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  1. #1
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    Raleigh Avenir Folding Bike

    Confession: I've always wanted a folding bike. Perhaps that craving comes from my long history with folding boats -- I have a 1984 Super Folbot, a couple of Pakboats Puffin kayaks and others -- but somehow the cost of another bike put me off purchasing the wheeled equivalent.

    Glancing through the Canadian airmiles.ca site one day, however, the moon and stars aligned: https://www.airmiles.ca/arrow/Reward...Id=prod1884615 . Here was an entry level, 6-speed alloy folder that carried the well-known Raleigh branding -- and best of all it was FREE with shipping and taxes included. I'd heard of the famous Dahon, Tern, Brompton and Bike Friday bikes -- as well as the local MEC variant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JeX43SJkz8 -- but didn't know that the venerable old firm of Raleigh was also cranking folders out.

    After a little Googling, I discovered that Raleigh was leading the folding bike pack as far back as 1969 in Canada with the classic Raleigh Twenty. A listing of The 10 Best folding bikes by The Independent in the summer of 2013 http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...s-8683766.html even featured a Raleigh in its pickings (not surprising considering it's a UK paper). The description of that Top 10 folder pretty much sums up all of the Raleigh folders in use around the world: "Highly affordable and ideal for commuting or taking on holiday, this has plenty of great features, including gears that are simple and effective to use and an easy-to-use folding mechanism, as well as a decent luggage rack." They forgot to mention the kickstand that is also usually thrown into the package.

    The Avenir folding bikes appear to have surfaced in Canada about 2004/2005 in the form of a rebranded Dahon model available in either steel or alloy: http://www.bayviewcycle.com/NewFiles...nir_Alloy.html (click on the Avenir Alloy or Avenir Steel choices for specs at that time). The dealer in Toronto that handled them -- Bayview Cycles -- openly stated on their webpages "Made by Dahon for Avenir [i.e. Raleigh Canada]". That cozy relationship continues today as Raleigh UK now acts as the Dahon rep in that country: http://dahon.com/mainnav/dahon-bikes...ner-in-uk.html . The same style of Avenir bike -- with the skinny interlocking upper tubes -- was still being sold as of 2009 (click on pics twice for greatly enlarged versions): http://metronauts.ca/2008/10/17/adventures-on-a-folder/ . Note the mention of an 80km outing as well as several 30 and 40km rides during that first summer's use. That inexpensive folder was no slouch! By 2010, an updated Avenir model appeared on the scene with a heavier arched frame similar to the one in production today. The earlier rebranded model -- a Dahon Impulse D6 http://www.cyclemotion.co.uk/dahon/D.../impulsed6.htm -- had at least one offputting flaw: its fixed handlebar height http://www.pistescyclables.ca/velos_...nts.htm#avenir . The current 2013 6-speed model corrects that with a telescopic stem. Curiously enough, the one page instruction sheet that comes with the new Avenirs was written for the (presumably Raleigh) Campus folding bike that was sold through Walmart in Canada for under $200 (different frame, different folding frame mechanism, same Shimano 6-speed Revo shifter, same handlebar post folding mechanism etc): http://adventuresinbicycling.blogspo...o-folders.html . In early 2010, Walmart cleared those Campus folders out at $50 each! http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...hp?f=10&t=1439 .

    Like so many folders, the Raleigh bikes are not made in English-speaking countries. Cheaper costs = offshore/overseas. Raleigh's worldwide folders now come in one speed, three speeds, six speeds, seven speeds and eight speeds under different names in modern times including the following models which are found as far afield as Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh http://www.raleigh-group.com/WorldOfRaleigh/ :
    Avenir (Canada), Stowaway 3 + 7 (UK and Europe http://www.raleigh.pl/rower/122), Activ Fold-A, Swift, Boardwalk, Boardwalk Lite, Folding i8 (USA http://archive.raleighusa.com/archiv...folding-i8-13/ and http://turbobobbicycleblog.wordpress...f-folding-fun/), Kompact, Shopper, Stash, Parkway, Parkway Lite, Eclipse (also branded by IKEA in 2006 when they handed 9,000 Made in Poland models out to UK employees at Xmas for free), Evo-7, Parkway 20, Broadway 20 + 30 (Singapore http://www.raleighsingapore.com/product/r2081fd/), UGO aka You Go! (Malaysia http://www.usjcycles.com/raleigh-ugo-folding-bike-2/) and a dual suspension Safari (Bangladesh https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...7292996&type=1 ).

