Qileduo folding bikes - yay or nay?
Has anyone heard of these / have any experience with them? How are they, ride and quality wise?
No experience whatsoever. However, there are DOZENS of Chinese factories willing to manufacture "container-loads" of bicycles. You'll see them often on e-Bay for very low prices (under $100). Unfortunately, the quality almost always matches the price -- closer to what one might see in a department-store child's bicycle.
If you're riding more than 5km at a time, and you're looking to actually use the features that a folding bike has to offer, then look at some models from manufacturers with a track record. At the low end in a NEW bike might be a Dahon Boardwalk (single-speed) for around $180, a Dahon-licensed YEAH bike for around $240, a Dahon Speed D7 for around $300., or a Downtube (models starting at $299). There may be others but, as with most things in life, you get what pay for.
I took a little time to go through some of the archived threads, and I found this one. The OP was asking a question about the Qile Duo brand of folding bikes. OK, so this thread is almost a year old, and the probabilities of the OP, and the counter poster reading my reply, are slim to none. However, since I do own one of the models from the brand in question, I felt I should chim in, and give my personal impressions.
My humble opinion about commenting on other brands, is that you don't unless you have personal experience with the product in question, or know someone who has, and you've been able to get that person's candid impressions about it. No offense meant towards the counter poster.
My experience with the VSTII (Model # of my bike) has been very satisfactory to date. It is best described as a 20", 5 speed, rear suspended folding bicycle. It comes with full fenders, and a rear cargo rack.
I bought it through eBay (Any surprise with that?) back in early May 2008 from a vendor based here in Florida. It arrived in perfect condition, and virtually no assembly was necessary. Alright, there are some caveats. First of all, the rear band brake can be "tricky" to properly adjust right. A bike shop mechanic is one's best bet, but no all of them know how to do it.
I took this bike to one of my favorite bike shops where I had them go through it from end to end, grease all the bearings, the joints, and perform a complete tuneup. They did a wonderful job. I've had no major issues at all.
Next was to lose the "knobbie" type tires as they created too much drag, and change out the saddle to something more comfortable. These two upgrades are done very commonly by buyers of mid to high end folders anyway, so it's not a reflection of the bike's overall quality. For tires, I got a pair of 20" x 1.95" Kenda "Kontacts", and the saddle was switched out for a MTB type from "Bell". Two weeks after that, I bought new hand grips from Bell that were much more ergonomically correct. So far, so good.
I equipped my bike for commuting as I was anticipating to let go of my car which I did in late October. But I've ridden it for pleasure, as much as for necessity, and it has held up perfectly well. For the last 2 1/2 months of 2008, I've used it to commute to work 5 miles each way.
I worked for a company in Downtown Orlando, and for some reason, the city planners think it's so neat to go back to the era where brick streets was "state of the art". Well the brick layers didn't do a good job, and this translates into a rough ride. But the robust frame, strong 20" wheels, and the rear suspension on my Qile Duo would laugh at this stuff.
If one were to equate my VSTII with a "department store" bike in terms of quality, then according to this "wisdom", it should have fallen apart more than 1,000 miles ago! So that takes care of that assumption!
The other side of the coin is that yes, it is heavier than more expensive brands. No it's not the first choice for a cross country tour, and cruising at speeds above 17 mph can get laborious, but one would be missing the point of this bike, which is a low cost, reliable, and ruggedly built folding bike for daily use.
Qile Duo does offer several models that are better suited than mine for higher performance levels, better componentry, etc. So to discount that brand as a "department store" bike is way off. They also have another brand called "K-Rock". From what I've read, the factory is compliant with the requirements for the ISO 9001:2000 for international quality management standards.
I don't own any part of that company so that is not the reason for this counter post. It's a good bike...that's all.
Originally Posted by kbits
there is definitely a market for these department store bikes less than $150US
in more cases they fail to function properly or don't last, or something breaks and in many cases unrepairable because of non standard parts[disposable] that leaves
the user dissatisfied and will eventually disdain all bicycles as a poor quality transportation.
I'd like to support Ed Wong's comments about not assuming all Chinese stuff is the same. I have three sons now in their twenties, and we have bought a number of what you might call 'budget bikes' over the last fifteen years as they grew up and needed ever bigger bikes almost every few months we had a new bike for one of them. Here is my experience:
Some of them were what you might call absolute 'mingers' - stinkers in other words. We bought a couple of bikes on impulse for about £60 each around ten years ago at ASDA - a British Walmart subsidiary. They were mountain bike style, but almost within days the wheels were horribly buckled and even had broken spokes. The lads were probably about 14 and 15 at the time and were kerb jumping and pretty hard on the bikes, but they were CHEAP and not well made. On the other hand, what could you expect really. We took them back and got a refund. Tom, my eldest son bought a heavy Chinese full suspension bike when he was at college and that one lasted well, but it was very cheap (around £90) and VERY heavy. The brakes were awful, but the bike did put up with his weight and power which were considerable. He weighted about 220 pounds at the time and had all the strength of an aggressive 22 year old. He used it day in and day out until some minor problem like a puncture put it out of action and then he abandoned it when he moved flats. I rode it a few times and thought that even though it was far from finessed, it did deliver function at the price.
One of the best bikes I bought at the budget level was a Vietnamese atb which had cheap disk brakes. I bought one for me as a winter knock about and then another for my youngest son when I'd had mine for a few weeks. They were excellent. The one I bought for my son was stolen outside the University library and the other I gave to a friend's son who had outgrown his own bike as he came into puberty. That one is still excellent. I think I paid about £120 for that and it really is a nice ride in every way.
Of course, none of these ooze the quality of Sesamicrunch's Moulton TSR that I sold him, but they were a tenth of the price so what would one expect?
I have bored the pants off everyone here over years waxing lyrical about my MERC copy of the Brompton which is in every way a good deal from Taiwan (though not as cheap as the ones I've already mentioned here) and also, the Chinese £110 Strida knock off that I bought around a month ago. That one, I really enjoy. It is truly delightful, rides quietly, and smoothly and does exactly what I'd want from it.
Expensive bikes are better, but they are not better by the degree that one might imagine according to their price. I have a Scott Aspen mountain bike that cost about £500. It is better than the Vietnamese one, but not by a lot and it cost at least four times the price of the Scott.
I think the secret is to look very carefully at what you are getting and then decide whether the cost advantage is worth the risk. There are some dreadful contraptions on the market, but there are also some bargains. The trick is to distinguish between them before paying the money and taking delivery of a minger.
I found what could be Qile Duo's answer to the Dahon Speed P8.
Here is an improved version of my bike, except it's a three speed.
K-Rock is Qile Duo's "higher end" line of bikes.
Too bad they don't have more distributors in Europe, and America. The prices would be very competitive I'm assuming.
Last edited by edwong3; 01-10-09 at 03:28 PM.
Your comments are spot on my friend. I think too that half of the trouble with some of these X-Mart bikes is improper assembly. They would last longer, and perform better if real bike mechanics put them together. At least I think so. Non the less, a bike shop product is generally better.
Originally Posted by EvilV