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  1. #1
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    Advice Appreciated: Giant Expressway vs Raleigh Folding i8 vs Midrange Dahon Bikes

    Hello everyone, I am new in this forums and I think I have done my due diligence searching for topics regarding the bikes that I am interested in. Apologies if there is something that I have missed but anyway, I am looking for a folding bike because I do not want to deal with a bike rack and I have limited space in my apartment.

    * Weight: 160lbs
    * Height: 5'8"
    * Budget: I can stretch up to $600 ish
    * Casual Rider
    * User: Casual riding in the park, board walk, weekend rides, nothing on an everyday basis. I live in san diego so I do not really bike to the train station or to work. I do not know a lot about bicycles

    Initially, I was thinking of getting an entry level folder as I am only planning on doing casual weekend rides on the parks, beaches, neighborhood. I live close to the ocean. My area is relatively flat but we do have some hills in San Diego. Currently, I do not see riding hills in the foreseeable future but I thought I'd spend the extra cash and buy something that is multi-purpose (hence, the interest in the mid-range folding bikes).

    I have researched and have found the following the interest me:
    1) Giant Expressway 2 - A couple LBS have this in stock. Tried one of them and it feels okay. I could not find any specs from their website though (including weight) nor reviews from people who vouch for it but this is 7 speed and has an aluminum frame. Considering this because of the price of $440 out the door + free tune-ups from my LBS.

    2) Raleigh Folding i8 - Like the Giant Expressway, this one is in stock in one of my LBS (I am going to test it out later today if I get out of work early enough). I am considering this because of the IGH. Price is $640 online or $650 cash out the door from my LBS with free tune-ups.

    3) Dahon Midrange Bikes - No LBS has any bike on the floor. Can't test any of them. Reason for Dahon: Seems like a lot of people vouch for it and that it has a magnetic clip system (the others do not)
    - Speed D7 / Mariner D7 (do I need rust resistant paint since I live close to the ocean? It is not rust proof)
    - Speed P8 / Mu P8 - On the top of my budget ($599/$699) and online only, hence no free tuneups from a lbs.

    4) Downtube 9FS ($499) - online only - it seems there's a lot more people on here that has the downtube than the giant and raleigh folder


    -----------

    Also, since I am a casual and weekend-only rider, I am open to getting an entry level folder from the following:
    - Dahon Speed Uno (would you recommend a single speed when I can get a multispeed for the same price) - around $379 online
    - Dahon Eco C6 - around $379 online
    - Downtube Nova 7SP - around $299 + shipping ($30+) online

    Lastly, is there a reason to get an IGH over derailleur if my LBS offer free tune-ups for life? Again, apologies as I do not know a lot about bicycles. Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by rockjamesroll; 07-06-11 at 05:26 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
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    Apologies for the very long read. Would also appreciate if someone could pin-point to any of the selection that is better when maintaining (availability of parts, etc.) Thank you guys!

  3. #3
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    I am probably not the best person to respond, given that I only bought my folder in February... but I got a good deal on a Dahon Speed P8 on craigslist. It was virtually brnad new I have now put about 1200 miles on it, and have made some minor mods, but I love the bike. It is one of the 2 bikes I use for commuting (the other is a fixie). I have a long ride of 80 miles on it, and have hit the hills to make sure I can get up them on the bike. I purchased it with the idea of being able to pack it and take it with me when I travel-- without spending a small fortune on transporting the bike. SO far, I am very happy with it. I can get good speed on it, not as fast a s a full size, but not that bad...(no computer on it, so I really don't know how fast I was going). The Speed P8 has the advantage of a bigger chainring than the cheaper folders, so it has a better gear ratio span. I have yet to use the lowest 3 gears... I have cycled through them, to be sure the derailleur works, but have never used them on a ride.

    Check with Thor, as he has a speed8 that says 'call for price'... so ti might fit your budget.

    Can't say anthing about the others--

    train safe-
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    avatar is on Flagstaff Mtn, Boulder, Colorado--on the fixie--

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockjamesroll View Post
    ... Mariner D7 (do I need rust resistant paint since I live close to the ocean? It is not rust proof) ... Lastly, is there a reason to get an IGH over derailleur if my LBS offer free tune-ups for life? ...
    The Mariner D7 has an aluminum frame. I believe it is the most rust resistant of the current Dahons. You can get one from www.thorusa.com. An IGH will generally avoid the cost of chain and cassette replacements. And my experience has been that a good IGH shifts much smoother than a good derailleur.
    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys. I am strongly considering the Dahon Speed P8, although the Raleigh Folding i8 offers an 8-speed IGH for around $50 more.

    http://www.bicyclewarehouse.com/prod...i8-75489-1.htm

    I am also strongly considering the Giant Expressway2 because of the price ($440) and because it is in stock at a LBS.

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...ck/7375/44063/

    Are you familiar with the Raleigh Folding i8 or the Giant Expressway bike?

    I could not find decent reviews nor specs sheets (on the giant) and plus I am not very familiar with bicycles to make a great comparison (other than price, looks, derailleur vs hubs etc).

