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  1. #26
    Member thomasw333's Avatar
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    So, got the bike today. Will do a "full" review on another thread. So this is a first ride impression.

    Positives:

    The bike feels solid, more solid than my Citizen Gotham 2. The main shaft feels solid, and the especially the handle bar and post bar feels solid. This is one of my main issues with the Citizen, wobbly handling.

    Folding is good, the handlebar folds between the wheels, and the Velcro straps keep everything tight and nice. The bike is very easy to load and unload from my trunk.

    And these two things are the most important factors to me, I was looking for light weight, tight fold, sturdiness, and value.

    Negatives:

    Well, the Orange color is not bad, it is very light orange, it has a lot of white in the paint, so it is soft, like a creamy orange. It is actually very nice. But, the paint job needs work, around edges and joints, the paint is very thin. Also there are several large and unappealing chips in the paint. It looks to me that the painters in the factory, do not let the paint dry before moving the bike along to the next stage of assembly. Also the bikes could use either more paint, or a second coat, clear coat is nice, but for a bike in this price that is not realistic. I am guessing the paint is a cheap color/clear combo paint, but that is what you get at this price. So I give the paint a C. I will have pictures in my full review.

    Wheels, heavy, cheap, Chinese, I will look to replace these over time.
    Brakes, horrible cheap brakes, will definitely replace these in a week or less. Probably ditch front brake all together, if you have a good brake, you only need one.
    Revoshift, I hate these, but they are on a lot of bikes, I will get a button shifter soon hopefully. Button/lever The Shimano Tourney one.

    Seatpost, bad design for heavy riders, I am 210lbs, so maybe my weight is at the top limit of folders. The Origami Bicycle Company (OBC) is using a seat post with a fancy adjustable clamp, it allows you to adjust the seat tilt up or down. A cheap seat post just clamps the seat flat. I went on a 7 mile ride today, around mile 5 (thankfully) the seat clamp came loose and I had to ride standing up the last two miles. Because of the clamp, the front of the seat was pointing straight up into to the air, apparently I sit more back on the seat than front. So I had to ride standing up and it sucked. On the plus side though the bike felt solid, more solid than my other folder, and you are not supposed to ride folders standing. I am sure nothing got messed up (crank bearing, pedals) on the 2 mile standing ride, but if you ride standing up, you will wear out pedals and crank bearings faster, I know, I love bikes and have worn out many pedals and a couple of crank bearings.
    By the time I got back from the ride it was dark, so I tightened the seat down, but it did not seem to get tight, it was too dark to see, so I packed the bike up and will check it out tomorrow. Unfortunately I am thinking I will have to buy a new more basic seat post that just has a regular reliable, (as in I have never had a problem with) straight down clamps. The OBC I think, should get a cheaper seat post, and get the next level better brakes.

    Other Category, neither negative nor positive:
    Tires, Kenda Kwest 20x1.75, good normal wheels. Also 1.75 is a little wider than the normal 1.5 tires. Better for comfort, worse for speed, I do not think it matters either way for me, Around 1.50 is fine, some people like 2 inch. I will get Schwalbe Marathon tires next.

    Saddle (seat) I don't know seemed not that great but I had problems, so I will wait and see.

    Grips, cheap Chinese, I will get some ergo grips eventually. Ergo grips work, they take pressure off of your wrists!

    Fenders, I will take them off, they are good looking, and good quality, but the bars that hold them on look very old school in a bad way. I took off the front right away, back later. I only ride for fun, so I do not ride in rain or puddles, so I like the weight savings and look of fender-less better.

    Rear rack, ok, wish it was not rounded in the back, but flat, I flip the bike over to work on it often and it will get scratched to heck, but anyway the flat back looks nicer. Never use teh rack but I always think, maybe I will so I keep them on.

    Handle bar, silver color not my favorite would rather have it black, but it has a good bend so works fine.

    The gears are normal, but you could always upgrade to faster and or wider (lower and higher) if you want, for this type of bike it is fine.

    Bell, sucks I cannot get it to work very well, but it is small and I do not use a bell, so smaller is better.

    Ok that is all I can think of off the top of my head. I will post a real review later, on a new thread, with more comparisons to the Citizen Gotham 2, which is in the same price and is a perfect contender.

