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  1. #1
    hsj
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    Test rides @ NYCEWheels

    Went to their shop @ 84st & York Ave in Manhattan. Originally I was there just to check out the Dahon Mu P8 & Curve D3 as these are the 2 finalists on my list. The Mu P8 was hung on the wall and I asked the guy, Tom, who works there if I could bring it down to check it out. Not only did he agree for me to take the bike down but he actually offered to let me ride the bike. So, I took it out for a spin around the block. Wow! That was one sweet bike!!! It felt so fast and smooth, the brakes were very strong and steering was quick. I really like the bike.

    After I got back to the shop from the test ride, I was chatting with Tom about the folders that I have in mind and later on during the conversation he said I can test ride all the bikes they have on the floor (or should I say on the wall since all of the non-electric powered bikes are hung on the wall). I took his offer and test rode the BF Tikit and Strida. I also got a good demo from him on how to fold and unfold the Brompton.

    I took the tikit out for a spin just because I've heard nothing but praises about it on this forum. However, I truly believe that the ride on the Mu was as good as the tikit, if not better. Maybe I didn't know what to look for on a test ride or it was the lack of experience/knowledge on my part. The bottom line is, I am not too sure what's so special about the tikit that has got everyone to swear by it. Anyway, after I returned with the Tikit, I immediately took the Strida out for a ride. Again, I chose to ride the Strida purely based on curiosity due to its geometry and high price (at least in my book). Well, the ride of the Strida was really something else, it was a single speed bike with a super sensitive steering. Overall the ride from the Strida wasn't particularly impressive. However, what amazed me was its braking. The Strida comes with front and rear disc brakes. This is my first exposure on a bike with disc brakes. It stopped on a dime compares to all the (cheapo) bikes I've ever own.

    It was surely a fun afternoon at the NYCEWheels store. Tom and his other staff were all very friendly. The only downside to the visit was that I couldn't test ride the Curve D3, which was on my final list. They did have the D3 in stock but it was folded up and hung up on the wall close to the ceiling. Tom said they are in the process of getting a folded model hung up for every bike that they sell so people can see each one in its folded and unfolded state at a glance.

    I have read everyting about the Mu P8 and Curve D3 on this forum then some more. Still, it seems like a tough choice to pick 1 out of the 2. I like the D3 for its smaller folded size but really enjoyed the speed of the Mu P8. I doubt that I can get the same speed on the D3 given the same pedal effort. What do you all think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hsj View Post
    ....The only downside to the visit was that I couldn't test ride the Curve D3, which was on my final list. They did have the D3 in stock but it was folded up and hung up on the wall close to the ceiling...
    i went there last weekend to test rode the curve d3 and they had 2 of them..both of the were hung on the wall...one was folded and the other was unfolded. i guess they sold the unfolded one.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    I also tested both the Mu P8 and the Tikit. I think they offered comparable rides. What clinched it for me on the Tikit was the ultrafast fold/unfold... and the Bike Friday service. I also happened to get a pretty good deal on my bike since it was used.

    --sam

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    Quote Originally Posted by hsj View Post
    I like the D3 for its smaller folded size but really enjoyed the speed of the Mu P8. I doubt that I can get the same speed on the D3 given the same pedal effort. What do you all think?
    First, what are you going to do with the folder? If you have to board a bus, then get the D3, otherwise any folder will do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    First, what are you going to do with the folder? If you have to board a bus, then get the D3, otherwise any folder will do.
    actually...when it is folded up..both bike are almost the same size...if u can handle a d3 on a bus...u can definately can handle a mu on a bus. me personally i dont think i can handle a d3 on a bus if it is pack let alone empty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hsj View Post
    I doubt that I can get the same speed on the D3 given the same pedal effort. What do you all think?
    of course...d3 got a 16" wheel and mu is 20" wheel...with same pedal effort..obviously the bigger wheel travel faster and further. i was having trouble keeping up with the 26" wheel when i was biking with my 16" wheel bike today...seems like twice the effort to keep it up.

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    hsj
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    The folder will be used as my do-everything bike. I maybe using it to go to work from home a few times a year. I may also bring it with me to work in the subway or express bus from time to time (There's usually no standee on an express bus since almost everyone prefers a seat for the $5 fare.). If I decided to take it with me on the subway, it would only be in the morning when the train is usually not too crowded (I don't take subway after work no matter what because I hate crowded afternoon trains).

