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  1. #1
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    20-30 miles round trip folding bike suggestions?

    Hi all,

    I am very new to this and looking to buy a bike for my daily commutes around New York City.

    Here's the commute: Mon-Fri from Brooklyn apartment to NYU campus 7 miles (over brooklyn bridge). Many of those days I will go another 3 miles uptown to work, then shoot back to the apartment. 2 days a week over the rest of this summer I will go ALL the way uptown to Columbia campus adding up to a 27 mile total commute broken up into 3 trips.

    Because of storage/theft issues at a couple of my destinations, I was thinking about getting a folder and went to my LBS yesterday to test ride some. They feel nice (Dahons) but the salesperson (not on commission) went out of his way to tell me that for my distance/type of commute the folder was not the way to go.

    Is he right? Will I regret it and stop riding due to purchasing a folder vs a full size? With the amount of theft in NYC I would much rather have the bike inside with me at all times. I have co-workers who ride beaters and they get stolen regularly with good locks.

    Thanks in advance (I know a lot of this has been discussed before and I am reading as many posts as possible, but I want some specific advice)

    Nick

  2. #2
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    Also, I failed to mention that I am looking for the total package (bike, fenders, rack, locks) to come in at under $500 if possible. So the folders I have been looking at are the Dahon D7 2008 model and the Downtube FS9

  3. #3
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    The Dahon will work out fine for those distances if the Dahon fits you properly.

    The D7 is not the most robust bike out there, but it should still be OK. Over the course of a few years you might have to do a little more maintenance, and you should check the folding hinges regularly to make sure they don't get loose.

    In terms of comfort, if you were doing 30 miles non-stop every day, it might be a bit tough; 7 miles here, 3 miles there won't be a problem. There are better folding bikes out there (notably the Brompton) but they're out of your price range.

    A few other extras to throw in:
    • Ergon grips (increases hand comfort)
    • a good pair of gloves (critical for hand comfort)
    • tire pump (you need to keep the tires inflated, or else you'll get flats)
    • might as well get a tire patch kit, and have the LBS dude show you how to fix a flat
    • helmet

    If the saddle doesn't work for you, consider a Brooks "B17." It'll be harsh at first, but they soften up and become increasingly more comfortable as you break it in.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rbrian's Avatar
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    There's no reason you shouldn't ride a folder just as far as an ordinary bike. Somebody rode right round the world on a Brompton, and somebody else rode a Strida across the Sahara. Of course, if you decide that it's too far, you can always take the folder on a bus or train or taxi, not always possible with a larger bike.
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  5. #5
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    Bacciagalupe, I am 6'2" and about 170lbs. I rode a dahon p8 yesterday and it fit well. is that about the same? I do hear great things about the brompton, but I can't afford it at the moment.

  6. #6
    Bromptonaut stocksy's Avatar
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    I occasionally do my commute on the Brompton if the mood strikes me, that's a 38 mile round trip. It takes me about 5 minutes extra each way compared to my Dolan, so not a lot in it.

    No distance is really too far for a folder if you want to ride a folder

  7. #7
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    on a distance of this magnitude will i notice a difference between an eco 3 and a D7?

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    Out of curiosity, what do Dahon users do with their bikes once they reach their destination? For me "wheelability" of the folded bike is as important as the ability to fold it (love my Brompton for that). My partner bought a Dahon because he uses it only for pleasure rides. I rode it to work one day to check it out - loved the ride, but definitely did not like having to carry it any distance into buildings, down hallways, etc.

  9. #9
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trumpetology View Post
    They feel nice (Dahons) but the salesperson (not on commission) went out of his way to tell me that for my distance/type of commute the folder was not the way to go.
    The salesperson is wrong. Get over to B-Fold on 13th St. instead:

    http://bfold.com/

    Not only does he know what he's talking about, but you can try lots of different models. It's where I bought my Swift.
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  10. #10
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    oh, wonderful! That will be so much better than a regular bike shop. Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrys88 View Post
    Out of curiosity, what do Dahon users do with their bikes once they reach their destination? For me "wheelability" of the folded bike is as important as the ability to fold it (love my Brompton for that). My partner bought a Dahon because he uses it only for pleasure rides. I rode it to work one day to check it out - loved the ride, but definitely did not like having to carry it any distance into buildings, down hallways, etc.
    You can roll a dahon easily.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mrbrown's Avatar
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    Yep, I roll my Dahons all the time.

