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  1. #1
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    Piccolo or Presto Lite vs. Brompton

    I'm curious if the newer (2004+) Piccolo or Presto Lite compare well with the Brompton.

    Brompton still has better folded dimensions, 22x21x10. Presto/Piccolo: 11x20x30. That's the difference between a tight fit in an airline sized suitcase (62" max) or a loose fit, or getting it into a locker or not. Those that have experience in folding these - could you comment on differences in minimum size? ie. remove the wheels, and perhaps even the handlepost as Gaerlan does when fitting a 20" bike into a normal suitcase.

    Dahon has the pricing won in spades. ~$300 for the Piccolo, ~$500 for the Presto, and minimum $650 for the Brompton. Weight on the Presto Lite is at least 5 lbs lighter. Piccolo weight seems to be about the same.

    Dahon has lifetime warranty, Brompton is 10 year. 10 years is definitely sufficient. I'd imagine service or on a Dahon would be a lot easier if a frame related issue came up due to their volumes and locality to the US.

    So: ride quality?

    And, if there is a significant difference, are there ways to mitigate this difference? Since Dahon is regularly increasing frame stiffness and making other improvements, only the newer models should be compared with the Brompton.

    Thanks for opinions or similar links for comparisons.

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    The brompton for me is a slightly better bike, but I have to admit I'm curious about the Presto Lite.
    I think brompton is a neater package, but it sometimes feels a bit heavy if you have to carry it a long way. The brompton has slightly bigger wheels and more tyre choice. Also the suspension gives it a theoretically superior ride. The brompton is also available as a six speed (mines a 10 speed!). In London every bike shop knows the brompton, whereas dahon dealers are much less common. It might be the opposite in the US.
    There have been some improvements to the brompton recently - is a tiny bit lighter and about 30mm longer. There is also a rumour that an eight speed is on the way, once the sturmey archer/sunrace or Nexus8 narrow hubs become available.
    The presto light is certainly that - light and could be carried a lot further before discomfort sets in - I would be tempted to try to make a rucksack like arrangement. The riding position is longer and probably better. The wheels and other components seem better quality. V-brakes are a much better option than the calliper brakes on the brompton. The smaller wheels probably run less freely on mixed surfaces and tyre availability may be a problem, although the primo comet fitted to the bike is anm excellent tyre. The aluminium frame may give a harsh ride together with small wheels and no suspension. Also you seem pretty stuck with 3 speed for now.

    Just some ideas.

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    Thanks for your reply.

    Out of curiosity: why does the Brompton have better tire choice? I guess I don't know what the exact rim diameters are of the bikes, and am not familiar in sourcing 16" tires.

    There is a guy on the net that has mod'ed his Presto Lite to have a 7 speed SRAM Spectro hub (303%), which is all the gearing I'd ever need. The dropouts are a bit narrow (119), but it seems quite unlikely that an extra 1cm spread is going to cause any problems. Perhaps the Piccolo's steel frame would be happier with such a spread. So gearing doesn't seem to be an issue, if you're up for paying out the $1-200 for that upgrade later on. There's someone on the Dahon forums that upgraded a 20" bike to the $$$ 14 speed Rohloff hub.

    The static features of the bikes, the ones that have no ability for changing such as how the folding size or geometry contribute to the feel of the bike, are the ones that I'm really curious about.

    There's nowhere around here where I can try out one of these 16" bikes. I really want to see just how "bad" it is without having to buy one to try it out. I borrowed someone's 20" boardwalk and it's a more comfortable ride than my road bike, so I'm curious if the people that are commenting on the bikes are more coming from a luxury fat tire, suspension seat background that are incredibly forgiving. Riding over a piece of gravel on a road bike at high pressure can give you a flat or a real shudder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Samb76
    tyre availability may be a problem, although the primo comet fitted to the bike is anm excellent tyre. The aluminium frame may give a harsh ride together with small wheels and no suspension. Also you seem pretty stuck with 3 speed for now.
    Just some ideas.

