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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 04-02-13, 09:19 AM   #1
dadse
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used folder - what questions to ask

Asked this on 'introductions' and it was suggested I ask here.

Wish to buy a used dahon curve 3 on eBay (price and availability concerns - none nearby on craigslist - bring me to this). Is there a better choice for specific components or year of manufacture (e.g., to avoid)? Can one make any guess at manufacture year from learning about certain components attached? If so, which ones? Or would everyone advise NOT to buy when an inspection and test ride are highly impractical?
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Old 04-02-13, 10:52 AM   #2
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I for one would not ever recommend you buy a USED bicycle without an inspection regardless of whether it folds or not. A test ride would be desirable, but not always practical if the bicycle is not set up correctly and if everything checks out.
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Old 04-02-13, 12:20 PM   #3
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send us the link ..depending on the curve it might or might not be a good deal .... like a 8 speed internal SL or the capreo 8 speed derrailleur sl are highly sought after .... but the 3 speed is good too as long as the price is MUCH lower than the sl ..
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Old 04-02-13, 01:27 PM   #4
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HAve you tried test riding one. Folders are very different to ride from each other and a test ride to decide on which bike is critical IMO.
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Old 04-02-13, 07:30 PM   #5
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thanks. what does your experience with folders tell you is likely to be so wrong it can't be repaired? I get that some issues might be so expensive to fix that the potential savings (over the cost of a new bike) is eaten up - but are some conceivable problems with dahons enough to throw the purchase price itself out the window? On my trusty touring bike I counted on the high quality chrome/moly frame to make ANY repair/modification worthwhile. would you say that's not the case with the curve?
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Old 04-05-13, 09:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dadse View Post
thanks. what does your experience with folders tell you is likely to be so wrong it can't be repaired? I get that some issues might be so expensive to fix that the potential savings (over the cost of a new bike) is eaten up - but are some conceivable problems with dahons enough to throw the purchase price itself out the window? On my trusty touring bike I counted on the high quality chrome/moly frame to make ANY repair/modification worthwhile. would you say that's not the case with the curve?
Most folding bikes are highly adjustable and by design are easily fit to a wide variety of human shapes and sizes, excluding those at the extremes, especially those who are very obese or very tall. If you don't stray that far from the average, say a height of 5'2" to 6 feet or under, if you are not wider than you are tall :-), and if you lack any debilitating diseases or other serious musculoskeletal problems, most any mainline folding bike from a major folding bike manufacturer, other than those that have been customized for someone of an extreme physical size different than your own, will probably be able to be fitted for you for use with acceptable comfort.

I don't think that buying a used folding bike is very much different than buying most any used mechanical item. First, know your seller. Does the seller appear to know what they are selling? Does he or she have a reputation for honesty and good service (e.g. ebay feedback ratings, how many, what have they sold before, how much and what kind of feedback have they received?). One thing working in your favor is that a huge percentage of exercise-related goods are purchased and either never used or hardly used at all, before the seller abandons whatever resolution they took that caused them to buy the item in the first place. I bought a used $4000 treadmill once at a huge discount, from someone who ran up . . . . . all of 7 miles on it before deciding that it just wasn't for her.

In the end, the most you can lose is what you paid for it. With that understanding, I would not hesitate to buy a used folding bike online, as long as I felt comfortable with the seller, and if the price (with shipping) was much more attractive than what I could find locally.
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Old 04-07-13, 02:25 PM   #7
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say - that is an excellent generic reply to my question! amusing, too. but, specifically, what would you say about the DAHON CURVE frame and clamps/locking mechanisms (those might be integral insofar as I know). Despite previous owner-abuse, might these be expected to hold up? Your wonderful observation about pre-owned 'exercise equipment' (e.g., often virtually unused), while insightful, didn't offer any personal experience about dahon frames per se. have you any? regardless, thanks for the enjoyment in reading what you had to say.

Last edited by dadse; 04-07-13 at 02:54 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 04-07-13, 04:20 PM   #8
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say - that is an excellent generic reply to my question! amusing, too. but, specifically, what would you say about the DAHON CURVE frame and clamps/locking mechanisms (those might be integral insofar as I know). Despite previous owner-abuse, might these be expected to hold up? Your wonderful observation about pre-owned 'exercise equipment' (e.g., often virtually unused), while insightful, didn't offer any personal experience about dahon frames per se. have you any? regardless, thanks for the enjoyment in reading what you had to say.
I currently own more Dahons than I would care to admit, especially on this forum, including a red Curve D3. It is currently in pieces in a suitcase, awaiting my upcoming trip to France. Remember, if bikes were that fragile they would break constantly due to all kinds of abuse to which they are regularly subjected. The components are much more likely to break or go out of adjustment with bad treatment than is the frame, although frame and seatpost cracks are obviously known to occur. It would help to know something about who the former owner was, what was their shape and weight, and how much and how specifically the bike was used. I'd be a lot more concerned about a bike that was heavily used by a 225 lb 20-something who is 6 feet 4" in height than I would about a seldom ridden bike owned by diminutive female.

New Curve D3s have been recently available for under $600, including shipping, so you know right there that your potential loss on a used one ought to be way less than $600, and that your potential savings is also rather limited. If I found a used one for $250 and it looked like it was in acceptable condition or could be fixed up for a few bucks, I could only get so worked up over a potential loss of that magnitude, no matter what happened. I would probably not personally look for a used bike in that price range, however; I value my time too much. I'd rather save a whole lot of money on something much more expensive than saving a few hundred bucks that might cost me some of my stomach lining.

Personally speaking, I do not like hassles, and I'd steer clear if I had any real questions. You may feel differently. I would not want to bother with the hassle of dealing with a broken bike with potentially hard to find proprietary replacement frame parts. That's just me, however, and some people who have more time on their hands, or some skills in metallurgy or a good welding shop nearby, might consider such an abused bike to be a fun challenge.

Last edited by champignon; 04-07-13 at 06:44 PM. Reason: previously incomprehensible
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Old 04-08-13, 08:22 AM   #9
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thank you. I am impressed - and you have addressed my question fully. have a good time in france!
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