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    zport bikes

    Does anyone in the community have any experience with zport inc. folding bikes? I just saw this on an aviation site I belong to and it looked interesting; small, ligttweight, compace mobility to/from an airfield is highly desirable for general aviation aircraft pilots. Thanks in advance for your help. -steve

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    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmithmd
    Does anyone in the community have any experience with zport inc. folding bikes? I just saw this on an aviation site I belong to and it looked interesting; small, ligttweight, compace mobility to/from an airfield is highly desirable for general aviation aircraft pilots. Thanks in advance for your help. -steve
    I hadn't heard of them before seeing your post. They look interesting, and the pricing is certainly reasonable. The 3-speed TST1403A is only $175, folds to 25" x 19" x 10", weighs about 26 pounds, and would easily fit in the baggage compartment of a 172.

    I haven't been able to find any reviews, but at that price I'm tempted to order one. Even the most expensive model, the ZP2005UST (5-speed with rear shock suspension), is only US$195.

    http://www.zport.us/TST1403A.php

    EDIT: Well, I just ordered one (TST1403A) from the zport website. I'll post a review after it gets here and I've had a chance to check the build quality and see how it rides.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Scooper; 12-02-05 at 10:50 AM.
    - Stan

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    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    I had seen these! I was intrigued as they look like they might fit my "tiny folder" requirements.

    These ones are similar: http://stores.ebay.ca/FOLDING-BICYCL...toreviewQQtZkm

    Look forward to hearing your feedback Scooper!

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    Scooper,
    You move fast! They look great (I'm tempted to go for the 5-speed: ZP2005CS)! I'm anxious to hear how you like after you spend some time with it. Did you get any idea how long it would take to deliver? -steve

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    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmithmd
    Scooper,
    You move fast! They look great (I'm tempted to go for the 5-speed: ZP2005CS)! I'm anxious to hear how you like after you spend some time with it. Did you get any idea how long it would take to deliver? -steve
    Steve,

    The website says that merchandise will be shipped within two business days via UPS Ground or FedEx Ground at a flat rate of $35.00 after payment is made. Since I paid using PayPal, I'm guessing they'll ship early next week. They're on the east coast and are shipping via ground, so I expect it'll take about a week in transit.
    - Stan

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    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by af895
    I had seen these! I was intrigued as they look like they might fit my "tiny folder" requirements.
    Chris, I actually thought about you and your "tiny folder" thread while I was looking at the Zport website. I considered the single speed, but there are too many hills at my usual destination airports and that's one reason I really don't like the Strida.
    - Stan

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    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Well, I'm impressed, and that's not easily done.

    When I paid for the bike, the PayPal invoice was for $175.00 and there wasn't any way to add the $35.00 shipping and handling charge mentioned on the website. I sent Zport an e-mail asking them if they wanted me to initiate a second PayPal payment for $35.00 to cover the S&H, and just got a reply saying the $35.00 S&H charge was included in the $175.

    Not only that, they've shipped it already and gave me the UPS tracking number. It should be delivered on December 9.

    That's what I call service.
    Last edited by Scooper; 12-02-05 at 10:09 PM.
    - Stan

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    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    Looks like the same item as on eBay. Look here:

    Zsport on eBay

    With BIN and shipping it comes to $5 less than what Scooper paid. It definitely looks interesting.

    What I am interested in knowing is it an internal hub (unlikely) or derailleur. My eyes are getting old I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper
    Well, I'm impressed, and that's not easily done.

    When I paid for the bike, the PayPal invoice was for $175.00 and there wasn't any way to add the $35.00
    I think a few questions that have to be asked of all the folders out there are:

    How high can you get the seat top above the BB? Where will handlebars be in the position?

    Folding difficulty? Parts are off the shelf style or proprietary?

    For odd sized tires, where do you get replacements?

    Gear ratio range?

    Warranty.

    Max rider weight?

    (Others?)

    The folded dimensions look great. Curiously, the 14" bike folds smaller than the 12".

    The 20" doesn't seem competitive with something like the DOwntube, which sells for a similar price.
    Last edited by jasong; 12-03-05 at 12:39 AM.

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    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong
    I think a few questions that have to be asked of all the folders out there are:

    How high can you get the seat top above the BB? Where will handlebars be in the position?
    Folding difficulty? Parts are off the shelf style or proprietary?
    For odd sized tires, where do you get replacements?
    Gear ratio range?
    Warranty.
    Max rider weight?
    (Others?)
    The folded dimensions look great. Curiously, the 14" bike folds smaller than the 12".
    The 20" doesn't seem competitive with something like the DOwntube, which sells for a similar price.
    These are some great questions, and once I get mine and have a chance to ride it, look at the components, and measure the geometry I'll try to answer some of them. Frankly, for $175 my expectations aren't too high; I hope I'm pleasantly surprised. I don't plan to compete in centuries on this thing; I just want it to get me from small airports into town and back.

