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Thread: Trek F600

  1. #1
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Trek F600

    Somehow I developed a fixation for this model. I am not sure if it is the thick frame, the dark color and lack of chrome "cheap looking" components, if it's the fast looking wheels or if it's the price.

    Does anybody has anything to say about it? Would be a good trade if I end up with one instead of a giant Halfway with rear suspension?

    Just wondering...

  2. #2
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    I hear you on the components. That's a function of price though. Remember, the components can be upgraded - the frame, you're stuck with.

    The Trek folders are made by Dahon and similar to their "Roo's." http://dahon.com/rood7-full.htm

    Personally, I like steel frames but perhaps aluminum doesn't bother you.
    Set a budget, decide what features are "must haves" (grip shifts? high or low gearing? comes with durable-off-roadable wheels or lightweight road only?) What are you looking for in a folder?

    The Trek (with those aero wheels) seems more of a road bike. The Halfway RS looks like it's more tailored to off-roading.

  3. #3
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    At this point in my life, I ride my Halfway aprox. 4 miles while in school. I am taking classes in 2 different departments that have nothing in common with each other (college of Medicine and Dept. of Biological Anthropology at the University of South Florida in Tampa, in case anyone feel like playing with google earth). Since I live in Orlando, I drive to Tampa and, once there, use my bike from AtoB. I come from an off-road background (expedition and adventure racing) and the transition from a SUV/mountain bike to a sedan/folder went very well as part of my adaptation to graduate school (4 years without a paycheck)

    My only problem with my Halfway is that due to the cantilever front fork, I cannot buy a nice set of front wheels or customize the bike as I would like to (since the hub is unique and can't be replaced, acording to Ruchai - a forum member and owner of at least 2 halfways and the only person that gave me some nice info about the halfway before my purchase)

    I am really happy with it. if I could replace the front wheel and make some metal parts black, maybe do some custom painting...I wouldn't sell it for US$2000.00. I can easly say that even counting when I was sponsored and racing, this is the bike that makes me the happiest ever.

  4. #4
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    My girlfriend recently got the F400 model which was a steal at the price as it came on offer with rack and mudguards. She loves it - very stable, quick and nimble. Not the lightest thing ever but a lot lighter than an equivalent hybrid commuter. It's worth noting there's no suspension whatsover though you might be able to put a Pantour susp hub on the front like higher end Dahons. I'd check the width of the fork dropouts first though. As for the colouring of parts on your halfway - I'd get them anodised black rather than painting them if they are Alu. Paint always chips and looks crap after so long whereas anodising would be permenent and far sexier. Might be expensive though...

  5. #5
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    LittlePixel,

    I will strongly consider keeping my Halfway, anodise the parts that annoy me and give it a nice components upgrade instead of keep looking foe something better.

    I think this bike is just like one of those nice relationships that you only really know that it is great once you start comparing to what is out there. I just needs some love and attention to become the best thing ever. (of course, spendin some money here and there will help)

  6. #6
    Life in Mono
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    Just a thought ... on the halfway - OK the hubs are unique but couldn't you get them re-built with a nice set of rims / tyres of your choice ?

  7. #7
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    I guess I could, as long as the new set of rims match the number of holes available on the hubs.

    Still on the subject, what high end components do high end folders come with? Shimano XTR?

    I was just wondering if I could replace some of these components for something better/lighter (besides the wheels):



















    maybe something like thesewould look/feel/ride nice:







    I don't know...this entire 20" wheel and all these new stuff just make me bike ignorant...

    Any suggestions?

    Rafael

  8. #8
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Rafael,

    Your 20" wheel bike is just like any 27" wheel bike. Don't let the wheel size confuse you regarding components. Only factor is gearing. A small wheel makes a given gear combo lower.

    I recently replaced the Sora rear derailleur (same one as in the above pics, RD-3300) with a Deore long-cage. It has the chain capacity to accomodate the 11-34 cog and 52/40 front.

    Back to my original question: what do you want to do?
    My rear-derailleur upgrade had one use: accomodate the Megarange rear cassette and front crank-set upgrade. The Sora worked fine but didn't have the chain capacity or the ability to use a 34T-rear cog.

    XTR would "feel nice" I'm sure. But it also uses 4-bolt pattern MTB chain rings, limiting you to about 46T which, IMO, is way undergeared for a 20"-wheeled bike.

    My bike came with similar FSA front rings so I switched to a road-double 52/40 to give me higher gearing.

