Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central Florida - USA
Bikes: 2012 Brompton S6R; 2003 Litespeed Firenze; 1994 Diamond BAck Axis TT
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I have 2 folding Giants. One was a trade in (US$0.00) and the other was E-Bay (it's a rear suspension one not so popular in the Americas - US$400.00 shipped).
Slightly used Giant Halfways are sold from time to time off of E-Bay for anything between 300 and 375. I never saw one sold for less. I've seen 2 or 3 sold for aprox. 400, but that's unusual.
A lot of things on a Halfway are proprietary. If you want to swap the seat, you can do it without any problems, but that's pretty much about it. The seatpost is 27.8mm (or something like this) so you cannot upgrade it with the long cushioned thudbusters available for Dahons (Dahons use 34mm). The cantilever hubs/single side fork does not let play with wheels upgrades, cushioned front hub or a geared (speed) rear hub. The frame design will not let you play with the chainring size (if you feel like the bike is low geared or something). You will be able to do minor upgrades (handlegrips, handlebar, shifter, levers, etc...) but not as much as the other folders.
The selling point for the Halfway is the cantilever/monoblade design. For a city bike, it is a convenience. While quick-release wheels demand extra care to avoid thieves, the Halfway design let you fix a flat without removing the wheel. If this is something appealing to you (it is for my girfriend and I), the Halfway is your best (and only) choice and, honestly, little to no upgrades needed for an urban commuter. If that's something that does not really mean anything to you, you are better served with other well respected folding manufacturers. For the Aprox. US$300.00 you will spend on your used Halfway, you can get a brand new Downtube shipped + a US$60.00 seat (which is what you mentioned as an upgrade example). I read good things about the Downtube, ended up getting one for my brother this past Friday (kinda excited about it, can't wait to compare them).
Hope this helps with your decision. Please come back and let us know what you ended up with.