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-   -   Downtube Nova - $279 (http://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bikes/575616-downtube-nova-279-a.html)

JosephLMonti 02-13-10 12:48 PM

@rubberbandito - if you do decide to get a rack for your Nova, I recommend Planet Bikes' Versarack:

http://ecom1.planetbike.com/4004.html

The Dahon Traveller Rack looks nice but I don't think it is compatible with the Downtubes. I know for a fact that the Versarack will fit since my friend has it on his Downtube. If you look at the close up pic of the Versarack, you'll see it has a lot of adjustability.

coolio 02-13-10 02:17 PM

How light is the Nova?

Quote:

Originally Posted by DVC45 (Post 10397525)
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.


JosephLMonti 02-13-10 04:54 PM

The Downtube website lists it as being 24lbs.

bhkyte 02-14-10 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coolio (Post 10399262)
How light is the Nova?

Half an full glass of lightness or half an empty glass of heavyness, depending on your view point.

Urbanis 02-15-10 05:28 AM

I want to know where DVC45 found a Dahon Traveller Rear Rack for "about $35" when it seems to retail online for about $80. Performance Bicycle does list one for $37, but they show an Arclite rack in the picture--and Arclites usually sell for around that price, so I'm doubtful. (NB: I did buy a Traveller Rear Rack for my new Dahon, as I wanted a rack high enough to support panniers.)

The Downtube 8H was my first folding bike. It has a nice stock gear range and solid ride but I didn't think it was particularly great as a *folding* bicycle--too heavy, clunky, and awkward, with a folded package that couldn't be balanced and needed to be leaned against something. Also, over time I grew to prefer derailleur set-ups over IGHs.

Regarding edwong3's comment that it was unfortunate I didn't know about the cheap freewheel cassette upgrade option, I *was* aware of it--thanks to him! :-) Changing the cassette wasn't going to give a high enough top end, however, without changing the front chainring. And changing the front chainring meant getting a new crankset. At that point, other bikes with higher-quality stock configurations and components started looking attractive, and I got a great deal on a 2008 Dahon Speed P8.

Truthfully, I miss the light weight and quick, easy fold of the Nova. The Dahon is heavier and the fold is fussier--you have to do more futzing with the stem and the frame hinge is stiff and effortful to fold. That said, the stock gearing is much better--I don't feel I'm running out of gears on the top end. I still wish I had a lower granny gear but it's no worse than what I had on the Nova. The gripshift is also a little strange--you turn the shift away from you ("up") to move into lower gear, whereas I'm used to the opposite configuration. Those gripes aside, I'm happy with the Dahon--it's a comfortable bike to ride right out of the box.

Overall, I think the freewheel and crankset are the Nova's Achilles' heel as they limit gearing and make upgrading expensive. It's at an attractive price point and perhaps there's a market for folks who don't need much performance out of a folding bike. Nevertheless, I think Yan should consider making a (more expensive) non-suspended derailleur bike with the same light frame as the Nova but with a freehub, replaceable chainring, and better stock gearing--it's really an option that's missing from his current product line-up.

edwong3 02-15-10 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Urbanis (Post 10404744)
Regarding edwong3's comment that it was unfortunate I didn't know about the cheap freewheel cassette upgrade option, I *was* aware of it--thanks to him! :-) Changing the cassette wasn't going to give a high enough top end, however, without changing the front chainring. And changing the front chainring meant getting a new crankset. At that point, other bikes with higher-quality stock configurations and components started looking attractive, and I got a great deal on a 2008 Dahon Speed P8.

Urbanis,

Great to hear from you again! I vaguely remember mentioning the 11-28 freewheel upgrade before so I guess you were aware of it. And as you can see, I even found an 11-32, still a 7 speed that would give the Nova a wider range on both the low, and high end.

I had no idea that even a 78 inch top gear was still not enough for you. You must be a "hammerhead" when it comes to riding as that is a pretty high gear for most.:)

As for the Nova, it's obviously not meant for high performance riding. There are other bikes better suited for that purpose, including your Dahon P8. Speaking of, I'm glad you're satisfied with the P8. I hope it gives you many years of service.

Edward Wong III
Qile Duo 5 Speed 20" Folder

rubberbandito 02-15-10 11:10 AM

I won the last ebay auction for the nova and found a really cheap rack (my budget is low since this is my second bike, my first is a nice Actionbent Recumbent that is not great for commuting as the Nova will be) that seems fully adjustable https://www.meijer.com/catalog/produ...81&from=search

I'll post pics after I get the thing set up.The rack is $14

Urbanis 02-15-10 11:45 AM

Hey Ed, I always appreciate when someone tries to save me some money--thanks for your suggestions!

