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  1. #1
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    Advice on Used Japanese Foldies

    Hi,

    I'm new here & from Malaysia. I'm in my early forties, used to cycle in college on a steel racer for commuting & later a mountain bike mainly on the road for fun. Have not been cycling for several years. I'm 5'5" weighs around 59kgs small build, exercise a bit

    I'm new to folding bikes but thinking of getting a used one to try out. Who knows I may travel with one later. Bikes here are expensive & I don't want to spend too much. New Dahons cost around US$500 and up here.

    There are some shops that import used Jap folding bikes. Are they any good? I'll probably take a look at them physically but the link to the site is here http://gwcycle.blogspot.com/2012/02/...icycle_28.html or
    http://gwcycle.blogspot.com/2012/02/...g-bicycle.html
    There are some 16" models there as well but cost more.

    Am looking at multi speed folding bikes with around US$200 (RM600) to 250(RM800). US$1 is about RM3.10. The cheapest new folding bike I can find here is the Raleigh Ugo at about US$300

    Its hilly around where I live & I plan to put them in occasional rail transport to reduce car use. Travel range maximum up to 12km.

    I'm also into photography & the foldie can be used for me to move around without burning fuel looking for nice location.

    Any one has any experience and/or advice with them? Thanks a lot

  2. #2
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    The Raleigh Ugo is a very nice medium-spec Dahon-derived bike if you can afford it: alloy frame, steel forks, 7 speed twistgrip, v-brakes, telescopic h/bar post and v. strong double-wall rims, Kwest tyres, and a replaceable derailléur hanger. Raleigh have not got any of the spec. wrong, and it's going to be a fast nimble ride.

    I don't want to be too deprecating about the other two, but I think the Ugo is going to be a much better buy, with a higher resale value if you want to sell later on. It's also going to fit you perfectly, out of the box.

    Last edited by snafu21; 03-10-12 at 01:08 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    What do You know ,, about them..

  4. #4
    smallwheelsonly
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    I know your trying to save money but are you looking for a japanese made folding bike or just a surplus bike that came from Japan as most of them are imported from china with japanese brand on them. they are supermarket bikes as thats where they get them.

    although there a many japanese folding bike manufacturers they are extremely low volume production and very high on price im talking about $1500~$4000 in US dollars and not exported anywhere else but mainly for local market. the very few that shows up on foreign shores are mainly brought by their owners or people that export them individually.

    the "japan bikes" that are all over asia are bikes that were confiscated/cleaned up from the streets mainly left by owners or parked illegally are auctioned off and ends up in countries like yours Malaysia.

    most japanese own several bikes they leave them at the train station, work, and wherever they normally go they don't bring the bikes inside the train and the ones that are illegally parked are cleaned out of the streets and auctioned off.

    by the looks of the bikes on the blog link Im almost sure they are chinese made bikes imported in japan and rebranded by the importer or the supermarket chain. but somebody jump in and tell me i'm dead wrong.

    the expensive Japanese made folding bikes are kept at home after use and not left out on the streets or bike garages and never end up in foreign shores

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the feedback & advice.

    @fietsbob I don't know anything about those Jap bike. Looks like confiscated China imports since a few other people are selling them (various models) online elsewhere.

    Will take a closer look at the Ugo. Btw, I think the cheapest Dahon, the Eco 7 is around US$350+ around here, last year prices.

    I'll search a bit more and try to get a test ride on them.

    I'm trying to be frugal but I get it when people here says price is reflected in quality. I used to wonder why people would spend thousands on digital camera & thought I'd be perfectly happy with $300 digital cameras until I started using them & now looking at $1,000 camera excluding lenses. Trying not to get into another expensive hobby :-)

    thanks everyone

  6. #6
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    If you find a new bike you like, search or ask for last year's model. If it's a 2010/2011 it should be cheaper.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  7. #7
    smallwheelsonly
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    Trying not to get into another expensive hobby :-)
    having a bicycle transportation is not an expensive hobby. let me explain

    i see it this way your getting exercise and having fun at the same time[hobby part]. you can actually travel faster in some instances on a bicycle[as a practical transportation]. how much do you spend on a gym membership yearly ?its all work in there and not much fun spinning the threadmill ? you won't need that much if you have a bike. how much money do you spend on petrol every year for your car if you do I bet the bike is way cheaper than the maintenance, insurance, petrol, parking etc. and your expenses are yearly as you own the vehicle. I could ramble on and on but I tell you a bicycle will be the cheapest hobby or transportation means its actually a necessity nowadays.

