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Old 01-14-08, 08:27 PM   #26
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By the time you add pedals put on puncture resistant tires and possibly change the seat, the difference in weight to a Birdy or a Tikit will be much less.



seems to me that any other bikes would need the same highly sought after accessories like pedals and a seat as well .... meaning the difference in weight would be quite the same ...

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Old 01-14-08, 09:17 PM   #27
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By the time you add pedals put on puncture resistant tires and possibly change the seat, the difference in weight to a Birdy or a Tikit will be much less.



seems to me that any other bikes would need the same highly sought after accessories like pedals and a seat as well .... meaning the difference in weight would be quite the same ...

Thor
The weight difference will only stay the same if the base weight of the other bikes is also quoted without pedals and you are making the same changes to tire and seat weight.

I'm not knocking the MU SL, Dahon have obviously optimized the tires and seat for minimum weight which is great if that's what is most important to you. You can of course fit out other bikes with similar tires and a seat and reduce their weight below that of the base bike

In this case the original poster appears to be wanting to maximize puncture resistance and would probably want to change out the tires. For comfort, he may also want a larger tire cross section and / or a different seat.

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Old 01-14-08, 10:19 PM   #28
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which is a good choice indeed ...but a marathon Plus weighs 600 grams on a dahon or any other bike ...
sure the original tire on a dahon is pretty much optimized for the bike ... ie. an SL comes with light tires which are more expensive than some base tires on more expensive folders.... in that way you are correct...

Wonder if they are many 07 MU SL around .. I sold my last ones months ago .... This might work out much more what bike can I get in a certain timeframe than what bike I want ... :-)

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Old 01-14-08, 11:55 PM   #29
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[QUOTE=energyandair;5982655]
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The lightest Dahons are light for a folder but they quote weight without pedals and in the case of the MU SL they have ultra light Stelvio racing tires and a very light seat. By the time you add pedals put on puncture resistant tires and possibly change the seat, the difference in weight to a Birdy or a Tikit will be much less.

Yes the Birdy front end certainly looks different but there are good reasons for this.
- Firstly, it enables them to provide the comfort of a front suspension yet because of its anti dive geometry the suspension won't dip under heavy braking. Having come near to going over the bars with heavy downhill braking on my mountain bike, I really appreciate this.
- Secondly, it provides for a more compact fold without the difficulties associated with hinges in the main frame (flexing, weight and/or weakness)

Thanks for the explanation re the fenders.

David
I have looked as hard into a Birdy as I can. (My German is a little rusty...) I have found a bike called the City Premium that looks like it will fit the bill nicely. I have written to Bike Friday to see if they are planning a hub release for the tikit. The Birdy sales structure appears to be virtually non-existent in this country from my search. Many of the U.S. sites show old models. It's an intriguing bike. The front assembly fold seems a little awkward, but looks like you can get better at it with practice. The tikit folds beautifully and simply, albeit not as compactly.
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Old 01-15-08, 01:08 AM   #30
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[QUOTE=Mr. Smith;5984044]
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I have looked as hard into a Birdy as I can. (My German is a little rusty...) I have found a bike called the City Premium that looks like it will fit the bill nicely. I have written to Bike Friday to see if they are planning a hub release for the tikit. The Birdy sales structure appears to be virtually non-existent in this country from my search. Many of the U.S. sites show old models. It's an intriguing bike. The front assembly fold seems a little awkward, but looks like you can get better at it with practice. The tikit folds beautifully and simply, albeit not as compactly.
I agree that the Birdy sales structure in North America is fairly minimal but on the bright side, Birdy's are a lot less expensive here than they are in England or Australia where there appears to be more support. Perhaps there is a connection?

If you are interested in following up on the Birdy, I recommend phoning Don at Black Dog Bicycles. I have found him very helpful and a lot of other people on this site recommend him.
Black Dog Bicycles

You are right that folding the Birdy quickly takes a little practice but once you have that, it's quick and easy.

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Old 01-15-08, 08:16 AM   #31
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I suppose I transposed my words... The weight of the bike being lighter would make for easier carrying since Dahon offers no means to roll it along folded. The lightest Dahons are stripped so I was indicating I'd buy something like the Mu SL and add fenders to it.

