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  1. #1
    I... Don't care. nekohime's Avatar
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    Downtube mini or brommie?

    ...that is my question. Insurance money has paid up, so which do I get?

    If I get the brompton (used, from CL) I will have to suffer for a bit and eat only rice and seaweed for the next few months or so, but will have a guaranteed safe bike--no more locking up; I'm bringing the damn thing everywhere!!!! If I buy the mini I will not suffer monetarily and will have more gears for the "omgwtfbbq HILLZ!!!" part of my commute, but will probably have to expose it to the elements (read, bike thieves) because the fold isn't as neat and office/lab space is at a premium. Oh, and if I get a mini I can also get that mixte I've been lusting over. Hmmmmm...

    Thoughts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way :p

  2. #2
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    I've been thinking about the Downtube Mini versus other 16"ers and always come back to price and gearing. I had an opportunity to ride a Mini and a Tikit, for example, and thought the Mini stacked up great (which, I think, says a lot next to the Tikit). I found it a really comfortable ride even though I would def. extend the cockpit--I'm 5'10" and find it pretty upright stock. I found the 8 gears a good range and would imagine, if you've got those kinds of hills, you'd want all the options you can have.

    I was surprised too to see how the Mini looks next to a Brompton folded-wise. There are really good pics you may have seen somewhere here in the forum. In a direct comparison, the Brompton is more tidy, but doesn't seem like it's that much more compact. I wouldn't think the difference would mean always being able to carry the Brompton inside as opposed to the Mini. I could see, however, the stability of the folded Brompton being an advantage in the lab.

    My impression is that the Mini could actually mean two bikes for you as opposed to one(the mixte must be pretty cool). That ultimately tilts it in my favor. Well, that and the thought of you eating rice and seaweed repeatedly. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    I'd go with the Brompton. See if you can score a used one from the UK. The weak pound should make it very affortable.

    http://www.normanfaycycles.co.uk/ has C-types for under $600 (probably including shipping too since you won't have to pay VAT).

  4. #4
    I... Don't care. nekohime's Avatar
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    Lol, I actually love seaweed, and would not mind eating it all the time. It makes my hair pretty!

    Size aside, it really is the tidiness of the brompton that makes me want it. Aside from storing in the office/lab I also would take the bike onto rather crowded buses. I have a feeling that the mini, just like the dahons, do not get on buses well because of the awkward unfolding that happens (even with the magnets, my piccolo would not stay folded propely when carrying on the bus!). I guess I am leaning towards the brompton, but will look for a cheaper one in the UK instead of on CL (the guy is selling it for 750 + shipping). If I can't get a brommie within a reasonable amount of time though, the mini it is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way :p

  5. #5
    I... Don't care. nekohime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    I'd go with the Brompton. See if you can score a used one from the UK. The weak pound should make it very affortable.

    http://www.normanfaycycles.co.uk/ has C-types for under $600 (probably including shipping too since you won't have to pay VAT).
    My antivirus won't let me access this site because it has a trojan or something. What gives?
    Wanna join my charity folding bike ride? Sign-up here!
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way :p

  6. #6
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    mixte? what is that?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nekohime View Post
    My antivirus won't let me access this site because it has a trojan or something. What gives?
    :shrug:

    Quote Originally Posted by vincentnyc View Post
    mixte? what is that?
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_m.html#mixte

  8. #8
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    If you buy the DT you'll have more $ left over for upgrades. The Brompton really is a neater fold, but the 2009 mini's fold isn't half bad, and if you carry a small bungee cord with you, you can keep it securely folded and wheel it around.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mr. Fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nekohime View Post
    Size aside, it really is the tidiness of the brompton that makes me want it. Aside from storing in the office/lab I also would take the bike onto rather crowded buses. I have a feeling that the mini, just like the dahons, do not get on buses well because of the awkward unfolding that happens (even with the magnets, my piccolo would not stay folded propely when carrying on the bus!). I guess I am leaning towards the brompton, but will look for a cheaper one in the UK instead of on CL (the guy is selling it for 750 + shipping). If I can't get a brommie within a reasonable amount of time though, the mini it is.
    I have a M3L and my co-worker has a Mini. There is no comparison in the folds in term of tidiness even if the actual folded sizes are in the same ballpark. My Brompton folds into a neat little regular package that can stand on its own, and his Mini merely collapses into a messy, mechanical package. His Mini does have a wider range gear range than my Brommie and that is significant because our office is at the top of a 10%+ climb! However, the new 6-speed Bromptons have similarly wide gearing so that may be your best, albeit most expensive, bet.

