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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 03-31-09, 11:43 PM   #1
chainstrainer
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Did anyone get an REI folder this time?

Last March, REI's Novara/Dahon folder, the Buzz FlyBy, sold out in most stores during their annual 20%-off sale, including my local REI. Upon my entreaty, my local store tracked down the last one in stock from elsewhere in the state. I purchased it and made delivery arrangements through a family member to save shipping charges. Bottom line, I got a bargain at $479 but it was hard to nail down. Today, I saw the same Buzz FlyBy in the store, the day after this year's 20%-off sale. They obviously did not sell out this time. Of course, the dismal economy and the $100 higher price tag didn't help, but I'm wondering how many were sold? They are a great value in folders, just as the entire Novara line appear to be, especially when on sale for 20% off. Anyone here get one this year?
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Old 04-01-09, 04:35 AM   #2
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Are you sure you're in the right forum,this time?
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Old 04-01-09, 06:15 AM   #3
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I looked hard at it, but ultimately passed. The awful paint job and $100 price hike with no accompanying improvements dissuaded me.
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Old 04-01-09, 08:10 AM   #4
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I would have bought it if the price wasn't $100 higher. With the recession and all you would think that the price would have stayed the same (maybe even a price drop?).

I bought a downtube instead.
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Old 04-01-09, 09:20 AM   #5
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As I thought, the bike is not the bargain it was last year. While I don't care for the color, the paint job is not awful, though. It has been a great folding bike for me so far.
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Old 04-01-09, 12:10 PM   #6
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I would have bought it if the price wasn't $100 higher. With the recession and all you would think that the price would have stayed the same (maybe even a price drop?).
The US Dollar is ~10% stronger against the Taiwanese New Dollar now than at this time a year ago, so at least holding the line on price might have been expected.

I understand that last year REI sold out what they thought might be a year's supply of Buzz FlyBys in little over a month, so maybe they're just trying to gage a market price point for this bike. If they get stuck with inventory, they can always put them on sale later in the summer.

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Old 04-01-09, 09:48 PM   #7
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I picked one up with the discount and used my dividend. Last week I saw two flybys in the store. A few days later there was only one.
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Old 04-01-09, 10:49 PM   #8
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test road one at my local REI just because i wanted to check the Shimano nexus 8 speed performance
I really like it but i have too many small wheel/folding bikes already in my fleet.

it had Schwalbe Marathon tires, built in pump on the seat tube, a cover/bag included, SKS fenders, semi aero rims, Sugino Crank

they put good quality name brand parts on it and i thought the price was fair. the nexus hub and nexus shifter alone will cost you over $300 if you were to purchase one.
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Old 04-02-09, 06:39 AM   #9
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The Nexus hub and Nexus shifter alone will cost you over $300 if you were to purchase one.
The Buzz FlyBy I saw had Shimano's lowest spec 8-speed hub. I've seen that model for under $150USD, retail.

Best,
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Old 04-02-09, 07:50 AM   #10
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Fly By Owner

I bought a "Fly By" last Sunday. I test-rode the floor model demonstrator for 45 minutes and decided to get one. I had wanted one last year but, as others pointed out, they sold out quickly. I assume Dahon was not able to supply REI with enough to go around. Perhaps because they sold out so quickly last year, REI figured they could raise the price.

I wanted a 20"-wheeled, internal hub-geared commuter and, along with the Fly By, was considering the Downtube, the Dahon Vitesse D7HG and Mu XL Sport.

The Downtube is a nice overall bike and certainly a great value for the money, especially at their current sale prices. However, I was unable to test ride one and would have had to take a chance ordering by mail. But I did not want suspension, and Downtube no longer appears to offer the no-suspension 8-speed hub model. I also had some concerns about the Sturmey-Archer 8-speed hub; its long-term reliability, ability to stay in adjustment for long periods and the fact that no local dealers are familiar with it, as none sells any brand of bike using the SA 8-speed hub.

I decided the Mu XL Sport was more than I could afford to spend, though it's a very nice bike (uses the Shimano Premium Nexus 8-speed hub), as opposed to the "standard" Nexus 8-speed used in the Fly By and many other bikes.

I rode the Vitesse D7HG and thought it was just what I was looking for (7-speed internal hub, fenders, rack, kickstand), making a nice commuter right out of the box. Best price I could find on the Vitesse (2008 model) was online ($595.00). LBS wanted somewhat more, which I would have paid to buy locally. The Vitesse also looks cool.

I then rode the Fly By at a nearby REI Store. I was initially put off by the $100 increase but, after a bit of shopping, realized that Dahon had raised prices on all their own bikes for the 2009 model year as well. I thought the Fly By (which uses a version of the Dahon "Mu" frame) felt a bit stiffer than the Vitesse (I'm 225 and close to maximum recommended rider weight of 230). The Fly By rode and shifted great, with the 8-speed giving me a lower 1st gear (I have bad knees) than the Vitesse..

With my REI member discount, the Fly By was $559.00. I'll add a Dahon ArcLite Rear Rack ($35.00) and will have a bike priced equally with the Vitesse D7HG. I'm not crazy about the Fly By paint-job (the Vitesse looks cool, all in black). But for the same money, the Fly By gives me the 8-speed hub (versus 7-speeds on the Vitesse), arguably better tires (Schwalbe Marathon Racers with puncture protection) and brakes and a free carry-bag, which looks like the Dahon El Boslo Bag. Plus, I'll earn a 10% dividend on the purchase which I can use later.

So, at the end of the day, I felt the REI "Fly By" still represented a fair deal when compared to Dahon Vitesse D7HG. I liked both bikes, but chose the Fly By for the reasons mentioned above. YMMV.

Regards,

Seamus
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Old 04-02-09, 09:53 PM   #11
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Seamus,

Great cost/benefit analysis of the major hubbed foldie commuters. I was looking at the same bikes for my GF, and narrowed it down to the Vitesse 7HG and the Downtube. Ultimately we decided on the hubbed Downtube and are pulling the trigger tomorrow (it looks great in red).
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