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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 04-04-06, 08:32 PM   #1
Wavshrdr
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A way to save money on folders

Like a lot of you I love folders. I would spend a small fortune if I didn't find a way to save money on purchasing them. I suggest where possible buy a used one if you can find it in good condition. Check Craiglist, eBay and other places. Few things lose their value more quickly than a bicycle except maybe a jet-ski or dirtbike. Find a company that has a good reputation and buy their product and it will have a decent resale value but let someone else take the first hit. If you can, buy a demonstrator if you want a "new" model.

By using this strategy I have been able to save a lot of money on bikes. Or find a bike that you know you might not really want to buy but you know it is underpriced and flip it. Or if you aren't sure about something try and find a used one so that you if you don't like it you won't get killed if you want to sell it.

Also try and think long term. It is better to spend a bit more and get a good one than to buy something you absolutely hate but sometimes it is hard to know what you really like until you have experience.

Find a good dealer and develop a relationship with them. They will often be a bit more flexible on the bikes or at least help you out on accessories. Perhaps you can barter with them. Maybe you have a service or skill that they need and are willing to trade that toward the bike or part of it. That has worked quite well for me.

If I had to pay full price for every bike it would definitely limit what I could do. What I have been able to do is take a small initial investment and careful work it so that I added a few dollars here or a little work there or swapped something for it that I have actually spent surprisingly little money out of pocket.
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Old 04-05-06, 04:06 AM   #2
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I must say i am very impressed by the way you buy and sell folders - it must be a great way to check out a wide range of them. I am also a tad envious of your large fleet. I've started scanning folders on ebay in the UK (postage costs rules out USA ebay), by clicking the completed items selection to see what they sell for shows how well Brommies keep their value - even 5 years old they are usually over £300 (ie thats $520+ usd). Often more than a new basic 'C' type.

Private sellers are getting crowded out by quite a few dealers ... who mostly sell dahon bikes, on 'buy it now' at the rrp or only very slightly below. No Downtubes yet - but if they were ~$300 which is ~£170 gbp they could be popular in the UK, but would have to compete with many me-too bikes of dubious origins. Unfortunately for us Brits, what usually happens when stuff (software, bikes etc. ) comes from USA to UK, the dollar price gets converted directly into pounds ie about 1.7 x more.

Wav ...... I heard the same company making the merc is also doing a Swift copy called the 'Lark' - its lighter, and half the price ie $300 usd with a higher spec. Tough call for loyal Swift owners !














LOL
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Old 04-05-06, 11:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Simon
Unfortunately for us Brits, what usually happens when stuff (software, bikes etc. ) comes from USA to UK, the dollar price gets converted directly into pounds ie about 1.7 x more.
Don't worry. Price inflation happens both ways.


Quote:
Wav ...... I heard the same company making the merc is also doing a Swift copy called the 'Lark' - its lighter, and half the price ie $300 usd with a higher spec. Tough call for loyal Swift owners !


I hope it's true. After all, if you don't innovate and continue to stay stagnant... blah blah blah..

Last edited by spambait11; 04-05-06 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 04-05-06, 11:37 AM   #4
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I don't think of my bikes as a monetary investment-only an emergency one. As for buying used, I prefer to buy new now for 3 main reasons: 1. possible stolen item even on Ebay and Craigslist, 2. I like the warrenty that comes with the new bike-even a cheaper model. 3. I buy from a actual bike shop for the free or inexpensive tune-up which comes with purchase. I am not as handy with tools as Wavshrdr or have the time or place to do so beyond just basic repairs or maintenance.
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Old 04-05-06, 11:50 AM   #5
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You can buy used from a dealer such as Bike Friday. I did that...twice.
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Old 04-05-06, 11:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Simon
I must say i am very impressed by the way you buy and sell folders - it must be a great way to check out a wide range of them. I am also a tad envious of your large fleet. I've started scanning folders on ebay in the UK (postage costs rules out USA ebay), by clicking the completed items selection to see what they sell for shows how well Brommies keep their value - even 5 years old they are usually over £300 (ie thats $520+ usd). Often more than a new basic 'C' type.

Private sellers are getting crowded out by quite a few dealers ... who mostly sell dahon bikes, on 'buy it now' at the rrp or only very slightly below. No Downtubes yet - but if they were ~$300 which is ~£170 gbp they could be popular in the UK, but would have to compete with many me-too bikes of dubious origins. Unfortunately for us Brits, what usually happens when stuff (software, bikes etc. ) comes from USA to UK, the dollar price gets converted directly into pounds ie about 1.7 x more.

