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  1. #1
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    Downtube - 9 vs. 9NS vs. 9FS - Whats the best deal?

    I've decided to buy a Downtube, I'm just not sure which model.
    It's my first folder, and I'm just a casual rider, im 6'0 and about 205lbs.

    Im looking at the

    Downtube 9 (Front Suspension Only) - 329.00 ----Cheapest
    Downtube 9FS (Full Suspension) - 369.00 ----??? Best Deal?
    Downtube 9NS (No Suspension) -379.00 ----Lightest

    At first glance it seems the Full Suspension is the best deal, but what is it missing? or what are the main differences? I know it doesn't come with a Rack, Kickstand, and Fenders like the other two models, but im thinking that full suspension is more important than those things. is that the right thinking? Can add them on later if i want?

    Also why would the No Suspension be more expensive than the Front Suspension? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

    Is there anything else I'm missing? I don't understand some of the terminology used in the descriptions (Cold forged crank?, Sealed Cartridge bottom bracket?...???)

    Is the Full Suspension the best deal right now?

    I just wanna get the most bang for my buck

  2. #2
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    The full suspension has the largest discount , the NS only has a $20 discount. For a casual rider I would go with the 9 front suspension

  3. #3
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    but for an extra $40 bucks...wouldn't u get the Full Suspension?
    Or are the benefits of a full suspension not worth it for casual riding?

  4. #4
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    You have to bear in mind the weight, plus whether you want a rear rack.

  5. #5
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    A full suspension bike will be heavier, it makes it harder to fit fenders, it makes it harder to fit a rack (you can fit a seatpost rack). What makes you think you want Full Suspension? The NS has a very light fork which is significantly more expensive than the suspension fork, which is why it's expensive. Personally, though I ride a Downtube FS, most of my other bikes are non-suspension, and I find them perfectly ok. On rougher roads really skinny high pressure road tyres are not so much fun, but any of the Downtubes will take Big Apple tyres, which are just as good as suspension really, and don't eat as much pedalling effort.

  6. #6
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    I got the front suspension one- just because it was the cheapest, but I now wish I got no suspension as I have to carry the dang thing around flights of stairs (actually this may become moot as I plan to change the fork to a lighter- no suspension). You should really look at what you are going to use it for mainly before buying.

  7. #7
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    this bike is mainly going to sit in the trunk of my car, I'll pull it out when I want to ride, then put it back. I'm not going to haul it around on trains, or up and down stairs.

    I'm probably going to be riding around the neighborhood, the park, and maybe the beach when i go to it.

    so a few extra pounds wouldn't really bother me, I'm more interested in ride quality, and size while folded. I'm assuming that all 3 models are about the same size when folded up, right?

    also, in the specs the FS says rider height and weight 6'4" 245 lb. max, while the other two say 6'2" 225 lb. max, why is that? I'm a big guy, so I was thinking I should go with the bigger bike, or one thats suited for a bigger guy.

    Joe

  8. #8
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    I'm guessing they all use the same length seat post and the FS frame geometry means the saddle can be higher.

  9. #9
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    The FS is a bigger, larger size, and larger frame material than the other models and can support more weight and can be adjusted for a larger rider.

  10. #10
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    If weight is not important, the FS does provide a more comfortable ride. Suspension does absorb some pedalling effort, but if you're mostly planning to cruise around, rather than being in a hurry to get somewhere, that may not matter.

  11. #11
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    I have a No Suspension DT which I absolutely adore but
    If I had to do it over again I would have gone Full Susp.
    Ive never seen a front susp. only bike that wasnt totally
    annoying to ride but the back of a no-susp bike is
    incredibly harsh and could really benefit from a shock.
    Im getting by with bigger tires and a spring seat, but just
    barely.

  12. #12
    Senior Member JosephLMonti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2fly View Post
    also, in the specs the FS says rider height and weight 6'4" 245 lb. max, while the other two say 6'2" 225 lb. max, why is that? I'm a big guy, so I was thinking I should go with the bigger bike, or one thats suited for a bigger guy.

    Joe
    I started out with the 2007 Front suspension model but, even after swapping the stock stem for a 60mm one, found that I was a little too stretched out. Earlier this summer I bought the 2009 NS and, with the 60mm stem it fits great! Please note, I am 5 feet 5 inches tall (1.65m) and my friend who bought my 2007 (with stock stem) says the front suspension model is a much better fit for him (he's 5 ft 9 inches). So if you are a "bigger guy", you might want to take this into consideration...

  13. #13
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    What exactly does it mean when they say the Frame is bigger on the Full Suspension than the Front Suspension?

    Are the front and rear wheels further appart? does the seat and handle bars go higher?

    At 6'0" will i notice any differences while riding (appart from the rear suspension of course)
    Will I be more cramped in the Front Suspension Model?

  14. #14
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    I think it's that, because of the suspension, the top of the seat tube (where the seatpost begins) is a little higher in relation to the BB. At 6', I think all of them can be adjusted to fit however. I'm 6'3, and I get away with riding the Mini (with the addition of a Butt Buddy for the extra inch or two I need). I've heard it said that the NS is shorter between handlebars and seat, but I can't confirm that from personal experience.

  15. #15
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    which DT to buy

    I bought a 2005 DT front suspension bike (at the time the only folders DT sold were that bike and the full suspension version) because I was impressed with the qualilty and design of the frame (keeping in mind the frame and wheels, which on the DT are OK, are the two most important parts of any bike). I had seen a DT and I knew that pretty much all the other parts that were attached to the bike were low end and pretty mediocre and that I would end up replacing them. I have been cycling for many years and have boxes of decent quality parts stashed away and I can do most of the work that needs to be done myself so I figured I could put together a decent folder for not too much money. As it turned out the single worst component on my bike was the suspension fork. Its very heavy, non-adjustable and once I replaced the original equipment no-reach stem with one that fitted me, it bottomed out (a longer stem puts more of your upper body weight forward) at the slightest bump in the road. I eventually replaced it with a conventional fork that I bought from DT (I bought it from them because I wanted to be sure of compatibility). That alone took almost two pounds off the front of the bike which made it much more nimble. With any suspension system even the best, you get added weight, maintenance and cost and the suspension parts on a bike as inexpensive as the DT are bottom of the barrel. Keep in mind a good front suspension fork alone can cost twice as much as the most expensive DT. If you do end up in the dirt and need to take the edge off there are two ways to do it; run the tires at 35-40 psi (they have plenty of air volume) or get a suspension stem. The only really off-road capable 20" folder Ive seen was an Airnimal and it cost $2,400. What Ive said isnt meant steer you away from DT; Im actually impressed with them. The owner Yan Lyansky is very hands on; Ive sent him a number of e-mails and he usually gets back to me the same day. Also since I bought mine DT has upgraded their bikes every year and if I bought one today there would be little for me to do to it. I would strongly suggest that you get the non-suspended version, it will be the lightest, most nimble and most trouble free of the bunch and if your riding bike paths, or city streets you wont need the suspension, but whichever you end up with enjoy. bertiejo

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