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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-12-10, 04:18 PM   #1
chagzuki
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes: Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
Posts: 1,871
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Anyone still riding a downtube mini?

Just wondering if anyone is still attached to this bike; it's a long time since I've noticed any discussion of it on these forums. Every so often I think it'd be a nice bike to mod/upgrade but I think I've only ever seen one going on ebay here in the UK.
chagzuki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-10, 07:49 PM   #2
jur
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 6,965
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
I suppose it's quiet about these bikes as they aren't sold any more. I still have mine, ride it occasionally as needed only. Currentl;y it serves as a backup bike. It may go on the block soon.
jur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-10, 08:04 PM   #3
chucky
It's got electrolytes!
 
chucky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Bikes: Self-designed carbon fiber highracer, BikesDirect Kilo WT5, Pacific Cycles Carryme, Dahon Boardwalk with custom Sturmey Archer wheelset
Posts: 1,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Shame it was discontinued. Seemed like perhaps the best 16" wheeled bike on the market (price considered).
chucky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 04:31 AM   #4
chagzuki
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes: Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
Posts: 1,871
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Are there any weak spots on the frame, is it built to last?
chagzuki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 05:55 AM   #5
airwulf
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Bikes: Brompton H6L, DT Mini, DT 9FS, Dahon Ciao P8, Dahon Classic 3(x2), Dahon TR, R20, Raleigh Chopper III, Auto Mini Jr., Mercier Nano, Giant Anyroad2
Posts: 159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Mini

I still have my Mini and love riding it. Mudguards and kickstand are the only additions.

There have been a few issues with the handlepost hinge area cracking but it's not widespread.
airwulf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 06:26 AM   #6
Urbanis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New York, NY
Bikes: Xootr Swift, Dahon Speed P8, Jamis Aurora
Posts: 386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sold mine last year. Loved it for a long time--the "fun" quality of the ride, the compact fold, and the style. I could never leave my house without getting questions or compliments about it. At a certain point, I wanted a higher-performance bike and decided I didn't need the ultra-compact fold, so I sold it. BF member rhm still rides his regularly.
Urbanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 06:51 AM   #7
chagzuki
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes: Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
Posts: 1,871
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I think if I had the opportunity for a second-hand one at a reasonable price I'd go for it, though I doubt that opportunity will present itself in the UK.

Anyone know if the official weight of 24.5 lbs is accurate?
chagzuki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 07:49 AM   #8
jur
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 6,965
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
There are at least 2 frame types in the wild, one with a straight seat tube and another with a narrowing seat tube. Personally I would not buy one with the narrowing tube; the narrow section is where the seatpost is clamped and I think the tube section that supports the seatpost is too short, leading to excess stress and frame failure. Mine is a straight version.

I think there has been some reports about Downtube frames cracking at this point but I can't be sure, my memory isn't prize-winning material.

Anyway, I do know Sammyboy has/had a narrowing version and he has placed some pretty huge stresses on his and AFAIK he has not had failure, so I could be completely wrong about this.
jur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 08:56 AM   #9
JosephLMonti
Senior Member
 
JosephLMonti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Bikes:
Posts: 463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chucky View Post
Shame it was discontinued. Seemed like perhaps the best 16" wheeled bike on the market (price considered).
I agree. With the disappearance of the Mini, are there any 305-wheeled folders priced between the Citizen Tokyo ($200) and the Dahon Curve D3 ($500-ish)?
JosephLMonti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 09:17 AM   #10
BruceMetras
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Rafael, California
Bikes:
Posts: 1,910
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
I still have 2 DT Minis in my extended family.. both are still great riding bikes that have seen light use over the past few years .. one is used about 3 times a week as a shopper with quick release basket on front.. one week a year, one of them comes with me to the mountains, I'm always impressed when I go for a ride .. with the handling, comfort and Sturmey 8, it was a lot of bang for the buck...
BruceMetras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 09:20 AM   #11
Urbanis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New York, NY
Bikes: Xootr Swift, Dahon Speed P8, Jamis Aurora
Posts: 386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Bruce, what's the quick-release front basket you're using on your Mini?

