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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 10-11-08, 12:55 AM   #1
davoice
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How important is suspension?

I'm choosing between Dahon D7 and Downtube FS.

i will be just doing mostly urban biking. The downtube seems a little bit bulkier than the D7, probably perhaps of the suspensions. i am leaning toward the D7 because of its good reviews but, i an just worried since that it doesnt have suspension just like dowtube. How big of a difference does a suspension would do to a folding ? is ist really much wo?rse if you dontt have suspensions?
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Old 10-11-08, 07:49 AM   #2
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suspension is only a matter of personal preference

if you don't mind the bumps and cracks of the road, there is no need to get suspension.
if you find bumps and cracks annoying, you can always switch to cushioning tires, like the Big Apples (but i prefer the Moe Joes for its all terrain capability) http://www.schwalbetires.com/big_apple

if that is not enough, then you can upgrade the sit to a Thudbuster (i'm using one) http://www.thudbuster.com

so as you can see, it's no the end of the world even if you go without suspension.
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Old 10-11-08, 09:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davoice View Post
I'm choosing between Dahon D7 and Downtube FS.

i will be just doing mostly urban biking. The downtube seems a little bit bulkier than the D7, probably perhaps of the suspensions. i am leaning toward the D7 because of its good reviews but, i an just worried since that it doesnt have suspension just like dowtube. How big of a difference does a suspension would do to a folding ? is ist really much wo?rse if you dontt have suspensions?
My 2 Dahons, 16 & 20 inch wheel sizes, have sprung saddles only. They are also made of steel and I believe that helps too. I agree that it is a personal preference and I did experiment a bit before I settled on this system.
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Old 10-11-08, 10:09 AM   #4
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Another happy Thudbuster user here.

Works so good on my Boardwalk S1 single-speed that we equipped our Bike Fridays with them.

Best recommendation: My wife, who hates spending extra for do-dads, loves hers, too.

On all three bikes, we have only stock seats and they are very comfortable with this method of suspension.
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Old 10-11-08, 11:03 AM   #5
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Depending on asfalt quality, small wheels with no suspension just doesn't make it to the end.
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Old 10-11-08, 11:50 AM   #6
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Depending on asfalt quality, small wheels with no suspension just doesn't make it to the end.
Actually, without suspension it DOES make it to the "end", and that's the problem.
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Old 10-12-08, 05:22 AM   #7
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Once you get used to suspension, you can actually wreck a bike by lead-arsing it over bigger bumps. Sheldon Brown bent a Moulton, and pm124 broke a Birdy seatpost like that.

Cane Creek sez you still need to use the legs going over bigger bumps with their Thudbuster. I wrecked an adapter going through a big pothole with my Thudbuster on the Yeah.

So suspension is for small stuff, gotta always use the legs anyway.

It's hard to beat soft Big Apples.
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Old 10-12-08, 05:39 AM   #8
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I think on poorly surfaced roads or trails the FS would be more versatile than the D7. The D7 will latch together than the Downtube FS when folded.

It's a close one but I think you will find the FS can be upgraded with some smart choices at a modest cost into a very fine bike. With stock parts it is still fine. It is a close one between the D7 and the FS but I believe the latter edges it on all-round versatility and potential.

Suspension does smooth the ride significantly on trails or rough parts of roads. Jur is bang on when saying suspension is a smoothing mechanism for small obstacles and uneven surfaces. The Downtube may be slightly heavier but not so much to make a big difference. If you want a light bike for normal roads then the Dahon Mu SL is hard to beat but at a higher pricing of course.

Last edited by mulleady; 10-12-08 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 10-12-08, 11:27 AM   #9
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There is no such thing as bargain suspension. Cheap suspension sucks all the effort out of your pedalling. A decent suspension fork starts at around 250 (say $500?) and will have a lockout.

The best suspension you can get without spending a lot of money is to put fat tyres (eg Big Apples) on your bike and perhaps add a few refinements such as a Thudbuster.
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Old 10-12-08, 12:01 PM   #10
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The best suspension you can get without spending a lot of money is to put fat tyres (eg Big Apples) on your bike and perhaps add a few refinements such as a Thudbuster.

______________


I don't know anything about Thudbusters, but I agree. The only "suspension" I'd be interested in is bigger tyres.
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Old 10-12-08, 12:06 PM   #11
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The suspension forks on the Downtubes are pretty crappy, so I wouldn't let them sway your decision.

You'll get a much better suspension from big apple tires.
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Old 10-13-08, 01:03 AM   #12
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Big Apples, the contact on the road isn't that big, they roll very nicely and when it comes to hitting bad rough stuff and rocks I'd rather be on fast rolling fat tire than a high pressure small tire with a shock. I think they're the best tire for 20" wheels.
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Old 10-13-08, 02:32 AM   #13
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I'm not sure how many small wheel bikes have good suspension.

My HammerHead front suspension is good. It's fairly firm, but it is rigid rear, although I do use a ThudBuster on it. I also have a Dahon Groove with the same front suspension and also rear suspension. It's ok too, but the rear suspension is so firm that I suspect the ThudBuster is more supple. (I have an airshock I have not got around to fitting). Both these bikes work ok offroad for me.

My old Moulton has good suspension, but it is far more susceptible to pedal bob than the HammerHead or Groove - I put that down to the rear suspension being supple.

All those bikes handle minor potholes fine at speed although I do try to avoid anything large.

Any other examples.
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Old 10-13-08, 04:10 AM   #14
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I own a NS8 downtube upgraded to a fast road bike which I find great, even with 1 1/8 tyres. If I go off-road I feel I dont want to let any of the 120psi out as it will make me more prone to punctures. Then i could use some shock absorbtion!

If opting for the lighter and possibly better quality( value for money) rigid bike as a basic rule idea. You have more options to add cushioning later.

You could try buying an addition sets of wheels and quickly change them for either road or offroad use. Setting one up with big apples for off-road use. Expensive but then you have a spare incase of flats, buckles also.

Another simular option is to buy a spare seatpost with either a sprung seat, or something like a Dahon suspension seatpost for a folding bike. I have not tried the suspended seatpost myself so any feedback about their usefullness would be great.

I have tried running one bike with two different set ups in the past and found that it saved a lot of space, and that emergency spares were always around if needed.

I have not tried either bike, but suggest that you try before you buy. Many folding bike owners find it hard to really try out bikes, due to the extra dimension of commuting.As far as i know dealers don not offer a test commute, or stash in car trial !
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