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  1. #1
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    Requesting buying advice -- a decent upright

    Hello!

    So today I almost impulse-bought a Dahon Espresso -- it's a full sized bike that just folds in half. But really after seeing an old lady come in to see her special-ordered Dahon Speed P8, how easy the ride seemed, and how tightly it folded up, I walked away and decided to do my research.

    My requirements are this:
    1. 20" wheels -- i feel that this is the perfect marriage of riding comfort and compactness for storage
    2. the handlebars must rise to a high enough level such that I can ride upright (or "urban", this term for riding position is new to me). I do not like leaning forward in a racing position, it's bad for my back!
    3. It packs up such that it fits under my bed -- which is 13" off the ground
    4. Costs less than $500

    So the Dahon Speed P8 was my target; I was willing to break my $500 limit for this thing because it seemed perfect. The handlebar height is adjustable, folds up small, and it's freaking sexy.

    However in my googling i encountered the Downtube 9FS http://www.downtube.com/Full_Suspens...ding_Bike.html

    I love the way it looks, and i love the fact that it has dual suspension and uses standard parts. But but, I can't for the life of me figure out of the handlebar height is adjustable. From images it seems that this is a bike ridden in a racing position.

    So given this information, does anyone have a good recommendation for me?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bootyology View Post
    Hello!
    ...
    My requirements are this:
    1. 20" wheels -- i feel that this is the perfect marriage of riding comfort and compactness for storage
    2. the handlebars must rise to a high enough level such that I can ride upright (or "urban", this term for riding position is new to me). I do not like leaning forward in a racing position, it's bad for my back!
    3. It packs up such that it fits under my bed -- which is 13" off the ground
    4. Costs less than $500

    So the Dahon Speed P8 was my target; I was willing to break my $500 limit for this thing because it seemed perfect. The handlebar height is adjustable, folds up small, and it's freaking sexy. ...
    I think most of us in this forum prefer to support our local bike shop ("LBS") whenever possible. However, you probably can get a 2008 Speed P8 at http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/2008/speedp8.htm and you stay within your budget.

    I also have the "upright" requirement and a Speed P8.

  3. #3
    n00b whninrome81's Avatar
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    take at look at downtube bikes - they fold fairly compactly, have a great full & front-suspension line for <$500.

  4. #4
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    +1 Dahon Speed P8 and Thor. I don't think any 20" will fit under your bed though.
    Last edited by Folder4life; 07-15-09 at 10:13 PM. Reason: Add more
    Why buy 10 cheap bikes when one nice one will last longer!

  5. #5
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    16" wheels are no less comfortable.
    IRO Mark V Pro, home made bamboo track bike, eddy merckx corsa extra, Airnimal Joey, UGADA Tikit

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folder4life View Post
    +1 Dahon Speed P8 and Thor. I don't think any 20" will fit under your bed though.
    +2 dahon speed P8 and thor......

  7. #7
    hubgears BB49's Avatar
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    To stay under $500, you will need to raise your bed. The smallest Dahon will not fit under a 13" bed, only a Brompton would.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB49 View Post
    To stay under $500, you will need to raise your bed. The smallest Dahon will not fit under a 13" bed, only a Brompton would.
    I believe Bike Friday do a special kit for raising your bed, failing that 4 house bricks should do the trick, or get a Strida.

  9. #9
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    I can 100% sympathise, I've got a doggy back too and ride several bikes - some of which aggravate it. Only Strida with its very upright riding position, actually improves my back.

    Fact is most bikes (except Dutch bikes and Strida) have been influenced by racing and the need for outright speed so have adopted the lean forward, sporty riding position - and as you know about backs this causes lordosis - (forced into C-shaped spine, rather than S-shaped as good seats provide).

    If you can't stretch to the price of the latest new Strida5, check out the earlier Strida3, secondhand bikes and even [cough] the many Strida Clones appearing all over the place.

  10. #10
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    @Diode100 : Haha - tea in keyboard!

  11. #11
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Several bikes will fit under a 13" Bed lying down. Some folded examples that are thin enough included a Mezzo,Brompton or Merc, and Dahon Curve. The italian Diblasi is the fastest and thinest of all folders when folded? plus has very upright ride.

    Others than also fit this criteria are Mobiky Genius and other collasing style folding bikes, but i have not measured them. I would imagine most of the Dahon range also would fit, espically if you use the QR to take the front wheel off as mentioned in another thread. I would aslo imagine folders like the swift, or Kango would also fit.

    Consider al so "part folding" a bike, as often it is thinner if not fully folded. My mezzo is very good at fiting in narrow corridoors if I simply fold forward the handlebars and peddles.

    My recommdation in your price range (new)would be the 20" Dahon range, proberly a vitesse if you find a good deal or a Downtube.
    Last edited by bhkyte; 07-16-09 at 07:37 AM.