    Steve sent me a PM in which he forwarded some user comments from another website. The guy likes the way the TST1403A 3-speed rides, but thinks the gearing of all three speeds is too low. He says he keeps it in top gear all the time. If it has a rear derailleur as it appears to from the photo, and the cluster or cassette is standard, it shouldn't be too difficult to change the gearing.

    I guess I'll just have to stay in suspense until next Friday.
    Last edited by Scooper; 12-03-05 at 10:02 AM.
    - Stan

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    I think the big killer could be your height vs. max height of its saddle. Even if something is perfect, if I can't get 780mm above the BB, it's worthless to me.

    It seems like a lot of the cheap folders advertised on eBay have this problem.

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    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong
    I think the big killer could be your height vs. max height of its saddle. Even if something is perfect, if I can't get 780mm above the BB, it's worthless to me.

    It seems like a lot of the cheap folders advertised on eBay have this problem.
    I agree; that's the biggie. The tradeoff is folded size. You can always put on a longer seatpost, but then the folded size is likely bigger in the dimension dictated by the seatpost length. From the picture of the TST1403A, though, it looks like you could have a significantly longer seatpost without changing the folded dimensions.
    Last edited by Scooper; 12-03-05 at 10:25 AM.
    - Stan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper
    You can always put on a longer seatpost, but then the folded size is likely bigger in the
    Sourcing some of these seatposts, even in fairly normal sizes (ie. 27.2mm for Downtube) isn't easy above a certain size. Neither I nor Yan (designer) could find a source for 550+ mm long seatposts. The problem with a lot of those little folders/"cheap bikes" is that they use really oddball sizes, making it basically impossible to find something longer. Custom lathe turning seems to be the only possibility for those. I've bought several clunker bikes at a thrift store, and see things like 22.4 mm, which you can't find anything with the same size. Then, especially with a long lever arm like with folders, you have to wonder about the torque issue and safety.

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    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Again, I agree. I'll just have to wait until I get the bike and see what the seatpost diameter is. I also agree with your point about the safety issue associated with the lever arm and moment being greater for the longer seatposts on folders. This would be more of an issue for heavy riders.
    - Stan

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    Hmm, as always i think U-Frame folders have an inherent design flaw. The U frame is prone to (way) too much flex and often breakage. But i hope this bike proves me wrong!
    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.

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    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1nce
    Hmm, as always i think U-Frame folders have an inherent design flaw. The U frame is prone to (way) too much flex and often breakage. But i hope this bike proves me wrong!
    There's no question that a diamond frame geometry would be subject to less stress, but I think the susceptibility of a U-frame to flex and break depends to a great extent on the weight distribution of the rider between the front and rear wheels. In the case of the zport, the rider's weight is biased heavily over the rear wheel, so the bending moment on the frame should be minimal.

    We'll see.
    - Stan

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    Very true, i had noticed that on this bike the rider is way back which would ease up the weight on the front part. Keep us posted please!
    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.

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    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Well, the zport TST1403A delivery was delayed until yesterday (Monday), but I'm not complaining.

    Here are some preliminary observations:

    The seat post is 25.4 mm, and only 12 inches long (9 inches outside of seat tube), so not only do my knees hit the handlebar when I'm pedaling, I don't get nearly the leg extension I'm used to. I think both of these problems could be solved with a longer seatpost, and I've seen 15" 25.4 mm seat posts widely advertised at reasonable prices, so I'll probably buy one and see how much that helps. I'm six feet tall, and these bikes as delivered are clearly more suitable for smaller folk.

    The chain ring has 42 teeth and the crank arms are 165 mm. The rear derailleur is a three-speed Saiguan unit with 16-19-22 cogs, so with 14" wheels even the highest gear is too low. The distance traveled in the highest gear for one pedal revolution is just a hair over nine feet. I'm going to try to replace the cogs with smaller ones or the chain ring with a larger one to get higher gearing.

    The overall quality looks pretty good. The welds are nicely done, the folding hinge/latch is pretty beefy, and I haven't noticed any flexing of the frame so far, probably because the weight distribution is biased so heavily toward the rear wheel.

    The attachments are photos I took this afternoon showing some of the details.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    - Stan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper

    The chain ring has 42 teeth and the crank arms are 165 mm. The rear derailleur is a three-speed Saiguan unit with 16-19-22 cogs, so with 14" wheels even the highest gear is too low. The distance traveled in the highest gear for one pedal revolution is just a hair over nine feet. I'm going to try to replace the cogs with smaller ones or the chain ring with a larger one to get higher gearing.

