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  1. #1
    Newbie Gaiamoon's Avatar
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    Recommendations for a Newbie

    Hi all! I am brand spankin' baby new to biking. I want to shape up and be outdoors at the same time, without getting bored to tears. I loved biking when I was a wee lass, and figure I might as well reconnect with something that provided me with great joy when I was a kid.

    I need to buy a folding bike since I live in an Apt in Haddonfield, NJ. There's no ample outdoor storage, I don't want a bike sitting in my livingroom, and I don't want to chain it to my porch.

    I was looking at some of the Dahon models that look like full size bikes, maybe 26"? I'll be doing mostly road riding, nothing fancy. I am also only 5'4" (girl), so I don't want a monster bike. Nor do I want to spend more than a few hundred bucks. I figure if I buy online (Amazon, Ebay), I'll need to take it to a mechanic and have it assembled properly.

    Any suggestions for bikes that meet my criteria? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    I love my Dahon SpeedPro '05. It's bascially a flatbar folding road bike. I plan to do the NYC Century on it this year (done it on my Lemond twice... no challenge in doing it that way again!). I haven't taken it for a serious training ride yet, but it zips up and down Manhattan at a healthy pace on my commute.

    I think at your height, though, you might not be happy with the stock configuration, because you most likely would have the handlebars a bit far above your saddle (so very upright).

    Good luck!

    (where in NJ is Haddonfield?)
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

  3. #3
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    I have a dahon speed8 and my friend has a KHS FIV(I think that is the model no.) - both of ours are 20 inch tires. We both changed the handlebars for a more upright fit - without it I (5'2) was uncomfortable with the reach - it was too long for me. I commute on mine and she uses hers for some commuting but more recreational park riding. I have experienced more annoying little things with dahon than she has with the khs - I have had slipping gears and chain dropping problems.

    In terms of buying -I would use LBS if they had folders or (as in my case because there were no local lbs who had them) I would check out some online stores such as thefitnesstore, Thorusa, Gaerlan, etc. instead of buying from ebay or amazon. Some include shipping in the cost. LLBean used to have Dahon Expresso (larger wheel) and I would trust them before ebay also. In order to valdiate the lifetime warranty for Dahon, you have to take it to a mechanic for fine tuning before riding it.
    Last edited by farrellcollie; 07-21-05 at 05:44 PM.

  4. #4
    Newbie Gaiamoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oboeguy
    I love my Dahon SpeedPro '05. It's bascially a flatbar folding road bike. I plan to do the NYC Century on it this year (done it on my Lemond twice... no challenge in doing it that way again!). I haven't taken it for a serious training ride yet, but it zips up and down Manhattan at a healthy pace on my commute.

    I think at your height, though, you might not be happy with the stock configuration, because you most likely would have the handlebars a bit far above your saddle (so very upright).

    Good luck!

    (where in NJ is Haddonfield?)
    Thanks a bunch! Haddonfield is about 20 mins outside Philadelphia, near Cherry Hill. The first full dinosaur fossil was found in Haddonfield. It is also where the director or writer from the Jason horror films was from, the town from the first movie was Haddonfield (but it wasn't filmed there).

  5. #5
    Newbie Gaiamoon's Avatar
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    Ok, so the Fitness Store has the Dahon Espresso for 323.95 freight included. It asks you to choose from a 16, 18 or 20" frame. Does my height (5'4") have anything to do with frame size? That might be a really stupid question, but I literally know crapola about biking. Can anyone advise? Thanks!

  6. #6
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Yes, the proper selection of frame size is one of the most important choices that any cyclist, experienced or not, can make. I am your size (and female) as far as height goes and I have test rode a 26" Dahon that was a medium frame size that was intended for someone in a taller range. I got away with it as it was a very limited time I was actually in the saddle, but I would prefer the small frame size if I was purchasing the bike for keeps.

  7. #7
    www.getafolder.com wpflem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaiamoon
    Hi all! I am brand spankin' baby new to biking. I want to shape up and be outdoors at the same time, without getting bored to tears. I loved biking when I was a wee lass, and figure I might as well reconnect with something that provided me with great joy when I was a kid.

    I need to buy a folding bike since I live in an Apt in Haddonfield, NJ. There's no ample outdoor storage, I don't want a bike sitting in my livingroom, and I don't want to chain it to my porch.

