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  1. #1
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Merc/Flamingo folder 7 speed

    This is the new Merc 7 speed hub bike from Flamingo bikes in Taiwan. Looks very nice and has the compact Brompton type fold. Wonder where it can be sourced from? Spec and pics below:

    rand: FOLDING FLAMINGO - UPGRADED PORTABLE SERIES

    ■Item No.: FL-BP01-7 BEST PERSUADER

    ■Model: 16" INTERNAL 7-SPEED NEW FOLDING BIKE

    ■Frame: MAIN FRAME - ALUM. ALLOY TUBE SHAPED BY HYDRAULIC
    PRESSURE; REAR TRIANGLE CR-MOLY

    ■Rim: AR-SC 16"x1-3/8"xF/36H R/36H ALUM. ALLOY W/CNC SIDE WALL

    ■Tire: CST C-86A 16"x1-3/8” BLACK A/V, W/REFLECTIVE LINE

    ■Chainwheel: 48T ALUMINUM ALLOY

    ■R/Dearilleur: SHIMANO NEXUS SG-7R46 INTERIOR 7-SPEED

    ■Shifter Lever: SHIMANO NEXUS SL-7S10 TWIST GRIP SHIFTER

    ■Character: * ADVANCED FOLDING FUNCTION WITH SPECIFIC LUGGAGE
    FOLDING DEVICE

    * EASY FOLDING AND CARRYING

    * RIGID FRAME WITH UPGRADED CHAIN GUIDER

    * EXTREMELY COMPACT WHEN FOLDED














  2. #2
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    New?

  3. #3
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R View Post
    New?
    Seems to be!

  4. #4
    I... Don't care. nekohime's Avatar
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    I wanna know if I can get it in China...
    Wanna join my charity folding bike ride? Sign-up here!
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way :p

  5. #5
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    Seems to be!
    There is an old thread on this. So far we have not heard of a retailer selling the model. I recall that EvilV spoke with Anita at Merc (a very helpful woman BTW). I believe he was told that Merc would sell their present stock of three speeds first before marketing the seven speed ... or something like that.

  6. #6
    Lonesome No More nigelme's Avatar
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    If this were available in the UK via Merc (or equivalent Ebay type vendor) and did what it purports to do, I would be keen.

    There has been many intriguing Eastern Folder manufacturers over the last few years mentioned on this forum but has anyone in the west ever seen them? I've tried communicating occasionally with the makers but translation problems hindered progress. I was left with the impression that they were looking for distributers.

    The Merc site itself has not changed in the year i've checked it so I have no idea what's going on.
    I must say I do like the look of this Pretty Flamingo though!

  7. #7
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Yes i'd bet on a ftont hub powered dynamo and they simply missed it out in the spec sheet. If so really seems a nice package.

  8. #8
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Well it might fold like a Brompton but now it isn't such a clone and possibly doesn't breach any copyright issues on the look like the Merc did. Surely one can't copyright a fold and Brompton's patent on that ran out ages ago?

  9. #9
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Just contacted Anita the UK distributor. The older version the 3 speed merc with front bag, bike bag, rack, pump, & dynamo can be purchased for £280 cash in person (not on ebay with paypal fees!). Anita also does a six speed version for £480 cash. She quotes for the GT6 version:
    "The modifications include: SRAM handlebar gear change, Shimano brake calipers, additional telescopic length seat post and quick release clamp, straight front handlebar stem with shock absorber, dual chainring. "
    I
    s it worth the extra £200? It is only going to be used as an alternative to my Downtube VIII H for commuting.

  10. #10
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    I want it in the USA! I posted a query a couple weeks ago but no responses

  11. #11
    Senior Member law4jba's Avatar
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    Attached below is a redacted email string. I've tried to make sure that all email addresses have been removed for the purpose of avoiding spam. Susan can be reached at susanchang(ampersand)flamingobike(dot)com

    I considered this bike as an alternative to the brompton for the purpose of bike-train-bike commute. I'm currently doing so with a swift. On the first couple of rides in November/December along the new Greenbush line in Boston the conductors gave me a hard time but that has relaxed as they become more comfortable with the MBTA rules. I'm not sure that I'll bother with a second folder for the time being (unless my company moves us to "open space")

    Dear John,

    I think you will be asked to pay for the import duty when the package
    arrived in custom. We are not sure about the update import duty rate, so we
    usually don't quote the freight with any import duty.

