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  1. #1
    NY / New Haven biker
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    Vilano Midtown 26" folding bicycle

    Hi all,

    I've been looking for a full sized foldie and stumbled across this model for $330:
    Vilano Midtown 26 Inch Folding Commuter Bike, Shimano 24 Speed Disc Brakes

    The online specs are sparse, but I called the company and it's 28lbs, uses Shimano 310 shifters and Altus deraileurs. I'm tempted and am deciding between it and a Joe C21.

    My main concern is quality control.

  2. #2
    Senior Member atombikes's Avatar
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    I had the Vilano Apex 16" folder for a short while before getting the 20" Genesis folder from Walmart, and comparatively the Vilano was junk. Granted the Genesis was $50 more but it was (in my opinion) money well spent.

    This Midtown appears to be a step (or two) up compared to the Vilano Apex, but it has a steeper price tag.
    atombikes

  3. #3
    NY / New Haven biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by atombikes View Post
    I had the Vilano Apex 16" folder for a short while before getting the 20" Genesis folder from Walmart, and comparatively the Vilano was junk.
    How was the hinge mechanism? That's what most concerns me.

  4. #4
    Newbie aranth's Avatar
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    Any feedback on this?

  5. #5
    NY / New Haven biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by aranth View Post
    Any feedback on this?
    Quote Originally Posted by aranth View Post
    Any feedback on this?
    So, I bought the bike. Jet.com has a really generous return policy, so I figured it was worth a shot. I ordered it through Jet.com but it was drop shipped from the manufacturer's main distributor in Florida. I have initial, unboxing impressions, but unfortunately I haven't gotten much beyond that. I've ridden it gingerly, and provided I can fix the brakes, I think it'll be an awesome full-sized folding bicycle.

    Overall build quality is high, but there was damage in shipping. The seat post QR and the stand the bike sits on when folded arrived bent. The latter of which interfered with spinning the pedals, and I had to hammer it back into place. I've attached pics of both the welds and that bent stand.

    I'm trying to get the bike road-worthy myself, but still need to adjust the brakes. The instructional website was clear, but it's hard to get the disc brakes to be both tight and not rub. I fear that the discs themselves are warped, but again this is my first disc brake bicycle, so am not sure.

    The hinge mechanism locks very tightly, which I appreciate it. It's a bit hard to fold and unfold compared to my old Downtube. I'm not sure if it'll get easier as it loosens up and I figure out how to better move this heavier, full-sized bike.

    So, that's all I got for now. When I finally get it tuned up I'll give you an update.


    Cheers,
    Ari
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by procon View Post
    So, I bought the bike...

    Cheers,
    Ari
    Hi Ari,
    I'm interested in the bike. Could you do me a favor and post some dimensions: seat tube, (virtual) top tube.
    I'm 6ft. Would it nbe big enough?

    Thanks
    Thomas

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tman1965 View Post
    Hi Ari,
    I'm interested in the bike. Could you do me a favor and post some dimensions: seat tube, (virtual) top tube.
    I'm 6ft. Would it nbe big enough?

    Thanks
    Thomas
    Thomas-- sure, let me try and do it this weekend. I can say though that I'm 6'1" and it'll definitely fit you.

    I'm speaking to Jet.com about some damage that happened during shipping. Specifically the front chain ring has some damage.

    Cheers,
    Ari

  8. #8
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    Hi Ari

    Thanks for your detailed info, I am also interested in this bike from Jet.com
    The price is really good. I would prefer if it had no disk brakes (have had mixed experiences with them, good and not-so-good)
    I have several other folding bikes, this would be my first on 26".

    You said in your post that the weight is 28 pounds (as per Jet.com). Now that you have the bike in hand can you weight it yourself and confirm?
    I am male, 6' weight 190, and bike is my commute to work car (4 miles each way)

    Thanks again

    WildGrok from Miami Nice

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildGrok View Post
    Hi Ari

    Thanks for your detailed info, I am also interested in this bike from Jet.com
    The price is really good. I would prefer if it had no disk brakes (have had mixed experiences with them, good and not-so-good)
    I have several other folding bikes, this would be my first on 26".