  12. #12
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    The trick for under the bed storage will be not to fold the bike. fold the pedals, loosen the handlebar and turn it and than the bike is really flatt...

    The Speed P 8 is a no nonsense favourite of mine ...enough gears, cushy tires, good components , no fluff... and light weight ....

    to make the ride even more upright you can add an Aber HAllo Stem
    http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/accessories/handlebar.htm

    see the different mounting options here
    http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/technical.htm

    Or replace the straight handlebar with one like this
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/114...-Handlebar.htm
    ( they are cheaper ones around this only to get the idea)


    Great bike

    Thanks Thor

    p.s
    Oh about them Kudos ...much appreciated.... got me blushing early in the morning already

  13. #13
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    That Hammerhead you have would fit under a bed.

  14. #14
    hubgears BB49's Avatar
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    I have a Dahon Curve SL. It will not fit folded under a 13" bed.
    Too much stuff sticks out and catches.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB49 View Post
    I have a Dahon Curve SL. It will not fit folded under a 13" bed.
    Too much stuff sticks out and catches.
    Well said, i think it would be difficult manhandle any bike in and out of a 13'' slot even if it did actually fit, holding a bike in the horizontal plane is no mean feat, I sure you would end up gouging the floor or ripping the underside of the bed. I'd be inclined to think about some kind of tray or sledge to put the bike on before you slide it in.

  16. #16
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    The sticking point for most bikes is the pedals. Even my NWT, which doesn't have the smallest fold, is less than 13" thick with the pedals removed. So you may well be able to buy a Dahon or similar bike, add folding pedals, and be good to go.

    You probably would want a piece of cardboard to slide it on, and also to protect the floor.

  17. #17
    jur
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    With a Dahon's handlebars folded down, and the pedals also, it should fit under the bed. No need to loosen the handlebar to turn it. The Curve should also fit that way.

    With this idea, there are more possibilituies for storage - flat for under the bed, or more fully folded and more compact but "fatter" for putting in a closet or tucking away in a corner.

    I'm not sure, but I think the Dahons are slightly more compact when folded than Downtubes. Plus Dahon's componentry are of a higher quality. But Downtubes deliver excellent value for money, especially if you spend a few bucks afterwards and replace the derailer and shifter. But my own choice would be the Dahon Speed P8. (If only it weren't for the handlepost hinge inadequacies, not being foolproof. )
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  18. #18
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post

    I'm not sure, but I think the Dahons are slightly more compact when folded than Downtubes, . ( )
    Yes the Downtube is not the most compact bike.A Downtube would be a right handfull to try to fit under a Bed.

    Having owned both a Downtube and a Dahon curve,I can confirm that Dahon curve and proberbly the rest of the 16-20 Inch dahon range are more compact than the Downtube. This is due to the stem folding angle taking the bars between the two folding frame pieces. I have not measured the actual folded width, but it was apparant in my ownership. However as for the Downtube MIni I do not know ,never been available in UK (boohoo).
    Last edited by bhkyte; 07-18-09 at 05:42 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    Yes the Downtube is not the most compact bike.A Downtube would be a right handfull to try to fit under a Bed.

    Having owned both a Downtube and a Dahon curve,I can confirm that Dahon curve and proberbly the rest of the 16-20 Inch dahon range are more compact than the Downtube. This is due to the stem folding angle taking the bars between the two folding frame pieces. I have not measured the actual folded width, but it was apparant in my ownership. However as for the Downtube MIni I do not know ,never been available in UK (boohoo).
    I believe Sammyboy has them available in the UK.

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    Update

    I got a downtube and it fits. Sorry bout the crappy pic, it was taken on my only camera (on a cellphone).
    I'm super thrilled that this thing fits under my bed, with even an inch to spare. Thanks for all the advice.


    Not sure how much i like the bike though. It's freaking heavy. The quality, sturdiness, and overall ride seem pretty great. I don't know anything about bikes, but i feel like the direction in which you apply your downward force on the pedals is a little bit awkward... perhaps the seat should be more forward in relation to the pedals. I don't know. I guess I'll figure all this stuff out over time.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
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    Congrats! I bet you'll get used to the way it sits/feels.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bootyology View Post
    Not sure how much i like the bike though. It's freaking heavy.
    CONGRATS on your new bike. you need to send more pics though. do you think you can roll it while folded ? can this be done on downtubes like some dahons ?

    thanks,
    vic

  24. #24
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    You can roll a Downtube tube folded by the seat post. They benefit from a bungee cord to fasten them together, or Turn the seat post 90 ' and use the seat to lock the stem in place, which in turn locks the frame sections in place. No pictures of these, sorry.

    I would recommend detachable peddles rather than folding for this under bed storage. When off the bike they reduce the profile more and are less likely to snag on anything

  25. #25
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    OH yes, congraulations on your new bike, welcome.

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