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  1. #1
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    Need folding bike for Europe-Downtube, Origami, or Dahon

    Greetings everyone!

    I will be studying in Lyon, France from September-December. Then, I'm thinking of taking a folding bike with me via trains just to travel Western Europe for a month. I'm 175 pounds, 5' 11", male, and 22 years old. My price range is around $300, so I've been looking at the Origami Crane/Cricket, Downtube Nova, and the Dahon Boardwalk. I do not know what types of terrain that I will run into along my travels, so I would just assume that it could be anything. Therefore, I'm a bit skeptical about the Origami Crane due to its lack of suspension. Although, it is lighter than the Cricket, and the more weight I can shed while traveling, the better. I found this Dahon on Craigslist with a 6 speed casset, which seems like a good deal, but I do not know its weight: http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ra...859683335.html The Downtube Nova seems to have a good reputation in addition to the above mentioned. Let me know what you guys think!

  2. #2
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    dont forget to check this one out: http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hn...836928007.html

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by skm1790 View Post
    ... I will be studying in Lyon, France from September-December. Then, I'm thinking of taking a folding bike with me via trains just to travel Western Europe for a month. ...
    Are you planning on purchasing the bike in Europe? If not, have you determined the cost of shipping the bike from the USA to France?

    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA
    DISCLOSURE: I have an ownership interest in an independent bike shop that is an authorized dealer for Raleigh, Dahon, Tern & Brompton.

  4. #4
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    27 ish pounds I would guess for the 3 to 4 yearold boardwalk ...hant sen much use ..older crmo frame with smaller headset .. 230 is kinda steep though ..300 gets u a new one albeit one speed only .. the derailleur version at the time was selling south of 300 for sure ... but all in all not a bad bike ..I would offer 190 and than get it for 200 ...

    best thor

  5. #5
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    I am considering purchasing the bike in Europe as well. I am just not sure if it would be more expensive to buy it there or what the quality would be like. I would have three months to find one though. If I shipped the bike from the US, I was just thinking of shoving it into a large suitcase and calling it an extra piece of luggage. I figure that would be an extra $50, but I have not researched this indepth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skm1790 View Post
    ... If I shipped the bike from the US, I was just thinking of shoving it into a large suitcase and calling it an extra piece of luggage. I figure that would be an extra $50, but I have not researched this indepth.
    IMHO, you should research the cost of getting a bike from the USA to France before you buy a bike. In the past, some airlines have had substantial surcharges for bicycles.

    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA
    DISCLOSURE: I have an ownership interest in an independent bike shop that is an authorized dealer for Raleigh, Dahon, Tern & Brompton.

  7. #7
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    more fun and adventurous to find a bike when you arrive, rather than lugging one with you. you can do as this person is doing; find a bike there, then sell it on prior to your return flight.

    http://paris.fr.craigslist.fr/bik/3847035602.html



  8. #8
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    To bring a bike to Europe is like bringing sand to Sahara. Buy the bike there.

    Smallwheeler you are the king of Craiglist..

    But:
    I will be studying in Lyon, France from September-December. Then, I'm thinking of taking a folding bike with me via trains just to travel Western Europe for a month.

    What part of western Europe are you going to travel by bike in January?? Bring your mittens..
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  9. #9
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    2008 Mezzo D9
    2012 Giant Avail 2

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skm1790 View Post
    Greetings everyone!

    I will be studying in Lyon, France from September-December. Then, I'm thinking of taking a folding bike with me via trains just to travel Western Europe for a month. I'm 175 pounds, 5' 11", male, and 22 years old. My price range is around $300, so I've been looking at the Origami Crane/Cricket, Downtube Nova, and the Dahon Boardwalk. I do not know what types of terrain that I will run into along my travels, so I would just assume that it could be anything. Therefore, I'm a bit skeptical about the Origami Crane due to its lack of suspension. Although, it is lighter than the Cricket, and the more weight I can shed while traveling, the better. I found this Dahon on Craigslist with a 6 speed casset, which seems like a good deal, but I do not know its weight: http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ra...859683335.html The Downtube Nova seems to have a good reputation in addition to the above mentioned. Let me know what you guys think!
    I agree with those who've recommended looking for a bike once you're here in Europe.

    Re Origami, beware: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-folding-bikes

  11. #11
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post

    LET IT GO!!

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/891818-Impossible-to-fold-or-unfold-big-problem-here?p=15718950&viewfull=1#post15718950
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  12. #12
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    Interesting idea of buying and selling over there....
    Plus .....no transport cost from here to there ...
    Minus... you will be getting a used bike, or a new one without any dealer prep ( big box store a la Walmart )
    Minus.. you are bound to have all kinds of small problems getting the bike to ride as expected
    Minus.... when you are back you still have a bike
    Minus... u will be in a hurry to get the bike and will be very hard pressed to sell the bike at a certain time ... or you will loose valuable time at the end of the euro visit without a bike...
    Minus..what you do if it doesnt sell ??? Now u have abike without a box/luggage to bring back ...
    Plus... you can buy a bike which doesnt exist over here
    Minus.... all bikes made in china ( and there are a lot of them over there ) pay 40 % duty into europe.... even with a used bike you pay these 40 % plus 20 % added value tax was included in the buying price ....
    just a few pointers

    where in the mids of winter u wanna ride ?? Anything north of the alps will be snowy and misarable, a bike will be a pain in the but to log around

    thor

  13. #13
    Senior Member darukhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badmother View Post
    What part of western Europe are you going to travel by bike in January?? Bring your mittens..
    Hmmm... is there a folding version if this?

