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Old 12-02-05, 03:52 AM   #101
yangmusa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceMetras
Yo Vince, good points. here's some more observations.
I think I'm with Bruce on this one...


Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceMetras
The gear range of the new Shimano Nexus 8 is 307%....the SRAM 7 is 303%... the Shimano obviously has a closer gear ratio spacing in addition to wider overall gear range.
I checked with Sheldon Brown's website, and get 305% for the SRAM and 306% for the Shimano.. but essentially the same! I also think there may be a virtue in having closer ratios.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceMetras
The Nexus (locally)with shifter is $46 (US) more than the SRAM 7
I didn't notice shifter prices, but the hubs themselves are both $200 +/- a few $0.01 at Sheldon Brown, so there's nothing pricewise seperating them!


Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceMetras
the SRAM 9 looks interesting,
Oh yes... drool drool drool...

I haven't heard anything about SRAM & maintenance, but as a corollary to what was said about that - a bike mechanic friend of mine says that Sturmey Archer hubs are much nicer to work on than Shimano. He says most of a Sturmey hub is metal, built to last and/or to replace individual parts easily. By contrast the Shimano has some delicate plastic parts and is designed so you can only swap out large sub-assemblies...
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Old 12-02-05, 05:16 AM   #102
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Hey guys thanks for those corrections, i seemed to have read the wrong Name and been misinformed about a few things. Strange that about the range, i guess someone told me something incorrect.

@ Yan, the Sturmey Archer sounds great, Sun Race def. has made some innovative things in the past. Plus i also love old skool Sturmey Archer 3 speeds they can outlast almost anything. The price/quality ratio on the Downtube is second to none and i am very glad to hear it will probably remain so.

About you guys working on a Brompton -esque type bike, if it is efficient and/or 20 inch, i am buying it! Perhaps the Go Bike may be an interesting bike to analyze as well as the Brompton. They both have some very nice folding mechanisms and innovations but both suffer from non-standardization in my view.

Another thing i have only heard: the Next generation Nexus will dispense with the Clickbox, what S-Ram will do i don't know. I must admit to possibly being a bit biased. I have a 6 month old 3 speed Nexus Unit that has given me more trouble than some 10 or 15 year SA's. But i really think it is a freak occurence, as people have advised, me i don't tinker with the Nexus myself (usually people do more damage that way, but i wish i could) but am letting the LBS that sold it to me handle it instead. They are cool so i am convinved they'll do good by me. Also soon i am getting new wheel with great rim, S-Ram 7 and SS spokes. The 20 inch wheel to end all wheels to speak.
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Old 12-02-05, 10:03 PM   #103
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Well I guess I can be added to the soon to be owner of a Downtube. Well actually 2 as I am buying a pair of the FS models. They seem like a lot of bang for the buck. Hopefully they will be as decent as everyone says they are. It looks like a good basis for a project bike ala BruceM (curse you Bruce!)

I am interested in maybe fitting one of them with a Nexus 8spd and see how it goes. I couldn't decide between colors so I bought and orange and a white. Some family member will be the lucky recipient of the one I don't want. The orange is sort of cool but I could lay down some interesting graphics on the white one though. I would have went with black but Yan says it won't be for a while in the FS and I wanted one now. Just in time to mount up some studded tires and ride in the snow here. Anyone know what the widest tire you can put on it is? Anyone try any 20x2.0's? I was thinking a set of Big Apples could be pretty cool for a city commuter.

Anyway I'll anxiously be waiting for them to probably ship next week. I hope they are as good as everyone says.
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Old 12-04-05, 12:36 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
Well I guess I can be added to the soon to be owner of a Downtube. Well actually 2 as I am buying a pair of the FS models. They seem like a lot of bang for the buck. Hopefully they will be as decent as everyone says they are. It looks like a good basis for a project bike ala BruceM (curse you Bruce!)

I am interested in maybe fitting one of them with a Nexus 8spd and see how it goes. I couldn't decide between colors so I bought and orange and a white. Some family member will be the lucky recipient of the one I don't want. The orange is sort of cool but I could lay down some interesting graphics on the white one though. I would have went with black but Yan says it won't be for a while in the FS and I wanted one now. Just in time to mount up some studded tires and ride in the snow here. Anyone know what the widest tire you can put on it is? Anyone try any 20x2.0's? I was thinking a set of Big Apples could be pretty cool for a city commuter.