    That's quite a stable arising from the early folding Raleigh Twenty.

    Highly affordable. Excellent value for money. I like those words. Free is even better, though.

    So I counted up my airmiles points, saved a few more and then took the plunge. Funny enough, the Avenir folder is really only available in Canada through wholesale outlets like DirectBuy, airmiles and PI Incentives -- but there is one small retailer who carries and services them http://www.funwestsports.ca/Folding_Bike.html and he happened to be in my neck of the woods so if I ran into any problems I'd have some back-up for parts and/or servicing.

    When the box arrived it had Made in China written all over it. After pulling the bike out, I noticed that the handlebar stem lock and the folding mechanisms were both out of whack. I had to get my tools out to adjust both to get them to work. After a ride, I noticed that the gears also needed adjusting because first just wouldn't pop in. All five other gears were good to go though. If you purchase a freebie Avenir, plan on taking the bike to a local mechanic's shop to get it fine tuned. If something major is wrong, contact Raleigh Canada for warranty repairs. Tip: If you have a Mountain Equipment Co-op in town, they do free inspections and will give the bike a once over. If you'd like to purchase retail, Funwest is your route. The owner is a first rate guy and will ship bikes cross country as well.

    After getting the requisite bell and rear and front lights, I noticed that there was nowhere to stick a water bottle. Axiom came to the rescue with its neato Fondo H2O seatbag http://www.axiomgear.com/products/ge...ies/fondo-h20/ . Problem solved! And the bag could hold tools, a patch kit, a mini air pump and a few other knicknacks. To round out my carrying capacity, I added an Axiom market basket http://www.axiomgear.com/products/ge...ket-basket-lx/ (I paid about $50 for it not $80!). Since the bike came with fenders, a rear rack and a kickstand, that was about all I needed -- other than a lock and cable. Talk about a great urban trail bike and a little market shopper all rolled into one. Now when I get on my mountain bike, I feel like a stranger to it.

    My first choice: my Avenir folder. I like it so much, I got a second one for my wife and plan on adding an Avenir Excursion Rack-Top Bag http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Excursi.../dp/B0014UQ93W to her bike for storage above and beyond the H20 seatbag. I also picked up two Avenir folding bike storage bags on Ebay (UK vendor http://www.ebay.com/itm/RALEIGH-AVEN...item2a3349d7d3) in case we use the local public transit system. I find the bags to be a little on the small size but they hold 90% of the bike within and will pass muster on boarding -- and contain any offending mud, grease etc. The little zippered side pouch holds the folded storage bag when it's not in use and it's quite easy to stow on the rear bike rack or even off the seat.

    I foresee plenty of Avenir bike use in the future, which only stands to reason: The French word "avenir" translates to "future" in English. :-)
    Last edited by AvenirFolder; 11-21-13 at 03:40 PM.

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    One other must-have accessory that I forgot to mention: Mirrycle Mirror (Mountain/Recumbent version) http://www.mirrycle.com/mountain_mirrycle.php . Just cut a small ring into your left handlebar grip end and follow the supplied instructions. For transport or storage of the bike in tight quarters, simply swing the mirror inwards. I wouldn't ride any type of bike without one. Since the bikes don't have the magnets to hold the opposing wheels together when folded -- this is an economy model after all -- a bungee is supplied. I upgraded that to an Axiom strap that I also use for holding in grocery bags in my market basket. Another way to keep the wheels together is to use velcro ankle straps if you happen to use them and they're long enough.

    Something else I forgot to mention is the seatpost. I'm a little over 5'10" and find the post is just short of where I need it -- with no more to spare. Anyone taller with longer legs will be pushing over the limits. How do you fix that? You buy a longer seatpost:
    http://www.downtube.com/product514.html . Done!
    Last edited by AvenirFolder; 11-21-13 at 03:13 PM.

