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  1. #1
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    Buying 1st Folder, which one should I get: Dahon Speed D7 or Downtube 2008 IX

    Updated Post:

    Great, thanks for all of this helpful feedback. After reading all your post it seems as if i'll lean towards the D7... I figure its worth the additional investmant. I have taken the advice of many and started digging through this forum and now have run into the Downtube IX 2008. It appears to be $300 or so and seems to have better specs than the D7. I did find that there were some problems with the gears in the 2007 model. So here is the new question: Which bike would you recommend/prefer - Dahon Speed D7 or Downtube 2008 9 (front suspension folding bike)? Does anyone know if the Downtube 2008 9 FS is subject to the same issues as the 2007 model?

    And this last questions is only because I am a constant bargain Hunter (my constant addiction to www.slickdeals.net is proof enough), Do you know where I can find the cheapest model for a D7? And do you know of any coupon codes for downtube (other than SALE)? Thanks everyone!












    Old Post:

    Greeings Everyone,
    As you can tell I am looking into buying my first folding bicycle. I initially wanted to buy one to help me with my commute. I will be riding a total of about 3-4 miles a day (1.5 to 2 miles each way). Now that I am doing some research on folding bikes it sounds like it is actually fun riding them and may consider doing an occasional 5 - 10 mile ride (maybe about 1 every 2-3 months). I was initially looking into buying the Dahon Boardwalk single because of the attractive price, $195 total, but ran into the Dahon Speed D7 and seems like a really good bike. So now I am in this rut of having to choose which one to buy. I realize that the D7 will run me about $340, but if it is a huge upgrade between it and the boardwalk then I would seriously consider buying the D7. So my question to the community is which would do you recommend for me? What experiences have you had with the bikes mentioned above? Are there any other bikes you recommend in the $200 - $350 price range? These responses will greatly factor into the decision I make, so thanks to everyone in advance. I appreciate your repsonse/opinions.

    Happy Holidays
    Last edited by HelpMeFindBike; 12-14-07 at 01:32 PM. Reason: test

  2. #2
    Senior Member brommie's Avatar
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    There is a " golden rule" for choosing the right bike...........
    Try before you buy.
    And don't forget, the best bike is the bike you like the best,( and still don't make you go broke.)
    For me it's the Brompton with six gears and the Highpath wide gear sprocket.


    Merry Christmas
    Jos

  3. #3
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    The other rule that applies here is: The more you know, the more you spend. As little as you plan on riding, the Boardwalk will be fine. In fact you can find cheaper bikes on Ebay.

    If you're willing to go $340, you might want to look at Downtube as well. A few hours of pleasant reading of this forum will turn up the info you need.
    Last edited by tgzzzz; 12-14-07 at 06:24 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sprockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgzzzz View Post
    The rule that applies here is: The more you know, the more you spend.
    Tell me about it, I went from wanting a used Dahon to getting a custom Bike Friday!
    *************************
    As god as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly

  5. #5
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprockets View Post
    Tell me about it, I went from wanting a used Dahon to getting a custom Bike Friday!


    I think many of us here know this phenomenon...

  6. #6
    Pedaling fool ShinyBiker's Avatar
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    A consideration for you is whether you have hills in your area. If not, the Boardwalk can fit your needs. When I first came upon the folding scene, my requirements were primarily a bike that could be taken with me (in the car) for riding in places far away from my home. I've also taken my folder when returning rental cars. I take the bike out of the trunk and I pedal home. I no longer bug my wife or friends to pick me up from the airport after returning a car.

    Anyway, since I have moderate hills. I settled on a folder that had multiple gears. Like you, I didn't want to spend a lot of $$ so I got the Yeah Bike. I paid $175 USD. There is some debate whether this is a true Dahon bike, but most seem to agree that it's made side-by-side with Dahon products. Here's my review of the Yeah:

    http://utilitycyclist.blogspot.com/2...review-of.html

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Senior Member jnb-rare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShinyBiker View Post
    A consideration for you is whether you have hills in your area.
    I agree that this is an important consideration.

    There are situations in which "fixed" and single-speed bicycles are appropriate and even desireable. For most casual riders, however, I think that having a few gears is helpful -- once the rider understands why and how to change them. A range of gears extends the range of terrain (uphills/downhills) and conditions (headwinds, etc.) in which the rider is "comfortable" with the effort.

  8. #8
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    I dont want to rattle my cage ... but on the nations largest auction hause I do have seen at least one yeah bike ..its at least as nice as the boardwalk but has 7 gears...

    and yes its made by Dahon... and yes... I shouldnt .... but than I have a red star .... priviliges I guess...

    Thor

  9. #9
    Senior Member wrafl's Avatar
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    My first folder is the '06 Speed 7 and served me well in leisurely ride along bike paths and neighborhoods which I also keep in my car trunk always just in case the urge to explore MUP's hit me. Put over 1500 miles on it so far and planned to use it for short distance touring. Only problem, you can't get standard parts available when you need to upgrade or do repair work. Lucky for me I have the LBS a Dahon stocking distributor. The next folder I have in mind is the Downtube and for the price they sell for starting at $300.00, it's geared with 9 speed which also uses standard parts you can obtain from any LBS when needed. The Downtube is probably a better buy IMO.

  10. #10
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    Our LBS had a Dahon Speed D7, the first folder I had ever seen. It looked pretty neat . . . but after doing some research on Dahon products, I decided on the Speed P8 instead. It was more money but had better components.

    Mail ordered from Brands Cycle a couple of months ago for $505 US, free shipping. My riding so far is short trips around town, some minor hills. Totally satisfied.

