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  1. #1
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    New Giant Halfway user's problems

    Hi all,

    I have just started trying to incorporate some cycling into my commute as an interesting way of getting off my behind and doing some excercise. My wife bought me the 6 speed Giant Halfway for Xmas which I have just started using.

    Apart from wanting an extra big gear or two, the only problem I have with it is that it is very heavy. OK - so maybe I'm a wimp. My commute is 1.5 hours and involves 3 changes with walking and escalotors etc. This thing is just so cumbersome to carry ... I haven't found the bag useful ... too difficult to use (although I have lost the instructions for the bike so maybe I'm doing it wrong.)

    From other threads it seems I might be missing a bit of velcro that holds it together when folded. Is that right? A bungee seems to suffice for now.

    What I really, really want is a way to drag the thing behind me, like you do with those travel suitcases, so I'm not physically holding it in my arms.

    Would anyone have any suggestions on how I might do this please?

    Thank you very much in advance for any help/ideas.

    Regards,
    happyd

  2. #2
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Can you roll the bike like the linked picture ...

    http://www.gaerlan.com/bikes/dahonfold/dahonfold.htm

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand
    Can you roll the bike like the linked picture ...

    http://www.gaerlan.com/bikes/dahonfold/dahonfold.htm

    Interesting idea. I dont think the wheels line up parallel - but I will try it tonight.

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Unfortunately this doesn't work. During the folding process it seems like the front brake is applied so the front wheel does not rotate freely.

    I don't know how to change this ???

  5. #5
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    You might have to play with the cables to release the front brake.

    I would e-mail Rafael ... "14R" in the Dahon Curve thread. He used to own a Giant Halfway. His input would be more helpful.

    -G

  6. #6
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    That's ok, I'm already here.

    HappyD, you are not a wimp, it's just your bike that REALLY, REALLY SUCKS. I had 3 Giant Halfways including the super rare rear suspension one that can be seen in this picture



    The Giant Halfway is an good bike to use as single use commuter or bike-trunkofthecar-bike. Anything different than that, you are way better served with other bikes, sometimes really cheaper than the Halfway.

    Here are the major problems that I found (and ended up being the reason for me to sell my 1/2way):

    1-The bike is old design. Besides the cantilever hubs (which look cool, but are not very usefull even to replace a flat tire) the bike is heavy, hard on your butt to ride and folds into a big blob of metal that is not stable or easy to carry;

    2-Once folded, the bike doesn't roll. Due to poor design, the brake cables are all pulled and even the gear ends up in need of a tune up sooner than other bikes;

    3-No upgrades. Giant does not offer any assistance to Halfway users. All the parts are proprietaty and if you call them they say "We are sorry, but we devote our efforts to the customers that use our real bikes".

    4-Resale value. I bought a Brompton and, after using it, it still can be sold for a nice price. So does Downtubes, Dahons, Mercs...well, not the Giant.

    My advice is sell you Giant Halfway and buy a lighter, more modern designed bike. I currently ride a Dahon Curve D3 that costed me around US$350, rides smoother than the Halfway, stays folded, is significantly lighter, fits into a luggage for international travels and is, on top of everything else, a really sexy bike.
    A FULL SUSPENSION Downtube will be such a huge upgrade on confort that you will not even believe (even though it is still a heavy bike that doesn't stay together once folded).

    If you have unlimited budget, go for a Brompton. But with the price of an used Halfway, you can get a really nicer bike.

    Just my US$0.02. Nobody needs to agree with me.

    R.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R
    Just my US$0.02. Nobody needs to agree with me.
    Indeed, since you don't seem to even agree with you. Three 1/2way's? You must have found at least something to admire?

    H

    P.S. The 1/2way stays folded very well and does have an integral bungee that clips into the rack. It does not roll well but it does roll. Angle it slightly so it is only rolling on the front wheel. It is not lighter than a 16" folder but it is lighter than most 20" folders. Just how light can one expect a $500 20" folder to be?

  8. #8
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm
    Indeed, since you don't seem to even agree with you. Three 1/2way's? You must have found at least something to admire?

    H
    I used to be a sponsored athlete and when I decided to go for a folding bike, I traded in my high end competition bike (Specialized Stumpjumper 02) for 2 Giant Halfways since the LBS only had those. Pretty much they were "free bikes". After riding the bike for about 20 miles, I sold one and went after something better (my girlfriend at the time was happy with her Halfway). I managed to get one with suspension which was a nice bike...untill I was exposed to other bikes out there. My neighboor bought a Downtube FS and after JUST SITTING on it my girlfriend said "That Giant bike is cute, but it is really bad compared to this one".


    Yes, there was SOMETHING that I admired on my halfways: The folding mechanism was neat. Right after that, the only other thing I admired on my halfways was when they became Paypal credits.

    I know some people are happy with their Halfways. I wasn't.

    R

  9. #9
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    Hi:
    I have a Halfway and really like it. To gain more speed have the freehub(cassette) replaced with an 11-28 cassette. I think it comes with a 13-28. You will be thrilled with the increase in speed. This makes a huge difference. Any competent bike shop should be able to do this for you.

    As to rolling the bike this is one thing I like about the Halfway. To do it don't put the seat very far down, fold the bike, tilt the bike slightly so it is rolling on it's front wheel. It rolls quite nicely this way. I have yet to see any Dahon owners able to do this with their bikes.

    Replacing the cassette really makes the bike much faster!!!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northshore Man
    Hi:
    I have a Halfway and really like it. To gain more speed have the freehub(cassette) replaced with an 11-28 cassette. I think it comes with a 13-28. You will be thrilled with the increase in speed. This makes a huge difference. Any competent bike shop should be able to do this for you.

