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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 10-06-08, 03:11 PM   #1
TKUL
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New to folding bikes - NEED HELP DECIDING

Hello from Lisbon/Portugal!

I`m interested in buying a folding bike to use in my daily commute.
Basically is 100 km, which are divided in:
  • Home - Train station (2 km)
  • Train Station - to another Train Station (2km or 7km - it will depend on weather and if I want to!
  • Train Station - Work (1km)

This is the "basic" way to work.
It could also be (for training and fun):
  • Home - Train station (4 km)
  • Train Station - to another Train Station (13 km)
  • Train Station - Work (1km)

Ok... it must be a folding bike that is available on internet.
Thought on 3 bikes with distinct price range:

Dahon Speed D7 - 330€
Dahon Vitesse D7HG (Nexus hub) - 460€
Dahon Speed P8 - 570€
Dahon MU P8 - 530€

I discard the 1st one because of components being so...
The 2nd one has the advantage of the Nexus hub (no derailleur to be smashed) (also some components - cranks... brakes... well... almost everything! )
The 3rd one has the advantage of being "racer" and with regular components. Although more expensive, I think it would pay off. And I really love the colour!!!!
The 4th... I also like the colour... components seems ok (like Speed P8), although more commuter than racer.

Do you have any opinion... better models?

THANKS!

Last edited by TKUL; 10-06-08 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 10-06-08, 03:39 PM   #2
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Do you have any opinion...

It seems you have already chosen the 3rd option

My opinion is, a test ride is the most important thing you could do with any bike. Don't be in a rush, buy quality, buy from a good local bike shop.
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Old 10-06-08, 04:57 PM   #3
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I'd go with a Brompton. Your trips are fairly short, and the Brompton fold is far more compact than the Dahon. Just upgrade the brakes as soon as you get it.

Shouldn't be too much trouble to get one in the color your like, too....
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Old 10-07-08, 02:44 AM   #4
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Problem is that Brompton is a much more expensive, and space is not a problem (at least in the trains I ride).

One more question:

The MU P8 has the same frame has the MU SL, right?
Anyone knows what`s the value for the derraileur hangar (to ditch the derraileur from the MU P8, and place a REAL derraileur).

Thanks!
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Old 10-07-08, 05:04 AM   #5
14R
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i strongly suggest you getting a Brompton for 2 reasons:

1, Although more expensive, I think it would pay off;

2, the possibilities of usage are slightly increased in a unmatched way.

Good luck on your final decision.
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Old 10-07-08, 07:54 AM   #6
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i strongly suggest you getting a Brompton for 2 reasons:

1, Although more expensive, I think it would pay off;

2, the possibilities of usage are slightly increased in a unmatched way.

Good luck on your final decision.
I agree, I got a folder and it was so heavy I only used it when I had to. Then I got a lightweight simple Brompton M2L-X, then used it multiple times a day for everything, even the 400 yards to the post-box.

Cost is the one thing which is forgotten as the joy of use continues. When doing a lot of cycle-train-cycle type trips there are times you are really late and need a quick fold, or the train is very busy and you need a compact package which won't put oil on you/others. You may get a ride home with a colleague, and compact for their trunk, or go shopping and fit in trolley, etc.

Or, get a 2nd-hand folder, like a Dahon, and ride it for a few months, then learn about your needs, sell it later for approx what you paid and buy new in confidence its what fits your needs.
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Old 10-07-08, 12:35 PM   #7
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Or, get a 2nd-hand folder, like a Dahon, and ride it for a few months, then learn about your needs, sell it later for approx what you paid and buy new in confidence its what fits your needs.
+1
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Old 10-07-08, 12:55 PM   #8
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I vote for the Nexus hub. Reliability is very important in a commuting bike.

As to Brompton ect. I would say go cheap and 20" wheels on your first bike. Then in a few years sell it and go with something you think is better suited to you.
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Old 10-07-08, 03:43 PM   #9
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Thanks!
Portugal is rare to use bikes to commute... and folding are even more rare!
2ns hand market is non-existant,but will try e-bay for that matter.
What I can tell is that for +100€/150€ I can buy a new one.

