Wow. I though the recumbent world was overflowing with custom choices until I started to look into a folder for more practical commuting use. One thing for sure - the more I ogle over the images of several of these bikes the more I want one.
That said, I am starting my process of narrowing down to at least a handful of choices. I have done several searches and still have some questions I have not been able to reconcile. I welcome any comments/answers/insights.
1. Downtube Nova loks good. No disc brakes though or option for them . Question is on the Nova: is it possible to convert that to a nine speed with a chain/wheel/rear dr/shifter swap? Also like the idea of having the front dr mount. If the Nova can be converted to 9 speed with stuff I have in the part bin, that would be cheaper than getting the "9" version. Plus I like orange. I would have to sell off most of my 406 wheels though or get MSW rims and a replace job. Ugh.
2. Swift bike. Looking at the steel one from Eugene Oregon. Is it possible to get that with disc tabs and as a frame set? I did not like the looks of that disign at first but the more I read about it the more intrigued I am. Again I already have wheels and shifters galore in my parts stash and a seat as well.
3. Dahon. Not sure what model, but they appear to be cost effective. Clearly no disc brakes though. I will be testing a few of these locally here in the coming days/weeks at Clever Cycles or Coventry in Portland...
4. "SRS" folders via eBay. I am not sure what if any consensus exists on these. I saw on eBay an SRS Racer 20" with a tag line in the picture "create your joyful life" LOL. Clearly some bad English translation or something but the bikes look sweet and come 27 speed for around 1000 bills. This is really way more than I want to spend on anything new so it would have to be used.... But still info is sparse on these.
5. Downtube 9 or 9FS. Nice looks but not as clean looking as the Nova. Not sure if I am sold on the full suspension. Easy to add BB7's. Is the price difference between the Nova and these models worth it? It's heavier as well. Hmmmm
Budget for me is really in the $500 max range. Use of bike would be commuting locally for work or fun and occasional medium distance rides where taking my ICE QNT trike is not an option. For any real loooong rides I would take the trike. Plus I have just been bitten with this folding bike bug and now I must dip my toes into these waters.
You may ask about my concern with disc brakes. Well, all of the 20" 406 wheels I own are NMSW 9 speed and have disc hubs, so for me to use them... It would be nice to have the option. Plus I really love disc brakes.