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  1. #126
    Senior Member
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    Okay, I decided I couldn't live with the stock gearing on the Nova (33-66 gear inches) and all the upgrade routes were very expensive (due to the rear freewheel, etc.) so I bit the bullet and bought a Dahon Speed P8. I'll bid my Nova adieu and move it along to a new home--it's a pity, because besides the lovely orange color, it folds very compactly and is the lightest folder I've owned to date. Hey, at least there's a new bike to look forward to! :-)

  2. #127
    Velosopher
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    Quote Originally Posted by waxnomadic View Post
    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.
    Well, I finally got a 17t single-speed freewheel (to replace the stock 7-speed one) and it seems to be perfect chain tension with the stock crank. The only other moification was to "flip" the hub axle around to make for a straighter chainline & re-dish the wheel a bit. It seems to be a good gearing, too, but I have yet to ride it much with this setup. I'll see how much the chain "stretches" over time. If need be I can always switch to an 18t or 16t w/halflink to make up for any future slack. This could prove useful for anyone who wants to run an internal gear hub without a tensioner, too.

  3. #128
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    All done (for now).


    Last edited by DVC45; 02-08-10 at 10:56 AM.

  4. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbinfl View Post
    Took the bike to St Pete yesterday. There was a bike get together down by the pier. Walked around for about an hour and then some riding for another hour or so. Only one folder that i saw, a "Curve". Nice finish with 16' wheels and fenders. I'm very happy with the Nova. Just right for my kind of riding. As to fit, I'm 5'10" and 180 lb with a 32 " inseam. Seat post is near it's max and the stem is at the minimum. Fits well. A plus, when folded it rolls pretty well with the seat as a handle. A question, what's the difference between a freewheeland a freehub ?
    Are you able to roll the bike when folded on both wheels, or do you have to tilt it onto one?


  5. #130
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    I just got a Downtube Nova from EBay. The bike is great. It seems to be light.

    I changed the crank to a 53 teeth and the freewheel to a 11-34. My crank has a smaller 39 ring, but I decided to not install a front derailleur. The 53 front ring gives me 31 to 96 gear inches. Hopefully that is enough.

    Below are the gear inches I got from Sheldon Brown's site.

    53x11 96.4 13 81.5 15 70.7 18 58.9 21 50.5 24 44.2 34 31.2

  6. #131
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    I've had my Downtube Nova for almost four months now. I bought it to initially convert it into an eBike, but it took me two months of saving up to get the Life4PO battery. I rode it for about two months as a bike and almost two months now as an eBike.

    I'm just going do a run down of my own cons that I have noticed thus far since using it as a normal bike and the now converted eBike.

    - Poor braking system. I've since owning had the back brakes become useless because for some reason they won't calibrate correctly, I think something may have bent. The front system comes off it's leash each time I fold and because of that has bent. I'll be changing out the brakes soon (see photo)

    - Shipped with a non-working bell. Had to pay to ship the bell back, took a few weeks, small but I think a problem when many others have had the same one

    - Stiff seat, upgraded to something more comfortable for those long hauls

    - Chipped paint pretty quick, though this is probably my own fault cause I'm rough with this bike

    Currently with the AmpedBikes conversion kit coupled with the Life4Po battery I'm getting a max speed of 17MPH with around 45 miles of distance on a charge, not too bad.

    Along with tire lining I have been fortunate to not get any flats and have a smooth ride. This bike defiantly turns heads as I speed by.






  7. #132
    transport, not sport.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangsheungpak View Post

    I changed the crank to a 53 teeth and the freewheel to a 11-34. My crank has a smaller 39 ring, but I decided to not install a front derailleur. The 53 front ring gives me 31 to 96 gear inches. Hopefully that is enough.

    Below are the gear inches I got from Sheldon Brown's site.
    .............not install a front derailer......

    while other folder owners would love to install a dual crank, but cannot without the fd adapter.

    and on the nova, you don't need an adapter...the hanger is there, already....

  8. #133
    Senior Member Elad63's Avatar
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    The weight limit is 200 lbs, is that just the rider weight?

  9. #134
    Share The Road bent eagle's Avatar
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    I'm 6'2", and the website says 6' max height. Has anyone over 6' tried it?
    Steve W

  10. #135
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    I haven't been on line for awhile, it's interesting to see the progress of the thread. I've changed the seat and added a rack and padded rubber handle bar ends to my 'Nova'. It really is a great bike. I find myself riding in #5,6 or 7th gear all the time, so starting to think about that $25 gear cluster that's been mentioned. Seems a pretty cheap way to go ? Of course I ride locally and Florida is pretty flat. 'fongpi' asked about rolling. It rolls great if you push with the seat, you must tip it if you pull with the seat. To 'Bent Eagle', I have a 32" inseam and the seat post is at it's max, +. I think it's a matter of your weight and how much of the tube is buried in the frame. That's just an opinion. I ride once or twice a week, and have some miles on it now and have had no mechanical trouble with the bike. It's a steal compared to the prices I see in the LBS's. That's just an opinion too.