I was thinking I might plan a weekender up to Eugene or I suppose California is closer. LA is a hop skip and a jump away and probably has folding bike retailers.
Looks can be deceiving. In my opinion Dahons are easier to roll along folded than the tikit is. The difference is that Bike Friday has chosen to highlight the rolling ability in their advertisements while Dahon has chosen not to. I recently test rode both a Mu SL and a tikit and I found the Mu SL to be much easier to roll while folded (not to mention much lighter to lift and much better to ride).

Given your uneasiness about tracking down a Birdy, your concern about 355mm ("18 inch") wheels, and your insistence on something smaller than a Xootr, I think your best bet is a Dahon.

FYI, Dahon is one of the few designs which doesn't tend to lose the chain when folded. Birdy, Bike Friday tikit, etc all have a tendency to lose their chains. However, if you're extremely concerned about durability then a Birdy would probably be better than a Dahon. Not that Dahon is bad, but some people have complained about the hinges developing a little give over time.

In any case, I think you should choose between Dahon and Birdy. Lastly, here are a few quick facts to help you make your decision:
-I doubt you'll have more trouble ordering a Birdy than you would a Bike Friday. I hear that some Birdy dealers are excellent to deal with and Bike Friday doesn't have a particularly efficient ordering process.
-"18 inch wheels" and "16 inch wheels" are names, not measurements. In reality the Birdy wheels are only 1/4th of an inch larger than the tikit wheels. Although tubes and tires probably aren't interchangeable, if you have trouble getting replacement tubes you can always replace the "18 inch" Birdy wheels with "16 inch" tikit wheels. Of course, wheelsets aren't cheap, but the point is that you wouldn't be locked in.
-Forum member "pm124" has owned both a Birdy and a Mu SL. Search for his posts or ask him to participate in this discussion.

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Old 01-15-08, 09:06 AM   #32
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You can roll a Dahon ... http://www.gaerlan.com/bikes/dahonfold/dahonfold.htm

If you are looking for more information on the Birdy, you are probably better off looking at the US distributor's website. http://www.rad-innovations.com/ But as others mentioned, Black Dog has a good reputation. But my guess is that you already saw them since you noticed that the US Birdy lineup consists of models with the old frame -- I believe that they have one performance model with the new monocoque frame -- which is fine since the new frame would probably require a higher price.

I think that it would pay for you to test ride the bikes and compare them side-by-side. You can try the Bike Friday YAK group or one of their salespeople regarding test riding someone's tikit in Arizona. They do have a satisfaction guarantee with their bikes, so you could return it. It is a little disappointing that no one has high-end Dahons on the model floor in the state. If you could get to one of the following cities, you could test ride all of the bikes mentioned here:

Washington DC
NYC
Los Angeles/Southern California
Minneapolis
Philadelphia
Chicago

... anywhere else folks? I figure that there must be a place or two in San Francisco, but I can't recall one off the top of my head.
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Old 01-15-08, 09:12 AM   #33
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Oh ... ERTO 355 (18") rims and tires are not compatible with ERTO 305/349 (16") rims and tires. I suspect that one could use a 349 tube instead of a 355 tube. And apparently, you can swap your wheels in the future to ERTO 349.

Getting a box of tubes would not be that bad ... would it?
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Old 01-15-08, 09:59 AM   #34
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Looks can be deceiving. In my opinion Dahons are easier to roll along folded than the tikit is. The difference is that Bike Friday has chosen to highlight the rolling ability in their advertisements while Dahon has chosen not to. I recently test rode both a Mu SL and a tikit and I found the Mu SL to be much easier to roll while folded (not to mention much lighter to lift and much better to ride).
Well this seems to be a minority opinion Makeinu. Having tried to roll my Dahon D7 and rolled my Tikit a lot the Tikit is far easier to roll. I haven't heard anyone else suggest that Dahons roll well. I'm going to be working out in Eastern Canada again starting this weekend. I'll give rolling my Dahon another shot as it would be very useful if it did so well, but my previous attempts do not support your view.

Secondly you admittedly rode a Tikit that was too small for you and did not have the stem hinge upgrade - not really a fair comparison to be making as a poorly fitted bike will not ride well regardless of its merits.

