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  1. #1
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    Help in bike decision purchase

    I need some opinions about what bike to buy for my wife and I. We owned in the past two Citizen Miami 20" folders, but we sold them as a package deal with a travel trailer. Nice bikes, but I am looking to step up in quality somewhat.

    We were thinking of 26" folders, but after getting measurements they don't fit too well in the basement of our motorhome.

    So we believe 20" folders would be the best choice. We paid $200 each for the Citizens. We are hoping to keep the new folders under $450.00 each. I really like the Swift, but at close to $700 thats a little too much. I'm thinking The Downtube 2009 FH (8 speed full suspenion) with internal hub would be a good choice at $459.00. Shipping will probably be another $60.00 each.

    I would appreciate some feedback and reviews. My wife and I have reg 26" bikes we ride quite frequently, meaning two to 3 times a week 5 to 8 miles each time. Average speed on level pavement is around 8-12 mph. We are in our sixties. We want folders to carry with us to campgrounds and other fun places.

    Thanks.
    Terry

  2. #2
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    check performancebike.com. they have good sale on dahon bikes:

    2009 Dahon Speed D7 7-speed Folding Bike
    Regular: $479.99
    SALE: $399.99


    2009 Dahon Vitesse D7 7-speed Folding Bike
    Regular: $579.99
    SALE: $499.99

    2009 Dahon Curve D3 3-speed Folding Bike
    Regular: $599.99
    SALE: $499.99

    some members here might disagree but dahons are pretty good bike and well worth its price.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    Hi Terry,
    Generally speaking, you'll find overall good reviews of the Downtube bikes. They will likely be a step up from the Citizen bikes you had before. I suggest doing a search on this forum for Downtube and you'll find several threads that talk about them.

    You might also look at the Dahon line of bikes. They're quite popular, and there should be a couple of models in your price range.

    Finally... I know you mentioned owning a Citizen before, and you might take a look at their current offerings as they've changed. You might find something there that you like.

    Good luck!
    --sam

  4. #4
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    Given your riding profile, I'd suggest the Dahon Eco 3 as a very good solution and very good deal right now. It's $299. on sale at Performance Bike with FREE Ground Shipping.

    http://tinyurl.com/ye6gtg2

    We started with Boardwalk D7's back when they were like $250. ea. They are plenty sufficient if you aren't into hills or more than 20 mile rides. (We are also in our 60's (mid) and have a small RV.)

    Lou
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    Last edited by Foldable Two; 11-03-09 at 11:54 AM.

  5. #5
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    +1 Dahon Eco 3, good fit for your needs.

  6. #6
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    Choices

    Thanks everyone for your replys. I did check them all out. I am not sure yet, but I am leaning toward the DownTube Full Suspension 8sp Internal Sturmey Archer hub (8FH) for around $459.00. I may have to stretch my budge somewhat. I like that Dahon Eco too, but after comparing, I think spending a little extra money might be worth it in the long run. Like I say, I am still in the "thinking stage".

  7. #7
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    I like Downtubes, but the model you've selected is the biggest and heaviest. The FS frame is built for going off road and taking a beating. Are you big and tall and need the extra big frame? Are you able to lift 30+ lb bikes in and out of the motor home? Keep in mind the FS also is bigger when folded.

  8. #8
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    the Downtube 8FS will need a few things after you purchase it: (1) new saddle and (2) new smaller chainring as stock it is geared pretty high. Some people would probably also say it needs new pedals and grips as well. I would also add a rack, lock, fenders, kickstand and lighting. All of this will set you back at least an additional $100 to $200 dollars.

    Most Dahons come with fenders and possibly kickstands and racks, but will probably also need a new saddle and possibly regearing (if it's an IGH). I found some quality control issues with my Dahon Curve D3s as well, the most serious being that the rear dropouts are not quite parallel (typical chinese built frame construction/alignment problem, I've seen it on other bikes also) so the rear hub is not quite aligned correctly in the frame.

  9. #9
    member duende's Avatar
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    If you do decide to buy a Dahon, do yourself a favor and set up a news alert for something like Dahon recall. My experience was that if they "recall" Dahons for a defective part that might even cause injury, they do not notify registered owners directly. Or you could wander into bike shops regularly and look for Dahon recall posters.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    I like Downtubes, but the model you've selected is the biggest and heaviest. The FS frame is built for going off road and taking a beating. Are you big and tall and need the extra big frame? Are you able to lift 30+ lb bikes in and out of the motor home? Keep in mind the FS also is bigger when folded.

    Thanks, you gave me a few things to think about. (1) We do not go off road, just pavement and hard packed paths. (2) Not big and tall. I'm 5'5" 148 lbs & my wife is 5'2" 120 lbs. (3) I would have no problem lifting a 35 lb. bike into the basement of a motorhome.

    I am just thinking I would like at least 7 speeds. Three speeds would probably work, but 7 would be nice. Also, I do want the internal hub. We ride the campgrounds of Florida, so sand and more sand.
    A 25 lbs or less bike would also be nice.

