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  1. #1
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    Help a newbie decide what to buy!

    I am trying to decide what to buy. I live in Brooklyn but work in the Bronx far-ish from the subway-- maybe 3/4 of a mile to a mile. My apartment building has an elevator (though future apartments may not) but it's pretty small. Basically, I'm thinking folding so I can (1) store in my apartment since the building has no bike room or storage areas (2) take on the subway so I can bike from subway to work on the Bronx side of my commute. That's less onerous than it sounds -- I take an express and there are no transfers. I have no idea whether NY subways would even let me have my bike on it, but if it were folded and covered don't see how transit could object (3) get around Brooklyn more easily (not a lot of convenient subways for intra Brooklyn travel). I'd like the option of longer rides on the weekends, but they would likely be city rides. I'm totally naive about bikes. Biked a lot when i was a kid, and had a beautiful cherry red bianci mountain bike until I was in 10th grade and it got stolen, haven't owned any bikes since.

    I test rode the Dahon curve and Speed 7. Loved the curve but worried that it would have limited use on longer city rides with only three speeds (do I need more than 3?). IT's also a little pricey so I would need to think it was far and away better than anything else.

    Also considering the Downtube Nova and 8h. The main difference between those two bikes seems to be that the 8h is a pit pricier, a bit heavier, and then all the gears are internal. should I care about that?

    Last q: do I care whether the bike can "roll" when folded and if so do any of these four bikes do that?

    Sorry to be so verbose (I'm a new lawyer, can you tell?)

    Thanks for any insights

    AM

  2. #2
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    oops -- also would consider Dahon Eco.

  3. #3
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    all good bikes .... you will not make a big mistake choosing any one of the listed ones .... if you are very tall and on the upside of the size limit ..go for a 20 incher .... otherwise let me throw in another bike to choose from ... even more expensive but maybe the best bang for the buck ... a 2008/09 Curve SL with internal Nexus redband 8 speed ... superlight and sold at a phenominal discount .... and not many more available either.
    http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/2009/curvesl.htm

    the big apples on the CUrve models can be run with a little less air and make the ride more comfortable than a 20 incher with fully inflated tires.... ( did I just open a can of worms ? ) lol

    thor

  4. #4
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    +1 on Thor`s Curve SL with Big Apple tires suggestion. In addition to the better gearing, you will appreciate the SL`s lesser weight when you are hefting it up and down stairs to the subway platform.

  5. #5
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    First off don't buy any folder that doesn't fit you...be honest about this...it's easy to want to love a shinny new little bike, but does it fit you? I wanted a Dahon Curve as my first folder, but the cockpit was uber cramped for me at 6' tall. I ended up with a Dahon Speed D7, but I almost bought the Curve just 'cause it was cute. Even the D7 doesn't really fit me, but at least it's in the range I can make work.

    Eventually I got myself a Bike Friday Tikit with a 58cm TT and *sigh* it fits me and I can ride all day on it!...

    Not saying you must buy a Tikit, but I am saying don't compromise bike fit for any reason. From the Dahon line up the Speed TR has the biggest cockpit of any Dahon I've tried..plus it has nice tires, racks, lights and a wide range gear setup....so you can ride to the train and you can also ride to the next state.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  6. #6
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    I would get the Speed TR from http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/2009/speedtr.htm take off all the stuff you dont want to make it lighter and you will have a bike that you can ride almost anywhere.
    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  7. #7
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    The TR is a beautiful bike, but probably better for touring in the Pacific NW than for hectic multi-modal NYC commuting methinks. I don`t think it would suit the OP`s needs unless he plans to bust out of the Bronx and tour the Catskills every weekend (and he places a priority on doing that).

    The Tikit would work nicely for him (or for anyone) but it`s kind of expensive.

    Regarding the size of the Curve - I don`t know the top tube measurement but I believe the latest Curve SL models have a longer wheelbase and the distance is greater seatpost to handlebar (65mm max) than the current 3 speed curve and older 08 and 07 SL models(63mm). Regardless, at 6`0 I still felt just a bit cramped on my 09 SL until I added some Ergon GC3 grips/barends which allowed me to get some extension. Now the bike is really very comfortable.

  8. #8
    Member davecriswell's Avatar
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    If you will be doing some longer rides than it might be worth looking at a full size folding bike. They don't fold up as compactly and will be bulkier to transport when folded than the models already mentioned. However, for longer rides it could be more comfortable and give you more options on where you go.

    I take mine on to the commuter train every day and have also taken it on light trails on the weekend. I also do a fair amount of city riding with it in Boston (The MBTA doesn't allow bikes on the subway on some trains and during rush hour unless its a folder) and have enjoyed the full size while navigating all the road construction on my daily commute. It won't roll when folded so if you need to carry it any kind of distance or you need a compact size when folded, one of the models mentioned may be a better fit.

    No matter what you get - congrats on getting back into cycling!!
    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go" - T.S. Eliot
    flavors.me/davecriswell
    TrainingPeaks.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    If you are still looking - this guy is selling a Curve SL for $550.

    http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/bik/1831923666.html

  10. #10
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by owenfinn View Post
    If you are still looking - this guy is selling a Curve SL for $550.

    http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/bik/1831923666.html
    which aint bad but I can sell you a new one with lifetime warranty for $699 .........

  11. #11
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    which aint bad but I can sell you a new one with lifetime warranty for $699 .........
    Good point...I assume the warranty on parts is 1yr and lifetime warranty only applies to frame?
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  12. #12
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    All: Thanks so much for you kinds encouragement. I ended up going with the Nova b/c its just such good deal. I think if I end up really liking it, I can upgrade in a couple years. For now, thanks for a great welcome into the folding bike community

  13. #13
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    A Buddy of mine has used a Dahon Boardwalk in NYC for 3 years and it does everything he asks of it very well. He's thinking of converting to a 3 speed just because he can. He paid like $175 3 yr ago and reports No Trouble at all with his Boardwalk.

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