  3. #3
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    Very cool

  4. #4
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Huh, I had no idea that Avenir was made by Raleigh. I saw it at a bike store a few years ago, and see them locked up ever so often. Seemed like a entry level bike to me, but hey, you can't go wrong with free bike! Enjoy!
    Last edited by lucille; 11-04-13 at 01:31 PM.

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    Just keep in mind that there's no such thing as a free ride (or was that free lunch?). Cheaper cost = cheaper quality. However, once you get the initial bugs out, this entry level bike does the job as a city bike.

    There was even someone who used a Raleigh Avenir for a road trip around Lake Ontario:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...avenir+ontario (see "jakub.ner" comments near bottom of first page)

    BTW Avenir accessories http://www.avenirusa.com/? Yup, Raleigh again! If you look at the Avenir branding logo on that web page and the Avenir decal on the folding bike frame -- or on the bike storage bag-- they all match.
    Last edited by AvenirFolder; 11-10-13 at 09:28 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvenirFolder View Post
    Just keep in mind that there's no such thing as a free ride (or was that free lunch?). Cheaper cost = cheaper quality. However, once you get the initial bugs out, this entry level bike does the job as a city bike.

    There was even someone who used a Raleigh Avenir for a road trip around Lake Ontario:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...avenir+ontario (see "jakub.ner" comments near bottom of first page)

    BTW Avenir accessories? Yup, Raleigh again!

    This just proves that you can tour on any bike! Love it!

  7. #7
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    That adventurous Avenir tourer added a bit more detail here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...avenir+ontario . He did replace the rear wheel/hub before setting off.

    Here's another fellow in the UK that spiffed up a basic 6-speed Raleigh Swift for touring: http://citycyclingedinburgh.info/bbp...ic.php?id=2826 . There's a discussion of modifications with some photos of the upgrades. Could be done on the Avenir, too.
    Last edited by AvenirFolder; 12-01-13 at 12:48 PM.

  8. #8
    jmm
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    I have a Raleigh i8. I bought it primarily because it had an abnormally long front stem, which put the bars higher above the seat than any of my other folders, and my back fell in love with it on the demo ride (I know, I could have put riser bars on one of my other folders, but I never got around to it; procrastination, longer cables, messing up the fold, etc.). I added Schwalbe 50 x 406 Big Apples and a Thudbuster and it is now an even more comfortable bike, which I've done a metric century on with no more pain than anything else I ride. One thing bothered me a bit at first, but I have got beyond it to the point of enjoyment and giggles; like a lot of folders it has relatively short rear chainstays, which coupled with the lower front wheel loading resulting from the upright riding position, makes it very prone to doing WHEELIES when launching aggressively uphill! I've been cheered by BMXers. Gotta love it.

    I hope you enjoy your "Raleigh" as much as I do mine. I always stop in bike shops when I'm up in Canada because you usually have bike models there that are just different enough compared to what we have in the US to make things interesting. I bought a folding Twenty there in the early 70's after not being able to find one here. I've also noticed that Giant still sells mono fork/stay Halfways in Canada, but no more in the US, only "normally" constructed folders (I gave up trying to figure out why I like the things years ago, I just do). One of my favorite summer rides is from Port Weller along the west bank Welland Canal bike path to the Port Robinson pedestrian ferry, then across and back on the east side by routes that seem to change every time. That's just about right for me (the climb up the Niagara Escarpment not withstanding).

    John

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    I like the looks and specs on the Raleigh i8 but they were available only in the USA and now look to be absent on the Raleigh USA website. Raleigh has a jumble of models worldwide that appear to be made in different countries -- although most look like they come from China. I wish the company would develop a single slate of models in different speeds and at different price points and market them like the other folding bike companies do. At the moment, we see one model in Canada, another in the USA and yet others in Australia, the UK, Singapore and Malaysia (I assume the UK models also pop up in Europe). Wouldn't it be nice to see the same select, state-of-the-art models offered for sale in every country they distribute to?

