Originally Posted by neon
I'm about to move to the 'burbs & become a peak-hour train commuter so I'm researching folding bikes (I'm not crazy about the keep-a-bike-at-both-ends-of-the-line solution). Thinking about the Dahon Boardwalk 6, mainly on price and reputation (one of their Speeds wd be nicer but it's not in the budget). Comments? Has anyone ridden one of the '03 or '04 models that claim to have stiffened up the front end? And I'm used to going around on 130psi road tires: how much slower do you go on those squidgy 60psi 20" tires they come with? I'll be riding only about 2.5 miles to the train but occasionally I expect I'll want to ride the 18.5 miles home (on roads or paved paths).
The thing is I want to ride one before I buy it and folders seem to be rare in bike shops. What's the etiquette on asking a shop to order something you aren't positive you will buy?
Thanks for any input/suggestions,
I have about 7 bikes and two of which are Dahon folders. Personally, I do the keep-a-bike-at-both-ends-of-the-line solution and find it to be very practical and easier to do than a folder. I use junk bikes and the system works like a charm.
However, if you want to go the folding bike route for utility cycling, Dahon is your best bet. Forget getting the Birdy, Brompton or Bike Friday because these bikes are way too expensive and parts have to be ordered overseas. A utility cycle should be inexpensive. I would only suggest a Bike Friday if you plan on doing extensive touring overseas but not for commuting on a day to day basis as folding that bike is bear!
As for the Boardwalk 6, it's not a bad bike but you're going to be dissapointed if you come from a road bike background. The tires are slow and would be an issue but you are not traveling far to the train station. (2.5 miles). Therefore, the performance issue is not really a concern in my opinion. You could always upgrade to a higher presure tire at a later date.
The Boardwalk 6 is probably Dahon's lowest end folder. Lets understand that town bikes are not supposed to be fast in the first place because you're looking for something that's going to get beat up from the elements. This is why you need two bikes. I've never believed that a folding bike should be your only cycle because the compromises make it a slow and unconfortable weekend ride. A town bike is a utility cycle and things like fenders and a rear rack are more important than a carbon seatpost.
I would recommend a Boardwalk 6 for commuting to work only. (Change the saddle too!) Save your pennies and get a nice road bike for that Sunday afternoon when you want to do 18.5 miles from home in the most efficient way possible. A folding bicycle that could effectively replace a high priced carbon bike would require you to purchase a Bike Friday costing over 1K and do you really want to treat this high end cycle like a town bike? (mud, snow, salt) Of couse not! This is why you need an inexpensive town bike for utility cycling only and a more expensive bike for that nice sunny Sunday afternoon. In that regrad, the Boarwalk 6 fits the bill especially when using multimode transport.