    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    head south!

    i just remembered this vid: guy buys bike after arriving then proceeds to have a great adventure.


  15. #15
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    I'm not sure I understand most of Thor's objections. While we have stores like Walmart in Europe (Carrefour in France, Tescos in UK - oh, and ASDA which is owned by Walmart) I don't think anyone is suggesting buying a folding bike from there. If you meant Decathlon, they are a proper sports store with a specialised cycling department who prepare bikes for sale, go over them before they leave the store, and offer the free first service that all good bike shops offer. And they sell carbon road bikes at over £2000, which are well regarded. Of course there are many other bike stores which sell quality bikes in France.

    You could buy a bike in Europe and then take it home with you: suitcases are also for sale in Europe. And you'll save on excess luggage as it's only in one direction.

    OP, I suggest you come without a bike. Lyon has a bike sharing scheme http://www.velov.grandlyon.com/?L=1 so you can use that while you are there. Then, when it gets close to your travel time - see if you still want to stick with your plan and buy a bike then.

    If it was me, I'd have a bike with me from day one, and use it every weekend to explore the countryside. Though looking at the area, I'd probably want to get (much) lower gears than I've got currently.
    2008 Mezzo D9
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  16. #16
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    Thanks to everyone who's posted! You've been very helpful. After researching the price of an extra bag from various airlines, it seems that it will indeed be cheaper and easier to purchase a folder once I get to France. Does anyone know any particular good value for price bikes that can be found once there? Should I make sure to find one with a suspension? In terms of where I plan to go, I was thinking of trying to stay south (for obvious reasons) and make it to Greece and then turn back. Not sure how realistic this is, but it's worth a try! It seems like it would be a fun idea to take the Eurail and maybe get off of the train a stop or two before a major city and try to bike in from there. Then, I could see the major city a bit, hop back on the train and repeat. If any of you also have any advice of places to bike along this route, I'm all ears (this may be a question for another part of the forum..). Again, thanks!

  17. #17
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    new french folding bike b'twin tilt 5 available at major retailer. mmm dat price:

    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/tilt-5-ci...d_8202736.html

    different model i think:

    http://www.btwin.com/blog/blog-and-n...he-btwin-club/





  18. #18
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skm1790 View Post
    Thanks to everyone who's posted! You've been very helpful. After researching the price of an extra bag from various airlines, it seems that it will indeed be cheaper and easier to purchase a folder once I get to France. Does anyone know any particular good value for price bikes that can be found once there? Should I make sure to find one with a suspension? In terms of where I plan to go, I was thinking of trying to stay south (for obvious reasons) and make it to Greece and then turn back. Not sure how realistic this is, but it's worth a try! It seems like it would be a fun idea to take the Eurail and maybe get off of the train a stop or two before a major city and try to bike in from there. Then, I could see the major city a bit, hop back on the train and repeat. If any of you also have any advice of places to bike along this route, I'm all ears (this may be a question for another part of the forum..). Again, thanks!
    I suggest you keep an eye on craiglist over time to find out about prices and what is available, and then buy a lightly used one like the one Smallwheeler linked to. I suggest you stay away from suspension as a general rule (at least cheap bikes with suspension) and use 1,75 or 2,00 wide tyres (and sprung saddle or seatpost if you think you need more suspension). Also keep an eye on this forum, lots to learn but you need to read to learn.

    If you want to know more about a bike try Youtube, lots to learn there.
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    new french folding bike b'twin tilt 5 available at major retailer. mmm dat price:
    'The fastest folding bike in the world!', they call it

    Better get a good helmet!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    ...Minus.... all bikes made in china ( and there are a lot of them over there ) pay 40 % duty into europe....
    Most European companies circumvent this duty by buying unpainted frames in China and assembling in Europe.

  21. #21
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    If my experience of going abroad as a student and looking for a bike is anything to go by, people will be falling over their own feet to help you out with a used bike. You will then be offered one absolute heap of unwanted scrap iron after another and folk will be insulted when you politely decline.

    Dragging through 'Le Craigs Liste' or whatever they have there sounds pretty dire too, and a big risk of getting a stolen vélo.

    Lyon must have plenty bike shops, I'd wander around for a couple of weekends until I found the right bike. Do agree you'll want one early in your stay. Invest in a good lock too.

    Suspension shouldn't be a deal breaker for touring in Europe, a normal folder is fine for anything down to farm tracks and footpaths. You will need low gears if planning to follow any coasts.

  22. #22
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    Maybe it's a logical choice to buy once you arrive (plenty of internet european sellers available) but if you want to land and bike, I would take the bike from home with me. It's not practical and it's not super-cheap, but you know your bike and you have it available inmediately and it's "your" bike. I did it some times and don't regret, but I regret a very bad purchase made on a rush during a travel.
    Next time I would take the bike with me again.

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