    I've heard about the Big Apple tires but I'm not sure if there would be a great deal of ride difference between them and the econo-versions now on the Avenir: Ponely 47-406 20 X 1.75 35psi/2.4 Bar. The Thudbuster looks like a great thing. However, my folder has an odd-size 30.4mm diameter post and it's only 400mm in length. The Thudbuster folding bike pickings are wider than that so they won't work, although their extra length would be welcome: http://www.thudbuster.com/products.html .

    Looks like the LT 27.2mm XL - black (not silver alloy as with the folding bike versions) X 450mm would do the trick as long as it was teamed up with the 27.2mm - 30.4mm seattube shim. That would add 50mm to the length of the seatpost right away, which is certainly one of the limitations of the Raleigh Avenir. But that also adds almost 200 bucks to the accessories tally and that's pretty steep for a "free" bike. Is that Thudbuster worth it for the difference it makes?
    Last edited by AvenirFolder; 11-11-13 at 11:28 AM.

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    I decided to go with a 27.2mm Nitto S65 460mm seatpost instead -- using the matching 27.2 to 30.4mm shim for proper fit (both off eBay from the same source to save shipping costs). That'll give me an extra 60mm of adjustment and it matches the look of the bike since it's silver aluminum alloy. I ride mostly paved roads and pathways so the Thudbuster might be overkill for what I do. Here's what the Nitto -- I like to pronounce it "Neat-o! -- looks like: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NITTO-S-65-T...item35cd9238ab . According to Peter White, the Nittos are the best single bolt seatposts in the world: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/seatposts.asp Polished beauties! He only carries the 420mm post for folders which is still on the short side for many riders. Ebay looks to be the best source for the oddball 460s plus you get a discount on price. That 460mm seatpost is the longest that Nitto produces.

    I'm not sure if any other folders have this feature but the Avenir has nifty little black plastic/nylon wheel nut caps to dress the bike up (cheaply). If purchasing an Avenir or getting an airmiles freebie, I recommend that you contact Raleigh Canada and get several spare caps because they can be knocked off when handling the bike and might go missing. Being small and black, they don't exactly jump out at you if lost in grass or other ground cover.

    To keep me in the mood for future/avenir folder riding, I think I'll watch this video on a regular basis during the depths of winter (even if it is a Brompton): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jea4l...6zPoymgKaIoDLA .
    Last edited by AvenirFolder; 11-10-13 at 04:05 PM.

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    I alluded to this earlier but something unique to this bike is the availability of a whole line of accessories that carries the same name/branding: Avenir http://www.avenirusa.com/ . Does Dahon, Brompton, Bike Friday, Birdy or Tern have its own extensive line of branded accessories? Nope.

    So you can add things to your Avenir folder to make it stand out from the crowd -- even if other skinflints on your block ride the same bare bones freebie from airmiles or one of the other wholesale distributors. Worldwide, this is probably the only Raleigh folding bike that has absolutely no mention of Raleigh on its exterior. That's why some folks never twig to the fact that it's distributed by that well-known company. These cheap, Made in China bikes are only branded with the Avenir logo. So accessorize away....

    As I mentioned upthread there are nifty rack bags with the Avenir logo on them http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Excursi.../dp/B0014UQ93W. But you could also add the mini panniers that fit http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Excursi...venir+panniers or the Metro variant (Costco http://www.costco.ca/Avenir-Metro-Pa....10366346.html ) or one of several handlebar bags http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Metro-H...enir+handlebar . Cargo trailer? No problem: http://www.costco.ca/Avenir-Cargo-Tr....10366353.html . These Avenir accessories all have one thing in common other than the shared logo: they are rated very favourably by consumers as "best buys" and value for money: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=athA13fDUp4 .

    Since I'm already adding the Nitto seatpost for a couple of extra inches of adjustment, I decided to splurge and top it off with another Avenir branded accessory, the Devine Design comfy seat: http://www.amazon.com/Devine-Design-...=devine+design (in white and black to match the white/black look of the bike). If that didn't work for you, there are other similar choices with the visible branding to match the bike: http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Womens-...s=avenir+comfy or http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Mens-Co...s=avenir+comfy . As always, watch the price fluctuations on Amazon. Two days ago, the Devine Design comfy seat was selling for seven bucks more! Although it's labelled as a woman's seat, it can obviously be used by both sexes. The stock Velo Comfort saddle that comes with the bike is actually very comfortable but it has no "comfy" recessed center channel (men's version) or full cut out (women's version). The difference between the men's and women's seat is the sizing: the men's is a little larger/longer. I want to see if the comfy line feels any better than the stock seat. Of course, it also dresses the bike up a bit and makes it stand out from the normal folder crowd.

