So I rode the bike for the first time 2 days ago on a 3.8-mile commute to work. It does take some getting used to. It does not feel like any full-sized bike to me and I guess that was to be expected. The first thing I noticed was that you can clearly feel every tiny rock underneath the wheels with this bike. That is the big difference between this bike and any full-size bike. I don't know if every small folding bike is like this or not. But it was quite annoying when rocks came up on the road.
However, even that didn't bother me as much as having to adjust the seat height every 10-15 minutes because it seems to lower little by little as you ride and you can feel that your legs are getting too long for the bike. I am not even that heavy...under 105 lbs! Am I doing it wrong or is this a defect?
The biggest annoying complaint I have is that while I was going uphill towards the middle of my journey (and it wasn't even that steep of an uphill), the chain literally just fell off the gears when I switched gears to help my uphill experience. What in the world? I did not have time to fiddle around with it since I was riding to work and was going to be late, but thank god I managed to get the chain back on the back wheel or else I would have to carry this back to work (even if it is only 25-26lbs, it will feel like 100lbs if you are a petite woman and have to carry it about 2.5 miles down the road). I ended up walking the bike to work because I couldn't figure out how to get it to go back on the pedals fast enough and was panicking that I would be late.
With that said, I managed to attach it back on the pedals at home. Haven't tested it out on the road yet. But I did notice that something seems to be wrong with the gear-shift system, it is now extremely difficult to turn anything under the 4th gear. The hand shifter on the handlebars don't work very well and the chain in the back also gets "stuck" and becomes loose if turned under the 6th gear. Perhaps I put it back together wrong since I have never had to deal with a chain falling off my bike before? This shouldn't have happened anyways....
The good part is that it made a big scene at work and my coworkers were admiring my "cute" and "sleek" bike. But unfortunately I had to tell them that so far it was only looks. What I do like is that it is light enough to carry up and down the stairs and it does fit nicely in the back of a trunk. However, I'm also not sure if there is an easier way to fold it to make it even more compact and "flatter".
So far I am honestly not very satisfied, but I will test it out a few more times.
Last edited by royafuze; 11-02-12 at 04:25 AM.
I am sorry to hear that the chain came off. I am not sure what would have caused that to happen, but I would llike to talk with you to figure it out. I can also give you some tips on folding it flatter.
http://www.thorusa.com/accessories/tires.htm ...I have these and it makes a big difference. As for the sliding seatpost, make sure to really crank down on the quick release...it usually does the trick
If you buy a bicycle at a bike shop, it ought to be properly tuned out the door. Mail order however you have to do it yourself or take it to a bike shop to have it done. That includes checking the tires, adjusting the derailleur, tightening all the nuts and bolts. They also should adjust the bike to fit you. Good shops will also make sure all the bearings are properly lubed and adjusted (don't expect that at the discount stores). Almost all the problems you read people having fit into this category. Us long time cyclists know all this, newbies unfortunately do not.
Paul seems very responsive, I emailed him about the weight limit on the Crane and he got back to me withing a few hours; on a week end, yet. I was about to order one when I came upon something else that had a higher weight limit (at the cost of being heavier): and that I would not have to pay return shipping on if there was a major problem (not anticipated in either case); for a bit less money (due to free shipping, and the carry bag being included). I think one could not go wrong choosing an Origami Crane (I do love that name for a folding bike) as long as one understands what I wrote in the first paragraph about mail order bicycles.
bike price delivered: 328
schwalbe big apples: 80 (if they fit)
installing tires and tune-up: 40
the 289 budget bike is now a 450 bike...
Folding bikes can ride very differently than upright bicycles. my Greenzone rides very differently; it is twitchy and not very stable. My friend's (ironic) Giant folding bike rides much more smoothly. It's somewhat late, but going to LBS to try different folding bikes just to see the range would have been (is) a good idea.
The chain popping off is annoying and should be addressed. I don't know how much experience the OP has with folding bikes and that may be part of his issue. If installing big apples (assuming they fit) make the bike ride better in his mind, then I think they are worth it.
i know all that. if you just need to drive a handful of nails into a board, sure, you can buy a hammer for 2 bucks at a dollar store. but, if you are going to use a hammer on a daily basis then you should be prepared to spend 30 bucks on a quality tool that will possibly last a lifetime and be relied upon to perform as needed.
the point im trying to make is- there is no such thing as a new "budget" bike. if a person wants to buy a bicycle that they will use on a daily basis that they can rely on and even enjoy, that person should be prepared to spend at least 700 for a NEW bike. OR, he or she can purchase a good quality used bike. this is the option i always recommend.
the OP could have purchased a used dahon curve that has big apples as stock and internal gear hub and seat post pump for 250-375. that's just one example...
Last edited by JosephLMonti; 11-02-12 at 02:31 PM.
Expensive bike snobs, heh?
No a $300 folding bicycle is not equal to a $700 one. If it is a mail order only one, it may be equal to a $500 bike store one however. If someone just needs a bike to bop around town on, spending $700+ is kind of silly. If they want to use it for sport, touring, or offroading, buying a $300 bike is kind of silly. The fact is when you buy a luxury item, any luxury item, half or more of the price is for the exclusivity of it Many people just do not have the money to buy luxury items, the fact that there are companies like Citizen and Origami selling decent folding bikes for reasonable prices allows folks who are not rich to enjoy the use of such things.
Personally, if you did not pay $15,000 for your folding bike, I do not think you cheapskates have any right to brag.
i think you missed my point.
I suggest you go back and read Post #5. It is where I explained a few of my problems, which included chain issues. A tuning at a LBS is essential. I am now happy with my Origami Crane, and I have begun making a few minor mods to suit my needs. I road 25 miles last Saturday with a max speed of 20, all the while feeling safe and stable. I do find a 20"-wheel bike to have more sensitive steering and a bit more sensitivity with bumps, but, to my understanding, that is to be expected.
Please keep us posted as to your progress.
2007 Montague MX
"I made a lotta special modifications myself." -Han Solo
I think we're beginning to get off topic here as the thread started to ask for advice on two different budget folders to chose from, but I must chime in on the last few posts.
It is expected that if you purchase a bike online or through the mail, that it is recommendable to take it to a reputable bike shop so that they can perform a tune up, and go over it. I actually had this done with my new Greenzone VE which some of you might remember the thread I started on it over two weeks ago. It cost me $40, and it was money well spent. I can really tell the difference, and I have some peace of mind that the most sensitive parts, and components have been properly lubed, and adjusted.
As a side note, another poster mentioned that his Greenzone feels "twitchy"...well call it semantics but I would describe it more as responsive. Some might not like that feeling...I happen to appreciate it.
Those of you who have spent upwards of $600 for a folder should realize that part of that price is due to the extra labor involved in making sure that bike is properly adjusted. Don't think for a moment that a Dahon straight out of it's original factory box is going to ride perfectly.
But getting back to the lady who bought the Origami, the next logical step is to take it to the bike shop so that they can give it a good look over, she should also stay in close contact with Paul for any pointers or advice.
Edward Wong III
2008 Qile Duo VSTII Single Speed 20" Folder (Converted from a 5 speed)
2012 Greenzone Value Edition 7 Speed 20" Folder