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FYI, Dahon is one of the few designs which doesn't tend to lose the chain when folded. Birdy, Bike Friday tikit, etc all have a tendency to lose their chains. However, if you're extremely concerned about durability then a Birdy would probably be better than a Dahon. Not that Dahon is bad, but some people have complained about the hinges developing a little give over time.
The Tikit rear triangle folds keeping the BB and cassette relationship unchanged. The chain doesn't fall off. I've folded my Tikit countless times and never had to even think about my chain when unfolding.

Don't take my posts as a slam against Dahon. I like my D7 and would buy a Dahon in the future if my needs aligned with one of their models. From what I have experienced of their line up you get value for your money. I have a couple friends interested in getting folding bicycles who want to keep things sub-$500 and I've pointed them to Dahon as we have a dealer in town so they can go test ride the models that interest them.
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Old 01-15-08, 10:52 AM   #35
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I will have to admit, I was surprised at Makeinu's post regarding rolling the tikit in view of some of the Youtube videos.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=I4Z2wDEPJQA

I guessed that Makeinu was used to rolling his Downtube which is probably similar to rolling the Dahon, hence, his conclusion. Anyway, this just goes to show the value of trying out the bike for oneself.
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Old 01-15-08, 11:41 AM   #36
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Well this seems to be a minority opinion Makeinu. Having tried to roll my Dahon D7 and rolled my Tikit a lot the Tikit is far easier to roll. I haven't heard anyone else suggest that Dahons roll well. I'm going to be working out in Eastern Canada again starting this weekend. I'll give rolling my Dahon another shot as it would be very useful if it did so well, but my previous attempts do not support your view.
I have my opinion and you have yours.

I know I've mentioned this before, but for the record, I do not roll Dahon-style bikes like the Gaerlan site shows. I don't put the handlebars between the wheels because I roll both wheels on the ground together (which the handlebars would snag). I've even accidentally balanced my folded Downtube this way (folded and standing freely on it's 20" wheels).

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Secondly you admittedly rode a Tikit that was too small for you and did not have the stem hinge upgrade - not really a fair comparison to be making as a poorly fitted bike will not ride well regardless of its merits.
I admitted that the bike may have been too small, but I have no idea whether or not it actually was. What I know for certain is that the tikit I rode was the size Bike Friday would have sold me had I agreed to buy one sight unseen. Bike Friday guarantees the fit of course, but had I bought one I don't know if I would have recognized a fit problem (if I even have a fit problem). In all fairness, apart from the fact that I really liked the Mu SL I have no particular evidence to suggest that the fit was any better.

If I ever get around to riding a large tikit I'll report back with my impressions. However, apart from theft considerations I'm not sure if I really need another folder. I'm currently testing an alternative solution to theft. If it works out then I may be asking you for your opinions on recumbents, vik.

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The Tikit rear triangle folds keeping the BB and cassette relationship unchanged. The chain doesn't fall off. I've folded my Tikit countless times and never had to even think about my chain when unfolding.
I'm glad you haven't had any problems. Perhaps it's a rare occurrence, but it's a problem that has been, nonetheless, recognized by Bike Friday:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvENx6X7sXs

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I will have to admit, I was surprised at Makeinu's post regarding rolling the tikit in view of some of the Youtube videos.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=I4Z2wDEPJQA

I guessed that Makeinu was used to rolling his Downtube which is probably similar to rolling the Dahon, hence, his conclusion. Anyway, this just goes to show the value of trying out the bike for oneself.
There's definitely something to be said about familiarity, but I tried my best to keep an open mind. After all, although I'm glad my Downtube rolls, I still don't consider it ideal. The thing that solidified my opinion was that no matter how I tilted the folded tikit I couldn't seem to get the weight over the wheel and consequently felt like I was always holding the majority of the weight.

Regarding the video, being a world class athlete I'm guessing that Rob is a very strong guy. I doubt most folks would be able to lift 20+ pounds as easily as he does at the end of that video.