    If the upgrade works, I plan on moving the stock saddle onto my old mountain bike which leaves me with a sore butt even after adding a gel topper and a sheepskin cover. I find the folder much more comfortable on the rear end!
    Last edited by AvenirFolder; 11-16-13 at 07:10 AM.

  12. #12
    cpg
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    I have an Avenir wedge type saddle sag, the black and red waterproof one, I am very happy with it, although the seat fitting brackets fit some saddles much better than others. They do waterproof panniers that match, very similar to Ortlib panniers.
    Mezzo I4 (converted to dual drive), Whyte PRST-1, Trek 1200, Dahon Jack, Bickerton (work in progress)

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    Quote Originally Posted by cpg View Post
    I have an Avenir wedge type saddle sag, the black and red waterproof one...They do waterproof panniers that match, very similar to Ortlib panniers.
    Hmmmmm...looks like the UK has a separate line of Avenir accessories to pick from: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Avenir-ACB94...rds=avenir+red or http://www.amazon.co.uk/Avenir-Welde...nir+waterproof + http://www.amazon.co.uk/Avenir-Class...rds=avenir+red + http://www.amazon.co.uk/Avenir-TRA09...rds=avenir+red (even the utility/cargo trailer is different from the North American version).

    Raleigh UK carries a bunch of Avenir accessories under its own banner: http://www.raleigh.co.uk/ProductType...&pt=33&pg=3922 . But I don't see the comfy line of saddles, although they have some that look close.

    Interesting.
    Last edited by AvenirFolder; 11-13-13 at 01:34 PM.

  14. #14
    cpg
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    I think you are correct, Raleigh seem to have different marketing and product strategies for different countries. As far as I am aware there there are no Avenir bikes marketed in the UK, only accessories.
    Mezzo I4 (converted to dual drive), Whyte PRST-1, Trek 1200, Dahon Jack, Bickerton (work in progress)

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    Quote Originally Posted by cpg View Post
    I think you are correct, Raleigh seem to have different marketing and product strategies for different countries. As far as I am aware there are no Avenir bikes marketed in the UK, only accessories.
    Yes, and those product/marketing strategies will likely change yet again now that the Accell Group of the Netherlands has taken Raleigh over worldwide: http://www.bicycleretailer.com/sites...ellrelease.pdf . Raleigh in Canada? The selection will all be offshore, Made in China bikes from now on: http://www.accell-group.com/upload/6231153.pdf . Which really won't, or shouldn't, change the status of the uniquely only-in-Canada "Avenir" folding bike any.

    The rise and fall of Raleigh in Canada: http://www.thestar.com/business/2013...in_canada.html .
    Last edited by AvenirFolder; 11-13-13 at 03:10 PM.

  16. #16
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvenirFolder View Post
    I alluded to this earlier but something unique to this bike is the availability of a whole line of accessories that carries the same name/branding: Avenir http://www.avenirusa.com/ . Does Dahon, Brompton, Bike Friday, Birdy or Tern have its own extensive line of branded accessories? Nope.
    Take a good look at those accessories;they're not Avenir,they're stuff from other companies re-branded with Avenir's logo. Some of those lights are def PB,and the locks look like OnGuard. You can do up a Brommie or Dahon the same way,it'll just have different logos,but it won't be any lower in terms of quality.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

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    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    Tern has Biologic as their accessory line .... Dunno if that really makes any difference though ....

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    Agreed, but my bike is branded as Avenir and so are those accessories i.e. they look like custom matched to the bike. You can do up a Brommie or Dahon or Tern with the same accessories from the original companies but they won't carry the matching bike branding. Small difference maybe, but a co-ordinated exterior look.

