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  1. #1
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    Will the Downtube bikes come down in price?

    Hello,
    I have been reading reviews here for some time, and am intrigued by the Downtube bikes, largely due to advice here and the price. I remember reading a post by someone in the company not long ago, that the 2008 bikes would be coming down in price to near last year's price when the 2007s were gone - and I have noticed that the front suspension model is not available anymore, except as new.
    But it is a whole $100 more that last years model was...

    I would sure like to buy a DT, but at the $400 point I would have to consider a Dahon.

    Maybe a better break or a forum coupon?

  2. #2
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Just type in Downtube folding on the eBay search engine and you'll eventually win a bid for one.

  3. #3
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Actually, Yan himself said in one of the posts that the 2008 prices are held deliberately high so as to incent 2007 sales. I believe he specifically said the 2008 prices will come down after the older models sell out.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JeremyZ's Avatar
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    Did you look at Downtube's website, at this page?

    These are the '07s. Full suspension 9 speed, with bag, for $320, or w/o suspension for $300.

    Those prices are comparable to Dahon, new.

    You may do better on ebay, but I kind of doubt it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch
    Actually, Yan himself said in one of the posts that the 2008 prices are held deliberately high so as to incent 2007 sales. I believe he specifically said the 2008 prices will come down after the older models sell out.
    yup

  6. #6
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyZ
    Did you look at Downtube's website, at this page?

    These are the '07s. Full suspension 9 speed, with bag, for $320, or w/o suspension for $300.

    Those prices are comparable to Dahon, new.

    You may do better on ebay, but I kind of doubt it.
    I think the 2007 Full Suspension for $320 is one smoking deal. It's the most comfy ride of all the DTs, and closest ride to a full size bike.

    *sigh* I wish I didn't already have so many bikes hanging around ....

  7. #7
    Senior Member JosephLMonti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch
    *sigh* I wish I didn't already have so many bikes hanging around ....
    This is your chance to inaugurate the used DT bike market on ebay

  8. #8
    Senior Member JosephLMonti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ontheroadagain
    I would sure like to buy a DT, but at the $400 point I would have to consider a Dahon.
    At the $400 pricepoint the only multi-speed Dahon to consider would be the Speed D7. This model has a msrp of $380, so whether you buy it in a shop (and pay tax) or online (and pay shipping), you're going to hit the $400 mark (possibly a little more). So this point begs the question, "do you think that the Speed D7 is better than the DT Front Suspension?". Don't get me wrong, Dahons are great bikes, but I don't think that they are superior to DTs. Even at the same pricepoint, I think the DT is still a serious contender...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephLMonti
    At the $400 pricepoint the only multi-speed Dahon to consider would be the Speed D7. This model has a msrp of $380, so whether you buy it in a shop (and pay tax) or online (and pay shipping), you're going to hit the $400 mark (possibly a little more).....Even at the same pricepoint, I think the DT is still a serious contender...
    Here is the Dahon D7 for $319, no shipping charges and no sales tax.
    http://brandscycle.com/itemdetails.c...gId=39&id=7896

    Hopefully Downtube will price its new models to be competitive with this...
    Last edited by ontheroadagain; 07-15-07 at 12:27 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member downtube's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ontheroadagain
    Here is the Dahon D7 for $319, no shipping charges and no sales tax.
    http://brandscycle.com/itemdetails.c...gId=39&id=7896

    Hopefully Downtube will price its new models to be competitive with this...
    FYI I do not think the Speed 7 is comparable to any of our models. I created a comparison table at http://www.downtube.com/Folding_Bike...ke_Comparison/ I have also added many other comparisons to our FAQ page.

    Thanks,
    Yan

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtube
    FYI I do not think the Speed 7 is comparable to any of our models. I created a comparison table at http://www.downtube.com/Folding_Bike...ke_Comparison/ I have also added many other comparisons to our FAQ page.

    Thanks,
    Yan
    Wow, hard to argue with that one ......

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    it doesn't answer the main question of the thread though.....