Anyway I'll anxiously be waiting for them to probably ship next week. I hope they are as good as everyone says.
Yikes!!.....cursed again in a different thread!!.....Nice!!...two Downtube VIIIFS bikes!!...awesome!!...studded snow tires??..you've got slightly better than 3" of width clearance front and rear.....you could probably run chains...ahha

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Old 12-04-05, 12:47 AM   #105
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Yes, it will be fun to give them a go. We just received about 6" of light fluffly snow today. I was out cruising for a bit on my Gotham City with the Big Apples on it. Not a real great snow tire but fun anyway. I was creative and used big plastic zip ties as sort of cleats on the tires and they worked pretty darn well (except on ice of course). About every 4" I wrapped a big zip tie around the rim and tire (cross sectionally; not longitudinally) and they worked almost like mini-chains on the tires. I don't know why I didn't think of it early. I rode for about 5 miles and only lost one. Might have been due to how cold it was (+10F). I used the ties that were about .3" wide and put more on the rear than the front as braking wasn't a real issue.

I have an idea to try and stud them for snow without studding my tires. I have some really wide straps that I might be able to "stud" and put them on my tires for the occasional ice that I've encountered. Fortunately its been pretty much snow. The cold is a bummer though. I cut open some plasic bottles and made hand guards similar to what I have on one of my off-road race motorcycles. Again zip ties to the rescue to attach them to the bars. Definitely kept my hands warmer! My ex thought I was crazy and so did my neighbors but what the heck, it was fun and keeps the flab off during the winter.

Can't wait to the Downtubes and try them!
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Old 12-04-05, 09:25 AM   #106
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Excellent ideas ...... way cool

"used big plastic zip ties as sort of cleats on the tires "

"I cut open some plasic bottles and made hand guards"

I will most certainly give these a try. I hope you'll keep us posted on the studded zip tie idea. That would be most excellent if it could be made to work.

Rik
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Old 12-08-05, 12:52 PM   #107
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There seems to be a lot of recommendations to the Full Suspension model. Is there a way to add a kickstand to the VIIIFS? The bike looks great but there are occasions which I want to leave it unfolded. Is it easy to install a generic kickstand? Is there OEM kickstand for the bike? I couldn't find it off downtube.com.
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Old 12-08-05, 01:15 PM   #108
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I've got to wonder - why do people want a kickstand? That was the first thing I did to my downtube, was take it off. Is leaning it against something not feasible? I've not understood the same for touring cyclists, either. They carry an extra 250g around over hundreds of kms to do something that seems to be easily accomplished by leaning it.

??
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Old 12-08-05, 01:43 PM   #109
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Sometimes I just want to leave the bike in a open space. If I leave it on the ground, it takes up a lot of space and someone walked by maybe tripped. Believe me, a bike standing upright is a lot easier to be seen.

If I find something that it can lean on, it will be more likely to slide down than standing on its own w/ kickstand.
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Old 12-08-05, 02:06 PM   #110
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Is it easy to install a generic kickstand? Is there OEM kickstand for the bike?
I don't own a Downtube, so I can't tell you which generic kickstands might fit straight to the bike. I presume you mean there is no plate between the chainstays...?

My suggestion would be a bracket on the rear dropout, which allows you to bolt on a standard kickstand. Hostelshoppe sells 2 different ones, see here:
http://www.hostelshoppe.com/cgi-bin/...ategory=205000

Magnus
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Old 12-08-05, 02:42 PM   #111
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FWIW, I don't own a Downtube folder (yet) but I've seen a bunch of photos.
In one, I noticed a "stand" projecting down from the bottom-bracket shell.

I have a similar stand on my KHS - it keeps the bike upright when folded.

I've seen kickstands advertised online that attach to the same point on a folder - the bolt that keeps the "fold stand" (to invent a term) on the bike.

Perhaps this would work on the Downtube.

_________

On the topic of derailleurs and cassettes, I have a few thoughts.
If an 8-speed derailler and cassette is significantly less expensive than a 9, I'd suggest staying with an 8.