JosephLMonti 02-15-10 12:05 PM

@rubberbandito - great find on the rack! The M-Wave rack looks like it has all the adjustments of the Versarack I recommended, but at half the price. Let us know if it does fit the Nova. A few pix would be nice ; )

rubberbandito 02-16-10 07:38 PM

by the way, has anyone put the zoom 20inch suspension fork on the nova. i am probably going to do it. i wanted the nova because its like $225 on ebay, and its the lightest downtube offers and it folds the best allowing it to roll when folded. if you add the shock you have something similar to the 8H but its still much less expensive and still lighter and still a better folder but with the suspension.

I know the option of getting big apple tires but i don't think that will do it on cobblestone streets and jumping lots of curbs in south america.

rubberbandito 02-16-10 07:40 PM

by the way, has anyone a 20inch suspension fork on the nova. i am probably going to do it. i wanted the nova because its like $225 on ebay, and its the lightest downtube offers and it folds the best allowing it to roll when folded. if you add the shock you have something similar to the 8H but its still much less expensive and still lighter and still a better folder but with the suspension.

I know the option of getting big apple tires but i don't think that will do it on cobblestone streets and jumping lots of curbs in south america.

the zoom on the downtube does not work since its threaded and the nova is threadless according to dr yan

does anyone know of a similar priced shock that is threadless

JosephLMonti 02-16-10 08:34 PM

I suppose the RST Capa T8 is out of the question at $125:

http://www.gaerlan.com/bikeparts/frame/forks/fork.html

A word of advice - I wouldn't go jumping curbs with the Nova, even if you add a suspension fork and Big Apples.

rubberbandito 02-23-10 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JosephLMonti (Post 10406021)
@rubberbandito - great find on the rack! The M-Wave rack looks like it has all the adjustments of the Versarack I recommended, but at half the price. Let us know if it does fit the Nova. A few pix would be nice ; )

Here are pics of rack on my new Nova.
http://picasaweb.google.com/whalenla...eat=directlink
I love this bike even more than my Actionbent Jet Stream III Recumbent since it can go on sidewalks, in bus, train, etc, and its soooo light and easy to fold. I do think the wheels seem a little cheap but hey, it only cost me $220 for the bike! I put a Velo Gel seat on it and will put a crank and front derailler, it could use some stronger gears for more speed. The gearing is a little off, I never learned how to tune SRAM, but will now. You gotta be careful not to scratch the frame when you put the handlebar down and fold it. The two things sort of get in the way of each other. I will not put a shock on, this thing does not need it, but will put on big apples as the tires seem very light usage. I weigh about 185 and I put about 35 pounds on the rack yesterday, so went over the 200 lb weight limit and it was totally fine.

I bought the M-Wave rear rack. Its ok, though the Versarack would likely be much easier to use. And the M-wave bags are crap, I am getting heel strike and they bend into the wheel. I am not sure if the rack is causing heel strike or the huge shopping panniers. I have the rack at the lowest setting and reached the brackets back all the way to get it the furthest from my heel. I am pretty sure a good set of panniers will not cause heel strike, but don't know for sure since its so low to ground. You can go to the highest setting but then the front brackets don't reach back as far, so while its higher it will be closer to your heel. The M-wave panniers bent into my recumbent wheel and set it off true. Such crap. On the Nova they bend to tire but won't go into wheel I don't think. I do not recommend those panniers though the rack is good. It works.

rubberbandito 02-23-10 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JosephLMonti (Post 10413228)
I suppose the RST Capa T8 is out of the question at $125:

http://www.gaerlan.com/bikeparts/frame/forks/fork.html

A word of advice - I wouldn't go jumping curbs with the Nova, even if you add a suspension fork and Big Apples.

This bike without suspension is fine. I won't be getting suspension though I will get the big apples. I have a short wheel based recumbent without suspension and its jarring but this bike is fine without, in face I can't imagine using a front shock, it would seem to lose efficiency and its just not needed. The big apples and maybe a thudbuster (if you plan to be on cobblestone for long stretches.)

JosephLMonti 02-23-10 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rubberbandito (Post 10442037)
I have the rack at the lowest setting and reached the brackets back all the way to get it the furthest from my heel. I am pretty sure a good set of panniers will not cause heel strike, but don't know for sure since its so low to ground. You can go to the highest setting but then the front brackets don't reach back as far, so while its higher it will be closer to your heel.

Yes, this might be the Achilles Heel (pun intended) of the M-Wave. On the Versarack the front brackets are super long and adjustable, enabling one to put the rear brackets at the highest setting.

JosephLMonti 02-23-10 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rubberbandito (Post 10442081)
This bike without suspension is fine. I won't be getting suspension though I will get the big apples. I have a short wheel based recumbent without suspension and its jarring but this bike is fine without, in face I can't imagine using a front shock, it would seem to lose efficiency and its just not needed. The big apples and maybe a thudbuster (if you plan to be on cobblestone for long stretches.)

Good choice! The Big Apples and Thudbuster (or just a sprung saddle) is a much better low-tech solution for "suspending" a folder.

artlouis 02-23-10 09:37 PM

I'm thinking about a Nova for a train commuter.

