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Old 07-01-17, 11:46 PM   #1
jazzmanjm8
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Dahon or bromp

Qix D8 or bromp m6L....

Needs:
Easy fold...
Small apartment so it needs to be compact.
I have a hilly commute so gearing is an issue...
bag/luggage needs to be easy to use.
I'm 6'2...

Yeah price is a concern and 500 to 600 difference is steep but when it comes to usability and longevity that's not an issue with me. Being able to roll the bike is also key since I am also a disabled vet and some weight issues may cause my hip issues to flare up. (Doc wants me to ride more bike... good for body and mind!)

I these two choices are ideal for me...
Any thoughts?

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Old 07-02-17, 09:47 AM   #2
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Sounds like you are in the USA?..If you can look on Ebay or Craigslist and perhaps buy yourself a Bike Friday Tikit..You could find a large sized one ..it will be a better ride than a Brompton..It will roll more easily than a Brompton using the handle at the back and be cheaper to buy than a new Brompton..Takes standard parts for a road or MTB..
Having said all that..If you buy a Brompton it will be worth a lot of money 5 or 10 years down the line..
If money is tight find a Dahon Speed P8 ..best 20 inch wheel folder on the market..Very comfortable ride with big apple tyres on..but rather difficult to move when folded....( only my thoughts..sure you will get lots more)
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Old 07-02-17, 10:10 AM   #3
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A Brompton will not come with wide gearing stock, and the riding position can be wonky for some riders (myself included). Where the Brommie shines is incremental engineering and the most compact fold.

I second tudorowen1's suggestions of a Bike Friday Tikit or a Dahon Speed D8. They are both quite different in design and execution - so a test ride is best if at all possible - but they will give you wider gearing than any stock Brompton. Of the two, I like the Tikit better, but that's just me, you may prefer one over the other.

The Tikit is out of production so the only option is to find one used on ebay/CL/etc. Occasionally Bike Friday might have one in their "pre-loved" section on their website.
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Old 07-02-17, 11:07 AM   #4
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You might want to check out this comparison from BikeFolded:
I'd go with Dahon just because of larger wheels.
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Old 07-02-17, 12:13 PM   #5
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A Brompton will not come with wide gearing stock,
The stock 6-gear version offers 302% which is about what a 8-gear Shimano Nexus hub offers. Not too bad. I converted mine to 9-speed by adding a cog from a 10-speed casette. Now I have 327% and - even more important - gear steps between 14% and 18%. The conversion costed me about 20 for the 10-speed cassette plus 20 for a 10-speed chain and two hours of mine to do the conversion.

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a Bike Friday Tikit or a Dahon Speed D8 (...) will give you wider gearing than any stock Brompton.
A Tikit can be equipped with a broad range of gear setups, therefor it may or may not offer more range than a Brompton. What range does a Dahon Speed D8 offer? I'd suspect it is less than a Brompton (but am not sure as Dahon is notoriously silent regarding technical details of their bikes).

Other than that Bromptons have proven to be very long lasting and spare-parts are easy to get hold of. Dahon might or might not be a different story here, depending whome you ask.
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Old 07-02-17, 12:20 PM   #6
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a Bike Friday Tikit..Ywill roll more easily than a Brompton using the handle at the back
Never rolled a Tikit but I have serious doubts. A Brompton with a rack and easy-wheels rolls better than any other folder I know of in folded state. You can even leave your luggage on the bike.

Furthermore the Tikit is out of production, finding a fitting used one is a bit of a bet and definitively takes time.

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Dahon Speed P8 ..best 20 inch wheel folder on the market
Again I have doubts. For one with a superlative per se, the other is that a Dahon typically offers good bang for the buck but I've not seen one that I would be consider the best bike of a certain wheel size, by far not. Do you know all 20" folders that are on the market from own experience?
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Old 07-02-17, 12:48 PM   #7
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Holy crap thanks for the response! Interesting enough I come from a bmx past so the smaller rides are natural for me. I like the newer fold of the qix which to me seems some what similar to the bromp (I know they go into thirds...). Out of production bikes seem a tad bit sketchy to me... having previous experience in the bmx world where parts become hard to get!