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    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    Avenir is a pure trading company .. they buy and sell stuff for all kinds of stuff including bicycles ... comparing that to Biologic for example is really not correct. But I digress, if you happy with your Avenir stuff, so be it

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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    Avenir is a pure trading company .. they buy and sell stuff for all kinds of stuff including bicycles ... comparing that to Biologic for example is really not correct.
    I could be mistaken, but I was under the impression that Avenir was a division of Raleigh and dealt primarily with bike accessories. Hence the branding on the folder as well as the Avenir bike accessories available on both sides of the pond http://www.raleigh-group.com/Brands/ (click on Avenir) http://avenir-raleigh.blogspot.ca/20...-industry.html. Looking at the Avenir 2013 Raleigh Parts & Accessories catalogue from Raleigh Canada, you'll find hundreds of bike parts as well as ... drum roll please ... the Avenir 20" 6-speed folding bike (part #1720260 ). That is the one and only bike in the whole catalogue and that catalogue is the only place you'll find the Avenir folder listed anywhere. It doesn't appear online in any official company listing nor does it appear in any of Raleigh's bike catalogues -- only making that surprise appearance as a full-page advertised "part" in the Avenir catalogue!

    Now, if I was going to shell some money out for a folder myself -- my bikes were free remember -- I'd definitely be looking at Dahon or Tern or another economical bike brand for my buy (only because an upgraded, dealer-backed Raleigh model like the i8 isn't available in Canada). Raleigh's entry level Avenir bike line consists of cheap Chinese knockoffs with components to match. However, once you fix the initial problems with them, they ride remarkably well. Will they last as long as the more expensive folding bikes? Not a chance. But if you start out with no initial cost as I did, then it's not that bad financially to simply upgrade components as the cheap stuff wears out.

    My biggest gripe with the Avenir bikes is the exceptionally short 400mm seatpost. If you happen to be taller than 5'9", you'll probably have to buy a new post that's 450mm-plus. Most folders these days come with at least that length as standard equipment if not 500 or 550mm. So right out of the gate, you're looking at another $100 or so for that longer seatpost and shim (Canadians will likely find them in the States and have to pay an extra whollop for shipping). The Avenir looks to be made for short-legged Chinese males not larger North American riders. If you buy the bike retail for the MSRP of $350 and then add $100 for a new seatpost with shim, you're really looking at a $450 bike. At that rate, a Dahon or Tern or MEC folder isn't much more especially if you find a used one with low mileage. An Origin-8 F7 Speed is right around that $450 price point but with better specs http://www.origin-8.com/product-desc...model_uid=4758 + http://momentummag.com/gear/bikes/or....muWSKfQI.dpbs. Obtained from airmiles.ca for free, the Avenir makes sense. At retail prices, it doesn't if you're of average height or taller and forced to buy a new seatpost. (An alternative way to get that extra leg stretch -- and it's cheaper than buying a longer seatpost -- is to add an Avenir comfy padded saddle like those I mentioned upthread. Don't laugh, they might give you the required, extra inch or so of reach to the pedals.)

    My second biggest gripe is quality control at the Chinese end of things. Expect to have problems right out of the box. Most bikes coming from Asian factories need minor adjustments so that's to be expected. But how about getting a bike with bottom bracket bearings with no grease on them? Yup, that was my first bike. And that was on top of obvious things that should have been corrected before shipping to North America. I picked up on the bearing problem after hearing a knocking sound around the pedals. My advice? Ride the bike hard for at least a month to see what problems develop. The bearing noise didn't start until I'd had about 100 klicks under my wheels. It helps to have a Raleigh rep in town who will examine and fix the bike under warranty. Apparently, I'm not the only one who got an Avenir with grease-less bearings. Raleigh Canada, to its credit, covered the parts and repairs that were expertly undertaken by Rob Willis of Funwest Sports. Now the bike rides like a dream. My second (free) bike had a wobbly freewheel and rear wheel that wasn't trued properly. More knocking, only this time from the back end. I had to get that fixed as well. Now that bike rides like a dream, too -- again, thanks to Rob Willis. Moral of the story? There's no such thing as a free ride. Whether you're getting a "freebie" or you're buying an Avenir at retail prices, be sure to have local support for warranty work. Then enjoy the ride!