Wav ...... I heard the same company making the merc is also doing a Swift copy called the 'Lark' - its lighter, and half the price ie $300 usd with a higher spec. Tough call for loyal Swift owners !

LOL
I'd be interested in a Swift at that price for sure.

For those who live in the UK and want to buy a bike here, it can be shipped quite inexpensively to the UK by using the US Postal Service. MUCH MUCH MUCH cheaper than DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc.
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Old 04-05-06, 12:19 PM   #7
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I like Ebay , but you have to be vigillant ... usually if its too good to be true ...it is.... basic info, if somebody wants to get paid with Western Union ..shy away... I have been pretty successfull removing fake Dahons from EBay .... still the Flo for one dollar and 126,dlr shipping ( payable with western Union ) shows up once in a while under a different name....

Also there is a hidden secret... most Dahon dealers ... have the option to get "scratch and dent "bikes from Dahon. I call them scratch and no dent ...lol..... these are returns to Dahon for various reasons, some have been used as display at a tradeshow, some have been returned because there is actually a scratch , some are back because the UPS man never could find the right address, and some are repos ( I am sure..that also happens ) Anyhow , it takes a little longer and is more work to get them, but usually there is a nice money saving involved as well.... for the more expensive models 100 bucks discount is not unheard off...

just another idea

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Old 04-05-06, 12:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tazman
I'd be interested in a Swift at that price for sure.

For those who live in the UK and want to buy a bike here, it can be shipped quite inexpensively to the UK by using the US Postal Service. MUCH MUCH MUCH cheaper than DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc.
I believe USPS limits on international parcels is 108" length plus girth. Cost is $150.....I had no idea this was an option.

Thanks,
Yan
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Old 04-05-06, 01:19 PM   #9
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Yes, I've shipped some rather big items overseas for a lot less. Check out their online calculator too. If you don't mind slower it can be $60 to ship 40 or 50 pounds of stuff instead of $150 or $250 with FedEx, DHL, etc.
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Old 04-05-06, 01:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tazman
Yes, I've shipped some rather big items overseas for a lot less. Check out their online calculator too. If you don't mind slower it can be $60 to ship 40 or 50 pounds of stuff instead of $150 or $250 with FedEx, DHL, etc.
I was getting rates of $280 from DHL and UPS, hence $138 air mail sounds great. Surface is $82

Thanks,
Yan
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Old 04-05-06, 02:01 PM   #11
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You are welcome Yan. Now you can take over the world. From what I've seen reading some folder posts you have created quite a stir but I don't want to start anything. I guess we will start seeing DTs in Europe now????
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Old 04-05-06, 04:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tazman
You are welcome Yan. Now you can take over the world. From what I've seen reading some folder posts you have created quite a stir but I don't want to start anything. I guess we will start seeing DTs in Europe now????
I have a container shipping to the UK later this week. However these shipping rates may make it cheaper to deliver direct to the US. Keep in mind there is a 50% anti-dumping duty in the UK.

Thanks to Tazman I will take over the world (just joking for those that don't get it)

Thanks again,
Yan
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Old 04-06-06, 11:10 AM   #13
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I have a simple means of limiting my folder purchases. I purchase long term (at least 5 years but mostly longer). I look over my previous purchases and see if they can't be improved upon. If not, I then save for something I feel will suit my needs better. I go for the basic no frills model if possible. Then slowly improve on the basic frame etc. I limit to what I really can use in a multi use capacity rather than a hobby (I have a life other than being Folder Fanatic).
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Old 04-07-06, 09:01 AM   #14
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ebay craigs list allow you to turn time into money. You waste alot of time going over the lists to save some money.

In particular I went to see a craigs lists iXi for $600, used for just 15 min. Wheels deflated, owner says stored for long time. On inspection rear wheel way out of true. I doubt you can get the wooble out of such a small wheel. It also cost $6 and an hour as I did not ride my bike in that day.

On the plus side I did get to inspect a belt drive bike. All drive gears are plastic, no replacement parts on web site. I also thought the seperable frame bent a bit when I put pressure on it.

I almost went to see a $500 swift with some mods (nietto moustashe handle bars were cute), but I do not need anopther bike. I also see presto lites occationally $400-$450. Indicating that people like to buy not ride presto lites.
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