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Old 05-01-08, 07:16 AM   #1
neilfein
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The bike I really want

So far, I've test-ridden:
  • Brompton M series -- Good, but I don't like the fact that the bike doesn't hold together well when folded, and the rubber suspension thingy doesn't work for me (I hate suspension bikes with a passion). I'm not trying any more Bromptons, since I didn;t like this one at all.
  • Dahon Curve D3 - awesone ride, handles well, very stable. The internal hub shifts very well, but 3 speeds won't cut it for me. The 13" tires are awesome.
  • Dahon Vitesse - hard to say, since the store wouldn't let me ride it outside.
  • Dahon MU P8 - good bike, but it feels wobbly, even for a folder.
  • Dahon MU P24 - feels like the P8, but with 24 speeds. The shifting is awesome, and if I had never tried the Curve, I would have gotten this one.

I decided on a Dahon Curve SL. It's basically the Curve D3 with more speeds, 3 pounds lighter and a shimano hub. The problem is that the 2008 models won't be around until late July at the earliest. (This information is straight from Dahon.)

At the moment, I'm leaning towards waiting on the Curve. I'll probably be happy with any Dahon, but I'll kick myself later if I don't wait for the bike I really want.

The problem here is that we really don't have any guarantee the bikes will be available even in July...
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Old 05-01-08, 07:24 AM   #2
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Is there a 2007 version of the model you want? If so you may be able to find one right away - perhaps even get a discount as it is last year's stock???
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Old 05-01-08, 07:24 AM   #3
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Neil, we gotta figure out a way for you to ride my Downtube Mini sometime. If you could get out of work an hour early some day next week, I think we can cook something up. --Rudi
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Old 05-01-08, 08:02 AM   #4
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Neilfein why don't you consider the Downtube Mini and speak to Yan. It has a great reputation on these forums and an 8 speed hub. Jur has even ridden his off-road which I think shows the versatility of thebike. Yan also offers a very good returns guarantee which lets you trial the bike and only incur postage if you don't like.

If a bike shop won't let you testr ride models outide properly and have some kind of secure deposit system to cover themselves then I wouldn't buy from them personally. Find a dealer that does or give the Downtube Mini some serious consideration.
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Old 05-01-08, 08:20 AM   #5
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rhm, you have PM.
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Old 05-01-08, 08:58 AM   #6
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I was in almost the same situation as you. I was considering the brommie M series, the downtube mini and the curve. I ended up going with the brompton m. To me, the tight fold was paramount in my consideration as I will be taking it on trips. Thus, the brompton won. The folds in the others were somewhat messy. My brompton stays together just fine when folded.

Anyway, I will be posting pix of my new purchase soon. Stay tuned.
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Old 05-01-08, 09:13 AM   #7
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In its favor, the Brompton has a nice feature: a pair of tiny roller wheels. I don't recall seeing those on any other folder.
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Old 05-01-08, 09:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
So far, I've test-ridden:
[*]Brompton M series -- Good, but I don't like the fact that the bike doesn't hold together well when folded, and the rubber suspension thingy doesn't work for me (I hate suspension bikes with a passion). I'm not trying any more Bromptons, since I didn't like this one at all.
Just for the record - the suspension block can be stiffened very easily by either fitting a metal hose clamp to limit its lateral compression [© Steve Parry], or by retrofitting a Birdy type of elastomer - which are available in 3 degrees of springyness. I have a green (hard) one on my Merc/brompton and it has improved things beyond all recognition.



Also - 'M' type bars are a bit of a compromise too - suited really only for commuters who want a very upright style of riding. This riding position is exaggerated by the [removable] stem thingie on the seatpost that makes for a smaller folded package but also a smaller 'cockpit' length. Remove this and the saddle goes back a couple of inches, which, with an 'S' type bar and handlepost setup ensures the ride is much more like a normal hybrid bike.

Also - With a little bit of judicious modification one can actually add an adjustable stem to the top of the handlepost so a more forward riding position can be achieved. - A brief guide by yours-truly here - about halfway down the page.