    As for the Speed P8 and Mariner D7, is it safe to assume that the Speed P8/Mu P8 > Speed D7/Mariner D7?

    If I am going for an entry level bike, I am strongly considering the Dahon Speed Uno or the Downtube Nova. Both are not available locally and should be ordered online.

    Much appreciated.

  6. #6
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    Funny, I was looking at the same bikes! I live in Melbourne and am currently looking for a good folding bike. I would also appreciate anyone who could chime in.

  7. #7
    Hauja
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    Is n't the Raleigh a rebadged dahon? Check for specs and price on the Dahon site.

  8. #8
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    Hey James, I have also looked into a possible dahon equivalent for the Raleigh Folding i8 (as I have read somewhere that it may be a rebranded Dahon and the closest bike I can match to it is the Vitesse D7HG)

    http://us.dahon.com/bikes/1650/vitesse-d3d7hg

    Both the Dahon Speed P8 and Mu P8 have 8 gears but they are derailleur bikes. Thanks!

  9. #9
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    I like the Speed Uno and I would have a wheel built with a 2,3,5,7 or8 speed IGH. For the lighter rides keep it a SS and for trips add the IGH. I personally own a Raleigh 20 with a 2 speed coaster IGH.
    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  10. #10
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    Thanks. I like the look of the speed uno but I guess it's going to come down to a $379 online price for the Speed Uno and a $440 for the Giant Expressway 2 at a LBS ($60 difference).

    And then considering the price Giant Expressway 2, would make me want to consider the Raleigh Folding i8, Speed P8, and such. You know the drill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
    I like the Speed Uno and I would have a wheel built with a 2,3,5,7 or8 speed IGH. For the lighter rides keep it a SS and for trips add the IGH.
    Sorry - a total newbie. Do you mean that you have installed an IGH for the Speed Uno to replace the stock single speed?
    Last edited by rockjamesroll; 07-06-11 at 07:36 PM. Reason: spelling

  11. #11
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    Hello. Would you guys prefer the Raleigh Folding i8, because of the IGH over the Dahon Speed P8 or the Dahon Mu P8? I have not seen any tech specs on the Raleigh regarding other components. Any other thoughts on the Giant Expressway 2? Thanks

  12. #12
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    Sorry, I have been wanting the Speed Uno and build a IGH. I have done it with my Raleigh. With a folding bike I would rather have a IGH.
    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by xiaoxiaoheart View Post
    Hello. Would you guys prefer the Raleigh Folding i8, because of the IGH over the Dahon Speed P8 or the Dahon Mu P8? I have not seen any tech specs on the Raleigh regarding other components. Any other thoughts on the Giant Expressway 2? Thanks
    for me it is Speed P8. or if you really like the IGH why not Thor's Curve SL with 8 speed Shimano IGH ?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by James H Haury View Post
    Is n't the Raleigh a rebadged dahon? ...
    No, it is not.
    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA
    Last edited by HGR3inOK; 07-06-11 at 08:27 PM. Reason: to add name & location

  15. #15
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    check this out. speed P8 but in victorville. might be too far from you but @ $400 it might be worth it.

    http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/bik/2469588225.html

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockjamesroll View Post
    Hey James, I have also looked into a possible dahon equivalent for the Raleigh Folding i8 (as I have read somewhere that it may be a rebranded Dahon and the closest bike I can match to it is the Vitesse D7HG)
    ...
    The Raleigh i8 is a nice bike. It is NOT a rebranded/rebadged Dahon. While the main frame latch handle and the handlepost latch handle of the i8 look like those on Dahon bikes, the latches themselves are not like those on any Dahon that I have seen.
    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockjamesroll View Post
    ... I am strongly considering the Dahon Speed P8, although the Raleigh Folding i8 offers an 8-speed IGH for around $50 more.
    ...
    Are you familiar with the Raleigh Folding i8 ... ?
    ...
    As for the Speed P8 and Mariner D7, is it safe to assume that the Speed P8/Mu P8 > Speed D7/Mariner D7?
    ...
    The Dahon Speed P8, IMHO, a great all-around bike. "It's hard to go wrong with a Speed P8." (as I was told a few years ago when trying to choose my first Dahon.) I don't know what it would be like to live with a Raleigh i8 on a daily basis for an extended time, but it seems to be a solid bike. The IGH is a real plus. The i8 does not fold as compactly as the Dahon Speed/Mariner/Mu models. A couple reasons for the larger fold are that the i8 has a "normal" front hub/fork and the handlebar does not rotate easily like the Dahon Revolve stem. For Dahons --- D equals Deluxe components and P equals Premium (better than Deluxe) components. Hope this helps.
    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmaniqui View Post
    for me it is Speed P8. or if you really like the IGH why not Thor's Curve SL with 8 speed Shimano IGH ?
    Since starting this thread, I have actually had a chat with Thor and he recommends the Curve SL.

    I really would like to consider a 16-inch bike but I have never seen one in person and I can understand it would be a great city bike but (and I apologize for saying this and sounding like an idiot) don't you think I would look odd in a sea of full sized beach cruisers prevalent in my city?

