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  1. #101
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    I do have a Raleigh Twenty. Its set up as a fixed gear folder and its quite a fast bike. The similarities are in the frame unitube and the tall stem. That's where I see its made to resemble to the Twenty. It would be better if more bikes were made like the Dahon Smooth Hound/Hammerhead. People should have folder bike choices.

  2. #102
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    But this is a folding bike, not a mini-velo. The unitube and tall stem are key to it being able to fold small, and common to most brands. It doesn't make any sense to me to call it a 20 copy.

  3. #103
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
    People should have folder bike choices.


    Are you asserting that there are no choices in folding bikes today? What an astonishing statement....

  4. #104
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
    It would be better if more bikes were made like the Dahon Smooth Hound/Hammerhead.


    ....because??...

  5. #105
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    FWIW, looking at the where the seat stays connect to the seat tube, the Nova frame geometry looks to be closer to the 2004 Dahon Speed frame than the current Dahon Speed frame. That's an observation, not a criticism. I'll leave it to the engineers to discuss any merits/shortcomings of the design.

  6. #106
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    My Nova arrived this week! Today I took it for a 15-mile spin on my local bike path and city streets. I am intending this bike to be my all-around commuter and travel bike, so it needs to fold for taking onto mass transit, carry panniers and my Ortlieb Shuttle for longer trips, ride solidly for my 12-mile commute, and be inexpensive enough that if (heaven forbid) it got stolen while locked on the street (a huge risk in NYC), I wouldn't be out a major chunk of change.

    Impressions so far:

    Pros:
    * Love the price--won it for $200 on eBay
    * Love the orange color
    * After riding my full-size touring bike for most of this year, I had forgotten how curious people are about folders. I had two different conversations with strangers while stopped.
    * Love the fold--the bike is easy to fold and unfold and the fold is very stable and balanced since the stem goes in between the wheels. The folded package can be rolled if you leave the seat extended since the two wheels are parallel in the folded position. The bike fits nicely in my closet.
    * Love the weight--the bike feels *very* light and easy to carry (the 8H was a much clunkier bicycle in terms of weight and compactness)
    * The ride quality is comfortable--the bike has a relaxed, upright "city bike" geometry. The stem does not flex and the frame feels solid.
    * Gear shifting felt very easy and almost unconscious.

    Cons:
    * The stock saddle has got to go--it's very stiff and uncomfortable to sit on for longish stretches.
    * Would love a broader gear range--I wished I had a lower granny gear for hills and a higher top gear for flats. (But the speed was not bad.)
    * When I was climbing a particularly steep hill (the one by the George Washington Bridge that all upper Manhattan cyclists know and hate) I could feel the front wheel lift up a few times.
    * The wheels arrived slightly out of true and even after having my LBS adjust the brakes there's still a little rubbing. I may take it back for more work.
    * While the water bottle cage braze-ons are a well-intentioned feature, they're pretty much useless IMO because the downtube is close to horizontal and it's easy for a bottle to pop out. For now, I'm using a strap-on Twofish cage for the handlebar stem.
    * The bell doesn't work.

    Possible mods:
    * I have a Dahon Traveller Rear Rack and fenders on order.
    * I may upgrade the tires.
    Last edited by Urbanis; 11-20-09 at 10:43 PM.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanis View Post
    * Would love a broader gear range--I wished I had a lower granny gear for hills and a higher top gear for flats. (But the speed was not bad.)

    Possible mods:
    why not include a pre-built (look on niagara cycle and jenson usa) new rear wheel with freehub, so you can upgrade the gear cluster easily? there's a 7-speed shimano freehub cartridge that goes from 11t to 28t to which i upgraded and i love it. i'm rarely in 7th but when i do it's Very swift and 28t is quite adequate for climbing. i don't know that there's a similar cartridge for freewheel bodies but check ebay for 'megarange freewheel' - it's probably the closest vintage equivalent.