  4. #4
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    Piccolos and Prestos use 16" 305 mm tires which are more common in the U.S and should be available to order at all bike shops . 305 mm is common on childrens bikes as a bmx style tire and can be found at wal mart, the kind you will want is probably a semislick like the Kenda kwest. 16" 349mm size is more available in the U.K this is the size bromptons use.

  5. #5
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    I just opened shop this month and I have all the bikes you mentioed on the floor, but I haven't had much time to compare, but I will say the Piccolo is sure fun to ride and a great buy in my opinion. I'll start cruising on a Brompton T6 tomorrow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong
    Thanks for your reply.

    There is a guy on the net that has mod'ed his Presto Lite to have a 7 speed SRAM Spectro hub (303%), which is all the gearing I'd ever need. The dropouts are a bit narrow (119), but it seems quite unlikely that an extra 1cm spread is going to cause any problems. Perhaps the Piccolo's steel frame would be happier with such a spread. So gearing doesn't seem to be an issue, if you're up for paying out the $1-200 for that upgrade later on.
    The presto is Aluminium, so you can't spread the forks without worry in my opinion. Also on the Piccolo, you are going to have to spread those back forks quite a bit even to squeeze a 125mm hub gear in (which adds 1.5 lbs and quite a bit of transmission drag by the way) alignment after this is a bit tricky. It is possible to fit a derailleur if you are willing to buy 2 hubs, a 7-speed and a 9-speed and swap the cassettes (=115mm OLN), but you'll need something like a 64T chainwheel if you want to use a 11-28 cassette.
    However, the Dahon stem can be replaced with a zoom adjustable quill stem. This would give a far superior riding position.

  7. #7
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    i think the brompton takes the cake due to ease and quickness of the fold. while the brompton only has a 10 year warranty, id say that the frame is built much better and actually servicable. the pins on the brompton can be replaced, while on a dahon if the pins crap out they just throw a new frame at you....

    ive ridden both, the brompton is a much better ride. the presto lite is a blast to ride though, the acceleration on it is amazing. i find it has too much flex in the front end compared to the brompton.

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    FYI - the Brompton sites (US & UK) are now advertising a 5 year warranty.

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    Does the Piccolo havea dropout width smaller than the Presto? Dahon said the Presto was 118mm, and I would have thought the Piccolo would have the same.

    I'm not sure I understand what you mean about buying 2 hubs?

    Have you fit a derailleur on a Dahon 16" bike? Were there chainline or shifting issues? Where did you hang the derailleur? Was there clearance to the ground?

    A 53 racing chainring would give me a 31-77 gear inch on a 9 speed 11-27 cassette, which is 8mph to 25 mph between 90 and 110 cadence. 25mph is good enough for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Samb76
    The presto is Aluminium, so you can't spread the forks without worry in my opinion. Also on the Piccolo, you are going to have to spread those back forks quite a bit even to squeeze a 125mm hub gear in (which adds 1.5 lbs and quite a bit of transmission drag by the way) alignment after this is a bit tricky. It is possible to fit a derailleur if you are willing to buy 2 hubs, a 7-speed and a 9-speed and swap the cassettes (=115mm OLN), but you'll need something like a 64T chainwheel if you want to use a 11-28 cassette.
    However, the Dahon stem can be replaced with a zoom adjustable quill stem. This would give a far superior riding position.

  10. #10
    Seņor Mambo
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong
    ... 25mph is good enough for me.


    You'll want good tires then.

    For me, right out of the box, the Brompton fit me better than either my Bike Friday or Birdy. The frame is solid, and the bike handles really well.

    The only major concern I have is that their unique parts are hard to obtain in the U.S. Yes, I know I live a few minutes away from a major Brompton distributor in Palo Alto, but even the brake and derailleur cables are non-standard sizes - the heads are smaller than normal! Also, there is no standard latch that will prevent the rear triangle from readily folding if you lift the bike; you'll need bungy cords or the equivalent if you ever put it in a bike repair stand or want to quickly lift the entire bike over a gate, for example.

    But if these kinds of issues don't bother you, you'll have one magnificent ride!

