Buy New with student discount vs used on SF craigslist (Breezer Zig 7/Dahon) $370
I am trying to get a folding bike, as my school is offering a discount program for the students who commute. I'm very unfamiliar with the folding market and the availability of off-market components. I'm wondering if any one knows whether $370 would be a good price for a Breezer Zig 7, rebadged Dahon, or should I try to look for a used one instead through craigslist? I bought all my previous road bikes used, as I could easily update the components. As a student, I'm also concerned about the budget. They also offer Breezer Ziggy for $569 after discount, would that be significantly better?
How are these bikes from a performance/value perspective and what may be some good alternatives in the sub-$500 price range? Should I dig into the craigslist market instead for a quality cheap folding bike (San Francisco)?
Your mechanical skills good enough to judge condition of used bikes?
Thanks for the reply. As I've never owned a folding bike before, I may be lacking in terms of mechanical knowledge of the specific parts associated with folding bikes.
I've fixed shimano rsx STI shifter with the help on bikeforum before so I'm pretty confident of taking things apart and putting them back together. I guess the issue is that in the road bike market, used bikes offer a very significant discount without too much compromise in terms of quality. I don't know whether folding bikes are similar- namely off-market components are readily available while major parts are easy to repair. Given my current options are a sub $500 new bike vs. going off craigslist. What would you recommend? Are there any good alternatives in the sub $500 market? Thanks again.
Originally Posted by calbikeforums
As an bicycle owner (and now an folding/separating bicycle owner exclusively only), I have bought both new and used known brands as Dahons, and a Brompton new; as well as 1970s vintage English and German made ones used. At first, I bought new ones only as I felt that the promised warranty and supporting my local bike shop at that time was tantamount to my beliefs and needs. As time passed and using the bicycles extensively gave me a different perspective. Local bikes shops (at least the ones that were located around my residence) proved unreliable and unpredictable. The warranties and other promises given at purchase meant little to absolutely nothing at all as the bike shops went out of business or changed management over a span of just a few short years. Even the corporations that manufactured the new far east imported bikes underwent similar volatile changes within their ranks. Their warranties were very limiting both in time and scope of what they granted protection from. Except for the Brompton that I still have and love, the purchased new bikes were not very durable or reliable. I chucked the Dahons for the present 2 vintage 1970s ones I have now. I bought both either through Craigslist or an Estate Sale. Both even with their additional costs of cleaning up and upgrading, they prove vastly superior to the newer sub $500 new bike market I previously was stuck with. I really like them both and will not put either up for sale ever.
Originally Posted by calbikeforums
What I recommend for you to do is:
List the features that you would like your new bike to do that you need or are attracted to.
(i.e. For example, I like my bikes to fold-though one separates-up and go with me rather than locking it up, prefer a smaller diameter wheel of 16-20 inch range, bit wider sprung saddles, upright position with harp shaped handlebars, step over frame, internal hub gears of 2 speed kickback or 3 speed with handlebar thumb shifter. All my bikes were selected and follow this basic list I made many years ago.)
Decide whether you want a new-expect to pay several or even thousands of dollars for a decent non-far east one like my Brompton-or used one (although for your price range requirement, I would tend to lean toward the used market. Prices for all bikes, especially the folding ones, seem to skyrocket over the past several years. Keep that in mind as you decide.
If you buy used and need assistance in buying a bike, have someone who is knowledgeable about bikes go with you to check out the bikes. I find that even though I am very-um-mechanically limited in my knowledge, that does not stop me from picking out good bikes. I look for a few things that would eliminate a particular bike from consideration. Damage on the frame or major parts (check alignment, any bents and dents on frame especially), Extreme amount of all over rust (might have been left out in the weather) though all my bikes had some rust and much grime built up over the years (allowable if you are willing to clean it up), Extreme paint damage (same thing), Parts like saddles, chains, and handgrips are easily replaced-my 2 vintage bikes had theirs replaced.
Photos From Upper Left; My 2005 (bought new) Red Brompton, my Vintage (bought used) Brown Raleigh Twenty, my Vintage (bought used) German made Jetstar in use hauling groceries-photo 1 reading to be loaded up, Photo 2 fully loaded Jetstar, the last 3 were my former Dahons now sold off and not missed.
Last edited by folder fanatic; 03-30-13 at 07:35 PM.
Folding bikes for sale 2nd hand can offer very significant discounts on new price, especially if the brand in question is less known. For example a Dahon would generally command a better 2nd hand price, simply because many people know the brand and therefore assume that the quality is better than most other bikes up for sale, and in many cases this would be correct.
In general except for Brompton, you can expect 50% off the new price. Brompton fetch much higher prices. The trouble with 2nd hand is knowing if the bike for sale is worth going after. Many bikes I have seen are cheapies that have been bought by well-intentioned buyers who end up never riding them. So you may form an idea by examining the new bikes for sale, and avoiding the cheapies' 2nd hand offerings.
Dahon have some special part such as a narrower front hub, special headsets, but not really much else that isn't also true of other folding bikes, that is the frame bits. The bulk of the componentry is fairly generic. Bromptons are put together from proprietary parts more than any other folder.
Thank you both so much for the very generous amount of great information! I also couldn't believe the skyrocketing price for the folders but am happy about the popularity for cycling in general. My intuition was also to go used but some of my preliminary craigslist search in the SF area yielded very few results, hence my dilemma. The school sponsored Zig 7 & Ziggy are based off Dahon Vitesse D7 and Vitesse D7HG. While $370 & $570 are reasonable prices for new, they can't beat good discounted used ones for sure. Another complication is that I won't have a car to drive around and pick up the best garage sale or estate sale bikes. I guess I will follow your advice and try to be more patient waiting for a used bike within my price range. Thanks again!