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Old 09-17-05, 10:49 PM   #1
v1nce
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All these bike are top of the line and cost (for comparable setups) between $ 1000 and $ 2000. They all seem to be great bikes. And one day i will have one, yes i will gna gna. One day when i become a serious biker/tourer i will feel it is wortwhile to invest into one of these rather than say buying a car...

But seriously if ever i were to buy one of these machines i just don't know which one would be "best"... What do you guys think?

Go Bike has suspension, disk brakes (a good thing?) and the smallest and nicest fold. It is however very much not standard & availability of bike is not great which means components are probably nigh on impossible to buy.. Plus it stands out like crazy and will probably be to a bike thief what a Porsche is to a car thief. Not good things for tourer bike or any bike in my book really. If i am going to splash out crazy cash the bike in question had better last me a lifetime.. that means replacing components, even if i find myself in Gautemala or other place.

A bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro starts at $1,895.00. Decent fold, time tested and improved over the years.

By most (knowledgeable) accounts the Gaerlan Go Travel 20 is superior to BF, better ride as well as more bang for buck. $1345. The bike is also very standard and even "homely" looking which for me actually a big plus. Not the best "fold" though, it just packs which means that if i wanted to use the bike for commuting with public transport as well it is pretty much useless..

Then there is PBW, to my mind the nicest of all these machines perhaps. Fairly Standardized, full suspension, not bad in the folding department, but the most expensive of all. Their cheapest is $ 2000 though i think it can rival anything else i have mentioned for components and such.

If only Gaerlan had a folding hinge in the middle, i think then i'd know what to get. Though suspension is nice.. oh dear. Well the bike is $1345 and for $150 they add a Pantour front suspension hub.

What about KHS, Dahon and others, do any offer anything comparable to the above..? It seems to me that the top of the line of most other brands are not perfectly suited for touring but i may er, i am really not familiar with all the models.

Then there is also (folding) recumbents such as JM Recumbents, i have no idea of cost for this one... anyone?

Plus BF is alledgedly working on a machine that folds even smaller and better though i fear that one will start at $ 2300 or more... Any additional info on this one KoffeeBrown?

What a luxury dillema.
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Old 09-18-05, 01:49 AM   #2
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Plus BF is alledgedly working on a machine that folds even smaller and better though i fear that one will start at $ 2300 or more... Any additional info on this one KoffeeBrown?
It was called the "TIKIT" and folded like a Brompton - there was a hinge on the main frame and stem. Was supposed to start at around $800-900. They had a picture of the prototype in a newsletter they sent me, but have removed that section from their online version. Was told to call back in the fall to check on its progress (I have yet to call because I'm losing interest). By the way, it's supposed to use 16" wheels (ETRTO 349). Note, however, there is a very strong bias against using anything less than 20" wheels on this forum, so caveat emptor.

You can see the color prototype pictures here, and she has more links to other pictures. (Hint: look at the bike Hanz is holding.)
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Old 09-18-05, 10:17 AM   #3
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The price is good news but i must say the 16 inch pretty much rules it out for me. Oh well.
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Old 09-18-05, 10:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by v1nce
...What about KHS, Dahon and others, do any offer anything comparable to the above..? It seems to me that the top of the line of most other brands are not perfectly suited for touring but i may er, i am really not familiar with all the models.
...What a luxury dillema.
Dahon has a huge line-up and likely something to fit every budget. Their website has the option of viewing only certain wheel sizes, since you prefer 20". Speed Pro and Speed TR (SRP $900) have CrMo frames (I like CrMo) and the Jetstream XP (SRP $1100) is aluminum. Helios SL is a 17lb aluminum at $900 if you're going for weight.

KHS Japan (I'm sounding like a broken record, I know) has a HUGE variety of 20" wheeled bikes equipped for everything from light off-road to commuting to racing. If you can find a Pacific Rim supplier, you might be able to mail order one but they're difficult to find in North America and Europe.

http://www.khsjapan.com/products/f20-rac/F20-RAC.htm seems to be their top-line, aluminum, 18-speed Shimano 105, bullhorn equipped folder at under 21lbs. (!) It also starts at 200,000Yen, about $1,800USD.
Still, if I wanted a high-zoot folder, I'd likely take make the effort to track down one of these.