Just curious if anyone has the qix or a first hand experience of that setup? The bromp seems to have a ton of info out there!!! So really it's seeing if there is a bromp like or something equivalent in dahon world.
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Old 07-02-17, 04:37 PM   #8
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I have Brompton M6R (and an equally nice MTB and gravel bike) and a Dahon Speed P8.


If there were a fire, and I could only replace one bike, it would be the Brompton, and it's not even close. Don't get me wrong I've been very happy with the other bikes, they all delivered what I expected with no issues or failures... but the Brompton kept delivering the unexpected - as in ways I could use it, places I could bring it.

If you like the idea of rolling while folded as much I do (clicky) then I'd highly advise the rack with X-roller mod.
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Old 07-02-17, 10:02 PM   #9
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I love the idea of the Brompton, but in reality I don't find my Brompton much fun to ride. If I didn't need to tuck it into crowded subway trains, I would ride just about any other bike but the Brompton. I also have a Dahon Mu P8, which I find much more enjoyable to ride. Unfortunately, the clumsy fold and the exposed chains make it less than ideal for multimodal commute.

Many people love their Bromptons and have no issues with the ride. But there are also those who, like me, feel hampered by its ride quality. So I would suggest taking stock of your needs, and especially going on multiple test rides to see which fits your needs better.
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Old 07-02-17, 10:39 PM   #10
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Unfortunately, the clumsy fold...
Ah yes, that old clumsy Dahon horizontal fold.


The Qix vertical fold is pretty slick, though - the bike can be stowed and deployed with no lifting (@4:03 in the video). It rolls well folded, to.


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Old 07-03-17, 01:34 AM   #11
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If there were a fire, and I could only replace one bike, it would be the Brompton, and it's not even close. Don't get me wrong I've been very happy with the other bikes, they all delivered what I expected with no issues or failures... but the Brompton kept delivering the unexpected - as in ways I could use it, places I could bring it.
As another multibrand owner, by the brand I would also say first Brompton, then a big gap, and then I would be looking into details of everything else.
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Old 07-03-17, 06:34 AM   #12
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Thank you again for all the great replies.

Yeah the brompton is the real winner it seems although the newer dahon fold I feel really is a contender for me. That vertical fold is slick and the rolling method is also simple. Weight is about the same but I get a bigger bike in the qix...

For those brompton owners is the L version just as easy to roll as the R version?
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Old 07-03-17, 08:02 AM   #13
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L model is difficult to roll and impossible on a rough surface like a concreted road..
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Old 07-03-17, 08:04 AM   #14
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Here's a previous discussion on the Qix HERE .. if you're worried about an out of production Tikit, I'd also be questioning how long the Qix will remain in production due to it's rarity and unique hinge..

If it were me, and I could only choose between the two bikes, the Brompton would be my choice by a wide margin.. just the refinement through the years and spares availability both factory and aftermarket give it an advantage.. they actually ride better than you might think, the long wheel base aids in stability and you can run some pretty comfy/fast tires like the Greenspeed Scorchers.. Brompton has a built in luggage block at the front which handles a variety of useful bags.. the Qix does not have a luggage block .. The Brompton should also handle a heavier rider better by design, so that might be advantageous .
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Old 07-03-17, 08:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by jazzmanjm8 View Post
Holy crap thanks for the response! Interesting enough I come from a bmx past so the smaller rides are natural for me. I like the newer fold of the qix which to me seems some what similar to the bromp (I know they go into thirds...). Out of production bikes seem a tad bit sketchy to me... having previous experience in the bmx world where parts become hard to get!

Just curious if anyone has the qix or a first hand experience of that setup? The bromp seems to have a ton of info out there!!! So really it's seeing if there is a bromp like or something equivalent in dahon world.
Same here, I'm former BMX rider (although I still own a 2015 WTP Crysis, just for variety). The twitchyness irks some riders but you will love it. I'd go with the Brompton for longevity and parts wise. I own a 2017 Black Edition S2L.

