Joining The Fold
The pun was intended.
Just ordered a folding bike. My birthday present to myself. Not a top of the line model by any means. But I hope it will do for my needs.
What one? Oh! The Kettler Verso Cologne. Where did I get it? Walmart's website with free delivery to my local store. Why? Well because the price was right, and I will not have to pay return shipping if there is a problem with it. A post here recommended it. The couple of reviews I found were very favorable. One of the reviews claimed that they come packed better than most. And the load limit at 250# is higher than most (my 215# plus winter clothing plus my camera bag probably are pushing near that).
Now I expect that the bike was neither designed by nor made by Kettler. It does not actually have their name on it. Though it is on their website. They are the distributor for it, so I figure they kind of vet the production. It is an alloy framed 7-speed 20" bike with fenders and rack and carrying bag. Not bad I think for $266 plus local tax.
Anyone have any actual experience with these? Did I make a mistake?
Well welcome to the "fold"! :thumb: I have no personal experience with the bike you ordered but it looks solid. It's your basic 7 speed, all purpose folding bike. Please let us know how you like it. :)
Originally Posted by graywolf
If this is your first folder, you didn't make a mistake. Even if the bike is not optimal for your needs, it'll give you a wonderful idea of what works and what doesn't, so all the better for potential future purchases.
Thought I'd seen almost every folder out there, but never heard of this one, so checked out the pix & specs.
Worrisome are the stem hinges, esp. approaching the max weight limit, and perhaps the monotube main hinge - I couldn't see a good enough pic to determine how well constructed and/or beefy it is, and it needs to be. 32 lb. is getting kinda chunky for a folder if you're going to be carrying it any distance without a bag or wheeled case; every pound counts here. But that's just me; your mileage may vary. Do let us know how it works for you.
Actually I have seen the weight listed as everything from 28#, pretty normal for a bike of this class, to 45#, seems totally out of line unless that particular seller boxed up the box for shipping. The Kettler site does say shipping weight 35# and bike weight 32#, but I would guess that last includes the carry bag which is standard. I guess I will not know for sure until it gets here.
That kind of brings up a question I have been wondering about. I have seen people posting that a 30# bike is way too heavy, but a 25# bike is good. I mean 5# difference??? I once had a multi-thousand dollar road big that weighed 19# and it was a joy to ride, but I always figured that was the Dura Ace component package and glue on tires, not the 6# difference from the next lightest bike I ever own ($400-500 range).
I think the issue some people have with a folding bike over 30 lbs. is that one of it's intended uses is multi modal commuting where sometimes you have to carry the bike a certain distance to change trains, buses, etc. But believe it or not, we have "weight weenies" who dread even lifting such a bike from the trunk of their car. :lol:
Most of my bikes have been "heavy"; my latest one being around 31 lbs. I once owned a lightweight folder made by "Flying Pigeon" which believe it or not, I paid less than $130 for on eBay brand new, and weighed about 24 lbs. after taking off the rack, and fenders. The frame was made out of Magnesium alloy.
But to be perfectly honest, it was no stellar performer. It could be components but the good thing about that Flying Pigeon was the fact that I used to live in a small apartment that was on the second floor, and carrying it up, and down the stairs was easier than my other bike which was steel. So in that respect, I understand the desirability of a lighter bike. But if you don't anticipate having to carry the bike for any significant amount of distance, it's a non issue.
Enjoy your new bike. As long as it's well adjusted, it should perform well for you.
Originally Posted by graywolf
I would also not worry about the weight thing. I have a Bickerton Classic which was known for its light weight and it is by far the worst riding bike I own and I have about 16 folders 90 bikes total. With each pedal stroke the bike changes direction as you push down on the crank. The handle bars go one way and the seat goes the other. I really have it only for its rarity. In one of the early 1970s bike boom books they claim it to be one of the best bikes made and I often wonder what kind of drugs they were using. Roger
Thanks, that about sets my worries about weight to rest. Since I plan to keep it in the back of my old Blazer, I don't figure I will ever have to carry it more than a 100 yards or so.
I was also thinking of storing it in an upstairs closet for the winter, but we have two inches of snow out there right now. Apparently Sandy is pushing warm moist air into a major cold front and they are meeting right about here. Hopefully that will all be gone by the time the bike arrives.
It will be well adjusted, all my bikes always are.
If you do find that you have to carry your folded bike (up stairs) regularly, it's worth figuring out how to add a strap so you can effectively carry the bike with your shoulder instead of your hands.
Well it arrived. Not so impressed.
The frame seems OK, and it has horizonat dropouts so could be converted to an IG hub. The tires are Kenda Kwick 20x2.0, which I think are a mid-grade tire. The rest of the components are the cheapest stamped steel junk I can imagine. So the frame, tires, and carry bag are on the plus side. The components are on the minus, unless you were planing on upgrading them anyway.
At $266 + sales tax, I don't know whether I am going to keep this. It ought to do to bop around town, and a couple of hundred bucks would make it a kind of nice bike. I was kind of thinking of replacing the rear hub with a SA 8sp with drum brake and the front with a drum brake hub (I don't know if you can get a narrow drum brake hub, or would have to replace the fork to do that). The rear dropouts look to be 135mm. I had already planed on using my Brooks B66 on it.
I do know that if I had paid $350-400 shipped, what most sites are selling it for, I would be really upset.
How does it ride? I do not know, I need to tune it up first, the front spokes are too loose and everything else needs adjusting. Besides that it is snowing out there right now.
I wrote a more realistic review of this Kettler Verso Cologne on amazon.com. 3-stars instead of the 5-star ones already there. And I put up a first impressions post on my "Subject to Change" blog, and will probably do a detailed review later.
hey graywolf ~ "expensive bike snob" here just to let you know you could have driven down to kannapolis and bought this sweet auto-mini folder with 3 speed sturmey archer hub for 75 (he probably would take 60) then you could have thrown some schwalbe big apples on it and a used sprung brooks saddle all for less or about the same amount of money you spent on that POS walmart bike. plus, you would have had the satisfaction of having done it yourself.
Actually, there was a Dahon Boardwark down in Mooresville (about 50 miles from here) for $75BIN on eBay, only the guy did not reply to my inquiry. And my vehicle has a intermittent brake problem that makes me disinclined to drive down 8% grades. And by the time I put another $200 into this one I will have something pretty nice, if I choose to got that way, if I don't I can return it and I am out nothing whatsoever. If I bought that craigs list JC Penny Raleigh 20 knockoff, I would be out $75 plus $40 worth of gasoline regardless. Also that thing weighs in at about 65#.
If you want a couple of more negatives on this one; the chain is too short, so it can not go into the bottom gear, and of course those front spokes are loose.
My real problem is that I really can not go look at any folders around here to figure out if this is par for the course, or as cheap as it seems. It may be that anything I can afford is just a junky. My point that some of us can not afford expensive bicycles remains valid. I actually can not afford this one.
understood. i will keep my eye out for you. i'm sure we can find something good in your area.
I am so sorry that you had to go through this experience. I thought that the Versa was a decent low priced bike.
But to be honest, the only budget priced bikes I would really recommend to anybody is either a Citizenbike or a Greenzone. By the way, I purchased one (Greenzone Value Edition) several weeks ago, and I am very happy with it. Otherwise, a used Dahon, a Downtube or something like that could have been another possibility if you are on a tight budget.
I hope things work out for you, and I think you should return the bike for a refund.
I have followed up on a new thread with the bikes name as the subject: