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  1. #1
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    Brompton vs. Helios fold

    I recently sold my Chevy HHR SS for a small Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio (ragtop eliminates the hatchback feature), so now I'm looking for a folder compact enough to toss into the back seat. Dahon doesn't make the 16-inch-wheel Helios anymore, but I've seen a few around for sale and they're pretty cool. Can anyone compare the folded size to Brompton?

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Brompton will fit in, roughly a 4 cubic foot space, 24 x 24 x 12. And have a bag to put over it.

    IDK Helios .. I cannot compare 2 only having one..

  3. #3
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    You might find a thinner non fold over bike might fit the space beTter.
    Ie a zoot swift, Diblasi , strida, jango flick,
    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.

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    Senior Member darukhan's Avatar
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    Do you know if the Dahon Helios has similar dimensions to the Dahon Curve?

    If so, Thor did some comparison pics of a Brompton next to a Dahon Curve..... see below....

    Pics from ThorUSA page >>> http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/technical/brommy.htm




  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    + NB: the chain is mostly covered by the front wheel folded back on the right side, on one,

    where it's there, exposed, to transfer black stuff to your upholstery , on the other.

  6. #6
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    You might find a thinner non fold over bike might fit the space beTter.
    Ie a zoot swift, Diblasi , strida, jango flick,
    i don't see these as particularly good suggestions. strida is barely a decent bike and folds longitudinally, taking up at least 4' of space. jango flick is virtually unobtainable in the states and is huge when folded; same with the swift. the diblasi is the neatest (and coolest) folded package of the bikes you suggest, but is also difficult to obtain and i believe it also weighs nearly 40lbs..






  7. #7
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darukhan View Post
    Do you know if the Dahon Helios has similar dimensions to the Dahon Curve?

    If so, Thor did some comparison pics of a Brompton next to a Dahon Curve..... see below....

    Pics from ThorUSA page >>> http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/technical/brommy.htm



    first of all, the dahon helios was a 20" folding bike. the bike you're thinking of was called "presto lite" and had 16" wheels. both are no longer made. (dahon produced an anniversary edition of the presto lite that cost over 1k and is a single speed bike available only in asia as far as i know, unless special ordered) also, the above image shows a dahon curve xl. that bike is also no longer made. the only 16" wheel option made by dahon that would be available in the US is the Curve- a smaller wheel-base version of the curve XL(sl)and also has 305 wheels. the folded size is bigger than the brompton and the nifty magnet latches dahon uses to hold their bikes in the folded position only works if you pick them up in a specific way. would probably be ok for someone 5'5" and less than 150lbs. also, as fietsbob indicated, the chain is on the outside of the folded package on the curve.
    Last edited by smallwheeler; 12-19-13 at 04:51 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ThorUSA's Avatar
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    ok... that chain business.... one could lay the bike on the non drive side right ? and therefore eliminate that perceived problem....

    To the original poster... The 16 inch presto lite is a good cool 16 inch bike, with very similar folding size than the Curve, if the Presto ia one of the lite versions its also very very light ....
    10 lbs less than a Brommy ? or is that just a little to subjective ? Our Brommy friends will chime in that weight doesnt matter ... same as I say that the chain on one side doesnt matter ...
    right ?

    if you can find a Presto lite .. and are not 6.3 tall... or dont want to spend thousands ... go for it
    Best Thor
    Having fun selling Terns and Dahons for a living. My personal website is also my business website, same as my profile name, therefore no link given to follow forum rules.

  9. #9
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThorUSA View Post
    ok... that chain business.... one could lay the bike on the non drive side right ? and therefore eliminate that perceived problem....

    To the original poster... The 16 inch presto lite is a good cool 16 inch bike, with very similar folding size than the Curve, if the Presto ia one of the lite versions its also very very light ....
    10 lbs less than a Brommy ? or is that just a little to subjective ? Our Brommy friends will chime in that weight doesnt matter ... same as I say that the chain on one side doesnt matter ...
    right ?

    if you can find a Presto lite .. and are not 6.3 tall... or dont want to spend thousands ... go for it
    Best Thor
    lay it on.. what?

    also, the presto was a cool bike. not produced for 10 years = past tense. anniversary edition doesn't count.

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    Thanks for the feedback, folks. I didn't realize the non-Presto Helios was a 20-incher, so that's good information. Other points: Yes, I do think weight matters when carrying a bike downstairs, then loading it through a small opening in a car (harder to control passing the bike through when you're trying to keep from dropping it). No, I don't think chain grease is a major issue. I don't over-grease mine, plus - as Thor said - I wouldn't rest the bike on the drive side.

    So I need the gears of a Brompton, and the weight of a Presto Lite. Great!

  11. #11
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    If you lay the Dahon on the rear seat with the non-drive side to the seatback or pointing up,then the chain won't touch anything.

    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,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  12. #12
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    Is this the anniversary edition? It's been on Ebay forever, and the Japanese-to-English language attempt is a bit lacking.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/DAHON-Presto...item4acc4f44d3

  13. #13
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
    Is this the anniversary edition? It's been on Ebay forever, and the Japanese-to-English language attempt is a bit lacking.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/DAHON-Presto...item4acc4f44d3
    yes.

    1500 usd...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    yes.

    1500 usd...
    1500 usd might explain why it's still there, eh?

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    Senior Member darukhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    first of all, the dahon helios was a 20" folding bike. the bike you're thinking of was called "presto lite" and had 16" wheels. both are no longer made. (dahon produced an anniversary edition of the presto lite that cost over 1k and is a single speed bike available only in asia as far as i know, unless special ordered) also, the above image shows a dahon curve xl. that bike is also no longer made. the only 16" wheel option made by dahon that would be available in the US is the Curve- a smaller wheel-base version of the curve XL(sl)and also has 305 wheels. the folded size is bigger than the brompton and the nifty magnet latches dahon uses to hold their bikes in the folded position only works if you pick them up in a specific way. would probably be ok for someone 5'5" and less than 150lbs. also, as fietsbob indicated, the chain is on the outside of the folded package on the curve.
    Thank you for the post to point out this stuff out!

  16. #16
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darukhan View Post
    Thank you for the post to point out this stuff out!
    i guess i should have mentioned the dahon jifo, but it has such limited functionality and such a high price, i didn't think it seemed relevant to the discussion.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    i guess i should have mentioned the dahon jifo, but it has such limited functionality and such a high price, i didn't think it seemed relevant to the discussion.
    Nah, I discussed that model a few months ago. Aside from also being a singlespeed, it's just too weird.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
    Is this the anniversary edition? It's been on Ebay forever, and the Japanese-to-English language attempt is a bit lacking.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/DAHON-Presto...item4acc4f44d3
    WOW! I thought the Presto Lite was discontinued years ago never to be seen again. I rode that bike when it was a three speed years ago and it wasn't that bad. What impressed me was how lite that bike was compared to other folders. Alot of people think you could carry the Presto Lite like an unbrella but that was not the case. You would still need to roll that bike just like a Brompton. Still, the Presto Lite was a nice looking bike.

  19. #19
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    i don't see these as particularly good suggestions. strida is barely a decent bike and folds longitudinally, taking up at least 4' of space. jango flick is virtually unobtainable in the states and is huge when folded; same with the swift. the diblasi is the neatest (and coolest) folded package of the bikes you suggest, but is also difficult to obtain and i believe it also weighs nearly 40lbs..





    Point taken about me not knowing the us availability. Just I hav had experience of my mezzo or Brompton not fitting small car boots at all. There may be simular bike available in the states.ie Moulton gitex. A dibasic R4 can weigh 13kg approx if you take extras like stand and dynamo off.
    I just wounder if neither bike will fit. I knew I guy with a sports car and the non folding bike was the only option to fit his car.
    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.

  20. #20
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    The deed is done! It's a 20-incher, but I bought Thor's Helios XX anyway. Just too much carbon and aluminum all wrapped up in one ridiculously light and rare model. I had to have it!

  21. #21
    Hello zebede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
    The deed is done! It's a 20-incher, but I bought Thor's Helios XX anyway. Just too much carbon and aluminum all wrapped up in one ridiculously light and rare model. I had to have it!
    Congrats,super nice, I think saw pictures of it on his site.....but you can still post some here for us to look at!

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    Congradulations. The Helios is a bigger fold than the Brompton but it makes me wonder why Dahon stopped making them? It wasn't a bad looking bike. I don't think the fold should bother the OP unless he wants to enter the inside of a packed bus.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    Congradulations. The Helios is a bigger fold than the Brompton but it makes me wonder why Dahon stopped making them? It wasn't a bad looking bike. I don't think the fold should bother the OP unless he wants to enter the inside of a packed bus.
    Nope, no buses here. My goal is to have one bike light-and-compact enough to semi-easily stuff in the back seat of my little Fiat for the occasional drive to a different riding spot. I have other bikes (and a recumbent trike) for rides from home, but no interest in finagling a bike rack onto my car for them.

    If I had to hazard a guess as to why the Helios was discontinued, I would assume the complexity of getting both frame-hinges to line up sufficiently in manufacturing was an issue for Dahon. I've read some stories of the joints having noise issues, which is probably from one not quite closing as tightly as the other. Thor has also mentioned these frames being "lively" feeling, which novice riders may have reacted to as overly skittish. I'll let you know soon enough!

  24. #24
    Senior Member blakcloud's Avatar
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    Nice choice. The is one slick looking bike. Enjoy!!

  25. #25
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    definitely cool, but i hope you didn't really pay 1400usd for it...


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