    I own a car and with traffic and parking expense and rising gasoline prices I use the bicycle if I can. I'm also a photographer and its great to get around. In most asian cities because of the traffic the bicycle is faster than the automobile you probably know this more than me as I live in LA and the traffic is also getting worse and there is no future it will only get worse do yo think traffic will become better??. the automobile is the worst of all human invention but thats another story[or another forum] !

    as with camera lenses you get what you pay for I know you will agree

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by EM42 View Post
    having a bicycle transportation is not an expensive hobby. let me explain

    i see it this way your getting exercise and having fun at the same time[hobby part]. you can actually travel faster in some instances on a bicycle[as a practical transportation]. how much do you spend on a gym membership yearly ?its all work in there and not much fun spinning the threadmill ? you won't need that much if you have a bike. how much money do you spend on petrol every year for your car if you do I bet the bike is way cheaper than the maintenance, insurance, petrol, parking etc. and your expenses are yearly as you own the vehicle. I could ramble on and on but I tell you a bicycle will be the cheapest hobby or transportation means its actually a necessity nowadays.

    I own a car and with traffic and parking expense and rising gasoline prices I use the bicycle if I can. I'm also a photographer and its great to get around. In most asian cities because of the traffic the bicycle is faster than the automobile you probably know this more than me as I live in LA and the traffic is also getting worse and there is no future it will only get worse do yo think traffic will become better??. the automobile is the worst of all human invention but thats another story[or another forum] !

    as with camera lenses you get what you pay for I know you will agree
    EM42 I agree with you with what you said especially about transportation. Maybe I should have said "in case it develop into a hobby" rather than biased towards transportation.

    In my college days, I had a car for bad weather & night classes but I use my bike much more for transport (since I can use shortcuts, avoid traffic save some cash) & also for fun too. So I know what you mean.

    There are people here biking 30km to work due to congestion since it takes the same amount of time! But the numbers are really small.

    One major thing going against me is that around where I stay now & places I will travel to, I need to share with high speed motor vehicles, talking about 60 - 90km/h even though the distances are manageable. Wife might not agree on safety grounds.

    We already work from home but need to meet clients on some days around town & go to the office once a week

    I agree a folding bike in a car will help overcome parking problems (park further & bike) & definitely encourage me to go out more for photography.

    That is why I'm in these forums

    @snafu21 thanks for the advice on last year's model. Btw, are the parts on the Ugo standard, in case I need a front deraileur. I like to go fast
    Last edited by jameswoo360; 03-11-12 at 05:00 AM.

  9. #9
    smallwheelsonly
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    I need to share with high speed motor vehicles, talking about 60 - 90km/h even though the distances are manageable. Wife might not agree on safety grounds.
    yes thats been a problem almost anywhere as most streets were designed and built exclusively for the "automobile" and absolutely no provision for the safety of cyclists with one exception, The Netherlands

    they have the most advance cycle tracks, infrastructure for bicycles but thats another topic

    I hope you find the right folding bike for your needs and may you enjoy to use it and take it out to take great photographs and we don't mind it at all if you posted pictures in here !

  10. #10
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    " Btw, are the parts on the Ugo standard, in case I need a front deraileur. "

    The Ugo saves all worrry over front derailléurs by not having one. The drivetrain is otherwise easily replacable.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  11. #11
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    I am from Malaysia and bought the Ugo for my son and I as our first foray into foldies. The bike cost Rm 700 or USD 300+. It was a good bike with decent components and even taken for many rides including a 60 km ride hilly one. Someone I saw in the Malaysian Foldie FB modded his UGO with a FD and went touring from southern part of Malaysia, through Singapore to Batam Island, Indonesia, fully loaded with racks etc.

    Sold the the Ugo's and went with the Hasa Minimax because of the roadie 18 speed set up (was a hard core roadie, getting my son interested in the father's 2 wheel passion).

    Personally, I wouldn't get the Japanese imports although I know the GW Cycle shop has good reviews, tech support and friendly service. They do carry the Ugo, Dahons, Birdy and other new foldies. GW carries second hand 'premium' bikes from time to time. Check them out.

    KW

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    Quote Originally Posted by rku615 View Post
    I am from Malaysia and bought the Ugo for my son and I as our first foray into foldies. The bike cost Rm 700 or USD 300+. It was a good bike with decent components and even taken for many rides including a 60 km ride hilly one. Someone I saw in the Malaysian Foldie FB modded his UGO with a FD and went touring from southern part of Malaysia, through Singapore to Batam Island, Indonesia, fully loaded with racks etc.