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Old 01-15-08, 12:12 PM   #37
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I am very interested in a commuter bike to take to work and shove in the corner of the office. I'd like it to be very reliable/durable, easy to fold (not interested in a bike that comes apart, ie Ritchey), reasonably light, able to be ridden while well dressed, designed for more than just pedaling a mile or two and therefore fast, obtainable in the U.S., and with cost of no more than $1500. I have ridden a Dahon Caio and found it to be a comfortable bike in the right vein of what I want, but unconvincing for a long lasting reliable bike. I am pretty familiar with the Dahon line at this point. Am I wrong in thinking a Dahon won't hold up? If you are adamant about a particular Dahon model you have lots of experience with and would like to recommend, please do. Otherwise I am mostly interested in exploring what else is out there.
Hello Mr Smith and Welcome!

I am an owner of 2 (yes 2) Dahons at present. One is a 20 inch Boardwalk converted to a three speed and the other is a 16 inch Piccolo. I am able to ride both in full business gear. I have ridden both for over 15 miles at times (although I don't make it a regular habit of it). While these 2 bikes are no longer available anywhere except used-both models have ceased production-there are other choices available. Try out the Speed D7 and 8 models. They are both have steel frames. The D7 comes with the rear rack and fenders that commuters with nice clothes need. The Speed 8 does have better components (including the fantastic Big Apple tires), but you could add the rear rack and the fenders if you wish. Please check out my Web sites on folding bikes below. And let us know if you have any more questions and what you decided to purchase.
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Old 01-15-08, 12:29 PM   #38
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I have my opinion and you have yours.
Absolutely - I'm not expecting you to change yours I'm simply providing another perspective for the sake of balance. My comments are based on the two bikes I own, ride and fold a significant amount.

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I know I've mentioned this before, but for the record, I do not roll Dahon-style bikes like the Gaerlan site shows. I don't put the handlebars between the wheels because I roll both wheels on the ground together (which the handlebars would snag). I've even accidentally balanced my folded Downtube this way (folded and standing freely on it's 20" wheels).
Ahhh...the D7 has bars that fold between the wheels - perhaps this is the problem.

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I admitted that the bike may have been too small, but I have no idea whether or not it actually was. What I know for certain is that the tikit I rode was the size Bike Friday would have sold me had I agreed to buy one sight unseen. Bike Friday guarantees the fit of course, but had I bought one I don't know if I would have recognized a fit problem (if I even have a fit problem). In all fairness, apart from the fact that I really liked the Mu SL I have no particular evidence to suggest that the fit was any better.
Did Bike Friday size you onto a medium or was it the bike shop you went to that suggested a medium?

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I'm glad you haven't had any problems. Perhaps it's a rare occurrence, but it's a problem that has been, nonetheless, recognized by Bike Friday:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvENx6X7sXs
You are looking at the wrong video. If you look at the bike in your video the BB does not move when the rest of the rear triangle folds under the bike. This causes some slack in the chain and it can fall off. The Tikit's rear triangle and BB are one unit and fold together so there is no slack introduced into the system and the chain doesn't fall off. Have a look at this video which shows a Tikit being folded and note how the rear triangle/chain remains as one unit throughout the process. The chain simply doesn't fall off the Tikit at all.
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Old 01-15-08, 12:45 PM   #39
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Did Bike Friday size you onto a medium or was it the bike shop you went to that suggested a medium?
Bike Friday. I took my own measurements and Bike Friday recommended a medium.

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If you look at the bike in the video the BB does not move when the rest of the rear triangle folds under the bike. This causes some slack in the chain and it can fall off. The Tikit's rear triangle and BB are one unit and fold together so there is no slack introduced into the system and the chain doesn't fall off. Have a look at this video.
My mistake. I thought the bike in the chain drop video was a tikit. In any case, why do you suppose David Lam dropped the chain on his tikit during the "Fast Fold Showdown"?:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDKsCvDhCqI
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Old 01-15-08, 12:53 PM   #40
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Regarding the video, being a world class athlete I'm guessing that Rob is a very strong guy. I doubt most folks would be able to lift 20+ pounds as easily as he does at the end of that video.
That is a good point I had not considered.
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Old 01-15-08, 01:09 PM   #41
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In any case, why do you suppose David Lam dropped the chain on his tikit during the "Fast Fold Showdown"?:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDKsCvDhCqI
He was trying to win a competition and jerked the bike around in a way that isn't normal. The jerky movement caused the dérailleur to swing and allowed the chain to come off. It doesn't come off during normal use. Should we ask Bike Friday to put a warning label on the Tikit - "..Warning: chain may come off if used for folding competitions!!!..."....