    Quote Originally Posted by vmaniqui View Post
    check this out. speed P8 but in victorville. might be too far from you but @ $400 it might be worth it.

    http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/bik/2469588225.html
    Great find as this is a very good deal but it is about 3 hours away without traffic. Sent an email to inquire. Thanks!
    Last edited by rockjamesroll; 07-06-11 at 09:24 PM. Reason: spelling

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HGR3inOK View Post
    The Dahon Speed P8, IMHO, a great all-around bike. "It's hard to go wrong with a Speed P8." (as I was told a few years ago when trying to choose my first Dahon.) I don't know what it would be like to live with a Raleigh i8 on a daily basis for an extended time, but it seems to be a solid bike. The IGH is a real plus. The i8 does not fold as compactly as the Dahon Speed/Mariner/Mu models. A couple reasons for the larger fold are that the i8 has a "normal" front hub/fork and the handlebar does not rotate easily like the Dahon Revolve stem. For Dahons --- D equals Deluxe components and P equals Premium (better than Deluxe) components. Hope this helps.
    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA
    Thanks, Hank! This is really helpful information. The Raleigh Folding i8 (LBS with free tuneups for life) is about $60 more than the best price I've gotten for a Speed P8 (online only). I am leaning more towards the Speed P8 now even if it does not have an IGH because of your post. Would still be open to hearing from anyone with differing opinion though before making a purchase. I really appreciate everyone's thoughts and assistance.
    Last edited by rockjamesroll; 07-06-11 at 09:30 PM.

  20. #20
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    Thanks! I will check out the Curve SL bike although I have originally set my eyes on a 20-inch bike

    Quote Originally Posted by vmaniqui View Post
    for me it is Speed P8. or if you really like the IGH why not Thor's Curve SL with 8 speed Shimano IGH ?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmaniqui View Post
    check this out. speed P8 but in victorville. might be too far from you but @ $400 it might be worth it.

    http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/bik/2469588225.html
    So the seller responded and if his buyer does not pick it up on Saturday, he is taking the bike when he drives to San Diego on Sunday (coincidentally he is set to head out here). He did mention that the bike is unassembled so I wonder -

    The seller states that "it says on outside of box to have a professional assemble the bike so that the warranty can kick in". I am worried that I might be spending a lot for assembly, PDI, etc at my LBS and at the end of the day, the price might be as much as ordering it assembled. Thanks again!
    Last edited by rockjamesroll; 07-06-11 at 10:58 PM. Reason: added more info

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockjamesroll View Post
    So the seller responded and if his buyer does not pick it up on Saturday, he is taking the bike when he drives to San Diego on Sunday (coincidentally he is set to head out here). He did mention that the bike is unassembled so I wonder -

    The seller states that "it says on outside of box to have a professional assemble the bike so that the warranty can kick in". I am worried that I might be spending a lot for assembly, PDI, etc at my LBS and at the end of the day, the price might be as much as ordering it assembled. Thanks again!
    there is really nothing complicated in assembling a new in the box bike. if you have used a screwdriver, adjustable wrench, plier before, then this is a piece of cake. you can activate the warranty by going online @ dahon.com. i have done it with my new curve sl.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockjamesroll View Post
    ... He did mention that the bike is unassembled so I wonder - ... The seller states that "it says on outside of box to have a professional assemble the bike so that the warranty can kick in". I am worried that I might be spending a lot for assembly, PDI, etc at my LBS and at the end of the day, the price might be as much as ordering it assembled. ...
    Most 20" Dahons do not require a lot of assembly (usually pedals and seatpost), but the pre-delivery inspection ("PDI") includes checking/adjusting the brakes, gears and wheels.
    Also keep in mind that the Dahon warranty is only for the original purchaser from an authorized Dahon dealer.
    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by HGR3inOK View Post
    Most 20" Dahons do not require a lot of assembly (usually pedals and seatpost), but the pre-delivery inspection ("PDI") includes checking/adjusting the brakes, gears and wheels.
    Also keep in mind that the Dahon warranty is only for the original purchaser from an authorized Dahon dealer.
    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA
    Thanks Hank. I will be getting the unassembled bike from craigslist on Sunday (I offered $420). He says that he won the bike as a prize from "Dancing With The Stars" TV Show (the bikes comes with a good story!) and it is unassembled, and never taken out of the original box (although the top of the box is open) and the box still has his name on it. He obviously does not have a receipt as it is part of his prize package.

    Do you guys have any suggestion on how to approach the assembly of this bike in order to get warranty from Dahon? I have a couple of preferred Dahon dealers in my area and I talked to one of them. I have gotten a quote of $70 for assembly but then he said I could try it out myself and if I needed help, I could come to the store and we could "work something out". I also have a friend whom I can ask help from in assembling it but I guess my question is, what is the best approach to get warranty from Dahon without a purchase receipt? Is this possible?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmaniqui View Post
    there is really nothing complicated in assembling a new in the box bike. if you have used a screwdriver, adjustable wrench, plier before, then this is a piece of cake. you can activate the warranty by going online @ dahon.com. i have done it with my new curve sl.
    Thanks! I can ask help from my friend but do you know if I can get warranty from Dahon without a receipt? Everything is brand new in the box although there is no receipt.

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