  11. #11
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    You either love or hate the lack of latch on a brompton rear triangle - most owners love it because without bending down, and in 1 action you can fold the bike to half its length AND make it into a stable standing unit. Any few that hate it (eg when carrying the whole bike, non-folded up stairs) can buy an after market catch, or use loop of velcro / string etc. (I'd like a magnet, like on the strida wheels - but haven't yet figured it out ....... so it holds up stairs but releases with a sharp tap).

    There are good reasons why all other folders are judged against brompton !

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong
    I'm not sure I understand what you mean about buying 2 hubs?

    Have you fit a derailleur on a Dahon 16" bike? Were there chainline or shifting issues? Where did you hang the derailleur? Was there clearance to the ground?

    A 53 racing chainring would give me a 31-77 gear inch on a 9 speed 11-27 cassette, which is 8mph to 25 mph between 90 and 110 cadence. 25mph is good enough for me.
    If you want to make a derailleur setup work in less than 120mm OLN, you can do so by fitting the freehub body from a 7 speed hub to a nine speed hub. It is then simply a matter of removing the spacers on the non-drive side and fitting a 7 speed cassette.
    For mounting of the derailleur, you can use an aftermarket hanger which is held by the hub axle.
    Ground clearance is an issue and can be avoided by use of a short cage derailleur.
    Chain line issues are possible, but changing the bottom bracket width often helps. In this type of conversion, the chainline will shift left away from the rear frame stays rather than right if the lower gears are used.
    Its posible to get by with a 77" top gear, but I wouldn't recommend it. I found I need a top gear of 90" at least to get the most from a bike, even in the city.

  13. #13
    Seņor Mambo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simple Simon
    There are good reasons why all other folders are judged against brompton!
    I agree. That's why I bit the bullet (i.e. paid the price) and bought one.


    You either love or hate the lack of latch on a brompton rear triangle - most owners love it because without bending down, and in 1 action you can fold the bike to half its length AND make it into a stable standing unit. Any few that hate it (eg when carrying the whole bike, non-folded up stairs) can buy an after market catch, or use loop of velcro / string etc. (I'd like a magnet, like on the strida wheels - but haven't yet figured it out ....... so it holds up stairs but releases with a sharp tap).
    Put it this way: I hate it when I need the latch, and love it when I don't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samb76
    The brompton for me is a slightly better bike, but I have to admit I'm curious about the Presto Lite.
    I made the statement to Josh Hon the president of Dahon bicycles and he got pissed off! He told the me the Presto Lite has a much better frame than the Brompton's low level chromoly for about half the price of an L3. The component spec of the Presto is just plain better all around. I agree.

    I don't know why anyone would want to buy a 16 inch wheel folding bike instead of a 20' inch folder? Every place and I mean every place that I've taken my Piccolo I have been able to bring my Speed 8. The ONLY place I might have difficulity with a 20' inch folder is trying to bring it inside the cabin of a bus. Otherwise, there is no reason to buy a folder (16') with so much compromise in ride quality.

    Furthermore, I don't know why one would want to extend the Presto, Piccolo or Brompton's capability beyond the manufacturers' setup. These bikes are perfect as is for they were only ment to be ridden in the city for short distances. The 16' inch folder is the best size to get inside the cabin of the bus. That's all. Those trying to expand the droputs makes very little sense because it tells me the person did not buy the correct folder. If you wanted a folder for touring purposes, a Bike Friday or Birdy would have been a much better choice. These bikes are designed for touring and would handle much better than any 16' inch folder even with more gears. Expanding the gears on a 16' inch wheel folder will not make it as comfortable as a 20' folder and your still stuck with all the other compromises.

    I repeat, there is not one single place you can bring your Brompton, Presto, Piccolo or any 16' inch folder that I would not be able to bring a Bike Friday, Speed 8 or any 20' inch folder.

    Think about it. When was the last time you heard a Bike Friday owner say they were kicked off a train or airplane because their bike did not fold small enough or the luggage was too big.