Birdy has a new Y-frame that looks like a promising design but I know nothing about it.

If you've got the money budgeted for zoot, in the folding bike world you'll have to pound the pavement, spend a bunch in long distance phone calls & shipping from an overseas supplier to get what you want.

Just the nature of the market.

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Old 09-18-05, 12:41 PM   #5
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That KHS is a nice machine for sure! Like the bullhorns and it is Crazy light for sure. But rather expensive. I think i'd would probably spend $ 200 more and get the PBW or spend less and get a Friday/Gaerlan. Also i am pretty much sold on Chromoly/steel. No Alu bikes for me i think... even if a steel will be 10 or 20% heavier. Still the KHS selection is impressive perhaps it is another viable alternative, though i wonder about service with the limited availability.

The Speed TR seems like a Strong contender! Thx for that tip. I like the Dual Drive and braze ons and such. I've seen only one Dutch store that carries it for $ 1224 rather than the amount you mention. Perhaps if ordered it from US. Even at my price the features are great though.

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Old 09-18-05, 01:20 PM   #6
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That KHS is a nice machine for sure! Like the bullhorns and it is Crazy light for sure. But rather expensive. I think i'd would probably spend $ 200 more and get the PBW or spend less and get a Friday/Gaerlan. Also i am pretty much sold on Chromoly/steel. No Alu bikes for me i think... even if a steel will be 10 or 20% heavier. Still the KHS selection is impressive perhaps it is another viable alternative, though i wonder about service with the limited availability.

The Speed TR seems like a Strong contender! Thx for that tip. I like the Dual Drive and braze ons and such. I've seen only one Dutch store that carries it for $ 1224 rather than the amount you mention. Perhaps if ordered it from US. Even at my price the features are great though.
Gotta admit, I lean toward CrMo too.

I haven't figured out KHS Japan's pricing. I got my F20-Westwood for about $500US but they list it at about $600+US SRP so if you could find the KHS somewhere, it might be less than the direct Yen/Dollar conversion suggests. They also offer CrMo frames, FWIW (F20-RC & Westwood; 120,000YEN SRP with Tiagra)

In any case, that's all moot if you like the Dahons. Keep in mind, the 17lb Helios is Aluminum. You get bumped up to the mid-20's with CrMo, if that matters.

I'd like to hear what you find in your country for bikes. Locally, the only Dahons around were a rebranded 2004 Impulse D6 (aluminum) and something similar in steel. FWIW, I think you're going to find the cost of shipping overseas will make looking at domestic options attractive.
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Old 09-18-05, 05:16 PM   #7
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Have you checked the 2006 dahons yet? Go to Dahon.com click on General discussion subforum the find the Topic Hon Solo click on the link in the first post their 2006 line and accessories are amazing.
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Old 09-18-05, 05:48 PM   #8
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http://www.bikebiz.co.uk/daily-news/article.php?id=5911
http://www.dahon.ch/galery/pdf/2006_dahon_1.pdf
http://www.dahon.ch/galery/pdf/2006_dahon_2.pdf

The "Han Solo" is cute but who knows if it'll take off. Most of the fixie riders I know either go with sexy track bikes or build their own with carefully selected components.

I'm coveting the wooden fenders. I'm sure there are others on the market but the Dahons are curved for 20" wheels at least. I want a front fender low enough that a mud-flap will keep spray off my feet. Hrm.

I'm quite interested in seeing how the new Dahon non-folding mini-bikes like the "Hammerhead" sell. If these small wheel bikes are actually found to keep up with 700c bikes, *maybe* we'll see small wheel folders gain some exposure.

The "Ciao!" looks good - low step-over folder to compete with the Biria.

The "Roo" looks like a bike marketed in Scandinavia under the "Yosemite" name. (search these forums - I think someone posted a pic early this year/late last year)

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Old 09-19-05, 01:09 AM   #9
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Besides its tacky name, the components chosen for the HanSolo are first rate but it still looks like a Boardwalk, which I don't find appealing. However, if they made the frame with decorative lugs and substituted a crown fork, they could really cash in on that Rivendell look and ethos. The problem then would be the bikes would lose their lustre as everyone who bought one would have an exact copy; I, too, think Dahon took a lot of the fun out of customizing bikes with this model.