8-speed cassettes give you a range of 11-34T. 9 and 10 don't give you anything but a slightly tighter gear spacing - unless you go Capreo, you're still limited to 11-34T. (not talking about internally geared hubs here - just deraillers)

*shrug* My 2 cents!
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Old 12-08-05, 05:25 PM   #112
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Kickstands are another one of those preference things. I really like having on and don't mind the extra weight one bit for the added convenience.

In a way one can do without almost anything if you want to cut out weight, one can go fixed, drop the kickstand, use a backpack instead of rack, even ride brakeless on a fixed. Your bike will be very simple and light which is nice. But personally i also really dig convenience and being able to do just about anything with my bike. Everything i mount can also be taken off if i notice it bothers me.

As for touring, it can be really fairly hard to prop up a fully loaded bike so it won't slide down or tumble over. If you use a stand for touring only a couple are really up to the job such as the ESGE ones.

Last edited by v1nce; 12-08-05 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 12-08-05, 05:45 PM   #113
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If someone comes up with 1) a nice kickstand for a downtube FS OR 2) a nice rear rack for any RS folder (besides the ones covered here) please comeback here and share. It is one of those things that you may like or not, but unless I am getting paid to race or getting paid to win, I would rather have it.

AF, I really like the "yet" about owning a Downtube. This bike is the definition of what I was looking for for about 2 years (nice foldable with standard, upgradable features that can let you "push" it in the direction you want: road, off-road, touring, etc.). On top of that, the interaction with Yan really makes you feel part of the final product. I'm sure the next design/upgrades will be directly affected by this thread.

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Old 12-08-05, 06:15 PM   #114
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Found a couple of links for you on kickstands.

Pretty standard kickstand:
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

This one was interesting because it's designed for a Birdy folder and would probably work with the Downtube VIII FS rear swing arm:
http://www.bicycledoctor.co.uk/p_birdykickstand.html

I'm still tracking down the "Nuvo" brand kick I found previously - the one that attaches near the bottom bracket where that triangular stand is. (the Nashbar stand might qualify)
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Old 12-08-05, 07:12 PM   #115
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@ Raphael. Yeah i fully agree Yan's posts really give me the feeling his company and him care about us -the customers/folder enthousiasts- and our needs and wishes. Just because of that i want to buy my next folder (should i buy one) from him if at all possible. I can't wait for the work in progress folder that folds very small. Also (as i may have stated before) i really hope the Downtubes will begin to feature either Sliding drop outs like On-One or Drops like the Xootr Swift for Maximum convenience and drivetrain versatility. I would love to see messengers, fix freaks, off roaders, commuters, in short all types of riders riding downtubes. I love Bike Fridays too and would like to see more of them as well but they are too expensive for most folks.
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Old 12-08-05, 09:29 PM   #116
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Just got my 1st Downtube today. It was white. As I unboxed it my orange showed up. I am in the process of making handguards to keep my hands warm in the snow. Old Clorox bottles work great with.. you know it.. ZIP TIES! Gotta love those things. As I was unboxing the Downtube FS, I was boxing up my Dahon SpeedPro to go to its new owner. It was a sad moment.

I was bummed about the kickstand too but I found the one from my Dahon Gotham City will work. This was one for a recumbent that should work when cut to the right length. I did a quick check and while I haven't put it on yet, I think it should work. I will write later with more impressions. It is snowing out and I can't wait to go for a ride. Back to the forum in a bit or until I freeze to death.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:27 PM   #117
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I'm really intrigued by these Downtube folders....I've been interested in getting a folder for a while and I had no idea one could be had for such a reasonable price. Here's my problem: I'm a Clydesdale...6'1'' and about 250 lbs...not so much round as wide and densely built. I notice that the weight limit for the Downtube is listed at 220 lbs. What are the risks of exceeding this weight limit? Are there components that I can replace to make the bike sturdy enough for my size? I would only be riding it on decent paved surfaces for the most part and it seems like those 20" wheels would be pretty stout. I have read Dr. Lyansky's contributions to this forum with great interest..I like what he is doing and would like to purchase from his company. Any suggestions?
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Old 12-08-05, 11:04 PM   #118
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I would say that today I was close to your weight on the bike. I am at 220 and I had a bike rack on and some gear stuffed in it. Had to be darn close to 250. It was my first ride on the bike. The semi-trail tires did better than I thought they would. I had them at 60 PSI. I cranked up the rear shock for my weight. It is pre-load adjustable.