    Lastly, I wish I had got the bag, but I am poor and cheap, mostly poor, college loans, and more college loans next year to get the Masters Degree!!! I will probably get a bag very soon, I feel stupid for not having it... and then we all have to get health care also now, too many expenses, cell phone, car insurance, food, car maintenance, and health insurance, and more ahhhhhhh! But I am not trying to get into politics here.

  2. #27
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    A couple comments:

    I'm not a fan of the brake levers that came with the Mantis, but they're pretty standard for folding bikes in this range. They are easy enough to swap out.

    The brake pads are, well..., replace the brake pads with kool stop or something else higher end and you'll notice an incredible difference in the braking power, (particularly with full-sized levers).

    My Mantis is black. For what it's worth, I thought the paint was actually quite well done. I never used the seat post or seat that came with the bike.
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  3. #28
    Member thomasw333's Avatar
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    Then can you tell me, cplager what are the dimensions of the stock seatpost, or the dimensions of the seat post you are using?

  4. #29
    Senior Member Pinigis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasw333 View Post
    Then can you tell me, cplager what are the dimensions of the stock seatpost, or the dimensions of the seat post you are using?
    The Mantis has a different seatpost than the Crane. I don't have the dimensions handy, but I will get them for you.

  5. #30
    Senior Member jobtraklite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasw333 View Post
    First their website is not very good. They could use some better colors, and some better pictures. I know they have some professional pictures on their website, but they are boring, where are the shots of fun happy people outside.
    You just described my kind of website. One that doesn't have a lot of distracting eye candy and time wasting phony links that take you around in circles hoping you will click a pay-per-click ad, when all you want is information or to buy something. You didn't say whether the boring pictures were informative or not.

    I can see why I like so few websites: they have to satisfy the great majority who are afraid to try something unless they are shown fun, happy people using the product.
    Last edited by jobtraklite; 10-04-13 at 12:21 PM. Reason: typo

  6. #31
    Member thomasw333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
    The Mantis has a different seatpost than the Crane. I don't have the dimensions handy, but I will get them for you.
    That would be great, I think the OBC should support modders, and give out as many tech specs as possible so people can upgrade components.
    A lot of people can see the potential, of getting a nice light weight frame with a good folding design and go from there to build a high end bike. The heart and soul of a bike is the frame, from a good frame you can build any kind of bike you want (within reason). Like, a touring bike, speed bike, comfort bike, etc... It just requires changing to components that fit that style better.

  7. #32
    Senior Member Pinigis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasw333 View Post
    That would be great, I think the OBC should support modders, and give out as many tech specs as possible so people can upgrade components.
    A lot of people can see the potential, of getting a nice light weight frame with a good folding design and go from there to build a high end bike. The heart and soul of a bike is the frame, from a good frame you can build any kind of bike you want (within reason). Like, a touring bike, speed bike, comfort bike, etc... It just requires changing to components that fit that style better.
    We are always happy to help our customers. I love to see the mods that people have made to personalize thier Origamis.

  8. #33
    Member thomasw333's Avatar
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    Small update:

    Took the bike to my LBS today. My LBS is run by an old Irish man, and his son. The old man is a great guy. First he looked at my seat post clamp, took it apart and saw that the screw was messed up. I told him I found a seat-post with the hinge type that works better

    http://www.downtube.com/product514.html

    and it was $50, he said, "that is too much, let me put a better clamp on it." We have to use the same style clamp because of the seat post, but he put a new one on, and it is better quality, felt like a high quality steel piece. Whereas the stock piece felt cheap. He said I could have issues with the seat post, because the post is aluminum, and the clamps will bend the post over time, but he got it on and I rode 3 miles with no issues. I will go on a long ride Wednesday, hopefully it works.

    Like I said this old man is a really nice guy, very positive. He adjusted the shifter for me and the brakes. When looking at the brakes he said the wheel needed to be trued. I commented that the wheels seemed very cheap, and asked him if he had better upgrades. He looked at the wheel and said, "they are a little cheap, but they and the hubs are aluminum, so unless you want to get racing wheels, lets just fix these." He is so nice, I tell him I want to spend money to get better components, and he just keeps saying, "no let me adjust this, let me fix this, don't spend money if you don't have to." So he says give me 10 minutes to true up the wheel, he spends 30 minutes took off the tire and tube to do a great job, and I could tell he was having a heck of time. I asked him if the wheel was that bad and should I get better ones, but again he says no, let me adjust them, save your money. So he got the wheel as best he could, looked pretty good to me, he actually kept going when I told him it looked good enough.