    According to our previous 2005 information, it was 3.7% of import tariff for
    folding bike in U.S., but not sure about the update rate. Please check with
    relative organization locally.


    Best Regards,

    Susan Chang
    FLAMINGO BIKE / Grace Gallant Ent. Co., Ltd.


    ----- Original Message -----
    Subject: Re: Update price offer for FLAMINGO folding bike



    Dear Susan,

    Is the import duties to the US in addition to the prices
    listed? If so, what is the import duty rate for this kind
    of bicycle?


    ---"Flamingo-Susan" wrote ---
    Dear John,

    Because of the cost high raising of raw material, our
    prices for FL-BP01
    serial folding bikes have been adjusted as below.

    Now the current price for FL-BP01-3 equipped with Sunrace
    Sturmey Archer is
    interanl 3-speed hub, without dynamo light is US$595.00 +
    EMS express
    freight to France US$150.00 = US$745.

    The update price for FL-BP01-7 equipped with Shimano Nexus
    Interior 7-speed
    hub, without dynamo light is US$635.00 + EMS express
    freight to France
    US$150.00 = US$785.

    Folding bike carry bag is upcharged US$20.00 / per piece.
    Quotation valid expiry: Dec. 31st, 2007

    It's right that FL-BP01 serial folding bike with the
    optional type for an
    adapter on head tube for mounting luggage block.


    Best Regards,

    Susan Chang
    Marketing Director
    FLAMINGO BIKE / Grace Gallant Ent. Co., Ltd.



    ----- Original Message -----
    Sent: Monday, December 10, 2007 10:39 PM
    Subject: Re: Price offer for FLAMINGO folding bike


    Dear Susan,

    Thank you for the information on the seven speed bicycle.

    Please provide a cost estimate for the three speed verion
    at your convenience.

    In the pictures of the seven speed on your website, it
    appears that there is an adapter on outside of the headset
    for mounting a brompton style luggage block. Is this
    accurate?

    Many thanks for your courtesy and prompt replies to my
    inquiries.

    Regards,
    John Alexander


    Dear John,

    Thank you for your inquiry for our BEST PERSUADER serial
    folding bike through our website system. We appreciate for
    your prior consideration for FLAMINGO bike products.

    We are one of the bicycle manufacturing factory in Taiwan.
    We focus on developing and manufacturing folding bikes for
    the recent years. We get great feedback for our Best
    Persuader serial folding bikes from our European and
    American customers.

    To ship the folding bike to oversea countries, we offer the
    shipping term by Express Mail Service freight (EMS via post
    office), and the freight cost will be extra charged onto
    the cost. Regarding to the payment term, we will ask for
    T/T remittance or bank transfer before we deliver the
    bikes.

    As our "Best Persuader" serial folding bike with Shimano
    Nexus interior 7-speed hub gets the best functional
    performance, so we highly recommend the model FL-BP01-7 for
    you now.

    FL-BP01-7 is designed with alloy material for main front
    frame, but in Hi-Ten steel for rear triangle frame. The
    new square straight frame tube is shaped by hydraulic
    pressure mode.

    The price for FL-BP01-7 equipped with Shimano Nexus
    Interior 7-speed hub, without dynamo light is US$590.00 +
    EMS express freight to East Coast US$150.00 = US$740.
    Folding bike carry bag is upcharged US$20.00 / per piece.

    Instead of FL-BP01-3 with Sturmey Archer internal 3-speed
    hub, you may take reference for the spec of FL-BP01-7 on
    our website. There are four colors (in red, blue, yellow,
    black) available for model FL-BP01-7. If any further
    questions or request, please do not hesitate to let me
    know. If you decide to order the bike, please confirm to
    me by mail directly.