    Terry

  11. #11
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    buy them from a reputable dealer and the dealer will do his homework and will contact you if a recall is indeed happening. The manufacturer has to follow the rules given by CPSC and cannot interfere with the proceedings. Enough said.

    check for 08 models which are all fixed up and have no recalls and get some nice savings over the newer current models.

    or check the current models the Mariner is somewhat a good light bike for example with good parts barely over 500 dlr shipped .... the anodized silver frame doesnt scratch easily which comes in handy of you fold them into the lower basements of an rv ....

    thor

    just read you above comment

    why not splurge and get a pair of Curve SL with internal 9 speed SHimano redband hub .... a little more expensive but they are way cool and very comfy to ride
    they are as low in price as they will ever be right now
    Last edited by brakemeister; 11-03-09 at 03:19 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by trider View Post
    ... I am just thinking I would like at least 7 speeds. ... Also, I do want the internal hub. ...
    It's a little confusing, at least to me, that the Dahon Eco 3 is a 7-speed. But it's a derailleur.
    Last edited by HGR3inOK; 11-03-09 at 03:58 PM. Reason: add additional information

  13. #13
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    The Dahon Vitesse D7 is built around 20" wheels and uses the Shimano Nexus 7-speed hub, which is an IGH with a proven track record, plus it's set up for urban riding with a rack and fenders; I would guess that this would probably be your best choice among the Dahons. It's definitely more bike for the same cost as a Curve D3, which is only a 3-speed built on a 16" wheel platform.

  14. #14
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trider View Post
    Thanks, you gave me a few things to think about. (1) We do not go off road, just pavement and hard packed paths. (2) Not big and tall. I'm 5'5" 148 lbs & my wife is 5'2" 120 lbs. (3) I would have no problem lifting a 35 lb. bike into the basement of a motorhome.

    I am just thinking I would like at least 7 speeds. Three speeds would probably work, but 7 would be nice. Also, I do want the internal hub. We ride the campgrounds of Florida, so sand and more sand.
    A 25 lbs or less bike would also be nice.

    Terry
    You'll probably want to get knobby tires for the sand, if you spend a lot of time there.

  15. #15
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    why not splurge and get a pair of Curve SL with internal 9 speed SHimano redband hub .... a little more expensive but they are way cool and very comfy to ride they are as low in price as they will ever be right now
    any difference between the Curve D3 and the Curve SL other than the hub? if not, you're paying over $300 just for six extra gears on the IGH and you'll probably still end up with a bike that has a rear dropout frame alignment problem.

    If you want an 8-speed IGH 16-inch wheel bike the Downtube Mini is the best deal.

    If you decide to go with a Dahon, the Vitesse D7 is a much better deal than either Curve model, and if you want more performance, so is the Mu XL Sport.
    Last edited by randya; 11-03-09 at 07:43 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    one more piece of advice - don't buy from bicyclesource.us. They have temptingly low internet prices but a very crappy return policy on bikes, i.e. they won't accept bikes for return even if they are still in their original shipping condition and haven't even been unpacked or set up.

  17. #17
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    The Downtube Nova may be a good choice for the riding you do.
    Dahon Jifo
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  18. #18
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
    The Downtube Nova may be a good choice for the riding you do.
    +1

    Price is right, too. There are a couple of Novas listed on eBay right now.

  19. #19
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    If you want an 8-speed IGH 16-inch wheel bike the Downtube Mini is the best deal.
    That's my favorite bike in Downtube's lineup, but the Mini is not sold any more. I haven't seen any used ones come up anywhere.

  20. #20
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trider View Post
    So we believe 20" folders would be the best choice. We paid $200 each for the Citizens. We are hoping to keep the new folders under $450.00 each. I really like the Swift, but at close to $700 thats a little too much. I'm thinking The Downtube 2009 FH (8 speed full suspenion) with internal hub would be a good choice at $459.00. Shipping will probably be another $60.00 each.
    Unless space is a premium, you want to bring the bike into buildings/restaurants, or you want to seamlessly fit both of your bikes into small car trunks, then I would stick with a 20" non-suspended folder. So something like the Dahon Speed or -- if they are still available -- the Downtube NS. The Downtube Nova is at a particular pricepoint where it is hard to go wrong -- plus it has rack mounts, a kickstand, a front derailer mount, and some other goodies -- but I don't care for freewheels. Dahon has a lot of nice accessories. So you might want to consider that in your decision.

    Internal hubs are nice for some applications, but I think that they are over-hyped on the forum. I don't think that there is anything wrong with IGHs, but for most riders I suspect that it matters little whether they have an IGH or a derailer.

    20" -- ERTO 406 -- wheels simply offer a much bigger selection and better availability of tires and tubes. While both 20" and 16" wheels result in low trail geometries, the 16" wheels are quite extreme. Consequently, I think that 20" wheel bikes handle better.

  21. #21
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    That's my favorite bike in Downtube's lineup, but the Mini is not sold any more. I haven't seen any used ones come up anywhere.
    Interestingly, my hub has shifted better over time. 6th gear is much more stable now.

  22. #22
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post

    Internal hubs are nice for some applications, but I think that they are over-hyped on the forum. I don't think that there is anything wrong with IGHs, but for most riders I suspect that it matters little whether they have an IGH or a derailer.
    I dunno. It's kinda nice not to have to worry about that fragile derailleur sticking out when you're folding or transporting a folder. But, in terms of riding performance, I would agree with you.

  23. #23
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    Downtube Nova

    I just wanted to say thanks for all of your advice on which folding bike to purchase. I am still thinking about everything, but right now I am very much leaning toward the DownTube Nova. With the idea of purchasing two, and the price at $289.00 each, seems like the right thing to consider.
    I know the Nova doesn't have the internal hub, and its only 3 speeds, but I think it will serve our purpose very well. After reading many many posts about DownTube, the company appears to put out a quality bike.
    Again, thanks everyone.

    Terry

  24. #24
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    The Nova has 7 speed.

  25. #25
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    I dunno. It's kinda nice not to have to worry about that fragile derailleur sticking out when you're folding or transporting a folder. But, in terms of riding performance, I would agree with you.
    This is just part of the long standing conversation that becomes a thread every two or three months. In my experience, the fragile adjective is inappropriate. Sure, it obviously isn't as robust as an IGH; but derailers seem to take a beating and keep on ticking.

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