If you can, test ride both.
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Old 07-03-17, 10:14 AM   #16
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L model is difficult to roll and impossible on a rough surface like a concreted road..
Sorry, I think you are wrong here. Clearly, the Brompton rolls more easily with a rack but w/o it is far from being difficult and impossible is just wrong. As your profile shows you own a L-Brompton maybe this is helpful for you, too:

- if you are using the tiny stock-wheels made from hard plastic replace them with easy-wheels. You'll find yourself in a different universe regarding rolling.
- If you have the newer standard-wheels as they are factory fitted since 2016 the easy-wheels are still an enhancement.
- on a flat surface pushing the bike is often more comfortable than pulling it. In both cases leave the bar unfolded, so you can basically use the bike like a trolley. The secret is to use it like a two-wheel trolley - the tiny wheel on the mudguard often is not very helpful. Just put a little bit of force onto the bars and roll the brommi just on the two wheels near the seatpost.
- If the terrain is uneven pulling works better than pushing. If it is very uneven unfolding the bike is the best strategy.
- If you still have trouble think about a wheel extender thad widens the distance between the rolling wheels. You can get them from Asian Brompton-tuners such as Nov-design. I did not like it too much but your mileage may vary. It helps rolling especially if you leave your luggage on the folded bike.

I own both, Bromptons with and w/o rack and clearly prefer the rack-version for rolling (but the rackless version in regards of looks).
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Old 07-03-17, 04:24 PM   #17
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I can't imagine riding a 16" wheel bike for more than a few minutes without serious discomfort. Plus seeing an adult on such a tiny bike looks rather ridiculous. To me 20 inch is the perfect balance between compact convenience and riding comfort/handling.
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Old 07-03-17, 04:42 PM   #18
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I can't imagine riding a 16" wheel bike for more than a few minutes without serious discomfort.
Did you ever try it? The Brompton may look funny but ergonomics are similar to a normal bike (in opposite to many other folders), therefor longer trips are not a problem (again in opposite to many other bikes that may look less funny but behave worse). I.e. last weekend a bunch of Brompton-riders here in Germany did the Berlin-Wall-Route in one day - 165km. The third year in a row, it starts to become a tradition. This is the track: Cycling route Berlin | Berliner Mauerweg | GPSies This year not everyone did the whole trip, mainly due to really bad weather-conditions, but some still did. So obviously it is possible to ride longer trips on a Brompton w/o serious discomfort.
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Old 07-03-17, 04:51 PM   #19
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Yeah I think price wise I can find a m6L cheaper than the r...

The style and vibe of the brompton is also cool... being an engineer student now I am more or less really into the brompton system and really all of the custom parts are really nice!


Thanks for all the great advice! I think I know my next ride! I'll post a pic whenever the brompton arrives!
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Old 07-03-17, 09:09 PM   #20
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Did you ever try it? The Brompton may look funny but ergonomics are similar to a normal bike (in opposite to many other folders), therefor longer trips are not a problem (again in opposite to many other bikes that may look less funny but behave worse). I.e. last weekend a bunch of Brompton-riders here in Germany did the Berlin-Wall-Route in one day - 165km. The third year in a row, it starts to become a tradition. This is the track: Cycling route Berlin | Berliner Mauerweg | GPSies This year not everyone did the whole trip, mainly due to really bad weather-conditions, but some still did. So obviously it is possible to ride longer trips on a Brompton w/o serious discomfort.
I'm sure some people are fine with the ergonomics of the bike, but 20 inch is pushing it already in terms of riding comfort, speed and ergonomics. Generally speaking, the smaller the wheel the lower your speed, the rougher the ride due to less shock absorption over rocks, bumps and potholes, more twitchy handling, etc. I might be somewhat biased but I have heard plenty of such complaints about Bromptons. Generally speaking, going over a pothole or unexpected bump on any 16 inch wheeler is likely to send you flying. Some people are fine with those limitations, and that's fine. I'm sure there are those who would never ride a 20 inch bike for similar reasons.

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Old 07-03-17, 11:43 PM   #21
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Smaller wheel size in itself does not = slower. 17"(?) Moultons were banned from racing for having an unfair advantage (closer drafting) and a Moulton still holds a land speed record (faired, conventional riding position). Both Moultons and Brompton's use suspension to offset their inherently stiffer small wheels. Compared to my 700x32C gravel bike, which ever has lower tire pressure seems more comfortable to me.

