Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

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.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-18-10, 02:09 PM   #1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 96
Folding on a ration card budget

Ok,this is a little long, but I can sure listen to some advice from you folks.

I'm 183cm (around 6 feet?) and my weight is about 95 kg / 210 pounds. (And on my way to loose about 10 more pounds.)

My commute ride will be about 5-8 km (each way) through a very rough non-bike friendly rainy 3rd world urban chaos. That means, a lot of smoking buses, angry drivers, FAST irresponsible motorcylists, crazy pedestrians and unmaintained potholes and craters all over the road.

Most of my route will be flat, but there are a couple of steep hills.

I'm not even sure If I can do this route on daily basis, since it's kind of dangerous, but I'm surely going to try it. If I fail, I'll still have a bike to ride on weekends and when I get out of town.

What I need:

- Folding bike that cand handle my size and weight.
- Speeds (non single speed).
- Fenders
- Comfortable upright position

What I would like but not a must:

- Rack
- Adjustable stem and / or handle bars.

The catch:

- I cannot find any bike shop that sells folding bikes down here. And If I could, I'd probably have to pay 3 or 4 times what it would cost in the US.

- I only have $400 for this. (I won't go into details, but it's the result of living in a pseudo-communist country.)

- I have to order it blindly without test rides, online from the US, (Shipping to Florida, I will have my brother bring it to me).

- Since no one carries folding bikes around here, I'm concerned that parts are as standard or easily available as possible. For example I don't want to be stranded for months, because the rim size is a strange dahon propietary only available in the US and UK.

The contenders:

- Downtube 8H
($401 shipped, if the coupons are still available when I pull the trigger).
This one doesn't have fenders. I'm not sure if I can fit locally available ones to this bike.
This one has IGH.

- Dahon Eco
($342 at thor's).
This one has fenders and rack, and with what I have left, I could buy some lights or maybe a horn.

- Downtube Nova
No fenders, although probably enough leftover money to buy fenders that fit directly in the US.
I've read I might be too big for this bike?

- Dahon boardwalk
($150 at thor's garage sale + $60 for a Utahtrike 3sp IGH wheel kit - I can get the rear brake locally).
This one has fenders and rack.
But I'm not sure I'm up for the task of fitting the wheel on the frame.
If it was just a "screw, unscrew, job" task, I'd do it, but If I have to widen/bend or cut stuff to the rear fork, the wheel or hub, I'm not sure I'd risk it.

I've searched during weeks, but the rest of bikes I can afford are less known brands that everyone around here seems to not reccomend, (tobukaeru, Galvin, etc.) and then are the Citizens, which I kind of like, but reviews are very mixed, and negative ones scare me.

Anything else out there that I don't know about?
Should I wait for a winter closeout sale on a Dahon Speed D7 (or a Vitesse D7HG)?
fatdogvinn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-10, 03:24 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco, California
Bikes: Brompton H6, Schwinn Mirada, Cruzbike Sofrider. Used to own: ICE B1, 2 F-frame Moultons, Koga Myata Elevation 2000 mtb, Challenge Hurricane, Riese & Mueller Birdy Silver, Actionbent Tidalwave 3
Posts: 534
You didn't write which country you are in (though it may not be relevant).

I think you've picked out a good bunch of economical bikes. Random thoughts:
  • All those bikes use 20" (ISO 406) wheels and tires. This is the most common size, as used on BMXs. If you're going to find small tires overseas, I imagine this size is a good bet.
  • The Downtube full suspension bike might be nice on the rough roads
  • The full suspension might require maintenance and parts that would be difficult in a 3rd world country
  • If you bought a cheaper non-suspended bike, you could spend some money on fat tires that would cope better on rough roads and not require any maintenance like suspension
yangmusa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-10, 04:37 PM   #3
Senior Member
stevegor's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oz
Bikes: lots... even a Raleigh twenty !!!
Posts: 2,117
stevegor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-10, 04:45 PM   #4
Senior Member
wahoonc's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
Posts: 16,687
Raleigh R20...

Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-10, 04:46 PM   #5
social suicide
Senior Member
social suicide's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Marquette
Posts: 671
Originally Posted by stevegor View Post
social suicide is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-10, 06:00 PM   #6
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 96
Originally Posted by stevegor View Post
Not quite there yet, but on our way, (downhill without brakes). Guess where?

About the Raleigh, is R20 the same as Raleigh Twenty right?
I haven't considered it because the $400 "ration card" is literally the amount of money that our government allows to use on international online credit card transactions anually (non accumulable).

So, since this has to be payed by credit card, I've only searched for new bikes on well known trusted stores.

I'm kind of weary of going "used" on ebay.

I rather play it safe with Thor's or downtube. In case something goes south (pun intended) I can always have my brother help me. But if something goes wrong with shadynick69 at ebay, I don't know if I'd like my brother having to deal with that.

Last edited by fatdogvinn; 06-18-10 at 06:03 PM. Reason: I suck at english
fatdogvinn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-10, 09:31 PM   #7
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Eugene Oregon
Bikes: Dahon Classic 3
Posts: 14
Hugo's Venezuela?
Datatraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-10, 09:49 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pacific Northwest
Bikes: Too many....................
Posts: 3,075
If you go with the Downtube you get get the front susp. model for $389 and Downtube has a rigid front fork for $39 and get that for a back up. Thor has a new Mariner folding bike with 26" wheels for $259. on sale.
Dynocoaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-10, 10:01 PM   #9
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 24
well Downtube parts aren't proprietary so the bikes are easily upgradable. The 8H sounds very suitable for the commute you described, but the Nova and Boardwalk don't.
hazyphonics is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-10, 12:26 AM   #10
Senior Member
snafu21's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: The Mangroves, UK
Bikes: None.
Posts: 1,896
Downtube with hub gear thing: +2
snafu21 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:10 AM.