MIT v8 - Real world performance/use
MIT V8 - Real world performance/use
I am still in the process of saving for the V8. But I have road tested a friend's V8 for about 10km in various speeds and terrain. And he has had the V8 since it came out last year. He has logged about 6,000-8,000 km. He already lost count of the mileage but that is a fair distance and may even be too conservative.
To those doubting this made-in-China is not robust or well made, let me put that to rest. This bike has gone to Manila-to-Pagudpud (about 1,200km?) and halfway back. Climbed 7,200feet in Baguio and the highest point in the Mt. Province. It has completed with very fast speeds the local Audax 212km challenge with Cat 2 hills. This April, during Holy week, it will do a 750-800km 5-day trek from Manila to Matnog with also very tough hills in the middle and in the end! I know, because I just covered the tough hills going to Matnog Port, the southern most tip of Luzon before you cross the sea to Samar, the Visayas provinces.
The V8 was written 12-15 hours straight. In the heat of the sun, in rough roads, in gravel roads, in the mud, in the rain, etc. The bike has withstood all that. So, I would put to rest any notion that the MIT is a cheap low grade knock-off. The V8 has paid its dues and has passed with flying colors. In fact, the owner of the particular V8 I test rode, had 2 Bromptons, sold all his B's and will settle for the V8 as his main bike (he has a Rhine Birdy as his other bike).
When I asked him why he would stick with the V8, he said one thing that was important to him. He said that with the B's, climbing Baguio (about 5,000-6,000 feet above sea level) was a pain, a chore. The V8 was night and day in terms of easy climbing steep hills and mountains. Cimbing the mountain was really much easier.
Plus, he said that upgrading and changing parts was not a pain. He didn't have to think that the part he would replace would not fit or work.
Ride experience-wise, he said, that B's have their own charm. But he said, it's not that important to him. He said, his ride isn't that far off from the B's. But the climbs and the accelerations he said seems better with the V8. Being a high mileage guy and many in our group who is considered hard core (he also bikes to work and really logs in at least 2,000km a month (what with the Strava challenge also pushing him to do more), I have to take his opinion with great respect and less suspicion.
Now, let me say that this is his opinion. And this does not take away the greatness of the Bromptons. Because I have ridden his V8 too, I can say that he is not far off from what he reported. And that is why I registered to this site and made my post here. The bike does shine in its own right. And it has also addressed the early problems of the Flamingo which preceded it. Now, it has its new set of issues, but they are nothing that can be solved as they are not systemic to the V8. They are other parts problems that needs an interation on the 3rd generation (the Flamingo I consider being the 1st gen, the V8 and BP01 as the 2nd gen).
As I write this, there is now a Brompton Philippines. It means, we can now buy Bromptons without the pain and high cost of getting one or waiting for used ones (which is far and in-between). I believe the 6L costs around U$1,700. There is no need to go to HK or Singapore. Or to order it from local shops and the price bloat by U$250-350 more.
The V8 costs U$850 in our country. During some sale (like Chinese new year), they sold it for U$782.
Is the V8 a good buy? Well, it depends. For me, and some of us, the V8 is a good bike without the hassles and high price of a Brompton. It's also half the price of a 6L Brompton. You can buy 2 V8's for the price of one! And the V8 has a rack already! And a free pump that tucks in the rack! :thumb:
But for me, it's not just the low price. The build, durability/robustness, reliability, and the ease of upgrading it are the plus for me. This bike has gone long distance running for daily for days, covering thousands of km's, in all sorts of conditions, and in various speeds and terrain has sold me that this bike is not just wanna-be Brompton that is cheaper version. This notion and perception was already shattered by real world use by our hard core rider/owner.
Now, some will not be swayed. But that is ok. But to dismiss the V8 as a poor less than capable bike is so far from the truth. Also the MIT V8 is not really a clone or a copy of the Brompton. It is really a different bike. Only the rear triangle and maybe the front fold is the same. But as far as the frame and even the hinges goes, it's a different bike altogether. And that will be the next I will post on this.
Next -> An inside look at Brompton's way of making bikes, patents, and
What the MIT V8 really is as a bike and in terms where it really stands vs the Bromptons.