension XCT V4. 80mm travel) already enough for my need?

BTW, I want to get a decent enough fork so I won't upgrade soon after that (at least I hope LoL). So the fork can be a little more than my needs.

  • My question may be too board, so I will focus here: if I buy that bike, will I be able to change to a fork with more travel (e.g. 100 mm), stock has 80 mm. Will that change the geometry of the bike? Regarding the terrain, it's very much like that: 'For a lot of flat or rolling terrain without many obstacles; rock gardens, gnarly roots, etc, ' But there are many hills around, so the triple chain rings on the stock bike is welcomed. – thotwielder Oct 1 '15 at 13:16
  • Buying with a view to upgrade is foolish unless money is not going to be a problem. later. – mattnz Oct 10 '15 at 21:15
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"if I buy that bike, will I be able to change to a fork with more travel (e.g. 100 mm), stock has 80 mm. Will that change the geometry of the bike?"

A general rule of thumb when upgrading a suspension fork is to not exceed 20mm greater than the original travel. This will ensure that the geometry of the bike is not noticeably altered. I had a similar bike a few years ago that had 80mm of travel and upgraded it to 100mm with no noticeable differences regarding the geometry of the bike. Having 20mm greater travel on a small travel bike will noticeably improve your ride, especially when riding on light trails.

If you are able to upgrade your fork to an air fork as well (Brands : RockShox, Fox, Manitou) , you will achieve better small bump sensitivity than you would in a spring driven fork, and resale value would increase greatly. SR Suntour forks are good entry level forks at greater travel lengths (ex. 100mm+) but struggle to provide good cushioning at smaller travel lengths.

Also try to look for a fork that includes a lock out, so you aren't bobbing up and down while pedaling up a hill.

I would not recommend riding a folding bike on trails, due to the lack of stability in the frame. Folding bikes are normally used only for road and pavement riding

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It's a difficult question to answer as there are a lot of personal variables.
"Nothing too rough in my mind" being the biggest variable.
For a lot of flat or rolling terrain without many obstacles; rock gardens, gnarly roots, etc, I would say the stock fork is fine. I have an old 26er with a similar fork which does fine on fast rolling trails but sometimes bottoms out on steep but abrupt drop ins.

However, to be honest, if I was worried about the fork being able to handle the terrain, I most likely wouldn't even consider riding a folding bike on it.

  • The reason for a folder is there are couple of good trails here start from station A end at station B so I can travel by train and don't need to go back or have someone wait for me to pick me up. Yes full sized bikes can be taken on train but trains can be packed when weather is nice (you will understand if you have lived in UK) and for some train companies you have to book a place for your bike (limited) , but a folder is not restricted. – thotwielder Oct 1 '15 at 13:22
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There are a number of points to consider when buying a mountain bike:

  • Type of local terrain, are the trails near you flat or do you live in a hilly area.
  • Expected development in the sport, are you going to dabble or are you the type to jump in with both feet.
  • The type of riding you expect to do, are you interested in cross country (epic rides with long hard climbs and less rough stuff), trail riding (short way up and long way down, tyres mostly on the ground and some rough stuff), downhill (walk, car, truck or lift to the top - shortest way down regardless of the terrain) or something called Enduro which is all the rest mixed up.

Then you start thinking about the bike:

  • Geometry - XC, trail and downhill bikes all have different geometries which determine how upright you sit on the bike, match this to your riding.
  • Travel - XC has the lowest travel, downhill the most
  • Wheelsize - Doesn't make a difference when you're starting out. 27.5" is the new industry standard. 26" components will continue to be produced but you'll see a focus on low and end parts with no mid range. 29" good if you want an XC bike or are tall, not really required otherwise.
  • Drive Train - Doesn't matter when starting out, but always buy the best you can afford

Speak to your local bike shop they will help you understand all of this and find the right bike for you.

In terms of folding bikes, these should only be purchased where storage and transportation is your first thought and ease of riding or enjoyment is second. They are good if you need something to ride at the end of a long car or train journey but not something for everyday use.

In terms of the Suntour Fork as you improve you will want to replace the fork with something that is a bit more forgiving and adjustable.

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Short answer a basic's low end Montague will handle everything you have described. I am a sucker for Foldies. Love them. Cheap ones suck. You can put enough money into one to make it do anything. The Montague has a stout frame that will hold up to most anything. It does not fold to be very compact. It's major strengths is that it is simply shorter. Compared to good 20" foldies its folding is rather poor, it is relatively heavy at about 32 pounds and Montague charges high retail for most of the upgrades to the basic bike. The base model, while relatively expensive and while using lower end components, is a decent bike and can be upgraded as your passions lead you.You don't save anything by buying upgraded components at the onset, and you get to select what you add. The basic fork often doesn't have a lock out and this feature will improve your peddaling efficiency if you're on the road substantially. stock fork has a 438 MM axle to crown which is short and needs to be noted if it's replaced.

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