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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 08-04-08, 10:53 AM   #1
dschwarz
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First impressions of a Breezer, Dahon and Downtube - and a Q. about the Downtube?

This weekend I made the trip out to Roy's Cycles in Brooklyn, NY. They are the only Downtube dealer in my area and they also have Dahon and Breezer, so this was the perfect opportunity to take the bikes out for a quick test ride and see which one I like best. This was fun!

Disclaimers: I know next to nothing about bikes, save for what I've been reading in these forums over the past week or two (thanks to all who have responded to my questions). I'm looking for a reasonably inexpensive folding bike for a commute that is a 5 mile ride + short subway ride.

First off, impression of Roy's Cycles. Nice bike shop. Repair center was VERY busy on a Sunday afternoon. Lots of people in line waiting for their bikes. Luckily the sales area is completely separate from the repair center. Salesman who helped me was patient and friendly.

I rode each bike very briefly on city streets and a parking lot. Salesman demo'ed the folding mechanism for me.

1) Breezer Zig7. Really liked this bike. Lightweight, comfortable riding position for me. Salesman told me this bike is made by Dahon for Breezer. Folds fine, holds together when folded. Comes with fenders and kickstand, but seems to stand up just fine when folded. It is wheelable when folded. Doesn't come with a rack, which would of course increase weight.

2) Downtube 9FS. This is not the bike I wanted to test, but it was the only one they had in stock - I wanted to try a 9 front suspension or 9NS. Tried it anyway. Very comfortable ride, you can definitely feel the effect of the suspension. Quality look and feel to the bike. I like the handlebars, the way they are offset and adjustable. On the other hand, this is a LOT heavier than the Breezer. The bike folds fine, but doesn't seem to stay together once folded, and this concerns me. I didn't try to wheel it around when folded.

3) Dahon Speed D7. This bike was OK, lighter than the Downtube but heavier than the Breezer. Didn't feel as comfortable to me as the other two bikes. On the plus side, this bike comes with fenders and a rack, standard. Folds fine, stays together when folded. Didn't try to wheel it around when folded.


So, now a question for you Downtube owners (especially interested in responses from 9NS and 9 Front Suspension owners). Do you have any trouble getting your bike to stay folded when carrying it or wheeling it around? If so, what's your solution? I'm going to bag the bike on the train, so that'll solve the problem there, but for a bike that is 25+ pounds (plus whatever else I'm carrying) it'd be nice to fold and wheel it a bit when necessary.
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Old 08-04-08, 11:50 AM   #2
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So, now a question for you Downtube owners (especially interested in responses from 9NS and 9 Front Suspension owners). Do you have any trouble getting your bike to stay folded when carrying it or wheeling it around? If so, what's your solution?
Bungee Cord
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Old 08-04-08, 12:07 PM   #3
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Bungee Cord
+1 Bungee Cord
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Old 08-04-08, 01:28 PM   #4
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Ok, Bungee sounds good. So how easy is it to roll around once folded & bungeed?
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Old 08-04-08, 01:46 PM   #5
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Velcro strap

Take it off and wrap it around your leg as a 'bicycle clip'
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Old 08-04-08, 01:47 PM   #6
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I have a Downtube IX NS, and have been using two one-foot lengths of Velcro One-wrap or the 3M Binding tape to keep the bike together when folded. I've folded & unfolded 510+ times over the last year and a half.

one piece holds the frame and front wheel fork (near the hub) together. The other piece holds the handlebar to the rear rack. I take out the handlebar completely when I fold so I have the narrowest fold possible (for the Amtrak ride).

For rolling around I have found it easiest to roll it only on one (rear) wheel; I grab the front of the seat and tilt the whole thing back w/ one hand, and I have found it easy to roll, balance, and steer it just with the one hand.

Last edited by JugglerDave; 08-04-08 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 08-04-08, 01:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dschwarz View Post
So, now a question for you Downtube owners (especially interested in responses from 9NS and 9 Front Suspension owners). Do you have any trouble getting your bike to stay folded when carrying it or wheeling it around? If so, what's your solution? I'm going to bag the bike on the train, so that'll solve the problem there, but for a bike that is 25+ pounds (plus whatever else I'm carrying) it'd be nice to fold and wheel it a bit when necessary.
I'm not a 9NS or 9FS person; I ride a Mini. But:

I never, ever, bag my bike; I take it on the train twice every work day, and the bag has never been necessary. Thank goodness for that!