    It's difficult to make suggestions if we don't know what problem you're trying to correct. What's the priority? Go faster on road? Stooopid light components? (they won't last as long and they'll likely set you back thousands of dollars for a few ounces...)

    A pair of high-pressure slicks makes a huge difference on a 20" folder for road speed. Tioga Comp Pools and Primo Comets are winners and Schwalbe Marathon Slicks are also good.

    Take a look at my page for a list of chronological upgrades - many made just by finding bikes at the curb on garbage night - including the road-double crankset!

  9. #9
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    "what do you want to do?"

    I would like to feel my halfway less "dragging" and just a little more efficient/fast.

    Back in the days when I use to do my short adventure races, wheel quality and tire pressure made a HUGE difference in performance (specially for long distances). That's why I was considering getting another bike (just to experience that upgrade and performance improvement by changing wheels).

    Now, if I can get a "less-low-gear" set of components and invest some money into my halfway instead of replacing it with a bike just because of a conventional fork, I'll be the happiest rider out there.

  10. #10
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    I'd say start with some of the suggested tires first! It is one of the cheaper and simpler upgrades that in my case made a massive difference.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  11. #11
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    AH! Well, I'm positive you CAN do that with your bike Rafael! Keep the Giant - you can make it fly.

    Wheels: upgrading hub bearings makes more difference than a bottom bracket upgrade but I don't know if you'd notice a difference. It depends on how good/bad they are now and how cosmic you get with their replacements. This wouldn't be the first place I looked to upgrade. Mine are still stock on the KHS-folder though if I have anything to invest, that's really all that's left.

    I was actually close to buying a Giant Halfway and test rode one for a bit. Nice bike.

    Go to high pressure slicks. My next tires will be the Primo Comets just to see how fast "fast" really is. Having said that, going from the stock 20x1.95 65psi semi-knobbies to the 20x1.50 100psi Marathons made a huge difference on my KHS. I think the Comet jump will be smaller but we'll see. (they're narrower than the Marathons... 1.35 vs 1.50) Oh, and get the Kevlar bead Comets if you go that route. Lighter weight and folding.

    Get a Topeak Turbo Morph pump. It has a digital gauge and will let you take any of these tires exactly to optimum PSI. "Eyeballing" tire pressure is fine for MTBs, limping home or to an LBS after a flat. It's NOT fine if you want to get anywhere fast.

    If you find you're stuck in high-gear a lot with no more gears to shift up, that's where a bigger front ring will come in handy. Think USED. Free or cheap at local bike recyclers. Free on garbage day. Look for a 52T+ front ring.

    I don't know if the Halfway can accomodate a conventional front derailleur on account of the tubing. There's something called an "e-type" derailleur that mounts to the bottom bracket. That's an option if you want a double or triple front ring but it means replacing the bottom bracket.

    If you don't do a lot of hill climbing, you can get away with a high(er) top gear at the expense of low-gear - no front derailleur needed because you don't need a second or third front ring to provide lower gears.

    My advice: if you don't have it already, put a MegaRange cassette on, 11-34T. There are 7-speed and 8-speed versions. Maybe see if your freehub will accept an 8-speed cassette and put an 8-speed shifter on while you're at it. (SRAM MRX gripshift - works perfectly with the Deore derailleurs) The 8-speed will just make the spacing slightly tighter so you don't feel as large a jump between gears.

    Well, that was verbose! I hope it helps!

  12. #12
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Yeah, one way or another I will go after the Tioga Comp Pools or Primo Comets. Any suggestions where I can get them online? (I can always google, but I was looking for a inner-contact)

  13. #13
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/tires/406.html



    I noticed a couple of other tires listed there that I'd forgotten about: the Schwalbe Stelvio and Continental Grand Prix. Those are even narrower at 20x1.125. Worth giving a try - they're probably even faster still. Just be aware they may be more prone to punctures and never let them run flat or at low pressure: guaranteed snake bite.

  14. #14
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for the hints. I am going to start working on AF895's list this week. I honestly don't think I need more than 8 speeds (so no need for a double or triple front ring), so I will go after the MegaRange cassette (8-speed). I already got a 8 speed rapid fire shifter last time I changed my grippers, so with the tires and the Megarange I may feel a good difference.

    Now if the frame is not compatible with a Megarange, than I will go just after the bigger, 52+ front ring.

    I'll keep you guys posted. Once again, thank you!!

    Rafael

  15. #15
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Your frame should be OK for 8-speed.