    I was looking at some of the Dahon models that look like full size bikes, maybe 26"? I'll be doing mostly road riding, nothing fancy. I am also only 5'4" (girl), so I don't want a monster bike. Nor do I want to spend more than a few hundred bucks. I figure if I buy online (Amazon, Ebay), I'll need to take it to a mechanic and have it assembled properly.

    Any suggestions for bikes that meet my criteria? Thanks in advance!
    If you go with a 26 inch wheel bike, I would recommend the 16 inch frame size for you. Remember the 20 inch wheel bikes fold up much more compactly and are generally offer just as good a ride and they only come in one frame size.
    Celebrating Bicycling
    The Past, Present, and Future

    http://www.sfbikes.com or http://www.getafolder.com/

  8. #8
    2 Wheel Junkie
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    I love my Dahon Speed P8. 20" wheels. I take it everywhere. I just biked 26 miles this past Sunday at the beach on the boardwalk. I'd had other people, short and tall, ride it and it adjusted to their liking. (Well, I didn't hear any complaints from them).

  9. #9
    Explorer CaptainSpalding's Avatar
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    Regarding the Dahon Espresso and the choice of frame size, it says the following on the Espesso's specifications page.


    SUGGESTED RIDER HEIGHT:
    S Frame (157 cm - 167 cm/5'2" - 5'6")
    M Frame (167 cm - 183 cm/5'6" - 6')
    L Frame (183 cm - 193 cm/6' - 6'4")
    Your height falls within the range of the small frame.

    Before you settle on the Espresso, I want to echo what others have said about bikes with 20 inch wheels. If you ever want to commute with your bike, you can pick a mixed route of cycling and mass transit, and easily fold your 20" wheeled bike and take it on the bus or train with you. Many municipalities stipulate that a folding bike can be taken on a train or bus at any time if it is in a case or bag (as it then qualifies as luggage.) While you can fold a bike with 26 inch wheels, and maybe bag it, it will be difficult to manage as luggage.

    Bikes with 20 inch wheels are lighter and more maneuverable. They will find a convenient place in your apartment closet more easily than a bike with 26" wheels. The only caveat is that you have to be more vigilant about potholes, as 20 inch wheels don't fare as well over obstacles as larger ones. Believe me when I say that weighed against all the benefits, watching for potholes isn't much of a limitation.

    At least have a look at the Boardwalk, the Mariner, and the Speed 8. According to the Dahon site, there is a stocking distributor within 7 miles of Haddonfield: Jay's Pedal Power (215-425-5111). Give them a call and see what they have in stock to test ride.

    Some general advice if you haven't been riding in a long time: start slowly and let your legs (and heinie) get accustomed to cycling. Whatever you choose, good luck with your decision and have fun. Keep us posted.
    Last edited by CaptainSpalding; 07-28-05 at 01:33 AM.

  10. #10
    Newbie Gaiamoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainSpalding
    Regarding the Dahon Espresso and the choice of frame size, it says the following on the Espesso's specifications page.

    Before you settle on the Espresso, I want to echo what others have said about bikes with 20 inch wheels. If you ever want to commute with your bike, you can pick a mixed route of cycling and mass transit, and easily fold your 20" wheeled bike and take it on the bus or train with you. Many municipalities stipulate that a folding bike can be taken on a train or bus at any time if it is in a case or bag (as it then qualifies as luggage.) While you can fold a bike with 26 inch wheels, and maybe bag it, it will be difficult to manage as luggage.

    Some general advice if you haven't been riding in a long time: start slowly and let your legs (and heinie) get accustomed to cycling. Whatever you choose, good luck with your decision and have fun. Keep us posted.
    I was excited about the Espresso because it apparently rides like a full size bike, and if it weren't for the fact that I don't have anywhere proper to store a regular bike, I'd buy one. Right now I commute via train to Philly, and the train allows bikes of all kinds at all times, at my last look on their site. And, my apt is about 2 blocks from the train, so I usually just walk. It would be more of a hassle to bring a bike. Plus with working in Philly and having lived here, I would have to chain the bike to my arse to ensure it wouldn't get stolen, even then who knows... LOL! I'll see how it goes with the Espresso.

    Thanks, I went for an hour 1/2 jaunt last week on my father in law's bike. Other than having noodle legs after getting off for a few, I felt really great with no hiney pain. Maybe I have enough cushion already! It made me remember how much I loved it when I was a kid. I'm sure what with often riding, I will get some pain though.

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