I generally rely on gravity to keep the bike together when wheeling it around, and that's usually enough. Still there's a tendency for it to come apart a little when I lift it.

To combat this, I have recently installed a pair of cheap velcro bits on my handlebar and fork, and another pair on my stem and frame, and so far they seem to hold the whole thing together pretty well. The hold is instant (on contact) but weak, but so far it appears to be enough. Of course the velcro is still new, and (as we all know) new velcro works better than old velcro, so we'll see how it holds up.
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Old 08-04-08, 01:58 PM   #8
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Did you know?


Velcro is made from the scrap material discarded when non-stick saucepans are manufactured.
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Old 08-04-08, 02:39 PM   #9
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I agree with the others and I'd like to add that I don't think the majority of us bother bagging our bikes unless absolutely necessary because:
1. It takes more time to fold/unfold the bag than to unfold/fold the bike.
2. A decent bag weighs 5 pounds or more and we would rather lighten our loads.
3. Bags don't seem to make folders easier to carry because they flop around and tend to make the bike jab your body. (Their main use is concealment in places where anti-bicycle polices are strictly enforced).

Last edited by makeinu; 08-04-08 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 08-04-08, 02:53 PM   #10
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Did you know?


Velcro is made from the scrap material discarded when non-stick saucepans are manufactured.
Who knew!?! I guess you learn something new everyday.
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Old 08-04-08, 03:18 PM   #11
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Velcro made out of Teflon? hmm...

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Who knew!?! I guess you learn something new everyday.
Velcro is made from Nylon. Given its melting point, I'm not sure that's something you'd make a saucepan out of.
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Old 08-04-08, 03:40 PM   #12
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Velcro is made from Nylon. Given its melting point, I'm not sure that's something you'd make a saucepan out of.
For example, NASA's dismal failure with their early velcro-lined frypans.

Its a tough room sometimes, eh Snafu?
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Old 08-04-08, 05:31 PM   #13
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Velcro is made from Nylon. Given its melting point, I'm not sure that's something you'd make a saucepan out of.
Heh heh you fell for it didn't ya! (I did too for about 3 seconds.)
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Old 08-04-08, 05:53 PM   #14
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Velcro

Quote:
Originally Posted by JugglerDave View Post
I have a Downtube IX NS, and have been using two one-foot lengths of Velcro One-wrap or the 3M Binding tape to keep the bike together when folded. I've folded & unfolded 510+ times over the last year and a half.

one piece holds the frame and front wheel fork (near the hub) together. The other piece holds the handlebar to the rear rack. I take out the handlebar completely when I fold so I have the narrowest fold possible (for the Amtrak ride).

For rolling around I have found it easiest to roll it only on one (rear) wheel; I grab the front of the seat and tilt the whole thing back w/ one hand, and I have found it easy to roll, balance, and steer it just with the one hand.
Thanks, very helpful. Velcro solution is simple, cheap and lightweight. Makes me wonder... why doesn't Yan just ship the bikes with Velcro straps included?
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Old 08-04-08, 11:26 PM   #15
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Thanks, very helpful. Velcro solution is simple, cheap and lightweight. Makes me wonder... why doesn't Yan just ship the bikes with Velcro straps included?


The later ones come with a non-stick griddle.

Actually, my IXFS came with a bag-thing I haven't opened yet. It looks like it might contain a velcro something.

The Matrix came with a velcro strap which I promptly lost.

Last edited by snafu21; 08-04-08 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 08-05-08, 01:09 PM   #16
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The later ones come with a non-stick griddle.

Actually, my IXFS came with a bag-thing I haven't opened yet. It looks like it might contain a velcro something.
It doesn't. I think I'll suggest this to Yan (giving credit of course)
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Old 08-05-08, 01:14 PM   #17
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+1 Bungee cord works great!
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Old 08-05-08, 01:53 PM   #18
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I think I'll suggest this to Yan (giving credit of course)


Yes of course. People will leap at the possibility of a free saucepan with every Downchoob.
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