  13. #13
    Senior Member JeremyZ's Avatar
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    I thought seriously about the Downtubes. However, I wanted a small fold. The Downtube Mini (last year's model) was $40 more than Dahon D3, and doesn't have the clean hub gears, and the Dahon has sharper styling, IMO.

    When my wife was choosing her folder, she was choosing between the Downtube NS or FS and the Dahon Speed D7, we noticed the following:

    1) The rear fender on the DT doesn't seem like it would keep the rider's back from getting mud splatter on it; it doesn't go back far enough.

    2) The seat post seems to be a smaller diameter, which, if true, means that it will probably not be able to extend as far, and will not let the rider get full leg extension. (this is just a guess though) We'd already had enough of not getting enough leg extension with the Chinese brands.

    3) The DT handlebar seems to fold on the outside of the front wheel, which means it will probably be much less finicky to fold. (i.e. no guessing how far out it has to be extended so as not to interfere with the axles & magnets.) Less compact fold because of this probably, but no big deal.

    4) That aqua color is love/hate. My wife hates it. The black on the FS is nice.

    5) The DT comes with a bag, which is a nice bonus, while the Dahon came with a slick, modular bungee. Advantage DT. (decent bags are damn expensive, bungees are cheap)

    6) The Dahon derailleur seems to have much more ground clearance, which would give it the advantage on (gentle) trails.)

    7) The DT seems to have the kickstand in a better spot, out of the way of the pedals.

    8) The folding points on the Dahon seem better integrated, whereas on the DT, they seem to be big, clunky, sharp-edged things.

    9) This is a little thing, but one I couldn't help but notice. Dahon's website is professional. DTs website is simpler & much faster, but what's with the ghetto sheet for the backdrop in the photos? At least take them outside to someplace scenic for the photos. Offer some higher resolution photos too.

    Bottom line: for me, it was the hub shifting, sharp styling, good color, compact fold, and 16" wheels that made the decision. The Schwalbe tires are nice too. For Kate (wife) Dahon was already a known quantity because of my bike, and she liked the styling of the Dahon better. Neither of us knows the difference between a cassette and freewheel hub. (yet)

    To beat Dahon, you're going to have to offer better prices on better products. The products do seem to be better in some ways, (cassette vs. freewheel, for example) but worse in others. (external gears are dirtier & higher maintenance) Just my opinions, I hope it helps.

    For what it's worth Yan, if you send me a bike comparable to either the Dahon Speed P7 or the Curve D3, I will be happy to do a fair head-to-head review. Nice photos, honest feedback in all areas, videos, etc. I've written a few reviews already for RCGroups, and they are generally quite well-received. You can then post that head-to-head review on your website.

    Last but not least, I think it is very good that you spend some time here. It kind of gives reassurance that after-sale support might be very good. (side note: Does dahon.steve work for dahon, or did he just pick that name for another reason?)

    Sorry for the novel.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diode100
    Wow, hard to argue with that one ......
    Actually, it is easy to argue:

    Dahon advantages:

    - warranty is key (I've had issues here with my downtubes, there is no help after your 30 days or 1 year), isn't Dahon a 5 year warranty or longer?
    - some would argue a steel frame is better for a lifetime bicycle, obviously there isn't a weight penalty
    - gear range is similar. More gears doesn't mean a better bike. Yes, standard cassette is nice on Downtubes. But who out there has replaced the wheelset?
    - there isn't the massive list of items for needing to take the bike to a bike shop to have done (because 3/3 bikes I've had experience with had numerous QC issues). I think going through these andproperly adjusting them all would take 2 hours. So you're talking about $100 minimum if they actually do what Downtube says.
    - the "yes" items are really unimportant _for me_, and inexpensive for others, I cut off my "frame protector" as it makes fitting in a suitcase harder, a water bottle cage adapter is $5, chainrings are typically the same price as an entire new crankset, the front suspension on these bikes is very bad ($10 fork) (it's actually more expensive to buy their less suspended model), replaceable derailleur hangers rarely are found on any steel bikes, my bag never gets used though it is pretty nice, many may upgrade pedals anyway
    - if you're over 6 foot (I think max inseam is around 32"), no luck with a downtube, as there is no option for getting a longer seatpost;
    - some of the standard size components downtube uses are a plus, but my experience in wanting to use the Downtube as a base model let me see that the bottom bracket was improperly tapped, so that's of little advantage since that totals the frame for higher end components
    - there are quite a few reasonably priced replacement parts for Dahon (ie, their telescoping seat post)

    If I were in the market for only a $300 folding bike, I'd argue in favor of the Speed D7 from my experience with 3 downtubes.