    Oh! But let me jump back a second, it seemed to me that the rear wheel was not aligned properly, so I wondered if the bike was not straight, he pointed to the fender, the fender bolt is so close to the wheel, you can have issues with the wheel not seating properly in the frame. He said he could make the fender work, but I just had him take it off. I like the look of fender-less.

    So, no fender, wheel fixed, shifter set, he went to adjust the rear brake. I do not have a front brake, took it off, I don't need a front brake with a bike this slow. Again I say, this brake lever, and rear brake look really cheap, should I upgrade them, he says, no let's adjust them. He works on the brake, and again I see this look on his face, the brakes are cheap, and he says, this stuff is basic, but I can get it to work. He adjusts the lever, the rear end, stills says its not right, then he looks at the cable itself. He shows me how the cable is twisted/kinked, it is like someone tired to twist the cable between their hands. He says this is causing extra friction, and is not the best. I asks him how much to replace the lever, the cable, the rear v-brake. He says about $40. But he wont do it, he adjusts it and says try it out for a few days.

    So he charged me $45, for a clamp, wheel, brake, shifter adjustment. Took the bike out for three miles, and other than fear of the seat clamp failing again, the bike worked fine. Except the brakes still suck. I looked online and found a Shimano brake lever, and v-brake, the cost is $30, I guess I should just let him give me his set-up for $40, seeing as that was with labor, and he would replace the cable.

    Also asked him if he had better shifters, he showed me some Shimano shifters with the button lever set-up

    http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Tourne...ef=pd_sim_sg_2

    but would not replace them until I had tried the bike after he fixed it. So basically the guy did everything he could to not have me buy any new components. But I am pretty sure I will be replacing a few things.

  9. #34
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasw333 View Post
    I do not have a front brake, took it off, I don't need a front brake with a bike this slow.
    I've taken my Mantis 40 mph, I'm not sure what you mean by slow!

    80% of your braking power is in your front brake. Riding without a front brake is a really bad idea.
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  10. #35
    Member thomasw333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    I've taken my Mantis 40 mph, I'm not sure what you mean by slow!

    80% of your braking power is in your front brake. Riding without a front brake is a really bad idea.
    Amazing, I did not think any folder would go 40MPH. What do you use to measure your speed?

    Folders are slower than Road Bikes, which I used to ride. The stock gearing in the Crane is normal, I am pretty certain that I cannot do over 25MPH no matter how hard I try. And I do not often ride too hard or too fast, what I love about folders is the ability to roll along slowly and look around. I have had decent ~$700 road bikes, and even with those, I just pull on the left lever, the rear brake, 99% of the time. I am left handed, and the left side brake always felt right to me. With a high quality brake, one rear brake is fine.

    I understand how in Cars, the front brakes actually do have 75-80% of the braking force. Just look at my Honda Accord, big front rotors and calipers in the front, plain old drums in the rear, and with the front heavy weight distribution and transfers of weight when the brake are applied, it makes sense. But on a bike, the weight is on the rear, there is not much transfer of weight, and if you know to pulse the brake lever and not let it lock-up, you should be fine. But a front brake is good if you want it, and it is better to have it, than not, but I prefer not.

  11. #36
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasw333 View Post
    Amazing, I did not think any folder would go 40MPH. What do you use to measure your speed?

    Folders are slower than Road Bikes, which I used to ride. The stock gearing in the Crane is normal, I am pretty certain that I cannot do over 25MPH no matter how hard I try. And I do not often ride too hard or too fast, what I love about folders is the ability to roll along slowly and look around. I have had decent ~$700 road bikes, and even with those, I just pull on the left lever, the rear brake, 99% of the time. I am left handed, and the left side brake always felt right to me. With a high quality brake, one rear brake is fine.
    If you click the link in what I posted, you're question will be answered (hint: GPS).

    My Mantis is very much not stock. My gearing is both much higher and lower than the standard and I'm much more aerodynamic than most folders. (I'm willing to believe that most folders won't hit 40 mph).