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    There are some considerations for people travelling that I don't think you factored into your statement, and I'd also ask that you post some of your travel habits to have come to this conclusion:

    "I repeat, there is not one single place you can bring your Brompton, Presto, Piccolo or any 16' inch folder that I would not be able to bring a Bike Friday, Speed 8 or any 20' inch folder. "

    First of all, low cost carriers in europe (ie. RyanAir, EasyJet) have very tight weight limitations on baggage. I think it's 15kg, or 32 lbs. Imagine a 20 lb folder (Piccolo). That leaves you with very little weight left for travelling (assume 5lbs for lightweight suitcase). How can you reduce this? Well, pull off the wheels. Can you carry 20" wheels as carry on luggage? I doubt it. 16" wheels? Yes. With an internal gear hub in back (7speed), you're looking at pulling 4-5lbs off the back, and another 2-3 lbs off the front minimum (assume Presto lite weight). That now leaves you with 20lbs for a suitcase and other stuff. One has to be innovative to travel inexpensively (ie. no cabs, easily getting through the metro, etc.). Size is a premium in these instances. I've never had my carry on luggage weighed and always use this in a pinch to pull my normal weight down when flying. Throw everything dense in your backpack and carry 30-40lbs on the plane with you.

    I'd like to see your argument in the other direction: why have 20" wheels? Why not have 12" wheels for these 'limited use' 16" bikes?

    Also, as someone that owns a few S&S coupled bikes, simplicity in folding is really key in the bike not troubling you too much to take it with you. Yes, I can get both of my 700c S&S bikes into a 26x26x10 case. But it takes about 45 minutes and it's a hassle and makes me nervous stuffing things that tight for fear of a lot of compression from the baggage handlers and if they're going to go through everything and try to cram it back in in time. And it necessitates taking another suitcase as I can't get everything else worked into that one. I'd imagine the same is more true with the 20" versus the 16".

    So the Bike Fridays higher estimated folding time didn't seem that appealing to me. And it's price really is ridiculous. I'm a big critic of overpriced cycling equipment that's "built by hand" or has some other means of explaining why it costs more than a fair used car. Birdy didn't seem to have anything advantageous about it.

    Doing point to point travelling (ie. I leave from my city here and spend 2 weeks with a friend in Madrid and only bike around Madrid) isn't as big as a problem as going somewhere, ie. Europe from the US, and then trying to rely on normal transport. This necessitates really trying to use a backpack and no more than one wheeled suitcase that can fit into tight luggage compartments (have you tried using luggage lockers for 20" wheels? It'll be your bottleneck.) and can get through turnstyles in metros and you don't need other people to help you with.

    One needs good gearing to use a bicycle efficiently in a variety of conditions. And this is possible with 16" wheels, using either a derailleur approach or internal gearing. So the gearing that has been present on the 16" bikes really isn't adequate for using a bicycle to its full potential. But there's no reason for this. The dropouts are too small on the presto lite (116-8mm?) or Piccolo to take advantage of a 7/8 speed [132.5mm OLD] (or 14spd rohloff) internal gear hub, also normal road size (130mm) or larger hubs to build a derailleur equipped wheel. But there's no reason for this. Adding 5-7mm in both directions to accomodate these hubs is virtually not going to affect folding size. The same with the same oddball front fork size. 74mm->100mm isn't going to kill the folding dimensions? So why go with nonstandard parts there either? But that's not that important. The front axle can be replaced to make it quick release style so pulling off the wheel is easier.

    So, please look at this from the other standpoint. Why do you need 20" wheels? It's not been completely proven that comfortability is compromised with the larger wheels, and function when travelling is more critical than form (ever rented a single speed 40lb bicycle abroad? they are horrible but they work great).

    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    I made the statement to Josh Hon the president of Dahon bicycles and he got pissed off! He told the me the Presto Lite has a much better frame than the Brompton's low level chromoly for about half the price of an L3. The component spec of the Presto is just plain better all around. I agree.

  16. #16
    www.getafolder.com wpflem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    I don't know why anyone would want to buy a 16 inch wheel folding bike instead of a 20' inch folder?
    My Brompton doesn't crowd up my Honda Civic Hybrid nearly so much as my 20 inch bikes. I really enjoy the 16 inch wheel advantage.
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  17. #17
    Seņor Mambo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    I made the statement to Josh Hon the president of Dahon bicycles and he got pissed off!
    Gee. What a shock!


