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  1. #1
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Dahon Sweet Pea vs DT Mini vs Entry Level Brompton vs Merc

    After a couple hundred miles riding folders, a few hundred miles driving with them and several thousand miles flying with them, I finally made a decision that my folding bike universe belongs to the 16" wheels.

    I finally have my second hand Merc fully operational and now is time to buy the pair for it. I need a bike that can be rideable for 20-30 miles confortable AND, once I'm done, have it inside an internationally accepted luggage without any disassembly. I'm 5'9" @ 172 and my girlfriend is 5'10" @ 136. My options (please feel free to add your own opinion):

    DT Mini: I really would love to see the Capreo version since I am a big fan of the technology, but still, this bike would require a new stem/handlebar, chainring (bigger for higher gearing) and tyres.

    Dahon Sweet Pea: I really think that the folding mechanism from Dahon looks more sophisticated and neater than DT. If I have to upgrade no matter what, Why not upgrade on top of a frame that has being in the market a little longer? Adjustable stem out of the box may also be another selling point.

    Cheapeast, entry level Brompton: I like the folding, I like the ride of the cloned Asian brother (Merc), but how bad is the entry level brompton compared to the high end equivalent?

    Now, I never rode a Brompton, but my Merc has the best braking power of all my bikes. is the brompton brake THAT BAD?



    Anything else?

    Thank you,

    Rafael

  2. #2
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    DT Mini is too new, I'd wait for the next revision at a minimum.

    The Dahon Sweet Pea is a kid's bike. 14" wheels anyway.

    Have you actually travelled yet with your Merc?

  3. #3
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
    Have you actually travelled yet with your Merc?
    No, not yet. I had a few newbie issues adjusting the internal hub and the entire rear wheel combo (I did not like the chain tensioner from day one) thatcosted me a 6 mile hike (TWICE!) and a nice little accident (no Mercs were hurt during any of the stunts). But I did put the bike inside my hard luggage (the one you can see with a Downtube VIII inside if you seach this forum). If the Merc didn't have issues, the brompton had brakes, the Mini had more mileage/users or the Sweet Pea had 16"wheels to be fully customized, I wouldn't have any issues...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R
    After a couple hundred miles riding folders, a few hundred miles driving with them and several thousand miles flying with them, I finally made a decision that my folding bike universe belongs to the 16" wheels.

    I finally have my second hand Merc fully operational and now is time to buy the pair for it. I need a bike that can be rideable for 20-30 miles confortable AND, once I'm done, have it inside an internationally accepted luggage without any disassembly. I'm 5'9" @ 172 and my girlfriend is 5'10" @ 136. My options (please feel free to add your own opinion):

    DT Mini: I really would love to see the Capreo version since I am a big fan of the technology, but still, this bike would require a new stem/handlebar, chainring (bigger for higher gearing) and tyres.

    Dahon Sweet Pea: I really think that the folding mechanism from Dahon looks more sophisticated and neater than DT. If I have to upgrade no matter what, Why not upgrade on top of a frame that has being in the market a little longer? Adjustable stem out of the box may also be another selling point.

    Cheapeast, entry level Brompton: I like the folding, I like the ride of the cloned Asian brother (Merc), but how bad is the entry level brompton compared to the high end equivalent?

    Now, I never rode a Brompton, but my Merc has the best braking power of all my bikes. is the brompton brake THAT BAD?



    Anything else?

    Thank you,

    Rafael
    The Dahon Sweet Pea is a very cheap bike and I'm kinda disappointed the company even released it to the public. The Dahon Presto Lite with the suspenion seat post is the model you need to look at. I recently purchased a used (but Mint) Dahon Presto and look for my extensive review in a couple of days. This is an underrated bike on this forum and I don't know why. The Presto I purchased has the same frame as the Presto Lite and both feel exactly alike but Dahon discontinued it (Presto) last year.

    What facinated me to this used Presto was not only the price ($150.00) but it had a rear coaster brake. I was skeptical about it at first but not anymore. It's an incredible shame more bikes don't have that feature because it works real well and stops the bike 99% of the time without the need of using the front V-Brake! I think I'll probably keep the same front brake pads on the bike for two years or more.

