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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 09-21-08, 03:38 AM   #1
jujump
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Downtube front Suspension 9 speed or Giant Halfway?

I am shopping for my first folding bike and need some advise about these two models. My local bike shop has the giant on sale now so i test rode that and liked it although it was a bit heavey and only had 7 speeds. i've seen the downtube online and am interested in the front suspension 9 speed. I'm 5'-2'' and weight 105 lbs. and need this for general communting. I'm leaning towrds the downtube mainly becasue of the lower price, extra geers and slightly lower weight, however, i'm a bit nervous about ordering the downstube without being able to see it or test ride it. Can anybody give me soem insight into these bikes? Also, I've also looked at the CitizenBike Gotham on line and that is a candidate as well. Thanks in advance for any comments/reviews.
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Old 09-21-08, 06:40 AM   #2
JosephLMonti
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Originally Posted by jujump View Post
I am shopping for my first folding bike and need some advise about these two models. My local bike shop has the giant on sale now so i test rode that and liked it although it was a bit heavey and only had 7 speeds. i've seen the downtube online and am interested in the front suspension 9 speed. I'm 5'-2'' and weight 105 lbs. and need this for general communting. I'm leaning towrds the downtube mainly becasue of the lower price, extra geers and slightly lower weight, however, i'm a bit nervous about ordering the downstube without being able to see it or test ride it. Can anybody give me soem insight into these bikes? Also, I've also looked at the CitizenBike Gotham on line and that is a candidate as well. Thanks in advance for any comments/reviews.
I owned the Citizen Miami but was unhappy with the quality of the bike. The price was good but it was very heavy and used low quality parts...the classic "you get what you pay for" scenario. I ended up selling it for $100 just to get rid of it.

The Giant Halfways seem to have good reputation but apparently there some issues with changing flats. I think you have to remove the fenders and brakes in order to remove the wheel. Also, I believe some owners have complained of propriety parts.

Personally, I think the Downtube is your best bet, however, I would encourage you to consider the 9NS model for two reasons. One - the weight penalty of the suspension fork (2+ lbs) is not worth the supposed benefits it provides. Running Scwalbe's Big Apple balloon tires, combined with a sprung saddle, should provide enough "suspension" for the average rider. Two - I'm 5' 5" and found the reach on the Downtube front suspension model to be too long, even after switching to a shorter stem. Eventually I sold it and bought the 9NS which has a much tighter cockpit. Once I switched out the stem on the 9NS, I had a nice upright riding position, which can be better for commuting.

Hope this helps
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Old 09-21-08, 08:29 AM   #3
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I have a Giant Halfway. I would recommend it for casual riding and for short commutes. I think it's a solid bike, but there are some issues if you ever get the upgrade bug. The single sided fork and rear means that you can't just switch things out if you like.

I've also had issues with sourcing parts from Giant for this bike so that might affect your decision. That said, if you just want a bike that works and you have no plans on making any changes beyond the saddle and tires, you could do worse than the Halfway.

--sam
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