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  1. #1
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    dahons - ease of foldability?

    i kinda like the vitesse D5

    but i'd like to know, in general, how feasible it is to fold up the bike twice per day, carry on the train, walk 8-10 mintues to my office and store in my cube?

    i was thinking of getting the carry bag and popping the bike in there and slinging the whole thing over my shoulder.

    it kinda seems like it could be a lot of work for a daily commute. i have no parking options that i feel safe with. how quick can i fold a bike like this?
    Last edited by timmhaan; 11-01-06 at 11:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Depends on the way the Vitesse folds. You'll have to try it out yourself. My Mu SL takes 10s to fold, and I don't mind folding it 4+ times a day. I take it into stores, etc. I use a slip cover, which you can get from Thorusa or Sunrise.

    But the Vitesse is an exceptionally heavy bike, so keep that in mind if you aren't a weight lifter and have to go up stairs, etc. El Bolso will be better for a heavy bike, I think. If you need the internal hub, it's the way to go, but if not, you might consider a Speed D7. The lighter bikes can be lifted over the train turnstyles (you don't need to wait and go through the gate).

    Some will try to talk you into a Downtube because it's cheap and comes with all the trimmings, including a bag, and folds quickly. The downsides? It doesn't fit easily into the bag, you may have to have the wheels rebuilt (I did), and it needs a lot of adjustments out of the box. It's also not light.

  3. #3
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Dahons are generally pretty easy to fold, just check the hinges frequently as they will loosen up. The Vitesse is listed at 26 lbs or so, so it won't be the easiest thing to carry around.

    Bromptons fold very fast, very small, very clean (the chain is inside the fold) and also use internal hubs. It's the ideal commuter / multi-transport bike IMO. But, it's more expensive than the Vitesse; a basic 3-speed Brompton will set you back $750 or so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timmhaan
    i kinda like the vitesse D7

    but i'd like to know, in general, how feasible it is to fold up the bike twice per day, carry on the train, walk 8-10 mintues to my office and store in my cube?

    i was thinking of getting the carry bag and popping the bike in there and slinging the whole thing over my shoulder.

    it kinda seems like it could be a lot of work for a daily commute. i have no parking options that i feel safe with. how quick can i fold a bike like this?
    1. >>>>but i'd like to know, in general, how feasible it is to fold up the bike twice per day, carry on the train, walk 8-10 mintues to my office and store in my cube? <<<<

    This is a good question. How far do you have to commute? If your commute is less than 2 miles, then a Presto Lite is one of the lightest bikes in production. Walking 8 or 10 minutes with ANY folding bike is too much including Bromptons. I can only carry the bike for 5 minutes tops before I'm exhausted.

    2. i was thinking of getting the carry bag and popping the bike in there and slinging the whole thing over my shoulder.

    Walking 10 minutes with a 27 pound bicycle will leave you in sweat. A person at my office used to bring in a Dahon Boardwalk and he rolled the bike inside the office by folding it in half and rolling it on one wheel. This is a more practical solution than carrying the bike for 10 minutes. Bring the bag anyway in case you have to cover it to get the bike inside but try rolling it first and see if anyone says something.

  5. #5
    mini mini joy joy dcoli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pm124
    Some will try to talk you into a Downtube because it's cheap and comes with all the trimmings, including a bag, and folds quickly. The downsides? It doesn't fit easily into the bag, you may have to have the wheels rebuilt (I did), and it needs a lot of adjustments out of the box. It's also not light.
    It's not super light, but the Mini fits easily into the Downtube bag (yeah, the same one as the other bikes get.)

  6. #6
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    thanks guys...i actually went ahead and ordered it. plus the El Bolso.

    i'll just have to try it out myself and see what works best. i'll be commuting about 8-9 miles each direction, but plan on riding around a bit more whenever i feel like it. i think the rolling on the ground idea is great, and will probably do that. 27 lbs is pretty heavy, plus you have to consider that i'll have regular stuff with me as well...in addition to cycling clothes for cold weather. i think you guys are right, that would really be taxing for a 10 minute walk (and extremely sweaty).

    i have a very sensitive building as far as bringing stuff in and out. they already told me that a normal bike has to stay outside. i'm going to take my chances with the folder. if it's in a bag, though, they really shouldn't have a problem.

    really looking forward to this! i'll report back when i have a couple of days experience.

  7. #7
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    Folding time will be less than a min.

    The bike and accessories may weigh close to 30 lb if you chose to fold and carry it. Do you intend to carry it and all your other stuff? You could mount a rack and panniers and walk the bike with any other things you have.

    Also consider if a bike will look good in your office environment.

    The bike is an all around bike in the sense that it can be used both for commuting and touring.