  8. #108
    Senior Member JosephLMonti's Avatar
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    @Urbanis - I know this could get pricey, but you could add a deraileur and triple-chain-ring crank for added gear range.

  9. #109
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    Downtube is selling the Nova on Ebay.

    http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trk...All-Categories

    I won two: $200 and $190, both $32.50 shipping. Christmas presents.
    I'll go over them once they arrive and ride around a bit to make sure everything is in shape and I'll let you know my impressions.
    I have an 8H so have something to compare.

  10. #110
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    So, if I have to convert mine to a double chain ring do I need to change the BB also?
    Thanks in advance!

  11. #111
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    Here is an 11-28 thread on freewheel which will replace the 14-28 that comes stock with the Nova.

    http://us.itselectric.ca/Freewheel_7...l-7-spds-n.htm

    Edward Wong III
    Qile Duo 5 Speed 20" Folder

  12. #112
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    Questions:
    1. Is there a compelling reason why I would change from freewheel to freehub? I don't understand why this difference is important on a practical level. It sounds like Ed Wong's thread-on freewheel would do the trick of improving the gear cluster.

    2. What components would I need to add a front derailleur and triple chainring to the Nova?

    3. Any suggestions for tire upgrades? I'm considering either the Marathon Racer or Marathon Supreme.

    Thanks for everyone's input so far.
    Last edited by Urbanis; 11-30-09 at 03:27 PM.

  13. #113
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    So, in my goal to improve my Nova's gear range for commuting/touring in a cost-effective way, I've been researching bicycle gearing online and have generated the following possibilities:

    (1) Change cassette to 11-28T, chainring to 52T
    (2) Change cassette to 11-28T, implement double chainring 53/39T
    (3) Change cassette to 11-28T, implement triple chainring 30/42/52T

    Thoughts? Could option 1 and option 3 work together--that is, to save costs, implement the single 52T chainring first to improve the top gearing, then down the road add the two other chainrings, front derailleur, and necessary shifting mechanisms? My LBS would do all the work (not a tinkerer).

    I understand the freewheel could be replaced with a freehub for even greater gearing options, but I'm trying to limit costs.

  14. #114
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanis View Post
    Questions:
    1. Is there a compelling reason why I would change from freewheel to freehub? I don't understand why this difference is important on a practical level. It sounds like Ed Wong's thread-on freewheel would do the trick of improving the gear cluster.

    The freehub design provides better support for the axle, whereas the freewheel design has a tendency to produce bent axles. You will also have more choice in configurations and brands using freehub over freewheel.

    That aside, if you are not concerned about your weight or riding style damaging the axle, and are pleased with an 11-28t ratio, the freewheel is going to be a cheap and easy solution for higher gearing.

    I do wish to note that I personally find it exceptionally easy to bend cheaper freewheel axles, sometimes simply going off curbs will do it.


    2. What components would I need to add a front derailleur and triple chainring to the Nova?

    The Nova appears to have a braze on for a front derailer. In that case, you would want a derailer like the Shimano R443 for the front - this one in particular uses mountain cable travel, making it easy to pair with a normal shifter as opposed to needing a more expensive flat bar road shifter.

    A new chain would be needed if you're going bigger on the rings, unless the Nova came with extra links and your chain is still in good shape.

    Of course, you need the rest of the parts too, such as the new cables and crankset with the triple. There is a good possibility you will need a bottom bracket with a different spindle length to accomodate a proper chainline on the new crankset.

    3. Any suggestions for tire upgrades? I'm considering either the Marathon Racer or Marathon Supreme.

    I personally really like the Marathon Supreme, and use it on my Pocket Llama. Having also used the Racer, Big Apple, and regular Marathon, I also like all of them too. Each one has a quality that stands out above the others, knowing what you value most would help. I see that you are looking for commuting + touring. In this case, the only tire I would suggest against would be the racer, it has the durability for commuting, easily, but may be a little vulnerable compared to the others when loaded down and taken long distances.

