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  1. #1
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    College Student Abroad

    Hey everyone,

    Currently I am studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Before I left the United States, I had never seen a folding bike in my life. The whole idea of owning a folding bike makes sense, but with the US $ being so horrible right now, a Brompton M6L in black would cost $1300 and a Brompton with Raw Lacquer (which I want) would cost $1500. Back in the states I live in a regular small town, but I will still have a year of university to use the bike as well. Are these prices too ridiculous or is this how much a Brompton usually costs? Has anyone ever brought a Brompton back with them to the states? And if I don't live in a big city back home, would it be better to just wait it out and get a new road bike when I go home? I am not looking for a bike I can go fast in, just one I can enjoy and not have to worry about thieves. Part of the reason I love the Brompton is because it just looks different. If any veterans could give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it. Finally, this bike is going to cost a little more than half of my savings, so it's not like I'm swimming in cash...but I guess deciding to spend that much money on something is just something I will have to decide for myself. Thanks for all the help in advance, and if there is another bike I have overlooked I am open for suggestions.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keonda View Post
    Hey everyone,

    Currently I am studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Before I left the United States, I had never seen a folding bike in my life. The whole idea of owning a folding bike makes sense, but with the US $ being so horrible right now, a Brompton M6L in black would cost $1300 and a Brompton with Raw Lacquer (which I want) would cost $1500. Back in the states I live in a regular small town, but I will still have a year of university to use the bike as well. Are these prices too ridiculous or is this how much a Brompton usually costs? Has anyone ever brought a Brompton back with them to the states? And if I don't live in a big city back home, would it be better to just wait it out and get a new road bike when I go home? I am not looking for a bike I can go fast in, just one I can enjoy and not have to worry about thieves. Part of the reason I love the Brompton is because it just looks different. If any veterans could give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it. Finally, this bike is going to cost a little more than half of my savings, so it's not like I'm swimming in cash...but I guess deciding to spend that much money on something is just something I will have to decide for myself. Thanks for all the help in advance, and if there is another bike I have overlooked I am open for suggestions.
    have you looked into other folding bikes ? check out dahon bikes. they have so many models that you can choose from. depending on your budget you can get a brand new 1 speed for $199 (if on sale) or you can get a dahon mu P24 (24 speed) for about $700. since you are going to use this for only 1 year why don't you get a used one instead. bromptons are really expensive.

  3. #3
    Senior Member gringo_gus's Avatar
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    Keonda, if you want a brompton, you should look on the European ebay sites, especially the UK. You won't get much of a discount from new, but worth a look. I shipped my merc, which is a brompton lookalike for the UK to Italy for not much more than shipping to somewhere in the UK. I would recommend you get a new, 2009 model, with the new saddle etc. Raw lacquer is excellent, have ordered one myself, but tends to be bought by people who know what they want and don't come up on ebay much.

    I am glad you say you like the look of folders - me too - and thats a good reason on its own if you ask me. But they are also more convenient in other ways as well.

    Some bikes are made in the US or for the US market, and so are better value if paying in US$. I have always though the Xootr swift looks good, and is good value for money. Dahons are great too - you might want to look at their minivelos, which are bikes which don't fold but have small wheels, coolio.
    it aint the size of your wheels, its the rhythm of you cadence. And I got powergrips too.

  4. #4
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    or you can check this dahon hammerhead 7.0

    http://www.safetycycle.com/06-dahon-hammerhead-7-0.html

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    Hey thanks for all the advice! Whichever bike I choose, I was hoping to bring it back to me to the US to use for my senior year of college. I've looked at some Dahons, although most bikes here go by other names using Dahon frames. I've only had a chance to test out the Bromptons though, and I must say that they are a lot of fun to ride. Do you guys think folding bikes are very practical back in the States since most people ride normal mountain or road bikes around town? I am just wondering because I hear different opinions all the time - some people say folders are only good in big cities and others say folders are good for just everyday enjoyable riding. It has all just left me confused.

  6. #6
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keonda View Post
    Do you guys think folding bikes are very practical back in the States since most people ride normal mountain or road bikes around town? I am just wondering because I hear different opinions all the time - some people say folders are only good in big cities and others say folders are good for just everyday enjoyable riding. It has all just left me confused.
    Dude! You're on a folding bike sub-forum. What do you think we're going to say?

    Seriously, I am an avid road biker. But I also have (too) many folders. Folders are better than big bikes for general, around-town, riding. They will never supplant my 17lb carbon roadie for the aggressive weekend rides with guys half my age. But, they are great for running to the store, riding with my family, taking on vacation (rides up to 50 miles). They store easily. They can be carried inside for safety. They maneuver easily in city traffic (or on campus). I think they're perfect for students.

    Warning - you cannot be an introvert and ride a folding bike. People will come up all the time to ask about them. (At your age, you may even find them to bit of a chick magnet.) You also can't have a delicate self-image because you are certainly not fitting into the norm.