    The cog spacing is tighter I *think* - at worst, you'd need a new chain. (Shimano IG-51 Narrow) The 8-speed shifter should just work - moving the derailleur only as much as needed for each gear change. You absolutely need the new rear-derailleur - MegaRange capable. Highly recommend the Deore LONG cage as it's a good value. The road derailleurs won't have a long enough arm or be able to reach the 34T cog.

    Look forward to hearing back!
    Chris

    EDIT: WARNING! http://www.sheldonbrown.com/k7.html
    You may need to upgrade the hub to accept the 8-speed cassette. (that's what I get out of that page)
    An 8-speed hub will take a 7-speed cassette with a 4.5mm spacer but not the other way around. Look forward to hearing how you make out with this upgrade. An 8-speed Halfway would be a pretty cool upgrade.
    Last edited by af895; 10-08-05 at 06:30 PM.

  16. #16
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Well, I am glad I have the RS version...otherwise I would not be able to upgrade the hub (due to the cantilever thing). Seems like whatever I do, will be just on mine (and not on my girlfriends hardtail Halfway).

    One way or another, I'm SO GLAD I can make my Halfway better that I already gave up studying Advanced Neuro Anatomy for the rest of the evening.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Shilun's Avatar
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    Rafael, I've had my Halfway RS for about 3 months now ( I know you've had yours much longer than that) and these are my observations.

    I don't get any of the dragging feeling you mention. My bike came fitted with Cheng Shin tires (a local Taiwanese brand). They're probably not high quality, but I find that if I keep them pumped up to their maximum rating - 80psi - they roll pretty nicely. Compared to my previous road bike I do notice that even a small drop in psi makes a difference, so I pump them up almost every time I go out.

    Within a week of getting the bike I swapped out the chainwheel for a 52T. This gave a much more pleasant ride. Following AF895's lead, I also plan to change the cassette to an 11-34. However, because my riding tends to be either/or (either flat or hills, but rarely both together), I would prefer a setup such as 11-13-15-22-26-30-34. I doubt I'll find such a configuration off the shelf.

    I think AF895 is right when he says that the Halfway frame is not suited to a front derailleur. However, it seems that the way cassettes keep expanding, we'll soon have 10-speed setups available, in which case front derailleurs will probably become obsolete. Anyway, I seem to remember touring around Europe fully loaded with a bottom gear of about 26. I think even a 7-speed cog should be able to handle that, albeit with a new long-cage shifter.

    For comfort, a replacement saddle (Brooks) and bar ends have made a big difference to my ride, too. In short, Rafael, I suggest you persevere with the Halfway. It's a good bike. For me, it hits the financial 'sweet spot'. At $400, you know you're not getting junk, but equally you don't feel guilty about swapping out parts to suit. That's what makes it such a fun bike to ride.

    To conclude, I agree totally with AF895's recommendations.

    • Tires - the higher the psi the better
    • Chainwheel - 52T or higher (you sound like you may be a strong cyclist)
    • Cassette - if the above two changes still leave you dissatisfied


    Shilun

  18. #18
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Shilun,

    Thank you for your feedback. I am starting tomorrow with front ring 52+ and a little wheel research around the LBS and recumbent-specific places (already with the suggested tyres listed to avoid exploitation);

    If that's not enough I'll proceed for the new cassette.

    If you have a chance, PLEASE let me see your bike!! I only saw 2 Halfways RS in my life (the blue one online if you google halfway RS and mine). If you don't want to post pictures here, please e-mail them to me.

    Once again,

    Thank you.

    Rafael

  19. #19
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Ya' know, this almost deserves a new sticky-thread called "Must have upgrades for your folder." Maybe I'll start that one!

  20. #20
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    Good posts and tips here! Nice. One more thing about the tires though. Whether you will actually like the Skinnier slick variants remains to be seen. Obviously the smaller the air chamber is, the harsher the ride (in general). I know i am broken record but the great thing about the Tioga's is they are fat AND super fast. But it all depends on your preferences, i value comfort as well as speed equally. Plus i always try to avoid to get into an upgrade loop/Catch 22. For example:

    1. Get Skinny slicks, now i am fast but damn my back and but is killing me:
    2. Get pantour Hub or Front Suspension but gosh those spokes and rims are really substandard in this set up...
    3. Get new wheels, darnit, the frame needs to be lighter too etc etc.