    The most important purpose of the folder for me is that it will enable me to pack it inside my car (either the back seats or the trunk) when I go on a trip. I had tried carrying 2 full size bikes on the back of my sedan with a bike carrier for a 2 hour trip. The result, the constant movements of the carrier due to the not so perfect roads had put tons of micro scratches on the trunk. Anyway, I also like the idea of a folder in my car when I drive to the city. I can park further away from the crowded destinations and use the bike to extend the trip.

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    Who's claimed the tikit ride is smoother than the Mu? It's a 16" bike. As I said in my review, I personally have generally not found the tikit's ride as smooth as the Mu, though I've found the handling to be less twitchy, mostly because of the Mu's unfortunate handlebar design necessitated by the the handlebars having to go between the wheels when folded.

    What makes the tikit are things other than its ride: its handling, its standard parts, its lack of squeaky latches and pins (and the Helios (Mu's predecessor, no data on the Mu yet, it's too new) will start squeaking, heavens yes) due to its folding direction, and of course, the speed and elegance of its fold.

    Assuming that the ride isn't an issue, what it boils down to is price. The tikit is almost certainly a better bike than the Mu P8 modulo ride smoothness -- that's the tradeoff of a 16" wheel bike. But it costs $1000+ versus the Mu at $600-700. If you're looking at the D3 as well, this suggests that tikit's really out of your realistic price range.

    The Strida I cannot defend. Your assessment of it is correct.
    Last edited by feijai; 09-21-08 at 03:33 PM.

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    hsj
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    I have no intention of buying the tikit. I test rode it just because of all the praises on this forum. You might be right about the tikit having an advantage on build quality. However, what I look for in a folder is not how fast it folds but the size after it's folded. I know, everyone is going to tell me I should get a Brompton if all I cared for is the folded size. Getting the smallest fold is not the point here (for that, I should get myself an A-Bike), I just need someting that folds smallER so I can carry it with me in my car packed with luggages while on a trip. Or to bring it inside an office building without drawing too much attention.

    As for price range, I really don't have a set limit. This is not to say I can afford any bike ... far from the truth. Ultimately, I just want to spend the least amount to get a quality bike that serves my needs. However, I don't mind spending a bit more if the tikit was really that much better than the Mu. I guess the problem is that I am not knowledgable enough to tell/feel the differences between the 2 to justify the higher cost for the tikit. Ignorance is a bless, isn't it =D? That's also why I have narrowed down to either the Curve D3 or Mu P8.
    Last edited by hsj; 09-21-08 at 09:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vincentnyc View Post
    of course...d3 got a 16" wheel and mu is 20" wheel...with same pedal effort..obviously the bigger wheel travel faster and further. i was having trouble keeping up with the 26" wheel when i was biking with my 16" wheel bike today...seems like twice the effort to keep it up.
    I guess you haven't read the news lately. They have this newfangled invention that makes smaller wheels travel just as fast and far as bigger wheels:

    I had a hard time believing it first myself, but the chain driven gears really do make it just as fast as my regular big wheeled bicycle



    It never ceases to amaze me how many people (cyclists even!) can't grasp how having a gear eliminates the obvious speed advantage of larger wheels. That's not to say larger wheels don't have any advantage at all, but none of the other advantages are even close to being obvious and smaller wheels have their own advantages that make it very difficult to say which is faster overall.

    Stop making excuses. You were having trouble keeping up with the 26" wheel today because you were not as strong as the other rider and perhaps because you were on a heavier bike with a more upright position. The size of the wheels had absolutely nothing to do with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by hsj View Post
    As for price range, I really don't have a set limit. This is not to say I can afford any bike ... far from the truth. Ultimately, I just want to spend the least amount to get a quality bike that serves my needs. However, I don't mind spending a bit more if the tikit was really that much better than the Mu. I guess the problem is that I am not knowledgable enough to tell/feel the differences between the 2 to justify the higher cost for the tikit. Ignorance is a bless, isn't it =D? That's also why I have narrowed down to either the Curve D3 or Mu P8.
    In my opinion the Mu is the best riding folding frame on the market (with the Mu SL besting even some high end demountable/packing bikes) and is faster and more comfortable than the tikit. However, that doesn't mean it's "better" overall than the tikit. There are many qualities one might be looking for in a folding bike and speed and comfort pedaling are only two.