    So, are they right for you? Only you can decide, but the rest of us have obviously concluded "yes" because we spend too much of our time on this forum.
    Last edited by SesameCrunch; 10-22-09 at 03:28 PM.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, that's probably the biggest problem I have right now. My girlfriend constantly tells me about how much she can't wait to get back home and buy a carbon road bike for racing on her school's bike squad. I have to choose to either get a folding bike (which would be perfect for riding here, and back in the states at school) or wait until I go back to the States and buy a sweet regular bike. Both options are appealing, but just seeing a Brompton makes me wish I had my own. Do you think it costs too much here tho? I mean seriously between $1300 (for a black/red M6L) or $1520 (for black lacquer M6L) those figures are huge for a college student. I will say tho, quoting someone - When you buy a bike it's the last time you pay, but when you buy a car it's the FIRST time you pay).

  8. #8
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Those prices are about what you'd pay here in the States for a new Brompton. Unless you buy used, of course.

    But, it's still a high end, high priced folder (justifiably). You don't have to start by spending half of your net worth on a folding bike, do you? There are many other good folders out there which costs much less. You need to save your money on other critical student necessities, like Wii, iPods, and beer.

  9. #9
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    Hahaha Sesame good point, but I'd say I've set up just about everything else throughout my youth electronically/pad wise back in the States. I've never been one for spending my money on foolishly...and I like being very technologically savvy. I see your point though that the Brompton is very expensive. I have always had a passion for cycling though and it is one thing I miss very much being here in Barcelona. Half of my desire for the Brompton is just knowing that it is such a top of the line folder. It's very difficult to resist such a beautiful peace of machine. Who could say no to that, right?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keonda View Post
    ... the Brompton is very expensive. I have always had a passion for cycling though and it is one thing I miss very much being here in Barcelona. Half of my desire for the Brompton is just knowing that it is such a top of the line folder. ...
    Test ride a couple of other brands. If you're still smitten with the Brompton, see if you can find a used one locally. If not, then I can see a strong argument for getting a new one, especially if riding it will provide you with lower-cost entertainment/recreation than you would have spent your money on if you didn't have a bike. (If having the bike will result in your spending more money, then purchasing an expensive bike is probably a bad idea.) If you have to sell it (before or after you return to the USA) consider the difference to be the rental you paid for having the bike you wanted. Also, FWIW, see if you can determine the difference (if any) in the resale value of the bike you really want versus the less expensive model. That is, if the more expensive models seems to bring $120 more on resale, then the extra cost is really only $100. (That's a bit of an oversimplification.) Hopefully some Brompton aficionados can provide some insight on this.

  11. #11
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    Wouldn't buying a Brompton result in a loss of money anyways for most buyers?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keonda View Post
    Wouldn't buying a Brompton result in a loss of money anyways for most buyers?
    Sure. In most cases buying any new bicycle will result in a loss of money when it is resold. But keep in mind that the initial purchase price is not the Total Cost of Ownership (the "TCO"). If, for example, you can buy a $1500 Brompton and then sell a year later for $1000 or you can buy a $500 folder and then sell it a year later for $250, then the Brompton would only cost you $250 more (not $1000 more) than the less expensive folder. On the other hand, if either bike is stolen and you don't have insurance, your loss is much greater with the Brompton. Of course, the amount of any theft loss depends on the cost of the bike, not the brand.

  13. #13
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    You can google brompton to find US prices. There is also that stuff with the VAT, which you might be able to get a rebate. You might look at used bikes as they might have some stuff there that is exotic in the US like Moultons.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  14. #14
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    Don't buy something with USD in Europe now, if it's a lot of money. You're paying way too much, Euro prices in Euros aren't even good. Buy something used in Spain for €150, sell it before you leave for €125, and buy something again in the US. Transportation costs will be high getting it back to the US, unless you buy something specifically able to fit into a suitcases (not many folders can). And you'll have a lot of other stuff to bring back with you that will be more important.. An extra suitcase can be $2-300 right now. You donīt even sound like you need a folding bike in either environment.. so, don't waste the extra money on something too complicated for the problem. Folding bikes are 2x the price for the same level of bike.

  15. #15
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    We live not far from Barcelona.. We have friends in Barcelona.. She has Brompton in fact.. You want a fast bike.. ? I could not adjust to that small wheel size.. I can not imagine racing on one..
    .Yes. Barcelona has lots of bike thefts. A folder is a good idea to keep it secure.. Looking at bike shop windows in Barcelona, over 1000 euros seems pretty standard..
    . I'd ride a road bike , compare the ride and ask yourself , what are my long term needs.. Back home, a commuter bike such as a Bianchi Volpe can be bought for much less than the 1200 euros..
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  16. #16
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    If I were in your situation, I would look for a used Brompton locally. If you love it, you can look into bringing it back with you. If not, you'll probably be able to sell it for near what you paid for it. It's like a free bike rental. I've done this a number of times, with lots of things (not just bikes) and it works well if you don't mind the hassle of buying / selling. Just a thought.

  17. #17
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    I've been looking on the local Craigslist type websites but I haven't been able to find any folding bikes and the ones I have found don't have names I recognize...Failure

    The only other cheap folders I have found are Dahons...ranging between 600-800€ and knockoffs that cost 275€ at minimum. It almost seems like I might as well go big, or just survive without a bike for the year.
    Last edited by Keonda; 10-23-09 at 10:44 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keonda View Post
    ... The only other cheap folders I have found are Dahons...ranging between 600-800€ ...
    IMHO, the Dahon Speed P8 and the Mu P8 are fairly safe choices for most people. Again, test rides are important.

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