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  1. #1
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    to fold or not to fold?

    hi everyone, BF newbie here so i'm posting to ask for your opinion... should i get a folder, or should i spend the money on a nice MTB, hybrid or road?

    my good ole' mountain bike was stolen just a few weeks ago... real bummer... but, in hindsight I'd had it for at least 8 years or so and it served me well. and it brings me to my next juncture in biking. Oh, and that's what got me to seriously consider folders, as it would be easier to keep my bike inside and secure from theft.

    I don't have a car, so biking is my method of choice when I need to get places outside of walking distance. though lately I've been stealing my gf's car... i think it would be healthy to get back on 2 wheels. but, the ability to fold up a bike and take it in the car or on the train/subway or even on an airplane... way cool

    parameters:
    -I decided I have about $600 to spend TOPS... I'll spend less, but that's about the most I'm willing to spend.

    -I am a college student in Santa Clara, CA - for those of you who don't know, Silicon Valley is very flat and I don't anticipate riding up/down any significant hills for the vast majority of the time. That being said I'll be finishing college in the next year or two, and if I move to a hilly city like San Francisco the extra gears would be nice.

    -I've ruled out fixed gear/single speed... it does sound like a good idea in some ways, but I feel in the long run it's not for me.

    -Most of my rides are short... a few miles at a time.

    -My last bike had front suspension, so while that isn't a requirement it would be a welcome plus.

    -I really like the internal hubs, and I'm pretty set on getting one. Unless someone has a very compelling argument for a derailleur system, I want internal.

    here are the models I've been looking at:

    Dahon Vitesse D7HG
    Downtube 8FH / 8H

    and I haven't really considered any non-folding alternatives yet.

    right now leaning toward the downtube, because the full suspension looks really comfortable and it seems like a lot of people here like the Downtube bikes. I'm well aware that Dahon is pretty much dominating the folding bike market in terms of market share, but sometimes the "little guy" will work a little harder for their customers. I wish I could afford a brompton or a bike friday or a birdy... but for a first timer, I think the Vitesse D7HG or the Downtube 8FH would be pretty excellent.

    i read in another thread someone said "the more you know, the more you spend"... and that's definitely true, cuz I was first looking at $200 Citizen Bikes, and now look at the choices but I think the extra money would be well-spent.

    what do yall think about these bikes? and if anyone has an opinion on the matter, would I be better suited with a nonfolder?

    sorry for the short story

  2. #2
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Hi nnevermindd, Sorry to hear about your bike being stolen by some thieving scum!

    The Downtube 8H is a lot lighter than the Citizen and has superior gearing and components. It is most certainly worth the extra money.

    The gap between the Downtube 8H and the Vitesse is a lot closer despite another $200+ step between them. The 8H is a very good bike at its pricing point and offers very nice front suspension and capable smooth ride. The SA hub is very nice once its adjusted out of the box It's also a much nicer looking bike than in the photos (looks fine but in photos a very good looking bike in silver in reality). The 8H suits people up to about 6" tall in my opinion. The 8H is eminently modifiable and upgradeable too so in my personal opinion it edges out the Vitesse on this and the price. It leaves you with a budget to buy extras and accessories if need be.
    Last edited by mulleady; 08-12-08 at 03:55 AM.

  3. #3
    The Metropolis, UK
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    To fold, or not to fold: that is the question:
    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageously larger bikes,
    Or to take arms and by a folder,
    And by opposing end them? To fold: to be free;
    No more; and by a folder to say we end
    The heart-ache of losing a larger bike

  4. #4
    jur
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    For the sort of riding you have in mind a folder is the right choice. Be willing to ignore laughter and answer lots of curious questions. You have done your homework pretty well. One thing - weight and height would be important to see if you fall inside a folder's capabilities.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  5. #5
    Senior Member mrbrown's Avatar
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    Go fold along with me!
    The best is yet to be,
    The stuff of life, for which the bike was made:
    Great times are in his hand
    Who saith, "A whole I planned,
    Yet folds but half; trust mods: fold all, nor be afraid!"


    (Apologies to Robert Browning)
    Mercy overtakes
    even when you push fifty
    pedaling His paths


    My blog | My podcasts | My Flickr | My Rides

  6. #6
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    I'm a 2007 Vitesse owner so have a look at threads started by me to get an idea of my experiences with the bike.

  7. #7
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    OK thanks guys - I had a gut feeling that folding bike would be the way to go, but couldn't help but wonder. now I know it's what i wanna do.

