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Old 09-23-05, 10:07 AM   #1
Mehow
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I'm looking for a folder to complete my "car-free armada" I've heard you all say a lot of good things about the Raleigh 20, so I'm thinking of getting one. I found a guy in my area with a Raleigh 20 that he is selling for $250. So far I only recieved a picture of the bike, but no description. I'll post a description once I get it. Please let me know what you think. BTW, In a folder I'm looking for reliability, and something that will last & last.

-Will it fit me (I'm 6'2")?

-Is the Raleigh 20 the great folder everyone makes it sound like?

-Is $250 too much, or just right for a bike like this?

-Would I be just as well of with a cheaper used Dahon?



Thanks in advance,
Mehow


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Old 09-23-05, 10:41 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mehow
I'm looking for a folder to complete my "car-free armada" I've heard you all say a lot of good things about the Raleigh 20, so I'm thinking of getting one. I found a guy in my area with a Raleigh 20 that he is selling for $250. So far I only recieved a picture of the bike, but no description. I'll post a description once I get it. Please let me know what you think. BTW, In a folder I'm looking for reliability, and something that will last & last.

-Will it fit me (I'm 6'2")?

-Is the Raleigh 20 the great folder everyone makes it sound like?

-Is $250 too much, or just right for a bike like this?

-Would I be just as well of with a cheaper used Dahon?



Thanks in advance,
Mehow

I don't know what your standards are, so I can't address the quality of the folder, but last time I was in LA I bought a twenty on Ebay in what looks to be similar condition--OK but not great--for $50 from a guy in north hollywood. I think $250 is too much.
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Old 09-23-05, 12:02 PM   #3
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i think $250 is too much. i got mine for $70cdn. there's better deals out there.
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Old 09-23-05, 12:34 PM   #4
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I think that's a bit steep. You could get a new folder, even a single-speed Dahon, and invest the same amount in the new bike as you would "fixing up" the old '20. Likely an older bike (unless in mint shape) would need to have work done. Even if you do it yourself, there are parts costs.

(bottom bracket, drivetrain, brakes, headset...)

EDIT: to be clear, the 20 is a fantastic platform bike. I doubt you'd go wrong if you found one cheaply and fixed it up.

Cheg's is my all-time fav tricked out Raleigh 20. To me, it looks better than most modern folders.
You be the judge: http://home.comcast.net/~cheg01/r20.html

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Old 09-23-05, 01:17 PM   #5
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reliability, and something that will last & last.

Well then i think you can't go wrong with a Twenty, in terms of reliability and durability there is nothing more proven i'd say. That's because there are no other folders that have been around for so long and whose use has been so documented. But if you pick a diff. make, i'd strongly suggest steel/chromoly not Alu, that should ensure it lasts (not to say all Alu folders won't).

-Will it fit me (I'm 6'2")?

Well i am 6 feet and it fits great. I think there are a lot bigger riders using Twenties. You will need to replace the stock seatpost for sure and may even consider a steel one so as to have little to no chance of it sheering or bending. Tweaking your riding position (handlebars, stem, seat) is important for a nice fit as always.

-Is the Raleigh 20 the great folder everyone makes it sound like?

I just got one and tweaked it out a couple of weeks ago and IMO it is really really good. And i am a really picky guy when it comes to bikes. I had a normal sized MTB that i totally customized and made exactly to my preference and it is now gathering dust. The Twenty is just is a lot better in terms of weight, steering, versatility, acceleration etc.

-Is $250 too much, or just right for a bike like this?

Sounds like way too much. For that kind of money you could buy one way cheap in England (there are tons of them there) and maybe even have it shipped and still be off cheaper. But according to the other people here much better deals are to be had stateside too.

It does look in pretty good condition and i wonder if the wheels are new Aluminium ones..? That would make for a substantially better deal. Even so i'd just tell the guy no way and offer a 100 and when he says no call him in a while to see if he is willing to deal.

-Would I be just as well of with a cheaper used Dahon?

I severely doubt it. Dahon (and i am talking about older/cheaper ones) are often not as standardized as a Twenty and most aren't as rugged. Plus some are Alu. Quite some of the older Dahon's have kindoff a bad reputation in terms of durability and ride quality but i have only heard that, not seen it myself.