    He told the me the Presto Lite has a much better frame than the Brompton's low level chromoly for about half the price of an L3. The component spec of the Presto is just plain better all around. I agree.
    "Better frame"? Aluminum? No - say better geometry, or flashier style, but do not say "better frame." Aluminum bikes are disposable bikes.


    Furthermore, I don't know why one would want to extend the Presto, Piccolo or Brompton's capability beyond the manufacturers' setup. These bikes are perfect as is for they were only ment to be ridden in the city for short distances.
    What does this mean? Riding the bike for less than 5 miles? What, then, did the manufacturer set it up for? If only a few miles was Josh Hon's intention for the Presto, then I'd say that is the bike which is the rip-off. Or is it because Hon doesn't want you riding farther on an aluminum frame for liability reasons?


    Those trying to expand the droputs makes very little sense because it tells me the person did not buy the correct folder.
    Especially if the frame is aluminum.


    I repeat, there is not one single place you can bring your Brompton, Presto, Piccolo or any 16' inch folder that I would not be able to bring a Bike Friday, Speed 8 or any 20' inch folder.
    True. Except when it comes to convenience and a nice small folded package, it's hard to beat the B.

    In terms of jasong's question, if you're not trying to race or set speed records, a 16" wheeled bike is fine. To me, not racing or setting speed records is cruising between 12-17 mph. In terms of ride comfort, another issue you'll want to be aware of is how adjustable the handlebars are. The Piccolo and Presto seem to have a great deal of adjustability, while the Brompton can only move forward or backward without extensive modifications to the stem. I don't know if I feel more road shock on the B. than I do on my Bike Friday, but I can adjust my hand position more easily on the Bike Friday. There was one time in which my fingers felt annoyingly numb after a 17 mile Brompton ride, but I lowered the tire pressure and have not felt numbness since. In any case, Brompton is coming out with new models which have Titanium parts and modified handlebars. Should lighten the load quite a bit as my only real complaint with the B. is its current weight.

  18. #18
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    peace brothers

    a lot is in the eye of the beholder.. ie. some people like dahons, some like bromptons , some like birdys


    we all like small wheeled folding bikes

    Thor

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    Quote Originally Posted by spambait11
    Gee. What a shock!
    Boy... I opened a hornets nest! ;-)

    <<<<"Better frame"? Aluminum? No - say better geometry, or flashier style, but do not say "better frame." Aluminum bikes are disposable bikes.<<<

    I want to know where these disposable Dahon Prestos' are being discarded! I'll pick one up tomorrow!

    It's been acknowledged that the 7005 Aluminum frame on the Presto is more modern compared to straight chromoly 4130 of the Piccolo and Brompton. I don't want to get into an argument of which is better, steel or aluminum. We can argue which one has a better frame all night long but I will say this. Weight is an important consideration when buying a folder that's to be used in multimode commuting. I personally do not like aluminum bikes but will make a concession if I had to carry the bike every day of the week accross a crowded train platform. I've carried the Piccolo 500 feet and felt the effect on my arms the very next day.

    >>>>>What does this mean? Riding the bike for less than 5 miles? What, then, did the manufacturer set it up for? If only a few miles was Josh Hon's intention for the Presto, then I'd say that is the bike which is the rip-off. Or is it because Hon doesn't want you riding farther on an aluminum frame for liability reasons? <<<<<

    You're going way off! ;-)

    The designers of these bikes (Brompton, Presto, Piccolo) never wanted you to tour extensively or ride great distances involving hills. This is why these bikes are sold with Sram Spectro 3 speed hub gears even though the 7/8 speed has been available for years. In fact, Brompton is introducing a single speed and a two speed version of it's bikes realizing the need for gears is unimportant for those purchasing "city bikes" because it was not ment to be taken into the country. You can travel more than 5 miles on any of these bikes as I have done almost 53 miles on my Piccolo. However, these longer journeys are much easier on a larger wheel folder and that is the point I wanted to make.