    I'm 190lbs at most (that's when I'm eating too many sweets and junk food, hehe - hopefully getting back on a bike will get my weight down!) and 5'10.


    then this question, so Dahon has proprietary parts, and I couldn't get something off the "regular" bike shelves if i wanted to mod/upgrade?

    and this: is it worth it to get a Full Suspension downtube, instead of just the front suspension? would I really notice the difference with a full suspension riding around over bumpy sidewalks, potholes and jumping off the occasional curb?



    as a side question, what about a downtube mini? i am aware of the disadvantages of smaller tires feeling the road bumps even more, and especially because the downtube mini does not have the same quality of suspension that the 20" models have. but the 16" is SUPER portable... would that be too much of a novelty for someone who realistically won't be packing his bike in a suitcase or back seat every other weekend?


    edit: i wish i could get the downtube full suspension internal hub bike with a color OTHER than white!!
    Last edited by nnevermindd; 08-12-08 at 05:29 AM.

  8. #8
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    Have a look at this thread:
    Downtube FS on public transport?

  9. #9
    The Metropolis, UK
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    The Downtube Mini is an excellent bike if you need the compact fold. If you do a lot of trail riding off-road and that's more important than a smaller fold then get the FS. It's an excellent bike and very modifiable. See my thread:
    Upgraded (modded) Downtube FS 2007

  10. #10
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    full suspension internal hub is where it's at then.

    have you found a kickstand for yours?

    and boo, i wish the model shipped in colors other than white :/

  11. #11
    The Metropolis, UK
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    White doesn't look so bad when you see the bike in person. You could always respray the frame in the long-term. Apart from that a hub geared FS bike at that price is a great choice. Very versatile and nice ride, the perfect combo. Wish you luck!

    Yes you cna get kickstands for the FS. Over to those that did!

  12. #12
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    will the full suspension 20" folder ride smoother than my late mountain bike, with front suspension and 24-26" wheels? it doesn't seem like the extra 4-6 inches would make a HUGE difference.. that is I wouldn't think the 20" would seem like a really big change, but to those who know..???

  13. #13
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by nnevermindd View Post
    will the full suspension 20" folder ride smoother than my late mountain bike, with front suspension and 24-26" wheels? it doesn't seem like the extra 4-6 inches would make a HUGE difference.. that is I wouldn't think the 20" would seem like a really big change, but to those who know..???
    You're right, it doesn't really make much of a difference... it is mostly in people's heads. In general people make more of the difference than it deserves.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nnevermindd View Post
    ...Oh, and that's what got me to seriously consider folders, as it would be easier to keep my bike inside and secure from theft.

    I don't have a car, so biking is my method of choice when I need to get places outside of walking distance. though lately I've been stealing my gf's car... i think it would be healthy to get back on 2 wheels. but, the ability to fold up a bike and take it in the car or on the train/subway or even on an airplane... way cool

    parameters:
    -I decided I have about $600 to spend TOPS... I'll spend less, but that's about the most I'm willing to spend.

    -I am a college student in Santa Clara, CA - for those of you who don't know, Silicon Valley is very flat and I don't anticipate riding up/down any significant hills for the vast majority of the time. That being said I'll be finishing college in the next year or two, and if I move to a hilly city like San Francisco the extra gears would be nice.

    -I've ruled out fixed gear/single speed... it does sound like a good idea in some ways, but I feel in the long run it's not for me.

    -Most of my rides are short... a few miles at a time.

    -My last bike had front suspension, so while that isn't a requirement it would be a welcome plus.

    -I really like the internal hubs, and I'm pretty set on getting one. Unless someone has a very compelling argument for a derailleur system, I want internal.

    here are the models I've been looking at:

    Dahon Vitesse D7HG
    Downtube 8FH / 8H

    and I haven't really considered any non-folding alternatives yet.

    right now leaning toward the downtube, because the full suspension looks really comfortable and it seems like a lot of people here like the Downtube bikes. I'm well aware that Dahon is pretty much dominating the folding bike market in terms of market share, but sometimes the "little guy" will work a little harder for their customers. I wish I could afford a brompton or a bike friday or a birdy... but for a first timer, I think the Vitesse D7HG or the Downtube 8FH would be pretty excellent.

    i read in another thread someone said "the more you know, the more you spend"... and that's definitely true, cuz I was first looking at $200 Citizen Bikes, and now look at the choices but I think the extra money would be well-spent.

    what do yall think about these bikes? and if anyone has an opinion on the matter, would I be better suited with a nonfolder?

    sorry for the short story
    Hello there,

    Welcome to this forum.

    I was at the same crossroads just a few years ago. I decided on a very simple single speed Dahon Boardwalk S1. I have modified it to a three speed internal hub bike. I chose the steel framed Dahon for a very simple reason: the ability to cold press the frame to add any sort of hub I chose for the bike or simply leave it alone as a single speed. The aluminum framed bikes cannot be modified in this fashion. For detailed descriptions and photos see below:

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