    Thanks for everyone's input so far.
    In my own opinion, I would recommend considering the freehub upgrade if you are considering touring. The additional weight of a touring load on a cheaper freewheel hub may simply spell frustration and trouble for you in the long run, and the cost of purchasing a decent rear wheel with freehub is not that murderous. Some of the options out there like the Dahon Kinetix Comp wheels can be had for <$100 and have good features for the price.

  15. #115
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    Abneycat, thank you for sharing your thoughts about the freewheels vs. freehubs. I am sending an inquiry to Thor about some of his wheels.

  16. #116
    Velosopher
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    The front chainring is attached to the crank arm so you'll have to replace the whole crankset to use a larger chainring (would be a nice upgrade to do, anyway). I just got a Nova, as well, and am doing the opposite...stripping of the gear cluster and making it a single-speed. Putting a 16T freewheel in the rear almost worked without a chain tensioner so I'm going to try a 17t before I resort to a tensioning device. It would be nice to find a "magic gear" combination, so I could try a fixed hub later, if I want. Otherwise, the only option is to buy a $$$ eccentric hub.

    Good luck.

  17. #117
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    Just out of curiousity, how often do these bicycles go on sale on EBAY? I read an earlier comment on some other thread that Dr. Yan doesn't place many on EBAY. Thanks much in advance!

  18. #118
    Velosopher
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    There was a ton of Novas on there over the past several weeks but there doesn't seem to be any at the moment. Maybe he was just liquidating a surplus temporarily?

  19. #119
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    So, I take, from the lack of response on my query, that the stock BB spindle is good to go with a double chain ring (maybe triple too) ? Please advice.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by waxnomadic View Post
    There was a ton of Novas on there over the past several weeks but there doesn't seem to be any at the moment. Maybe he was just liquidating a surplus temporarily?
    Thanks for your response! I'll have to hope that more show up for the holiday season then

  21. #121
    Velosopher
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    Quote Originally Posted by DVC45 View Post
    So, I take, from the lack of response on my query, that the stock BB spindle is good to go with a double chain ring (maybe triple too) ? Please advice.
    The bottom bracket seems to be a normal square-taper model so I would think you could mount any square-taper crank to it (although I'm no expert).

  22. #122
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waxnomadic View Post
    The bottom bracket seems to be a normal square-taper model so I would think you could mount any square-taper crank to it (although I'm no expert).
    Thanks! My concern is the BB spindle lenght. Do you think it would accomodate a double or triple chain ring w/o replacing the spindle?

  23. #123
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    That is entirely dependant on the crankset you are intending to fix to it, as it is the crankset which determines the spindle length required. You need to find out what the spindle length is, and then see if any of the crank models you are looking at are compatible with it to know the answer to that question.

    They can be highly varying in their spindle needs, you need to reference to know.

  24. #124
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abneycat View Post
    That is entirely dependant on the crankset you are intending to fix to it, as it is the crankset which determines the spindle length required. You need to find out what the spindle length is, and then see if any of the crank models you are looking at are compatible with it to know the answer to that question.

    They can be highly varying in their spindle needs, you need to reference to know.
    Thanks Abneycat! Right now, I got an old Nervar crankset (the one with drilled out rings) from an 80's Peugeot Bordeoux. I think, what's best is to just try it on and see how the chain line match up. I'll report back when its all done.
    Last edited by DVC45; 12-06-09 at 11:27 PM.

  25. #125
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Hm, an old Nervar should be ISO sized on the taper, and the Downtube will almost assuredly have a JIS taper crank.

    If my suspicions in that regard are correct, the ISO Nervar will sit about 4.5mm farther out than usual on your JIS taper bottom bracket that the Nova will have. It is okay to use this combination, if the chainline ends up working out for you in the end. Let us know how it goes!

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