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  1. #1
    Newly Foldered wellton's Avatar
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    hi guys - need buying advice, quick.

    dear fellow folders, i'm about to join your ranks. I've thrown in the towel and have decided to buy my first folder.

    So tonite I have the opportunity to buy a dahon curve SL for $600.
    Generic Images
    Specs

    a) is that a decent price? Its a 2008 model I believe, with the internal 8 speed hub. 22 lbs, which is (relatively) great. 16" and folds up quite small for the bus or subway. And I'd take the fenders and rack off to save another pound of weight. Should be fairly portable as a commuter bike at that point.

    I *could* buy a new one instead for about $750 with tax and fine-tuning at my local store. Is $150 enough savings on this?

    b) And a serious question: With 16" wheels, is the Curve SL a girly bike?
    I'm a guy, about 5'8" and 175 lbs. I wont look dorky on it right? Its important!
    I know 16" wheels are popular with the ladies. I like 16" wheels for their smaller size when folded. They will let me get the folded bike into more stores and restaurants as I do my chores. But I definitely dont want to look dorky.
    For the record, I *have* seen large jock-ish men riding the Curve SL. 16" sometimes looks too small for them, sometimes it does not. Depends on the size of the guy/person riding it, mostly.
    20" wheels would be safe in terms of looks (and functionality too), and if 16" is considerd girly then I'd save a few bucks with either a mariner d7 (for the price point and features/weight/foldability) or I'd go low end and grab a greenzone for $250. But neither of those would be as small when folded as the curve SL.

    Any advice much appreciated, thanks!
    Last edited by wellton; 10-14-10 at 12:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    The price would depend on the condition of the bike. Showing generic pictures of the bike doesn't help anyone with giving you an answer. As far as size & looking girly, I don't see what you're concerned with, you're going to be dragging a bike through stores and restaurant and doing chores.

    Just ask yourself how manly that is to begin with...

  3. #3
    Newly Foldered wellton's Avatar
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    condition of bike: she claims its only 3 months old (that she just bought it). In the pics she posted it does look pretty new. I guess i'll know more when I visit there tonite.

    Assuming its in good condition and like-new, is $600 a good price for a 2008 curve SL?

    What should I look at when I go look at it? Besides kicking the tires and riding it down the street?
    (I know there's a dahon recall on certain dahon headsets from that era, I'll have to check on that on my own later on and get warranty repair on my own if its needed.)

    Quote Originally Posted by ratdog View Post
    Just ask yourself how manly that is to begin with...
    good point

  4. #4
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    Thor has a new one listed at $699 free shipping.. with that you could get a new bike warranty and be eligible for a lifetime frame warranty..

  5. #5
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    Welcome!

    If you haven't been bicycling since you were a kid, then I think it would be smart to spend less money on your first folder, because you don't have enough experience with them to know what design will work best for you. And folders are engineered to solve different problems--some emphasize performance, some compactness, etc. Each has its own set of trade-offs. I would look at spending under $500 on a Citizen, Dahon, or Downtube for starters.

    While you may have a particular vision for how you intend to use your folder, you may find that the reality is different. For example, you may imagine that you'll take your folder inside with you everywhere you go, but then discover that it's too bulky and heavy to get into that crowded bar or movie theater, or that it's less hassle to lock it up outside. Or you may have thought you'd be taking your bike on the subway every day but discover you prefer to bike the entire distance.

    To ask if the Curve is a girly bike is just a bizarre and highly subjective question. Bikes don't have gender. If you're that worried about your masculinity, then I'm afraid no one in this forum can help you. It's the 21st century! It's Manhattan! People wear all sorts of clothing and ride all sorts of bikes here. You have to decide for yourself whether you like a particular bike's look and feel. Trust your judgment and don't worry about what other people think.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    The 2008 Curve SL was indeed involved in that recall. You can find some more info here:

    http://notices.dahon.com/us/us.htm

    Once the Dahon Vector goes out on sale, you'll probably be able to pick up a Mu SL for cheap if you're wanting a super lightweight bike at a lower price, as the upper end Mu models are being discontinued. I don't know when the expected release date for the Vector is though.

  7. #7
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    Errr....my estrogen levels did not propel me to a 16 inch wheel folder. I have a 20 inch folder and I'm 5 ft 1 1/2 inches tall. However, I commute straight to my job. I don't take it onto the bus or train. So in the end, I picked the folder that best suited my storage and overall travel needs.

    Pick the folder that best suits your overall arm reach, inseam and weight, take into account your preferred cycling style, your storage and travel requirements and stop worrying about looking less macho on it.

    You seem to have some doubts already on the potential purchase so maybe getting the Curve (bargain or no bargain) is not for you. Follow your gut reaction. It's usually right.

    It looks like you're willing to spend $750 and more for a folder too so you do have more options out there that you yourself pointed out.