  11. #136
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    A question for Tangsheungpak, or anyone who can help. Where did you obtain a a 53 tooth chain ring for your 'Nova" ? Brand name, model #, or internet source would be appreciated. Is it a simple bolt on replacement ? I think it would be just what I need for a little more top end. Would the chain need lengthening ? Using the SB calculator it looks like my 7th gear would become 6th and down the line. As I stated above I don't use any gear below 5th here in flat old Florida ... This might be the easy / best approach. Thanks for all info.

  12. #137
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    cbinfl,

    You could of course go the other way and instead install an 11-32 7 speed freewheel. It's only $25 and will give you not only a higher top end, but a lower gear as well for tough climbs.

    http://www.cycle9.com/c9store/electr...-11-30-t-p-136

    If you go this route, you might want to ask a bike mechanic if the stock derailleur will work with the large 32 tooth cog on this freewheel. Chances are it might as looking from the Nova's photos, the derailleur has a long cage which is a requirement for handling large cogs in excess of 28 teeth.

    According to Sheldon Brown's gear calculator, you should get 26.9 to 78.1 gear inches with this cog set vs 30.7 to 61.4 stock.

    Too bad "Urbanis" who got rid of his Nova because he couldn't deal with the stock gear range, wasn't informed of this option. Oh well, he must be enjoying his new Dahon Speed P-8

    Edward Wong III
    Qile Duo 5 Speed 20" Folder

    Quote Originally Posted by cbinfl View Post
    A question for Tangsheungpak, or anyone who can help. Where did you obtain a a 53 tooth chain ring for your 'Nova" ? Brand name, model #, or internet source would be appreciated. Is it a simple bolt on replacement ? I think it would be just what I need for a little more top end. Would the chain need lengthening ? Using the SB calculator it looks like my 7th gear would become 6th and down the line. As I stated above I don't use any gear below 5th here in flat old Florida ... This might be the easy / best approach. Thanks for all info.
    Last edited by edwong3; 02-05-10 at 11:34 AM.

  13. #138
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    Thanks for the link. As I said, I don't use the really low gears I have, so the front chain wheel change would be a simple bolt-unbolt project , I think ? , plus maybe some chain links or replacement ? There would be no need to touch the derailer etc. My shifter and wheels are working real well, so if it aint broke etc, etc, Tried googling for chain wheels, but my eyes glaze over with so many options and variations . Again thanks.

    charlie

  14. #139
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbinfl View Post
    Thanks for the link. As I said, I don't use the really low gears I have, so the front chain wheel change would be a simple bolt-unbolt project , I think ? , plus maybe some chain links or replacement ? There would be no need to touch the derailer etc. My shifter and wheels are working real well, so if it aint broke etc, etc, Tried googling for chain wheels, but my eyes glaze over with so many options and variations . Again thanks.

    charlie
    Well if it's a simple matter of being able to unbolt the stock chainring, and replace it with one that has a higher teeth count, then that might be the way to go. I had assumed that the Nova's crankset was permanently riveted together with the chainring (Like mine for example, har! har!).

    You do need to find a chainring that matches up with the bolting pattern on the crankset, so best of luck to you on that, and please keep us posted.

    Edward Wong III
    Qile Duo 5 Speed 20" Folder

  15. #140
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    Ed, You may be right. Can't see how the chainring is attached. The crank arm will have to come off . There are no attaching bolts showing. It is probably sandwiched in by the crank arm ? I should have looked before i spoke. There are only some sheet metal screws that hold the chain guard ring on.

  16. #141
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Generally cheap chain sets have riveted, non replaceable chainrings. Better cranks have alley key bolts replaceable chainrings.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  17. #142
    Senior Member JosephLMonti's Avatar
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    Here is a close-up pic of the Nova's crank:

    http://downtube.com/images/2010_Bike...s/IMG_1279.JPG

    Does anyone know what to look for to determine whether or not the chainring is replaceable?

  18. #143
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    it's not ,you will need another drive side crank to alter the gearing. It should be a cheap ebay buy however
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  19. #144
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephLMonti View Post
    Here is a close-up pic of the Nova's crank:

    http://downtube.com/images/2010_Bike...s/IMG_1279.JPG

    Does anyone know what to look for to determine whether or not the chainring is replaceable?
    If you look at this bikes crank
    http://downtube.com/images/2009_Bike...ack_Folded.jpg
    you will see a set of bolts just inside the plastic guard - those are the chaining bolts indicating a replacable chainring. The Nova lacks those so a whole crankset needs to be obtained.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  20. #145
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    Well in my humble opinion, finding another crankset might prove to be more of a challenge than simply changing the rear freewheel. Since all you're looking for is a higher top end, and not concerned about having a lower gear, then an 11-28 cluster should serve you well. Your current cluster has as a low gear a 28 tooth cog anyway. Here is one:

    http://store.comcycle-usa.com/Produc...spx?id=5904743

    It's $29.95 but if you do a search for "11-28 7 speed freewheel", you might find one even cheaper.

