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  1. #1
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    Kettler Verso Cologne

    This follows up on my "Joining the Fold" thread. I could not figure out how to edit that thread name to indicate the bicycle involved.

    Besides that thread, I have a review of the bike on amazon.com

    There is also a brief comment on my blog: Birthday Bike/

    Followed by another with 20 photos: More On The-kettler Verso Cologne Folding Bicycle/

    People can make their own decisions when they have enough info. Often we do not.

    In the end, I can not recommend this bicycle.
    Graywolf--
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    Longing for a stately old roadster

  2. #2
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    Shame you did not like it, maybe a citizen might have been better? But it looks like they are of about the same quality.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pinigis's Avatar
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    An aluminum Origami Crane would have only cost you a little bit more.

  4. #4
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
    An aluminum Origami Crane would have only cost you a little bit more.
    Or, will only cost you a little bit more as you can still return the bike to Walmart. You can tell them (honestly) that it isn't shifting right, etc.

    Cheers,
    Charles

    p.s. I'm advocating you getting another folder, whether it be an Origami or something else more credible.
    Last edited by cplager; 11-07-12 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Added postscript
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Fenway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillybill View Post
    Shame you did not like it, maybe a citizen might have been better? But it looks like they are of about the same quality.
    I can tell you from comparing those photos to my Citizen Tokyo, that the Citizen is much better made. The cleanliness of the welds and overall finish isn't even remotely close between them.

    Though I must say Origami's are a big step up from Citizen's in terms of fold design and hinge quality.

  6. #6
    Senior Member fusilierdan's Avatar
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    From those close ups it looks to me like you made the right call returning it.
    Giant TCRC2 2007, GT Avalance 2011,Dahon MU P8 2012

  7. #7
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    I have not returned it yet. From the reports of those who have one of the others I mentioned, I probably will do so. Since I have now managed to get the derailleur adjusted so that it will go into all 7 gears, barely. I now have it tuned so I can ride i, so I am going to give it a try. I have 90 days to return it, if I don't think any better of it by the end of the month, back it goes. Then if I can get my finances a little better together, I will get something a bit better made.

    An interesting thing, I stopped by Boone Bike and they showed me an upgrade derailleur. Guess what? Costs all of$16. It is the Tourney TX55 which I think is the one the Citizen and Origami use. It is about 5 steps above the one on the Verso.
    Graywolf--
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  8. #8
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillybill View Post
    But it looks like they are of about the same quality.
    Uh...no they're not. The Citizen is heads, and shoulders above that Verso.
    Last edited by edwong3; 11-07-12 at 07:13 PM.
    Edward Wong III
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
    An aluminum Origami Crane would have only cost you a little bit more.
    Nicer things are always just a little bit more, Paul. But when that little bit more has to come out of the grocery and rent money it is not really an option. That said, your Crane was the bike I was wanting, but was going to buy the Miami Citizen do to cost; I am willing to admit I would have been better off buying either of them. Still, I can return this thing anytime within 90 days, and be out nothing. I could not do that with your or Citizen's offering if I turned out not to like the bike.

    One of my thoughts was that a lot of people buy folding bikes and wind up not liking them, if that happens with this one I can get my money back. Actually, though I have a friend who just told me he would buy it from me if I did not want it, so that would be taken care of. However, I would not sell him this one. He is, after all, a friend.
    Graywolf--
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    Longing for a stately old roadster

  10. #10
    Senior Member Fenway's Avatar
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    If you can spare the extra cash, you should go for the Origami Crane over the Citizen Miami. They are the same style, but the Crane is lighter aluminum, folds more compactly, and has better hinges. Citizen does offer more color options and more refined welds, but function trumps aesthetics.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwong3 View Post
    Uh...no they're not. The Citizen is heads, and shoulders above that Verso.
    It was hard for me to see the image... not loading right onto my computer. Having had a citizen, I can say they make a nice bike for the price, but it was a bit heavy for my multimodal commute.

  12. #12
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    Well, on the "it's only a little bit more" thought; I notice that for another hundred bucks over the Crane (with shipping), I could get a Tern C7 (free shipping, and I believe he tunes them before shipping) from Thor. But where does that end?

    A point: you can not compare welds in aluminum to those in steel, they look completely different. Probably not an issue even with very cheap bikes any longer as they are all done by robots. Robots do not come in with a hang over on Monday morning.

    It is sunny out today, finally, so I will get this thing out and see how it rides. It is folded and bagged at the moment, waiting to go into the the back of the old Blazer.

    I notice that it is both bigger and heavier than I thought it would be when folded. I can now see why folks worry about the weight (I wonder what one of those fishing scales cost?). Bulk-wise I do not think I could bring this into stores without a hassle. Maybe I am just being unreasonable, I notice it sitting next to the big bikes and it is only about a quarter their size.

