I'm close to pulling the trigger for a folder for an almost daily commute. As usual I can't quite narrow it down to the near-perfect folder, maybe you can help. Commute is 1 mile to train station, then 3 more miles to work with a STEEP hill. 300 ft vertical in 3500 ft or so, max grade 17%.
The usual and unusual requirements are:
1) 16" or 20" wheel ok
2) safe and confident going 35 MPH down one steep hill, GOOD BRAKES
3) low gearing for getting back up said hill. My current bike has 24 gear inches, but I probably haven't used the lowest gear so 27-30 gear inches is probably needed.
4) Amtrak-friendly (Keystone line between Philadelphia and Paoli).
5) FULL fenders with possible mudguards for rainy commutes.
6) rear rack nice but not required
7) internal hub gears preferred
8) internal hub dynamo nice-to-have, otherwise I'll just use battery lights
9) City-appropriate tires (downtown Philly).
10) Comfortable for the occasional 10-25 miler.
So far I've considered (not in any preference order)
1) Brompton, not sure which model, maybe M6L with 12% reduced gearing. They're going for $1000, and I've heard the brakes are not so good, worries me for the steep hill. Plus, the low gear is 33 gear inches, maybe too tough for my uphill
2) Dahon, maybe Mu XL (?). Looks to be all around everything perfect, but with a less compact fold. $900
3) Downtube VIIIH or Mini. Looks like the fender issue here, but good pricing. I've read thru the reviews.
4) Dahon Curve???
thanks in advance!