One thing to bear in mind is that if you buy a stock Twenty you will almost definately have to replace the Wheels and Seatpost at very least to make a rather good bike. If you want to make a great bike i'd say replace everything except maybe the pannier.

This implies that to attain a cheap and really good Twenty you will have to bide your time and shop around and invest between $ 100 and $ 300 in new components next to the purchase cost. I can almost promise it will be worth it though!

Maybe you have already read my page but if not i am just gonna plug it once more, the URL is below.

Best of luck and please let us know how you fare!
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Old 09-23-05, 02:05 PM   #6
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It sounds like much much too much to me. I wouldn't think of paying more than 20 even for a good un ($30?). It's a cool enough little thing, but you can get a LOT more bike for $250. I think Sheldon's article has pushed the price up!
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Old 09-23-05, 08:20 PM   #7
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Wow! Thanks for the comments.

After reading everything you guys wrote, I've realized that I don't have the luxury of rebuilding an old folder, even if it has a great reputation. I'm now leaning towards getting a NEW Dahon S1 single speed $200 or a Dahon Boardwalk D3/or D7 $250-$300. My budget is at about $300 max. I searched for reviews on these models, but didn't find much. So, what are your impressions of these models?


http://www.dahon.com/boardwalkd3.htm


My main reason for getting a folder is to use it on rainy days along with the bus, when I would prefer not use my "nicer" crossbike. But, I'll also use it on fair weather days when using my other bikes wouldn't be possible; For security reasons I never leave my LeMond Poprad locked up on the street, instead I always have it at my side. Problems arise when I'm not allowed to bring it into certain buildings, which often limits where I can go. I imagine that people/buildings would be more understanding of a folded-up folder.

Thanks again for all your comments so far . . . I hope you all can answer my new questions.

-Mehow

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Old 09-23-05, 08:37 PM   #8
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I read the thread on here (BikeForums/Folders) about the Dahon S1. For ~$200 I can't go wrong I think. BTW I like the simplicity of a single speed.
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Old 09-23-05, 10:20 PM   #9
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Yeh, those are decent bikes but they cannot compare to the Twenty (particularly in time tested durability thang). Not to be a rabid advocate but i wouldn't rule out the 20 completely. U can find them cheap and upgrading them doesn't have to be that costly as my page shows. Also remember that the Dahon's are entry level and riding a folder is often addictive. Don't be surprised if 2 years (perhaps even way sooner) down the line you find that you have outgrown your Dahon and need to Modify or completely replace it too... What about the Downtube, i'd say that one competes pretty well with the Dahons u mention.
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Old 09-23-05, 10:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mehow
Wow! Thanks for the comments.

After reading everything you guys wrote, I've realized that I don't have the luxury of rebuilding an old folder, even if it has a great reputation. I'm now leaning towards getting a NEW Dahon S1 single speed $200 or a Dahon Boardwalk D3/or D7 $250-$300. My budget is at about $300 max. I searched for reviews on these models, but didn't find much. So, what are your impressions of these models?


http://www.dahon.com/boardwalkd3.htm


My main reason for getting a folder is to use it on rainy days along with the bus, when I would prefer not use my "nicer" crossbike. But, I'll also use it on fair weather days when using my other bikes wouldn't be possible; For security reasons I never leave my LeMond Poprad locked up on the street, instead I always have it at my side. Problems arise when I'm not allowed to bring it into certain buildings, which often limits where I can go. I imagine that people/buildings would be more understanding of a folded-up folder.

Thanks again for all your comments so far . . . I hope you all can answer my new questions.

-Mehow
Take a look at the Downtube folders. The non-suspension model (well, it has front suspension) is $290, full suspension $390. Both come with cases that would normally be $40 accessories with other bikes.
http://downtube.com/catalog/

Excellent value in their price classes.
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Old 09-24-05, 12:06 AM   #11
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Mehow are you a messenger or something?The S1 would be an easy conversion to a fixie although the wheel built up ,would not be cheap.
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Old 09-24-05, 10:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James H Haury
Mehow are you a messenger or something?The S1 would be an easy conversion to a fixie although the wheel built up ,would not be cheap.