But agree smaller wheels are... 'more responsive' and also more dangerous if dropping into an unexpected pothole.

Rigged an aero drop-bar postion on my Brompton and so now the ergos are as varied and comfortable as my gravel bike. I alternate between these two for exercise rides, but strongly prefer touring on the Brompton.

My poor 20" folder got lost in the middle of these two as neither as good a folder, nor as good a street bike.
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Old 07-04-17, 02:05 AM   #22
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I'm sure some people are fine with the ergonomics of the bike, but 20 inch is pushing it already in terms of riding comfort, speed and ergonomics.
Looking at these pics you may understand the ergonomic aspect. Wheelbase, distance saddle-bar etc. are pretty normal on a Brompton while they are often not on other folders (in this case the Birdy and a Dahon Curve).







Ergonomics have absolutely nothing to do with the wheel size but with the frame geometry.


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Generally speaking, the smaller the wheel the lower your speed,
This is wrong. Smaller wheels have a slightly higher rolling resistance but they are both, lighter (important for rotating mass) and stronger, plus they offer better aerodynamics and acceleration. Try it at a traffic light of your choice.

Moulton and Brompton both overcome the rolling-resistance issue by using high-pressure-tires. Alex Moulton has done years of engineering work on the topic and - according to him - small high-pressure-wheels in combination with suspension are the best of breed. The fact that the land-speed record for upright bikes is still (and for ages) held by a Moulton bke suggests that he may have been right.

If you do not pump up your Brompton's tires to the suggested 100 PSI but run on low pressure you'll suffer from a significant loss of efficiency (and therefore speed). If you do you are just fine. The only modern Brompton tire that is designed for less pressure is the Scorcher (due to it's width it has lower rolling resistance is therefor fast AND comfy already at lower pressures).

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the rougher the ride due to less shock absorption over rocks, bumps and potholes, more twitchy handling, etc. I might be somewhat biased but I have heard plenty of such complaints about Bromptons. Generally speaking, going over a pothole or unexpected bump on any 16 inch wheeler is likely to send you flying. Some people are fine with those limitations, and that's fine. I'm sure there are those who would never ride a 20 inch bike for similar reasons.
Surely smaller wheels are more affected by potholes and riding a cobblestone road with a Brompton is no fun. But on the other hand bikes with smaller wheels are more agile, therefore avoiding potholes by navigating around them is far easier than with a bigger bike. Still, a Brompton obviously is no Mountain Bike and also you won't reach the comfort level of a 20" bike with 55mm Big Apples on it. Still from my experience most of the judgements about "bad ergonomics", "bad ride quality" etc. come from people that have never ridden a Brompton for a while - they are just prejeduces, based on emotion, not on objectives.

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Old 07-04-17, 07:19 AM   #23
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Moulton and Brompton both overcome the rolling-resistance issue by using high-pressure-tires. Alex Moulton has done years of engineering work on the topic and - according to him - small high-pressure-wheels in combination with suspension are the best of breed. The fact that the land-speed record for upright bikes is still (and for ages) held by a Moulton bke suggests that he may have been right.

If you do not pump up your Brompton's tires to the suggested 100 PSI but run on low pressure you'll suffer from a significant loss of efficiency (and therefore speed). If you do you are just fine. The only modern Brompton tire that is designed for less pressure is the Scorcher (due to it's width it has lower rolling resistance is therefor fast AND comfy already at lower pressures).
Here's one new school of thought on that...

https://janheine.wordpress.com/2015/...re-revolution/

I personally haven't noticed any pace difference by my admittedly unscientific cycle computer, but the seat of my pants sure has... (for either 349 and 700 wheels).

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Old 07-04-17, 08:48 AM   #24
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New School of thought on that one...

https://janheine.wordpress.com/2015/...re-revolution/

I personally haven't noticed any pace difference by my admittedly unscientific cycle computer. But the seat of my pants sure has noticed a HUGE difference.. and that's for either 349 and 700 wheels.
Not really new school. It is a well known fact that wider tires offer lower rolling resistance than smaller ones AT THE SAME TIRE PRESSURE. Which means that they offer the same rolling resistance than narrower ones on lower tire pressure (which at the same time leads to a more comfortable ride).
The downside ist that wider tires are worse in terms or aerodynamics. If you are an average cruiser you probably won't have to care about aerodynamics, if you pray to the god of speed maybe you have to.
And wider tires become bouncy when run at high pressures.
The combination of this led to racing drivers going for light, narrow, high-pressure tires. And to beach cruisers using wide, low pressure tires. and everyone else has to find the right compromise between width, pressure, speed and comfort.