    The bike will be a bit bulky when folded. 12" x 27" x 32"

    Parking outside may not be a problem. Get a U lock and a cable lock. Take the seatpost with you into the office. I doubt you will have a problem.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  8. #8
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Hello timmhaan,

    I think I can safely comment on folding bicycles since we have 2 at present with more to come sometime in the future. As far as carrying any of them for a great distance, forget it without assistance. Even a strong man will feel tired with carting around about 25-30 pounds for any large distance. When I need to carry one of the bikes for some distance, I use a luggage cart or even a skateboard (see my Geocities Web site below for more information in the Security section). I also am a firm believer in not being too dependent on locks for any great protection against thieves or vandals. It is a back-up to the best security method of all-treating it like a briefcase or some other portable item, i.e. keeping it with you inside. Ge8orge might live in an area where you can safely lock bikes. You (including me) might not. The only time my folder's folded dimentions is critial is on extremely crowded buses and trains. Even then, I have taken my Boardwalk (same size as a Vitesse) with no problems except exiting a jammed exit. I always cover my bike with either a bag or slipcover so I won't call too much attention to it when I am in a nice enviroment such as an office or get grease or dirt on others in a bus or train.

    Please let us know what you have done.
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 11-02-06 at 12:16 PM.

  9. #9
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    i work in newark, NJ and although it's okay during the day time, it gets pretty sketchy at night. i usually work later than most people too. i'd definitely be taking the bike inside with me, for peace of mind.

    according to UPS my package was delivered to my apartment already (i placed the order yesterday...talk about fast!). when i get home, i'll make sure everything is in order and if it is i could try the new commute tomorrow.

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    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    okay - i did the first commute (one way) today with the new bike.

    first of all a small review of the bike (dahon vitesse d5):

    * it's heavy! that's the first thing i noticed pulling it out of the box.

    * it's easy to understand: i was able to quickly figure out how it worked without the directions and it only took me a couple of practice folds and unfolds before i was pretty fast at it.

    * the bike is really upright! the non-adjustable handlebar is a big drawback. i really need the bars lower and further out, but i'm stuck with it as it is. i hope i can get used to it.

    * the internal hub is okay. shifting between gears sometimes resulted in the cranks stopping abruptly. perhaps it just needs to be adjusted. a little loud as well, but not a problem.

    * standing up on the bike to pedal is very hard. the handlebar position makes it feel very twitchy and unsafe.

    * the ride was solid, however, and overall i'm pleased with it.



    now for the commute:

    * riding into manhattan was a breeze. took me about 25-30 minutes, about the same as on a train.

    * folding the bike up in the train station was easy and carrying it on the train to newark was simple.

    * when i got to newark, i wanted to carry the bike the 8-10 mintues to my office to get a feel for the weight. so, i packaged the entire bike in the bag and slung it over my shoulder. it wasn't too bad, but not something i'd want to do everyday.

    * getting into the building was fine and the bike sits comfortably in my office cube.

    thanks everyone for the advice! i'm happy about the purchase and am confident i'll develop a system that works best for me soon. it was only my first day.

  11. #11
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    All right Timmhaan!

    Welcome to the fold.
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  12. #12
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Timmhaan's case has perfectly demostrated why people physically should go out their way by going to a bike shop that has the model and make sure it is what you want (or think you want) and actually try out the folding/carrying, and test riding one, rather than mail order if at all possible. Most of his cons could have been addressed by either fine tuning adjustment of the rear hub to the weight concerns and the non adjusting stem of the Vitesse. He would have either passed on that purchase, found another folding bike that better suited him, or swapped/adjusted the Vitesse to optimal performance.
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 11-03-06 at 12:06 PM.

  13. #13
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    yep - i agree completely. i took a gamble and ordered it online. it's okay, i fully knew that i was taking a risk of sorts. and when i reported these problems - i wasn't complaining about getting a raw deal, i was just posting it in case someone was considering the same bike. just honest feedback.

    i'm actually quite pleased with the bike so far. i think i'll look into bar ends as a way to extend my reach - just a few inches would really help out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timmhaan
    * it's heavy! that's the first thing i noticed pulling it out of the box.

    * the bike is really upright! the non-adjustable handlebar is a big drawback. i really need the bars lower and further out, but i'm stuck with it as it is. i hope i can get used to it.

    * the internal hub is okay. shifting between gears sometimes resulted in the cranks stopping abruptly. perhaps it just needs to be adjusted. a little loud as well, but not a problem.

