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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 03-29-10, 03:37 PM   #1
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Buying Used, New, Or Just Repair The Old Thing Part 2

For the longest time I had some serious questions about folding bicycles. Since I have to use them and no other, I have to keep them. That means I have to keep them longer than most manufacturers, dealers, and even the professional beggars around my residence here like me to. So I started to ask some questions beyond what others like me to. Like what should happen if something major goes wrong with it or even more crucial what if it does right in the middle of using it? Well the somewhat unthinkable did last week. Not with one of the bikes-something just as crucial to my life as the bikes-my primary sewing machine. Although this is not a sewing machine forum, I will discuss it as an good example of what I will do to the Dahons when the time comes. For the sewing machine's fate read about it here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?632396-Buying-Used-New-Or-Just-Repair-The-Old-Thing&p=10594565#post10594565. For the Dahon's eventual fate (unless stolen) here is what I decided what I will do. I will not do any more major upgrades or repair for these bikes beyond simple maintenance, adjustments, safety checks, or replace simple over-the-counter parts (like brakes pads & 1 cable for the Piccolo soon). Anything else I will do just like my sewing machine. I will strip it of all good parts & replace it with a simple basic model if I don't have money right at that point (i.e. basic Boardwalk S1 or whatever is available at that time). I will buy a more quality product if I have the money as I see fit at that time. Either way, I have more demands on the appliances or devices I do use than most people do.

My sewing machines are income and the bikes are for getting around.

They are not cute little cheapo toys, weight loss strategies, or vague "exercise" for me. I have in the past and will in the foreseeable future expect them to perform up to my standards or out they go. That is what my Website series and what I do day-to-day belief and usage of these devices.

So, if one hear reads these words and do inject what they think they think they are reading, be careful. Read the big bold separated sentence above again. I lost a old sewing machine last week. I did not try to order parts from online dealers I don't know, may or may not work with a old model and have no return policy. I did not try to gain advice from others who may or may not understand. I simply dealt with the problem. That does not change that I do like my new sewing machine even if it is a "workhorse," or I do like all my folding bikes, but one far more than the others: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?611700-Brompton-L5-vs-2008-Dahon-Curve-SL The Dahons have their use as basic transportation in a hostile environment and the Brompton is my favorite because it is the closest in everything I value in bikes to my other bikes I rode in the past-Flying Dutchman, Schwinn 1960's models, UK's Phillips. I don't care to ride all that much anymore since I recovered to be frank. The Piccolo will have to remain in storage for a while more until I can afford to add the right parts for it-new sewing machine comes first. The Boardwalk has been used for the day-to-day transportation needs for a month now. And the Brompton is there too right where I want it to be. I simply don't see all the hoopla of one bike, sewing machine, or whatever being "better" than the other one. Unless they have special origins, they are all designed & made in the same way-Disposable after about a year or so. I think when you buy something it's like gambling nowadays.

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Old 03-29-10, 09:24 PM   #2
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Built-in Obsolescence is the term to which you are referring. It's just too expensive to stock parts for older "machines" of any type. You also found out that a new machine is likely less expensive (when the labor to refurbish it is figured in), and that basic new machine many times has more features than the old one.

The less expensive folders, which seem to have more proprietary parts, are going to be harder, more expensive and less desirable to refurbish later on.

That said, basic cleaning and maintenance can go a long way to lengthen any bicycles life. Your Brompton, in particular, should last your lifetime.
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Old 03-30-10, 11:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldable Two View Post
Built-in Obsolescence is the term to which you are referring. It's just too expensive to stock parts for older "machines" of any type. You also found out that a new machine is likely less expensive (when the labor to refurbish it is figured in), and that basic new machine many times has more features than the old one.

The less expensive folders, which seem to have more proprietary parts, are going to be harder, more expensive and less desirable to refurbish later on.

That said, basic cleaning and maintenance can go a long way to lengthen any bicycles life. Your Brompton, in particular, should last your lifetime.
Agree with the basic cleaning & maintenance comment you gave here, Foldable Two. I do care for all the appliances & devices that I bought or were gifts & it does pay off in terms of extending their life cycles. I expect the Brompton to bury me!
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Old 03-30-10, 12:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Foldable Two View Post
Built-in Obsolescence is the term to which you are referring. It's just too expensive to stock parts for older "machines" of any type. You also found out that a new machine is likely less expensive (when the labor to refurbish it is figured in), and that basic new machine many times has more features than the old one.
It's can also more economical for the user. Not always, but sometimes it's cheaper and easier to replace a broken model than it is to keep maintaining a more expensive one that's supposed to "last forever". Maintenance can't be automated in a factory and the one thing that will never ever get cheaper with inflation (and the march of technology) is the time of a human being.

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The less expensive folders, which seem to have more proprietary parts, are going to be harder, more expensive and less desirable to refurbish later on.
1. I don't think it's fair to characterize the less expensive folders as having more proprietary parts. Often times it's the opposite. Dahons, perhaps, being the exception in being both relatively inexpensive and proprietary. But the Brompton in particular stands out as a very expensive bike which is hugely proprietary, especially compared to some much cheaper alternatives like a Downtube.

2. I don't know about less desirable. R20 owners seem to have a sickness about their desire to fix things with are hard and expensive to fix.
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Old 03-30-10, 08:53 PM   #5
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You're right, but I think Downtube and Brompton are likely the exceptions on opposite ends of the price spectrum.
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