Hello Bike Forums,
About two years ago I visited this site to get some reviews on folding bikes. I didn't know much about bikes then and I know just as little now. I bought a Dahon Speed P8 because it was recommended here, dahon was the only brand available for me to try in person, and the bike was on sale at my shop. Well I just moved to Arizona and was hit by a car on my way to work. The car was accelerating from a stopped position when it hit me so it was a very slow low impact collision, however the fork and front wheel were ruined in the crash and possibly the handlepost.
My experience with the bike has been terrific. It had enough speed, enough gears, and was a comfortable size. I don't have much to compare it to but it road as smooth and folded as easy as I'd expect any folding bike should. I bought the bike for commuting purposes, but also as an effort to learn more about bicycles. Unfortunately during college I never found the time between work and class, or the resources, to learn anything about bikes. As a result I have a broken bike and need outside advice (again) regarding: the bike's estimated value as is/parting it out, how much it would cost to buy parts to fix, or what bike I should buy to replace it?
(I could take photos if this would help?)
Coincidentally, a week before the accident I visited a local bike co-op and was going to attempt to learn how to tune and properly take car of my bike, or even learn about potential upgrades that would make it more enjoyable. Post accident I visited the co-op again, a guy at the co-op mentioned that some bike companies offer "crash frames". He said you can contact a dahon authorized dealer and see if dahon offers its customers "crash frames", or what he described as "frames at cost" to customers whose bikes were ruined in accidents. I was wondering if such a thing exists? and if so, would it also cover my front tire? or other components that may have been damaged on the bike besides the frame?
If it is true that the cost to repair the bike is too much to really be worth investing in vs. spending a little more for a brand new bike, is buying a Dahon Speed P8 still the best move for $700? Comparably I was looking at Downtube Novas with 1 less gear but weighing 3-4lb's less and costing half as much, $329. Or Tern folding bikes with 8-9 gears that cost about the same as a Speed P8. In retrospect I'm trying to determine what I actually paid so much for with the Dahon vs a bike like the Downtube Nova which seems similarly built and spec'd? If I was to buy a new bike now what are the most competitive bikes in the Speed P8 price range and what are you paying more for vs. a Downtube Nova. I.e. are the tern 8 speeds better than dahon, better than downtube? Would I then be better off cost wise to buy a Downtube Nova and separately some better components found in the more expensive bikes and upgrade the bike myself as too match/beat the quality of the more expensive competitors? (especially with my interest in learning/exploring bikes and now that I have a little time, since I graduated, to act).
Thanks for any advice you can offer!