    Best Regards,

    Susan Chang
    Marketing Director
    FLAMINGO BIKE / Grace Gallant Ent. Co., Ltd.
    TEL: 886-4-26835772 (Rep)
    FAX: 886-4-26831649

  12. #12
    Senior Member cmcanulty's Avatar
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    Does anyone have one and been able to fit in a suitcase without disassembly? The reason I ask is all suitcases are rectangular and this bike folds fairly square, so even though it is a small fold, are there any hard shelled suitcase that are square? The Brompton suitcase is $350 which is too much for me.

  13. #13
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    I thought the Nexus7 was discontinued? I'm sure as hell having a hard time finding small parts for fitting.

  14. #14
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    By the way, Bem Cooper from Kinetics can put together an 8 Speed Brompton like this one heposted on the Flickr Brompton group:


  15. #15
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R View Post
    By the way, Bem Cooper from Kinetics can put together an 8 Speed Brompton like this one heposted on the Flickr Brompton group:
    A Brompton with 8 speeds is wonderful. But I wonder why he used such a small chainring???

    On my Downtube with the 8 speed SA hub, I thought a 39t ring was perfect.

  16. #16
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Well ... FINALLY.

    Here is a link for anyone else interested ... http://www.kinetics.org.uk/html/more_info.shtml#8speed

    Maybe I can hold my breath for an adjustable handlebar ...

    -G

  17. #17
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    A Brompton with 8 speeds is wonderful. But I wonder why he used such a small chainring???

    On my Downtube with the 8 speed SA hub, I thought a 39t ring was perfect.
    It might have to do with the chain rubbing against one of the stays. That is the reported issue with putting cogs bigger than 17t (maybe 18t since someone on bikeforums modified their rear cogs with on ... I think). The smallest possible cog on the SA8 is 19t.

  18. #18
    Senior Member cmcanulty's Avatar
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    Can anyone post the Flamingo real weight, gear inches, and accurate folded size

  19. #19
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by law4jba View Post
    Attached below is a redacted email string. I've tried to make sure that all email addresses have been removed for the purpose of avoiding spam. Susan can be reached at susanchang(ampersand)flamingobike(dot)com
    I contacted Susan Chang last year about the tubular framed version (I don't like that pressed allu frame that heads the thread). She put me in contact with a shipping agent who then informed me that there was an agency in the UK already and that they would not deal with me directly, because of that. The agent is Anita and the bikes are flamingo bikes re badged as Merc.

    Anita won't order a container of new spec bikes until the last few are sold. I suspect that the amazing new price is a way of moving on the last few she has.

    I might be interested in a multi geared version of the bike I've had for two years, but to be honest, the only differences are in the hub and the v-brakes rather than the caliper that mine has. I manage well with the original 3 speed, though I have installed a front derailier and twin chain rings. I hardly ever use the low one though, but it does come in handy now and then on steeper routes, but the hill does need to be mighty steep to require a gear lower than the 45 inches that comes as standard with the three gear Merc. Of course, you can fit a smaller chainring for the princely sum of £4.50 on sale from Anita. She has 46 and 39 toothed rings instead of the standard 52 toothed one. The frame has stood up really well and looks surprisingly undaunted by the trashing I have given it. The quality of the powder coating on mine is excellent and it is hardly even scuffed inspite of daily use. Personally, I hate that pressed frame. The tubular version is more appealing to me, and from my own, I know it will do well in use.



    EDIT:

    Oh - I forgot. The new spec bikes have the alluminium chain tensioner. I warn anyone buying a merc to buy the metal tensioner which Anita sells for £12. The plastic tensioner breaks too easily.