    KW
    Hi rku615,

    When did you get the Ugo? If it is still at RM700, I think I can manage it. Saw the recommended retail price at raleigh.my site at RM 920.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the link, rku615

  15. #15
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    James,
    The price is Rm 750, I think.... forgot the actual price. Anyway, go and check it out.

    The Yong brothers are friendly folks.

    KW

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rku615 View Post

    forgot the actual price. Anyway, go and check it out. The Yong brothers are friendly folks.

    KW
    Will definitely pay them a visit real soon

  17. #17
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    Just an update to all. I went to 2 local bike stores to have a better look & feel of the Ugo. Didn't go to see the the used Jap fb. At the shop, I saw an XDS where the lady suggested an XDS 260 (as seen in the pic) which has similar specs as the Ugo. Drive train, frame hinge, tires etc & other details look similar on both, welds are nicely done, thick scaly welds. Nothing to separate them except the XDS has fenders, rear rack & alloy fork. Steel fork for the Ugo! Cost is only about US$ 20 more.

    Sat on both, can't call it a ride. Feels the same. Lifted them up, felt similar in weight.

    The XDS has a curvy frame like the Vector (probably Dahon derive) which I like. xdsbike.JPG

    I'm leaning towards the XDS because of the included fenders & rack. The XDS also has a triangulated rear frame which should be stiffer, I think?! Am I right?

    Only thing I'm not sure of on the XDS stem is the locking mechanism. It uses a male v-groove block that moves horizontally via a hand screw to mate to a female v-grove block to lock the top part of the folding stem into position. Feels secure & rigid enough. Is this type of lock ok?

    Xdsstem.jpg

    Opinions welcomed
    Last edited by jameswoo360; 04-06-12 at 08:43 AM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Sancycles's Avatar
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    The Philippines is among the countries where used Japanese bikes are being exported. I for one do collect them and the fact that there are China made doesn't mean that quality is low. Branded ones like Bridgestone, Panasonic, Maruishi, National are made in China but the production is of Japanese standard. We see around here new commercial cheap models but the quality is very poor. Sometimes we source branded ones made from other countries also. Restoring these used Japanese bikes for me is a hobby in the first place, though I used them for cruising and commuting. Check out my postings on this bikes under the commuting thread [Jitensha Philippines].

  19. #19
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    i was just about to chime in with the same thought, Sancycles. you are absolutely correct. many of those bikes are of good to excellent quality. particularly, the bridgestone "picnica" (with belt drive!) and the panasonic "triancle". both of these are very good small folders. many of them were made and are readily available for cheap on the used market. the "scooma" bike is also really good. moreover, there are many other "no name" bikes that are unique and ride well. so, have a look around and shop for what suits you.
    picnicaFrs.jpgpanasonic.jpgscooma.jpg1291527229.jpg147175379.jpg

  20. #20
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    My Downtube 9FS has this headset and steering stem lock. To me, it seems very sturdy. There are spring loaded guide pins that help push out the wedge as I unlock the clamp. Unfortunately, I lost those springs when the wedge was unlocked and the bike folded.

    sfbay2wheeler



    Quote Originally Posted by jameswoo360 View Post
    Just an update to all. I went to 2 local bike stores to have a better look & feel of the Ugo. Didn't go to see the the used Jap fb. At the shop, I saw an XDS where the lady suggested an XDS 260 (as seen in the pic) which has similar specs as the Ugo. Drive train, frame hinge, tires etc & other details look similar on both, welds are nicely done, thick scaly welds. Nothing to separate them except the XDS has fenders, rear rack & alloy fork. Steel fork for the Ugo! Cost is only about US$ 20 more.

    Sat on both, can't call it a ride. Feels the same. Lifted them up, felt similar in weight.

    The XDS has a curvy frame like the Vector (probably Dahon derive) which I like. xdsbike.JPG

    I'm leaning towards the XDS because of the included fenders & rack. The XDS also has a triangulated rear frame which should be stiffer, I think?! Am I right?

    Only thing I'm not sure of on the XDS stem is the locking mechanism. It uses a male v-groove block that moves horizontally via a hand screw to mate to a female v-grove block to lock the top part of the folding stem into position. Feels secure & rigid enough. Is this type of lock ok?

    Xdsstem.jpg

    Opinions welcomed

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