I know what you mean about it not being the best folded package in terms of staying in a unit - I think this is better with a model that has a rear rack, but it can be improved when you've learnt the best ways to hold and fold the bike - you need to make sure the seatpost is all the way down as this locks the rear triangle in position which in turn locks the forks and usually stops it all coming apart until you ask it to.

Just adding all this to the mix for you as they are good bikes and it's sad your experience with one wasn't 100% positive.

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Old 05-01-08, 10:17 AM   #9
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Just adding all this to the mix for you as they are good bikes and it's sad your experience with one wasn't 100% positive.
Just to be clear -- pretty much all the bikes I tried are very good bikes, and I'd probably be very happy riding any of them. But the Curve is the one that looked at me and said, "buy me! ride me! let's go for ice cream!"
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Old 05-01-08, 01:37 PM   #10
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You think the a Dahon holds together better than the Brompton when folded? That's a minority opinion.
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Old 05-01-08, 01:38 PM   #11
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Re Dahon,

I placed an order for a 2008 Dahon MU SL on 21 April which should have been at the dealers on 29 AprilÖ phoned them today and there has been a delay, so the bike is now expected on 16 May (the dealer has the 2007 version in stock, but I want the 2008 version).

There is another dealer with a 2008 MU SL in stock (the one I test rode) but he wants an extra £130Ö.. Iíll just have to wait, something Iím rather good at.

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Old 05-01-08, 04:17 PM   #12
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You think the a Dahon holds together better than the Brompton when folded? That's a minority opinion.
What's your point?
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Old 05-01-08, 05:41 PM   #13
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I'm guess the point is that anecdotally more than a few people have problems with the magnetic fastenings on some Dahons - ie - the magnets aren't strong enough to keep it folded; whereas - it seems your own experience with a Brompton not keeping together as a package when folded seems to be an anomaly to most people's experience - ie maybe you just test drove a lemon bike that hadn't been set up properly, or it wasn't folded properly when it came apart. I'm guessing but I think that's makeinu's point...

Hey - sorry - this might seem like a 'buy a Brompton' press ganging - tis not my intention at all

I think people are just surprised at the negative experience you had with the bike. The ride on a brompton isn't for everyone but it's unusual to hear of someone that didn't like the neatness or integrity of the fold.
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Old 05-01-08, 06:15 PM   #14
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"buy me! ride me! let's go for ice cream!"
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Old 05-01-08, 06:25 PM   #15
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What's your point?
Just that I like a bike that holds together well and I've always been rather disappointed with the way Dahon-style bikes hold together. So if the Brompton is even worse then I'd like to know.
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Old 05-01-08, 06:33 PM   #16
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Neilfein why don't you consider the Downtube Mini and speak to Yan. It has a great reputation on these forums and an 8 speed hub. Jur has even ridden his off-road which I think shows the versatility of thebike. Yan also offers a very good returns guarantee which lets you trial the bike and only incur postage if you don't like.

If a bike shop won't let you testr ride models outide properly and have some kind of secure deposit system to cover themselves then I wouldn't buy from them personally. Find a dealer that does or give the Downtube Mini some serious consideration.
But the Mini has rear suspension, which disqualifies it...? (Although it is easy to lock out.)
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Old 05-05-08, 12:02 PM   #17
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In its favor, the Brompton has a nice feature: a pair of tiny roller wheels. I don't recall seeing those on any other folder.
The BF tikit is designed to be rolled and does so reasonably well. My wife is a little weak to manhandle it, but I don't have problems.
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Old 05-05-08, 12:04 PM   #18
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I'm guess the point is that anecdotally more than a few people have problems with the magnetic fastenings on some Dahons - ie - the magnets aren't strong enough to keep it folded; whereas - it seems your own experience with a Brompton not keeping together as a package when folded seems to be an anomaly to most people's experience - ie maybe you just test drove a lemon bike that hadn't been set up properly, or it wasn't folded properly when it came apart. I'm guessing but I think that's makeinu's point...