Other comments and observations:
- I hope the Moustache bars don't look ungainly on such a small frame. Regular Moustache bars are quite wide, and when folded, would seem to stick out a lot on this model.
- Suzue flip/flop hub... are you kidding me? Is this a special edition hub or did they increase the rear dropout width to 120mm?
- They forgot the Carradice saddlebag.
- And a bell.
- Hope they're not trying to get more than $500 for this model. (Their former single speed Boardwalk was in the $200 and less range.)

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Old 09-19-05, 11:52 AM   #10
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Don't knock the Boardwalk too much. Alot of serious cyclists are very happy and proud of their bikes. I do not see spending alot of $$$ on overpriced accessories that look too nice, might not be very durable, and attract thieves. I think the Han Solo should be more stripped down like it's lowly cousin, the single speed Boardwalk.
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Old 09-19-05, 12:02 PM   #11
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From the linked article:

"The Hon Solo is a singlespeed folding bike fitted with Brooks B17 Champion saddle, Nitto Moustache handlebar, Sugino cranks, and Suzue flip/flop rear hub. The Hon Solo's lacewood mudguards and chainguard are hand-made in an Oregon workshop. Dahon will build 300, each to retail for $899."

Would you spend $900USD on one? To go with your New VW Beetle or Chrysler PT Cruiser?
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Old 09-19-05, 01:59 PM   #12
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900 bucks, that's just Crazy and contrary to the whole Single Speed ethos (or at least as i see/understand it). Sure it is "bling" but i don't care much for that. Much better bikes to be had for that money or less, for example a SS Swift.
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Old 09-19-05, 04:04 PM   #13
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Not knocking the Boardwalk. Just meant the Boardwalk's design does not appeal to me. I'm all for the fixed/single speed though.

Dahon, at one point, had a single speed which looked like the Helios in a CroMo frame. Problem is, they didn't sell it in the US, and when I inquired of the Canadian dealer whether I was able to purchase one or not (Cambie Cycles, I think) they wrote and told me Dahon policy was that they could not sell me a model less than $500 US - it would be competing with US dealers.

I love Dahon's curvy models even more - Roo, Ciao!, Mu - but they only sell them in aluminum frames. Oh well.
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Old 09-26-05, 05:28 AM   #14
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Is it just me or does the "Han Solo" borrow a lot of style from the Sögreni bikes/accessories (http://www.sogreni.dk/Products.php), ie. wooden mudguards, leather handles, combined with a Brooks sadle? The "Young shatterhand" bicycle has a certain resemblance (even though it is a full size, non-folding bike.)

-Affi
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Old 09-26-05, 06:35 AM   #15
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I think it's just you affi.
Thanks for the link though... that really blows the doors off the term "bull horn handlebars."
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Old 09-26-05, 05:11 PM   #16
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I also am intrigued by the Hammerhead bikes, but more the 5.0 than the 7.0. I'm very close to ordering a Swift and dumping my touring bike because smaller wheels have certain advantages in an urban/city setting. But if I had a review and a price for the Hammerheads handy... maybe I would consider it.
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Old 09-27-05, 12:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by af895
http://www.bikebiz.co.uk/daily-news/article.php?id=5911
http://www.dahon.ch/galery/pdf/2006_dahon_1.pdf
http://www.dahon.ch/galery/pdf/2006_dahon_2.pdf

The "Han Solo" is cute but who knows if it'll take off. Most of the fixie riders I know either go with sexy track bikes or build their own with carefully selected components.
Interesting. I wonder if they got permission form George Lucus to use that name??

Regardless. I think the Dahon 2006 range is all about bling and not so much utility. The whole lineup really tells you this company is spending big bucks in R&D and design. I can't believe how much they improved the product since I purchased my Piccolo in 2001?? I'm still hoping that Dahon will make a recumbent but that maybe asking too much. They are really getting pricy but folders are going in this direction in general and you can't stay at the bottom forever. Good for them.
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