Another thing about Brompton bikes is their small wheel (16/14)
So everyone is telling Brompton...
Have to think about it...
To many €€€€ compared with a DAHON!

Last edited by TKUL; 10-07-08 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 10-07-08, 03:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TKUL View Post
...
So everyone is telling Brompton... Have to think about it............. to many €€€€!
Nah, not everyone, this was just chance. If small folding package is not your main concern as your trains are not crowded, I cant see why you should not be happy with the Dahon P8 or MU. But still it would be much better if you could test those. Especially if it involves so many Euro. I think that behind the idea of buying a cheaper used one is this idea of trying it out. And if you say, for a little more you could get a new one, that also indicates the high possibility to get much money back if you sell it. Some things become clear in the second you sit on one. If that is not possible, perhaps tell us a little more about your preferences, riding style ...
For multimode commute like you described, I would want to have a light bike, easy to carry or/and better to easy to roll in the train station. Also internal gear hub, mudguards, racks.
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Old 10-08-08, 01:48 PM   #11
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HI! Thanks!

Yes What I would like to do with the bike is commute / ride and have some FUN in my 1 hour / 1:15 hour ride to WORK/HOME.
The ride is almost flat (well... if I compare to my MTB rides! ehehhe), with some bad tarmac/terrain on the way.
If weather allows I would like to ride from the 2nd train-station to home (almost 30km) near the river/sea side. It would involve some traffic but nothing out of the ordinary and easy to move in it.
Maybe to be more safe, I would have to ride on the side walks (which have small stones like a puzzle. It`s very characteristic over here in Portugal).
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_LdqFUUyI2I...on_calcada.jpg
http://img520.imageshack.us/img520/5868/ob1zm5.jpg

So it would be nice that the bike could stand the "wheely" to enter and a little bunny hop so that rear wheel wouldn`t smash against the limits (+/- 10 cm height).

You can see some one using a folding bike in one of the trains I ride:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1197/...723a78.jpg?v=0
This train is almost empty!

I don`t mind a bike between 11/12 kg.
But the bike has to give me comfort, what I mean is, a REAL saddle, pedals that don`t break, tires that won`t flat... I think many know what I mean. I`m not a weightweenie!
Of course, less is always GOOD! Principally when you have to carry by hand!
Other thing that I really worried about is FLEX! Being used to road/Mtb, I wouldn`t like to ride a whobling bike!

This bike it would also be use in the Weekends, familly ridding... etc!

The Nexus Hub has the advantage of being almost maintenance free and "crash-proof" if we can said that!
The big disavantage is the weight and incopatibility with any of my current parts that I have "in stock"!
That being said, I wouldn`t mind a normal frame (with a common derailleur) that I would up-grade almost instantly with a XT drivetrain (have it in stock)

I don`t know if I could transmit what I want from this folding bike... but If you need more info, I apreciate your help!

PS: one of my brother`s friend has a Speed 7... I think I`ll try it out!
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Old 10-08-08, 09:33 PM   #12
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I've got the Dahon Speed 7. Bought it to check out the folder concept vs my life style.

It has been a fun ride. Never had that much fun with my other bikes. Fit? Or lack of?

The main problem I have with it is that seven gear is not sufficient in Washington - all those hills.
If you have hills, make sure you have the granny gear that can handle them.

It rides in the back of my van when I travel and in the forecastle of my boat when sailing.

Now I am researching a folding mountain bike. I don't think the Speed 7 is quite right for the Poison Spider Mesa Trail <g> Hurrah Pass, probably not a problem. It does get around just fine on the bike trails around here (Newport Beach, CA, USA).
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Old 10-08-08, 09:55 PM   #13
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I would go with the MU P8. I believe it is the lightest of all of them. The frame is my favorite.
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Old 10-09-08, 06:23 AM   #14
TKUL
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Well I am fit enough to climb hills in normal gears of the Speed/Vitesse 7.
I have a low weight mtb (11kg) and is very rare to use the granny, even in the most "hilly" condition.
Maybe because I normally use my full susp. with 15,5kg...

I have to try today... or tomorrow to check eveything!
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