    * when i got to newark, i wanted to carry the bike the 8-10 mintues to my office to get a feel for the weight. so, i packaged the entire bike in the bag and slung it over my shoulder. it wasn't too bad, but not something i'd want to do everyday.
    My Vittesse without fenders and rear rack weights 26.4 pounds. That included a heavy Brooks Champion flyer and clipless pedals. You'll find most folding bikes including the 16' inch wheelers are about the same weight and there are only a few folders out there that break the 20 pound barrier. The folding bicycle is not a lightweight machine as people think it is.

    I agree with the upright position of the Vitesse and I replaced the handlebar it with the adjustable stem and handlebar. I'm able to get the exact height needed but I also used a spacer to make it work. This is not a huge problem and can easily be resolved so you purchased a good bicycle.

    The shifting works perfectly so your bike needs adjustment because the Sturmey Archer Sprinter is an excellant hub that does not stop the cranks abruptly. Make this adjustment ASAP or you'll damage the hub!

    One thing you might want to change and I suggest you do it is replace the rear cog to a 14T from Sheldon Brown's website. You'll soon find out, the Vitesse is high geared and this inexpensive adjustment will truly enhance the enjoyment of the folder.

    Don't carry the folder for 10 minutes! I carried my 27lb Piccolo across a train station once and my arm and back were killing me for days!

  15. #15
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    My Vittesse without fenders and rear rack weights 26.4 pounds. That included a heavy Brooks Champion flyer and clipless pedals. You'll find most folding bikes including the 16' inch wheelers are about the same weight and there are only a few folders out there that break the 20 pound barrier. The folding bicycle is not a lightweight machine as people think it is.

    I agree with the upright position of the Vitesse and I replaced the handlebar it with the adjustable stem and handlebar. I'm able to get the exact height needed but I also used a spacer to make it work. This is not a huge problem and can easily be resolved so you purchased a good bicycle.

    The shifting works perfectly so your bike needs adjustment because the Sturmey Archer Sprinter is an excellant hub that does not stop the cranks abruptly. Make this adjustment ASAP or you'll damage the hub!

    One thing you might want to change and I suggest you do it is replace the rear cog to a 14T from Sheldon Brown's website. You'll soon find out, the Vitesse is high geared and this inexpensive adjustment will truly enhance the enjoyment of the folder.

    Don't carry the folder for 10 minutes! I carried my 27lb Piccolo across a train station once and my arm and back were killing me for days!

    can you tell me which handlebar and stem set up you got? is that a specific Dahon product that can be ordered?

    also, i got the shifting adjusted and it works really well. the gearing is actually just fine for my commute. the only hill i have to content with is the brooklyn bridge and i find i'm going over that with plenty of cadence.

    i'm now folding the bike and rolling it along using the seat post as the handle. just like a rolling suitcase. when i get to the lobby of my building, i just throw a cover over it and carry it inside. much much easier than slinging it over my shoulder.
    Last edited by timmhaan; 11-03-06 at 10:53 AM.

  16. #16
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmhaan
    yep - i agree completely. i took a gamble and ordered it online. it's okay, i fully knew that i was taking a risk of sorts. and when i reported these problems - i wasn't complaining about getting a raw deal, i was just posting it in case someone was considering the same bike. just honest feedback.

    i'm actually quite pleased with the bike so far. i think i'll look into bar ends as a way to extend my reach - just a few inches would really help out.
    I am glad that you are happy with your folder at least. I just wanted to make sure that people would not do the same mistake that I have done when I purchased my Boardwalk. I actually did went to a bike shop because it happened to be close by my house. But they did not stock folding bikes except once in a while they had some 16 inch wheel Micros offered (which are not the best examples around). They did order me the bike and modified to my wishes. But the bike was never tuned up during the three visits that I left it for tune ups. I took it to a distantly located Dahon Stocking Dealer recently for some new parts and a tune up. I can now safely tell people to do travel out their way to get the best bike for their money. Don't just settle on what is dished out to you. I would have enjoyed my bike far more if I had known this. We tend to settle on something, rather than being offered a optimal product that is performing at it's best, no matter what the price range it falls on.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmhaan
    can you tell me which handlebar and stem set up you got? is that a specific Dahon product that can be ordered?

    also, i got the shifting adjusted and it works really well. the gearing is actually just fine for my commute. the only hill i have to content with is the brooklyn bridge and i find i'm going over that with plenty of cadence.

    i'm now folding the bike and rolling it along using the seat post as the handle. just like a rolling suitcase. when i get to the lobby of my building, i just throw a cover over it and carry it inside. much much easier than slinging it over my shoulder.
    I purchased the black Dahon folding handlebar and stem from ThorUSA. He visits the forums frequently and sell other Dahon bikes. You'll need to get a spacer from a LBS and it won't cost more than a few bucks.

    I'm glad you're using the "rolling suitcase" technique. It really makes a difference.

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