Can't do anything with the front but it was soft. I may be able to disassemble it and pre-load it more but no time yet. Rear felt pretty good. Bike tracked well in the snow. Rear derailleur is NOT adjusted properly but it was too dark outside to see what to set on it. For example when gear shift indicates between 1 and 2 it is already off the 1st gear cluster and going into the little plastic safety guard. It was hunting between gears but all in all it should be easy to dial in when there is light out.

I stopped to try and do it but my hands were just too cold. It was about 15 degrees outside. I will need to tweak other adjustments such as seat. Speaking about the seat I was surprised. It seemed pretty decent. I guess the way to describe it is quality wise it feels about like 80% of a Dahon but at about 40-50% of the price. This makes it a screaming deal in my book. I have to unbox my other one and see if it is as good.

I do have a few nits but all in all a pretty good piece of kit. It is a better bike than the Boardwalk for about the same money. The suspension while old tech is appropriate for this bike. The weight is heavier than my Dahons but they are the top models in their ranges. Nothing that I would really say is "cheap" on the bike. I don't like the foam grips that much but that is easily changed. Rear derailleur is a little stiff but I'll see if it breaks in. Brakes seem ok to good. One rim might have a seam or something that makes a little thump each revolution so I'll check that out with more light. My wheels were true and spoke tension good.

I don't want to seem like I am slamming it but just giving an honest unbiased assessment. I'll be adding fenders, kickstand and a Pletscher rack and more permanente lights. I will add better tires but so far it's a pretty good bike. I'll buy a couple more for my family probably.

I can't speak for the design limits but most bikes have a safety margin. Don't jump it or do foolish things and most frames can handle it. Just keep an eye on spoke tension. I was at the upper limit for my Dahons and never went with the ultralight models just for the weight reason. Even then my spokes were a constant problem on my SpeedPro until the finally started to bed in. I still checked them every 2 or 3 rides. Now the Downtube IS NOT a lightweight bike in anyway that I can see. It is close to 30 pounds but a nice cruiser with decent gear spreed. Better tires and it would be moderately fast for me. For 90% of the market it could be a great bike. Frame looks sturdy as heck. I plan to put it in a suitcase so I'll be removing the swingarm to do that. I'll report later on that. So far no regrets but time will tell. If you never saw a higher end folder, most people would be quite happy with it. As I said, 80% Dahon quality at about half the price or less. You can make your own judgement. I am not here to proclaim it's the world's greatest folder but it seems to be a darn good value.
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Old 12-09-05, 10:12 PM   #119
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I am 6' 205lbs .....yes I've put on some weight and the FS is my daily ride. It can easily handle a 220lb rider, however I don't know how they will respond to a 250lb rider. Therefore we are conservative with our recommendations.

As many customers have noted our bikes are overbuilt, however some risks (problems) that may arise include:
1. Fork bottoming out
2. Too much Fork, shock sag
3. Fast wear at the suspension pivots.
4. Spokes breaking (doubtful but possible)
5. Component damage (such as pedals, saddle, etc)

Thanks,
Yan

Quote:
Originally Posted by pearce
I'm really intrigued by these Downtube folders....I've been interested in getting a folder for a while and I had no idea one could be had for such a reasonable price. Here's my problem: I'm a Clydesdale...6'1'' and about 250 lbs...not so much round as wide and densely built. I notice that the weight limit for the Downtube is listed at 220 lbs. What are the risks of exceeding this weight limit? Are there components that I can replace to make the bike sturdy enough for my size? I would only be riding it on decent paved surfaces for the most part and it seems like those 20" wheels would be pretty stout. I have read Dr. Lyansky's contributions to this forum with great interest..I like what he is doing and would like to purchase from his company. Any suggestions?
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Old 12-10-05, 09:45 AM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downtube
I am 6' 205lbs .....yes I've put on some weight and the FS is my daily ride. It can easily handle a 220lb rider, however I don't know how they will respond to a 250lb rider. Therefore we are conservative with our recommendations.

