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Old 09-08-05, 05:08 PM   #1
stegosaupus
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Go Bike or Brompton?

Hi folks! I'm hoping to start commuting to work, and researching folding bikes. After much advice, reading and pondering 'bike cuteness', 'good ridey-ness' and foldability, I've narrowed down the field to a Brompton L6 or (possibly) a Go Bike; I only *need* it for a < 15k, flat city round trip weekday and maybe longer rides on weekends. Bromptons look like very solid, time-tested commuters.... but I love the look and reviews of the Go Bike.... I won't have a problem test-riding a Brompton in town, but Go Bikes don't seem to be carried anywhere at all in Canada - the two local Toronto retailers I've spoken to (City Bikes and Urbane Cycle) show Go Bikes online, but cannot get any in stock.

So, can anyone help a forum newbie out?

1) Is there anywhere to get a Go Bike near Toronto? I tried calling the head office in Quebec, and found a full mailbox.
2) Any comments on either bike? I'd love to know how each bike handles in winter, availability of tires/rims for the Brompton (I'm sure it's easier to find a 20" bmx sized replacement than anything for a custom size wheel), and whether either bike is suitable for an only bike; when I find a good replacement, my current sad grannybike will be tuned up and sent to Goodwill (^_^)
3) Is there any other bike I should consider? My apartment is too small for a full-sized bike, and I'd rather have one that I can tuck under my desk at work than leave chained outside for the street toughs to steal.
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Old 09-08-05, 05:43 PM   #2
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Stego,

Check out the Dahons:

http://brandscycle.com/site/itemdeta...=39&sort=Price

http://brandscycle.com/site/itemdeta...=39&sort=Price

and free shipping to boot, the store is from New Yourk, you might have customs to pay. The Mariner I believe has no suspension and a derailleur gears, the Helios has the 3 or 7 speed hub option with the spring seatpost, mudflaps, a little spiffier. If ever I'd get a folder I'd like the Dahon Helios XL, but if I decide not to spend that much I'd get the Mariner. I like the racks also. I'd have to test ride these before I'd buy, the closest shops are in New Orleans, about an hour away-and closed for right now...

Hope you can try whatever you buy and let us know if you do, how she rides, comfort, etc. Folders are neat bikes. Here's their site, check out if there are any dealers nearby:
http://www.dahon.com/heliosxl.htm Another thing, in the raves link for the Helios XL, the owners are riding 20-30 miles on them-got to be comfortable!!

ko57

Last edited by ko57; 09-08-05 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 09-08-05, 05:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ko57
Stego,

Check out the Dahons:
<snip>
http://www.dahon.com/heliosxl.htm Another thing, in the raves link for the Helios XL, the owners are riding 20-30 miles on them-got to be comfortable!!

ko57
Hehe... just this week, I asked about the Helios XL at Urbane; they can order one in for late October, but I'd need to leave a down payment. It looks like a great little bike (the price point is certainly friendlier), but I'd still like a test ride before deciding, and no-one else in town has too many Dahons.
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Old 09-08-05, 08:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stegosaupus
Hehe... just this week, I asked about the Helios XL at Urbane; they can order one in for late October, but I'd need to leave a down payment. It looks like a great little bike (the price point is certainly friendlier), but I'd still like a test ride before deciding, and no-one else in town has too many Dahons.

Also, check out the Downtube suspension bikes. Awesome bikes for the money.

http://www.downtube.com/catalog/

Then go to ebay and see what the new ones are going for! There is also a recent 'Downtube' thread in this forum.

Downtube folding bike

I've never seen anything new for the money that is a better buy. I've got an VIII FS (full suspension) and have ridden mine for the last 3 months on dirt trails and broken up pavement without any problems, creaks, or groans of any kind! And it uses widely available components. Can't say enough good things about at least the FS models, which I have experience with.

Bruce
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Old 09-08-05, 08:08 PM   #5
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I have had a Gobike for about two months now and have really been enjoying it. I commute about 12km each direction Mon-Fri, and have also ridden it as far as Thornhill. Overall it's a great bike and could definitely serve as an all purpose bike (as it currently does for me).

I haven't used a Brompton, other than for a brief test ride, but I think that the two bikes are really different creatures. The brompton folds into a smaller package, likely with less effort, and is probably a bit easier to transport than the Gobike. That being said, I did quite a bit of research before I bought and wasn't convinced that I would be satified with the ride quality of the Brompton, for longer rides. I did have a rebranded Dahon (Avenir) before my Gobike. Essentially it was a Dahon Impulse 6. I purchased it in order to find out if I would really benefit from having a folder. Really enjoyed it, but it just wasn't up to longer trips. When I decided to upgrade I was also tempted by the Helios models, but ultimately came across the Gobike at a shop here in Toronto. Being a very different design, and Canadian, I couldn't resist. It also had a wider tire, suspension, a larger range of adjustability and frankly, just looks great. My only caution is that I did experience a bit of a psychological adjustment to the front fork. It was about two weeks before I was completely comfortable with the fact that one side seemed to be "missing" whenever I looked down. As a result, I found that I was slowing down considerably before cornering. I did, however, finally learn to trust that the front wheel wasn't going to abandon me.

Not sure what area of the City you're located in, but if you don't have any luck finding a bike to try, then I would be willing to let you try mine out some time. Not sure where you would actually buy one though. The Toronto shops seem to have given up on getting further stock. If you're interested, send me a private message. I work in the downtown core, though I'll be off on vacation next week.
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Old 09-08-05, 10:25 PM   #6
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Bruce,

I checked out the VIII Black bike, with fenders and rear rack. These are solid looking bikes-something else to definitely consider. Looks like the type of handlebars on my mountain bike, let you change hand positions during the ride. For the money, with the front shock, one could add a spring loaded seat post if they wanted-I'd probably keep it is is. My mtn bike has the front shock, I like that. I'll consider one of these should I get a folder down the road...the curiosity is killing me on these little bikes...

ko57
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Old 09-09-05, 12:21 AM   #7
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Bromptons are solid bikes which fold up the smallest and, dare I say, neatest.