    It's easy enough to swap the brakes around so that your left hand controls the front brake (if that's what you want). I recommend that people learn to use both brakes when they are braking in everyday situations so that they are ready to do it when they need to. Even going 20 mph, when that car suddenly pulls out in front of you while riding your folder, you'll fair much better having both.
    Last edited by cplager; 10-05-13 at 07:12 PM.
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  12. #37
    Member thomasw333's Avatar
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    cplager, thanks for the link, I never knew about Bentrider, I have that saved now, your bike is crazy, I am glad to see you list what parts you use, I was looking at Shimano Acera V-brakes, and XLC Alloy Lever, among a few other. How are the Acera brakes, compared to stock?

  13. #38
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    I'm much more aerodynamic...
    "proper modulation" is the key to effective braking. it's a developed skill that evolves into an instinct.


  14. #39
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasw333 View Post
    How are the Acera brakes, compared to stock?
    they are not going to be much better, honestly.

    avid single digit 3 would be a noticeable upgrade.


  15. #40
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasw333 View Post
    cplager, thanks for the link, I never knew about Bentrider, I have that saved now, your bike is crazy, I am glad to see you list what parts you use, I was looking at Shimano Acera V-brakes, and XLC Alloy Lever, among a few other. How are the Acera brakes, compared to stock?
    The brakes themselves probably don't make that much difference (I never rode the bike with them, so I can't really say). The koolstop pads make a huge difference and I very much prefer full sized levers for brakes as I feel like they give me better control.
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  16. #41
    Member thomasw333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    they are not going to be much better, honestly.

    avid single digit 3 would be a noticeable upgrade.

    I was looking at those also, they looked good, better than the Shimano Acera, but also more expensive. I will see exactly what the LBS wants to use as an upgrade before I make a decision.

  17. #42
    Member thomasw333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    The brakes themselves probably don't make that much difference (I never rode the bike with them, so I can't really say). The koolstop pads make a huge difference and I very much prefer full sized levers for brakes as I feel like they give me better control.
    Yeah I keep thinking to just buy new pads, but I hate the stock lever so much, and good pads are so "expensive" it seems better to get a new v-brake, the price for a new v-brake with pads is not that much more.

  18. #43
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I agree about the new pads, koolstop samon or swiss stop green are excellent. Honestly shallow the cost, and get teflon linned inner cables.
    Make sure they are long enough or order tandem set for 50p more approx.

    Increases in friction make a bigger difference in folding bikes due to long cable runs, Bromptons have them as standard. LBS don't always carry them as it only really a folding bike issue. All folders should have teflon lined cables as standard. Its silly when it would add about 1 to the cost of a new bike.

    Only consider getting new brakes after doing both the above is the cheapest way to upgrade braking in my experience.

    My brompton features shocking cheap brakes, but they are fine with uprated pads and cables (and kevla cable outers with teflon linnings).

    Also improve sticking shifting issues.

    Folders can be just about as fast as a good road bike. Given the right folder. My fast folder is a mezzo with dual drive, but I have had others.
    Also you do no harm by standing on pedals to the bearings and crank shaft. Jumping will damage these components,
    Good cranks will cope with as much as you can give them on the ground.
    Last edited by bhkyte; 10-07-13 at 03:59 AM.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  19. #44
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    Galaxy Note II, water bottle cage, Mirrycle mirror and an Avenir bag under the seat.

  20. #45
    Member thomasw333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    Hi,

    I agree about the new pads, koolstop samon or swiss stop green are excellent. Honestly shallow the cost, and get teflon linned inner cables.
    Make sure they are long enough or order tandem set for 50p more approx.

    Increases in friction make a bigger difference in folding bikes due to long cable runs, Bromptons have them as standard. LBS don't always carry them as it only really a folding bike issue. All folders should have teflon lined cables as standard. Its silly when it would add about 1 to the cost of a new bike.

    Only consider getting new brakes after doing both the above is the cheapest way to upgrade braking in my experience.

    My brompton features shocking cheap brakes, but they are fine with uprated pads and cables (and kevla cable outers with teflon linnings).

    Also improve sticking shifting issues.