I'm not a messenger, but a college student who is part-time employed. When I talked about having trouble getting into certain builds, it is because I take my a bike ever where I go (being car-free). BTW I am planning on building up a fixed gear, but I image that it will be off of a road bike frame. But, I was thinking of converting a folder into a fixed gear
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Old 09-24-05, 10:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v1nce
Yeh, those are decent bikes but they cannot compare to the Twenty (particularly in time tested durability thang). Not to be a rabid advocate but i wouldn't rule out the 20 completely. U can find them cheap and upgrading them doesn't have to be that costly as my page shows. Also remember that the Dahon's are entry level and riding a folder is often addictive. Don't be surprised if 2 years (perhaps even way sooner) down the line you find that you have outgrown your Dahon and need to Modify or completely replace it too... What about the Downtube, i'd say that one competes pretty well with the Dahons u mention.
Okay the Twenty is back ON

That's a great site v1nce . . . Twenty's were my top choice, but I've had trouble finding a Twenty here in So. Cal. I imagine that folders are more common in cities where public transportation is more common, unlike in car crazy So. Cal. If anyone knows of one for sale please let me know, because I'm still pretty interested in a Twenty. Plus I like the styling of the Twenty over any other folder I've seen.

v1nce, I'll keep your page in mind and will look into it further . . . if you don't mind I would hope that you could be a source of information if I was to find a Twenty

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Old 09-24-05, 10:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by af895
Take a look at the Downtube folders. The non-suspension model (well, it has front suspension) is $290, full suspension $390. Both come with cases that would normally be $40 accessories with other bikes.
http://downtube.com/catalog/

Excellent value in their price classes.
af895, the Downtube seems to offer a lot more in comparison to the Dahons. The Downtume VIII ($289) seems like a fine model, but I'm not a big fan of any type of a suspension. I like the more direct feeling and efficiency of a non-suspension bike. Are they only sold through their only site, or do they have local dealers? Would you guys consider Downtubes as "higher quailty" in comparison to the Dahons?
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Old 09-24-05, 11:01 AM   #15
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Mehow: I don't own a DT but do a search in this forum: there've been long discussions about them, overwhelmingly positive. I don't know of any source other than direct from the manufacturer, however, with folders you often either have to settle for what your LBS carries or mail order.

Your challenge in finding a Raleigh 20 is not that So-Cal likes cars. It's that So-Cal is far, far from Nottingham England where you'll likely find the highest density of Raleighs. Same in my city, Ottawa, Canada - and we have EXCELLENT public transportation. If you want a 20, you may have to bid on something from overseas...but then, the shipping jacks that price way up. :\

On the note of suspension: on 20" wheels, the short-throw suspension typical on folders doesn't share a lot in common with what's found on downhill/mountain bikes.

It's function is to make the feel of the small wheels more like larger ones. In my experience with a full-suspension KHS, that's exactly what it does. (sort of the difference between riding with 120psi and 75psi tires over a bumpy road, if that makes sense)

FWIW, you can always take the suspension fork off and put an inexpensive straight fork on. I imagine a short ride on garbage day would net you a BMX fork left by the curb, bike-et-al.

Dahon componentry ranges from entry level to mid-high-end. The DT seems to be good, mid-range componentry that should last. It's not el-stinko nor is it Dura-Ace.

Others will have to give you feedback on their own DT's but the frames seem solid. One owner posted a link to a video of them riding down a flight of stairs on their DT VIII FS. (!)
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Old 09-24-05, 11:07 AM   #16
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Hmm IMO (and i don't own one!) higher quality i don't know,.. that totally depends on the Dahon Model. But i'd say they are very close to the quality of the cheaper Dahons you were considering. I'd also say they are much more "bang for you buck". I think they only sell them on-line. IMO in that price range they are the nicest best value (carry bag, features, design etc.) folders that can be bought new, bar none. I personally think it a small pity that the Frame is aluminium, is not to my taste but that is a personal thing. Plus i think if i ever bought one i would invest a bit more cash in order to upgrade a few components like the saddle and such. Tehn again the Dahon's are pretty decent too, it is matter of what features are more important to you.
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Old 09-24-05, 12:30 PM   #17
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Raliegh 20s were the best folders available even 15 years ago, but they haven't been imported in 20 years. Dahons have alloy wheels, chromoly frames, V-brakes, your choice of every kind of drive train from single speed to 8 speed derailers, and better riding position for tall riders, all for a reasonble price. You can get a single speed Dahon for the price of the Phil Wood bottom bracket you will need to upgrade to an alloy crank, which is standard on most Dahons.