    That being said, if you need to affirm your preference for the Mu I think it would be perfect for what you want to do.
    Last edited by makeinu; 09-21-08 at 04:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    ...Stop making excuses. You were having trouble keeping up with the 26" wheel today because you were not as strong as the other rider and perhaps because you were on a heavier bike with a more upright position. The size of the wheels had absolutely nothing to do with it.
    could it be my bike is 1 speed? when i test rode the curve d3 which is 3 speed...i can peddle very hard w/o the chain spinning very fast....since i'm a noob with bike..i dont know how to explain it. with my existing oakley 16" bike..even though i know i can peddle very hard..i can't....cuz the chain keep spinning on me which sometime i lost my foothold....does any1 know what i'm talking about? i know speed help you on the slope..so does a speed 3 or speed 5 make a difference on flat surface?
    Last edited by vincentnyc; 09-21-08 at 05:50 PM.

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    Senior Member BMX Race Bikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lalato View Post
    I also tested both the Mu P8 and the Tikit. I think they offered comparable rides.
    I have tested them too!
    I'm pretty sure they offered comparable rides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vincentnyc View Post
    could it be my bike is 1 speed? when i test rode the curve d3 which is 3 speed...i can peddle very hard w/o the chain spinning very fast....since i'm a noob with bike..i dont know how to explain it. with my existing oakley 16" bike..even though i know i can peddle very hard..i can't very the chain spinning on me....does any1 know what i'm talking about? i know speed help you on the help...so does a speed 3 or speed 5 make a difference on flat surface?
    I'm sorry for being rude to you Vincent; There are so many ignorant people that come around touting the "obvious inferiority" of small wheels that it gets under my skin after a while.

    What you are talking about is exactly what bicycle gearing does. On a multispeed bicycle each "speed" corresponds to an equivalent ungeared wheel size. In the case of the 3-speed Curve D3, the first gear is like pedaling a 42" diameter wheel, the second gear is like pedaling a 56" diameter wheel, and the third gear is like pedaling a 77" diameter wheel. The Carryme's single gear is equivalent to a 45" diameter wheel.

    Like you noticed, the lower gear on your oakley bike means that the wheel doesn't turn very much for each turn of the pedals. This makes it difficult to go fast because your legs might not be able to move fast enough. However it also makes it easier to go slow in situations where you might not otherwise be able to turn the pedals all the way around before completely running out of momentum (such as when going up a steep hill or pulling something heavy up hill).

    So it doesn't matter exactly how many "speeds" a bicycle it has as much as which "speeds" they are. After all, if you find that a "gear inch" of 48 gives you a good compromise between speed and ease of turning the pedals while going up a particular hill then what good will the other gears do for you? The reason people generally say that having more speeds is better for hills is because you will generally find that the highest gear is higher and the lowest gear is lower on bicycles with more gears. For example, the lowest gear on the 8-speed Curve SL is equivalent to pedaling a 38" diameter wheel and the highest is equivalent to pedaling a tremendous 85" diameter wheel. So you can go very slow up the hill when it is difficult to pedal and very fast down the hill when you have the extra help from gravity.

    Small wheeled bikes seem to have a reputation for going slow because cheap small wheeled bikes tend to use the wrong parts and, for technical reasons, these parts tend to result in speeds which are too low. The right parts are more expensive for small wheeled bikes because the manufactures sell less of them (as small wheeled bikes are less popular) and, therefore, need to charge more for each unit in order to have the same total profit.
    Last edited by makeinu; 09-21-08 at 05:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    I'm sorry for being rude to you Vincent; There are so many ignorant people that come around touting the "obvious inferiority" of small wheels that it gets under my skin after a while.

    What you are talking about is exactly what bicycle gearing does. On a multispeed bicycle each "speed" corresponds to an equivalent ungeared wheel size. In the case of the 3-speed Curve D3, the first gear is like pedaling a 42" diameter wheel, the second gear is like pedaling a 56" diameter wheel, and the third gear is like pedaling a 77" diameter wheel. The Carryme's single gear is equivalent to a 45" diameter wheel.

    Like you noticed, the lower gear on your oakley bike means that the wheel doesn't turn very much for each turn of the pedals. This makes it difficult to go fast because your legs might not be able to move fast enough. However it also makes it easier to go slow in situations where you might not otherwise be able to turn the pedals all the way around before completely running out of momentum (such as when going up a steep hill or pulling something heavy up hill).

    So it doesn't matter exactly how many "speeds" a bicycle it has as much as which "speeds" they are. After all, if you find that a "gear inch" of 48 gives you a good compromise between speed and ease of turning the pedals while going up a particular hill then what good will the other gears do for you? The reason people generally say that having more speeds is better for hills is because you will generally find that the highest gear is higher and the lowest gear is lower on bicycles with more gears. For example, the lowest gear on the 8-speed Curve SL is equivalent to pedaling a 38" diameter wheel and the highest is equivalent to pedaling a tremendous 85" diameter wheel. So you can go very slow up the hill when it is difficult to pedal and very fast down the hill when you have the extra help from gravity.