    You said in your post that the weight is 28 pounds (as per Jet.com). Now that you have the bike in hand can you weight it yourself and confirm?
    I am male, 6' weight 190, and bike is my commute to work car (4 miles each way)

    Thanks again

    WildGrok from Miami Nice
    Adding info:
    received email from Vilano stating weight at 35 lbs.

  10. #10
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    Hi Everybody, I'm new here (obviously). Just wanted to thank procon for sharing information about this bike, and thanks to WildGrok for bringing up the weight issue. I have been searching all over the internet and haven't found anything except what is listed on all the retail sites that sell Vilano. Even Vilano's own website doesn't have any additional information, so procon, you are definitely appreciated.

    I really like the way the bike looks, and I have been looking at 26" folding bikes for awhile now. Like others, I have concerns about the weight, since the only weight reference I could find was Amazon's shipping weight of 45 lbs. Now, there's no way the box and packing materials could weigh 17 lbs, so I am wondering if the bike really does weigh 28 lbs as they informed you. Even most 20" folding bikes don't weigh much under 30 lbs until you get into the more expensive brands.

    Even if it weighs a little over 30 lbs, that's not too bad considering they have to really beef up a folding frame to make it sturdy, especially at the hinge location.

    It's definitely a nice looking ride, and I'm looking forward to some of your overall impressions of the bike.

    Thanks again for your input.

  11. #11
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    Vilano Resembles Tern

    2012-tn-photo-joe-c21-wht-red-web.jpg71tSSgeq81L._SL1500_ (1).jpg

    I can't help but notice the resemblance between the Vilano Midtown and the Tern Joe. At first, I thought the Midtown might be a re-branded Joe, but there appear to be slight differences in the frame geometry. Still, very similar.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by procon View Post
    Thomas-- sure, let me try and do it this weekend. I can say though that I'm 6'1" and it'll definitely fit you.

    I'm speaking to Jet.com about some damage that happened during shipping. Specifically the front chain ring has some damage.

    Cheers,
    Ari
    Hi Ari,
    Thank you for the info. I've ordered one, it shall arrive on Tuesday.

    Thomas

  13. #13
    Portable Audio/Bike Lover tds101's Avatar
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    What is the actual weight limit on this bike?
    Fitness is only a side effect,...I feel alive when I ride!!!

  14. #14
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    I got mine. The bathroom scale claims 32lbs for the bike out of the box.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
    What is the actual weight limit on this bike?
    The manual that comes with the bike is an universal manual for all Vilano bikes. There is no sticker or anything about a weight limit on the frame.
    I think you need to ask the manufacturer.

  16. #16
    Portable Audio/Bike Lover tds101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tman1965 View Post
    The manual that comes with the bike is an universal manual for all Vilano bikes. There is no sticker or anything about a weight limit on the frame.
    I think you need to ask the manufacturer.
    The manufacturer doesn't have the weight limit posted on the website, and the fact that it's a budget folder means customer service inquiries will be unanswered in this case. I'll pass on calling them.
    Fitness is only a side effect,...I feel alive when I ride!!!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by procon View Post
    Thomas-- sure, let me try and do it this weekend. I can say though that I'm 6'1" and it'll definitely fit you.

    I'm speaking to Jet.com about some damage that happened during shipping. Specifically the front chain ring has some damage.

    Cheers,
    Ari
    Hi Ari,
    my legs are too long or the seat post that I got is too short. I can set the saddle only to 29.5" (75cm) c-BB top saddle. On my road bike I have 79cm. But not a big deal, because the bike is going to see a few changes anyway.