  8. #8
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    Let me add that I highly recommend you do some homework before you plunk down money on a bike. Think carefully about your needs and budget, look at the various Citizens, Dahons, and Downtube models (or others you hear about), read reviews on this forum, go to your local bike shop and try out some folders. Most bike shops I've been to in NYC stock Dahons, and we even have some shops that specialize in folders, such as bfold in the East Village and NYCEWheels on the UES.

  9. #9
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    The Dahon Uno is a nice looking SS and for around $500 is a good deal. It can always be updated with a geared hub later. The curve 3 speed is a deal at performance but it is pink but a can of flat black could take care of that.

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    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000__400325

    http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/current/muuno.htm

    The Uno is one of my favorites but I am waiting patiently to see the new Swift SS.

  11. #11
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    At $600, it's certainly not an drop dead type of deal considering Thor is selling a 2009 model for $699, free shipping, set up correctly (as long as it's not banged up in shipping) from an authorized seller and with the recall issue taken care of (I assume).

  12. #12
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    you bet ..... no recall issues ever... from day one all of my bikes were shipped with corrected handleposts, no exception whatsoever.
    and yes I lost potential sales because of it as I was waiting for parts already paid bikes were cancelled and ordered somewhere else.
    BUT
    that way its easy to remember
    :-)

    thor

  13. #13
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    Look for Good used Dahon Boardwalk single speed for your first folder as they can be found for under $125 used in VCG. If you want to upgrade later, you can add S/A 3 speed(utah-trikes) internal Hub on the cheap. A Buddy of mine rides a Single Speed Dahon Boardwalk around Manhattan and he swears by it.

  14. #14
    Newly Foldered wellton's Avatar
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    hi all - thanks very much for the advice and links. I did notice thor's bike and thats actually one of the reasons I asked if saving $100 was worthwhile or not. I'd love to give thor my business of course. I also wouldnt mind saving $100 either if it worked out locally.

    Some quick responses:
    -ok, i'm over the macho issue
    -i've owned a variety of mountain bikes (mostly in the 1990's though) and I've worked on them to some degree (fixing flats on the side of the road, greasing hubs, adjusting/installing brakes, shopping like mad for accessories at bike nashbar). So i'm not totally new to bikes, its just been a little while, thats all.
    -my priorities for a folding bike were light weight and small folding. I know I can get a ~25lb bike for $250-$300 easily (downtube, greenzone, used curve 3 or boardwalk, etc). I was trying to get the weight closer to 20 lbs though, without breaking the bank. I could justify $600 to $700. I'd love a brompton (for its smallest fold), but i dont want to spend $1200 (i spec'ed out the one i want, and its too expensive for me right now. maybe in 5 years). At under $700, the curve SL seemed (on paper) to fit most of my (paper) criteria. You are absolutely right tho that, since its my first folder, I have no real experience, and may well change my mind about my needs as I use it.
    -The MU SL is unbelievably light (I picked one up and fondled it at the local bike shop) but selling for $1500. Even if the new vectors come out early next year, I dont see that price dropping to $600/$700 range any time soon. Indeed, if I could afford a MU SL, I'd have bought a brompton.
    -I looked at the UNO and it looks good, but one speed and coaster brakes turned me off. I do have some moderate hills to climb, and I never did like coaster brakes.

    Thats how I settled on Curve SL, trying to beat the 25 lb standard. Youre right that I dont know if saving 3 lbs is worth the extra 300 bucks, tho its more than that, I also like the internal hub, and the 16" tiny fold. The closest competition was a used downtube mini, but I think the curve looks better, is lighter, and folds smaller. I was willing to pay a bit extra for that, I guess.

    After reading the comments above, I kind of wish I could get it used for $550 instead of $600. But $600 feels easier to digest right now than $700. I dont know, maybe I should offer less once I check it out. Anyway, I doubt she will have any problem selling it in nyc, even in dead of winter. Do you?

    That said, if it falls through, Thor will have access to my credit card number

    Will appreciate any other words of advice. Sorry for being a noob, and I really appreciate all of your help and friendliness.
    Last edited by wellton; 10-14-10 at 04:10 PM.

  15. #15
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    After having owned a Mu SL, I can personally attest that low weight is incredible if you're really going to be dragging the bike around a lot. Otherwise, the weight isn't too important. I personally like the Curve SL, and in particular having an internal gear hub is very useful on a city bike, and also very useful on a folding bike. Those 16" models in particular have everything so low to the ground that a derailleur can easily hit things on the road or be ground against a curb, and an IGH doesn't suffer from that.

    Maybe you can get it for less with the mention of the recall. After all, buying the recalled bike will mean that you will have to take time out of your day and your ride in order to get the issue fixed, if it is afflicted. That might get you a good deal,

    Otherwise, I would personally prefer buying a new one for $100 more. It comes with a warranty, no wear, and service. Probably no defective handlepost either.
    Last edited by Abneycat; 10-14-10 at 10:11 PM.