Does anyone know the true weight by scale?

rubberbandito 02-24-10 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JosephLMonti (Post 10442434)
Yes, this might be the Achilles Heel (pun intended) of the M-Wave. On the Versarack the front brackets are super long and adjustable, enabling one to put the rear brackets at the highest setting.

Hi Joseph

regarding heel strike. i think the rack works. i only get heel strike a little on one side when i put my huge chain in one pannier alone, it seems to pull all the weight down and forward. but when normally packed there is no heel strike and this is on a set of big shopping panniers that are not really cut smaller to avoid it. I think a normal pair of panniers would work on this rack. I wish I could find pics of the versarack mounted on the nova with big shopping panniers.

what size big apples are people putting on their Novas, Schwalbe Big Apple HS 338 Fatty Bicycle Tire (20x2.0, Allround Wire Beaded, Reflex)? Here is amazon link.

the 2.0 is not too fat for the frame? i measured the front fork and it seems will fit, but the rear lower bracket does not appear to have enough room for a 2 inch.

I am thinking maybe 1.75 will fit and almost surely a 1.50 will. The Marathon Plus is 1.75 and Marathon is 1.50. both by Schwalb. click here.

JosephLMonti 02-24-10 08:03 PM

Before swapping tires, I would contact Yan to get some insight. According to the DT website, the Nova comes with 1.2 narrow tires so I'm wondering if this means the rims will only take narrow tires. I'm sure you can use wider tires, but the question is "how wide"? The Big Apples may be out of the question.

Glad to hear that the M-Wave only gives occasional heel strike in "extreme" situations. As I said before, this rack is half the price of the Versarack, making it a killer deal.

Now all you need is a nice set of fenders ; )

rubberbandito 02-25-10 02:46 PM

no i checked, they are iso 406. you can see this listed on the tire that came with the bike. if the rim were not a 406 then this 406 tire would not fit. the other 20 inch is a 431 or something like that. the 431 does not fit the schwalb tires so that is bad. but luckily this bike rims do fit the bigger tires. i ordered to marathon plus 1.75 today. i think the size is not necessarily wide but looks more like height, in which case they would easily fit. i will post pics when i get them, if they fit. if not, I will put the 1.50 marathon on it.

regarding the rack. my mvwave panniers are over 12 inches long at the bottom and 15 inches at the top. these are huge. so if you put on ortlieb bike packer panniers, big by the way for cross country touring, they are only 9 inches wide at bottom and 12 at top. so you could easily fit those with absolutely no heel strike even with clips I imagine.

i weigh about 180 but normally about 170. if i can drop my weight, i imagine i can safely put an extra 35 lbs of gear on the bike. i think the 200 lb weight limit is fine, but i think with the extra big tires, this thing can handle a little more weight. 220 maybe.

yan has not answered me on this

JosephLMonti 02-25-10 03:55 PM

Regarding the tire size, let me further explain. You are correct about there being two "20 inch" sizes, one is 406 and the other is 451. You are also correct in that a 406 tire will not fit onto a 451 rim and vice versa. However, even if you have a 406 tire and a 406 rim, I don't believe that they are always compatible. Specifically, wide tires go with wide rims and narrow tires go with narrow rims. Here's an extreme example to illustrate my point:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/s...y-pugsley4.jpg

What you are looking at is Surly Bikes' "Pugsley", a mountain bike that takes 4 inch wide tires. And while the rims on the Pugsley are still 26 inch rims, just like on regular mountain bikes, they are much wider to accommodate the wide tires.

When you proposed putting Big Apples onto your Nova, I was concerned that the stock rims might not be wide enough to handle BA's 2 inch width, even though they are also the 406 size. Make sense?

JosephLMonti 02-25-10 07:51 PM

I was curious about the Nova's rims, wanting to know if there was any info online about their max tire width capacity, so I Googled "Dino VP-20" and this came up:

http://www.truebicycles.com/contents/en-us/p180.html

From the spec sheet to the description, this is the Nova "to a tee". I have to assume that this is Downtube's overseas source for the bike.

DVC45 02-25-10 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JosephLMonti (Post 10451955)
From the spec sheet to the description, this is the Nova "to a tee". I have to assume that this is Downtube's overseas source for the bike.

From what I've gathered, Nova is licensed to Downtube by Dahon.

jur 02-25-10 09:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JosephLMonti (Post 10451955)
I have to assume that this is Downtube's overseas source for the bike.

Well, they seem to be in Michigan. I think a more accurate assumption would be that both them and Yan get their bikes from the same Asian manufacturer.

JosephLMonti 02-26-10 07:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jur (Post 10452373)
Well, they seem to be in Michigan. I think a more accurate assumption would be that both them and Yan get their bikes from the same Asian manufacturer.

You are absolutely right...good eye! The website also says "coming soon" so apparently the "Street Wise" is not available yet. I'm curious about the price.


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