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  1. #1
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    Downtube Nova vs. Origami Crane

    Yes, I did read a similar thread to this one. But I still have unanswered questions.

    I've been waiting forever to take the plunge in purchasing one of these folding bikes. I looked at a lot of them. I am glad to say that I finally narrowed it down to the Downtube Nova vs. Origami Crane.

    I feel that I do need the additional speeds because there are uphills and downhills where I am planning to ride this (although not very steep)...if I didn't then the Dahon Speed Uno would have been a contender. I liked its simplicity...but additional speeds are a plus especially for newbs like me.

    From what I see though, the Downtube Nova and the Origami Crane looks soooooooooooooooooo similar. The only difference I see from not looking closely is that the Crane has fenders and rack, while the Nova does not. And the Nova also has an additional speed-- but the Origami Crane is cheaper!

    I did read one bad review on the Crane saying that the seat would not stay put and the Crane isn't talked about as much as the Downtube.

    I am on a budget and I'm just looking for a bike mostly for getting to work a few days a week....roughly 4 miles one-way.

    So which one is better- the Crane or the Nova?
    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    I dont think you could go wrong with either one. The Crane does come with a rear rack and mud guards.
    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Maybe Mothra will come fight too?

  4. #4
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    I've had my Nova since '09 and am very happy with it. I ride fairly often, for me, 24 miles last week, and have had no problems. I changed the seat very soon after purchase ( Brooks B67 ), and just recently replaced the rear tire with another Kenda (20 x 1 1/2 x 100# ), and that's it. I'm not familiar with the 'Origamy" but it does look the same bike. Any way, my 2 cents. I'm very happy with the Nova.

    Charlie

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bill Fold's Avatar
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    I purchased a 2012 Origami Crane demo a few weeks ago. Overall, I am happy with the purchase, and a friend much more knowledgable than myself (a serious road cyclist) thought it to be a solid bike - for a folder. He certainly thought it was better built than my 2007 Dahon Boardwalk S1.

    The bike did, however, need a bit of tuning up upon arrival: both front and rear brakes needed adjusting, the gears were catching, the headset was a bit loose, and the left pedal was a bit loose. But keep in mind that it was a demo, and I got out of my LBS for less than $25. Now the bike feels solid on the road, shifts smoothly, and brakes quickly. (Oh, yes, the seat did slip a little on the first ride, but all I had to do was tighten the quick release screw a bit - no tools necessary. I just mention it since you cited a seat problem someone else had. I've never had a concern since.)

    At this point, I typically ride 6 miles a few times a week averaging 12 or so mph and on weekends 21 miles at a slower pace. I haven't had much occasion to use the 6th gear (yet) - trying not to push myself. I do face a few short but steep hills (would you believe golf cart tunnels under four-lane highways?) and find the gearing to certainly be low enough. I am about to switch out the raised handlebars for trekking bars. (My hands are getting numb after my 21 mile rides, but my 6 milers are fine.)

    It is my understanding that the 2013 Crane has some design improvements, but I don't know what they are. (I believe one improvement is the addition of a place to mount a water bottle cage.)

    A very important point I want to make is how responsive the company owner is. On more than one occasion I emailed him and received a response in less than ten minutes. It was that kind of personal attention that helped convince me to take a chance on a fairly new company. By the way, you can expect Paul will probably post to this thread sometime soon. He has posted to all the other Origami threads.

    Good luck with your decision!

    Bill

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pinigis's Avatar
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    Disclaimer: I am the owner of Origami Bicycle Company. Ok, with that out of the way, let me first address the issue with the seat post not staying put. The person who had that problem had a 2012 model which used a shim in the seatpost tube (the 2013 models do not use a shim) and the owner had inadvertantly shoved the shim down into the tube so the quick-release could not put enough pressure on to hold the post. This took me about 45 seconds to fix, but I provided a full refund anyway.

    Yes, there are improvements to the 2013 model such as a better rack, better fenders, height-adjustable handlebar, better bell (yes, that is a silly little item but the new bell is integrated into the grip and looks pretty cool), better tires, and a better handlebar stem hinge.

    If there is anything specific that you want to know about the Crane, please ask.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JosephLMonti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
    Disclaimer: I am the owner of Origami Bicycle Company.

    If there is anything specific that you want to know about the Crane, please ask.
    The 2013 Crane looks like a great bike. Are there any plans to add quick-release hubs to the 2014 model?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Pinigis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephLMonti View Post
    The 2013 Crane looks like a great bike. Are there any plans to add quick-release hubs to the 2014 model?
    Yes, as a matter of fact they will be on the next production run out later this year.

  9. #9
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    Awwww omg the 2014 model is coming out soon? Do we have an estimated date/ month? Will it be the same price?

    Also, what benefit do the quick-release hubs have? Will there be any significant upgrades that I should wait on? I've been holding out on buying a bike longer than I've should!

    And this may be a pretty obvious question, but are the fenders and racks removable just in case?