349mm tires and tubes are not that hard to find though they might not be as ubiquitous as 406mm (20"). They are actually closer to a 17" - 18" size than they are to 16".

For people who comment on the ride quality, make sure you ask them how long they've actually ridden one. Most people who comment about the ride quality are parking lot testers; listen to their opinions, but take them with a grain of salt.

The biggest downside to Brompton's are all the unique parts: tire hook, hinges, brake and derailleur cables, hubs, chain tensioner, and on and on. If you want a bike you can easily acquire parts for or customize, the Brompton is not one of them unless you live close to a Brompton dealer and/or have a lot of patience.

Fully cromoly-framed Bromptons are heavy and expensive; titanium Bromptons seem unattainable (and are even more expensive) unless you can get one from the UK.

Decide which frame material you'd rather have: I favor cromoly over aluminum. Titanium would be nice though.
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Old 09-09-05, 05:48 AM   #8
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FYI the Titanium Brompton's frame is still cromoly. It's the rear susp triangle, forks and bars that are Ti so yes they are lighter but not as light as they might have been.

What's with the Go-Bike website? I can't seem to make it load or find another url.
And what's with the go bike forks? It looks like a praying mantis!
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Old 09-09-05, 12:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittlePixel
FYI the Titanium Brompton's frame is still cromoly. It's the rear susp triangle, forks and bars that are Ti so yes they are lighter but not as light as they might have been.
You're right. I meant Titanium B's - with CroMo main frames - as compared to the fully cromoly B's.

(Your Raleigh 20 is beautiful, by the way. Stop posting pictures of it; you're making me jealous. )
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Old 09-09-05, 01:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittlePixel
<snip>
What's with the Go-Bike website? I can't seem to make it load or find another url.
<snip>
Even looking through the wayback machine, I couldn't get the gobikeonline site to load! I did find the Italian, Japanese and Belgian pages (even Phillip Brook's home page too!), so I did have quite a few pretty pictures to look at:

http://translate.google.com/translat...language_tools
http://www.ingear.be/gobike/en/indexgb.asp
http://homepage.mac.com/philipbrook/Menu10.html
http://translate.google.com/translat...language_tools
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Old 09-09-05, 02:04 PM   #11
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http://www.long-john.com

That gentleman has posted here comparing the Brompton and GoBike, of which he owns both.

Short answer: if you don't need to stow your bike in the overhead bin of an airliner, get a GoBike. It's the ultimate 20" wheel folder, price no object. 406 sized tires, tubes and wheels are significantly more common than 16" or 18".

My 2cents: If you don't have that kind of coin, KHS Japan (if you're in Asia) makes fine bikes and Downtube is producing a stylin' 20" wheel folder for ridiculously little $$$.

My test rides: http://www.halffg.pwp.blueyonder.co....oc/canada.html (I've got a KHS F20-Westwood BTW...if I'd known about Downtube, it would've made my list - and GoBike would've too if I'd had the coin)

BTW: forget the GoBike website. They're not serious about web marketing or it would've been up a long time ago. Check out this retailer in Belgium: http://www.ingear.be/gobike/en/indexgb.asp
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Old 09-13-05, 04:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by af895
http://www.long-john.com

That gentleman has posted here comparing the Brompton and GoBike, of which he owns both.

Short answer: if you don't need to stow your bike in the overhead bin of an airliner, get a GoBike. It's the ultimate 20" wheel folder, price no object. 406 sized tires, tubes and wheels are significantly more common than 16" or 18".

My 2cents: If you don't have that kind of coin, KHS Japan (if you're in Asia) makes fine bikes and Downtube is producing a stylin' 20" wheel folder for ridiculously little $$$.

My test rides: http://www.halffg.pwp.blueyonder.co....oc/canada.html (I've got a KHS F20-Westwood BTW...if I'd known about Downtube, it would've made my list - and GoBike would've too if I'd had the coin)

BTW: forget the GoBike website. They're not serious about web marketing or it would've been up a long time ago. Check out this retailer in Belgium: http://www.ingear.be/gobike/en/indexgb.asp
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Old 11-02-05, 07:39 PM   #13
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Hey Stegosaupus!

I just spotted an ad for a GoBike for sale in Toronto!

Here's the link to the TBN message board ad: http://tbn.ca/cgi-bin/wwwthreads/sho...mode=flat&sb=5

Gotta say, I was tempted but I can't justify it right now - my KHS works fine, even if it doesn't fold as small as the GoBike.

Ciao!
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Old 11-03-05, 04:30 PM   #14
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My only caution with the Go-Bike is parts availability. Any standard components should be no problem to replace, but parts for the frame, fork, and stem would probably be even more elusive than the Go-Bike itself.

I'm not speaking with any personal experience with the Go-Bike, just folders in general.
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Old 11-04-05, 05:24 AM   #15
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Yes, that last comment makes sense. The way GoBike has been doing distro and promotion so far does not bode well. It remains to be seen whether GoBike will be around for a long time and whether replacement parts will be easily found now and especially in the future. If you intend to drop a lot of money on a bike that will be your only ride i really think parts availability/service should factor heavily. In that respect Brompton, KHS, Dahon and Downtube seem like better choices. But it all depends on priorities.
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