    Small wheeled bikes seem to have a reputation for going slow because cheap small wheeled bikes tend to use the wrong parts and, for technical reasons, these parts tend to result in speeds which are too low. The right parts are more expensive for small wheeled bikes because the manufactures sell less of them (as small wheeled bikes are less popular) and, therefore, need to charge more for each unit in order to have the same total profit.
    no problem...none taking. so if i want my oakley 16" to go as fast w/o the chain "spinning" on me unlike like the curve d3...what do i need to do? do i need to upgrade the gearing/speed or not? or get a longer chain? i'm still confused...thx
    Last edited by vincentnyc; 09-21-08 at 07:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vincentnyc View Post
    no problem...none taking. so if i want my oakley 16" to go as fast w/o the chaing "spinning" on me just like the curve d3...what do i need to do? do i need to upgrade the gearing/speed or not? or get a longer chain? i'm still confused...thx
    Either switch the front sprocket (the one attached to the pedals) to a larger diameter one (that is one with more teeth) and/or switch the rear sprocket (the one attached to the rear wheel) to a smaller diameter one (with fewer teeth).

    You may also need to get a chain of different length to fit around the new sprocket(s).

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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    Either switch the front sprocket (the one attached to the pedals) to a larger diameter one (that is one with more teeth) and/or switch the rear sprocket (the one attached to the rear wheel) to a smaller diameter one (with fewer teeth).

    You may also need to get a chain of different length to fit around the new sprocket(s).
    if i bring it to a bike shop...

    1) do they have the part? and how much a sprocket cost?
    2) do i need to change both front and rear sprocket? or one of the sprocket will do it?
    3) and how much chain will cost?
    4) how much the labor for this cost on my lbs in nyc?
    5) if you see my other thread...is the sprocket universal with all bike since my bike is from japan?
    6) so let me get this straight...the speed (3, 5, 7 etc. speed) have nothing to do how fast my chain "spin"...correct?
    7) if speed has nothing to do with it...then how come the curve d3 didn't "spin" that fast compare to my oakley on a flat surface?
    8) what if i make the modification and get the sprocket...u mention it will make it harder to go uphill? when i test rode the curve d3 and try it on speed 1 going uphill...compare to mine oakley going uphill...it felt the same to me.
    Last edited by vincentnyc; 09-21-08 at 07:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hsj View Post
    The folder will be used as my do-everything bike. I maybe using it to go to work from home a few times a year. I may also bring it with me to work in the subway or express bus from time to time (There's usually no standee on an express bus since almost everyone prefers a seat for the $5 fare.).
    I know the express bus you intend to take the folder and you're probably going to have problems. I don't know any space inside the cabin of the express bus large enough to store that folder. Unfortunately, the express bus is more comfortable than the subway any day of the week but you're going to have big issues bringing that bike inside the cabin of the bus. According to the rules by the MTA, the driver does not have to allow you to board if he considers the package too large. You better have the bike in a bag and hope the bus driver allows you to board.

    Do you know where you're going to place the bike once inside? You are not going to be able to take two seats on that express bus! Only the A-Bike, Carryme and maybe the Strida might work because these folders can fit between you legs. The express bus does not have a wide isle like the commuter buses and it is a tight fit. Since these compact folders are thin, you might be able to fit them on the overhead rack. Maybe the Brompton might work but it would still be a large package once inside a bag. I don't think you can fit the Brompton in the overhead rack.

    You might want to try this experiment. A lot of bike shops have the Dahon Bolso bag for sale. Buy one and fill it up with clothes. Make it large enough and take it to the express bus stop during rush hour. Try this experiment half a dozen times and if the bus drivers have no issue, but the folder right away! However, if the bus drivers give you a hard time and won't allow you inside, seriously consider a CarryMe or Zooter Kick Scooter. Return the bag back and consider it a lesson learned.

    Get another folder for weekend riding of course.

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    hsj
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    Steve,

    Thanks for the advice. I was thinking if I could move to the end of the bus the bike can be placed in the isle (where there is a 5-seat bench) so I would only be blocking 4 passengers even when the whole bus is packed. Beside, this plan of taking the bike home on an express bus in the afternoon may only happens a few times a year. Worse comes to worst, I will just bike home instead =D. So I think it's not that big of a concern there.