    AND - sadly, Flamingobike seem to have dropped the frame I talked about above. The only one now available seems to be the pressed one.

    http://www.flamingobike.com/products...p?pid=55&cid=3
    Last edited by EvilV; 02-22-08 at 11:11 AM.
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  20. #20
    The Metropolis, UK
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    EvilV Anita is doing the GT6 for £480 off ebay for cash deal. £200 more than GT3 but does looks a lovely bike. She sent pics in British racing green which is my favourite but only the red is available. Hope that helps! Rented a Brompton for the weekend. Takes a while to get used to 16" wheels after being used to 20" on my Downtube ones. Despite this I'm sort of disappointed in the ride of the Brompton despite its neat fold. BTW EvilV do you think th GT6 is worth the extra £200?








    Last edited by mulleady; 02-22-08 at 12:35 PM.

  21. #21
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    For that money, if you can build a wheel, you could buy a GT3, build your own SA8 rear wheel, and fit that. Probably save £20 on the deal too.

  22. #22
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
    For that money, if you can build a wheel, you could buy a GT3, build your own SA8 rear wheel, and fit that. Probably save £20 on the deal too.
    Despite what Kinetics did, along the lines of what I posted earlier, I recall that the people on BromptonTalk mentioning a bunch of issues with the SA8 in the Brompton. My guess is that it will be an involved process to do by oneself.

  23. #23
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Do you recall what the issues were? I am absolutely no expert on the intricacies of Bromptons, or indeed the SA8 (though this last may soon change), but I can't see why any hub with the same OLD can't be substituted for the one it comes with. I'm well aware that this probably marks me out as an idiot of the highest order

  24. #24
    Senior Member cmcanulty's Avatar
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    I don't like that spring in the handlebars is that removable?

  25. #25
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    EvilV Anita is doing the GT6 for £480 off ebay for cash deal. £200 more than GT3 but does looks a lovely bike. She sent pics in British racing green which is my favourite but only the red is available. Hope that helps! Rented a Brompton for the weekend. Takes a while to get used to 16" wheels after being used to 20" on my Downtube ones. Despite this I'm sort of disappointed in the ride of the Brompton despite its neat fold. BTW EvilV do you think th GT6 is worth the extra £200?
    The way I'd look at it is this; £480 is only £150 more than I paid for my GT3. For that, I'd get better brakes, a few more gears and a snazzy sprung handlebar. Those could be nice enhancements. I suspect that Anita gets those modifications done on a base GT3. I don't think there were any GT6s offered in the UK. The only one I've heard of was bought by Wav who wrote all about it on here a couple of years ago. he sold it to someone else here too - maybe Sezamicrunch (not sure). I don't know this for a fact, but I have an idea that the work is done by an engineer who writes on the Brompton talk list. I think he also does merc / brompton hybrids using the merc frame. I think the same guy advised me how to do the fitting of the front gear changer for the twin chain wheels I now use. That was an easy mod, as long as you can get the clamp to fit the front mech to the chunky down tube. I did the whole thing for £60. The clamps cost £40. Not being factory made, but cast, machined and painted more or less by hand, they aren't cheap.

    I really can't advise, except that better brakes would be good. I think I remember Wav saying he'd never had better brakes on a folder of any kind and he seemed to like the bike. My brakes are good now, but they took ages to bed in to satisfactory performance. Vbrakes are vastly more powerful than a single action caliper. One of the best features of the Merc is its tyres - they last for ever and have never punctured once. I've pulled a nail out of the tread that was stuck in and clicking for a half a mile before I stopped to investigate. It was a nasty sharp little panel pin stuck right into the centre of the tread. Didn't get through the Kevlar though.

    As for the ride of the 16 inch wheel. I have to say I found it un nerving when I first mounted the thing, but within a couple of days and certainly within ten miles, I loved it and have never ridden a large wheeled bike since. My only other used bike is my Pashley Moulton TSR30 which has 20 inch wheels. If you REALLY don't like the Brompton ride, you should maybe think again. The merc rides pretty much the same. They have identical geometry.

    I think a mate of mine bought her last Racing Green bike just before Christmas.
    Last edited by EvilV; 02-22-08 at 03:52 PM.
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

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