Alex Moulton said: You can have good aerodynamics, good rolling resistance and good comfort by using narrow, small, high pressure tires and combine it with a good, racing-style suspension.

I think this is still true today, though he published this thought already more than 50 years ago. What has happened since is that tire materials have become better and lighter, therefore wider tires take profit from that (and in many aspects more than narrower ones as they are using more material).

I know the article by Jan Heine but disagree to a degree. He testet three tires, all of the same size and all at the same speed. This may create significance but no general evidence.

If I run my Brompton on any given tire I guarantee I feel the difference between running at i.e. 4 bars and 6,5 bars. I also recognize the difference between running a Schwalbe Kojak with 32mm and a Marathon with 35mm - but probably not because of the difference in width but in weight and in the thickness of the carcasse. The Marathon is far worse than the Kojak in terms of speed AND comfort at the same tire pressure, if you ask me. And usually I run the Kojak at higher pressure (at the typical 6 bar I run the Marathon the Kojak is vulnerable to punctures and slower than necessary) than the Marathon and the more it is noticably faster. On the other hand people that have used the scorcher say that it would again be faster than the Kojak even at less pressure and thus offering more comfort at the same time.

In the end pressure and width are not everything but only two of many factors. Measuring accurately seems not to be easy - if you look at different tests you'll find highly varying results, sometimes claiming just the opposite outcome for the same tire.

If you test at at different speeds i.e. the influence of aerodynamics may differ (if you do not test inhouse and ignore aerodynamics fully) and a tire may behave differently as well at different speeds. Different tires may behave differently at different pressure-levels, etc. etc. - all in a rather complex field. Therefor you probably need individual judgement on what compromise of width, comfort, weight and tire size is best for your unique situation with your personal bike.

I run atm i.e. Marathon Racers in 40/406 on my Moulton (which for a Moulton are a bit on the wide side if you are a traditionalist). I run them at high pressure, thanks to the suspension that overcomes the bumpiness. Thus I should theoretically receive a lower rolling resistance than with a narrower tire at the same pressure. I assume that at my travelling speed of around 25 km/h aerodynamics to not have too much of a negative effect. Until know I am quite pleased with the outcome of the experiment (but I did no measurements to check if I am wrong and maybe a bit of wishful thinking is involved).

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Old 07-04-17, 08:59 AM   #25
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Here's one new school of thought on that...

https://janheine.wordpress.com/2015/...re-revolution/

I personally haven't noticed any pace difference by my admittedly unscientific cycle computer, but the seat of my pants sure has... (for either 349 and 700 wheels).
Very interesting article, thank you @reppans. I have had similar results on my two 16" folders. During the first half of this year I have done 2,809 miles on those bikes. My tires are all Kenda: set of 100 psi, set of 65 psi and a set of 45 psi. It's a pain in the patootie to do so, but I have rotated those tires between my bikes to find the best solution for my daily exercise. I have ended up with 45 psi on my Dahon classic III (27 years old) and 65 psi on my SteelMaster (about 40 years old).

I ride on hard surface only. Most of the streets and roads here in southwest Florida are made from asphalt with crushed sea shells. The surface becomes more and more uneven as the sunshine causes deterioration. High pressure tires cause constant vibration when rolling which takes more energy to propel the bicycle. I find more loose nuts and bolts when riding high pressure because of that vibration. On newer streets where the surface is smooth high pressure tires are easier to pedal.

The majority of surfaces are not smooth and the MUPs have significant spacing between the concrete sections. Consequently lower pressure tires ride much better. Rarely, since removing the 100 psi, do I find loose hardware. The vibration is nearly gone and the ride is much smoother.

I have chosen slightly slower, more comfortable, lower maintenance ride over slightly increased speed along with slightly lower pedaling energy on smooth roads.
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