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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.

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Old 03-29-12, 06:04 AM   #1
fusilierdan
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Looking to buy 2 new folders

I'm looking at buying a couple of folders for my wife and me. After renting some bikes while on vacation which were un comfortable or not riding because it was hard to find a place to rent a bike I've decided to get folding bikes to take with us.

Me 5'5" 150 lbs
Wife 5'0" 105 lbs
The budget is around $1600 for both but I'll need to get suitcases also.

Most riding will be on Rail trails or Greenways some will be on City streets with traffic.

So far I've only been able to shop online but should be going to NYC to look in a couple of shops in April. I did but a 2nd hand poor quality folder just to check out folders but the ride was pretty poor and it didn't fit well so I sold it off.

I have some questions to help me be better informed while shopping.

Derailleur vs IGH? what are the pros & cons I would think the IGH would be cleaner and less likely to get damaged during transport. But I read an article on BF that said when they do break it's tough to find someone to fix it.

Dahon I hear they use parts that aren't available every where.

Is a rear rack really needed and does it affect handling when loaded?

Here's what I've seen online that looked good
http://www.dahon.com/bikes/2011/vitesse-d3d7hg
http://www.dahon.com/bikes/2011/speed-d7
http://www.dahon.com/bikes/2011/mu-xl
http://www.ternbicycles.com/us/bikes/link-c7
http://www.ternbicycles.com/us/bikes/link-d7i

Any comments insights are appreciated. I know a 15 min test ride at a shop isn't going to give a true feel for the bike but I doubt I'll get more.

FWIW I have a Giant TCRC2 road bike, GT Avalance MTB and an old Giant Sedona MTB.
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Old 03-29-12, 07:25 AM   #2
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I test rode a Tern Link C7 at REI and really liked it. The ride was very smooth. I only rode it on pavement of course, so I can't say how nice the ride would be off road. But on road anyway I couldn't tell the difference between the C7 and a non-folding bike with normal sized wheels. Tern is very similar to Dahon but I think Tern uses more standard parts that should be easier to find in the US. I'm not sure though. I've since ordered a Tern Link D8 from REI. Once I get it I will start a thread on it to let everyone know how it rides. And the customer service at Tern is excellent. REI was having difficulty with their special order system since Tern is a new vendor for them and Dale Aguas at Tern contacted REI corporate for me to make sure they were able to get my order through. He really went above and beyond in answering all my questions by email quickly and trying to sort out the issues REI was having with their order system.

Last edited by Casbah; 03-29-12 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 03-29-12, 07:50 AM   #3
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I have a few Bromptons, an older Birdy 7 speed,a couple of Mezzo I4's. Let me know if you want to meet on the South County Trail on a Saturday to try any of these. I could bring one or two along for you if you would like.
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Old 03-29-12, 08:31 AM   #4
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I actually have a pair of slightly used ( full warranty and doublechecked ) Tern Link D8 for 500 a piece ... shipped ... that will give you plenty of money left over to stroll through ebay and get a pair of barely legal suitcases and you have a bundle left over .... but still have first class stuff ...( just a few little scratches ) These are black and blue Tern D 8

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Old 03-29-12, 11:05 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ratdog View Post
I have a few Bromptons, an older Birdy 7 speed,a couple of Mezzo I4's. Let me know if you want to meet on the South County Trail on a Saturday to try any of these. I could bring one or two along for you if you would like.
Hi ratdog, just wondering about your personal experience of the Mezzo I4, thanks.
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Old 03-29-12, 01:31 PM   #6
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keke,

I bought them last year with the intent to change the gearing, but got very busy at work and have not found time yet. Did take the bike out and must say it rides nicely but do find I spin out without much effort and certainly without any significant reward in speed. Great if you only want to take a leisurely ride. I ride with a 10 year old so that is fine with me for now. I do find I ride my 6-speed Brompton the most only because it's the easiest to put in the car with my son's bike otherwise you have to get the rack onto the car.

You can do a search, but I believe there are a lot of satisfied owners of the Mezzo D9 & D10 on the forum.
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Old 03-29-12, 05:50 PM   #7
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keke,

I bought them last year with the intent to change the gearing, but got very busy at work and have not found time yet. Did take the bike out and must say it rides nicely but do find I spin out without much effort and certainly without any significant reward in speed. Great if you only want to take a leisurely ride. I ride with a 10 year old so that is fine with me for now. I do find I ride my 6-speed Brompton the most only because it's the easiest to put in the car with my son's bike otherwise you have to get the rack onto the car.

You can do a search, but I believe there are a lot of satisfied owners of the Mezzo D9 & D10 on the forum.
Thanks a lot.

I was hoping the i4 would be a lot better than my current folding bike but it seems it's not such a leap forward. I want a bike I can eventually grow into as a serious (folding bike) rider. The D9 and D10 I've not really looked at as I've been thinking mainly of IGHs.

I guess to be a "serious" rider I have to try out derailleurs..
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Old 03-29-12, 06:22 PM   #8
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This is Thors Garage Sale, check out the SpeedPro custom that and a tern D8 might be the ticket. http://www.thorusa.com/accessories/oneoff.htm
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Old 03-29-12, 08:15 PM   #9
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Yay, that SpeedPro custom is nice. And it's yellow, too.
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Old 03-30-12, 05:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdog View Post
I have a few Bromptons, an older Birdy 7 speed,a couple of Mezzo I4's. Let me know if you want to meet on the South County Trail on a Saturday to try any of these. I could bring one or two along for you if you would like.
I may take you up on that. My next 3 weekends are booked but we'll see. Thanks.
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Old 03-30-12, 05:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
I actually have a pair of slightly used ( full warranty and doublechecked ) Tern Link D8 for 500 a piece ... shipped ... that will give you plenty of money left over to stroll through ebay and get a pair of barely legal suitcases and you have a bundle left over .... but still have first class stuff ...( just a few little scratches ) These are black and blue Tern D 8

thor
Thanks, at the moment I'd like to be able to actually touch the bikes before I make a decision. I want to get a feel for fit. A lot of the photos I see make the bikes look like the top tube is too short for the rider. This may not be so in my case being small but...
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Old 03-30-12, 06:46 AM   #12
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I may take you up on that. My next 3 weekends are booked but we'll see. Thanks.
Let me know, I will most likely be away for the Easter break with my kids, but am pretty free otherwise. Would be more than happy to help by letting you ride them to get a feel for folders.
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