    I prefer the newer handlepost hinges on the D7 compared to the Eco series.

    Yeah, with the right fit, folders are fine for long distances.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joako View Post
    You can roll a dahon easily.
    Can you describe how you do it? My partner and I tried it once and both agreed it wasn't happening. Maybe we were doing something wrong. He has an MuP8.

  14. #14
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrys88 View Post
    Can you describe how you do it? My partner and I tried it once and both agreed it wasn't happening. Maybe we were doing something wrong. He has an MuP8.
    I roll it on the front wheel while tilting the bike a bit to ensure that the fold stays closed. I hold it by the saddle with the seat post extended.

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    What about supporting the local bike builder and getting a Swift folder, or at least the Xootr variant? I ride mine regularly 20-70 miles on weekends. It's a great bike, but with a bigger fold than the Dahon, but that'll only matter depending on where you plan to put it.

  16. #16
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flea View Post
    What about supporting the local bike builder and getting a Swift folder, or at least the Xootr variant? I ride mine regularly 20-70 miles on weekends. It's a great bike, but with a bigger fold than the Dahon, but that'll only matter depending on where you plan to put it.
    Doesn't roll while folded.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    I roll it on the front wheel while tilting the bike a bit to ensure that the fold stays closed. I hold it by the saddle with the seat post extended.
    OK - we'll try it - thanks :-)

  18. #18
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    well the swift is nice, but a bit out of the price range at the moment. And I need the smallest fold I can afford in terms of the boss...

  19. #19
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    you can get a Tikit for about $1,000
    you can get a Brompton for about $1,500. i believe.
    I think the Tikit is well worth it, even if it means you have to cut some corners elsewhere (like the rent?)
    otherwise, my friend Peter has a Dahon speed D7 and rides it 20 miles a day with no real issues.
    he agrees the Tikit is a much nicer ride and easier to fold and roll.
    He paid $330 for it and had some money left for a brooks flyer
    I sold my car and spent 3 grand on my bike.
    I think we are both happy.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiapasFixed View Post
    you can get a Tikit for about $1,000
    you can get a Brompton for about $1,500. i believe.
    I think the Tikit is well worth it, even if it means you have to cut some corners elsewhere (like the rent?)
    otherwise, my friend Peter has a Dahon speed D7 and rides it 20 miles a day with no real issues.
    he agrees the Tikit is a much nicer ride and easier to fold and roll.
    He paid $330 for it and had some money left for a brooks flyer
    I sold my car and spent 3 grand on my bike.
    I think we are both happy.
    well being as I just signed a lease on my new apartment and I don't own a car to begin with, I think I have to cut corners on bike spending I would love to go for the Brompton models, but its just not an option at the moment.

    Glad to hear the D7 is doing 20 miles a day with ease. That's what I need. $330 is a great price, did he get it used?

  21. #21
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    My wife and I have done many 50 to 70 mile days on our Dahon Speed TRs. My wife also commute daily to work (for three years now on it) folds it and puts it under her desk at work. So far absolutely no issues. And I would buy them again. Bang for the buck Dahons are hard to beat.
    Life is good O^o

  22. #22
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    He got it in Minnesota about 7 months ago, new at the bike shop.
    IRO Mark V Pro, home made bamboo track bike, eddy merckx corsa extra, Airnimal Joey, UGADA Tikit

  23. #23
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    ohh, that Dahon TR looks nice! I would really like to get a D7 in the under $350 range, but I have yet to find it at that price. I'll keep looking. I've found the 2008 model at $386, so that is almost a go.

  24. #24
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    Here's a 2008 Speed P8 that's fairly close to you:
    http://capecod.craigslist.org/bik/1219855371.html

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by HGR3inOK View Post
    Here's a 2008 Speed P8 that's fairly close to you:
    http://capecod.craigslist.org/bik/1219855371.html
    Maybe that's not very close.

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