    Thomas

  18. #18
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    Tman, Congrats on the new bike! Thanks for all the information. I was wondering what your overall impression of the quality of the bike and it's components is, how easily it folds, etc. But It's probably a little early to give a full evaluation, since you just got it. Please let us know what you think of the bike and whether it is a good value (when you have time), it would really be appreciated!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuffdog View Post
    Tman, Congrats on the new bike! Thanks for all the information. I was wondering what your overall impression of the quality of the bike and it's components is, how easily it folds, etc. But It's probably a little early to give a full evaluation, since you just got it. Please let us know what you think of the bike and whether it is a good value (when you have time), it would really be appreciated!
    I paid $306 at Jet.com (had a $15 code). For that price the bike is definitely fine. The weakest point is probably the brakes (Ari mentioned that already). It's difficult to adjust them, that they don't rub and have enough stopping power.
    Pros:
    • rear derailleur: Shimano Altus 8speed
    • front: Altus triple
    • Shifters: Altus
    • Stem: Promax
    • Front hub: Joytech
    • Rear hub: Joytech for cassette!!!
    • Bottom bracket: Neco
    • Fork steel 942g (at least not a 5lbs fork)


    neither nor:
    • Saddle: Vader for Vilano (saddles are personal preference)
    • Seat post 30.9mm, too short for me
    • Pedals, foldable (I have no idea whether they will last)
    • Handlebar is ok
    • Rims double wall. The wheels were true and they look as if they can take a beating, but they are heavy: front 1400g with disc
    • Tires Kenda 890g (probably durable but heavy)
    • Chainset: Protek triple, heavy but chainrings exchangeable


    Cons:
    • Brakes: "Repute", difficult to adjust
    • Adjustments were generally okay, gears actually pretty good, but one needs to tighten everything: pedals, BRAKES!, wire clamps, stem, saddle etc.
    • apart from the bottom bracket: I needed a 2ft breaker bar to loosen the right side (and yeah I know the correct direction)
    • handgrips float on the handlebars
    • headset is a semi integrated ZS44 from Neco, no seals and only a tiny amount of grease
    • the seat tube is not smooth inside, therefore the seat post was already scratched after pulling it out
    • Folding was difficult, a little bit of oil and moving helped, but the latch was set too loose


    Would I buy it again? Probably, unless somebody can offer me a folder frame for big wheels for $200.

  20. #20
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    I want to use the bike for my commute. When I'm lazy or the weather is too nice I will use the bus for a part of the route. Most buses here (Atlanta) have bike carriers, but one of the shuttle routes does not. But this shuttle is rarely full, that means it doesn't matter when the bike is bigger, as long as it's not a whole bike. I will make a huge bag from tarp for the bike.

    My commute is 13miles one way, if I don't use the bus, therefore I wanted bigger wheels. A Bike Friday would have been nice, but I have to lock the bike at an outdoor bike rack.

    Because speed is one of the priorities there will be a number of changes:
    Merlin has the Shimano Deore groupset on sale for $140.
    That means a set of nice hydraulic disc brakes and 1x10speed drive train. That's the reason why I wanted a rear wheel with cassette hub.
    I have another chain set in the parts box (boxes, cabinet, cabinets, garage).
    I need a new seatpost or a shim from 30.9 to 27.2.
    I've ordered some 400g slicks.

    The bike is already completely dismantled.
    The frame weighs 2450g, not too bad. The frame would also fit a 700c wheel with 38mm tyre, but then it gets tight with fenders.
    I will post again after some progress or if anybody has any questions.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
    The manufacturer doesn't have the weight limit posted on the website, and the fact that it's a budget folder means customer service inquiries will be unanswered in this case. I'll pass on calling them.
    I emailed them yesterday night, got the answer this morning
    Good Morning Thomas. In most cases weight limits are 250 lbs. The biggest issue on any bike be it one of ours or a competitors, is wheel will tend to go out of true when you go beyond that limit. So what that means is you may require more maintenance than someone within the limits. Thanks for you purchase and continue to enjoy your new bike.

    Best Regards,
    Jeff

  22. #22
    Portable Audio/Bike Lover tds101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tman1965 View Post
    I emailed them yesterday night, got the answer this morning
    Wow, that is a bs answer. The wheels going out of true have nothing to do with it. The frames hinges and latches failing have a lot to do with the weight limit. My TernJoeP24 is rated to hold 254lbs, but people around 300lbs ride it with no issues. And the wheels don't go excessively out of true (great wtb wheels).
    Fitness is only a side effect,...I feel alive when I ride!!!

  23. #23
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    Wow! Thanks for all the great information, Tman! I will look forward to seeing how your build progresses and further updates!

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