    I asked Josh Hon on his web site how many frame failures there have been on the Dahon Presto. He told me there have NEVER been any returned since the bike was introduced less than 10 years ago! This may not be true but I suspect that individuals purchasing a 16' inch folder at $500.00 USD are probably older and less wreckless than children riding BMX bikes which is why there are no reported frame failures.

    By the way, I don't work for Dahon at all.
    Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 04-26-05 at 07:35 PM.

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    Dahon.steve where did you get all the information on the Bromptons to be released? I carry Brompton and I've heard very little. I do know the price increase is expected next month.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong
    One needs good gearing to use a bicycle efficiently in a variety of conditions. And this is possible with 16" wheels, using either a derailleur approach or internal gearing. So the gearing that has been present on the 16" bikes really isn't adequate for using a bicycle to its full potential. But there's no reason for this. The dropouts are too small on the presto lite (116-8mm?) or Piccolo to take advantage of a 7/8 speed [132.5mm OLD] (or 14spd rohloff) internal gear hub, also normal road size (130mm) or larger hubs to build a derailleur equipped wheel. But there's no reason for this. Adding 5-7mm in both directions to accomodate these hubs is virtually not going to affect folding size. The same with the same oddball front fork size. 74mm->100mm isn't going to kill the folding dimensions? So why go with nonstandard parts there either? But that's not that important. The front axle can be replaced to make it quick release style so pulling off the wheel is easier.

    So, please look at this from the other standpoint. Why do you need 20" wheels? It's not been completely proven that comfortability is compromised with the larger wheels, and function when travelling is more critical than form (ever rented a single speed 40lb bicycle abroad? they are horrible but they work great).
    You wrote alot so I'll try to answer as best as I can.

    >>>>>>>First of all, low cost carriers in europe (ie. RyanAir, EasyJet) have very tight weight limitations on baggage. I think it's 15kg, or 32 lbs. Imagine a 20 lb folder (Piccolo). That leaves you with very little weight left for travelling (assume 5lbs for lightweight suitcase). How can you reduce this? Well, pull off the wheels. Can you carry 20" wheels as carry on luggage? I doubt it. 16" wheels? Yes. With an internal gear hub in back (7speed), you're looking at pulling 4-5lbs off the back, and another 2-3 lbs off the front minimum (assume Presto lite weight). That now leaves you with 20lbs for a suitcase and other stuff. One has to be innovative to travel inexpensively (ie. no cabs, easily getting through the metro, etc.). Size is a premium in these instances. I've never had my carry on luggage weighed and always use this in a pinch to pull my normal weight down when flying. Throw everything dense in your backpack and carry 30-40lbs on the plane with you.<<<<<<

    If you're concerned about weight, the Brompton and Piccolo are heavier or just as heavy as many 20 inch folders in production. This fact surprised me when I discoverd my Piccolo was over 25 pounds due to the low level chromoly 4130. Bike Friday makes folder that are under 20 pounds or about as heavy as the Presto! Overall, there is no advantage in weight savings to be gained from the 16' inch folder with the exception of maybe the Presto when traveling by plane. I would not consider the 4 lbs savings of the Presto to be "significant" if one intends to do touring overseas since one will not be folding and unfolding the bike every day. However, weight would be very important if I had to carry this bike five days a week, twice a day across a train platform for 500 feet! When one tours, the weight of the folder is not as important as comfort and luggage capabilities. I agree that size is a premium when traveling, but I've been able to get my 20 'inch folder in cabs and metros just as easy as my 16' inch folder.

    >>>>I'd like to see your argument in the other direction: why have 20" wheels? Why not have 12" wheels for these 'limited use' 16" bikes?<<<<<

    I would also put the 12" folder in the same category as the 16' wheeler. They are both designed for multimode transport using the bus. That is the only advantage of the 12" inch folder would have for it's disadvantages would be many.