Rather than try and prove me wrong - after all I only own and ride a Tikit everyday. Why don't you take my word on it that the chain stays on or are you going to hunt around Youtube to try and find a second time a Tikit chain came off during a fold?...
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Old 01-15-08, 01:39 PM   #42
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Regarding the video, being a world class athlete I'm guessing that Rob is a very strong guy. I doubt most folks would be able to lift 20+ pounds as easily as he does at the end of that video.
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That is a good point I had not considered.
The question isn't whether a 15lbs bike would be easier to roll than a 25lbs bike - naturally it would be. The question is assuming you have to move your folded bike how easy is it get from point A to point B and is there a better design to make that happen?

My Dahon D7 and my Tikit weigh approximately the same within 1lb. The Tikit when folded has a rolling handle that is easy to grab and you can move the folded bike fairly easily - yes you have to lift part of the 25lbs and yes you need to steer the bike as you go. The Tikit has a cover that can be deployed and the bike can be rolled while covered if you have a front rack on it. When you are done rolling the Tikit you can just set it down and the bike will stand up on its own. Having used the Tikit extensively I can't see how you'd make the rolling functionality better other than simply making the whole biek 10lbs lighter. BF came up with a really useful and refined solution to moving the folded Tikit.

With the D7 you need to extend the seat post as shown in a post above and use the seat post to roll the bike on the front wheel. This isn't as ergonomic as grabbing a handle, but it isn't bad. There is no cover for the D7 that I can use when rolling and since I've extended the seat post the bike won't stand up on its own as the lowered seat post acts as a leg when folded. Practically this means rather than raise/lower the seat post all the time I end up carrying all 25lbs of the D7 when I need to move the folded bike for short distances. If I needed to cover my D7 [on a bus for example] I'd have to carry the whole 25lbs. Considering the price I think the D7 is a great folder - not as refined as the Tikit, but for half the price you can't complain about that.

Since I didn't own the Tikit when I was riding the D7 regularly I'm going to give rolling it another shot. That way I'll have some back to back experiences to compare. Prior to the fall of 2007 I didn't really pay much attention to Dahon or Bike Friday. I don't have a long standing interest in ether company. The differences I'm pointing out are not things I appreciated after a test ride, but they became pretty clear upon owning and using both bikes.
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Old 01-15-08, 02:02 PM   #43
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He was trying to win a competition and jerked the bike around in a way that isn't normal. The jerky movement caused the dérailleur to swing and allowed the chain to come off. It doesn't come off during normal use. Should we ask Bike Friday to put a warning label on the Tikit - "..Warning: chain may come off if used for folding competitions!!!..."....

Rather than try and prove me wrong - after all I only own and ride a Tikit everyday. Why don't you take my word on it that the chain stays on or are you going to hunt around Youtube to try and find a second time a Tikit chain came off during a fold?...
Sorry, I didn't mean to come across as trying to prove you wrong. I didn't go hunting around youtube. I had previously seen those videos and was just confused about the chain drop issue. I'm glad you were here to clear things up.

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Old 01-15-08, 02:06 PM   #44
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I was thinking that a world class athlete probably has exceptional coordination and balance. Moreover, I think that a lot of people would have more difficulty picking up the tikit in the manner that Rob does at the end of the video; i.e., he is probably relatively strong as well.

