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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 07-24-09, 03:16 AM   #1
accrual
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Best bike for my commute?

Hi everybody,

I am thinking of getting a bike for my commute. It's going to be a folding one as my area has a high theft rate and I'd rather not spend lots of money only to have it gone when I come out. =/ I'm looking to spend around the $400-700ish range.

I live in the San Francisco area (hilly areas) and my commute will be around 2-6 miles (sometimes from Daly City to San Francisco, other times across the city).

What are some recommended models for me? I'm a 5'1, 95 lb female and prefer a lightweight model so it will not be too difficult to carry around.

Also, I am considering either 20" or 26" for wheelsize. The 20" sounds more appealing as I will be bringing it with me into classrooms. However as I have stated, I will be riding in the SF area so the 26" might be a better idea...

So any suggestions?
Thanks in advance! ^^

Edit: I'm not totally set on a Dahon, open to other brands too ^^

Edit: Thanks for the help, everyone! ^^ I got a secondhand Vitesse d7 now =D

Last edited by accrual; 07-27-09 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 07-24-09, 03:20 AM   #2
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Get a 20" wheel model. Most 26" models don't fold that compactly and are quite heavy, which kinda defeats the purpose of a folder. With the proper gearing, 20" wheels should climb/descend just as well if not better than 26" wheels.
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Old 07-24-09, 03:49 AM   #3
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ECO D7 is cheapest and lower gear range.
Speed D7 is also inexpensive, and less low gear range.
Vitesse D7HG is aluminum + internal gears
Speed P8 has better components
Mu P8 is aluminum + better components
Curve D3 is nice with 16" wheels, and internal gear but only 3 gears.

If you are set on Dahon, I would recommend Speed D7, but many other opinions out there, and it does depend on you as well.

NB need to make sure you want, or whether you need to get rack, whether the provided rack is appropriate, panniers, lock, outfits, accessories etc. And 2nd hand is an option.

Dahon-specific forum at www.dahon.com/forum

Last edited by havm66z; 07-24-09 at 03:52 AM.
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Old 07-24-09, 05:54 AM   #4
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I would definitely post your request on the Dahon board at www.dahon.com/forum as Hav suggests. Great community of Dahonians over there. With the hills of SF I would think you need to make sure that whatever you buy has a low enough gear ratio in first for some of the hills.

Best of luck!
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Old 07-24-09, 09:21 AM   #5
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Check on the building policy regarding bringing the bike indoors. Often buildings require that the bike be in a bag before entry which makes carrying around the bike a pain in the @ss. If you don't have to bag the bike and there are no/few steps that you need to carry the bike, then weight will be less of an issue since you can simply roll the bike while folded.

Given that you are below average in height, I would certainly test ride the model to ensure a good fit. Although the distances you plan on riding are short enough such that there is probably a decent amount of leeway.

IMO, if weight is going to be an issue, you are probably better with the Mu models. Otherwise, I would go with a Speed model. Remember to include the cost of accessories/lights/helmet in your budget, as well as, some bucks for a chainring if the stock gearing is too high for the hills. For what you describe, I would get a model with wide tires such as the Big Apple (Dahons do come with excellent tires).
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Old 07-24-09, 10:08 AM   #6
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Thank for the quick responses! =D

I'm not totally set on a Dahon, so if there's an alternative option out there that better suits my purposes then I might get that one instead. ^^

I did post on the Dahon board previously but I only got 1 response so I'm looking for more opinions here. ^^
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Old 07-24-09, 10:19 AM   #7
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since you're in SF, check this out :

a dahon ECO 7 speed:
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/bik/1286065439.html

a bike friday in berkeley:
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/1284334209.html

a dahon Speed P8
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/bik/1284901194.html
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Old 07-27-09, 08:56 PM   #8
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In the $400-$700 range, also consider the Xootr Swift (http://www.xootr.com/folding-bicycle.html) or Downtube (www.downtube.com).

I personally love my Swift.
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Old 07-27-09, 08:59 PM   #9
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Bike Friday also has a new $798 bike available.
http://community.bikefriday.com/node...leExternalId=4
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Old 07-27-09, 09:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
Bike Friday also has a new $798 bike available.
http://community.bikefriday.com/node...leExternalId=4
I love my BF, but if I needed something that I would fold everyday and carry inside a building, I would get a different model.
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Old 07-27-09, 10:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by accrual View Post
Hi everybody,
Edit: Thanks for the help, everyone! ^^ I got a secondhand Vitesse d7 now =D
Congratulations! Be sure to post a picture.
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