    DON
    The older I get the less future there is to worry about!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    We went from 2005 Dahon Boardwalk D7's to to custom Bike Fridays - sounds familiar doesn't it.

    But........I still have my 2005 Dahon S1 single-speed and use it as my "going to the store" bike.

    As has been mentioned, if you only have moderate hills, or it's flat, the D7 will work well. We found the limit of the D7's to be about 20 miles on bike path/city streets, although I did several 25 mile rides on mine. I have also ridden the S1 20 miles on a paved rails-to-trails bike path here in Portland.

    I also rode a friend's Yeah bike in an RV park and it was a good bike, similar to the D7.

    The Downtube should also be a good choice from I have seen and read.

    The only caveat is that if you are 6'3" or more and/or over 230 lbs the above suggestions are likely not a good choice.

    (Just by way of comment - the Fridays are on a different level - more comfortable, roll easier, better gearing and std. parts. Even my wife, who had never ridden anything better than a Schwinn Varsity, quickly realized there was a BIG difference. She balked at the price initially, but you couldn't get her to part with it now.)
    Last edited by Foldable Two; 12-14-07 at 11:05 AM.

  12. #12
    Seņor Mambo
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    The S1 is a heavy bike though solidly made. If you have to carry it around much, you will be disappointed. In terms of using this bike for hills, if you ride regularly, you should do fine with this bike. I think it's only geared in the high 50's; most people used to riding find that gear fairly low.

    The S1 nowadays comes with a non-adjustable handlebar height. If the height is good for you, then you're lucky. But one weakness I've found about the handlepost in general is that it tends to squeak when pulling on the bars - say if you're riding up a hill or are trying to maintain speed (i.e. increasing your cadence) on a gradual incline. This squeak gave me an uneasy feeling especially since my Brompton, Bike Friday, Birdy, and Downtube bikes have never squeaked in this area as a result of pulling hard on the bars. In general though, I like riding fast and care about performance. If you don't, the S1 is a good starter bike, but also be aware that if you don't plan to keep the bike in stock condition, you'll be adding extra costs: new seat, handle bars, stem (if you decide to modify your handlepost), etc. This may add significant weight to an already heavy bike.



    (I mention the weight issue again because a lot of people new to folding bikes get the grand notion that if their bikes can fold, they will then have motivation to ride it everywhere, thinking they will run more errands, etc. Experienced folding bike riders will tell you that that is baloney and will get old quick since most folding bikes are heavy, not held together well when folded, and ungainly packages to wield in general. My advice, if you're one of the above who thinks you're going to use a folding bike constantly for errands, is to get a good lock and find a good place to lock it.)

  13. #13
    Pedaling fool ShinyBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    I dont want to rattle my cage ... but on the nations largest auction hause I do have seen at least one yeah bike ..its at least as nice as the boardwalk but has 7 gears...

    and yes its made by Dahon... and yes... I shouldnt .... but than I have a red star .... priviliges I guess...

    Thor
    Thor,
    would you happen to know of a replacement ring guard or chain cover for the Yeah? Thanks.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by spambait11 View Post
    (I mention the weight issue again because a lot of people new to folding bikes get the grand notion that if their bikes can fold, they will then have motivation to ride it everywhere, thinking they will run more errands, etc. Experienced folding bike riders will tell you that that is baloney and will get old quick since most folding bikes are heavy, not held together well when folded, and ungainly packages to wield in general. My advice, if you're one of the above who thinks you're going to use a folding bike constantly for errands, is to get a good lock and find a good place to lock it.)
    This can't be emphasized enough. Many people in other subforums think that folding bikes are pretty dumb, and with good reason. The applications achievable by the kinds of folding bikes available on the market are severely limited. Heavy and ungainly is exactly right.

    I wonder what kind of commute HelpMeFindBike wants to buy a 20" folding bike for? IMO, the only utility to be had from 20" folders is in cases where regular bikes could easily fit, but are prohibited by rule or regulation (spacious commuter railroads, airplanes, office/apartment buildings, etc). If you're actually looking to save space then you better get something with wheels 18" or smaller. If you're actually looking for something that's easier to lug around than two week's worth of groceries then you'll have to go smaller still.

  15. #15
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    If the difference is just the gears, I think gears are overrated. Out of curiosity I replaced a 3 speed hub with a fixed gear. I have not re installed the 3 speed. Not having to maintain a derailer system is also an advantage. As a test borrow a bike and ride it around in a single gear (probably the middle) and see if you like it.
    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.

  16. #16
    Senior Member jnb-rare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geo8rge View Post
    As a test borrow a bike and ride it around in a single gear (probably the middle) and see if you like it.
    Make sure you ride it up the biggest hill you're likely to ride on a regular basis.

    I'm older and admittedly not in great shape. But my regular route home (uphill) has me hitting close to max exertion in a 35" gear, even with my cadence dropped considerably. 50 or 60" wouldn't cut it.

  17. #17
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    My opinion about focusing too much on price or specs is...don't. A more critical factors that deterime a good match between bike and potential owner is what type of riding you do, how far apart you are from the recommended size (height and weight) the bike designers intended the bike to fit, and whether or not you can test ride the bike (assures a good match much more).

  18. #18
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    I bought the D7 off ebay for $320 a few months ago (never having ridden one ). I am very satisfied with it, build quality and components are great . It doesn't have anything 'cheap' on it. For $320 I think it achieves the 80/20 of bikes. You can pay a lot more for a folder but my guess is the returns will be very small.

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