As many customers have noted our bikes are overbuilt, however some risks (problems) that may arise include:
1. Fork bottoming out
2. Too much Fork, shock sag
3. Fast wear at the suspension pivots.
4. Spokes breaking (doubtful but possible)
5. Component damage (such as pedals, saddle, etc)

Thanks,
Yan
Thanks for the response! Those sound like reasonable risks to me. I've been considering the non FS model and I've had no problems out of the low end suspension fork or rims on my current mountain bike, so hopefully those wouldn't be a problem. Is there any chance of seeing a rigid fork model Downtube? Is suspension more important on folders than on non folding bikes? I've always thought of front and rear suspesion as only being helpful when riding primarily off road. Regardless, I think there is a Downtube in my future! I'll let the forum know if I have any issues due to my weight. Thanks again!
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Old 12-10-05, 11:02 AM   #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pearce
Is suspension more important on folders than on non folding bikes?
It has to do with the wheel size, not the folding capability. 20" wheels transfer more vibration directly to the rider than bigger wheels. My girlfriend had a Giant Halfway 7S (no suspension at all) and after just a few miles on a downtube decided to trade and one of the reasons was the level of comfort.

Unless you are looking for a folder that is extremely efficient (since suspension will make you lose some power while pedaling) I would recommend at least some suspension if not a FS.

Just my US$0.02

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Old 12-10-05, 11:11 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by downtube
I am 6' 205lbs .....yes I've put on some weight and the FS is my daily ride. It can easily handle a 220lb rider, however I don't know how they will respond to a 250lb rider. Therefore we are conservative with our recommendations.

As many customers have noted our bikes are overbuilt, however some risks (problems) that may arise include:
1. Fork bottoming out
2. Too much Fork, shock sag
3. Fast wear at the suspension pivots.
4. Spokes breaking (doubtful but possible)
5. Component damage (such as pedals, saddle, etc)

Thanks,
Yan
Just remember that if you are approaching the design limits of anything you need to be more attentive to potential problems. DO visual inspections. Since I am a pilot I give my bike a pre-flight (ride) check before riding off. Each week I do the PM (preventative maintenance) required. Do this a few times and you will see any trouble patterns starting to emerge and spot trends of other things.

Don't forget to use your ears too. If it makes a strange or new sound inspect it. Don't assume it is normal. Use all your senses. Over time you will refine them so they are like little sensors that give you more information so that you can diagnose problems more quickly.

This is how I kept from shredding a wheel on my Dahon SpeedPro.
Since I am not light AND it had lightweight wheels, it was crucial to keep an eye on it until they bedded in. Obviously don't curb jump the bike and watch the big bumps as well. If you are attentive usually you can find spot things before there is a catastrophic failure. Don't push the bike until you have fully broken it in and make sure everything works properly.
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Old 12-11-05, 10:49 AM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pearce
Thanks for the response! Those sound like reasonable risks to me. I've been considering the non FS model and I've had no problems out of the low end suspension fork or rims on my current mountain bike, so hopefully those wouldn't be a problem. Is there any chance of seeing a rigid fork model Downtube? Is suspension more important on folders than on non folding bikes? I've always thought of front and rear suspesion as only being helpful when riding primarily off road. Regardless, I think there is a Downtube in my future! I'll let the forum know if I have any issues due to my weight. Thanks again!
We have recieved a large number of requests for a non-suspended model. I should get a handful in March. Depending on sales, I may continue stocking them.

FYI I ride my FS to school on the sidewalk (for saftey) every morning....I can't feel any sidewalk bumps (concrete control joints). Therefore it is very safe and comfortable, a perfect combination for a commuter.

Thanks
Yan

A side note for bikeforums readers. I only have 2 white 32H bikes left. The rest of our bikes now have 28H front and rear wheels. The wheels are still amazingly strong, and they are dramatically lighter.
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Old 12-11-05, 11:07 AM   #124
v1nce
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@ Yan, Really? 4 spokes make for a dramatic weight saving? Or is the whole wheel/spoke/hub combination new? Any updaye on the 'Downtube Brompton' maybe a projected date when they might be available?.

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Old 12-11-05, 11:18 AM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v1nce
@ Yan, Really? 4 spokes make for a dramatic weight saving? Or is the whole wheel/spoke/hub combination new?
Altogether 8 spokes and nipples are not light (not heavy either). Additionally this is rotaional weight, hence it has much more of an effect than non-rotating weight.

Thanks,
Yan
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