    Search telescoping seatpost ($22.50)
    http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/accessories/seatpost.htm

    List of rules for assembly on the Downtube (there are posts of people that have had to spend excessive time/force for step 14):
    http://www.downtube.com/Folding_Bike_FAQ/Instructions/
    Last edited by jasong; 07-15-07 at 02:13 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member JeremyZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong
    ... my bag never gets used though it is pretty nice
    Would you sell yours to me for $10 + shipping Jason? We will be needing a couple of bags here in short order.

  16. #16
    Senior Member downtube's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ontheroadagain
    it doesn't answer the main question of the thread though.....
    The price is set by the market. Our 2008 bikes are far superior to our 2007's and blow our competitors away in a price vs. performance comparison. Once our discounted 2007's are gone we will discount the 2008's.

    You can help us move the 2007's if you want to get a 2008 for a discount. We have a "how to help" page at http://www.downtube.com/Folding_Bike...Help_Downtube/

    Thanks,
    Yan
    Last edited by downtube; 07-15-07 at 02:20 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyZ
    9) This is a little thing, but one I couldn't help but notice. Dahon's website is professional. DTs website is simpler & much faster, but what's with the ghetto sheet for the backdrop in the photos? At least take them outside to someplace scenic for the photos. Offer some higher resolution
    Did you see the "instructions" that shipped with these at least until spring of 2007? Something that was typed in a hurry that you'd find with an imported rice cooker. Extremely generic and I don't remember any reference to the brand itself ("Folding Bike"). A product of importing / assembling all of these items by some other designer.

  18. #18
    Senior Member downtube's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong
    - if you're over 6 foot (I think max inseam is around 32"), no luck with a downtube, as there is no option for getting a longer seatpost;
    Our FS model is the tallest standard folding bike frame.

    Thanks,
    Yan

  19. #19
    Senior Member downtube's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong
    Did you see the "instructions" that shipped with these at least until spring of 2007? Something that was typed in a hurry that you'd find with an imported rice cooker. Extremely generic and I don't remember any reference to the brand itself ("Folding Bike"). A product of importing / assembling all of these items by some other designer.
    Our new rice cooker instructions are at http://www.downtube.com/Folding_Bike_FAQ/Instructions/

    As I mentioned before you should buy a Dahon bike....I have a feeling your list of complaints for the Dahon will be very long. Normally people that are unhappy with a product buy another brand, they don't buy the same brand 3 times.

    Thanks,
    Yan

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtube
    As I mentioned before you should buy a Dahon bike....I have a feeling your list of complaints for the Dahon will be very long. Normally people that are unhappy with a product buy another brand, they don't buy the same brand 3 times.
    Actually, the other rice cooker instructions were the ones that had some strange drawings that I think made mention to a canadian distributor (can't remember). Very non-specific to the downtube. I actually didn't even see them until I got ready to throw the box away and noticed something taped inside.

    History:
    I bought one in 2005 (1) , didn't use it much but it was ok for tooling around, bought another in 2007 (3). Friend bought one (2) on my recommendation in 2006. Planned to upgrade my 2007 model after getting it in early 2007. Discovered problems in QC in assembly. Disassembled the 2005 and discovered similar but worse problems. That's the issue: with warranty periods so short, people are out of luck when they'll discover the problems that they can ignore (95% of people wouldn't have noticed the issues I found).

    I've since bought a Swift frame ($390) and a stock Bike Friday ($650). Life's too short for that kind of stress to save a few $100. Plus they both come with lifetime warranties on the parts I can't replace (the frame).
    Last edited by jasong; 07-15-07 at 02:33 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtube
    Once our discounted 2007's are gone we will discount the 2008's.
    [/url]

    Thanks,
    Yan
    Hey, after more forum reading I notice that Yan actually is the boss of Downtube! How rare is that, that the CEO himself weighs in on a user forum...!