    Oh, one thing I forget to mention, the x38 I take in the afternoon is usually around 50-70% full. That means there are a lot of unoccupied seats on the bus. On the other hand, I have definitely seen the bus fully seated + standee, I guess I can always wait for the next one or just forget the bus and bike home. More execrise, the better.

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    I've rode both the Mu P8 and the Tikit. It is a subjective thing regarding the ride. Apart from that the Tikit has a very quick fold and is a lighter bike if I'm correct? It says a lot for the Tikit that it can more or less match the ride of a 20" wheeled bike such as the Mu P8. You are entitled to your preference for the P8 and can see why you like it hsj but let me quote

    I am not too sure what's so special about the tikit that has got everyone to swear by it
    Some people swear by the Tikit like you swear by the P8 because the bike is for them, horses for courses. Don't be so surprised that other people might find the Tikit is for them! I praise Bike Friday for bringing an innovative folder to the market which folds super quickly and is so easy to carry or roll and has superb ergonomics and fit for different rider sizes. I like the Dahon Mu series a lot and I'm about to purchase a Mu SL this week. The 24 speed Tikit is also in my sights when I eventually get the money. I had the privilege of trying the Tikit with the 24 speed SRAM dual drive and that is some combination and a dream bike.

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    hsj
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    It wasn't my intention to bash the Tikit when I wrote that. All I meant was that I felt the Tikit was just about the same as the Mu in terms of the ride based on the short test rides (less than 5 min each) and an ignorance mind.

    I do understand that each bike has its pros & cons. It's obvious that each rider has his/her "priority" to look for in a bike. I apologize if I offended any Tikit owners by what I said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vincentnyc View Post
    if i bring it to a bike shop...

    1) do they have the part? and how much a sprocket cost?
    2) do i need to change both front and rear sprocket? or one of the sprocket will do it?
    3) and how much chain will cost?
    4) how much the labor for this cost on my lbs in nyc?
    5) if you see my other thread...is the sprocket universal with all bike since my bike is from japan?
    6) so let me get this straight...the speed (3, 5, 7 etc. speed) have nothing to do how fast my chain "spin"...correct?
    7) if speed has nothing to do with it...then how come the curve d3 didn't "spin" that fast compare to my oakley on a flat surface?
    8) what if i make the modification and get the sprocket...u mention it will make it harder to go uphill? when i test rode the curve d3 and try it on speed 1 going uphill...compare to mine oakley going uphill...it felt the same to me.
    ^^^^ can any1 answer any of these question above?

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    I have tried BF, the Mu P8 and the Curve D3..... ( I have tried other folders as well but I am trying not to go off topic...) Anyhow, the Curve is a nice little ride, too small for me compare to the Mu P8 - if you need a do-it-all bike the Mu would serve you better. If you go with the Mu you will be getting more bike for your $$$; better wheels, better b. levers, more gears, better grips, better BB, better crank... etc.... the trade off is a slightly bigger fold, but really not by much and roughly $100 difference.
    BF is a cool ride as well but I did not feel it was easier to carry compare to my Mu.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    I think you should go for the Mu P8. Nice bike, and fits your needs perfectly.

    The only reason I didn't go for it was that I found the folding a little annoying. And folding was one of my top needs. If you're not planning to do a lot of multi-modal commuting, the Mu P8 is SOLID. And you have to love the sexy look of the curved frame.

    --sam

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lalato View Post
    I think you should go for the Mu P8. Nice bike, and fits your needs perfectly.

    The only reason I didn't go for it was that I found the folding a little annoying. And folding was one of my top needs. If you're not planning to do a lot of multi-modal commuting, the Mu P8 is SOLID. And you have to love the sexy look of the curved frame.

    --sam
    why is the folding annoying? is the folding different from the curve d3? it doesn't have a magnet to hold it together or what?

  25. #25
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lalato View Post
    I think you should go for the Mu P8. Nice bike, and fits your needs perfectly.

    The only reason I didn't go for it was that I found the folding a little annoying. And folding was one of my top needs. If you're not planning to do a lot of multi-modal commuting, the Mu P8 is SOLID. And you have to love the sexy look of the curved frame.

    --sam
    My first folder was a Dahon D7 and the thing about the Tikit that got me really interested was the effortless fold. I couldn't see myself folding the D7 3 or 5 times a day without getting really annoyed. OTOH the D7 was cheap enough I felt okay taking a chance on it and seeing what a folder would be like.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

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