  16. #16
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by wellton View Post
    b) And a serious question: With 16" wheels, is the Curve SL a girly bike?
    I'm a guy, about 5'8" and 175 lbs. I wont look dorky on it right? Its important!
    from the FAQ:

    Q: Won't I look like a clown?
    A: Yes. Get used to it. People will make comments ranging from "Cool bike!" to "Get a real bike!" with everything in between. But comment they will, and get ready for the question, "How much did it cost?"

    Q: Will I look like a circus bear?
    A: Only if you are wearing a bear suit.

  17. #17
    Erudite white trash lexm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyFlorida View Post
    I have a 20 inch folder and I'm 5 ft 1 1/2 inches tall.
    So, if I donned a greasy t-shirt, rode a beater and dissed your folder would you go out with me?

    (My apologies - probably not the right place for an obscure reference to an earlier thread. P.S. I'm happily married and completely harmless.)
    @AlexeiM on Twitter

  18. #18
    Newly Foldered wellton's Avatar
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    hey everybody, I'd like you to meet "Sliderule":

    CIMG0079..jpg

    CIMG0082..jpg

    CIMG0081..jpg

    *Big Grin*

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    AC--I echo your thought on lightweight if you are moving around a lot. I purchased a Dahon Mu Uno several months back and it was great for rolling onto public transport and up escalators, as well as picking it up to load it onto the Bike Carrier on the front of our local buses. Then came a chance to buy a Dahon Speed Pro with a Sram Dual Drive(24 speed) As New(used two times) for $400. Today the Speed Pro TT goes for over $1100 + Tax in my area. I scooped it up and no regrets and it weighs in around 22.75 pounds with the pedals. It also is light as a feather but with 24 speeds and is great also for use in conjunction with public transport. SOld the Mu Uno. I'm glad I took my time and looked around as these great deals always turn up if you have patience and Cash in hand.
    Last edited by miamimike; 10-14-10 at 11:23 PM. Reason: sp

  20. #20
    Newly Foldered wellton's Avatar
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    So it was love at first sight.......

    So I went to meet with this dame as promised. In the pouring rain. Got lost twice walking around trying to find the damn apartment. Finally we meet in the lobby.

    She seems nice enough. Some kind of southern drawl. Her puppy likes me, she eyes me suspiciously.

    The Bike is standing in the corner. It glints at me, then acts all demure. I'd never bought a folder before, and never ridden one, never even sat on one. I walked over to it casually like I know what I'm doing.

    "So this is it, huh? Everything working on it?" I pat the tires. It wiggles its slate blue frame a little.

    I love the color.

    "You know there was a recall on these... I have the printout on me..." I fish around in my pockets and produce a soggy and crumbling piece of paper. The bike is not part of the recall, as far as I can tell. There goes my last-ditch bargaining chip. But meanwhile -- I cant take my eyes off the bike anyway.

    Finally, I slid my hands under the frame and picked it up.

    You know what? It wasnt that light. Ok, so it wasnt MU SL light. On the other hand, it wasnt as bad as a 25 pounder either. It was definitely manageable, weight-wise, but not astonishing.

    On the other hand, its silhouette, when its folded-up, was seriously attractive. So very small. Almost Brompton small. Seriously. Its pretty small when its folded. The 16" wheels definitely help with that.

    Since it was pouring out, I then proceeded to "ride" it around the lobby a few times. Never ridden one before. Lobby isnt exactly a great test, but I did get a sense of it. Not as twitchy as I was expecting from reading reviews. Seemed controlled, really liked the low ride height, and the weight distribution.
    And I did not feel like a dork or a circus employee. The SL is actually, in my view, the least dorky of the 16-inchers. I felt that when I saw others riding them in the park. They looked grown up, like bromptons do, despite being 16". There are definitely some 16" that dont look grown up. At least to my eye, this is highly subjective I know. Anyway, its all relative. I didnt feel like a dork and I was glad for that on this bike. It has an "athletic" look, the Curve SL does. I think the thin tires help give it that look, probably, as compared to the big apples on the curve d3. Also the subdued color and bright aluminum.

    And so.. a decision had to be made... and truth be told I had made it the moment I laid eyes on it. A few minutes later I'm $600 poorer but em-bicycled.

    The trip home (complete with celebratory stop at a Wendy's) was interesting. Rather than jumping into a cab, I decided to see what it felt like folding the bike and taking it into a restaurant and then on the public transportation (bus). You know what? It felt fine. To my relief.

    Its ridiculously tiny folded up. 16" is the right decision for me. The extra inches saved DOES make a difference, for me. A 16" bike, I feel, really can be quite unobtrusive, people dont seem to mind it being indoors. Its like a baby stroller or something. No one at Wendy's complained.