Also, I wonder if Yan has any plans to reintroduce the Mini; the only bike now available on his site is the Nova, so I imagine he has a whole new fleet of bikes that he's about to release. The Mini had quite a dedicated following here on BF, and is a great value for folks who want a compact, well-engineered folder and don't want to shell out for a Brompton. It would be nice if Yan got rid of the rear suspension to make the bike more rear-rack friendly. A belt drive and kickstand might make this bike even more commuter-friendly.

Last edited by Urbanis; 09-13-10 at 09:28 AM.
Urbanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 09:36 AM   #12
BruceMetras
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Rafael, California
Bikes:
Posts: 1,910
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbanis View Post
Bruce, what's the quick-release front basket you're using on your Mini?

Also, I wonder if Yan has any plans to reintroduce the Mini. It had quite a dedicated following here on BF, and is a great value for folks who want a compact, well-engineered folder and don't want to shell out for a Brompton. It would be nice if Yan got rid of the rear suspension to make the bike more rear-rack friendly.
I can't tell you the exact model as I gave it as a present awhile back. It has a mount on the handlebars and the basket just slips over tabs on the mount... it has been sold through various vendors and looks like this:



As to the rear suspension, as Jur and I both did some modifications from stock years ago, you can go from cushy to lock-out without too much trouble... dial in how much suspension you want.. I think that bike was a well thought out design and at an excellent pricepoint ...
BruceMetras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 10:20 AM   #13
gringo_gus
Senior Member
 
gringo_gus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: NW England
Bikes: SL2-X; DT mini; Joey Sport
Posts: 611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I still have mine as a backup. Its a nice ride, but the other thing is that treat it as you would a folding bike, eg put it in and out the car, take it on the train, and the groovy-green is scraping off here and there more on my other bikes. If I knew then what I know now I think I would have brought a xootr swift home with me from the states. The mini is nice enough, don't get me wrong, but the price-point is a fair one, rather than an amazing bargain, imho.
gringo_gus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 11:18 AM   #14
chucky
It's got electrolytes!
 
chucky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Bikes: Self-designed carbon fiber highracer, BikesDirect Kilo WT5, Pacific Cycles Carryme, Dahon Boardwalk with custom Sturmey Archer wheelset
Posts: 1,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephLMonti View Post
I agree. With the disappearance of the Mini, are there any 305-wheeled folders priced between the Citizen Tokyo ($200) and the Dahon Curve D3 ($500-ish)?
I don't recall the Mini being cheaper than the Curve...but it definitely seemed like a better bike. Lots more gears, lighter weight, rear suspension, and perhaps even more compact.

Better than the Brompton in some ways too (more gears, lighter weight) and at less than half the price. IMO the Brompton's fold is highly overrated. The millimeters saved by the Brompton tucking in a few extra bits is not worth the compromises.

If I ever decided to buy a 16" folder the Mini would have been it. (Although I doubt I'll ever need a 16" folder now. My fitness level has improved to the point that I have don't have much use for multimoding anymore...for under 50 miles it's quicker and cheaper to forget the train and ride the whole way and most transit systems don't extend much further than that. 20" wheels are just as effective or ineffective for storage and taking indoors as 16" wheels are and 16" wheels don't hold a candle to 8" wheels for popping in/out of shops on quick errands around the neighborhood).
chucky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 11:24 AM   #15
Urbanis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New York, NY
Bikes: Xootr Swift, Dahon Speed P8, Jamis Aurora
Posts: 386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Gus, does Xootr have no distributors in the UK? The Swift is a fabulous bike to ride.
Urbanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 01:46 PM   #16
mulleady
The Metropolis, UK
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 2,353
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I presume Avon Valley Cyclery still stock them despite the page being hidden?

http://www.foldingbikes.co.uk/xootr_swift.htm
mulleady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 01:51 PM   #17
mulleady
The Metropolis, UK
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 2,353
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chucky View Post
I don't recall the Mini being cheaper than the Curve...but it definitely seemed like a better bike. Lots more gears, lighter weight, rear suspension, and perhaps even more compact.

Better than the Brompton in some ways too (more gears, lighter weight) and at less than half the price. IMO the Brompton's fold is highly overrated. The millimeters saved by the Brompton tucking in a few extra bits is not worth the compromises.