    For those who want to know, I measured the dropouts. The rear is a standard 135mm, and the front is a totally nonstandard 90mm. 90mm fronts were the standard at one time, but trying to find a hub that will fit these days is an exercise in frustration. I know that from trying to find a hub for my old English 3-speed; I wound up having to widen the steel forks.

    It would be nice if some of you would put up a lot of unretouched photos of the Miami Citizen, the Origami Crane, the Downtube Nova, and the Tern C7 Like I did of this bike. Other bikes too if you like, but those are the ones I was looking at when I bought the Verso (which pricewise is between the Miami and the Crane), from could afford to would like to be able to afford. I don't think the people who buy those super cheap ($150) no name folders read these forums, but if you do photos of them would be nice. I ask, because I do not think I am the only one here who does not have anywhere nearby to go look at folding bikes. In fact there was one running around town 8-10 years ago, it was the only one I had actually seen, and then only whizzing by.
    Graywolf--
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  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    First Ride

    Actually, I am impressed. The Verso did better than I did.

    Only a couple of miles on the local greenway and my legs felt like the were about to fall off. Before you sneer, I am sixty nine, have atrial fibrillation and central apnea, both of which limit your oxygen levels and I have not rode my bikes in about two years. Actually I am amazed I did that well. You need to be a pretty good trials rider to handle this thing below 3mph, above that it handles pretty well. I probably hit 15mph on a couple of down hills, but only did up to maybe 10mph otherwise.

    I did have to stop and tighten up the clamps. The rule seems to be when you think you have them tight enough, you need to tighten them another half turn. The frame hinge clamp has to point down otherwise you will catch it with the bottom of your pant leg. I found it best to turn the stem hinge clamp so it points to the back of the bicycle. Other than that the only problem I noticed was the derailleur. It is so flimsy that it does not index accurately; I could get around that by shifting to the gear past the one I wanted and back to the one I wanted, but I have never rode a bike with such a junky one before.

    Apparently you can not get the bike in its bag with the seatpost retracted, I had to remove it. I found that I could put the bagged bike in the back of my '94 S10 Blazer upright next to the spare tire with a strap from the tire mount over the top of the spare and the bike and into the loop on the floor of the luggage compartment. The strap keeps the bike from falling on its side, and the seat back and tailgate keeps it from moving back and forth. That should be a very secure way of carrying it. (I know, pictures, pictures, pictures...)

    It rides so nicely I am nowhere near as upset about the cheap components as i was. I mean, I have read a lot of complaints about how their folding bike handled here in the forum.
    Graywolf--
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    Longing for a stately old roadster

  14. #14
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    nice one, graywolf.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Fenway's Avatar
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    https://picasaweb.google.com/1100471...eat=directlink

    Quick album taken in my cramped foyer of a Citizen Tokyo 16"

    Things to note compared to more expensive bikes:

    -Handlebars fold to the outside and are held taught to a folded frame with included velcro reflective ankle band.
    -Cheap folding pedals
    -Cheap derailleur, though with good shifter
    -Steel frame is somewhat heavy, though well made & finished
    -No quick releases wheels, though rubber nut caps are provided
    -Less refined frame and hinge clamps, though better than ultra cheap ones
    -Simple seat pill doesn't have an integral clamp and isn't marked with height datum marks
    -Held together with a ball & socket when folded instead of magnets
    -Rack design lacks integrated bungee cords and a reflector mount


    https://picasaweb.google.com/110047160244766534910/NovaraDahonFlybyShuttle20Folder?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCJW1mbLq8Ob-Sg&feat=directlink

    Comparison album of a Novara (Dahon) 20" folder
    Last edited by Fenway; 11-08-12 at 08:26 PM. Reason: Added Comparison album of a Novara (Dahon) 20" folder

  16. #16
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    Fenway,

    Thanks for sharing those photos of your Tokyo. I was looking at your album, and seen that the handlepost folding mechanism is the same one used on my Greenzone VE. Good stuff.

    Ed
    Edward Wong III
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  17. #17
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    Thanks for the photos, Fenway.

    The stem and handle bars are a lot higher quality than on the Verso. Crank looks better too. The derailler seems to be the same piece of junk mine has. Welds appear to be about the same quality, steel takes a lot neater looking weld, the only difference I see in aluminum welds on a cheap bike like the Verso and on one that costs five times as much is that they run the robot welder slower for the more expensive bikes. That looks neater, but I doubt if it is actually any stronger. I can not tell that the paint is any better on either of them. All in all, considering that your Tokyo Citizen cost a hundred to a hundred and fifty bucks less than the Verso Cologna, you got the better deal if you like how it rides.