    Folders can be just about as fast as a good road bike. Given the right folder. My fast folder is a mezzo with dual drive, but I have had others.
    Also you do no harm by standing on pedals to the bearings and crank shaft. Jumping will damage these components,
    Good cranks will cope with as much as you can give them on the ground.
    Thanks for the advice, I have not made a decision yet on what to do, I will see if my LBS has Teflon cables. I am still waiting for an answer from the OBC on another bike issue. After I have gotten a response from the OBC I will see how much it is worth upgrading this bike.

  21. #46
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasw333 View Post
    Thanks for the advice, I have not made a decision yet on what to do, I will see if my LBS has Teflon cables. I am still waiting for an answer from the OBC on another bike issue. After I have gotten a response from the OBC I will see how much it is worth upgrading this bike.
    here's a hint- it's not worth upgrading it.

  22. #47
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    here's a hint- it's not worth upgrading it.
    While your opinion is not unexpected, I'm quite happy with my Origami frame. It depends on what the OP is trying to do and how far he needs to go to get there.

    If you want to compare my (quite upgraded) Origami to whichever folder you've got in your collection you want based on: speed, comfort, safety, or gear range we can meet up and do just that.

    Here's a hint: You'll lose. Badly.
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  23. #48
    Member thomasw333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    here's a hint- it's not worth upgrading it.
    What folding bike do you have? Do you do any upgrades to your bikes?

  24. #49
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    While your opinion is not unexpected, I'm quite happy with my Origami frame. It depends on what the OP is trying to do and how far he needs to go to get there.

    If you want to compare my..........................
    I think you have a good point there. Ime many folders can become good bikes that exced the other brands of standard bike available with some upgrading and planning.
    I had a really nice upgraded dualdrive mission space genie. Its generaly a poor buget bike standard, but a guy did simular upgrades to mine and did a sponsered long distance bike ride on his.landend to john o graots ??
    Its possibly worth upgrading a cheap bike to learn before attempting a more expensive base bike at a later stage.
    I have gone back to looking at Brompton upgrades now I have learnt more, and gained more experiece.
    Last edited by bhkyte; 10-07-13 at 02:53 PM.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  25. #50
    Member thomasw333's Avatar
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    2013 Origami Crane, 2013 Origin 8 Speed F7, Magna Fix-D
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    I think you have a good point there. Ime many folders can become good bikes that exced the other brands of standard bike available with some upgrading and planning.
    I had a really nice upgraded dualdrive mission space genie. Its generaly a poor buget bike standard, but a guy did simular upgrades to mine and did a sponsered long distance bike ride on his.landend to john o graots ??
    Its possibly worth upgrading a cheap bike to learn before attempting a more expensive base bike at a later stage.
    I have gone back to looking at Brompton upgrades now I have learnt more, and gained more experiece.
    My thoughts when buying a folding bike came down to, but an inexpensive model, that was light weight, and had a tight fold. I was unhappy with my Citizen, because the handle bar folded outside of the wheels. The two models that made sense to me, are the Origami Crane, and the Downtube Nova. I went with the OBC because the owner of the company was very prompt in retuning my emails. And there seemed to be little difference between the two bikes, so I gave the Crane a shot. I have one large concern about the bike, that I have emailed the OBC about, I am waiting for a response. One thing about dealing with a small company, is that if the owner is out-of-town, you do not get good and quick responses. Once I have finished talking with the OBC, I will do a full in-depth review. I do not wish to do a review today, because I am waiting for the OBC to have a chance to respond to my issue.

    But I digress, again when looking at a folding bike, if you have a straight frame, that is light, and has good hinges, and a tight fold, it makes sense to make a few upgrades, over paying $600-1000+, for a big name folder.
    I am just looking for a smooth riding, cruiser, with good brakes. The gearing is fine, 14-28t, I do not live in an area with steep hills, and find that gears 1,2,3 are "useless" to me, I use 4,5,6 most of the time. It is probably too much trouble to change out the gears, the only "better" 7spd freewheels available are 14-34t, but again the 34 is just a higher high gear, not necessary for me. 12-32t would be nice, but they don't make those in 7spd. My biggest issue with the Crane, besides what I am emailing the OBC about, is the brakes, lever, v-brake, brake cable, and shifter cable. Also the seat is no good for me, but you cannot blame any bike company for that, seats are very subjective.

    I am not an expert on anything bike related, if someone knows, can they tell me what I would need to change to an 8/9 speed freewheel. New rear wheel? New freewheel and chain and derailleur obviously but am I missing anything else?

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