If I ever decided to buy a 16" folder the Mini would have been it. (Although I doubt I'll ever need a 16" folder now. My fitness level has improved to the point that I have don't have much use for multimoding anymore...for under 50 miles it's quicker and cheaper to forget the train and ride the whole way and most transit systems don't extend much further than that. 20" wheels are just as effective or ineffective for storage and taking indoors as 16" wheels are and 16" wheels don't hold a candle to 8" wheels for popping in/out of shops on quick errands around the neighborhood).
The Mini was a good folder. But better than a Brompton? I think not! Each to their own but I find the Brompton fold very very effective.

Downtube make some very nice bikes but I've had a 8H that cracked at the seatpost. Yes I had the seatpost too high as it wasn't log enough for me but it didn't take long to crack. I can't comment on the Mini but I presume some models would have been prone to the same thing?
mulleady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 02:36 PM   #18
chucky
It's got electrolytes!
 
chucky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Bikes: Self-designed carbon fiber highracer, BikesDirect Kilo WT5, Pacific Cycles Carryme, Dahon Boardwalk with custom Sturmey Archer wheelset
Posts: 1,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
The Mini was a good folder. But better than a Brompton? I think not! Each to their own but I find the Brompton fold very very effective.

Downtube make some very nice bikes but I've had a 8H that cracked at the seatpost. Yes I had the seatpost too high as it wasn't log enough for me but it didn't take long to crack. I can't comment on the Mini but I presume some models would have been prone to the same thing?
All I was saying is the Mini is lighter, has more gears, is cheaper, and folds nearly as small.

Clearly the Brompton has better workmanship among other advantages.
chucky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 02:50 PM   #19
gringo_gus
Senior Member
 
gringo_gus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: NW England
Bikes: SL2-X; DT mini; Joey Sport
Posts: 611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbanis View Post
Gus, does Xootr have no distributors in the UK? The Swift is a fabulous bike to ride.
I think so, but when I last look they were around GBP 650, or $1000 US, for about which you can get a brompton here. Which I have. And, comparing to the mini is apples and pears, but the Brompton is much better engineered, as a bike, and the fold is a different and better paradigm, if you are taking in on a train or bus. It stays together folded....
gringo_gus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 03:09 PM   #20
mulleady
The Metropolis, UK
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 2,353
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chucky View Post
All I was saying is the Mini is lighter, has more gears, is cheaper, and folds nearly as small.

Clearly the Brompton has better workmanship among other advantages.
Chucky a lot of what you said is right. Bang for buck Downtube bikes are the best in their class and nice looking too. The Brompton should have used a grip shift and hub ages ago. i had mine modified to 8 speed Alfine in 2008. Cost me a bomb but never looked back!
mulleady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 03:34 PM   #21
SesameCrunch
Eschew Obfuscation
 
SesameCrunch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes: 2005 Fuji Professional, 2002 Lemond Zurich, Folders - Strida, Merc, Dahon, Downtube, Recumbent folder
Posts: 3,850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I still have mine but it doesn't get ridden much any more. Got too many bikes. I may let it go to a better home.

Mine may be the only one ever ridden to the top of Alp d'Huez on the Tour de France route tho. Friend of mine did it, not me, unfortunately...

__________________
SesameCrunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 03:55 PM   #22
Urbanis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New York, NY
Bikes: Xootr Swift, Dahon Speed P8, Jamis Aurora
Posts: 386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How many bikes do you have at this point, Sesame?
Urbanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 05:06 PM   #23
jur
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 6,965
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
I still have mine but it doesn't get ridden much any more. Got too many bikes. I may let it go to a better home.

Mine may be the only one ever ridden to the top of Alp d'Huez on the Tour de France route tho. Friend of mine did it, not me, unfortunately...

That is just awesome!
jur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 05:15 PM   #24
chagzuki
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes: Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
Posts: 1,871
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Yeah, great photo. And is stoking my desire for said bike. Not that I'd look remotely like that riding it, of course.
chagzuki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-10, 05:23 PM   #25
chagzuki
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes: Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
Posts: 1,871
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Does the mini rest on a protruding part of the frame when folded (rather than the seat post a la Dahon). . . I think some DT bikes are/were like this?
chagzuki is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


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 06:29 PM.