EM
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Old 09-24-05, 12:48 PM   #18
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I just got back from my well trusted LBS. After talking to them they advised me to not go with the Single Speed Dahon Boardwalk ($200) because it has a coaster hub. After telling them about my other bikes and my style of riding they recommanded the Boardwalk 7 Speed ($300) with a free wheel. They said that over the past 4 years Dahon's quailty has improved, and that they recommand them.

I'm kinda big on supporting my local "Mom & Pop" bike shop, so I've made getting the Boardwalk 7 Speed as "Plan B" if I don't find a inexpensive Raleigh 20 soon.
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Old 09-24-05, 12:58 PM   #19
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Look what I found . . .

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Raleigh-...QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/Raleigh-folding-...QQcmdZViewItem

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Old 09-24-05, 02:07 PM   #20
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20's have typically been selling for around $150 on ebay in good condition. Then you have to add shipping if it's not local.
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Old 09-24-05, 03:43 PM   #21
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Wow! Those look like they're in pretty good shape! Did you send a message to the senders asking about rust, scratches? Very cool...
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Old 09-24-05, 04:48 PM   #22
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Ahhh!

I keep changing my mind! I talked to the owner of the bike pictured in my original post. It turns out that he rebuilds Raleigh 20's as a hobby. He claims that this white Twenty is "rare" . He seemed like a nice guy though, and by the end of our conversation he was recommanding that I get the Dahon Boardwalk 7 speed! So it's pretty much final that I'm going to get the Boardwalk 7 with a pair of "Delux" fenders from Dahon (Total $330). I was also thinking of getting the Mariner 7 ($330) which seems like a Boardwalk with fenders and a rack, but I prefer the forest green color of the Boardwalk over the Blue of the Mariner. Plus the Boardwalk had a special derallier that is compact, in contrast to the bulky one on the Mariner.

I'll get the Boardwalk 7 within the next 2 weeks. I'll post pictures, and later a review once I've used it.

Thanks for all your opinions and ideas, I really did appreciate your comments.

Best Regards,
Mehow
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Old 09-24-05, 05:31 PM   #23
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Well i guess this is after the fact for sure but:

I think white 20's are rare, it is the first one i have ever seen. Not that i give a rats ass har har, i am not a vintage nut. Also that bike in the first was a pretty sweet deal!

@eddy: Either you haven't read the other Twenty Threads and websites or are just not keeping up... ;-) There are other (much) cheaper ways to go cotterless on 20's. No offense.
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Old 09-24-05, 05:42 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Ahhh!

I keep changing my mind! I talked to the owner of the bike pictured in my original post. It turns out that he rebuilds Raleigh 20's as a hobby. He claims that this white Twenty is "rare" . He seemed like a nice guy though, and by the end of our conversation he was recommanding that I get the Dahon Boardwalk 7 speed! So it's pretty much final that I'm going to get the Boardwalk 7 with a pair of "Delux" fenders from Dahon (Total $330). I was also thinking of getting the Mariner 7 ($330) which seems like a Boardwalk with fenders and a rack, but I prefer the forest green color of the Boardwalk over the Blue of the Mariner. Plus the Boardwalk had a special derallier that is compact, in contrast to the bulky one on the Mariner.

I'll get the Boardwalk 7 within the next 2 weeks. I'll post pictures, and later a review once I've used it.

Thanks for all your opinions and ideas, I really did appreciate your comments.

Best Regards,
Mehow
FWIW, the "Mariner" Dahon models supposedly have some kind of anti-corrosion coating on the inside of the tubes - the name denoting they're taylored to boaters. (salt water and such) Can't comment on it's usefulness. I just spray the inside of my CrMo frames with linseed oil and let it try to a plasticy finish.

I'm sure you'll be pleased with the Dahon so go into that choice feeling good. No work involved in getting it running - it'll likely serve you well for years. The hinge on the Dahons is hot-stuff... really well designed.
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Old 09-25-05, 08:30 AM   #25
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Linseed oil eh? That is interesting i have some lying around. How do you spray it in there? Do you need a particular kind? How do you let it dry to a hard finish?

Thanks.,
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