    On Sheldon's Twenty page he makes some mention on mounting very skinny slicks on his Twenty and then hardly riding it because it rode so harsh. And he is a lifetime biker/roadie that mounts Brooks saddles pretty much on 70% of his bikes...
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  21. #21
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    OK, here we go with update 001. Instead of taking it to the local Giant Dealer, I went to the original store that used to sponsor the team I was part of (which is still a Giant Dealer). Here we go with the news:

    1st problem - Tyres - Fixed:
    Apparently the first owner (the military guy that purchased it in Japan and rode 9 miles with it and brought it to the USA) did something to (replaced) the original tyres that came in with the bike. The original tyres for both hardtail and Halfway RS in Japan are suppose to 20 - 1.5 and hold 70-75 PSI. I was riding on 60PSI on a set of tyres (20 1.5) that was suppose to have 90!!


    2nd problem - low geared - on hold

    The store will be after a big crankset/front ring that will fit my bike (single speed, no way for a front der.) that will not cost the US$170+ like the road bike ones they have there.

    The manager of the store refreshed my mind telling me that while racing (both off road or a road bike) I had clipless pedals and learned how to take advantage of that. Now, with my "open pedal" I lost a significant amount of performance and try to compensate that by spinning like a little monkey. Maybe getting better pedals would bring me back to a more efficient pedaling patern that will make me stop cranking the bike so hard and feeling it low-geared.

    3rd problem - cassete/rear hub:

    Going from my current 13 to a 11 will make a difference, but not as much as DEGREASING the junk that came from Japan and NEVER was addressed. The store manager also reminded me that back then, I had pre-race and post race maintenance and now I don't but the CLEANING still must be done. It looked like pounds and pounds of solid black junk came out of the cassette after sprayed with a degreaser and brushed. I couldn't believe the amount of solid waste that kept coming out while they cleaned it.

    Conclusion:

    New pump purchased;

    New front ring (possible entire crankset) on it's way;

    Tyres with 90PSI making a HUGE difference. I can now reach and maintain 18 while getting there was a strugle (was cruising around 13-15 before);

    New pedals (even non-foldable ones) suggested (or a little class, to teach/educate me on how to use a pedal). I'll ask you guys about this subject and go for an upgrade soon, even consider clipless.

    Proper maintenance of tyre pressure and chain mechanism is MANDADORY. You can compromise you experience by not spending some time keeping these things in perfect shape.

    Since I wanted a new crankset so bad, I ended up painting my chain guard (originally black) to match my suspension. It's cheap plastic spray, will go away soon, but I thought would be fun to do it.

    Here is my little Halfway RS after some attention and new make-up:




    Thank you for all the help. I'll keep you guys up to date when I get the front ring.


    Rafael Guerra

  22. #22
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    V1nce: I hear ya' Good advice.

    Our forum regular "Cheg" was riding with a 20x1.95 Maxxis Hookworm (110psi) up front and a Primo Comet 20x1.35" 100psi in the rear. I thought that was a pretty cool idea since it adds stability to the notoriously twitchy 20" folder front end but keeps rolling fast. I never would have thought to do that. What's on your bike these days v1nce?

    Of all the things I can see myself investing in for my KHS, tires are going to be my biggest "tweak" - everything else is "good enough" but the rubber seems to make such a huge difference in ride. I don't remember ever seeing such wide differences with 700c or 26" wheel bikes.

    _________

    Rafael: WOW! Nice! I like the red-chainring. AWESOME to hear about the performance increase!!!

  23. #23
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    @ Af. Yeh i read about the hookworm, it looked pretty funky, but it made sense. As for my setup, well, when i had original wheels, tires, fork and headset on my Twenty the thing was all over the place. I am pretty decent at riding no hands, i do a lot of it, but i could not go for more than 3 meters on the stock Twenty no matter what. It was scary to even try. Then when i replaced the aforementioned components: no problem. I think the headset and the beefy fork with relatively little rake made most of the difference. I now cycle without hands about 30 or 40% of the time. It could even be a little more stable i think, 20 inch is always just a little Twitchy by comparison to larger bikes. Perhaps a no rake fork or Hookworm would make up the last remaining little diff. and make it as stable as a 700 cc bike.

    About tires, yes it is true, the rubber is always important but on Twenty inch it can be paramount! Makes all the difference sometimes.

    @ Raf: It is looking good that halfway! I have to second Shilun on the Brooks.
    Last edited by v1nce; 10-09-05 at 06:45 PM.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  24. #24
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    I've ridden Continental Grand Prix, Schwalbe Stelvios and Schwalbe Marathon Slicks on my Twenty and all are good though I'm liking the Conti's most I think. Yes the first two are a bit more prone to punctures but less so if you are good about making sure the pressure is up and that you aren't always in the gutter. Punctures are always on the rear anyway. I might try fitting a front wheel to the rear to see if this improves things

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