Hey - sorry - this might seem like a 'buy a Brompton' press ganging - tis not my intention at all

I think people are just surprised at the negative experience you had with the bike. The ride on a brompton isn't for everyone but it's unusual to hear of someone that didn't like the neatness or integrity of the fold.
I briefly owned a Dahon and found the magnets to not be sufficient, and it was very awkward to carry while folded. I think some other manufacturers have some more sophisticated designs that work much more reliably if this bike will be folded/unfolded frequently and depended on for transportation.
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Old 05-08-08, 05:52 AM   #19
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rhm met me at the train station this morning (thanks again!) and let me try out his Mini. Now I'm stuck between getting that or a Dahon SL. The Mini handles better but the Dahon shifts more smoothly, and I can get a Mini right now, the Dahons are backordered through who knows when.
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Old 05-08-08, 06:02 AM   #20
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I briefly owned a Dahon and found the magnets to not be sufficient, and it was very awkward to carry while folded. I think some other manufacturers have some more sophisticated designs that work much more reliably if this bike will be folded/unfolded frequently and depended on for transportation.

I've had no problems at all with my Curve SL's magnets. The bike stays together well.
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Old 05-08-08, 06:05 AM   #21
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These are both wonderful bikes. This is a tough decision.

(All specs for the 2008 models)

Downtube Mini
Speeds: 8
Hub: Internal, Sturmey Archer
Suspension: Rear
Fenders incl.: No
Frame:Aluminum
Wheels 16"
Weight:24.5 lbs
Folded Size: 10" x 20" 29"
GripsStandard)
Locked when folded? No
Chain guard:Yes
Bottle cage braze-ons: Yes
Price $460


Dahon Curve SL
Speeds:
Hub: Internal, Shimano Nexus
Suspension: None
Fenders incl.:No
Frame:Aluminum
Wheels 16"
Weight: 22.44 lbs
Folded Size: 13" x 24" x 26"
Grips: Ergon, mini barends
Locked when folded? Yes
Chain guard: No
Bottle cage braze-ons: No
Price: $850
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Old 05-08-08, 09:45 AM   #22
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Neil,
A couple points:
--As far as I can tell, the Mini or the Curve have the same type of chainguard, so I wouldn't count that as a difference.
--I should have pointed out to you that the suspension on my Mini has been changed according to Jur's method.
--I think my SA hub is starting to wear out, after about a year and 3000 miles... meanwhile I've heard nothing bad about the Nexus-8. I think one would be better off with the tougher, less sensitive hub; and I suspect that hub is the Nexus.
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Old 05-08-08, 09:57 AM   #23
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The US models of the Curve don't come with fenders or a chainguard, according to the Dahon site.

What's the method of changing the suspension?
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Old 05-08-08, 12:40 PM   #24
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So far, I've test-ridden:
I decided on a Dahon Curve SL. It's basically the Curve D3 with more speeds, 3 pounds lighter and a shimano hub. The problem is that the 2008 models won't be around until late July at the earliest. (This information is straight from Dahon.)

At the moment, I'm leaning towards waiting on the Curve. I'll probably be happy with any Dahon, but I'll kick myself later if I don't wait for the bike I really want.

The problem here is that we really don't have any guarantee the bikes will be available even in July...
Get the D3 and strengthen your legs. It seems a great little bike to me. I really admire it and if I could justify the expense I'd buy one, but I have too many bikes already.

I think the Curve SL has ally forks and an ally handlepost. I'd go for steel in those components. Get the D3 and start having fun right away. We live now, not in the future. Today is the day to do something good - not tomorrow.



It's available in the UK for £249!!! EEEk the temptation is all over me like a rash.

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Old 05-08-08, 12:52 PM   #25
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The US models of the Curve don't come with fenders or a chainguard, according to the Dahon site.
The Downtube bikes come with a plastic ring that hugs the chain ring on both sides; I wouldn't call it a chain guard, but let's not argue semantics. According to the Sunrise Cyclery website (https://shop.sunrisecyclery.com/item/37124/) :
CRANKSET: Cold-forged aluminum crank arms, hand-polished, 46T chainring, chainguard
I haven't seen it in person, but in the photos it looks like the same thing as is on the Downtube.
(But what do I know.)
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What's the method of changing the suspension?
There's a thread about that!

Last edited by rhm; 05-08-08 at 12:56 PM. Reason: forgot to add a link
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