    Thanks for the advice so far!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Pinigis's Avatar
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    The only change will be the addition of quick-release hubs so they will still be 2013 models. They will not be out until January.

    There really is no benefit to the quick-release hubs on folding bikes (in my opinion), but they look cool and that is a marketing advantage.

    Yes the fenders and rack are removable. The photo in my avatar is the Crane without rack and fenders.

    F2000-1.jpg

  11. #11
    Senior Member JosephLMonti's Avatar
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    Will the next batch of Cranes be available in different colors?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Pinigis's Avatar
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    what color would you like us to offer?

  13. #13
    Senior Member JosephLMonti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
    what color would you like us to offer?
    I think variations of greens and blues always look good and tend to have mass appeal.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Pinigis's Avatar
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    Hmm, OK, I will see what we can do.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the advice! I decided to give the Origami Crane a shot! Just made my payment! Can't wait to get it! =)

  16. #16
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Pics Please!


  17. #17
    Senior Member Pinigis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by royafuze View Post
    Thanks for all the advice! I decided to give the Origami Crane a shot! Just made my payment! Can't wait to get it! =)
    We just need your telephone number for the FedEx shipping label.

  18. #18
    Junior Member ILLI13's Avatar
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    Pinigis,
    Any changes on 2014 Cricket?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Pinigis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ILLI13 View Post
    Pinigis,
    Any changes on 2014 Cricket?
    No major changes, just the addition of quick releases on the axles. It will still be labeled a 2013 model.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
    We just need your telephone number for the FedEx shipping label.
    How would I get that to you? Should I PM you my number? You know which buyer I am in the system?

  21. #21
    Senior Member Pinigis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by royafuze View Post
    How would I get that to you? Should I PM you my number? You know which buyer I am in the system?
    I sent two emails to the address provided by PayPal. You can email me at paul@origamibicycles.com

  22. #22
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    The bike I was using before the Crane arrived had quick-release hubs and so far they've been handy just because I am crap at patching an inner tube (did the first patch properly and haven't gotten one right since ).

    I've also had my Crane, a 2013 (current year) model, for about a month, and am also delighted. Around here the land is extremely flat, so I spend all the time in top gear except for headwinds and for going over the railway overpass, which can be done in the second-lowest gear when I'm fresh, but I usually climb in the lowest gear. My favorite bike racks are now the sort which are made from one piece of tubing bent into U-bends, because I can park the bike UNDER a bend when all the U-bends are full of full-size bikes. Lock U-lock through frame triangle and around rack; lock long padlock through the chainring and around that doodad the bike sits on when it's folded; that bike isn't going anywhere. Unexpected benefit of a folding bike: the handlebars sit so far above the front wheel that I can carry LONG cargo in front. It makes up for the back rack being shorter than usual and not so handy for mounting panniers.

    Fellow short people, I cannot emphasize enough how great it is to have a bike that FITS and is LIGHT enough to lift--one-handed, even! I cannot lift the equivalent weight in a grain sack with one arm, but the Crane presents no difficulties! Maybe stronger people will be happy with a heavy steel Citizen, but the Origami is a delight for those of us without much upper body strength.

    Out of the box, mine required rear brake adjustment, cable ends twisted and trimmed, a bottle of touch-up paint (someone ignored the "handle with care" markings alright, the bottom-of-the-box side was scraped in several places), and the gears were not smooth--although the last problem went away on its own when I hung an over-heavy backpack off of the handlebars, must've put some needed tension in the cable. Once the rainy season starts, I'll take it in to the LBS for the tune-up after breaking the cables in. Like Bill Fold, I also ride five or so miles one way, and pause before returning. I would be doing a longer ride right now, but I just got my first puncture, and did I mention I can't seem to make a patch stick? Will be out in the garage soon, again swearing at rubber cement. . .

    P.S. Yes, the bell is silly yet effective. I didn't figure it out 'til I was trying to hang a bag off of the handlebars and brushed against the tab.

  23. #23
    Senior Member JosephLMonti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
    The only change will be the addition of quick-release hubs so they will still be 2013 models. They will not be out until January.
    I'm guessing that with the addition of qr hubs, the price will be slightly higher?

  24. #24
    Senior Member Bill Fold's Avatar
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    "P.S. Yes, the bell is silly yet effective. I didn't figure it out 'til I was trying to hang a bag off of the handlebars and brushed against the tab."


    I thought the bell was just a cute novelty, but on one of my first rides I rang it as I approached a woman walking her dogs. She immediately said to her dogs, "Oh! Ring-ring! We better move over!". As I passed by she yelled out, "Thank you!". From that moment on I realized how valuable that little thing can be.
    2007 Montague MX - road conversion
    "I made a lotta special modifications myself." -Han Solo

  25. #25
    Senior Member Pinigis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephLMonti View Post
    I'm guessing that with the addition of qr hubs, the price will be slightly higher?
    The quick release hubs are going to add $10 at most. We do want to keep the price competetive.

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