    Good luck.

    Ed

    Quote Originally Posted by cbinfl View Post
    Ed, You may be right. Can't see how the chainring is attached. The crank arm will have to come off . There are no attaching bolts showing. It is probably sandwiched in by the crank arm ? I should have looked before i spoke. There are only some sheet metal screws that hold the chain guard ring on.

  21. #146
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    Thanks to all. Changing the freewheel does seem to be the simplest approach. If i go ahead with it I will post my results.

    charlie

  22. #147
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    53 tooth chain ring

    Quote Originally Posted by cbinfl View Post
    A question for Tangsheungpak, or anyone who can help. Where did you obtain a a 53 tooth chain ring for your 'Nova" ? Brand name, model #, or internet source would be appreciated. Is it a simple bolt on replacement ? I think it would be just what I need for a little more top end. Would the chain need lengthening ? Using the SB calculator it looks like my 7th gear would become 6th and down the line. As I stated above I don't use any gear below 5th here in flat old Florida ... This might be the easy / best approach. Thanks for all info.
    I replaced crank with an old Shimano 600 crank. I think the crank that came with the Downtube Nova does not have a replaceable chain ring.

  23. #148
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    I am new to bike tinkering. But I found this Nova and I like it alot. I am thinking to buy one. But it seems to me it needs

    1. a gel seat, probably $40
    2. the 11-32t rear freewheel cog, $25
    3. possibly a front derailler, new crank and new chain ring. I think I can find a good used crank on ebay for $20 (currently there is a shimano 600), a decent front derailler for the same and a chain 2-3 chain rings for maybe $20.
    4. a Dahon Traveller Rack for about $35

    So all that adds up to about $175

    If you can get one on ebay for $200 you then have a 21 speed bike f$45 or $375.

    Or you can buy a Downtube 8H with Sturmey Archer Hub and front suspension for $389 on the website. I think this comes with rack and good seat and crank that can add chain rings. So you add 2 chain rings and a front derailler for about $40 and you have a 21 speed bike for $420 with the nice Sturmey Archer Hub and front shock. You pay only $45 more for this.

    Does it make sense to buy the Nova. The one thing I like is that everyone says how good the fold is on the Nova and that its so light.

    Any advice? Currently ebay has 2 Nova's and no 8H's. I'm tempted to jump since the Nova is there ready to go for much less then msrp. But I think it might be smart to wait a week or two for the 8H to list on ebay.

    I plan to use it as a commuter and to stuff it in the Oyster suitcase to travel internationally and load it up with maybe 40 lbs of gear. I weigh 180. The Nova says its rated at 200lbs and the 8H at 225. Is this because of the freewheel hub on the Nova and the stronger hub on the 8H?

  24. #149
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubberbandito View Post
    I am new to bike tinkering. But I found this Nova and I like it alot. I am thinking to buy one. But it seems to me it needs

    1. a gel seat, probably $40
    2. the 11-32t rear freewheel cog, $25
    3. possibly a front derailler, new crank and new chain ring. I think I can find a good used crank on ebay for $20 (currently there is a shimano 600), a decent front derailler for the same and a chain 2-3 chain rings for maybe $20.
    4. a Dahon Traveller Rack for about $35

    So all that adds up to about $175

    If you can get one on ebay for $200 you then have a 21 speed bike f$45 or $375.

    Or you can buy a Downtube 8H with Sturmey Archer Hub and front suspension for $389 on the website. I think this comes with rack and good seat and crank that can add chain rings. So you add 2 chain rings and a front derailler for about $40 and you have a 21 speed bike for $420 with the nice Sturmey Archer Hub and front shock. You pay only $45 more for this.

    Does it make sense to buy the Nova. The one thing I like is that everyone says how good the fold is on the Nova and that its so light.

    Any advice? Currently ebay has 2 Nova's and no 8H's. I'm tempted to jump since the Nova is there ready to go for much less then msrp. But I think it might be smart to wait a week or two for the 8H to list on ebay.

    I plan to use it as a commuter and to stuff it in the Oyster suitcase to travel internationally and load it up with maybe 40 lbs of gear. I weigh 180. The Nova says its rated at 200lbs and the 8H at 225. Is this because of the freewheel hub on the Nova and the stronger hub on the 8H?
    Two things that sold me on the Nova is that, it can be rolled while folded and its lighter than the 8H that I had (gave it to my brother). If those are not important to you then get the 8H. I'm not sure about the Nova's carrying capabilty though. Oh, I never seen the 8H for sale in eBay.

  25. #150
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    Thanks DVC45. I am going to go for the NOVA. I like that it can be rolled when folded and that its lighter. And instead of the shock I think a nice set of Apple tires will work better. I have heard of people taking the shock off because they lose efficiency with it. It would be nice to have the internal hub but I have ridden bikes my whole life without one, so it seems more a luxury then anything. I was outbid on ebay last night, I will try again on another one. Yes, I did a ebay history search on downtube1 and they have not listed any bike but the orange Nova for months.

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