    Thank you for responding. I certainly did not intend to start a 'flame' about DT vs. Dahon. I have ridden the D7 and really liked it, would like to test a DT but am not in your area. I think both bikes have pluses and minuses, and mentioned the other only because it fits in my price range.

    I like the look of the Downtube more, coupled with standard size fittings and front fork suspension.

    I was about to buy the 2007 front-suspension Downtube but see that it is now not offered (at last look it was $279 with forum coupon).
    And with the 2008 front-suspension model being $100 more, and last years model no longer offered, it seems like a fair question of when that particular bike's price drop might occur.

    thanks

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    My 2c on the Downtube vs Dahon thing....I find the Downtubes to be much more ergonomic when it comes to folding:
    -The latches on Dahon's are really finicky with extra plastic bits that break (I actually broke the latch on a Curve D3 while folding it in the store). The chinese Downtube hinges are a much simpler and more robust design.
    -Most Downtubes have a stand under the bottom bracket (sometimes people call it a "hanger"), which keeps the bike from toppling over while folded. For a folder, this is much more useful than a kick stand because most likely whenever you're not riding it you'll have it folded (although Downtubes also come with kick stands). Dahon's don't have this.
    -Dahon handlebars fold between the wheels, which make the bike a real hassle to roll while folded. Downtube's don't do this and, as a result, are much easier to roll around while folded, a very important feature when transporting 20+ pounds of metal.

    I paid $300 + shipping for my used 2006 Downtube VIIIH and I've been happy with my purchase...although I'll admit that the bike is noticably lower quality than my Carryme. However, Yan keeps saying the 2008 lineup is much higher quality than previous years and my impression is that he is pretty honest, if not a tad overly optimistic at times.

  23. #23
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Well, I think the Downtube has a much nicer latch. But the Mu P8 is actually much lighter than the Downtube (Dahon accurately weighs their bikes *and* includes all the fixings in the weight), has much higher grade tubing, actually does have water bottle braze ons (contrary to the claim), uses far superior high quality components, and folds much smaller. It's also twice as expensive. So, would I compare the P8 with any of the Downtubes? No. It's in a completely different league. Everything from the tires to the grips is much better on the P8 (except the cassette, which is similar). Do I think that the Downtubes are a great value and are, in many senses superior to the low end Dahon models? Yes! Is Yan an engaged and great guy, yes!

    I managed to get my Downtube to the stated 24 pounds only by swapping out most of the components with higher grade parts. Thus, I would say that the two things that don't amount to truth in advertising are the Downtubes stated weight and its comparison with $600 bikes. They are more like bikes that are a decent value for what they cost with some extra frills thrown in, like a free bag.

    I think Yan deserves all the support he gets here. I just don't want to mislead folks.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyZ
    For what it's worth Yan, if you send me a bike comparable to either the Dahon Speed P7 or the Curve D3, I will be happy to do a fair head-to-head review. Nice photos, honest feedback in all areas, videos, etc. I've written a few reviews already for RCGroups, and they are generally quite well-received. You can then post that head-to-head review on your website.
    If you really want to do an honest review, you'd go through the buying process. If you then like the bike, keep it; if not, sell it or give it away.

    If you openly ask for what you're asking for, you're putting your credibility and Downtube's reputation at risk. I hope Yan never gives in to any request such as this.

  25. #25
    Senior Member downtube's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spambait11
    If you really want to do an honest review, you'd go through the buying process. If you then like the bike, keep it; if not, sell it or give it away.

    If you openly ask for what you're asking for, you're putting your credibility and Downtube's reputation at risk. I hope Yan never gives in to any request such as this.
    FYI I get requests for bikes on a weekly basis. I happily give them to any established press agency. We never give bikes to non-press.

    We are getting a writeup in the August ( I think ) issue of AOPA Pilot, and the August issue of Trailerlife. Good Sams Club is also writing us up sometime soon.

    Thanks,
    Yan

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