    The attachments are photos I took this afternoon showing some of the details.
    Hi Stan, one of the details from the photos you took that stand out to me is the lack of ground clearance at the rear derailleur. Rather than trying to hunt up sprockets, you might want to adapt a cheapo internal 3spd hub instead...

    Bruce

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper
    Well, the zport TST1403A delivery was delayed until yesterday (Monday), but I'm not complaining.

    Here are some preliminary observations:

    The seat post is 25.4 mm, and only 12 inches long (9 inches outside of seat tube), so not only do my knees hit the handlebar when I'm pedaling, I don't get nearly the leg extension I'm used to. I think both of these problems could be solved with a longer seatpost, and I've seen 15" 25.4 mm seat posts widely advertised at reasonable prices, so I'll probably buy one and see how much that helps. I'm six feet tall, and these bikes as delivered are clearly more suitable for smaller folk.

    The chain ring has 42 teeth and the crank arms are 165 mm. The rear derailleur is a three-speed Saiguan unit with 16-19-22 cogs, so with 14" wheels even the highest gear is too low. The distance traveled in the highest gear for one pedal revolution is just a hair over nine feet. I'm going to try to replace the cogs with smaller ones or the chain ring with a larger one to get higher gearing.I would really advise you to just get a dahon Piccolo or boardwalk,and give the Z to a child or short woman. i had a z bike with 16 inch wheels and tried to modify it and it was never really what i wanted and it cost a lot of money. I sold it to a short woman for a loss.

    The overall quality looks pretty good. The welds are nicely done, the folding hinge/latch is pretty beefy, and I haven't noticed any flexing of the frame so far, probably because the weight distribution is biased so heavily toward the rear wheel.

    The attachments are photos I took this afternoon showing some of the details.
    You could make it a fixie with a 13T rear cog and replace the crank with one that will accept a 52 or 53T cog or you could get an even larger one from loose screws bicycle small parts. i would stick with a shimano crank for a replacement in 130bcd. unfortuneatly the modifations will cost more than your original purchase cost.i would recomend you just give it to a child or a short woman Mods will cost way too much . Just get a dahon boardwalk or Piccolo or a downtube folding bike. i had a z bike and tried to modify it and finally sold it at a loss to a short woman.
    Last edited by James H Haury; 12-13-05 at 07:34 PM.

  21. #21
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceMetras
    Hi Stan, one of the details from the photos you took that stand out to me is the lack of ground clearance at the rear derailleur. Rather than trying to hunt up sprockets, you might want to adapt a cheapo internal 3spd hub instead...

    Bruce
    Quote Originally Posted by James H Haury
    You could make it a fixie with a 13T rear cog and replace the crank with one that will accept a 52 or 53T cog or you could get an even larger one from loose screws bicycle small parts. i would stick with a shimano crank for a replacement in 130bcd. unfortuneatly the modifations will cost more than your original purchase cost.i would recomend you just give it to a child or a short woman Mods will cost way too much . Just get a dahon boardwalk or Piccolo or a downtube folding bike. i had a z bike and tried to modify it and finally sold it at a loss to a short woman.
    The rear derailleur ground clearance is about 1" and does concern me. Both the internal hub 3-speed gearing and conversion to a higher geared fixie are good ideas. Either mod would probably involve changing the front chain ring to 52 or 53T, though, as I don't think changing just the rear would give me the high gear I'd like.

    Thanks for the ideas, guys.
    - Stan

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    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Hey Stan! Thanks for the update.

    Your photos do the bike more justice than the manufacturer site does - looks good!

    "Problem Solvers" makes a machined aluminum shim to go from any common seat-post size to just about any seat-tube size.

    400 & 410mm seat-posts in 27.2mm should be easy to track down. Would the extra 4-1/3 inches add enough length? I know Downtube uses a 500mm seatpost (27.2) so there are longer ones out there if needed.

    Cheers,
    Chris
    Last edited by af895; 12-14-05 at 07:08 PM.

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    Chris,
    Sorry about the uninformed question, but "Problem Solvers"???? What is this reference to?

    tia,
    steve

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    Stan,
    I'll second all the others' thanks for the feedback. Looks like the zport may have had some inherent design flaws. The one positive note seems to be your comment regarding overall quality of the frame, welds, and weight distribution.

    thanks,
    steve

  25. #25
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmithmd
    Chris,
    Sorry about the uninformed question, but "Problem Solvers"???? What is this reference to?

    tia,
    steve

    Hey Steve - it's a brand name. They make all sorts of widgets for bikes.

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