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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 05-12-10, 08:23 PM   #1
ben319
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Should I get a Downtube?

I've never owned a folder before. I'm 5ft 9in, 145lbs and thinking of getting either the Nova or front suspension model. I'm on a bit of a budget, and don't want to spend any more than $400 (excluding shipping). I live in NYC and will use it daily, mostly on paved roads and grassy, somewhat bumpy areas. I've never ridden a bike without suspension before, so I honestly don't know what I'll be in for. I want to get a Downtube because of their low price and reputation for good customer service. With them not being particularly well-established in relation to other companies (Dahon, etc.) I'm a bit apprehensive. Should I go for it? Does anyone have anything positive/negative to say about their Downtube? Thanks for any input.

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Old 05-12-10, 08:36 PM   #2
jur
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There are several big threads about Downtubes - have a read there.
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Old 05-12-10, 09:43 PM   #3
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I'm quite fond of my Nova.
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Old 05-12-10, 09:57 PM   #4
SesameCrunch
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I've owned several models of the Downtube. It's one of the best values in folders. Don't worry. Go for it! As Jur said, there are many threads about their models. You'll get more information than you can imagine from those threads.
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Old 05-12-10, 10:16 PM   #5
randya
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stay away from the Sturmey Archer 8 speed hub and you'll be OK
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Old 05-13-10, 06:24 AM   #6
airwulf
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Check out DT Forums for Yan's latest on the 2010 pricing and Nova.
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Old 05-13-10, 08:58 AM   #7
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Honestly you don't need suspension in NYC... unless you're in SoHo and are going to hit a lot of cobblestones or you're going to be going through a lot of pothole ridden areas. There's enough smooth bike paths, and the advantage with no suspension is you have a lighter bike. As for budget folders I don't think you can beat Downtube for frame stiffness and if you really want to add suspension to the Nova it's easy using either Schwalbe Big Apple tires or a Cane Creek Thudbuster for folders (either with be about a $100 upgrade). The Novas are going for around $220 on eBay btw... I'd get one but am a little over the recommended weight limit.. but for your size it'd be perfect. Only other option is one of the beater steel jobs or a lowend Dahon, which start at the $300 range.
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Old 05-13-10, 01:09 PM   #8
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i bought a nova from ebay. so far i've changed the seat because the one that it ships with is torture. i was going to get a thudbuster, but i found an old spring seat, so i slapped that on. i did have to order a new seat stem pipe because i broke an allen key off in the bolt of the one that came with the nova. thats ok, because the one i ordered is shorter, so it doesn't stick out the bottom when i fold it up

i also added a planet bike computer, i was able to get the bike up to 23.3mph . i think the gearing is too low, i'd like to go faster and pedal less so, i ordered an 11-28T rear freewheel from itselectric.ca they are hard to find, i ordered it on may 1st, it shipped today...
if the freewheel is not enough, i will change the front cranks to something with more teeth. i think i have an extra crank from an old bike that might fit. then there is always the possibility of a front derailluier


but, without the mods, the bike is solid and worth the price. i ride it everyday for about 3-10 miles
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Old 05-14-10, 12:06 AM   #9
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Thanks for all your help. Much appreciated!
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