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Old 05-13-09, 01:30 AM   #1
mkarms
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Do I need shocks? Downtube vs Citizen

I need a folder to keep in the trunk to ride for casual exercise at lunch. Streets are not glass smooth.

I'm considering a Citizen or a Downtube. But I noted that the Downtubes have shocks.

I tested a folder (no-name) that had a rear shock only and it would compress as I accelerated on the pedals. This felt like wasted effort.

Should I get a DT full or just front?

Or just get a Citizen? Is the Gotham shifter much better than the Miami (since they are both Shimano)?

I'm leaning towards the DT front susp 9. I like how the DT's handlebars extend forward. I'm 6'0" and 200lbs with long arms and legs.
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Old 05-13-09, 02:20 AM   #2
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Currently there are no front suspension forks I would recommend. Only the GA force kilo is good, but cost >$600. Better go for Big Apple tires and refuse a shock. Simpler. Lighter. Better.
If you absolutely need suspension, the Dahon Jetstream XP is a good option (features the GA force kilo fork). Also the rear suspension works almost impact-free.
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Old 05-13-09, 08:04 AM   #3
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I have the Downtube FS8 model and I really dig the ride. It is very cushy all around. It comes equipped with smooth tires so the speed penalty is not as bad as you would think. The rear suspension is adjustable so you can tighten it if you want less cushiness. The front suspension is not adjustable, though.
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Old 05-13-09, 10:27 AM   #4
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I forgot to mention... I'd be fine with no suspension.

But DT doesn't seem to currently have a model like that.

Are the DT tires considered "big apple"?
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Old 05-13-09, 10:30 AM   #5
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I second the notion of Big Apple tires in 2.0" or better 2.35" (may be too wide for some bikes). Pump them to tire pressure you like and ride them. Lighter, easier to maintain, simpler than a bike with suspension.
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Old 05-13-09, 10:36 AM   #6
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Sorry, I'm a noob... are Big Apple tires a brand, model, or category?
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Old 05-13-09, 10:55 AM   #7
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They would be SCHWALBE BIG APPLES - a type of tire made by the company, Schwalbe: http://www.schwalbetires.com/big_apple

These tires are made with kevlar for puncture resistance. Also known as balloon tire technology, they are designed to be filled with a lot of air to provide shock absorption while producing very low rolling resistance for the width of its tires. The Big Apples have lower rolling resistance than many tires that are in fact, narrower in width - counter-intuitive.

These newer style balloon tires are now being used in a wide variety of bikes ranging from cargo bikes that carry heavy loads to cruiser bikes. Many people are surprised at how easy, how fast and how smooth the Big Apples run.

Do a google search for big apples and see what people are saying about them.
Here's to get you started:

http://www.google.ca/search?q=big+ap...tf-8&aq=t&rls=
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Old 05-13-09, 12:40 PM   #8
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Are there fitment issues with the Big Apple's on any of the folding bikes like DT, Citizen, lower end Dahon etc?
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Old 05-13-09, 12:52 PM   #9
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Ok... I've narrowed it down a little more

DT9 with front only susp (comes with rack)

or

Gotham Citizen + rack

Which has the better parts, more reliable, etc?
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Old 05-13-09, 10:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkarms View Post
Ok... I've narrowed it down a little more

DT9 with front only susp (comes with rack)

or

Gotham Citizen + rack

Which has the better parts, more reliable, etc?
the only big difference is the frame. i know that DT has aluminum frame and miami has steel, right. if frame is my priority i will go with miami other than that DT has better components.

thanks,
vic
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Old 05-14-09, 07:57 AM   #11
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If you go for the Downtube, I believe they can sell you a non-suspension fork for the bike (they do have one listed on their website). You might try talking to them to see what options are available to you.

--sam
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Old 05-14-09, 11:08 AM   #12
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I emailed DT and Yan said that because I'm 6', I would not fit anything but the 9FS.

I was considering the 9 front susp and asking to swap to a fixed fork or go NS but he says those frames are too small for me.

Supposedly the 9FS has both front and rear preload adjustments so I can stiffen them up.

At this price range, I'm also looking at the Dahon Speed D7 '08 which is $426. although from the sounds of it, I get more for my money with the DT (which has comparable parts).
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Old 05-14-09, 11:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkarms View Post
I emailed DT and Yan said that because I'm 6', I would not fit anything but the 9FS.

I was considering the 9 front susp and asking to swap to a fixed fork or go NS but he says those frames are too small for me.

Supposedly the 9FS has both front and rear preload adjustments so I can stiffen them up.

At this price range, I'm also looking at the Dahon Speed D7 '08 which is $426. although from the sounds of it, I get more for my money with the DT (which has comparable parts).


Was Yan willing to swap the suspension fork for the rigid fork?

Last edited by JosephLMonti; 05-14-09 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 05-14-09, 12:29 PM   #14
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Was Yan willing to swap the suspension fork for the rigid fork?
I never got to asking because he said the frame on the 9 front is too small for me anyway.

And I didn't think it made sense to rigid fork the 9FS. He was confident I'd like the 9FS.
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Old 05-14-09, 02:01 PM   #15
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I recommend the Downtube. If you enjoy riding the bike, your going to ride for longer than you may expect at the moment. Comfort will become a larger factor the longer you ride.

I have a Dahon D3. I ride 3 miles in the morning and 9 miles in the evening (Up from 3 miles in the evening) as I've come to enjoy traveling to and from work this way the most. I have Big Apple Tires, Brooks sprung saddle, Ergon Grips and heavily padded gloves to improve comfort.

I still suffer with pain in my wrists and neck caused by vibrations (although much improved over the basic spec) even with these upgrades. (Big Apple tires come with the bike).

If I was you, I would buy a 20" Downtube with shocks.
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