  10. #10
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    One problem with the comparisons here is that the Mini model year matters. For some time, the Mini stem folded on the outside of the fold with an aheadset-type of stem. I tried it that way for a few months. For multimode commuting or tight storage I agree that it makes for an unwieldy fold. I swapped the stem for one that sticks the stem on the inside of the fold and decided to live with the shorter reach. With regards to the fold it is much better; although not as tidy/tight/robust as the Brompton/Merc. In my experience, it is pretty easy to keep the Mini's folded package together when rolling it with the seatpost extended: you simply tilt it a bit to one side and the big 16" wheel rolls over any sidewalk/street imperfection.

    If it helps, the 2009 Mini sticks the stem on the inside of the fold. It also appears that the stem is further forward such that the reach is greater than the 2007 model.

    The Brompton's fold is pretty good. Put on a good set of roller blade wheels and it rolls quite well when folded; although I give a slight preference to the Mini in this regard with the bigger wheel. I would not roll either for say for multiple city blocks. But would easily pick the Mini if I had to over the Brompton. I think that both generally do well when moving around the local metro (subway) station. Overall -- I have written why elsewhere -- the Brompton is also better at carrying stuff, IMO.

    I would go with the Mini if you prefer fatter tires, 8-speed hub, and more ergonomic flexibility -- I believe that the 2009 stem is height adjustable. Go with the Brompton if the smaller/tidier fold and better carrying system is paramount. I would stick with the three speed hub and save my pennies for a Schlumpf in the future.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    I would go with the Mini if you prefer fatter tires, 8-speed hub, and more ergonomic flexibility -- I believe that the 2009 stem is height adjustable.
    Good point, and it's also nonangled which means it can be used to lock the bike together as tightly as a Brompton. Here's how:
    The basic idea is instead of folding the bars between the wheels, lay the stem over the rear wheel stays so the bars are chain side. Then adjust the stem shorter until the bars are tight against the frame, push down the seat, and, voila, the main hinge can't unfold due to being pinched by the bars and stem riser can't fold up due to being caught under the seat.

    Even on bikes that already have an inside fold the nonangled stem is important because to get things to lock without having play you need to rotate the the stem in the headtube until the stem hits just behind the seat tube when it folds. This is a one time adjustment you can do with an appropriately sized allen key.

    This is the way I fold my 8H and for me it's actually smaller than either an inside or outside fold because I have bar ends. I guess you could also still roll it on the front wheel this way, but I prefer to roll it on both wheels with the handlebars and seat up because it's well balanced.

    Still not as tidy or well balanced as a Brompton (especially with luggage), but a step forward for sure. I never understand why so many folder manufacturers don't highlight the potential of their bikes beyond the vanilla fold described in the manual.
    Last edited by makeinu; 02-14-09 at 09:48 AM.

  12. #12
    ...poet... timo888's Avatar
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    What ever became of Once burnt, twice shy?
    novis rebus studentem

  13. #13
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    I'd go with the Brompton. See if you can score a used one from the UK. The weak pound should make it very affortable.

    http://www.normanfaycycles.co.uk/ has C-types for under $600 (probably including shipping too since you won't have to pay VAT).


    Quote Originally Posted by nekohime View Post
    My antivirus won't let me access this site because it has a trojan or something. What gives?
    I know Norman Faye. He's a good bloke and an honest man. I visited his shop and he let me ride his bikes. There's nothing wrong with that site. It's your anti virus.

    Check that he has stock of any Brompton you want - he says that on the site. Demand is high and supply is short for Brompton. If I was buying a Brompton I'd buy it from him, because he is my local Brompton dealer and I know him.

  14. #14
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    I'd go with the Brompton. See if you can score a used one from the UK. The weak pound should make it very affortable.

    http://www.normanfaycycles.co.uk/ has C-types for under $600 (probably including shipping too since you won't have to pay VAT).
    Hmmm, those are good prices in US$ terms....

  15. #15
    I... Don't care. nekohime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    I know Norman Faye. He's a good bloke and an honest man. I visited his shop and he let me ride his bikes. There's nothing wrong with that site. It's your anti virus.