Anyway ... I think that this discussion should really drive the point that Mr. Smith should see a bike in person and diddle with it. Or take a risk with a seller with a satisfaction guarantee. I assume that there has to be some Birdy and Dahon dealers that will match Bike Friday's policy. Note, I think you loose shipping costs.
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Old 01-15-08, 02:13 PM   #45
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I ride a Mu SL for recreaction and fitness (with fenders). However, if I were to commute everyday in in this city (non-multimodal), I'd be looking at a internal hub gearing (rain, snow, salt on roads), wider, tougher tires, and possibly a more padded saddle and/or suspension (potholes and debris). In the Dahon line, that might be the Mu XL or the forthcoming XL Sport which Thor has already mentioned.
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Old 01-15-08, 04:10 PM   #46
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Sorry, I didn't mean to come across as trying to prove you wrong. I didn't go hunting around youtube. I had previously seen those videos and was just confused about the chain drop issue. I'm glad you were here to clear things up.
No worries. Sorry if my frustration got the better of me.
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Old 01-15-08, 05:30 PM   #47
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I was thinking that a world class athlete probably has exceptional coordination and balance. Moreover, I think that a lot of people would have more difficulty picking up the tikit in the manner that Rob does at the end of the video; i.e., he is probably relatively strong as well.

Anyway ... I think that this discussion should really drive the point that Mr. Smith should see a bike in person and diddle with it. Or take a risk with a seller with a satisfaction guarantee. I assume that there has to be some Birdy and Dahon dealers that will match Bike Friday's policy. Note, I think you loose shipping costs.
Precisely. I may fly into LA this weekend and stop by a bike shop to see what's going on there. I am leaning further and further from the Dahon and Birdy. The Dahon seems fine and functional, but not all that refined. I have performed analysis of fatigue and dynamic loading and I can't imagine a hinge performing that well over time especially loading the bike near the limits. (I'm a 200 pounder) There has to be some loosening in the connection as the frame stresses hit more and more cycles. The Birdy I imagine causing me to curse as I fumble with it trying to fold it and get a tire track down the arm of a freshly pressed dress shirt just before a meeting. All the Youtube videos I've seen with it show people sort of awkwardly manuevering it into its folded position similarly to a Charlie Chaplin film. I have also attempted to contact Birdy to no avail. Bike Friday seems to be the way to go. The frame design is much more fatigue friendly and simpler to fold. I will likely be ordering one from them and am in discussion with a sales rep to do so.

I greatly appreciate all the advice. The truth is there is no peak product in this category of bike. It's all fairly individual and a little personally frustrating that no one has yet combined the virtues of all of them. An ideal bike to me would be one that had a suspension system like a Birdy, the fold ease and strength of a Bike Friday, the component selection of a Dahon, and the folded size of a Brompton.
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Old 01-15-08, 06:17 PM   #48
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Precisely. I may fly into LA this weekend and stop by a bike shop to see what's going on there.
Good luck with your test rides. I go to LA relatively frequently. If you find a good bike shop for folders please let me know. I'll try and drop in next time I'm in town....
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Old 01-15-08, 06:28 PM   #49
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The truth is there is no peak product in this category of bike. It's all fairly individual and a little personally frustrating that no one has yet combined the virtues of all of them. An ideal bike to me would be one that had a suspension system like a Birdy, the fold ease and strength of a Bike Friday, the component selection of a Dahon, and the folded size of a Brompton.


Welcome to folding bike madness ...

I noticed a SoCal thread. Perhaps it would be a good idea to poke your head in there and ask where the best shops are for the Birdy, Brompton, Bike Friday tikit, and Dahon bikes.
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Old 01-15-08, 09:14 PM   #50
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Hello Mr Smith and Welcome!

I am an owner of 2 (yes 2) Dahons at present. One is a 20 inch Boardwalk converted to a three speed and the other is a 16 inch Piccolo. I am able to ride both in full business gear. I have ridden both for over 15 miles at times (although I don't make it a regular habit of it). While these 2 bikes are no longer available anywhere except used-both models have ceased production-there are other choices available. Try out the Speed D7 and 8 models. They are both have steel frames. The D7 comes with the rear rack and fenders that commuters with nice clothes need. The Speed 8 does have better components (including the fantastic Big Apple tires), but you could add the rear rack and the fenders if you wish. Please check out my Web sites on folding bikes below. And let us know if you have any more questions and what you decided to purchase.
I ordered a Bike Friday tikit today. It should be here in a month or so as they apparently customize it somewhat. I decided to go for it because they have a 30 day money back guarantee. Should I find something I like better in the meantime, I'll return it, but I have high hopes this is the correct bike for the job. Thanks all!
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