    As for the Presto Lite, only a Strida or a real high end Brompton would weight less. To be honest, I would look for a 20' inch folder since were're not talking about multimode commuting with a bus.

  5. #5
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    To be honest, I would look for a 20' inch folder since were're not talking about multimode commuting with a bus.
    The only problem, for me specifically, of using 20" folder is that as far as I know, none would fit luggage without disassenbling. That's fine if you go from point A to B, but in my case I may do 3 cities in one day, so even the most minimal 20 minute work becomes 4 hours working on 2 bikes. That, by itself, can be worse than doing a century doing cartwheels.

    I just sold my Halfway and, honestly, I think it is impossible to buy a 20" folder bike that rides so perfectly that that Giant. MAYBE (and only maybe) one of these Minivelos may be equivalent to that bike, but for me, doesn't make me any good since I can't take it with me.

    I will check more about the Presto. Before now, never heard anything about them.

    Rafael

  6. #6
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Just to bring closure to the topic, I ended up buying a Brompton from David in NYC (http://www.bfold.com)

    Thank you for all feedback, but joining the brompton message board and reading about bromptons doing brevets and surviving ober 10Kmiles, that was a nice selling point to me (besides the customer service from David that was almost as good as Yan who is very professional).

  7. #7
    Tuck Fexas SoonerLater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R
    ...I ended up buying a Brompton....
    Which one?

  8. #8
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    It was a la carte, but pretty much a S6L-Plus minus lights and other fency stuff. All I wanted was a 6 spd with S bars, so ended up working well.

  9. #9
    too many bikes
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    RG, please report on how the ERTO 305s work for you.

  10. #10
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Yep, let me have some miles on the bike and I'll come back to compare it to the other folders I spent time with...

  11. #11
    Senior Member Fear&Trembling's Avatar
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    RG, please report on how the ERTO 305s work for you.
    Have I missed something - Bromptons have ERTO 349s. The new DT Mini has 305s...

  12. #12
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    F&T, thanks for the clarification.
    RG, please report on how the even smaller ERTO 349s work for you. Now you won't buy the wrong size tires.

  13. #13
    Member tommylane's Avatar
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    I bought my Brompton M6R Plus from bfold. David Lam provides excellent customer service and is extremely knowledgeable. I have been putting 18 to 20 miles a day on my brompton. I'm liking it more and more. Great bike.

  14. #14
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Interesting, when I read the post I really thought about ERTO only, completely ignored the wrong numbers and I thought you were talking about the hub-rim combo.

    In one way or another, I'll post what I think about the bike.

  15. #15
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maunakea
    RG, please report on how the even smaller ERTO 349s work for you.
    Between my girlfriend and I, we added about 80 miles on the Brompton/Merc Bikes with 349s. I have to say that spending several hundred miles on 20" wheels really helped with the transition, because the bike is very responsive.

    I personally did not feel a big difference on riding comfort and "bumpiness", but crossing a street while reducing the speed using the brakes AND waving a nice thank you to the driver that let you pass in front of her may make you feel like you should have the clown outfit (with wig and red nose). The bike becomes very hyper sensitive for one-hand taming.

    One thing is for sure: Due to the compact folding package and the (so far) unique capability to STAY TOGETHER once folded, I'm staying with Bromptons all the way 'til they make a 20" bike that has the same capabilities (maybe GoBke in a near future? Birdy?)

    Very happy with 16"wheels,

    14R

  16. #16
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Hi 14R--Good to hear it. David is my next door neighbor. I almost bought a Birdy off of him a month ago, but it was gone before I could get to it.

  17. #17
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    When you see him, tell him I said Hi (he shipped the bike to Dr. Rafael Guerra at the University of South Florida) and that I am very tempted to get a Brompton to myself now. The only problem is that my girlfriend read some reviews about the Merc I have (GT6) and she cannot understand WHY I need a Brompton since the GT6 is like almost a SP upgraded B. I am having a hard time explaining.

  18. #18
    Senior Member wubrew's Avatar
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    Congratulation 14R. Still waiting for David to call so I can see what Flamingo 8 speed is really like. I will re pick up the forum when I got all info together. Again congrat.

  19. #19
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R
    When you see him, tell him I said Hi (he shipped the bike to Dr. Rafael Guerra at the University of South Florida)
    Will do!

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