    As to rolling the bike this is one thing I like about the Halfway. To do it don't put the seat very far down, fold the bike, tilt the bike slightly so it is rolling on it's front wheel. It rolls quite nicely this way. I have yet to see any Dahon owners able to do this with their bikes.

    Replacing the cassette really makes the bike much faster!!!!
    That's interesting. As soon as I fold the bike the front brake gets semi-applied so it won't roll. I persume your front wheel is able to move freely?

  11. #11
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    Yes my front wheel rolls freely.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R View Post
    Besides the cantilever hubs (which look cool, but are not very usefull even to replace a flat tire)
    R.
    14R, can you elaborate on that please?

    I find the cantilever design on the Strida really handy as it means a tube or tyre change, particularly the rear, is almost trivial. Is there some Giant feature that offsets that idea?

  13. #13
    Senior Member donlab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northshore Man View Post
    Hi:
    I have a Halfway and really like it. To gain more speed have the freehub(cassette) replaced with an 11-28 cassette. I think it comes with a 13-28. You will be thrilled with the increase in speed. This makes a huge difference. Any competent bike shop should be able to do this for you.

    As to rolling the bike this is one thing I like about the Halfway. To do it don't put the seat very far down, fold the bike, tilt the bike slightly so it is rolling on it's front wheel. It rolls quite nicely this way. I have yet to see any Dahon owners able to do this with their bikes.

    Replacing the cassette really makes the bike much faster!!!!
    Count me in as another happy Halfway owner. I also have a Bike Friday LLama. I bike 10 miles a day and the Bike Friday is more faster but the Halfway more comfortable. This is all with stock parts. To me, I also like the folding of the Halfway, I never have to touch the chains when unfolding :-)

    As for rolling, you might be pulling on the cable which will activate the brakes.

    Check out this picture of Halfway in the snow.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclistjohn View Post
    I find the cantilever design on the Strida really handy as it means a tube or tyre change, particularly the rear, is almost trivial. Is there some Giant feature that offsets that idea?
    The roller cam brakes on the 1/2way do not have quick releases so when removing the tube on a flat tire squeezing it past the brake pads is a bit of a pain. Opening up the brakes would be even more of a pain IMO so I just use patience and work the tube past the brake pads. It can be done. That clearance factor is also IMO why some of us 1/2way owners (mine was recently nicked but I will replace it, that's how much I like them) report being able to roll them on the front wheel but others cannot. Supertight clearance of the new brake pads is great for the stopping power but the folded bike will not roll. As the pads wear clearance opens up to the point where the folded bike will roll. To be fair, all the folders I have seen that do roll well use extra (roller skate) wheels to do so. That can't be light. When a folder is folded IMO the most critical dimension is width. The 1/2way flat out spanks anything I have seen from Dahon or Downtube for that matter in the overall size, especially width of the folded bike.

  15. #15
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclistjohn View Post
    14R, can you elaborate on that please?

    I find the cantilever design on the Strida really handy as it means a tube or tyre change, particularly the rear, is almost trivial. Is there some Giant feature that offsets that idea?
    The brakes, the fenders and the clearance between tires and frame/fork offsets the idea to the point where I was really turned off just to upgrade the tires on my halfway at home (nice beverage available, AC on, girlfriend giving a back massage...). Can't even imagine doing it under stress trying to get to work or class or whatever.

    On the other hand, I currently ride a Brompton. Changing a flat on rear wheel must be at least twice the trouble...

  16. #16
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    Changing tires is not difficult on the Halfway given the one sided fork design. I leave the wheels on the bike and use a multi tool to remove one brake pad. This gives enough clearance to replace a tube, fix a flat etc.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R View Post
    The brakes, the fenders and the clearance between tires and frame/fork offsets the idea to the point where I was really turned off just to upgrade the tires on my halfway at home (nice beverage available, AC on, girlfriend giving a back massage...). Can't even imagine doing it under stress trying to get to work or class or whatever.

    On the other hand, I currently ride a Brompton. Changing a flat on rear wheel must be at least twice the trouble...
    Ok, thanks. I suspected it might be the brakes. A rear wheel puncture must be a real pain for a commuter with normal bike forks!

    Quote Originally Posted by donlab
    To me, I also like the folding of the Halfway, I never have to touch the chains when unfolding :-)
    donlab, does the chain stay in tension then, or do you mean something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by I leave the wheels on the bike and use a multi tool to remove one brake pad. This gives enough clearance to replace a tube, fix a flat etc.

    [QUOTE=Leisesturm
    The roller cam brakes on the 1/2way do not have quick releases so when removing the tube on a flat tire squeezing it past the brake pads is a bit of a pain. Opening up the brakes would be even more of a pain IMO so I just use patience and work the tube past the brake pads. It can be done. That clearance factor is also IMO why some of us 1/2way owners (mine was recently nicked but I will replace it, that's how much I like them) report being able to roll them on the front wheel but others cannot. Supertight clearance of the new brake pads is great for the stopping power but the folded bike will not roll. As the pads wear clearance opens up to the point where the folded bike will roll
    Thanks for those details; interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Northshore Man
    I leave the wheels on the bike and use a multi tool to remove one brake pad. This gives enough clearance to replace a tube, fix a flat etc.
    Also seems a good idea.
    Last edited by cyclistjohn; 08-10-07 at 09:04 AM. Reason: saw later post!

  18. #18
    Senior Member donlab's Avatar
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    donlab, does the chain stay in tension then, or do you mean something else?

    ------------
    What I meant was for the Bike Friday. If I'm in a hurry and don't pay attention, the chain will come off when unfolding. There's even an instruction video on Youtube on how to do this. For the Halfway, there's no need to touch the chains.

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