    I still see one real positive on mine, which may cause me to keep the Verso Cologna. That is the 135mm horizontal dropouts that will take an internal geared hub no problem. Of course, not everyone likes IGH's as much as I do.

    Once again, thanks very much for posting the photos, they will help folks make a more informed decision, on what to buy. Maybe if enough people post photos as you have we can get the mods to make a sticky called "Under $500 Folder Links" or something like that.
    Graywolf--
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    Longing for a stately old roadster

  18. #18
    Senior Member JosephLMonti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
    Other than that the only problem I noticed was the derailleur. It is so flimsy that it does not index accurately; I could get around that by shifting to the gear past the one I wanted and back to the one I wanted, but I have never rode a bike with such a junky one before.
    I've had shifting problems on some cheaper drivetrains and switched to friction thumb shifters:

    http://www.amazon.com/Sunrace-Mount-Friction-Shift-Lever/dp/B000A6BBU2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1352430464&sr=8-2&keywords=falcon+friction+thumbshifter


    Certainly not as convenient as indexed shifters, but they'll shift every time

  19. #19
    Senior Member JosephLMonti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenway View Post

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1100471...eat=directlink

    Quick album taken in my cramped foyer of a Citizen Tokyo 16"
    I probably shouldn't press my luck, but do you have any pix of the Citizen Tokyo at a slight distance? You have some great pix, but they are all close up and I'd like to see the whole bike in one frame.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Joseph, the problem with the derailleur is that it is so cheaply made that it flexes a lot. Nothing wrong with the shifter itself. Remember my mentioning that a $16 (retail at an expensive small town bike store) version is about 5 grades higher up the food chain?
    Graywolf--
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  21. #21
    Senior Member JosephLMonti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
    Remember my mentioning that a $16 (retail at an expensive small town bike store) version is about 5 grades higher up the food chain?
    Yikes, that doesn't sound good. According to your blog, you paid $266 for this bike...I'm starting to side with the folks that say return it and go with the Citizen Miami. The other option is to hold off until you get the extra cash and go with the Origami. While $60 more isn't exactly pocket change, you'd be amazed how much more bike you get with an extra $50-75 at this price point.

  22. #22
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephLMonti View Post
    Yikes, that doesn't sound good. According to your blog, you paid $266 for this bike...I'm starting to side with the folks that say return it and go with the Citizen Miami. The other option is to hold off until you get the extra cash and go with the Origami. While $60 more isn't exactly pocket change, you'd be amazed how much more bike you get with an extra $50-75 at this price point.
    I would advocate going for the Origami (I've never ridden either the Citizen or Origami, but I've heard better things about the Origami). I agree $50 isn't trivial, but if spending the extra $50 makes you more likely to ride your bike, it's money well spent.

    Cheers,
    Charles
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  23. #23
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    This is just my personal opinion but I believe the price difference between the Citizen, and the Origami is due to frame material (Steel vs Aluminum). Oh, and the Crane does come with the luggage rack while the Miami has it as an optional accessory. It seems that overall quality, and component level is about the same between both models.

    By the way, the price difference between the two, is $90, NOT $50.

    Ed

    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    I would advocate going for the Origami (I've never ridden either the Citizen or Origami, but I've heard better things about the Origami). I agree $50 isn't trivial, but if spending the extra $50 makes you more likely to ride your bike, it's money well spent.

    Cheers,
    Charles
    Edward Wong III
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  24. #24
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwong3 View Post
    This is just my personal opinion but I believe the price difference between the Citizen, and the Origami is due to frame material (Steel vs Aluminum). Oh, and the Crane does come with the luggage rack while the Miami has it as an optional accessory. It seems that overall quality, and component level is about the same between both models.

    By the way, the price difference between the two, is $90, NOT $50.

    Ed
    Whoops... You're right about the price. That's what I get for "extrapolating" from other posts.

    For the OP: Since you have a several weeks, go find and ride other folding bikes. That will give you a better way to compare your bikes to others and give you a better idea of whether you want to keep your bike or not.

    Cheers, Charles
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  25. #25
    Senior Member JosephLMonti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    Whoops... You're right about the price. That's what I get for "extrapolating" from other posts.

    Cheers, Charles
    Admittedly, I might have played a "tiny" role in creating the price confusion...

    Just to set things straight, here are the (shipped) prices for all 4 bikes discussed in this thread:

    Downtube Nova $361.50
    Origami Crane $328
    Kettler VC $266 (shipped to store)
    Miami Citizen $228

    @edwongIII - I'm surprised you didn't suggest the Greenzone VE as that fits in well with the bikes being discussed.

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