Friday, July 8, 2011
'Upgrade-itis' is the sickness common to all bicyclists who upgrade the parts and accessories of their bikes, or upgrade the bikes themselves.
'Folderitis,' on the other hand, is a specific form of 'Upgrade-itis' experienced by owners of folding bikes. It is as dangerous, contagious and addictive as 'Upgrade-itis,' if not, worse.
Folderitis starts with buying accessories for your folding bike. May be begin with a rear rack or a pair of fenders. Of course your folding bike is not complete without a bell and front and rear LED lights. And who can live without a water bottle and its bottle cage? Then comes all kinds of bags. Could be a handlebar bag, a toptube bag, a saddle bag and/or a rear pannier. If you want to take it further, one can install a cyclometer/odometer, as well as a bike trailer.
Then you start replacing parts of your folding bike including the handlebar grips and the saddle. Maybe put on some Ergon grips and Brooks saddles to replace the stock ones that came with the bike. Some people replace the wheelset, tires and even install Panaracer Flataways.
Then it gets worse. Some folding bike owners also replace the pedals and the crank set. Some even install better cables and brakes. The upgrading never ends.
And even if it comes to that (replacing all stock parts with better parts, that the folding bike is no longer the same bike as when you originally bought it), folding bike owners think of other things...
Like replacing the ENTIRE bike!!!
I was bitten by the bug once. I sold my Dahon Jack D24 so that I could upgrade to a Brompton M6L. Thankfully, so far, after 10 months, I am still satisfied with my current folding bike. I guess I have Mild Folderitis.
Others have not been that lucky. A friend of mine started out with a Dahon Eco 3, which he later sold for a Dahon Mu P8. Then he upgraded to a Brompton S6R. And just recently, he sold the Dahon Mu P8 to move up to a Dahon Vector X10! I believe my friend is down with Severe Folderitis.
But his case is NOT isolated. The 'Dahon Vector X10 Strain' has spread throughout our group. No less than 4 TSP bikers have upgraded their folding bikes to Dahon Vector X10s. Four!!! And this Folderitis virus is showing no sign of slowing down. There might be others who will be exchanging their current folding bikes for the very handsome, sleek-looking and fast Dahon Vector X10. Only time can tell.
So for those of you who are thinking of buying a folding bike, be careful. You might get bitten by the Folderitis virus and one day just realize you're salivating for that new accessory or that faster and better looking folding bike.
Don't say I didn't warn you.