    >>>>>Also, as someone that owns a few S&S coupled bikes, simplicity in folding is really key in the bike not troubling you too much to take it with you. Yes, I can get both of my 700c S&S bikes into a 26x26x10 case. But it takes about 45 minutes and it's a hassle and makes me nervous stuffing things that tight for fear of a lot of compression from the baggage handlers and if they're going to go through everything and try to cram it back in in time. And it necessitates taking another suitcase as I can't get everything else worked into that one. I'd imagine the same is more true with the 20" versus the 16".<<<<<<

    I can understand the work involved in assembling an S&S coupled bicycle but a person going this expensive route has made a commitment to this type of folding bike since it's only done twice in the entire trip. In return, they have the advantage of traveling a full size bicycle with 700 cc wheels or even a recumbent. I would consider riding a 16' inch folding bike across Europe a greater hassle than having to put together an S&S coupled touring bicycle. If you are only going to do light traveling overseas, a 16' inch folder would be just find, however, a 20' inch folder would have little or the same difficulties.


    >>>>>One needs good gearing to use a bicycle efficiently in a variety of conditions. And this is possible with 16" wheels, using either a derailleur approach or internal gearing. So the gearing that has been present on the 16" bikes really isn't adequate for using a bicycle to its full potential. But there's no reason for this. The dropouts are too small on the presto lite (116-8mm?) or Piccolo to take advantage of a 7/8 speed [132.5mm OLD] (or 14spd rohloff) internal gear hub, also normal road size (130mm) or larger hubs to build a derailleur equipped wheel. But there's no reason for this. Adding 5-7mm in both directions to accomodate these hubs is virtually not going to affect folding size. The same with the same oddball front fork size. 74mm->100mm isn't going to kill the folding dimensions? So why go with nonstandard parts there either? But that's not that important. The front axle can be replaced to make it quick release style so pulling off the wheel is easier.<<<<<<

    I agree that one needs good gearing to use a bicycle efficiently. It is not possible with the 16' inch folders because the designers never intended them to be used for long distances. The Brompton, Piccolo and Presto are designed as short distance city bikes and geared appropriately. The 20' inch folding bike companies have taken the touring market by storm designing high quality folders for this particular purpose. Yet, it never fails to hear of all the extravant means these 16' inch wheel folding bike enthusiast do to make their cycles act like their larger cousins. If you go to the Bike Friday forum, you'll never hear these travel difficulities because there are ways solutions around the problems you discussed.

    This was the reason why I reopened the thread in the first place. Having owned folders in both sizes, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, the 20' inch model provides an overall superior ride. If I'm going to make a compromise for the 16' inch wheel, it should be for a reason like not being able to board the bus with the larger bike. In those circumstances where both are allowed to enter the mode of transportation, the choice is simple. You take the larger wheel folder with you. As I look at both my folders, I don't regret either purchase but if someone were to ask me which one to buy, the 20' inch bike would get the go ahead. In the end, you'll save more time and money then trying to make a 16' inch wheel folder geared like a 20 inch traveling bike.

    Thank you.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wpflem
    Dahon.steve where did you get all the information on the Bromptons to be released? I carry Brompton and I've heard very little. I do know the price increase is expected next month.
    The Folding Society provides a great wealth of information on folders including the 2005 Brompton lineup which is missing my desired Aluminum Brompton!

    http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/

  23. #23
    www.getafolder.com wpflem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    The Folding Society provides a great wealth of information on folders including the 2005 Brompton lineup which is missing my desired Aluminum Brompton!

    http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/
    thanks. i guess i better keep up.
    Celebrating Bicycling
    The Past, Present, and Future

    http://www.sfbikes.com or http://www.getafolder.com/

  24. #24
    Seņor Mambo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    ...which is missing my desired Aluminum Brompton!
    Noooooooooooooo!


    peace brothers

    a lot is in the eye of the beholder.. ie. some people like dahons, some like bromptons , some like birdys


    we all like small wheeled folding bikes

    Thor
    Just good clean ribbing.

    BTW, I once asked a mechanic what he thought about spreading the rear dropouts of a Brompton to 130mm to accommodate a wider range of hubs. He said doing this for a 16" wheel is not advised since the angle of the right side spokes would be too small, therefore compromising wheel integrity.

  25. #25
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    Re New Bromptons: One word - titanium

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