    Speaking of lax quality control, occasionally there's an upside to it: the second boxed bike I received from airmiles.ca came with an unexpected bag of 5 front reflectors in it. Why they were thrown in, I have no idea because the current Avenirs don't come equipped with front reflectors although the earlier rebranded Dahon clones did. I'm guessing that five Raleigh Stowaway 7's that were likely put together on the same Chinese production line were shipped to the UK without them: http://www.raleigh.co.uk/ProductType...pt=15&pg=10401. At any rate, I installed two of them on my bikes and found a good home for the other three. Note the support frame at the base of the bottom bracket of the Stowaway 7 on the Raleigh UK website: the Avenir also has that feature but it isn't shown in any of Raleigh Canada's photos of the bike. The Avenir also shares steel fenders/mudguards with the Stowaway even though the former is advertised as having alloy fenders (I put a magnet on them and it stuck).

    Another Avenir tip: Since the bike is white, if you happen to chip the paint (or it arrives in the box with small scratches/chips) just go to Home Depot and get some white appliance Porc-A-Fix to touch it up http://www.homedepot.ca/product/porc...d-white/981027 (the glaze comes in various shades to match specific manufacturers' appliances).
    Last edited by AvenirFolder; 11-21-13 at 03:25 PM.

  21. #21
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    I'm hoping that other Avenir folding bike owners can chime in here about their experiences with these folders. I'm especially interested in hearing from owners of the new models since the old Dahon knockoffs (of the Impulse D6) seemed to have had less problems out of the box.

    The Avenir in any form is like a phantom in the folding bike world: very little has been written about the bikes and virtually no complete reviews exist for them. There's only a little bit of info here and there on Google: http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/canada.html (example).

    Please add what you can.

    On the topic of rolling a folded Avenir, it's a solid go -- especially if you bought a longer seatpost. The handlebars fold down between the wheels and keep out of the way. Simply pull the seatpost out almost as far as it'll go and then clamp it tight. You'll use the seat to steer with. To keep the wheels together, I wrap one of my bright reflective ankle straps -- 16" long -- around part of the the rear rack and then loop it around the frame just above the front fork and fasten the velcro together. I then place another ankle strap around the (deliberately closed) lever that locks the main frame pieces together since it sticks out awkwardly otherwise and could get knocked out of alignment or damaged if left as is. Because the Avenir doesn't have a double kickstand as demonstrated here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOWihIDGSGM (start at the 2:00 minute mark) use the small bottom support frame to keep the bike upright when resting it in place. The alloy (i.e. rustproof) support frame does not appear in manufacturer photos of the bike, but it really does exist. You may have to adjust the pedal positions slightly to keep them from interfering with the use of that support frame, though. Try folding and rolling your bike. Once you get the hang of it, it's easy!
    Last edited by AvenirFolder; 11-21-13 at 07:48 AM.

  22. #22
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    I received the longer Nitto S-65 460mm seatpost with the required shim today and they worked like a charm. I simply followed this straightforward example on installation: http://problemsolversbike.com/blog/c...post_shim_size (coincidentally, the 27.2mm to 30.4mm shim I used was from Problem Solvers). That setup gave me almost three full inches of extra length to play with compared to the short 400mm stock post that came with the bike. The Nitto seatpost also looked to have a thicker wall even though it was of smaller diameter.

    To top it off, I added the Avenir Devine Design saddle mentioned upthread but thought it added too much white to the rig (it also didn't come with the advertised side reflective striping). I'm going to return that to Amazon and get the darker Avenir comfy seat. One thing I noticed when holding the original stock seat and post up in one hand and the new Nitto seatpost and Devine Design saddle in the other hand: the latter combo added at least a pound of extra weight to the equation. The original seat has very little padding (but looks thick due to the hollow underneath) while the comfy seats are beefy with more than two full inches of butt relief. From the side profile they may look the same, but they aren't when it comes to long-lasting comfort. I'll pay the weight penalty any day if it means I ride pain free. I found the original stock saddle comfortable but believe the comfy seats to be better in the long run.
    Last edited by AvenirFolder; 11-21-13 at 07:41 AM.

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