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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 06-09-09, 11:14 PM   #1
dangercoyote
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North Woods Folder?

Hi there. I have a chance to buy a "north woods" folder for $125 (around what I'm willing/able to pay for a used folder). Does anyone know anything about it? The guys says he doesn't know how old it is exactly, but that it isn't very old and has very few miles on it. It has 20in wheels which I like. What do you guys/gals think, is it just a cheap-O wal-mart-ish bike? Any advise would be appreciated.


EDIT:

I forgot to mentioned that I can also buy an old school 80s Dahan Stowaway for $120. Not too stoked about the 16in wheels, but I'm thinking it may be a better quality bike. I am curious about the drum brake though, does it require any kind of special maintenance, and/or are they prone to have mechanical problems? Is it possible to attach a regular center pull type brake to where the back fender is attached?
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Last edited by dangercoyote; 06-10-09 at 02:40 AM. Reason: forgot something...
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Old 06-10-09, 12:21 AM   #2
jur
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Looks like a fairly common U-frame folder, nothing special. Steel rims, steel stem etc. Very much par in the 70s to 80s.

$125 sounds a bit rich IMHO. $50 maybe.
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Old 06-10-09, 02:47 AM   #3
dangercoyote
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Quote:
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Looks like a fairly common U-frame folder, nothing special. Steel rims, steel stem etc. Very much par in the 70s to 80s.


I figured it looked like it was from the 1980s-ish, but since he said it "wasn't very old" and it had "very few miles on it" I though then, it was probably only a few years old.
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Old 06-10-09, 03:23 AM   #4
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yes I would say its more modern than 80s.
In build more than design.

As its 5 speed with cotterles cranks.

It might be date stamped on the seat pin or handlebar stem.

My guess is 1991
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Old 06-10-09, 03:24 PM   #5
dangercoyote
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You guys have any input on the Dahon Stowaway? Should I go for the Dahon rather than the north woods?
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Old 06-10-09, 05:11 PM   #6
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The Dahon is also a bit rich at $120. Go over to the Dahon forums, there is a chap called Joe Kootenay who rides these things; he has gone through quite a few over the years. I also had one; I installed a short stem and it made the size much better. The Dahon is probably the better bike; it folds up very small indeed and was very well designed for it's day.
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Old 06-11-09, 05:08 AM   #7
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I went to look at the north woods folder. I liked the looks of it but the bike seemed kinda cheap... kinda like the guy trying to sell it to me; he said the north woods was a better bike than his boardwalk; to illustrate the point this self proclaimed bicycle expert brought out his boardwalk (that he paid $200 for)to show me "how much lighter it was" than the north woods, and he stated the reason it was lighter than the north woods is because "the boardwalk is (just) made for running small errands while the north woods was made to be an every day commuter!" I wasn't buying it.

I also looked at a Dahon V, which I can't seem to find any info on. It looks to be very similar to the vintage stowaway, yet the lady said the person she bought it from 4 years ago said it was brand new. When did Dahon drop that style of frame? I'm needing a folder by monday, and the Dahon is only $75, so that might be the one I go with.

Last edited by dangercoyote; 06-11-09 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 06-11-09, 05:20 PM   #8
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AFAIK those Dahons were first produced around the mid 80s. I don't know when they dropped that frame but at a guess late 90s.

'Brand new' might mean never ridden - folding bikes are so often bought with good intentions, to stow in the camper or boat, but never taken out and actually ridden.
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Old 06-12-09, 06:48 PM   #9
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I bought a North Woods folder as my first folder...It was JUNK. Like new...paid $50 for it...sold it at a garage sale for $50. My next folder was a Raliegh 20. Wow...what a better bike! I made that bike into a hot rod 20. It's a very cool bike that people always comment on. Comfortable, fun and reliable.
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Old 06-14-09, 03:24 PM   #10
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Well, I ended up getting the Dahon V. At first I wasn't digging the frame style and the 16" wheels much (I was wanting something that looked more like a 20), but both these features have really grown on me. This bike is a kick to ride! I've already put about 30 miles on it already. And the coolest thing of all: no matter where I go, I can always bring a bike with me

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My next folder was a Raliegh 20. Wow...what a better bike! I made that bike into a hot rod 20. It's a very cool bike that people always comment on. Comfortable, fun and reliable.

One of these days....
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