    Rolling it while walking was a challenge until I experimented a little. I eventually grabbed the top of the seat (the thin part) and it rolled okay next to me as I walked. I'd like to figure out how to make it roll on two wheels instead of one. Seems like the brake pads tighten up on one wheel (the rear one I think), but there should be a simple way to release the brake pads on command. I know they sell brake calipers that let you do that. That would possibly let it roll on two wheels, much more stable. Will experiment.

    Carrying it was also a challenge, until I again experimented a bit. Grabbing the frame behind the seat, when its folded, seemed best for me, closest to some kind of center of gravity. As others have said, most of the weight is on the rear wheel and it tends to tip upwards very easily. While the bike is not super-light, when I held it that way and walked, it did seem liveable and quite manageable to me. I'm glad its not 25lbs even if I wish it were 19 lbs. I think 22lbs is a liveable weight. I say this after I ran to catch the bus (about 25 yards while carrying it) and when I got to the bus I was not tired. Thats a great sign.

    The bus trip was interesting too. It got lots of attention, starting with the bus driver himself, who interrogated me about it: What did I think of it? Did I like it? How much was it? Etc. Then I went to the back of the bus, I could have slid the bike easily under the seat and it would have vanished. Thats a great feeling knowing you can just take it with you like that. And again I was glad it was 16" and not 20". But I kept it in front of me for the trip.

    About 5 or 6 people stared intently at the bike the entire way home but didnt ask me anything. But 4 others, did come up to me and ask! I read on these forums somewhere that these bikes "get more attention than a puppy". Its true! And I suppose this is either a pro or a con depending on what mood I'm in on a given day I got bombarded with questions about ride quality, what i thought of it, did i like it, cost, etc. Having only owned it for about 1/2 hour by then, I did my best

    Whats funny is, in jaded new york, where these bikes are hardly uncommon anymore, there is still this much interest. These bikes are hugely popular. People stare and are interested. I suppose that was true in my case too - I stared and coveted for at least 18 months before taking the plunge and buying one.

    Speaking of which, yea, I probably overpaid, maybe by $50 or so. But you know what? Given that its my first folder, it was worth a lot to me to see it in person, touch it, "ride" it, before buying. Also, as abneycat says above, every pound of weight counts. I agree. I'm much more inclined to take it out and use it, if its a manageable weight, and 22 lbs is definitely manageable and is definitely better than 25 or 26 lbs. And 16" wheels help it vanish under a seat, or make people less inclined to complain or frown, again thats important for me, for the uses to which I want to put it, commuting and etc. And all this also makes me much more inclined to take it out and use it in the way that I intended to.

    SO the specs on it are the right ones for me. I would have been unhappy with different specs and I can live with this price point. Heck, I'm thrilled that I grabbed it.

    And lastly, why is it named "Sliderule", you may ask. Well, because it was largely paid for by the sale of an inherited "antique" sliderule that I discovered in our attic.
    Last edited by wellton; 10-15-10 at 02:11 AM.

  21. #21
    Newly Foldered wellton's Avatar
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    p.s., I also want to experiment with a canvas military style bag with shoulder straps in case I ever need to carry it a long distance. I dont like the bags they have available out there for folding bikes, they are *way* too huge. I actually believe that if you take the saddle off, the rest of the Curve SL should actually fit into a large backpack/framepack, like hikers use, and one should be able to carry it like a bookbag, with shoulder straps, on your back. I dont believe such a bag need be all that huge. Mainly it needs to be more tall than wide, and so shouldnt look that huge either. Anyway, will experiment.
    Last edited by wellton; 10-15-10 at 02:07 AM.

  22. #22
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    welton - so you didn't bargain a bit. $600 might be a bit high for a 2008 SL considering that you can get a 2009 Brand New one for $699 @ THORUSA. and thor has a lifetime warranty on frame, too. for an additional $99, if i were you, i would go with THOR. just my 2 cents. NICE BIKE THOUGH......post more pics.

    fyi..

    http://forum.dahon.com/index.php?showtopic=6037
    Last edited by vmaniqui; 10-15-10 at 12:35 AM.

  23. #23
    jur
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    Nice write-up.

  24. #24
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    Congratulations - you`re gonna love your Curve SL! For a more aggressive look you can get some Ergon GC3 grips. They are muy macho - and as an added bonus they will allow you to change hand positions and stretch out a bit. Check `em out:

    http://www.ecovelo.info/2010/10/14/j...contest-entry/

    Also, FYI the Curve SL fits nicely in an IKEA shopping bag.

  25. #25
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    I've never enjoyed carrying my bike folded for any distance. Unfolded, I find it easier to roll (if on a flat surface) or carry (if on stairs--because it's easier to find appropriate spots on the bike for balancing and holding). So I tend to fold at the last minute.

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