    Check that he has stock of any Brompton you want - he says that on the site. Demand is high and supply is short for Brompton. If I was buying a Brompton I'd buy it from him, because he is my local Brompton dealer and I know him.
    Aha, you're right--my antivirus was overreacting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way :p

  16. #16
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jagee View Post
    My impression is that the Mini could actually mean two bikes for you as opposed to one(the mixte must be pretty cool). That ultimately tilts it in my favor. Well, that and the thought of you eating rice and seaweed repeatedly. Good luck!
    Duh! ALL mixtes are cool!!

    Life is not fair. I am sure I could habve picked 10 mixtes for free last year, among other bikes. Just gave a almot mint small purple mixte away. I guess sending one to where you are is going to cost more than you buying one locally.
    Last edited by badmother; 02-14-09 at 12:58 PM.

  17. #17
    I... Don't care. nekohime's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=badmother;8360271]
    Quote Originally Posted by Jagee View Post
    My impression is that the Mini could actually mean two bikes for you as opposed to one(the mixte must be pretty cool). That ultimately tilts it in my favor. Well, that and the thought of you eating rice and seaweed repeatedly. Good luck![/QUOTE]

    Duh! ALL mixtes are cool!!

    Life is not fair. I am sure I could habve picked 10 mixtes for free last year, among other bikes. Just gave a almot mint small purple mixte away. I guess sending one to where you are is going to cost more than you buying one locally.
    Locally mixtes cost around $150-230...and some aren't even in good condition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way :p

  18. #18
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincentnyc View Post
    mixte? what is that?
    Words can not describe them! Bike frame developed in the 1930`s by Alex Singer and Rene Herse for riding around Paris. http://www.velo-orange.com/vomamifr.html

    Show us your mixte (mhendricks' new happy place)

    Mine is in the livingroom now so I can watch it and make plans..

  19. #19
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nekohime View Post

    Locally mixtes cost around $150-230...and some aren't even in good condition.
    Sad. It should be a human right to own a mixte..

  20. #20
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    Good point, and it's also nonangled which means it can be used to lock the bike together as tightly as a Brompton. Here's how:
    The basic idea is instead of folding the bars between the wheels, lay the stem over the rear wheel stays so the bars are chain side. Then adjust the stem shorter until the bars are tight against the frame, push down the seat, and, voila, the main hinge can't unfold due to being pinched by the bars and stem riser can't fold up due to being caught under the seat.
    Interesting. The method never crossed my mind.

  21. #21
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    There's nothing wrong with that site. It's your anti virus.
    I clicked the link and my Norman antivirus reacted at once. Saying there is a Trojan: HTML/Exploit!IFrame.C

  22. #22
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Oh - that's surprising.

    I keep my systems patched and use AVG anti-Virus which is updated daily. I never had the least viral problem since I installed that about five years ago. So - I don't know what to say.

  23. #23
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    Oh - that's surprising.

    I keep my systems patched and use AVG anti-Virus which is updated daily. I never had the least viral problem since I installed that about five years ago. So - I don't know what to say.
    Maybe tell the guy? Could be somebody hacked his site and he would like to know it.

  24. #24
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    Not to further hijack Neko's thread...on Sheldon's website, it states that the mixte is a style of "lady's frame", when in fact today, it is considered to be "unisex". Some of them are absolutely beautiful, and I would have no problems in riding one.

    I mean think about it; a city bike should be easy to get off and on. Also, with the lower top tubes (yes they have two small diameter top tubes), it is easier to wear rain coats, and such.

    Another good thing is that they nearly as stiff as a standard diamond frame (the traditional layout for a man's frame), and still offer the advantages mixte frames are known for.

    On Topic: Nekohime, if you can cope with the larger folded size, the DT Mini is the better "bang for the buck".

    Have fun selecting your new bike.

    Regards,
    Edward

    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post

  25. #25
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    "Duh! ALL mixtes are cool!! "

    You've got me there!

    One thought occurred to me Nekohime: you could get the Brompton and, if for some reason you're not satisfied, you could easily resell--the market is always relatively good for them. See how the gearing works out for you, etc. Just keep the Mini's 8 speed in mind while testing out the Brompton (on the hills and at work, etc).

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